Making Your First Sale
“If my mother knew I did this for a living, she’d kill me. She thinks I’m selling dope.” – Henny Youngman
Any marketing will only get you 90% of the way to a sale.
You can make someone aware of your product and how good you are through your website, posters, social media, leaflets, etc but at some point you are going to have to ‘ask for the sale’. You are going to have to directly ask someone to give you money for what you do.
All your marketing should have a ‘call to action’ (or a CTA). This is a part of your leaflet, website or social media campaign that asks the person reading it to do something specific. It might be to pick up the phone and call you, to request a quote or sample through your website or even to visit your shop. If you know your customers and have got your message right, then this simple CTA may be all someone needs to engage with you.
However, unless someone is desperate RIGHT AT THAT MOMENT for what you sell, your biggest battle is going to be against inertia. Making your first sale and getting someone to do something, even something that will make their life better or save them money, can be a task and a half. Wherever possible you need to give someone a really good push to take action.
Perhaps a 25%-discount on their first order, an hour’s free consultation, a month’s free trial of your product or service are all good ways of tipping someone over the buying resistance line, as are time-based offers that give a sense of urgency such as the first 5 people to buy get your product or service for half price.
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A lot of people use email marketing to generate leads and enquires, and this can be a brilliant tool. This should always be done with an email marketing package like MailChimp, because it sends the emails for you and tells you who opened and clicked the link in your messages allowing you to build up a picture of which of your contacts are most interested. But unless you then take the next step and have a sales conversation with those people, you are missing the majority of your opportunities and essentially avoiding making your first sale.
It comes back to the old salesperson mantra: it’s all in the follow-up.
This doesn’t have to be a phone call. You can follow-up email marketing (for example) with a more personal email asking if they want to talk about anything specific. Or your follow-up can be a good old-fashioned bit of direct mail in the post (you are still allowed to put a stamp on an envelope you know!) with an offer about the product you think they are interested in. Or you could even invite people to an event, webinar or product demo.
But don’t be afraid to just pick up the phone and call people either, especially if you have already sent them some information. You will learn very quickly what customers want, which of your marketing messages work and what questions people have by simply talking to them. Before you know it you’ll be making your first sale.
Making sales is what will keep you in business, get comfortable selling or find someone who is. Seek expert help and advice from marketing and sales consultants, business coaches and mentors.
Thoughts on making your first sale – Yorkshire Powerhouse
Setting your prices at the right level requires an in-depth knowledge of your market & who you are looking to sell to Read >