Dear StartupNation : My business is now in its
fourth year and one thing is clear: I‘m good with ideas and day-to-day
tasks involving my specialty area, but selling
is not my strong point. Can you suggest some steps I can take to help
my business become better at selling? In particular, I need help with
sales techniques, like what to say or not to say.
worry – you are one of the millions of entrepreneurs who are
crackerjack experts in their field, but who have no clue about the art
To get better at selling, we first sales training recommendation: focus on your reputation .
In an age of corporate scandals and jaded customers, there’s simply no
substitute for being a reputable business, says sales expert George
Ludwig, author of Power Selling (Dearborn Publishing, 2004).
Ludwig says that all the scripts and motivational sales training
techniques in the world are worthless without a credible reputation.
So how do you gain credibility in selling? The four building blocks of sales credibility are:
- Competence : Become an absolute expert in your chosen field. Work daily to improve your performance and knowledge of your business.
- Confidence : This comes from knowing that your product or service is an outstanding solution for your buyers.
: If you are the primary sales person for your business, you must
commit yourself to the selling profession as part of what you do.
- Character : Honesty, integrity and a sense of fairness are crucial for long-term sales success.
These strategies and techniques can help improve your sales abilities:
- Remember that selling is really serving . A laser focus on service can become a small business owner’s most powerful sales tool .
the knowledge you have about what you sell to your advantage. Buyers
want proven solutions from experts who understand what they really
- Weave the company’s unique story into your sales pitch, and include anecdotes or testimonials that bolster your reputation.
Romans were known for their construction skills. When they finished an
arch, the engineer in charge always stood beneath it when the
scaffolding was removed. If the arch didn’t hold, he paid the price.
Like Roman builders, small business owners should be able to stand
under their sales reputation with confidence.