Sales is a verb. Okay, now settle down. I know if you look in the dictionary it says that ‘sales’ is a noun. Stay with me here for just a minute. My point is that ‘sales’ is an activity. It isn’t something you do once the phone rings. It is something you have to actively participate in for your business to grow.
There are many ways to market and prospect. Your job is to consider them all and then select a handful that you are going to implement. From cold calling to social media, from public speaking to networking, there are many avenues you can take. Your goal is to get the word out about your business and to get yourself in front of the right people.
Who are those right people?
The first group is potential clients. This group does not contain everyone or every business. It does contain a number of people or companies that have a need or desire for your product or service. There may be more than one potential pool here for a variety of reasons. You may have more than one product or service that fits the needs of different segments. There may just be different segments that need that one thing that you specialize in. Whatever the case is, identify those target markets.
The second group is the people who know those prospects. These can be considered referral sources. They are people you want to get to know because they interact with your prospects. You want these referral sources thinking about you and referring you in when they uncover or identify a potential client for you. You, of course, can be doing the same thing for them.
How do you get in front of them?
Depending on what you sell, who you sell it to, and who you are, you need to identify a handful of marketing and prospecting methods that you will use. Because sales is an activity you want to have methods that you can implement in concert with each other. This helps build energy and activity around your business.
I submit that if you pick one at a time you will find it difficult to generate real activity and interest in your product or service. Whatever you choose, make sure they are methods that require action on your part. For example, if you are going to send an introductory letter, end it with a statement about how you will be following up with the prospect. Not the other way around!
If you send out a mailer or deliver flyers to businesses in your area, follow them up with a phone call. Don’t expect your phone to ring simply because you dropped off a piece of paper.
Make sure you choose methods that fit with who you are. If you are uncomfortable talking to a group of more than 3 people, don’t pick public speaking. The key is to select the methods that map with who you are so you’ll do them. I’m not a big fan of cold calling so to include it in my plan is a bad idea. I don’t like it so I won’t do it. So much for activity! It really matters that you consider a variety of possibilities and choose the ones that you feel comfortable with. It’s the way you ensure the implementation.
And don’t forget about your current clients. They are a great pool of potential business. Keeping in contact with them will help you find out what’s going on with them. You’ll be able to uncover whether there are any additional opportunities there. It isn’t their responsibility to reach out to you. Remember, sales is an activity. Don’t miss out on these possible opportunities. I see too many business owners and salespeople who believe that their clients will call them when they need something. Then they are surprised to find out the client went someplace else. Didn’t they know we offered that, they ask themselves? Well, no; not if you haven’t been in front of them, talking with them, and building the relationships with them.
Getting the picture? Great! When you realize that your business growth is up to you and the action you take, you’ll be way ahead of the game. You’ll no longer sit by the phone waiting for it to ring. Instead, you’ll be picking it up and reaching out to others.
Now you can see what I meant at the beginning – Sales is a VERB. So go on, take action; go get that business! It’s not going to come get you!
Copyright© 2009 Seize This Day Coaching