In small business, sales is the key. Make no mistake, until you bring money in the door from clients or customers, you’re really not in business. You just have an office and a stack of business cards. Nowadays, you’ll probably hear many small business people complaining about lousy sales and the poor economy. That’s not our style! We’re here to empower small business owners because, you know what? You have the power to change things for the better. We’re hoping by the end of this roundup, you’ll have committed to boosting your small business sales too! Let’s get started and don’t forget to share this post with a friend!
Are you making excuses for poor sales? One online small business expert thinks we all may be. Lower sales, misguided government policies, higher health care costs, rising deficit, sure we all face these things. But in the end, have you stopped to figure out why maybe your business doesn’t work as well as it used to? When you figure it out, fix it! In the end, small business owners are masters of their own fate. So stop complaining and take control today. About.com
DON’T listen to the media! Hey, reports like this one depress everyone, but if you really dig down you’ll start to understand where all this negativity is coming from. Citing the same NFIB survey as the previous post, HuffPo proceeds to draw the dreariest picture of small business recovery possible even though “the percentage reporting poor sales has now declined from its mid-2009 high of 34 percent.” The story goes on to report that only “a slim majority of the small businesses sampled planned on decreasing their payrolls in the next three months.” Not good, but never as bad as the headlines make it sound. Huffington Post
DON’T settle for the status quo! Here Tibor Shanto is talking about the perception too many businesses have of a group of potential customers who are either not ready to buy or have selected a competitor’s product. His advice? Accepting and ignoring the status quo can be a mistake. Many businesses, Shanto argues, have too little knowledge of this group to really know whether they might be potential customers or clients. Are you ignoring a huge market and accepting the status quo? Renbor
Improved sales and marketing could grow your small business. A UK-based small business advocacy group says a survey of 1,700 small firms shows almost half believe training in sales, marketing and PR would improve their business and help them grow. Sales and marketing outdistanced other items like employee training, customer service and basic communications as things that would help businesses improve. Federation of Small Business
Tips & Tricks
Selling to women vs. selling to men. If you didn’t know there was a difference, here’s your first primer. Understand that knowing your customers is the first key to better sales. Do you want to grow your business? Then learn the demographics and the preferences of the customers you serve. The rewards will be better sales and more growth. AllBusiness
How Internet opportunities change the sales equation. This team of crafters in Southern Maryland have banded together using the online platform of Etsy to create a community of small businesses around their handmade products. Though the individual revenues of these small businesses may not be much, the efficiency and cost effectiveness of delivering their products to customers online is a radical departure and something every small business owner should be watching. Southern Maryland Newspapers Online
Reasons why sales training fails. We all know the benefits of training to improve your business, and this is especially true of sales. But what if your sales training fails to be effective? Like any other product or service, sometimes training fails to deliver the promised result. Sometimes this isn’t just the fault of the trainer or the company providing the service. Here are five possible reasons why the sales training your small business received may not have been all you had hoped. BNET
Teaching your marketing department to deliver more sales. Is your marketing department a part of your sales process? Are they engaging customers, qualifying leads and pushing your sales department to the next level of success? If the answer is no, then you may not have the marketing department you need, says Maura Schreier-Fleming. And that means you’re not getting your money’s worth from a part of your company that should be leading your sales. Want to know how to change things? Read on. AllBusiness
How does your small business rank in effectiveness? Imagine if there were a tool that could assess your company’s sales approach, compare it to the best in the business and then tell you where your business ranked compared with competitors? What if that tool could even give you tips on how to improve your sales effectiveness and your competitiveness with others in your market? There’s no need to imagine. Watch the video and start taking your online survey on sales effectiveness from the Aberdeen Group today. Sandler Training Blog
How to outsell yourself. Here’s a book review of Kelly McCormick’s new book from our friend Ivana Taylor. Ivana gives a detailed overview including main takeaway points and even a new acronym you can use to start improving your sales right away. Ivana recommends the book and we’d like to recommend Ivana’s review. This very cool post can give you a peak at the new book to decide whether its message might be right for you. Small Business Trends
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