The business world is governed by transactions. Everyone is either selling or buying a product or service. As entrepreneurs we’re constantly tying to grow our businesses by increasing our clientele. We tend to spend a lot of time and money on sales and marketing but do we really know what we’re doing and just how much do we know about marketing anyway? Here are five things you need to know in order to run successful sales and marketing initiatives :
- Your product
Just what are you selling? Many entrepreneurs think they have a great idea, whether it be in the form of a tangible product like clothing or furniture or a service such as printing, advertising or consulting. In order to sell your business effectively you need to know your product inside out – what can it do, what are its limitations, is it customizable and how much are you willing to change it to suit your potential client.
- Your Target Market
Who can benefit from your product? Knowing your customer is as essential to running a successful business as knowing your product. Many times entrepreneurs try to sell to everyone all at once – this is a huge mistake. Sales initiatives work when you have a clearly defined market segment that you want to target. In other words your product may not be appropriate for all segments of the market. A streamlined, focused sales strategy is always better than a blanket strategy.
- Your Competition
As an entrepreneur you need to be aware that yours may not be the only product of its kind out there. Never assume your product is the best. It’s always good to know what you’re up against. The biggest mistake entrepreneurs make is ignoring the competition; mainly because they’re threatened by it. A true sales person always keeps abreast of the competition and seeks to better their product. Instead of criticizing other products, seek to highlight the benefits and advantages of your own product.
- The Stats
As an entrepreneur you need to be aware of the statistics surrounding your product or service. A few key statistics you must know are the demand for your product, market size and your own market capitalization. Statistics may sound boring but they are useful when you’re defending your product against skeptical buyers.
- Your own strengths and weaknesses
Knowing yourself is extremely important as an entrepreneur. It’s essential to know what you can and cannot do, what you’re good at and what you need to improve on. Being aware of your strengths and weaknesses as a sales person will in turn help you set reasonable and attainable sales targets. Achieving these targets will keep you motivated to set higher goals.
Praveeni Perera is the CEO and co-founder of Professional Edge Consulting a corporate training company based in Ottawa offering training and coaching services to clients around the world. She can be reached via Website, Twitter, Facebook or her Blog.