In a world of overnight delivery and immediate gratification, starting a real business can seem painfully slow. We have more tools than ever before to build awareness, and that is a wonderful thing. But I have been reminded lately that a “share” on social media is not the same as a “sale.” When you are working to build a real, long term business, there are not as many shortcuts as we would like to believe. Real brand building takes time. So while you should use all of the new tools in the toolbox, there are 5 timeless rules of selling that still apply.
See The People
Despite the the proliferation of social media, building your sales is not just about having a presence on Instagram. There is still very real value to to getting in front of someone and seeing them face to face when you can. You have the ability to just “be with them.” There is power in that kind of focus. And they get to do the same with you. At it’s very core, we humans trust things that we are more familiar with. So by letting your clients see you, you gain credibility with them. Whether that’s showing up in their office with great branded merchandise, or just being at the events that they frequent, it’s still VERY important to see the people…and let the people see you!
If this seems cliche, it is. It’s cliche because it’s true. As salespeople and entrepreneurs, we get so excited about what we are selling we forget to learn what our customer needs. It’s so important to ask questions first, then tell our story. We can tell our story SO much better when we understand the audience. For me, listening starts with good questions. Here are some good ones to start with.
Provide Them Value
Once you have listened to the prospect or client, don’t JUST try to sell them something. Of course you want (and need) to make the sale. But it’s so important to make sure you present a solution that actually provides value. If you can’t, walk away. As we talk about at Hasseman Marketing, it’s not about making one sale. It’s about creating 25 year customers. You can’t create that kind of long term relationship if you take advantage of people.
If you are blessed enough to make a sale, it’s not time to move onto the next transaction (at least not yet). It’s time to (sincerely) say thank you. The danger of the quick sale mentality is that each sale can become very transactional. You can become so focused on the next customer that you forget to appreciate the one you already have. It’s simple to fix this. Take an extra minute and write a note of thanks. Want to be more “new school?” Record a personal note and thank them on video. Either way, make sure you take the time to bridge the appreciation gap in your business.
It’s not just about showing up. It’s about showing up every day. So many of us see inconsistency in our sales. It’s often because of inconsistency in our effort. We hustle hard and do the pro-active activities while we are slow (because we have time). This creates sales in our business, so we stop the pro-active hustle while we are tending to the business we created. Then we become slow again…and the cycle starts again. The key to consistent sales is keeping up the hustle while you are busy. It’s simple…just not easy.
These are 5 timeless rules of selling. This is NOT to say you should not embrace all of the new tools of brand building. You should. But don’t forget the foundation, or the whole operation will come tumbling down!
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