Have you ever met a successful door-to-door salesperson?
Physically walking from house to house, knocking on doors, and trying to sell a product is incredibly difficult. You'll get screamed at, doors slammed in your face, and learn the world's most-used word: "no". Cold-calling is much the same experience, only people tend to use brighter language when telling you no.
People who are successful in extremely difficult circumstances like door-to-door sales and cold-calling seem like a different breed. The truth is, they learn a very valuable lesson early on: persistence!
Bryce Reich is one of those people. As a teenager, he was successful in door-to-door sales, went on to cold calling for the largest home remodeling website in the world, and finally co-founded a company to help budding entrepreneurs. Bryce is a business owner and a coach to new entrepreneurs. For that reason, I knew that I needed to talk to him about his experience and his top sales tips for new business owners.
It's okay to hire a salesperson.
For new business owners, it can feel incredibly difficult to navigate sales. You've spent hours and hours creating an amazing product that you know will benefit people. You've done your research and know exactly who to market to. You've perfected every process, tweaked every step, and are ready to bring in the customers.
You get onto your first sales call, fumble your words, and lose the prospective client.
Sales, like everything else in business, is a learned skill. Sure, some people are naturally talented or predisposed to excelling in customer-facing roles like sales, but talent can only take you so far. Learning how to sell your own product takes time; it takes trial and error, mistakes and failures, and a whole lot of figuring out what doesn't work.
Not every business owner is going to be a sales rockstar, no matter how well you think you know what you're selling.
It takes a long time to learn proper techniques for selling something. If your business needs to grow fast or even if you just want to save your own time and a lot of headaches, it can be really helpful to hire a salesperson. If they're excellent at what they do, they'll pay for themselves with the amount of revenue that gets brought in each month!
Still, hiring is expensive. Very few business owners can make hiring a salesperson work within the first few years of the business. So, how do you learn and what do you focus on?
Selling is about developing a relationship.
As humans, we're predisposed to seek relationships with other people. Think about it: you're much more likely to take direction from a friend or close advisor than you are from a complete stranger.
It's simple: you need trust to build a relationship.
Establishing trust is the biggest sales hack in the world, but it's important to note that trust can be lost much easier than it can be created. You actually have to set clear expectations, follow through, and deliver what you're promising.
The most effective way to build trust that I've found is to actually care about the problems that you're trying to solve. Faking that you care about the problem that you're solving never lasts; it's incredibly difficult to keep up that kind of charade for a long time. Eventually, you will be found out!
If you're seeking to understand the problems that your prospective clients are currently facing, you'll be better equipped to speak about how your product or service can help solve them! By coming from the position of an advisor rather than a salesperson, your rapport with clients is instantly improved. When your client understands that you truly care about the problem that they have and that you're dedicated to solving it, trust is built and your relationship progresses.
Understand your personal sales approach
Just like every business is different, every salesperson is different. Some take an extremely hands-on approach while others are the opposite. Some prefer to call their clients while others prefer email. Some prefer to read books while others prefer blog posts! The point is that everyone approaches sales differently.
Take a step back and ask yourself what you'd like your approach to be. Then, get to learning. Pick up books like Pitch Anything, To Sell is Human, or You Can't Teach a Kid to Ride a Bike at a Seminar.
Once you begin to understand the various sales strategies out there, decide what works for you! Be warned: it's common to try a new technique and fail. The most important part of learning to sell is simply learning from your mistakes. Identify and track what works, what doesn't, and why.
Over time, you'll begin to develop skills that will take your small business to new heights!