Shhh..not sales. That’s a dirty word. Not really though. It’s intimidating I get it, but it doesn’t have to be. For sure the sales profession get’s a bad rep and it’s seen as cut throat, but it is what it is. As consumers, individuals and companies are always grappling for our attention and our dollars. Everyone is just trying to get a piece of the pie and get a bit of commission too, right?
I worked a sales role and I have carried the lessons I learned from it many years later. I honestly believe that everyone needs to work at least one sales role with a commission framework in their life. The earlier the better as it teaches you that you get paid for the results you get, not just for effort. Working hard is great, but if it doesn’t yield good fruit, what good was it? But beyond that I had a manager that told me that sales is everyone’s role, and not just the sales department.
Sales is Everyone’s Role
The function of sales means to bring in new and repeat business in the exchange of goods and services for money. But even if you don’t have sales reps or a dedicated sales director, sales is everyone’s role. But how you ask? As long as everyone does their role to the highest of their ability and treats everyone as their customers, it’ll work. For sure, additional sales and marketing efforts will be required if you really want to see the revenue come in.
In business, roles can generally be described as customer facing roles, where some individuals deal directly with the end user and then there is the back end. But if the backend doesn’t work diligently to fill the order or request how will the end customer perceive the company and the front of line employee? Even if you work in the AR/AP department, how you deal with your current customers may mean the stop or increase of business with that client or vendor.
As the owner, you’re head of Sales and Marketing. Whether you have a Director of Sales, you’re still the head. So, if you’re not taking an active roll in it, now is the time to start. Be active and invest in the growth and development of yourself and your team, and in turn it will result to a more profitable company. When we see CE0’s of big corporations visiting the stores and speaking with staff and customers, they’re thinking how can they increase sales. Every action done in a business must be done with an end goal to increase sales and revenue. Remember that.
Word of Mouth and Referrals
Raise your hand if your business relies heavily on referrals from your clients. People will be glad to refer you to a friend or everyone they know if you wowed them. Be sure to over deliver to get the best response from your clients.
Ask for the referral. You may feel awkward doing this, but just remind them. Keep in contact with them and email them every few months to say you appreciated their business and keep asking for the referral. Ask them to connect with you on social media. Send them a discount or a referral bonus. Make it worth their while, to throw you more business. Can you develop a loyalty program to have them keep coming back? Get creative.
How many of us start our search on Google when we think about service-based businesses? And what do we go there to see? The ratings and reviews of course. So please, whenever you have dealt with a client and they had a positive experience, ask them to leave a review. Keep asking and reminding them until they’ve done it. Make it easy for them. Get their email address and send them a direct link to make a quick review. Most people won’t think to leave a review when they’ve had a good experience because that’s what they expect. But, in the case they had a bad experience they’re definitely more likely to let their friends, colleagues, and the whole internet know. Just remember, that one bad online review can do a lot of damage and can skew the results.
New Ways to Sell
I encourage you to start pumping up your sales knowledge and start reading and listening to audio books and podcasts. Get into the state of mind that the tasks you’re doing as a business owner is income and sales generating. Whether it’s building rapport or building awareness make sure you use your time and your dollars wisely. There are so many sales gurus out there so be sure to find the one you like. But I’d advise you to learn about their actual come up stories first and how they got to where they are now. Most of these individuals are not overnight successes, but they started from nothing and they built and struggled to get where they are now. Sales is a GRIND.
Start brainstorming with your team how your company can increase sales. Figure out what areas you’re lacking in and build it up. How is your company’s online presence? Can customers shop online, how about shopping from their social media? Can you see if there are any influencers that align with your brand that can do some influencer and affiliate marketing for you. How about special email campaigns, discounts, surveys, in store promotions? Can you make yourself available to go to networking events, trade shows, and community events. The list can go on and on.
Don’t be afraid to talk about the S word. Keep working at refining your skills and strategy and keep testing them. Focus on building your brand value and work on making genuine relationships. Happy selling.
Chadene Mbouogno is an Ontario Mortgage Agent with The Mortgage Coach, the lead Lending Specialist at her company CM Lending, and also manages the Blog BelleChavel.com. She is passionate about helping small business owners get the funding they need to propel their business forward through alternative lending. She has worked closely with start-ups, transportation and logistics companies, manufacturing and staffing agencies to manage their cashflow issues.
Instagram : @ChadeneM https://www.instagram.com/chadeneM/ //
CM Lending Website : www.cmlending.ca
Mortgage Website : www.chadenembouogno.ca