Do you ever feel that the idea of selling your product or service is overwhelming and scary? Many entrepreneurs feel paralyzed due to fear or anxiety associated with selling that can play havoc on confidence and hold them back.
If the fear of selling is stopping you from moving forward, consider these steps to help you with the sales process and get your revenue rising.
Don’t try to sell without a plan
Without a sales strategy or communication plan, you’ll never be able to reach your target audience.
Take out your computer or a notebook and draft out your game plan.
- Identify your audience – Describe the individuals, businesses or groups that will be interested in your products or services. Who are they? Where are they located? What needs or problems do they have that your products/services can solve? Create notes for each identified audience group and include as much detail about them as possible. Consider a visual identifier, such as an image or icon for each group so you can easily remember who they are.
- Outline your communication objective – Map out communication objectives for each different audience. Are you creating awareness? Fulfilling a need? Educating? Persuading? What are you trying to do with what you are trying to say.
- Develop key messages – For each group, create key statements that help you get out the core messages you want those audiences to hear. Be specific. Make sure your messaging is simple to understand and that it aligns with your objectives and target audiences. Be mindful that the messaging and tactics may be different for each audience group. You can’t use the same approach for all of your customers because everyone is unique.
- Identify tactics and actions – Outline the different methods you plan to use to deliver your messages to each of your audience groups. Remember to establish your tactics around what you know about where and who your audiences are. Tactics may include social media posts, paid advertising, brochures or rack cards, tradeshows, local networking and more. There are many ways to engage with your customers and future customers. If your action plan focuses more on building the relationship rather than the selling process, it can garner better results.
- Timeline – Plot out a timeline for delivering your messages to help keep you on track and moving forward.
- Budget your time and resources – identify how much money and time you can allocate to fulfilling your actions and tactics.
You have your plan, are you feeling more confident? But where do we go from here?
Now it’s time to implement your plan. Does the idea of implementing or moving forward with your plan make you want to freeze up again?
Here’s a few tips to remember to help make it easier:
- You’re not just selling a product or service. What you’re really doing is offering value. Stop thinking that you are bothering someone and start thinking about helping them solve a problem. Once you change your mindset from asking someone to do you a favour to how you are able to help them solve a problem, the “selling” process becomes much easier.
- Instead of cold calling someone you’ve never met, start with building a relationship with your prospects. It’s much easier to talk with people about what you’re offering and how it is of value to them once you’ve established as sense of respect and trust.
- If someone isn’t interested, don’t take it personally or get discouraged. It may just be that it isn’t the right time for them to spend the money or perhaps what your offering doesn’t suit their needs. That is ok. It is not a reflection of their feelings towards you.
With the right plan to guide you, selling turns into conversations and relationship building, problem solving and solution providing, instead of cold calls and sales pitches and one-sided presentations. Track the results of your plan and make changes and updates as needed to ensure success.
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