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Selling your product

I come from a sales background myself so it can be easy for someone in my position who finds it easy to approach customers and close sales when the time comes to dismiss the fears of those who feel intimidated by the thought of having to be in a room making a pitch and nailing down a commitment.

it is a real difficulty but it must be overcome because the one truism for all business owners who are starting off is that essentially you will succeed or fail on your ability to sell whatever it is you are offering. Whether that is a product or a service is irrelevant , the bottom line is that nothing happens unless someone is willing to take their hands out of their pockets and pay you. After that all the wonderful organisatinonal skills, the innovative problem solving and the attention to detail can be brought to bear in maintaining a happy customer

I can`t claim to know everything there is to know about selling because some of it is, of course, instinctive but there are some small things i would say that should be kept in mind.

1. Prepare

Be prepared when you are going to visit the customer. That means that you should be intimately aware of both the strengths and the limitations of what you are offering and never exaggerate what you can do. No amount of discount can rectify the damage of a failure to deliver early in a relationship.

2. Be confident

Be confident in the price you are quoting. Do not start offering discounts the customer has not asked for. The Buyer enters the meeting expecting to have to negotiate a discount. If you are too ready to offer one then maybe you are uncertain about the efficiency of your product or else you have quoted a false high to look as though you are offering a discount. Neither might be true but the customer is not to know that, they can only go on the facts before them,

3. Know the bottom line

Make sure that you know what your bottom line is. This involves working out your costs carefully, assessing what you need to earn to survive and sticking to that. A bad sales is worse than no sale. Always be prepared to close a deal there and then without reference to others outside the room if at all possible. Deal making involves momentum as much as anything else.

4. No magic formula

Remember there is no magic formula for sales. making a sale is essentially about making a connection between yourself and the individual you are dealing with. While the material or service will transfer between your company and the customers company the deal will be struck between two people. The critical value of this information is that you absolutely have to shift your own focus from what you are offering and get involved in what the customer is saying to you in order to best figure out what it is they will buy.

5. Arabs need no sand!

Finally despite reports to the contrary you cannot sell sand to the arabs. What i mean by this is that people generally buy what the need from people they trust. If you are a serious person then be serious in your dealings with people, if you are a lighter personality then bring that to your approach but do not try to create a persona for sales based on what you think a sales man is. The critical factor in sales is getting out in to the market place and offer as many people as possible the opportunity to buy your product.

Courtesy Adrian MacGrath, company owner at MacrackStorage Systems