Selling is the most basic and fundamental skill required for entrepreneurs to become successful. However, many aspiring entrepreneurs are scared to death of selling. But what they don’t realize is that they have been selling all of their lives.
In fact, all of us have experience selling, in some form or another. Whether it was sharing reasons why your parents should buy you a bike or, early in your professional career, giving an interviewer explanations as to why they should hire you.
Selling is not an art, but a skill that anyone can master. Here’s how:
Provide a solution to a problem.
Whether you’re selling a product or a service, one of the most important factors is putting yourself in your customers’ shoes and anticipating their pain points. Unless you know what really pains them, you’ll never get their attention. Sometimes they don’t even know what their own frustrations are — that’s where you step in. Then, customize your solution to address the exact issue.
While you know what your product or service is worth because of the carefully selected materials or labor that has gone into making it, your customers are looking at it from the outside. They do not know the inside story. Educate them about where your inputs (i.e., products or people) come from and the difference they will make in their lives. They will then understand that the money they are investing in your product ensures them the best quality it can buy.
Offer real value.
On a similar note, while your customer may be looking for the best deal, they are not necessarily looking for the cheapest deal. Customers are really searching for products or services that provide value. Here’s a classic example from Dan Ariely’s book Predictably Irrational: 100 students are given the following options to subscribe to The Economist; Online-only subscription: $59, Print-only subscription: $125, Print and web subscription: $125. Can you guess what most students opted for? A staggering 84 students selected the last option because they saw it as a better value.
Avoid generic email marketing.
If you must sell through email marketing, don’t make the mistake of sending a generic email with the offer. Instead, sell the concept of your product or service customized to your target audience by means of a company update. Draft a mailer that does not amount to selling, but rather updates your customer about a new and recent development in the company. People are attuned to switching off when they see any email marketing campaigns, but they’re often interested in learning about new developments in the areas that can help them. So present it more like news or information.
There are many more professional tactics that can help you to make a sale. But if you can focus and get the points detailed above right, you can completely turn around the current results of your sales efforts.
Rahul Varshneya is a Certified Clarity Expert in Mobile Strategy and co-founder of Arkenea LLC, a mobility and cloud solutions company. Rahul is a columnist at Entrepreneur.com writing on mobile strategy.
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