When a small business owner is their own sales force they can struggle with consistently implementing their sales plan. I hear it all the time! Small business owners talk about how they start and stop their sales plan. This leads to up and down sales, crazy cashflow issues, and anxiety over where new business will come from.
One of the most important things to do in a business is implement a consistent sales plan. When you realize the importance of consistency you will but the plan on the top of the priority list. Remember that sales is something that must be done all the time to prevent the lack of opportunity many businesses experience.
So, how do you set up a plan you can implement on a regular basis? Follow these steps:
1. Determine the target market you want to pursue and gather a list of prospects within that market.
2. Search your networks to see if you are connected to any of them. If so, ask for introductions. If not, send an introductory letter.
3. Schedule phone calls to those prospects. The purpose of these calls is to secure appointments. You are not seeking to sell them on the phone. You want to meet with them to determine if there is a need and a fit.
4. Devise a follow up policy that is straightforward and easy to follow. If you have a CRM system you can use it to schedule follow up calls and communications. If not, use Outlook. The goal is to put the follow up activity on the calendar so you receive a reminder notification.
5. Put all these steps on the calendar and treat them like sales appointments. When you think about it, the meetings we don't cancel are the meetings we have with prospects and clients. So, when you treat your sales activities like sales appointments you will give them the same importance and priority. In this way, you guarantee they will get done.
Lastly, never believe that you can stop prospecting. You can't. When you implement your plan on a consistent basis you will find that business acquisition happens more consistently. And isn't that what it's all about?