The Simplest Yet Biggest Barrier To Breakthrough Sales

Aug 17, 2012, Written by Sue Miley

It’s almost August and I finally made it to the beach.  Being at the beach makes me want to write about slowing down and making sure you get rest and rejuvenation to stand strong in your business for the long haul.

And even though I believe that is important, we are talking about sales, and lot’s of sales will help you have the resources to get to the beach more often, so I think we should stick to our topic!

Most of us hate sales because we feel like we need to get down in the slimy muck with the used car sales people or the relentless telemarketer.  But hopefully by now you realize that all business need sales and if you are a small business owner that usually includes you in the process.

So What Is The Process?

I believe that the process starts out the same for any type of sales.  How we execute it and what style we use is uniquely ours.

Once we have developed a client base and a network, the sales process changes, but this process assumes you are just starting out really focusing on sales.  When you are just starting out, the sales process requires:

  • finding qualified prospects
  • quantity of calls or sales touches
  • face time with clients or voice time
  • a strategy for each call
  • follow-up, follow-up, and follow-through
  • an ability to ask for the sale and close the sale

The full sales process fills up books and books.  Today I want to focus on what I see as the biggest mistake that small business owners make initially in the sales process.

It is the simplest step, but it takes a lot of time and emotional reserves.  Especially if you are an introvert!

Small business owners do not make enough sales calls. 

Or if you are using content marketing as your sales engine, you do not engage with clients by providing enough content consistently!

Why Quantity of Calls?

If you make contact with enough people you will start to sell.  Whether it is through personal cold-calling or building your online subscriber list, the goal is a high number of qualified prospects.  They have to be good prospects or you are completely wasting your time and energy.  But, no matter what, if you only have ten people reading your blog and following your list, sales will be limited.  If you only make one or two sales calls a week, your sales will be limited.

People with 100,000 targeted followers sell more of anything.  Sales people who make five or more calls per day, sell more!

Be honest.  Are you one of those people that if you talk to two qualified prospects and make a good pitch you feel such accomplishment that you are done for the day?  Do you tell yourself that you have done a great job and that surely these two will come on board?  And then that day turns into two or three.  And maybe one will buy something and maybe they won’t.  Then you don’t want to feel bad so you remember that it was only two people and it may take more time.  Next week you will do better and make lots of calls.

If you have done this once, you will do it again.

How Do You Fight Your Natural Instincts?

Take control now and set up a process.

  1. Keep all of your prospects in a CRM system.
  2. Create a schedule and assign a task and date to call on each prospect.
  3. Record notes of the first call and create the follow-up task.  Remember it takes an average of 7 touches before someone trusts you enough to buy.  Without follow-up you will surely fail.
  4. Make your schedule so that you are scheduling as many calls per day as you can make that are reasonable.  If you are using information marketing, determine the appropriate schedule of blog posts and subscriber letters that are effective for your product or service.  If you have a blog that hasn’t been updated in months, your prospects will exit without buying.  They will assume you have abandoned the business.
  5. Consistently execute against this plan.
  6. Analyze your notes and see what is working and what isn’t.
  7. Before each call, consider the prospect, the number of touches, and actually have a strategy for the call.  The more time you put into what you will say and what approach you will take, the more effective the call will be.
  8. If something works, go back through your prospect list and figure out who else the approach or strategy will also fit.

Once you are further along and you have a strong list of prospects or subscribers, you can focus on more depth in your sales approach.

Will It Ever Get Easier?

Another sales truth is that current customers are the best future customers.  Selling more to people that already trust you and believe in your products and services is easier than new prospects.

This is your goal.  Once you get to this place, you can reduce quantity and create depth.

Why Am I Sure This Works?

Now that I blog and send out content consistently to subscribers, I sell more.  I still don’t have big lists, but they are getting to the size where I get consistent calls for coaching from online avenues and sell more products online.

My offline sales strategy is to take care of and appreciate my clients.  They are incredible at sharing our services with others!  We have a strong local network and are thankful for this place in the sales process.  It is the light at the end of the tunnel!

The other steps in the process are all important, but honestly they don’t matter if you don’t get out there and sell.

One Advantage You Have In The Sales Process

The good thing about most people who own small businesses is that they really believe in their product or service.  You had a vision and a passion to start your business to begin with.  This is what will make you different.

You can sell from the heart.  You are the expert.  You can absolutely meet the right prospect’s needs.

Step out in faith and make the calls.  God is going to bring you the clients and customers He wants you to help anyway, but He isn’t going to do all of the work.  You have to go out and ask for the sale!

And remember, for you, more sales may mean a beach trip in your future! (Or if you are like my husband, he prefers LSU football season tickets!)

Have a great week!

Sue

My sales pitch to you this week is to ask you to call us if you need help in developing your sales process.  Or maybe you just need a little accountability.  If you are the owner, and you are the only sales person, you may wish you had a sales manager to keep you motivated and focused.  We do that often with our clients.

Call us (225-341-4147) if you would like to discuss how we can help you achieve your sales goals!  Or just hit reply and the email will come right back to me.

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Sue Miley

Sue Miley MBA, MA, LPC helps small business owners build successful businesses on a foundation of Christian values. After 20 years in business, and 10 years as a Christian counselor, Sue uses a combination of faith, business and psychology to help clients in business and in life.

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