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Sell. Sell. Sell... Where It All Goes Wrong

Tuesday, February 03, 2015   By Mike Reddy


Ultimately the success of your business will come down to how well you sell your product or service. Not being able to sell the right quantity at the right price can mean there is a real problem with your selling strategy.

Effective selling requires a specific, solid and full proof sales methodology. So, what on earth is that?

The sales strategy must integrate with the marketing strategy which is all about positioning your brand, product or service to gain a competitive advantage over your competitors.

Therefore, it makes a lot of sense to involve the marketing and sales teams in the process. 

There should be a clear understanding on who that target demographic is, what their needs are and a marketing message that is being delivered in order to entice them to consider purchasing from you. Having an understanding of what got your customer in the door ought to help greatly in converting them into a customer.

Too often my observation as a business coach is that the selling process seems to start as though this is the customer's first exposure to the business. Unless they happened in off the street that's unlikely to be the case. And, even if they did wander in, something caused them to do that.  If that "something" was the signage on the front window then that is still part of the marketing which should be consistent with the ultimate marketing message.

So, even in that case, there has been a fleeting introduction to the brand and the sales process should be an extension of that.

There also seems to be an irrepressible desire of the sales team member to put a product in the hands of the prospect so they can move on to the next customer. And that applies equally in the case of a business that sells services.

The success of the business will depend on that customer returning again and again. Failure to convert them into a repeat customer will have a significant impact on profits over the medium term.

It’s not a matter of selling them the toaster but providing them with such an experience that they will also be back to replace the electric jug, blender, washing machine and any other relevant product that they may choose to buy.

The sales strategy needs to factor this requirement into the process. And thrusting a product or service at the customer at the first opportunity is not, necessarily, going to develop a strong relationship with the brand.

Therefore, the sales strategy needs to be about learning about the customer. What were they after? What is the current decor? Do they understand the benefits of buying a more expensive appliance?

Learning about the customer will help position where they are in regard to Maslow's hierarchy of needs which will allow a better fit between your brand and where your customer wants to be.

Mike Reddy is a Chartered Accountant, business coach and advisor helping businesses in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Gold Coast to easily increase their profits and cash flow. He is currently President of the North Sydney Chamber of Commerce, a Regional Councillor for Sydney North East and a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants Sydney leadership team. As well as advising businesses, Mike presents business development seminars and webinars and is regularly contacted by the media to comment on small business matters. You can connect with him on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.