Sales training for self employed and small business sales people is often not available or overlooked. You can be an expert at what you do or know everything about what you sell, but do you really know how to use that knowledge when selling. Let me give you a real example that I recently experienced.
I had new windows fitted in my house by two very good and experienced window fitters. Throughout the day I saw many people that were passing my house stop and ask them questions. They wanted prices, information, and the benefit of their knowledge on windows and having them fitted. For a salesman these passing sales prospects would have been like winning the lottery. To actually have sales prospects queuing up to talk to you is every sales person’s dream. To the window guys these people were just getting in the way. This is where small business owners and trades people can learn a lot from sales training by learning to see people as sales prospects and opportunities not distractions.
I overheard one lady ask the guys for a price to do the same job on a house similar to mine. I wanted to yell, stop! But it was too late, without further questions the window guy gave her an approximate price and then said nothing. There was a short silence and he gave her a business card. She said she would call him and she walked away. Will she contact them, who knows, and I didn’t see him take any information to follow up this red hot sales lead. As a sales manager and trainer several thoughts rushed into my mind. Firstly, don’t give her a price. Arrange an appointment and get round to her house. You want to make sure you are talking to all the decision makers. At her home you can do a really effective sales presentation and secure the sale. This is basic sales training on how to close a sale.
One of the other thoughts I had was to ask her some questions. Get her to tell you about her house, her windows, how she made her last decision on home improvements. Get her to build a picture of how great her house will be with bright new windows. She has come to you and she’s a red hot prospect that wants your help. This is the advantage small business owners and skilled trades professionals have over the average sales person, they know their product, trade, or service better than anyone. The buyer wants that knowledge and experience. They see it as a benefit and will pay for it. Think about it, who would you ask about which new windows you should have fitted, a salesperson in an expensive suit and a flashy car, or a guy in overalls that actually fits them for a living?
Self employed and small business owners can take advantage of how they are viewed by potential customers. The customer sees them as a benefit to them, the buyer. Often buyers see sales people as wanting a benefit only for themselves or the company. To make the most of this great advantage you self employed trades professionals and small business sales people need to do two things.
1. Maintain your image as a working professional that knows your products and services.
2. Invest in effective sales training that you can use to increase sales, grow your business, and earn more money while maintaining your friendly non-sales image.