Most small business owners find selling hard.  They don’t want to be thought of as ‘pushy’ and yet worry that if they aren’t, their business won’t thrive. 

I was talking to a business colleague who used to be in sales – and he said “The days of cold calling and sales pitches are dead.”  So if a sales professional doesn’t think that the traditional sales strategies don’t work, what does?

It’s all about relationships.

People buy from people they like.

So how do you become liked by your target audience?

1: Know them well

Having a specific ‘snapshot’ of what your ideal client or perfect customer looks like, in as much detail as possible is essential.  The more your know about your audience, the better you’ll be able to match your offers to them.

2: Understand their wants and needs

When you have a crystal clear image of your perfect client it’s easier to get inside their head and understand what makes them tick.  What is important to them, what keeps them awake at night, what problems they’re facing; when you get all that information clear, it’s so much easier to address these with your solutions – whether that’s a product or a service.

3: Deliver value

Remember you’re dealing with a human being, not an organisation – that means that emotions will be involved.  It doesn’t matter that they are the representative of an organisation – they still get frustrated by things that don’t work or missing items that they need to get the job done, they worry about how their performance will be assessed if they don’t get it right, they want an easy solution to their current problem to take the pressure off.

If you can deliver useful information regularly, they’ll start to see you as a resource that they value.

Email marketing is your most powerful tool

If you’ve done 1 and 2 above you should be able to grow an email list that is highly focused.  If all the people in your list have chosen to be there because they want what you’re offering – in the way of information, at least – they’ve self-identified as potential clients.

While social media is a great tool – it doesn’t guarantee that all the right people will see your messages.  Email is delivered directly to the people who have asked for the kind of value you deliver.

Does that mean you can pitch your products and services in every email?  No!

Deliver good value first with useful tips, advice and ‘how to’ information and you’ll be building your reputation up in your highly-targeted audience’s minds as someone who knows their stuff and offers excellent value.  When you send them a special offer, they will appreciate the information as they’ll see it as more value.

You don’t need to have glitzy, all-singing, all-dancing emails, your brand and a powerful message is enough.  As long as your focus is ‘how can I help these people?’ you’ll create an excellent reputation as a helpful expert.

Now you’re solving their problems and helping them to buy the best solution for them.