Where do you find customers?
The cornerstone of your business should be to do work that your customers want to sell on to others. In other words: the more satisfied your customer is with your company, the more likely he or she will recommend you to others. But where to find your first customers? Be humble and make it easy for yourself. Start with your own network. Approach friends, family and other people you know. Start by delivering more than you promised. This way you can exceed your customer’s expectations from day one.
Also keep in mind that acquiring new customers takes a lot more effort than developing the customer relationships you already have. Where should you sell?
Doing sales should always feel like something that’s nice to do over and over again. Therefore you should think carefully what sales channels and sales actions you want to use in your business. Those entrepreneurs who do all sales work themselves should start with deciding what sales channels to use: do I want to sell over the phone, in meetings, send offers, in a store or in a webshop, at fairs and events, online or somewhere completely different?
Some entrepreneurs prefer doing sales allied with other companies, which can be a good choice in some business areas/industries, e.g., an artist might get better sales when having a manager, a model could get more work through a Model agency, a natural partner for a handyman that installs kitchens is a company that designs kitchens, and so on.
In such cases it is important for the entrepreneur to remember that an entrepreneur cannot outsource all selling to somebody else – the partner is probably not as interested as the entrepreneur himself in how the sales numbers are looking.
How do you get a customer to buy from you?
You acquire paying customers when you are able to provide clear value and a solution that fulfills an identified problem. In other words, there are two ways to get money from customers:
- You can help potential customers to recognize needs they already have
- You can strive to foster a customer’s ambition to find out what problems they may have and offer your help to solve these problems. In order to develop a good customer relationship, be patient and keep in mind that the customer will buy only when they really have the need for something you offer – not when you want them to buy from you.
A few things to consider when you make an offer:
- Don’t spend too much time creating your offer. An offer that contains the most relevant things your customer needs to know – product, price, quantity, delivery date – is usually enough.
- Don’t leave your customer hangin’! Don’t make your customer responsible for closing a deal. Be in touch with your customer soon after you’ve sent the offer so that you can be sure that the customer has received the offer and that it matches the needs the customer has.
- Remember that an offer is not a promise of a deal. In other words: Don’t be blinded by an extensive amount of sent offers. By looking at the rati between your accepted and unaccepted offers you can get a clue of your upcoming sales/trade.
A few tips for an order
- Create a sales order based on a confirmed offer. This ensures that you have all the things you have agreed upon in the sales offer also on the order confirmation and you avoid making mistakes.
- Keep track of your orders so that you are up to date about the orders that are to be delivered, which orders are delivered and can be charged and which orders are already charged and paid.
- Look at your orders at least every month so that you get a picture of your most sold product or service and who are your best customers. Focus on them!