Disclaimer: The suggestions in this post are not necessarily going to solve all of your problems. Obviously there are other factors that I don’t know about your business (unless you want to share them with me here).
Let’s go ahead and assume you have a good product or service that solves a real problem other people or businesses are experiencing right now. In other words, you have a product or service and there is a real need for it in the marketplace.
The next step is to figure out how to get customers to buy it. Scary I know! Most entrepreneurs are tenacious and persistent by nature so there is a good chance you will find a way to make it happen in the early days. If you’re fortunate enough to start making money then it’s time to deal with next challenging step: scaling your business.
You can only rely on your own personal passion and determination for so long; you need to build a sales process. The trouble with sales is that the “soft skills” nature of the profession distracts most people from realizing how simple selling can actually be. We see many companies who overcomplicate the way they get customers and make money.
Here is something that I hope you find refreshing: it doesn’t have to be complicated.
Here are 5 simple things you can do right now to develop consistency in your sales activities and thus greater predictability in your business (after all, this is the goal if you don’t already know).
Define The “Ideal Client Profile” → Develop a basic understanding of your best prospect and then build, buy or find a database.
Simplify Your Value Proposition → You should be able to explain what you do to someone who knows nothing about your industry/market in under 30 seconds.
Develop A Simple Campaign → Simply build a plan of strategies and tactics for reaching your prospects. Define when you’re going to do what and over what period of time, then get started. Use different methods of communication such as email, social media, direct mail and the phone.
Focus On The Next Step → All you need to care about is moving a prospect from one step to the next. You don’t need to sign someone up on the first phone call unless they specifically ask you to (if this happens, please call me so we can work together in the most amazing market of all time).
Build A System To Measure Your Efforts → Whether it is a CRM (customer relationship management) tool, an Excel spreadsheet, or a notepad, find a way to keep track of EVERYTHING that you do (# emails, calls, tweets, etc.) and the associated results (appointments set, people who hung up on you, new customers, etc.).
Doesn’t all of this make sense? You should be nodding your head.
Building a business IS hard but it doesn’t have to be complicated. It’s hard because you will fail more than you’ve ever failed at anything in your life, over and over again. If you know that going in, then why wouldn’t you at least be organized about it and set yourself up for success as much as possible?
Again, this isn’t the magic formula that will guarantee success because, I hate to break it to you, there is no magic formula. Your success will be determined by your attitude and willingness to admit, analyze and solve problems.
The sales process tends to be the most elusive aspect of your business, but don’t let your brain overcomplicate it. It IS that simple and you CAN do it.