Why you may need sales training if you’re a small business owner?
Sales training is something you need to consider if you are a small business owner, especially if you find yourself doing a lot of presentations which aren't converting into sales.
Yes there is a lot for you to consider if you want your small business to run smoothly, not only do you have to worry about delivering your service, but you also have to find new customers who are willing to pay you for it.
Therein lies the problem as chances are if you are selling a service like coaching, therapy, counselling or any other 1-2-1 service, you probably don't like or think you're any good at selling.
When you do get a chance to speak to a potential customer, it always feels like your stepping out of your comfort zone, so you rush what you say hoping that it will all be over quickly.
This normally results in you not getting the sale. If you don't get the sale, you can't invest in your business. If you can't invest in your business, then you will not grow and it all becomes one vicious circle of defeat.
So what can you do if you need more sales and you’re a small business owner that hates selling?
Well, you need to invest in sales training for yourself and your staff if you are lucky enough to have them.
The reason is simple, the more conversations that you can convert to sales, the quicker your business will start looking like the business that you dreamed about before you set it up.
More sales equals more investment back into your business which equals growth and increased profits.
What you need is a clear simple structure, that will help you to qualify your prospects before you speak to them and convert more of those conversations into sales.
Whic results in:
And before you ask, this is not about you discounting your prices until it feels like you're just doing a job.
This is about positioning, what you have to offer, so potential prospects can appreciate that they will need to pay properly for your services if they decide to work with you.
With that in mind here are a few sales training tips for small business owners which should help you to convert more sales from your presentations
Sales training tip for small business owners - Make sure you have a sales process?
Your sales process should start before your presentation!
I'll let that sink in for a moment.
Is it more sales that you want? Or is it more leads that you need.
If you are marketing your small business correctly, the prospects that speak to you will be aware of what you have to offer them before you even speak to them.
Think about it… if someone reaches out to you, and they are already aware of what you do, then it is obvious they are looking for more information as to how you can help them.
So one way to improve your sales process would be to ensure your marketing message is aligned with the solution that you provide. There is nothing wrong with reminding people about
- What you can do to help them
- How they can contact you
- Where they can go for further information.
Another activity that you could do to improve your sales process is send a confirmation email to prospects who have confirmed an appointment. You could include a questionnaire in preparation for your meeting.
The answers contained could provide valuable insight to help prepare for any sales objections that may come up during your presentation.
The great thing about having a solid marketing message, with a clear call to action is that it invites only serious people to get in touch with you.
You are doing your pre-qualification in advance
.As mentioned above, if you have a good sales process in place, you should only be having appointments with prospects who are interested in what you have to offer.
If you need an online calendar that allows your prospects to seamlessly book time with you, then check out Calendly, it’s just like having your own virtual assistant you can find out more about Calendly here
Sales Training Tip For Small Business Owners, Chill out, you are having a conversation not a battle!
When you are presenting to your potential customer, make sure that you are having a conversation with them, a sales presentation should not be a battle to the end, with the last man standing declaring victory.
You need to build rapport with the other person first, they may be aware of what you do, but they will still want to check you out first, to make sure that you align with their own values.
Internally there are a lot of decisions that your prospect will make before they commit to working with you. So spend some time finding out more about them by
Asking the right questions, in the right way at the right time will help tremendously.
Your questions need to be delivered in a way that allows the prospect to open up about what they need to overcome.
- Listen intently.
- Listen properly
- Show them that you are listening.
This is really important as your focus on the person in front of you gives them energy, strength and the confidence to open up to you and answer your questions fully.
Most prospects that you come across in their day to day lives are receivers of information which means that they rarely get a chance to speak about themselves and what they need on a deeper level.
Be that person that helps them speak their truth. This will help you to build a rapport and understanding of them.
Sales Training Tip For Small Business Owners - Practice what you preach and preach what you practice
If you want to get better at presenting your service to others then you need to practice your presentation.
Get into the habit of setting aside time after a sales presentation to evaluate how it went.
Think about the objections that came up, could there have been a better way of answering them?
When you delivered the cost, did you allow the prospect to digest the price?
Or did you carry on speaking?
What about additional opportunities with cross-sell or upselling, did you even mention them?
Did you feel rushed?
There are many reasons why a prospect will say no, so doing an evaluation exercise will help you to uncover common objections which you can learn to answer more effectively in the future.
In my days of advertising sales, I would stand in front of a mirror and deliver word for word a presentation for a customer I was going to see the next day.
I would think of all the sales objections that may come up, including how I could upsell or cross sell additional services and I would speak them out loud.
Just as if the customer was in the room with me.
It sounds a bit kooky, but my conversion strike rate was 1 in 2 during my best times and I always achieved growth by adding in additional services, so something was working.
You can find out more why upselling is so important for your business growth in this article
If you want to get better at handling sales objections check out this blog post, where I discuss the 6 most common sales objections and how you can overcome them
Sales Training Tip For Small Business Owners - Is it sales that you want? Or is it more leads that you need
Do you have a sales and selling problem, or is it that you just aren't speaking to enough potential prospects.
When I deliver sales training to my small business clients we dig deep into their numbers, it generally turns out that they are only speaking to maybe 1 or 2 people, and that isn't even every week.
If you want to sell more of your services then you need to make sure that you are delivering your presentation to more people.
Think about it… if you are only speaking to one person a week, if that person says no, then you have nowhere to go.
If you can get into a position where you are delivering 3 - 4 presentations a week, you have just increased your odds of converting, one or more of them into a sale.
An easy way to increase the amount of potential prospects you speak to is to have sales and marketing funnel that does the talking for you click here to find out how you can implemnt one for your business.
Sales Training Tip For Small Business Owners - So what's your next step?
As we have discussed, there are a number of sales training steps that you can take to get better at sales and selling, but you may still be feeling like you need some help.
Well the good news is I can help you.
I run a group programme called Love Sales, Hate Selling which has been purposely created to help small business owners like you improve their sales and marketing skills.
In my opinion you need to understand and navigate both sides of the sales and marketing coin.
This will enable you to influence the number of prospects who see your message which in turn increases the number of presentations that you do, which improves the percentage of conversions you get and so and so forth.
Great blog Nigel.. You always give tips that can make a difference to your business. Thank you
Thanks Saroj, I am glad that you have found this post useful.