Do you remember hearing the old saying, "If a tree falls in the woods and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound?" Well, the same thing applies to a great product or service without an effective sales strategy. If you don't sell, no one will care how "wonderful" your magnificent product or service is because they either won't know about it or won't care to know about it. I don't doubt for a minute that you believe your product or service has the ability to change the world or make your clients' lives easier. But if you're unable to convey that message to your clients or sound like a used car salesman in the process, you'll just be another person with a "great idea." Based on a question I received from aspiring entrepreneur Rachel Meadows, of Minneapolis, I asked the Young Entrepreneur Council for tips on how to become a better salesperson so readers can increase their bottom lines.
Be yourself, be passionate
As a founder of a company you have to be a salesperson. and you might not realize it yet but you are a good salesperson. My best tip is be yourself and a true honest person first, listen second and help beyond making the sale. The benefit we have as founders is a true passion for what we are selling and not every paid salesperson out there has that benefit.
- David Hauser (@dh) Grasshopper Group
Believe in your product and pick the right clients
I have two tips to becoming a great salesperson: One, LOVE your product. Only work on selling products you truly love. Prospective clients will smell your BS if you don't believe in your products value. Two, only sell to people whom would benefit greatly from your product.
- Eric Bahn (@beatthegmat) BeatTheGMAT.com
Want to read more about young entrepreneurs? Check these out:
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- Business Is For Kids: Tips For Very Young Entrepreneurs
- 10 Artists Explain How They Became Art Entrepreneurs
Ask for a closing
So many salesman do not sell simply because they don't ask for a sale. They show all the features of the product, tell you about the company's or products' history, but make the blunder of not asking for a close. A simple, "Would you like to buy one....?" could get you a sale. So, ask for a sale at the end of your presentation or pitch.
- Devesh Dwivedi (@Break9to5Jail) EntrepreneurInMaking.com
Don't be too pushy
Most customers don't like to be told they need to buy a product and they don't like salespeople to shove it down their throats. Be yourself and show your enthusiasm about what your business or product is. A great personality can be infectious and make others want to hear more about what you have to say. If they don't want to hear what you have to say then move on to the next person.
- Ashley Bodi (@businessbeware ) of Business Beware
Stop talking so much
The best salespeople are the ones that actually take time to listen to their customers and then respond with relevant information. Too often salespeople have set scripts and they rarely divert from them. If you can focus on a customer's needs, you'll position yourself to win the business.
- Anderson Schoenrock (@ScanDigital) ScanDigital
You're always selling
To become a great salesperson, you have to realize that you're always selling and that you're always selling yourself first. When you recognize that, then you can sell just about anything.
- Dan Schawbel (@danschawbel) Millenial Branding LLC
Make sales secondary
In your business, selling comes after building relationships. Provide people with valuable advice, keep in touch with your network on an ongoing basis, ask people what you can do to help them and connect people you think could help each other. Doing these things, without expecting anything in return, will establish the trusting relationships that are necessary to close big deals and make sales.
- Natalie MacNeil (@nataliemacneil ) Imaginarius
Show, don't tell
Keep your presentations interactive. Demonstrate your product or service firsthand to show off your results rather than just talk about them. Make sure it's visual as well. Don't kill people with excessive text slides. Focus on creating visually appealing presentations using photos, videos, audio, graphics and sizzle reels.
- Scott Gerber (@askgerber), author of Never Get a "Real" Job
The Young Entrepreneur Council was founded by Scott Gerber, a serial entrepreneur, internationally syndicated small business columnist and author of the book, Never Get a “Real” Job. The YEC's mission is to help young people build successful businesses and overcome the devastating epidemics of youth underemployment and unemployment.