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ByteStart’s Start-Up Guide – Part 16 – How to generate sales for your new business

October 11, 2011

Once your marketing efforts have generated you a list of prospects, it’s time to see them and get them to buy. The first thing to remember is that you’re not selling a product or service – you’re selling the benefits it brings to the buyer.

People buy for one of two reasons – either to feel good, or to fix a problem. The majority of B2B purchases are for the latter.

Prepare yourself to get out there and sell by writing a list of all the benefits you think your product or service will bring to your customers, for example saving time, money, making them feel good, or providing them with a status symbol.

Next, write another list full of all the ways in which your product or service is better than your competitors (in the eyes of the customer).

At sales meetings ask questions and then listen to the answers. Too many sales people think the gift of the gab is the way to go, but being a good listener will secure you many more sales in the long run. Empathy is a great sales tool.

What matters to your potential customer? What keeps them awake at night? What do they wish for?

In short, find out about their needs. And if they don’t know what they are, it’s your job to help them find out. And then you tell them how your product or service can meet this need.

Don’t be put off if the customer raises objections. Instead, turn them to your advantage. For example, if the product or service is too expensive, show them why it is more expensive than your rivals and what benefits that brings. Or if you are able to, consider lowering the price, perhaps by giving a discount for extra purchases.

The best way of dealing with an objection is impersonally. For example, say: “Other customers have found this product useful because…”

Look for signs that the customer is ready to buy while you are presenting. You’ll learn to spot these over time. If the buyer seems ready, ask them if they are ready to buy and close the deal there and then.

Ask them ‘when’ not ‘if’ they want your product. Once you have got the order stop selling, and always thank the customer for the order.

This is the ideal time to ask your new customer for a referral. Once they’ve agreed to your sale, they will be on an emotional high and therefore more receptive to such a request.

You can read hundreds of guides to sales, marketing and PR in our dedicated sales section.

On to ByteStart’s Start-Up Guide – Part 17 – How to use the internet to grow your business

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