Many home-based entrepreneurs fail in their ventures because they are not able to execute and implement their vision. You may know what business to start, how to gather the resources you need; but if you don't know how to sell, then you might as well close your business (unless you have the money to hire a sales person). As much as you dread of prospect of selling, your business needs customers, without which you are doomed.
The three elements of any relationship are Know, Like, and Trust. I call it the "Know, Like and Trust Factor." This is a simple concept to understand, but it's a tough one to implement, especially if it isn't in front of you.
Getting To Know You
For potential clients to know you exist, you need to market. Selling is not marketing. Let potential clients know how you can help them. You can show potential clients what your value is by offering it in various forms
This can be done by writing newsletters, giving talks to groups, networking, writing articles and blogging.
You have to be in front of potential clients in order for them to get to know you. The first step is getting them to KNOW that you exist. You do this by marketing and offering value, NOT BY SELLING. Online this can be done by creating a mailing list, social networking, article marketing, press releases, blogging, etc. Offline you can do things like networking or public speaking. Potential clients will take advantage of these services. If you create good services with great value and content, your marketing will become viral. People will now seek to learn more about your services.
Getting To Like You
Who wants to deal with someone they don't like? It is rare to find someone so good at his or her trade that he or she can be unpleasant and still get work. The worst part about being unpleasant to a client is that word will spread like wildfire. People love to tell friends about bad experiences.
Once potential clients get to know you, you want to give them the opportunity to like you. Clients have a lot of choices today. They can easily find someone else to work with. Make sure to get people to like you by following up, being true to your word, and doing the best job you can. Don't let business relationships dry-up and die. Keep in constant contact throughout your relationship. As soon as you have first contact with a potential client, keep reaching out. Share information they would find helpful. Touch base, check in, and refer them. Keep showing your value to clients. Your relationship will grow and the like will grow. Don't be afraid to put yourself fully into the relationship. Your clients are people too. They have families and dreams. Relating to each other on a personal level will increase the value of the relationship.
Getting To Trust You
Trust is the final factor and it's where "the rubber meets the road" so to speak. Trust is gathered by doing what you say you will do. Trust is built by consistently giving value to clients. Trust is built by giving to clients. Trust is also earned by social proof such as referrals and testimonials. Keeping your word should be simple. Don't overpromise anything. Meet deadlines and stay in contact. Be responsive to client needs. Put yourself in the client's shoes and treat them like you want to be treated. Once a client trusts you, they will be willing to pay you for your services or products. They will feel comfortable putting their needs in your hands. Trust is the factor that will gather clients for you. Trust is a powerful tool for getting clients and keeping clients