BluePay is pleased to bring you this valuable information from our partner, Due, makers of a free digital wallet that allows users to easily make and accept payments online.
Whether you see yourself as a salesperson or not, if you have a business, including working as a freelancer or startup founder, you are in sales. Essentially, to get revenue of any kind for a product or service, you have to sell what you are offering to an audience. You must convince them to buy from you instead of anyone else that does something similar. Some may find it easy to sell anything to anybody while others struggle with the concept.
When I was a kid, I had numerous jobs that most entrepreneurs start off with – lemonade stand and paper route. However, after giving traditional jobs a try, I returned to entrepreneurship when I realized I could use a blog I had started as a way to make money.
Back in the day it may have seemed strange to think that you could make money from a blog, but the audience I built that followed my blog was the leverage I used to get paid. I had essentially sold blog posts and turned it into a six-figure income. As an entrepreneur, I’ve also now had to sell ideas to investors to build up my startups.
Here’s the strategy I’ve used to turn all of these into sales:
- Know whom you are selling to and what they are seeking to satisfy in terms of needs, desires, and solutions. I spent a lot of time studying the target audience so that I could see their problems and preferences through their eyes. In order to sell them on what I was offering, I had to know how to pitch it, directly addressing what it is they were seeking. Without this information, you may have a prospect or investor question you and be faced with a lost deal for good.
- Listen to your potential customers and ask them questions to further your understanding of what they want. It’s important to get them talking rather than to use all the time for a sales pitch. Plus, it’s an excellent selling technique because your audience likes to know that you are listening to what they have to say. They will believe you will be more likely to actually fulfill their needs just by the way you take the time to get their input.
- Determine what the competition is doing right and wrong so you do it differently. Part of selling is to differentiate yourself so that potential customers see how you are better than any of the other options out there. Armed with what makes you stand out can make all your audience’s choices narrow down to just you.
- Engage with them in ways that doesn’t involve selling so they understand that you are genuinely interested in them. Spend time getting to know them and sharing information with them through various channels that provide them with tips, tricks, and solutions they can already start applying in their lives. I like to share stories of things that have happened to me that resonate with them, so they feel an emotional connection. Make sure you are telling them real stories, not making up situations to suit the experience because they will figure that out quickly.
- Develop experiences for the customer as part of the shopping and sales process, including integrating various tools that can streamline the process. Often, sales people just think help, offer, and then buy. However, today’s customers want their experiences with products and services to involve more feelings and effect that makes it for satisfying. Just pick and click or enter and buy doesn’t cut it anymore. As part of selling, it has to involve a greater dynamic like a great website that provides entertainment, easy navigation, and fast and secure checkout or an in-store experience that includes demonstrations, a lounge area with refreshments, and unique displays that show or allow the customers to test how the products can be used. If it’s memorable, you can make the sale then and many times in the future.
- Make it easy for your customers to buy from you, including giving them various channels so they can choose where and when they want to make their purchase. Depending on what you sell, it could be both online and offline, or it could be online, mobile, and social platforms. You will also want to provide multiple ways for customers to buy, including a wide range of new digital payment acceptance options like digital wallets and even cryptocurrency. When you are collecting information, this is important to include.
The common sales phrase was “always be closing,” but I think nowadays small business trends related to sales go by the adage that you should “always be listening, researching, sharing, and pivoting.” That way, you will be able to sell anything to anybody.