Because Small Business is Big Business

Posts by Jill Slupe

Six Words

Six WordsHemmingway was once challenged to compose a novel in six words.  As the story goes he
wrote “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.”  The challenge is a provocative one and could also be applied to every business.  In 2006, Smith Magazine asked its readers to write a story about their own lives in six words.  It was called Six Word Memoir Project.  READ MORE »

 

Sales Strategy – Don’t Count on Hope

A client cancelled this week, a day before our start date, so I have too much free time and an empty work funnel. I am frustrated, because I did not plan for this delay of work. I, like many other business owners, was not ready for the unexpected. I kept hoping a past client or referral would call with a small project to fill the void. However, we are behind on our sales calls. Hope is not a good sales strategy.

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Four Minute Mile

four minute mileFor centuries people believed a man could not run a four minute mile. Doctors and scientists said the body could not achieve this feat because of man’s bone structure and design.  Everyone agreed the four minute mile was impossible to achieve – until, on May 6, 1954, Roger Bannister accomplished the feat in Oxford, England with the time of 3.59.4 sec. He believed.  That same year, 37 other people ran the mile in less than four minutes – they too believed.

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Sales Myths – Don’t Fall For

sales mythsWe live in a world full of myths: False information that many believe to be true. In the business world, and sales specifically, there are many common sales myths. I have outlined three and explain why they are incorrect.

Sales Myths #1: Only A Smooth Talker Can Be Successful In Sales

Being successful in sales involves so much more than just spitting a good game. An exceptional salesperson is knowledgeable, a good listener, focuses on building a relationship with the client and delivers superior results. You don’t have to be a fast talker to be a good salesperson.

Sales Myths #2: You Must Always Be Focused On Closing

Closing the sale is very important. It’s what gets you the deal and brings in your revenue. However, you shouldn’t focus on closing at all times of the sale. At the beginning, it’s about building the relationship: Listening to your potential client to see what he or she wants and figuring out how you can deliver that. Later on is when you can concentrate on closing. Don’t be so focused on closing the sale that you forget to first build the relationship.

Sales Myths #3: Sales Is All About the Numbers

Sales is not just a numbers game. There’s more to this business than making a certain amount of phone calls, following up on a specific amount of leads or going to a set number of meetings. Although an incredibly important aspect of selling, there’s more to sales than number. Selling is also about people. Relationship building is incredibly important in sales, and something salespeople should focus on. For example, instead of making ten cold calls, it is more important to complete five and actually connect and begin a relationship with those potential customers. Quality over quantity because it’s not all about the numbers.

So there you have it, three common misconceptions in the world of sales. You don’t have to be a fast talker to succeed in this business and it’s not all about closing or the numbers. In addition, take a look at this video by sales guru, Jordan Belfort, to hear about a common sales myth dealing with referrals.

Check out the book A Guide to Sales Strategy

 

Social Media Tips To Boost Sales

We live in an age of social media. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn are some of the many sites businesses use to promote their products and services. We’ve outlined three tips to boost sales and make the most of your social media sites to promote your business.

Social Media Tips To Boost Sales

80/20 Rule

We love this rule. Eighty percent of your content should be educational, informative and fun, whereas only twenty percent should be advertisements. You don’t want to bog down your audience by continuously endorsing your company’s products and services. This will only lead to them un-friending, un-following or un-linking your company page. Use your social media sites as a way to gain credibility with your viewers, not to continuously advertise.

Vary Your Content

To continuously engage your audience, mix it up! Post pictures, quotes, articles, updates on the business, advertisements, etc. Be creative. Have fun! There are plenty of ways to vary your content while still getting your message across.

Don’t Over or Under Post

There is a fine line between under and over posting: between your audience looking forward to your posts or ignoring them. It can be difficult to find that balance. When posed with the question, “how much should a business post”, we decided to do a little research. A 2011 study found that on Facebook, posting once a week was too low, yet posting more than twice a day was found to be annoying. The perfect amount was between five to ten posts per week. With Twitter, the magic number was three times a day and LinkedIn, it was twenty posts per month. Now, these numbers vary depending on your business, but we believe they are a good estimate on how often your company should post content.

Sharing more information than advertisements, varying your content and finding a balance in the frequency of posting. These three tips will help you better utilize your social media sites, gain a larger audience and increase your sales. In addition, make sure to check out this video on some surprising facts about social media.

Want more great sales tips check out the books Rule of Thumb: A Guide to Sales Strategies or attend one of our Small Business Workshops.