Friday, January 24, 2014

Small Business Owners Are Horrible Salespeople

image This article was written by Barry McKinley, SCORE Orange County Business Mentor

Who was the best computer salesperson? Steve Jobs, Apple Founder/Owner. Who was the most recognized Men’s Clothing Salesperson? George Zimmer, Men’s Warehouse Founder/Owner.

These business owners recognized early on that to grow their companies they needed to “pitch” their products and services 24/7. They further realized to be successful at doing that they needed sales training. Do you know what Bruce Willis, Tiger Woods, Julia Roberts and Samuel L. Jackson have in common? Fear of speaking in public which affects nearly 75% of the population. They recognized their weakness and got the proper training and have gone on to very successful careers that put them in public speaking situations weekly. Learning to sell is no different. With some training and guidance you can become very confident and effective in presenting your company’s products/services.

When the business owner cannot successfully create excitement regarding their company’s products/services, or expound on the features & benefits they leave perspective customers wondering? I recently worked with a CEO who constantly looked down or away from the client as he gave his sales pitch. He did an excellent job presenting the products but because of no eye contact the customers perceived that he was lying or hiding something. After working with him to overcome this weakness and longtime habit he now makes constant eye contact, reads the customers interest, emotions and his sales closure rate has almost tripled.

To be effective in sales, the business owner needs to focus on proven techniques and then give them time to become second nature. Larger companies commit to one well thought out strategy and stick with it.

Stay focused - Stick with one plan

Learn to make yourself and your company stand out. Don’t follow the crowd, make your presentation unique. Probe the customer to find out what they want and what excites them.

Be Unique - Stand out from competition

Learn a system to sell your product, selling is no different than acting, it takes a lot of time, practice and preparation. Steve Jobs before making a presentation would practice for days and review all of the video tapes of his practice runs. His preparation could easily be 24 hours for a 1 hour presentation.

Be prepared –Do not wing it

Selling is an everyday occurrence. The business owner can’t set side one day a week to “Go Sell”, results from selling may take months or longer. The business owner should be selling every day to everybody, employees included.

Do not wait-Make things happen today

Business owners don’t know how to find customers. If you can’t find them how do you expect your business to grow or employees to increase sales? Put a multi-layered sales plan into effect, some cold calls, appointments calls, email campaign, one networking meeting event every week, look for opportunities to promote your business through public speaking and figure out ways to get your company in the news.

Become a cheerleader for your business