5 effective sales tactics for small businesses (plus a bonus tip)
by Alisha Shibli
All businesses have one thing in common. They all strive to create sales strategies that’ll help them convert leads into customers and achieve sales goals.
The average sales conversion rate across all industries is 2.46 to 3.26 percent. For some, like electronics and arts, it’s up to 15 to 20 percent.
So if you want to achieve, or outperform, the desired sales conversion rate, you have to think differently. As the saying goes, If you want something you’ve never had before, you have to do something you’ve never done before.
Fortunately, there are several sales tactics that small businesses can adopt to see sizable business growth. Here are five such tactics.
1. Practice rebuttals
Every successful sales process has its share of obstacles, like customer objection. If you’re expecting your prospects – and even your returning customers – to agree with every piece of advice you give them, then you’re mistaken.
Customers will have objections during the sales process. It’s just a natural part of the cadence.
Your job is to overcome those sales objections with knowledgeable feedback and information. Instead of proving the customer wrong, show them the broader perspective, supplementing their limited knowledge about a product or service or anything.
Techniques such as The Feel, Felt, Found will come in handy in warding off unwanted objections.
For example, if you’re a season ticket salesman for a sports franchise, then a common objection you’ll hear from businesses is, “We don’t have the budget for season tickets right now.”
You can counter the objection by stating, “I completely understand where you’re coming from. A lot of my clients used to feel the same way. But then they found they could use season tickets for taking out clients and incentivizing their employees.”
2. Focus on touchpoints with leads
Your touchpoints should always be vast and diversified. In other words, you should reach out to each lead often and in many different ways.
Don’t assume that because a lead didn’t answer your call, they aren’t interested in your offer. For all you know, they could’ve been outside their office or caught up in something when you called.
When you first get a lead, try calling them within 30 minutes. According to a study, the odds of qualifying a lead decreases by 21 times if you call them within 5 minutes instead of 30 minutes. So, don’t be in a hurry. Wait for around 30 minutes before calling a contact or lead.
Be in touch with your potential as well as current clients. Schedule times to call them, email them, text them, reach out to them on social media, or whatever other forms of communication they prefer.
The more touchpoints you have with a lead, the greater the chances are of building a fruitful relationship.
3. Improve your elevator pitch
Nowadays, companies don’t focus on elevator pitches like they used to. People have written it off as an age-old sales trick that reached its expiration date. But that’s not true.
Even in today’s online marketplace, a top-notch and targeted elevator pitch can help you stand out at networking events, trade shows, cold calls, and sales conventions.
Follow these steps to prepare a great sales elevator pitch:
Start by brainstorming all the information you want to include in your pitch
Prepare a few rough drafts for yourself and speak them out loud to see if they sound as good as you intended
Make necessary corrections to prepare the final speech
Now start reciting and memorizing until you attain perfection
Be sure to refine the speech to a point where it takes you no longer than 20 or 30 seconds to complete it. Any longer than that, and you could lose your customers’ attention.
For an in-depth understanding, read this resource on creating an elevator pitch.
4. Negotiate, negotiate, and negotiate
Not many people in the world enjoy the process of negotiating. As uncomfortable as it might be, you need to get better at this skill set. Negotiation sits at the core of every business deal, both for the buyers and the sellers.
Try the following strategies to perfect your negotiation skills:
- Let the customer begin with the negotiation first, and then come up with your offer
- Define the concession limits beforehand (discounts, freebies, etc.) and stick to these while negotiating
- Ensure certain demands of both the parties are fulfilled
- Keep the conversation jovial, focused, and valuable so that negotiation doesn’t end up being awry
96 percent of salespeople quit after the fourth attempt. But 60 percent of sales happen after the fifth attempt. So, you have to persist and learn to negotiate to close the deal.
5. Find your customer’s problems, then fix them
Customers buy your product or service for one of two reasons – they either want it, or they need it. Identify which reason is associated with your offerings. Then find the “why” behind their purchase intent.
In most of the cases, the “why” are the problems that persuade customers to buy a product or service. You need to understand these problems and see how your product solves them.
For example, if you’re running an HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) service company, then a significant need for your clients right now is to make sure the AC is ready for the summer months ahead.
Tell them about the various problems, what will happen if they don’t take action now, how you can fix the issues, clear any objections, answer their questions, pitch your offer, and seal the deal.
While it’s crucial to have great tactics up your sleeve to improve your sales, it’s equally important to have a strong online presence to strengthen your stance. For example, there is a high chance that your potential customers will look you up online before deciding to do business with you. Therefore, it’s important that you not only have a great website but an overall impressive online presence.
This involves taking care of the minor yet vital details such as your domain name. Look at these two links and guess which one seems like a credible business:
The second domain name is a lot more meaningful than the first one.
Domain names on new domain extensions such as .site, .space, .online, .store, .uno, etc allow you to get domain names that are meaningful, contextual, and relevant.
Integrate these helpful sales tactics into your regimen
You may have been following some of these sales tactics to convert leads into customers. However, to become a top salesperson, you should have a handful of sales strategies up your sleeve. Practice all these skills to up your game.
Also, don’t try to use a particular strategy in all sales interactions. You have to determine what works best in a specific situation. Once you are accustomed to the drill, rinse and repeat the process.