Marketing & Sales
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Selling is the process of helping customers to buy the products and services that you offer at a price that generates a profitable return for your business. Many businesses focus on the selling process as it is the point at which they realise a value for the products and services they have on offer. The selling process involves creating a relationship with customers, identifying their needs, providing solutions that meet their expectations and closing the sale.
There are a number of different types of selling that you can use in your small business including:
- Direct selling
- Retail selling
- Door to door selling
- Business to business selling
- Business to government selling
- Mail order selling
- Online selling
Effective selling requires your business to have people with a range of special skills and attributes, such as excellent communication skills, enthusiasm and a goal orientated approach. Follow the link to find a list of the most common ‘attributes of great salespeople'.
There are a number of skills your team should posses if they want to convert more opportunities into sales. These selling skills include:
- Personal selling - the ability to build buyer and seller relationships will help you to generate sales. Personal selling requires you to understand the customer's requirements and offer solutions that will meet their expectations.
- Prospecting - a two stage process that involves generating new sales leads for your business. The first step is to research and indentify potential new customers (prospects). The second step is to qualify your leads by prioritising them into groups based on their likeliness to purchase and your ability to meet their needs.
- Objections handling - anticipating and dealing with customer objections as they arise will improve your chances of converting a lead into a sale. A clear understanding of your products and the customer is important, as well as good communication and negotiation skills.
- Closing skills - although considered by many to be the most difficult part of the selling process, it should actually be quite easy. The key is to ensure that you are trying to sell the right products and services to a suitable customer who will really benefit from making a purchase.
- Follow-up techniques - taking the time to follow up with customers regardless of whether or not they may a purchase can be a great way to improve your selling skills. Customers can give you an indication of why they weren't prepared to make a purchase and you may even get the chance to try and close the sale again.
For more information about the techniques outlined above, please see the ‘selling skills' chapter.