Want to increase sales in small businesses – here’s how?

We all know sales are an integral part of every small business. Yet, the sales process for many small business owners is a common challenge. Most managers and owners of small businesses have limited time and resources, and do not know how to correctly frame up and close sales. They, therefore, leave money lying on the table or in the pockets of their competition.

Sound about right?

So how do you fix this common, everyday business problem? You begin with ensuring every sales opportunity with existing customers or new customers is maximised.

As a small business owner, you know the sales process is crucial to your growth and success. and many business owners wonder if there is something specific they can do to improve their close rate and ramp up their business to the next level.

Contrary to mainstream sales coaching, being successful in sales is not about selling. It’s about providing a solution for your customers. This photo is of my first computer superstore at age 25. My sales team had chairs and coffee for their customers, and a sales process based on solutions, not force selling. This sales formula allowed our customers to buy, we didn’t have to push sell. The result was a $12 million business in 5 years.
I have been creating and running successful businesses for over 30 years and have been a business mentor for most of that time. I understand the struggles most business owners struggle with when trying to generate new leads and successfully turn those leads into actual cash-paying clients.

I have seen many different sales strategies and “hacks” posted on every social media platform by so-called business or sales coaches. Most are all missing the key essential ingredients for successful sales. I am talking about a sales process that leaves a smile on your customers face and keeps them coming back for years because of their non-pressured, initial experience.

Most sales coaches don’t have any real experience in running real, traditional businesses and their “sales strategies” are sourced from books and online resources without actually ever being implemented in the real world.

There are a ton of lead generation strategies, sales conversion tactics and hacks you can follow. But most of these are all centred around selling, force tactics, slam closes and pressure. Not around customer solutions and allowing your customers to buy.

They focus on the transactional value of the sale today, not on the lifetime value of the customer.
Customers hate pressure tactics. Most business and salespeople hate applying pressure to force sales, yet this is what they are taught to do to be successful salespeople.

If you want to close more sales, don’t sell. Rather let your customers buy from you.

Let us look at some of the proven strategies to increase sales with current customers and prospects.

Increase Sales Strategy #1 – Don’t begin with the benefits or features

Here’s what most people do when trying to sell to someone. They demonstrate their product or service and begin by telling the customer all the benefits and features from a brochure or a rehearsed pitch. Sound familiar? That’s what all the sales books say.

Here’s what you should be doing…

Begin by asking your customers these 3 questions upfront before you bring out your demo model.

1. What is it you would love this product or service to do for you?
2. What has made you angry or frustrated with past products or services?
3. What are you looking for in your new sales rep or supplier?

As the customer speaks, write down their answers. Listen closely to the words and tone they use. Then weave these personalized words into your presentation and repeat these back as your sales pitch.

In the first instance, the salesperson is assuming the standard benefits or features they are pitching match what the customer wants to hear. Most times, they get it wrong and then resort to convincing and pressure tactics to close the sale.

Here they have not allowed the customer to speak.  In other words, they are selling. They are speaking on behalf of the customer. This is not a personalized sales pitch. It’s a generic one. And who likes a generic sales pitch? No-one!

In the second instance, the salesperson is using words, tone, and language that the customer is familiar with and understands. They have personalized the sales pitch and is telling the customer exactly what they want to hear. So here there is very little convincing. The sale happens easily, quickly, and leaves the customer feeling like they made the right decision. Here the customer is buying.

Make sure you “peel the onion” and ask as many relevant questions as is appropriate to help you qualify a potential customer.

Increase Sales Strategy #2 – Offer Two Choices For Your Products or Services

If people feel they are in control, they have less fear!

What do you fear most? Being eaten by a shark or crashing your car? Three people die a year from shark attacks on average, while over 3000 people die a day from car accidents!

However, over 97% of people fear being eaten by a shark but are happy to drive their car. Why? Because they feel in control when driving their car. If you are serious about wanting to increase sales, let your customers feel in control. This way, they will have less fear of the sales process.

People live and act based on their emotions, not facts.

So, how do you incorporate this into your sales pitches and presentations?

You offer your customers two choices. This way, they are making a decision, and therefore feel they are in control. And are more inclined to buy.

With only one choice, the emotional influencers do not kick in. Customers feel they are being sold to, as opposed to them buying.

Here’s an example:

Sales Pitch Option 1:

Skateboard with standard deck (black) and standard wheels (red)  $190

Sales Pitch Option 2:

Skateboard with customised deck (wooden) and colour wheels (blue, green or blue) $250

If only Option 1 is presented, the customer has no choice. However, if you present a second option, the customer now has an alternative from which they can make a choice. And therefore they feel in control. 

Increase Sales Strategy #3 – What’s it worth to you?

Asking this question is one of the most effective sales strategies to achieve great sales.

This is a direct follow on from the important questions asked in Increased Sales Strategy #1.

Recap: Here, they are:

1. What is it you would love this product or service to do for you?

2. What has made you angry or frustrated with past products or services?

3. What are you looking for in your new sales rep or supplier?

In Increased Sales Strategy #1, you are trying to understand your customer profiles.

Once you clearly understand what your customers love, what their pain points are, and what causes them frustration, you now weave that knowledge into your next question as follows:

“Mrs Smith, you have told me all the plumbers you have dealt with thus far have let you down. Some did not turn up, others did not complete the job, yet you have paid call-out fees. You are left with a mess, and now three months later, you still have a leaking pipe in your driveway, causing your water bill to go through the roof.

I completely understand all your frustration and anger at this situation. So let me ask you this question:

What would it be worth to you if I was able to do the following for you? …”

1.   I guarantee I will show up on Sat morning at 10:00 am

2.   You will not pay a call out fee unless I actually complete the work required and as promised

3.   I will leave your house clean and tidy. All rubbish will be removed from the site once the job is complete

4.   You will not have to pay me anything until I show you I have correctly fixed your leak

5.   Your water bill will stop leaking cash, and all this hassle will be in the past”

“If I was able to do all of this for you, what would it be worth to you?”

This sales process is incredibly powerful. You have acknowledged all your customer’s pain points and focussed on their ideal outcome. This is great perceived value from the customer’s perceptive because it is personalized to their emotional triggers.

In this effective sale strategy, you are selling your customer their desired outcome while removing their pain.

Increase Sales Strategy #4 – Don’t place your price in isolation

If you came along and stated upfront, your plumbing price is $95 an hour when the going market rate is $65-$85; chances are you will not get many jobs.

Why? Because selling with a price in isolation has no reference. It appears too high.

As a direct follow on from the Increased Sales Strategy #3 “ What’s it worth to you?”, Increased Sales Strategy #4 helps you maintain your price positioning and close more sales.

This is how it works:

All the plumbers who drove Mrs Smith crazy, all charge between $65 to $85 an hour. And they did not get the job done. Mrs Smith still has lots of anger, frustration, and still needs a desired outcome.

Now, you have asked the question in Sales Strategy #3 – “What is it worth to Mrs Smith for you to take all these pain points away and fix her problem once and for all.

Her answer, for example, may be $1000, just to get the problem and inconvenience out of her life, and stop the water meter ticking away. And she knows the $65 – $85/ hour plumbers could not take her pain away.

With the sales process I have described, your price of $95/hour is now positioned in a context where it is has perceived valueIt was not presented in isolation.

Increase Sales Strategy #5 – What leads your customers to purchase your product or service?

As a small business owner, it’s your job to know what motivates your customers to buy. One of the best ways to increase sales for your small business is to look at your recent sales and understand what the tipping point was just before the transaction.

Was it your website that earned the sale? A solid paid advertising strategy? Is it the informative and helpful content you post on your social media platforms? Your customer reviews & testimonials? Maximize the chance of a potential customer buying by knowing what works and doing more of it.

Sounds simple, but the most effective sales strategies are.

You don’t need sleazy tactics to have a great sales team or be a great salesperson. You just need to listen to what your customers really want. You do not have to hard sell, and you walk away with smiling customers who will remain with you in the long term.

Try these highly effective sales strategies. I guarantee who will be pleasantly surprised.

Find Out How a Business Coach Can Help You Increase Your Sales and Start Making Money Today

Real Business Coaching for Real Business Owners

Trying to survive in business can be exhausting, especially if you are always trying to solve the problems yourself. Are you frustrated, confused, and not sure what to do next? This is not how the picture of your business should look.

I understand this completely. I have been doing this for most of my adult life, and many times I have had to deal with struggles and pain alone

Being a small business owner doesn’t have to be a lonely ride.

  • Do you want help systemising your entire business operation, so you do not have to worry each day?
  • Need a practical exit strategy to turn your business into a valuable asset to set you up for life?
  • Want a proven marketing plan that has helped many other “offline” businesses just like yours to successfully integrate and grow their brand online?
  • Do you want to remove yourself from the daily grind and get your life back?
  • Do you want to optimise your business, improve efficiency, ramp up sales, maximise profits, reduce overheads and improve cash flow?
  • Need help managing and motivating your team to operate at optimum performance?
If so, we should have a chat.

You can learn more about my business coaching services here, and how to book in a free, no-obligation chat with me today. (valued at $295)

In the meantime, have a look at some real results from our previous clients. Many of them are small business owners who were struggling with similar issues you may be experiencing right now. 

I hope that you find this useful. If you would like a no-obligation, pitch-free business discovery session to see if we can help you get to where you want to go, then please book a time here.

I certainly would enjoy helping you on your business journey, whatever stage you are at, to reach your lifestyle of choice.

Thanks for sharing your time with me. I look forward to discussing how we can get your business working for you.

As always, I wish you all the very best.  

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