Making sales in business is the life blood of success.

When asked what important area must Small Business focus on, the answer is Making Sales. Small business is transaction driven and without making sales the business will stagnate and fail.

Cash is King axiom relates to making sales in small business, having income at hand to pay bills, replacing and refreshing stock, paying the owner a wage and having capacity to pay for marketing. Sales revenue is the blood in small business veins and without sufficient supply flesh and bones of business die.

The function of sales is simple as it complex. Meaning a universe of study, pontificating, science journals, customer psychological studies, opinions, careers and books focus on the mechanisms of making sales in small business. The grouping together of marketing and sales is not always understood by new enterprising people. Start-ups often group sales as part of finance separate from marketing. Marketing, sales and finance are intrinsically joined at the small business hip where departmental structure and specialist people doesn’t exist. Note; Start-ups and small business ain’t a small version of a big business.

Making Sales in Small Business.

Making Sales in Small Business.

In business you cannot sell a secret, therefore business must go to the market place with adverting and a compelling message. So what is the process of Making Sales in Small Business.

The sales cycle is awareness, interest, engagement and sale.

Like all matters business you need a plan. Furthermore business planning, thinking processes and strategy, must include financial considerations. When money is spent what is the likely return from the process. This true for start-ups and established small business.

Step 1; Be clear and know with confidence what you sell and who you sell to. Not every person is your customer. Define your market segment and target it without distraction. Making sales in small business flows easy when you are solving target customers problems or providing a memorable experience. And preferably your business achieves both.

Step 2; Marketing is essential to making sales in small business. Determine what money and resources are available to market and promote. Write a simple plan on what activities will be undertaken. Research costs and expenses and project what a likely return is. Don’t advertise for the sake of it. Avoid wasted effort as example, placing an advert for men’s sock in a car or fishing magazines. Men don’t buy socks – their partner or mother does. View this expense as investment to creating better sales results.

Step 3; Before spending any money define a value proposition. Define a marketing message based on what the business stands for, why it does what it does and what differentiates your business from other competitor in your field. Without a compelling value proposition and marketing mantra money is being wasted.

Step 4; Be sure to research what price competitors sell similar products. Understand your own pricing relative to cost of goods, fixed expenses and breakeven requirements. Determine a marketing budget that allows for consistency and continuity in advertising campaigns. Determine the cost of customer acquisition. Example spending $400 per month on a magazine advert that generates on average 3 new customers is $133 per customer acquisition. So how much can we the sell to them?

Step 5; When the marketing effort leads potential customers to your business or website, how will prospects be converted from lookers to buyers? Ensure the sales staff are adequately trained and incentivised. Have payment and support systems in place to make closing sales easy and consistent. In my opinion the worst opening a sales person can say is – “can I help you” because I easily say “no thanks”. Develop a non-pressure script that invites and engages conversation rather than shuts it down. Customer conversion is where most businesses can achieve easy sales gains. It is 8 times more cost effective to sell to existing prospects and customers. Avoid the thrill of the chase wasting resources hunting if sales conversion rates are low. And one more thing –  consider a CRM that systemised the sales process and builds a customer database and transaction history.