by Rebecca Jones:  Watch any business programme on the TV read a business book or spend time with other business owners and you will hear time and time again how “cash is king” and “turnover is vanity and profit is sanity”.  But have you ever heard the phrase “I’m just too busy to make sales calls”? I have, and I hear it all the time.

But you and I know that sales are everything to the success of any business, right.  You know that you can have a great product or excellent service but if no one buys it you don’t have a business.  Instead you have a very expensive and time consuming hobby.

Business in Red Shoes

Yet time and time again I speak to business owners who may as well be telling me that they are just too busy killing their business to make any sales calls.  Ok so they dress it up a little “I have so much paperwork to do I’ll do my chase up calls next week” or “I need to re-design my website so those sales leads will have to wait for now”.  Best of all “I don’t even know if these people who made enquiries are ready to buy yet”.

If this is you STOP right now as you’re killing your business.

You know that being a business owner is hard work; there are lots of tasks to do.  You also know that you enjoy some tasks more than others.  Maybe it’s because they are closer to your skills set.  But have you considered your CONFIDENCE.

Think about it for a moment.  Which jobs do you tend to put off, leave till last on your TO DO list and always find seemingly more important tasks to do.  I’d put money on it that these tasks tend to take you out of your comfort zone and that you are less than confident about carrying them out.

If anything to do with sales come on your list of jobs I put off and jobs I feel least confident about you need to take action now.  If your confidence is holding you back from making sales calls or you’re worried about hearing “No not today” or “I buy from someone else” then consider these suggestions.

  • Plan your sales calls and meetings so you feel more in control.
  • Practice before you contact potential clients so you know what you are going to say.  Think  about your opening lines and practice them until you are able to deliver them confidently and clearly
  • Consider what objections people may have to purchasing.  Pre-empt them within your discussions or be ready with responses (this comes back to being prepared)
  • Accept that not everyone is going to like your product or service and that doesn’t matter.  You still have to talk to people about it because there will be people who do like it and do want to buy from you
  • Don’t take sales rejections personally, they are saying no to the product not you, even if you designed it, made it or deliver it.
  • If someone says no, thank them for their time and ask them if they may be interested in the future.  If you feel it is appropriate ask for some feedback, maybe the timing isn’t right or they don’t like the price, colour or something else which you may be able to change now or in the future.
  • Be aware of buying signals and stop selling and change to closing the deal.
  • Don’t forget to close the deal and ask for the sale “Are you able to buy from me today?”
  • Consider using a coach, mentor or buddy system with another business owner to help develop your confidence in sales.  You can speak to them when a sales call has gone wrong to discuss what you could do differently next time, rebuild your confidence and have someone to celebrate with when you successfully make a sale.
  • Don’t be tempted to buy in sales people, you are the most knowledgeable about your product and you need to sell it.  Once you have grown and need sales people it will be your job to motivate them and build their confidence in your product, but you will still need to sell to investors, customer and your team. Business is about sales its best to accept that early on.

So if you hear yourself saying you’re too busy to make sales calls consider these questions.

  • Is your lack of confidence in selling holding you and your business back?
  • Could you improve your business by just developing better sales techniques?
  • What strategies can you put in place to build confidence in yourself and your ability to sell?

Rebecca Jones opened her first business at the age of 19.  Over 20 years on she has a huge amount of knowledge, experience and ideas.  Regularly working with women business owners, Rebecca has become known for her easy style and friendly approach to real business success. She now runs the Red Shoe Biz Academy

This article first appeared on Motivating Mum