Using face-to-face sales as a launchpad to other careers

cash-register-78741_640

As well as being a potentially enjoyable and lucrative career path in its own right, face-to-face sales can serve as an effective launchpad to a wide range of other roles. Here, we take a look at how this type of work can benefit you in the future if you choose to move into a different field.

Increasing your confidence

Perhaps most importantly, face-to-face sales can give you a major confidence boost. Many people mistakenly believe that in order to get into sales roles in the first place, you have to be highly confident. As direct sales specialists Appco Group point out, a broad spectrum of personalities can in fact flourish in this field, and lots of people find that the roles help them to increase their confidence and self-esteem. You can take the added sense of self-belief you build in these positions and use it to help you fulfil your ambitions in other areas.

Learning to think fast

Direct sales can also help you develop your ability to think on your feet. Working in the field, you’ll have to respond to customer questions quickly and effectively, providing informative and engaging responses on the spot that address people’s needs and concerns. As well as extolling the benefits of the products or services you’re selling, you’ll need to listen carefully to the expectations and preferences of customers and adapt your messages accordingly. Being able to think clearly under pressure and come up with appropriate responses can serve you well in a whole range of careers.

Learning to negotiate

On a related point, sales enables you to hone your negotiating skills. Interactions with potential customers can be complex and they are always a two-way process. Knowing how to arrive at an agreement that suits all parties is fundamental to achieving success. This ability can prove useful in a variety of jobs. Whether you need to come to a consensus with your colleagues on a particular issue or deliberate the details of a contract with clients, an ability to negotiate effectively should serve you well.

Honing your communication skills

Communication is a fundamental element of face-to-face sales and by interacting with a range of people on a daily basis, you should find you’re able to fine tune these skills. Even individuals who don’t consider themselves to be strong communicators when they first go into sales roles often find that, over time, they become highly effective at expressing themselves to a variety of people. Bear in mind that this doesn’t only benefit those who move onto other customer-facing positions. Because of the importance of effective communication between colleagues, it is important for workers in the vast majority of jobs.

 

Want to see increased sales in 2016? Here’s how

profit

The world of business is a very versatile arena. Having said that, all companies share one common goal: gain bigger profits.

Achieving this target isn’t quite as easy as simply acquiring more sales. Nevertheless, this is a key element that requires a lot of hard work along the way. The rewards of achieving success here are huge, though, and finding ways to improve your situation should be a must at all times.

With these top tips, you’ll see fantastic results in next to no time.

Improve Work Atmosphere

The staff are your most important asset, and there are many reasons to invest heavily in them. This starts with great recruitment, but it doesn’t stop there. This is particularly important when they are the direct contact with your customers, and you must ensure your team is as strong as it can be.

Their dealings with the clients can be very influential to your overall selling power. The power of a friendly attitude should never be underestimated. As a boss, encouraging a positive atmosphere in the workplace should be a priority. It will filter down to improve the customer’s experience too.

Besides, a happy worker is a more productive worker too. if that’s not a big enough incentive, then I don’t know what is.

Increase Online Presence

The goalposts have been shifted greatly in recent times. Online activities have completely changed the structure of business. Nowadays, the emphasis is now largely on building a great online presence. Even for companies that deal with the offline market, success on the internet is a must.

structure-620304_640

As consumers, we’re all familiar with the idea of turning to Google whenever we need to find a particular product fast. From a business perspective, improving your search engine ranking can work wonders.

This is achieved through advanced SEO strategies and can improve both the perception and status of your company. Moreover, it will bring more traffic to your website too.

Upgrade Selling Platform

If you are going to make the effort to increase your online presence, then it only makes sense to ensure that the website encourages sales. The only way to achieve this is through building a relationship trust. As well as a great page layout, you should be sure to install the best ecommerce software too.

After all, new customers will rightly be a little apprehensive at first. Giving them a familiar experience will put their minds at rest. It’s equally important to accept as many payment methods as possible. Otherwise, you’re essentially shutting your doors to a section of the audience.

It’s not only your online activities that require the most pleasant transaction. Upgrading your shop’s POS systems can make a vast impact to the overall shopping experience. In turn, this can be a great way to encourage repeat business too.

Make Smarter Marketing Choices

Every business owner appreciates the importance of clever marketing. This is the key to recruiting new customers, and finding ways to gain great conversion rates in a cost-effective manner is crucial.

Social media campaigns are a fantastic option for reaching a wider audience without the need to spend huge sums of money. The key in this aspect is to create unique content that could go viral. If those posts become popular, you will see a steep upturn in brand awareness. In turn, this will virtually guarantee increased sales too.

As far as offline marketing is concerned, it’s about reaching as many people in your key demographic as possible. Running promotional events are a fantastic way to build a buzz around the business. Once you’ve got that initial interest, it’s up to you convert it to sales.

Embrace Word Of Mouth

Marketing is vital, and cannot be underestimated for a second. However, one of the most powerful selling tools is word of mouth. For a consumer, it’s one thing to hear positive noise from the company. But hearing it from impartial sources, such as friendly and family is far more influential.

Nowadays, though, those words don’t have to come from our closest relatives. As a business, you should be keen to place testimonials on your website to increase those feelings of trust. Meanwhile, you could also encourage further word of mouth by offering a recruitment bonus to existing customers.

Do remember, though, that negative words can be equally powerful. Gaining a bad reputation can damage your hopes of gaining new customers. Therefore, if you do ever encounter a troubled client, you must try to find a solution ASAP.

Invest In The Customer

Solving customer problems isn’t the only key part of dealing with the customer, though. Those people are the most important aspect of your entire business model. Without them, you cannot achieve any success. Therefore, treating them with care is a must at all times.

man-1001426_640

Regarding offline sales, you are the biggest USP that the business boasts. Build positive relationships with the audience, and it will improve your conversion rates. After all, consumers like to have that feeling of supporting a likable business. Meanwhile, you can give them the feeling of preferential treatment with Motivators promotional gifts. These items can work as great long-term marketing tools. This is especially true when those freebies enhance a customer’s daily life.

Another great tip is to make the customer feel like they are participating in the cause. Get them involved in ventures by asking for their opinions, and that active role will encourage better sales figures.

Run Promotions

Sometimes, though, you need to give your customers an extra incentive to use your company over the rivals.

Running special promotions such as Buy One Get One Free can encourage a significant short-term sales boost. As long as you are selling large volumes, it doesn’t matter if the mark-up per item is lower than usual. It’s a great way to give customers the satisfaction of getting better value for money, which is great for keeping them loyal to the brand.

Moreover, those deals can be used to snatch customers from rival companies too. Quite frankly, there is no better way to improve your chances of long-term success.

Top Tips For Improving Christmas Sales Online

improve your xmas sales 600It’s that time of year again! Not quite Christmas but not too early to start grabbing gifts. This is one of the most crucial seasons for those who sell online, particularly independent business owners hoping to carve out a significant slice of that Christmas sales cake.

The good news is that if you’re running your own online shop there are countless resources out there to help you make the most of this busy period, but don’t go anywhere just yet because this guest blog from Jamie Pitman of Create.net  is one of them!

Be Prepared

The key thing to do is to start planning very early on. If things go really well on the run up to Christmas you might not have time to work on new plans so it’s best to have these in place in plenty of time. This way you’ll be sure you have all the stock you need when it comes to the busy period.

However, if you’ve just started thinking about planning for Christmas, you’ve still got time to make a big difference to your sales with some clever promotion and quick thinking.

Visit The Ghost of Christmas Past Continue reading “Top Tips For Improving Christmas Sales Online”

Using technology to make sales

I thought I’d just share how JJB Sports are using technology to join together selling their products both offline and online. These days, customers  don’t really see a gap between buying in a shop and online, they just want the item. And they want the same price online and off, too. Take a look here…

 

 

Sponsored post

 

Sales: are we giving it the attention it deserves?

I read a lot of small business blogs. That means I read a lot about marketing, especially marketing online.

But it’s unusual to find much written about sales or selling. Don’t get me wrong, marketing is important – sales is part of the marketing process after all – but I’m surprised how little attention is given to sales compared to how much I read on marketing.

Last week I picked up a copy of Sales On A Beermat from my local library. (Yep, despite being a Kindle fan, I do still read paper books and visit libraries. Mostly for toddler story time, though!)

The Beermat books were written a few years back now, about ‘beermat enterprises’ – that’s the kind of business that starts out with a few mates having a great business idea in a pub.

According to the Beermat business model, three things must be defined straight away:

  • The elevator pitch – what you intend to do, for whom and why they should buy it.
  • The mentor – a senior person to give advice and open doors.
  • Your first customer – start-ups should have a customer in mind from day one, and be actually speaking to this person.

The business then needs a team with specialists in these areas:

  • Sales
  • Finance
  • Innovation
  • Delivery

As most of us mums with business are ‘solopreneurs’, we don’t usually have a team.  But even if you do all these roles yourself, it does show the areas where we need to focus your attention. However, I’d strongly recommend anyone that wants a business to succeed to consider reading up on the subject at a minimum or getting some expert help from a  professional sales training provider.

So sales is there, but why is there no mention of marketing?

Authors Mike Southon and Chris West explain:

Note we say ‘sales’, not marketing. The strategic ‘who are we selling to?’ aspects of marketing should be understood at the start and encapsulated in the elevator pitch. Once that has been sorted, the start-up needs relationships and actual customers and these are best created and sustained by good salespeople. Marketers who have a sales instinct are, of course, ideal for this job, but they should call it sales and do it with pride.

So are we just not ‘doing sales’? Are we promoting our products and hoping that the  sales part will sort-of-happen at the end of it all? Looking on the positive side, maybe we are ‘doing sales’ but calling it ‘marketing’ instead. If that’s true, wouldn’t we make more sales if we, as the authors say, “call it sales and do it with pride?”

Many of us have a problem with the the concept of sales – it feels pushy, like we’re trying to convince people to buy stuff they don’t need. Maybe we’re letting that squeamishness, fear or whatever it may be get in our way? Perhaps if we face up to it we’ll make more sales and therefore more profit?

What’s your opinion? Please do leave me a comment (better still, leave me a comment AND tweet this!)

Image: Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net