Claire Burdett shares her expertise on how to sell your product, with Wikizine's readers.
Selling. Cold calling. Hard sell. The very words are enough to strike fear and loathing into the hearts of most Brits, not withstanding the peculiar brand of folk who seem to populate The Apprentice's boardroom on an annual basis.
Yet business is about selling, and if you are in business it is with the express purpose to sell and make money. Yet most British people claim to hate selling. It’s a bit of an anomaly.
Surely if you believe in something passionately, which I am assuming you do about your business or your products, then you believe it to be something that is of…
a) Benefit to other people?
b) Desirable to other people, or even
c) Life changing in some way?
And that being so, why should you have to ‘force’ someone to buy it? Shouldn’t they be banging down your door in their enthusiasm to buy it? Well, yes they should – if they knew how wonderful it was, and in order for them to know that you’ve got to sell it!
So what’s the solution?
The key to successful selling is to remember that you have something that other people want. You have researched it, you have priced it correctly, you have tested it rigorously, and you believe in it (if you haven’t or don’t, then get yourself back to the drawing board – you are not ready to start selling).
What you now have to do is tell other people about this marvellous thing that is missing from their lives. Because they don’t know about your Thing they don’t know that they need it or want it yet. So you have to tell them.
And to tell them you have to be clear and precise about what you are trying to sell, who you are selling it to, and how you are selling it. Here are my top 10 tips for how to sell easily.
• Package it. Human beings are very visual creatures, and they are increasingly sophisticated too, so if it doesn’t look good, they won’t even give you a first look let alone a second look.
• Entice them. Once they look at you, use the power of words to tell them what it is your selling and how it’ll benefit them. Be exact and fast, you only have 60 seconds.
• Pitch it. Create a ‘sound bit’ that sums it all up in one easy sentence, two at the most. Imagine you’re going to be on the news and you have literally 30 seconds to tell the world how good your product is. Hone that statement until it gleams, and practice that statement until you could say it in your sleep. Use it on all your marketing tools and whenever anyone asks you “What do you do?” Just don’t talk at people or bang them over the head wit it. We’re aiming for persuasion, not hard sell.
• Inform. If they linger, give them more information on how this wonderful Thing will change their lives for the better, how it’ll save them money, time, whatever, or make them money, happiness, whatever. Share case studies of happy customers and have testimonials for them to read.
• Make it easy. Buying in to something can take time, so help your potential customers take the first step by making it easy for them to sign up for a taster – a newsletter, a free ebook, a sample, money off vouchers, chance of winning a holiday, whatever it is, make sure it is E.A.S.Y. to do.
• Nurture. Keep in touch with them even if they don’t buy the first time. Remember the adage – a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. Persuading a halfway there customer or previous customer to buy from you is a lot easier than finding new customers.
• Be generous and share. Create an affiliate scheme so people who like your products can sell them for you, offer incentives for people who refer you, and don’t forget to return the favour. Tell the world and all your customers about the marvellous products and services that you use or buy.
• Make your own luck. Most ‘overnight successes’ have taken years to get there. Being in the right place at the right time takes determination, fortitude, perserverance, and good judgement… otherwise known as luck! • Be better than everyone else. You don’t have to be perfect, but you do have to be the very best you can be. Make sure that your business, your product, and your customer care are just as good.
• Communicate. Think of all those times you’ve changed someone’s mind or persuaded them to try something or go somewhere or watch something just because you thought it was good? This is the same, so approach it as you would a conversation with a mate, and have a conversation rather than a rant.
© Claire Burdett
Claire Burdett is a qualified and experienced business coach, a home business expert and a serial entrepreneur. She runs www.businessmidwife.co.uk and www.thefunkyagency.com and is the founder of www.funkyangel.co.uk, which is the site for people combining home and business and where this article first appeared.
She is also divorced and a solo mum.