Mr. & Mrs. Boandoh-Korkor

Every sale has five obstacles: no need, no money, no hurry, no desire, no trust.
~Zig Ziglar, Author and Motivational Speaker

Selling is an essential skill every entrepreneur must master. Think about it: Starting from day one in your business, you’re selling. Whether it’s pitching your idea to potential investors or showcasing your latest innovation to prospects, the success of your business depends on your ability to sell. Learning to sell is not that difficult. Any entrepreneur can learn and master the art of selling. The following five points would help you a great deal if you intend to improve your sales skills:

1. Learn to Motivate People: Motivation drives sales. The art of selling thrives on human motivation. Customers love to do business with people who can motivate them to buy. We see this happen a lot during our speaking engagements. Anytime we get the opportunity to speak at a conference, we can sell more of our book than on ordinary days. The reason? People buy easily when they are inspired to do so.

2. Learn to Listen to Your buyers: In sales, the ability to listen to customers is key. Generally, people want to feel heard and understood. Therefore, it is essential to make the art of listening to your customers a very crucial aspect of the marketing campaign. Even if you’re marketing online, make listening part of your social media engagement strategy and tie your messaging to that understanding.

3. Clearly Define your Unique Selling Proposition: What makes your service or product distinct? What makes your company different from the others? This is your unique value proposition. As an entrepreneur, you need to determine what makes your offering unique and communicate this effectively. This helps a lot during sales pitches. Whether it is your amazingly knowledgeable frontline staff or the kind of attention that is given to customer complaints, you need to clearly project this in your marketing communication campaigns.

4. Ask for Referrals: You will be surprised how many of your existing happy customers would gladly give you recommendations when you ask. You may not have gotten it because you haven’t asked. Though we expect that satisfied customers will naturally refer us to their friends, it is important that we ask them to do so for us. Asking for assistance is an essential business skill that every entrepreneur must cultivate.

5. Follow-up on the Business Contacts: Both managers and sales team throw the list somewhere and then another campaign is launched to seek new clients. Entrepreneurs need to understand that good follow-up has the potential to double the closing ratio. When a salesperson contacts a prospect, a relationship has been built and following-up is how it is nurtured. Staying at the forefront of a prospect’s mind requires persistence and should not be confused with being bothersome. It is therefore important to get agreement on some next step each time there is contact. Follow-up therefore should never end. The pace may slow but it will never end. When a sale is made, then a new type of follow up begins.

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