No matter what industry you’re in, sales is your oxygen. Without consistent sales, most startups simply can’t function. Unfortunately most startup companies don’t invest enough in their sales process until it’s too late. Here are the strategies successful startups have adopted to consistently meet their sales goals.
Building a Stronger Network
Consistent sales doesn’t happen automatically. For larger accounts, it’s often best to start with referrals and be introduced organically to your prospect instead of cold calling. And having a well connected network of friends and peers willing to help support you is the key to getting more organic referrals. Meeting someone and getting their business card is easy. Maintaining your relationship and keeping yourself relevant is the real challenge. If you’re not already using LinkedIn, now’s a good time to start.
Focusing on Weekly Results
Without setting weekly goals, your team may believe staying busy and filling their calendar translates to sales success. Unfortunately activity doesn’t convert into sales unless it’s focused. Get into the habit of setting achievable weekly goals for your team. Weekly goals provide your team a compass to follow and keeps their attention laser focused on just a few important items. Try to make your goals specific, realistic, and achievable. Ambitious vague goals are often demoralizing instead of empowering.
Do The Unnatural/Uncomfortable
It’s our natural tendency to avoiding people and things that make us uncomfortable. Success is usually found outside our comfort zone, not within it’s confined walls. Having the courage to withstand natural discomfort will allow your team to reach more daring goals and achieve results outside their normal capabilities. Get your team into the habit of doing ONE thing each day that they’re normally uncomfortable with. Just make sure they’re staying well within the confines of your state and federal laws.
Under-promise Over Deliver
No one likes to be lied to. And no one likes to be promised something and have it delivered sub-par. It’s often easy to over promise a customer just to get the sales in and be overly enthusiastic about it. Be honest with your customer and lay out all the unknowns and what they’re REALLY going to get. They will trust you more and can feel your sincerity. Now after that’s done, make sure your team over deliver. Your client will be 10x happier and be more likely to refer you.
Ask your client “Are you ready to begin today? I can have the paperwork ready in 30 mins”. Don’t be shy or give your client too much time to think over everything. It may be uncomfortable at first, but asking directly can help you seal the majority of deals that otherwise would’ve been lost. Even the most secure and sure deals can often fall in between the cracks if we missed the opportunity to strike while the iron is hot.
Any startup can learn and adopt many of the strategies above. Despite their simplicity and low financial investment, the strategies above have only yielded success when they’re consistently followed and built into the work culture. As with any sales or marketing strategies, consistency is key to achieving desirable results.
According to American motivational speaker Jim Rohn, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with”. If this is true then you need to think about the people you spend the majority of your time with. Some people are negative. They suck out your happiness, drain your energy and get you in bad situations. Some people are positive. They influence you in a good way, make you happy and keep you in the right path. The second types of people are who you should be spending more time with. Here’s how you can do this.
How Do You Feel
The first step to surrounding yourself with people that make you better is to know how you feel when spending time with somebody. Certain groups of people give off a vibe. If you feel that this vibe makes you better, happy or improved then consider spending more time with these people. They can be your family, friends or co-workers.
If you feel resentment towards a group of people or individual, stay away from them. Resentment breeds bitterness, who needs that?
Some of the best people to spend with are those with lots of potential. These people know how to think outside the box, are creative, open minded and like to learn about different things. You can find them in school, workshops, office or even at home. Spending time with these people can be rewarding because they can influence you to act and think like them, thereby improving yourself.
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In order to grow and become a well rounded individual, surround yourself with a variety of people. Find people with different traits that can influence and help you grow. Surround yourself with people who are creative, hardworking, good natured and other traits you want to improve. You will be surprised where you can find them because they can be your family, co-workers and friends.
When you want to become better at anything you will want to receive training. Pay attention to the people you meet in workshops and seminars. These are usually great places to find people who do not only want to improve yourself but possess traits and abilities that you might want to emulate.
According to Forbes, if you want to be successful you have to surround yourself with the right people. So it should go without saying that successful people surround themselves with other successful people. Unsuccessful people are sometimes negative and emit a “beaten down” attitude. They can also be bitter and resentful of successful people. Surrounding yourself with people like these will only influence you to think negatively and bring you down. Successful people know how to rise up even if they’ve experience failure before. They see this as learning experiences instead of disappointments.
Sometimes as a business owner, leader, and/or CEO things can be overwhelming. Ever wonder what the top CEO’s do to deal with stress? Below are some of the methods that top CEO’s have used to cope with stress in their daily work life.
Luis Derechin, CEO of JackBe
“Business situations that add stress to my life are mostly circumstances that are out of my control and that I or my team can’t do anything to remedy. As an early-stage CEO, I try to be adaptable and to think that almost anything can be remedied. However, macroeconomic situations and giant shifts in purchasing patterns require far more innovative thought, so they create more stress. I relieve stress by exercising. I go for long runs in the morning, to meditate and to try to work out the issues. Last year I got fit enough to be able to run a couple of marathons.”
Chris Twyman, CEO of Zapoint
“Planning in a fluid market is extremely difficult. At Zapoint we always have a plan B. For the last two quarters, we have had to have plans C and D too. We have to have that level of anticipation so we can react quickly, but it puts extreme pressure and stress on our team. Monthly reporting has become weekly, and weekly meetings now happen every other day. This enables us to manage resources in the most efficient way, but it does add gray hairs. Working out can offer temporary stress relief, but I usually find that quality time with my family works best.”
Robert (Robin) Loudermilk Jr., CEO of Aaron’s, Inc.
“To be honest, I don’t have much stress. My father started this business. There are stresses to working in a family business–not necessarily conflict, but it’s hard. Dad is still active in the company at 82, and I’ve worked here for 25 years now. I’ve been CEO for six months. To get away, anytime I’m not working I’m outside somewhere. I have three kids. We go fishing or hunting, or I watch them play soccer. Family comes first. I encourage my managers to do the same.”
Ryan Wuerch, CEO of Motricity
“As a CEO, I find stress to be inevitable whether the economy is up or down. Ideally the best way to manage stress in a down economy is to avoid it altogether by executing on your business objectives and maintaining your company’s success. Personally, I combat stress in many ways, including running 60 miles a week training for a marathon and spending time with my family. But let’s face it, to take the edge off of the day there’s nothing like sitting down with friends for a good bowl of chips, salsa, queso and guacamole.”
Whether it’s a simple jog every morning, relaxing with the family, or a canoeing trip every owner/CEO needs to take the time off to reflect and deflate every once in a while.
Nowadays most established businesses have websites, however more than 75% of businesses out of 22.5 Million registered businesses in the U.S still don’t have websites. So is it really essential if most businesses seem to be doing alright without it? There are 2 school of thoughts when it comes to this subject.
YES: Your business is your website
Most modern businesses that have been started and ran by millennials are gungho about having a strong web presence. Their demographic tends to rely on online and social media searches and interests. The philosophy here is simple, if you have a website, you can be found. If you don’t have a website…well, you can’t be found. So modern business owners rely on their website as a primary source of generating new leads and acquiring new customers.
NO: Good Service/Product is the best practice
More traditional business owners tend to rely less on websites, as their business may have been started long before the web revolution, and they tend to be smaller businesses and more localize. Their philosophy is nonetheless, true. By providing reliable and trustworthy products and services, they’re able to maintain a consistent staple of customers day in and day out. However the downside to this practice is it can’t be scaled easily. As you’re only as good as the locals around you.
No Website is better than a BAD Website
A better question than whether or not to have a website is whether or not it’s worth having a BAD website. An out-dated and unresponsive website nowadays in 2016 will appear old and neglected, often times even hurting the business. Locals will still visit your business, however having a poor web presence could deter prospects.
It’s definitely worth getting a website for your business, however you need to make sure that you’re doing yourself a favor by making sure your web presence best represent your business.
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