Make a New Year’s Resolution to Engage More in this Most Important Part of Your Business
By Richard Henderson, Publisher of Home Business Magazine
At the end of the day, it all comes down to sales. No business owner is more connected to sales than a home-based entrepreneur. Perhaps the most important part of sales is to get your hands dirty with it each day.
Generating more sales should be the first thing on your mind when you sit down to work your business, whether you do so full- or part-time. Adopt a “systematic approach” to your sales process.
That sales process begins with advertising and runs through generating sales. It includes your ads, website marketing presentation, prospecting, lead qualification, personal selling, negotiation, customer service, and, finally, generating that sale.
The most important part of this process is personal selling, making “live connections,” and engaging in two-way feedback that is at the heart of sales communication. That’s the biggest challenge in selling today, getting that “two-way” exchange. Today, the majority of sales communication is done with email. But the problem with email is that it is a one-way communication medium. Technically, email isn’t really a communication medium at all, but a way to forward information — like sending a fax or a paper letter.
To communicate, you must have two-way feedback, but you cannot avoid email. So the challenge is to balance verbal and visual interactions with email communication. If you have a business focused on delivery to a local market of a product or service, then use face-to-face meetings as part of selling. If your business is national, then pick up the phone and “sell” to your market. Listen to your target market’s feedback, and change your sales approach.
So what about email? Yes, it is a critical part of this sales communication. For example, use email to send your sales proposal, sum up the record of a communication, follow up on a sale, introduce a promotion, etc. — any part of your sales communication that does not require immediate feedback. Email is also a perfect way to follow up on a face-to-face sales meeting or phone call.
What will you learn when you get more engaged with your sales in 2012? However you customize selling to your unique business model, make sure that it includes real two-way discussions with your market.
Previously published in the February 2012 issue of HOME BUSINESS® Magazine, an international publication for the growing and dynamic home-based market. Available on newsstands, in bookstores and chain stores, and via subscriptions ($19.00 for 1 year, six issues). Visit http://www.homebusinessmag.com. HBM