For every small business there needs to be money coming in to keep the business going. I know that sounds extremely obvious. However, there are many businesses I have seen that act as if sales are an afterthought. That is not a successful approach to building your business. Sales need focus, follow through and great relationships. Below are 5 steps that I suggest to the businesses I work with:
1. Recognize Your Best
Identify your best customers and see if they need more of your services. Your best customers are the customers you already have. So how can you serve them better? Create a quick one-page plan for their business and send it to them with a cover sheet explaining your thought process.
2. Referrals, Referrals, Referrals!
Close to half of our sales over the last several years have been from referrals. What is your rate of referral business? If you’re not receiving them, ask yourself why and begin to ask your best customers and colleagues if they can make some introductions for you. You might be surprised by the response you receive.
3. Increase Your Internet Marketing
LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Email Marketing, and SEO are just some of the things to focus on here. The latest studies show that Internet Marketing is dollar-for-dollar the best way to promote your business. Consider how you are currently taking advantage of your opportunities online, and make an effort to do more. I recommend starting slowly, as you learn the processes and technology you can increase your focus as you start making conversions.
4. Give it Away
Right, I know you are thinking this guy must be nuts! However, I am not. Just about every week I do some pro bono work, and not only does it feel great to do it, but it often leads to other opportunities. You get a name for being generous with your time and people are attracted to someone who gives. You can ask the person you are helping out if they know anyone who could benefit from your services. (See #2.)
5. Focus on Sales
Of course there are many important aspects of building a small business, but without sales you have no business. Whether it’s daily or weekly (depending on your business model) sales should always be one of the top priorities. Just like anything else, if we want our sales to grow we must focus on them.
So, create a schedule, follow up with your connections, give free samples, do pro bono work, ask for referrals and close as many sales as you can!
To Your Success,