Many of you are in small-businesses, working with and supplying other businesses. You sell a specific product or service. And some of you have been doing this for many years. But I’m guessing that you don’t have the volume of business you would like. You want more business from your existing customers. Or, you would like more new customers, or to expand into additional markets. Or maybe all three. It’s all possible. But the first step is challenging and counter-intuitive: you need to stop selling your product or
service. That’s right. Stop selling. Instead you need to get actively involved in three brand new businesses: Building Relationships, Overcoming Fears, and Providing Solutions. Let’s look at these businesses:
1. Building Relationships. You want to stop being seen as a stereotype: a typical salesperson. You’re not just an order-taker. You are much more than that, but people may not know it.Reach out and meet people. Tell people about you, the person, not the
salesperson. Go to networking events that are attended by your customers and prospects, but don’t go with the goal of landing business. Instead, go with the idea of meeting interesting, new business people. And understand that you are also one of those interesting business people. Go with the idea of representing yourself, not your product.
2. Overcoming Fears is all about helping prospects and customers get through change. If you are a brand new source for them, they’re going to be anxious. They’ve never worked with you before, so you need to calm them down. Be there for them. Let them see they made a great decision in choosing your product or service. Anticipate theirquestions or concerns, bring them up yourself, and offer strong responses. Another great method to diminish fears is to demonstrate your reliability. Show up on time. Answer voice-mail messages promptly. Make sure your product arrives when promised. Keep your word. All of these will diminish fears and concerns, and build confidence in you.
3. Providing Solutions is simple. You are a specialist, not a generalist. You need to position yourself as a valued resource that will help others solve problems. You do this by using your intelligence, experience, skills, etc. Everything that goes into making you a valued resource. Once you are seen as a solution-provider, you will no longer be seen as a typical salesperson. Instead, you are perceived as someone who supplies value.
These three businesses provide value to your customers and prospects. By focusing on them, and doing less selling, you dramatically increase your chances for success.