Category Archives: Sales & Business Development

Building new relationship, sales opportunities, and overall topics on business development.

How to Give a Great Sales Presentation, Small Business-Style

Our live webinar series is motoring through summer, with the fast-paced and information-packed “How to Give a Great Sales Presentation, Small Business-Style!” This webinar focuses on 4 key areas of giving a presentation: Audience, Content, “The Nerves”, and Was It Good?

The Audience: Tailor Your Presentation’s Message for Different Groups You need to know who your audience is and what they care about so that you can present information to them that’s relevant and useful. If you don’t know about your audience and what’s relevant and useful for them…find out! You can learn this information by:

  • Attending the event yourself (if possible)
  • Asking the organizers about the people who will be attending and what they’re likely to want to hear about.
  • Showing up early talk to people prior to your presentation about why they’ve come and what they’d like to hear from you. A sales presentation should signal to your audience that you understand their core values and that your own core values align with theirs.

If you can’t connect with your audience on that emotional level, your audience is unlikely to buy from you. Remember – sales are emotional!

The Content: The Importance of the Beginning and the End. When you’re planning presentation content, pay special attention to the beginning and the end – they serve important functions! The beginning should contain the ” hook” that catches peoples’ interest.

A good hook has several characteristics:

  • It is very clear and simple
  • It has some sort of number or return on investment (investment being time spent watching the presentation.) 
  • It draws people in by asking a question or telling a story. Your hook may be your only chance to get peoples’ attention, so be sure it’s effective!

The end of your presentation is a chance to invite the audience to take a concrete, reasonable next step – nothing too big, but something that indicates their interest in what you have to offer.

  • Pick up your business card on the way out
  • Schedule a phone call or coffee date with you to chat about their needs
  • Stay after for a few moments to see a quick demo of your software or website.

Pro tip: You should never have to say “Thank you” to indicate that your presentation is over. It should be clear to the audience!  

The Content: Benefits versus Features

It’s natural to want to tell your audience all about the features that make your product or service is the best on the market. Instead, tell your audience why it *matters* that your product can do what it does, and why it’s important that a job be done just the way that your company can do it for them. Convince them to hire you by telling them the benefits of doing so!

Consider how you might use the following as you present benefits:

  •  Emotional words to further capitalize on the power of talking about benefit.
  • Vocal intonation and body movements to break up the conversation
  • Moments that “pop!” to emphasize points that you want your audience to remember.

You want to make an emotional appeal with your presentation because (say it with me!) sales are emotional!

The Nerves: No Big Deal

Everyone gets a little nervous about speaking in front of groups – don’t worry, there are ways to work through it! Use these techniques when your nerves start to get the better of you:

  • Be sure that you’ve practiced enough before the presentation – most people need to practice between 7 and 20 times. 
  • Show up first and be in the room as everyone arrives, and even talk to people a bit if that’s possible, so you can feel in control of the room and the audience can see you feeling confident and ready. 
  • Just before you start, exhale and force all the air out of your diaphragm and allow it to refill (the opposite of taking a deep breath, which may cause you to hyperventilate.) Then go in and own it! You’ve got this!

Was It Good? How You Can Tell

You don’t need a lot of training or a fancy post-presentation audience questionnaire to evaluate how your presentation went. There are standard indicators of audience interest and engagement that you can monitor even as you’re presenting:

  • People interrupt you to ask question as you’re presenting – Questions about implementation and logistics are an especially strong sign of interest. 
  • Body language – Engaged people will lean in, maintain eye contact, nod and smile (although body language in a business-to-business sales presentation can be trickier.
  • People take action (even small ones) after the presentation – Even if it’s just someone taking a business card from your display table, congratulate yourself – you caught the person’s interest!

Now you need to follow up and move them along your sales funnel! We have lots of information about presentations on our website, and all our resources are available to small business owners on a pay-what-you-can basis! Sign up for an account and check us out!

How To Get Your Customers To Trust You?

How to get your customers to trust you. Why is this so critical? Well, trust is very important, both in your personal relationships and in your relationships with your customers.

Business owners need to understand that:

1. All sales are emotional. Whether you run a small convenience store in a subway station selling snacks and magazines to busy commuters or a company worth millions that provides consulting services to other companies, you ultimately appeal to emotion, not logic, to make your sale.

2. Gaining credibility, or a customer’s trust that you know what you’re talking about and that you’re going to do what you say what you will, is one of the 3 Tenets of a Sale.

There is a difference between sensible trust, or the trust that develops between people in long-term relationships like those between family, old friends, and significant others, and sensitive trust, which you must develop with customers with whom there likely isn’t that personal history. The inevitable question arises of how to develop that sensitive trust quickly, so that customers will buy from you.

This is where the 3 Tenets of a Sale, or the Sales Funnel, comes in, as people buy from you when they:

1. Know you

2. Trust you

3. Like you.

Marketing is a great way to build sensitive trust and keep people buying from you.

You can use Small Business Solver’s Marketing Solver tool to find a whole list of simple-to-implement marketing strategies that can give you credibility in a flash:

1. Get business cards

2. Record a professional voice mail message

3. Develop a web presence (not necessarily a web site!)

4. Ask for referrals/testimonials

5. Use branded contracts/invoices

6. Rent a post office box

7. Get a 1-800 number

8. Look for media cover opportunities (press releases, articles, etc. – not paid ads)

9. Encourage customers to leave online ratings on sites like Google and Yelp

10. Do presentations (keynotes, panels, webinars)

11. Hire a virtual assistant or use a calling service to look bigger than you are

12. Make brochures to hand out to clients interested in larger or B2B sales

13. List your products in established online stores (Etsy, Yahoo, Alibaba) for better SEO rankings and streamlined customer experience

14. Respond to blogs, letters to the editor, related forums to raise awareness of your company

15. List awards your company has won – even small ones

16. Develop an online portfolio

17. Go to networking events

Building credibility is hard work, and it’s easy to be very hard on yourself if you inadvertently let a customer down. However, if you do, don’t throw up your hands – the situation is salvageable! Plus it is important to know how to rebuild trust in this situation. Remember, nobody’s perfect – you are not the first to do this, you won’t be the last. Handle it gracefully, to the best of your ability, and forgive yourself.

All the strategies in this 20-minute video are low-cost, can be implemented quickly, and do wonders for your credibility. Watch the webinar for details on how to implement each one, pick one or two to try this month, and let us know your results! We’d love to hear from you!

How To Write An Awesome Email!

Email isn’t going anywhere! Take your email from “average” to “awesome” with Small Business Solver Marketing Manager Sarah Levis. In this webinar you’ll learn about:

  •  Whether An Email is Necessary
  • Deciding What Kind of Email is Necessary
  • The Importance of Tone
  • The Power of Good Editing
  • A Clear Call to Action
  • Tools of the Trade
  • Checking Your Work
  • Subjects – Write, Test, Revise
  • Before You Send – Writing Your Greeting, Pause Before You CC, Know the Laws

Links to check out to make your writing even better!

How to Start Selling NOW!

Get a pen and pencil and take notes, because the quicker you start selling, the quicker you start making money!

In this webinar you’ll learn:

  • Why the length of the average sales cycle means that you need that you need to start selling as soon as possible after opening your business.
  • Why the reasons people give for why we they’re not selling aren’t usually the real reasons
  • Why it’s good to “fail fast”
  • How you can quickly and cheaply create a web presence while you’re waiting for your website to be ready
  • How to create your first batch of business cards/brochures, and why they don’t have to be perfect
  • Why you don’t need inventory, or even a prototype, before you start selling
  • How to quickly draft a serviceable client contract
  • How to choose a business name and how long you should give yourself to do it
  • Why your business doesn’t need to be a corporation before you start selling
  • Why you need to talk about your business with other people

Everything that Carla talks about is an action step that could get you selling within 2 weeks. Which step are you going to take? Let us know in the video comments, on Twitter or Facebook, or at smallbusinesssolver@gmail.com…and don’t forget to come back and tell us how it goes!

Proposal Writing A to Z

Proposal writing is what makes your breaks your larger business to business sales. Are you able to convey your message in a persuasive way so that you land the sale.

In business to business selling there is a more formalized process of how the organization buys. Often there are;
– more than one person helping to make the decision
– other large organizations that are bidding for the business
– specific criteria that aids the organization in selecting how to proceed
– a process to be followed
– a huge amount of business to walk away with

To write and win this business, there is a different way to frame your message. Learn how to land this bigger business by following the right steps.

Contact The Expert

The Small Business Solver Team
info@smallbusinesssolver.com

Revenue Generation

Increasing our small business revenue generation is something that most entrepreneurs are concerned with. In this video we learn why all entrepreneurs need to make it the top priority and we walk through the 4 main things that we need to focus on to help our revenue grow.
 
1. Number of leads
2. Improve conversion rates
3. Increase the price of the average sale
4. Increase the number of sales per period
 
Plus we walk through all of the tools we have at our fingertips to help improve these 4 areas. Watch it now!
 

 
Contact the Expert
 
Gary Brown
FocalPoint Coaching
gbrown@focalpointcoaching.com
 
 

The Secret To Getting More Sales

The Secrete to Getting More Sales is all about following these 7 keys steps:
 
1. Do pre-contact research
2. Tell better stories
3. Ask better questions
4. Get commitment
5. Get broader agreement
6. Influence the influencers
7. Justify the cost
 
Great 35-minute video that will make a huge difference in how you look at sales!
 

 
Contact the Expert
 
Adrian Davis
adavis@whetstoneinc.ca
 

Cold Calling Basics (Part 2)

Cold calling is the most effective way to get new business to business prospects aware of what you are doing. But most small business owners and people in general dread the idea of picking up the phone.

Learn the more advanced tips of how to cold call with specific attention of what to actually say on the phone and what to do after that first phone call.

The tips that will be covered are;

1. Show them the money.
2. Minimize their commitment.
3. Maximize your credibility.
4. Appointment setting and closing.
5. Get a ‘no’ from them ‘yes’ man.
6. Have a goal.
7. Keep it simple.
8. First impressions on the phone.
9. Follow up tips.
10. Keep up your momentum.

Contact The Expert
Carla Langhorst
Carla@smallbusinesssolver.com

Like the Slides? Cold calling basics-part 2

Cold Calling Basics (Part 1)

Cold calling is the most cost effective way to develop new leads for a small business owner selling business to business (B2B) or business to government (B2G). Even with all social media options, search engine optimization, and so many other marketing tools available to a small business owner – cold calling and telemarketing still wins out.

 

Unfortunately it is also the most hated way to get business. People are often scared of even picking up the phone for the first call. But if it is the most cost effective way to get new business, it is important to learn how to improve your odds.

 

The top 10 tips that are covered are;
– how to be a human rather than a robot when telemarketing
– when in doubt, put yourself in your customer’s shoes
– why honesty is truly the best policy
– how to keep your energy and optimism up
– when to call your target prospect
– how often to call your target prospect
– what makes a bad lead list and what are the red flags that your lead list stinks
– what information should you be keeping and tracking about your customers?
– should you be scared of gatekeepers and tactics to get to the person you want

 

 

Expert Contact Information

Carla Langhorst
Carla@smallbusinesssolver.com

 

Like the PowerPoint? cold calling basics