You probably started your business because you’re good at a craft or trade. Or maybe you’ve always wanted to have a retail store or restaurant. But running a small business involves more than just being good at your craft or being an effective leader. It’s also about selling — and learning the salesperson skills that will make you a better business owner.
Even if the qualities of a good salesperson don’t come naturally to you, you can follow a basic sales process to learn the sales techniques you need to succeed as a small business owner. We’ve highlighted four of the most important techniques for you to get started.
1. Understand Your Customer’s Needs
First, you must understand what your customer is looking for and the pain points they want to solve. Customers will know you’re invested in helping them if you:
- Pay attention to their responses and show that you’re genuinely interested in what’s going on in their world.
- Listen more than you talk, recognize their concerns, and understand their viewpoints.
- Wait to rattle off a list of your products or services until you determined what the benefits would be to the customer.
Learning about your customer is one of the most important parts of the sales pitch, according to Inc. Once you understand what’s important to them, you can identify their needs and begin to find ways that your business can solve their problems.
2. Know Your Unique Selling Proposition
To convince people your business is the right choice, you have to identify your unique selling proposition (USP). What is it that separates you from the competition? Is your product better? Faster? Easier?
Your USP must be a compelling reason that a customer should buy from your business. It should identify the benefits the customer would gain from working with you rather than your competitor.
Put yourself in the client’s shoes, and show that you understand their position and how they feel. Then use your USP as the cornerstone of your sales pitch to offer a solution.
3. Anticipate a Customer’s Objections
In every sales situation, you’ll have to deal with objections. Don’t be dismissive when a customer disagrees with you, and don’t get caught flat-footed, unable to answer their concerns. You need to think about the possible doubts customers could have and prepare your responses in advance.
You’ll find that several objections will come up consistently. When you develop logical and complete answers to each one, you’ll come across as competent and confident. Customers will trust you.
The best sales professionals have developed their own clear answers to all possible objections, so when they come up, they can be put to rest at once.
4. Patiently Build a Relationship
You should focus on establishing credibility and creating a rapport with each prospect. The details of the sale will take care of themselves when a buyer and seller have a degree of mutual trust.
Building trust takes time and patience. The customer should feel that you have their best interests at heart and aren’t just trying to make a sale. Also, give your customers some breathing room. Let them process information at their own pace and come to their own decision. It takes a lot of time and money to acquire a customer, but building a relationship based on trust will increase your profits over the long term.
If you follow these four tenets of the sales process, you’ll embody the qualities of a good salesperson. These salesperson skills will help you become a better small business owner and pave the way toward long-term profits.
CTA: We’re proud of you for boosting your sales skills! But you don’t have to rest solely on your profits to reach healthy cash flow. A small business loan can help ease some of that pressure.