Thursday, November 4, 2010

5 Small Business Sales Tips

Let’s face it. If you’re in small business sales, you can’t offer all of the same benefits and perks that your larger competitors can. You need to differentiate yourself and provide what the big boys can’t. How do you do that you might ask? Well, I’ve prepared 5 small business sales tips below that I think will help you do just that!

1. Sell a relationship – If you are friendly, dependable and honest, your customers will appreciate you for it. We all know that working with large companies can be annoying because we never know who we will interact with and what kind of a person they are. As a small business, your employees are your face to the customer, so put on a good one. If you can build good relationships with customers, they will stick by you even if you don’t have all of the whistles and bells.

2. Be Flexible – As a small business sales department, your employees should have the power to deliver what the customer needs. Big businesses are like ocean liners and small businesses are motorboats. Although you can’t provide all the comfort and benefits, you can maneuver through tough waters and change course easier. If you see a need that your prospects have that no one is satisfying, you can jump on that opportunity much quicker than a large business with lots of red tape.

3. Work with partners – As a small business, you should understand that many times customers will want a lot more than you provide.  If there is something you don’t have the time or resources to develop yourself but your customers want it, consider finding a small business partner who can provide it. For example, if your company makes accounting software, you may want to partner with a company that makes CRM software. Add value to your products by bundling them as a solution with other small businesses products.

4. Don’t sell yourself short – Just because you’re a one-man shop, doesn’t mean everyone has to know it. Or if you have 20 employees, your customers don’t have to know that either. I’m not saying you should be dishonest, but make sure you and your employees go out of your way to avoid telling people. Never tell customers “We can’t fix that because we only have four full-time employees.” Don’t let it be an excuse, because the real reason will always be that it’s not the highest priority right now or you are working on it. You should act big, but not too big. Don’t have your employees convincing people that you are a big company only to have them find out on their own that you are not. 

5. Use a salesperson – Even for small business sales, a salesperson is important. If you don’t have a salesperson or can’t afford one, turn yourself into one by studying. There are plenty of books that can teach you how to become a better small business salesperson and what you should do to improve. Don’t just hope that you will get it right and then pat yourself on the back when you get a few sales. No matter how good you are now, a little education and a lot of practice will make you better!
I hope these small business sales tips have been useful. Please leave a comment below and let me know what you think. Also, be sure to pass this small business article along using one of the social media or email links below!

(Image: Some rights reserved,  Aaron Tang.) 

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