I often talk about lead generation being the most important factor for any business. No matter how established you are if you don’t put effort into expanding and retaining your customer base…it won’t work out well for you!
I speak to an awful lot of entrepreneurs who say that they hate selling. It makes them feel awkward, they don’t want to be a pest, and it knocks their confidence. Unfortunately there are no hacks here, the simple fact is that if you’re in business you are salesman to some degree. The only way you will get more comfortable with the idea is to do it. Dive into the deep end and you’ll find that the more you sell to people the more comfortable you get. When I first started a business I was terrified of talking to my own clients, let alone strangers!
What are you selling?
This seems like a dumb thing to say, but the starting point for any sort of sales is a solid understanding of what exactly you are selling. You need to have an in depth knowledge about the ins and outs of the service or product because there’s nothing more embarrassing than being caught out by a customer. On this note, I often think that companies who hire sales people don’t give them sufficient training which will only come back to bite.
How urgent/needed is it?
Where does your product sit? Is it something that people will need and use every day? Is it a case that people will only need it in an emergency? Is it a case that people know they need your particular product or service, and it’s just a case of finding a provider or will you need to persuade them? Understanding this is key to how you form your sales effort.
Barriers to entry
What do you need to actually be considered to your customers? Do you need a particular certification or accreditation for example? Do you need to be VAT registered? These are things that you might not be able to afford on day one, but in the long term you need to plan them into your business model.
With these basics firmly nailed down we can move onto messaging