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20 Entrepreneurs Share How to Increase Small Business Sales

Twenty of the nation's most successful young entrepreneurs share their best tips for finding more customers and increasing sales.

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11. Listen

“Open your ears and close your mouth.  The best listeners are the best sales people.”

Ethan Meyer, Managing Director at PitchBurner, @pitchburner

12. Follow-up

“If you’re in a service based business, one of the best ways to increase sales is to follow-up one week after your client has received a service from your company. The fortune is always in the follow-up and it shows that their opinion about your service really matters. Nine times out of ten the client will be impressed that you took the time to call and schedule their next appointment right then. I have found that in today’s society of automation clients really value the personal connection to your business.”

Ashley M. Spiller, Owner at Body Wrap Express & Wellness Retreat, @ashleymspiller

13. Increase conversions

“It doesn’t matter how many people or prospects visit your website, office or showroom. What matters is what percentage of them actually convert and become your customers or clients. So focus more on increasing conversions than marketing your business. There is no point marketing if you don’t know how to convert the traffic.”

Ami Ahuja, Co-Owner at Grand Perfumes, @amiahuja

14. Build relationships

“People want to do business with people they know and trust. Make yourself known within your community and industry as the go to person for your service.”

Greg Monterrosa, Co-Founder at MyLLC, Inc., @MyLLC

15. Create a sales process

“Make a “closed deal” a predictable outcome of a process. Measure your ratios so you know what works and what doesn’t. It will save you time, money and aggravation.”

Leo von Wendorff, CEO at Virtual Knowledge Workers, @LeoVKW

16. Price your product to make money, not sell more

“It is critical to understand that selling and making money are distinct, albeit related, functions of your business. If you’re not pulling enough margin off of sales, you’ll remain in a perpetual, dangerous loop of weak cash flow. One large, unplanned expense will capsize your cash and will, very abruptly, reveal you’re not charging enough to build up a cash reserve.”

Brian Wiedemann (President) & Katie McCaskey (CEO) at George Bowers Grocery, @GeorgeBowers

17. Grow your network

“Networking is the biggest sales tool and number one tip a young entrepreneur can use. When you are starting up, potential customers and partners are buying both you and your brand. Ninety percent of our sales come directly from networking and building relationships. Join your local Chamber of Commerce and make time for your networking meetings. It will pay off.”

Mark Annese, Co-Founder at GreenBanana, @greenbananaseo

18. Know your customer

“You know much more about your customer than you think you do based on the work you’ve done together, what they like, what they say, and how they interact with you and others. When you pay enough attention to your buyers (i.e. free market research) you can pick potential customers out of a filled ballroom, on the subway, and even know where you could find them on a Saturday afternoon. When you know your customers, you won’t waste your time with anyone else — not even networking with someone who can’t help you reach them.”

Lauree Ostrofsky, Chief Hugger & Coach at Simply Leap, LLC, @SimplyLeap

19. Cold call at specific times

“Don’t cold call in the middle of the day. Most people are too busy and often distracted. You are more apt to get the decision maker on the phone first thing in the morning or later in the afternoon.”

Kelly Daugherty, Managing Partner at Smashing Golf & Tennis, @SmashingOnline

20. Educate clients

“Layout the foundation for how your services and your competitors services work to give the client a better way to gauge and navigate through all the smoke and mirrors that is typical of a sales process. Explain to the client how your industry works and what to look for when hiring a firm in your industry. Explain to them some of the techniques you use, without giving away the “secret sauce”. Also make sure to give them sincere advice and tips even before they sign a contract. This presents an image to the client that you are an expert in the field and truly care about them finding them the right tools to make their business successful, which of course you do.”

Joel Gross, Founder and CEO at Coalition Technologies, @coalitiontech

Photo Credit: H&M

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