Taking Your Small Business to the Next Level

If you’re a small business owner, one of the biggest challenges you face is getting the business past the tipping point; that point where you are doing everything yourself, and you begin to use the services of employees and other small businesses to complete some of the tasks.  If you’re at that point in you business, I congratulate you.  But, I don’t have to tell you about the challenges that you now face.

If you’ve been doing most of the business tasks yourself, it can sometimes be hard to let go of the level of control that you have, and hand some of it over to employees and services.  Finding quality employees can sometimes be difficult.  and, once you have employees, there are a whole number of things that you have to take care of, that you didn’t before.  Obviously, employees will want to be paid.  But, it’s not as simple as just calculating their paychecks and writing a check to them.  You’ve got to worry about all the payroll taxes like medicare, social security, unemployment, and tax withholding as well.

Maybe you already have employees, and have been doing a lot of those things already.  But, maybe those tasks are taking up too much of your time.  While you may consider having a local firm perform you payroll tasks, there are also a myriad of online payroll services that can manage the tasks as well.  In many cases, it can be as simple as forwarding the payroll information on to the local firm, or the online service, and letting them cut the checks and calculate all of the payroll taxes and paperwork.

As your business grows, learning to delegate the tasks to employees and services so that you can dedicate yourself to continuing to grow the business.  Finding the tasks that you need to delegate can sometimes be just as challenging.  Some tasks within your business don’t require your full attention to detail, and can easily be done by employees and services.  Perhaps you run a sales oriented business.  The more sales you do, the less likely you are going to be able to continue to do all of the sales and will need employees to perform some of the sales calls.

Delegating tasks within your company can free your time to focus on growing the business you built.

7 Necessary Sales Skills: Wrap-Up

So you’ve overcome all the customer’s objections and asked for the sale. And you made the sale! Congratulations! Now what? You’ve got a little bit more to do to be a truly skillful salesperson. You’ve got to wrap-up the sale.

How do you wrap-up a sale that is already done? Well, you can start by thanking your customer. Always thank your customer. It also doesn’t hurt if you compliment the customer on the wonderful choice they just made by buying your product. And even though you may think it goes without saying, invite the customer to return. Offer them something that will help keep your name on the forefront of their mind when they are looking for products. A business card of sorts. Maybe you can get them to sign up for a “special deals” mailing list.

Much like all of these skills, the wrap-up seems overly simple. If you’re like me, you’ve been looking for the catch the whole time. There isn’t one. These really are some basic sales skills that will help you make a sale every time and improve your bottom line from here forward.

7 Necessary Sales Skills: Overcome Objections

If you’ve been doing a little closing and have asked for the sale but not made the sale, chances are you’ve run into an objection that hasn’t been overcome yet. If you find out what the objection is, you’ve still got a potential customer on your hands. All you’ve got to do is find a way over it.

Overcoming objections can be broken down into a few smaller steps. You’ve got to make sure that you know exactly what the objection is. Summarize the objection and repeat it to your customer. Give your customer to clarify the objection if necessary. Take that objection and then re-sell the customer on the benefits and facts of your product that specifically take care of the objection. If you think you’ve overcome the objection, ask for the sale. Repeat if necessary.

In some cases, you’ll go through this cycle several times before making the sale. In a few rare cases, you’ll go through the cycle several times and still not make the sale. It’s important to know and remember that some objections aren’t put there to be overcome and you can’t overcome them. In those cases, the customer really didn’t want the product. If you overcome the objections properly, you’ll make a lot more sales than you’ll lose.

7 Necessary Sales Skills: Closing and Follow-Up

Affleck Ribisi Boiler roomAll the listening, questioning and supporting in the world won’t do you a darn bit of good if you can’t close. Ever seen the movie Boiler Room? Ben Affleck’s character give a little speech towards the front of the movie on sales tactics. He mentions the old standby. ABC; (A)lways (B)e (C)losing. If you aren’t closing the sale, you’re wasting your time and your customer’s.

Think of the previous skills as the appetizers in a meal. Closing and Follow-Up are the meat and potatoes. The bulk of the project. Closing and Follow-Up are just another way of saying “ask for the sale”. With many of your customers, you’ll need to ask for the sale. Some will buy without you needing to ask, but most will still need to be asked. Asking for a sale can also be a great way to uncover any other objections that a customer may have.

How do you ask for the sale? Start by going over the previously agreed upon benefits of the product. Review how the product meets the established needs of the customer. Then (you guessed it.) just ask for the sale. Give your customer the opportunity to reach for that wallet.