Finding new customers and consistently driving sales are invaluable goals for every business owner. In this post, I’ll provide small business owners with advice for developing a predictable client attraction process to prospect more clients and close more sales. Here are five tips to help you on your way:
1. Identify your target audience and leverage their contact details
You can identify your target audience by first understanding your market and its challenges. This makes it easier to also identify key decision makers and influencers, who might produce relevant content online. Use sites like LinkedIn to find the contact information for those key decision makers. The more information you have about your audience, the better off you’ll be in building a process that leads to closing more sales.
Your initial contact with prospects should always be “warm” – or, preceded by some sort of contact with the potential customer or prospect. One easy path to building a relationship is following your prospects on social media and engaging with select content. In doing so, you can begin to familiarize your target with your company affiliation, your name, or other things you think would interest the prospect.
Ensure your communication is professional and not pitchy. Potential clients are often turned off by a direct selling approach. It makes them feel that you only care about selling them your services and products instead of solving their problems. Warm calls build trust.
3. Use social proof to establish yourself as an expert in your industry
People listen to experts when deciding who to do business with. Imagine what your closing rate would look like if you were the most sought-after expert in your industry. One of the ways to become a thought leader is to share content illustrating your expertise. For example, establish a blog to showcase your expertise, post articles on other people’s blogs and create content for YouTube and Facebook.
There are many free social media platforms to make your ‘voice’ heard in the marketplace. Use them to share your solutions to prospects' problems. Social proof is an exceptional way of inviting leads. Once people identify with you in solving a certain or some problems, they will look for you and buy your services or goods.
4. Build trust with clients
Remember the old saying “People do business with those they know, like and trust”? Building trust with your prospect increases the likelihood of closing the sale. One way to build trust is to use a referral. A referral from a source your prospect always trusts transfers a level of that trust to you.
Another way to build trust is to keep your promises to your prospects and clients on the little things. Ensure that you offer value to your clients and you are a person of integrity. Keep your word and deliver beyond customer expectations. When you win the hearts of your clients, they will refer others to you. It also helps to ask for referrals from friends, current clients and family.
One of the primary rules in selling is to promise what you can deliver. When prospecting, think of repeat business. No client will come back if their buying experience is bad.
Once there is a relationship between you and your prospects, sell yourself well. At this crucial point, introduce your products or services. Ensure the client gets more value than they’ve paid for.
When selling, don’t be in a hurry to close the sale. Instead, educate the client with as much information as possible about the product and how that product will solve their most painful problem.
Creating a repeatable sales process is the key to increasing your sales. Even if the prospect says “no,” it’s important to understand the real reasons why they are saying “no.” For example, I recently helped a small business owner create a simple sales prospecting process and overcome sales objections that led to them closing a high five-figure sale in less than a week.
The wrong sales campaigns can demoralize your sales staff as well as reduce your businesses’ revenue. Having a well-trained and motivated sales team is paramount to growing your business. With the five prospecting and sales tips above, you can steadily increase your sales and grow your business.
Ebong Eka is no stranger to the world of personal finance. As a certified public accountant and former professional basketball player he offers a fresh perspective to small business planning and executing. With over fifteen years of accounting, tax & small business experience with firms like PricewaterhouseCoopers, Deloitte & Touche and CohnReznick, Ebong provides practical money solutions tailored to the everyday person, the aspiring entrepreneur or the small business owner.
Ebong is the founder of EKAnomics, a sales, pricing and leadership firm. He is also the founder of Ericorp Consulting, Inc., a tax and management consulting firm. Ebong is the author of “Start Me Up! The-No-Business-Plan, Business Plan.”
Ebong is also the founder of The $250 Tax Pro, which provides tax preparation and consulting services in the Washington, DC area.
Bank of America, N.A. engages with Ebong Eka to provide informational materials for your discussion or review purposes only. Ebong Eka is a registered trademark, used pursuant to license. The third parties within articles are used under license from Ebong Eka. Consult your financial, legal and accounting advisors, as neither Bank of America, its affiliates, nor their employees provide legal, accounting and tax advice.
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