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Make the Sale
You have a great idea for a product… Congratulations!
There are a lot of steps between having a great idea and being able to capitalize on that idea. First, you have to make the idea a reality, a process that can be lengthy and expensive. But let’s assume you’re able to produce your genius product. The next part is the hardest… selling your product.
An entrepreneur is a salesperson, first and foremost
It seems like a great idea should sell itself, but it doesn’t. Regardless of how great your product or idea – or how many great ideas you have – you won’t get anywhere if you’re not able to sell that product or idea. Every successful entrepreneur you meet will undoubtedly be a good salesperson. You don’t have to be the consummate sales professional – able to “sell water to a drowning man” – but you do have to be able to sell your own product or idea.
Be passionate about what you’re selling
To sell effectively, you need to be pushing a product or service that you are passionate about – something you want or need for yourself. If you’re not 100% invested in a product (especially if it’s your product), that will come across. And why should someone buy something from you that you wouldn’t buy for yourself? If you’re not excited about what you’re selling, nobody else will be.
Have you ever shopped for a car where the salesman had to retreat to the back room or look in the manual for answers to your every question? It’s frustrating, to say the least. If you’re selling something, you should know as much as possible about your product or service. That’s not to say you will never need to research the answers to a question, but you should be able to talk about your product authoritatively.
Confidence is crucial, and it ties in directly to passion and knowledge. If you are passionate and knowledgeable about what you’re selling, confidence comes along with the territory. If you’re unsure – about yourself or what you’re selling – that insecurity will come across and make the sales process that much more difficult.
Know your audience - and tailor your sales pitch
You may have narrowed down your target market, but do you know who you’re really selling to? If you have the opportunity to pitch your product to the buyer for a major retailer, your sales effort will be dramatically different than it is to bring a new distributor on board. Think about who will be listening to your presentation, and customize it accordingly.
Approach the decision makers
One of the biggest mistakes you can make when trying to sell is selling to the wrong person. Regardless of how much you impress someone, you won’t get anywhere if that person doesn’t have the power to purchase. Before you even make a call, know who has the power to purchase your product – and aim for as high up the decision-making chain as you can get.
Listen, Listen, Listen
A good sales call will likely have you listening more than talking. Of course you want to present the value and benefit of your product or service. But it’s more important to understand the needs of your potential customer. Understanding their possible objections, along with their needs and wants can go a long way toward gaining their trust and respect - and making the sale.
Selling effectively doesn’t come easily to everyone, and anyone who has ever been in a position of trying to sell something for the first time has likely been nervous and uncomfortable. It does get easier as time goes on. In the meantime, remember that rejection isn’t personal (even if it often feels that way), and there is always another potential customer out there.
Dec 18, 2014
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