Two people shaking hands in a meeting on closing the deal

Boost sales without being pushy

How to boost sales without being pushy?

The word “SALES” has got a lot of negative connotations because of either amateur or unethical salespeople who use pressure and manipulation techniques to sell you poor quality products and services that you either don’t need or won’t satisfy your needs. Hence, when you hear the word “SALES”, most people immediately think of door-to-door or insurance salesmen or those telemarketers.

And this rather unfriendly image of a salesperson causes many new entrepreneurs and business owners to avoid selling at any cost which in turn stops the business from growing. Because the only way to grow the business is by improving sales. So here in this article, I present a rather unconventional understanding of sales which will help you boost sales without being pushy. Please note that this article isn’t about the whole conversion funnel or about having the first one thousand true fans, it isn’t about generating leads but about the human and psychological aspect of actually following the leads and closing the sales.

Use the “SALES” Framework to Boost Sales Without Being Pushy!

To help you boost your sales I have created this framework by turning the word SALES into a mnemonic device.

S = See

On the surface level, it just means seeing the client. Follow up on the leads because despite the popular belief having a good product or service is not enough to close sales. Things don’t sell on their own, that’s why companies spend billions of dollars on getting people’s attention.

They spend on everything from billboard and shelf space to Google and Facebook ads everything just to get the eyeballs. Let’s face it if you are out of sight, you are out of mind. So why would you not try to retain and convert the attention you have already got?

However, there’s a deeper connotation to “seeing” viz. perception. Perceive the client’s situation what difficulties are they facing? or What amenities are they looking for? And what product or service does your company offer that could satisfy their needs or solve their problems? You should also try to understand what are they shopping for, are they shopping for the price? or are they shopping for the best quality? No point trying to sell a Mercedes to someone looking to buy a Prius.

A = Ask

Don’t assume, Ask! Validate your perception. Probe deeper to understand the problem better. You can use the “5Why?” Technique to arrive at the root cause of the problem, if you don’t know what that is you can read more about it in the article TURN PROBLEM INTO BUSINESS WITH THIS 5 STEP PROCESS. You can even ask them what is their most important decision making factor, is it the price? are they looking for someone with a great track record? etc.

L = Listen

Listen Carefully, Note down, repeat occasionally, so they know you’re really listening. Never interrupt the client while they are speaking, this breaks their flow and they might forget some crucial point. Let them speak. The more they open up the better your understanding of the problem.

E = Empathise

Now as you have the whole picture, empathise, and try putting yourself in their shoes. Do you really think you have the right product for them? If not can you recommend your friend who works in sales for another company that might have a product that’s better for the client? This would not just improve your friendship but would also help build a lifelong relationship with the client. Now they see you as a person of honour and values. Might even feel a little bit indebted for suggesting the right product even at the loss of your commissions, might even get you some unexpected leads. And when a lead comes with a recommendation is heaps easier to close the deal

S = Serve

Propose a solution, this also means closing the deal. After you summarise the whole thing and if the client agrees that you have understood the problem correctly. Then you can say something like “From what I understand this issue is causing you £10,000 in lost revenue? If that’s correct then if I send you a proposal worth £1500 then would you be willing to close the deal before this weekend?”. A question like that summarises everything and brings everything into the right context, also putting the client in the decision making state. And once he says yes to this and you send a sensible proposal you are 99% done. All that’s left is to do is deliver the product/service as promised.

If you like the article, share it with your family and friends so they can benefit from it too. After all, sharing is caring ;).

Entrepreneurship

Turn Problem into Business with this 5 Step Process

All businesses at their core solve a problem or satisfy a definite need. If you solve a problem then you have a business!

Complaints are everywhere we go; from family gatherings to popular culture and media. If you can resolve any one of these you have a business. If you start seeing these complaints as business opportunities you’ll start training your subconscious mind to look at every problem you encounter or hear as an entrepreneurial opportunity and this will change your life.

But don’t stop just there, start by exploring solutions. This is what most people never do because they “don’t know how?”. Today is your lucky day. I am going to share a five-step process to turn a problem into a business. The five steps are:

  1. Observation
  2. Problem Discovery
  3. Ideation
  4. Business Model
  5. Revenue

Observation

All things start with observation, start taking notice of problems around you, at home at work, when you hear someone complain and especially when you hear multiple individuals complain about the same thing. What would have happened if Newton didn’t notice the apple that fell down?

Problem Discovery

“If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses”. The above quote is attributed to Henry Ford however its authenticity is under question these days. Whether Henry Ford said this or not there’s a truth in this statement. If you notice someone asking for faster horses it’s not faster horses they are looking after they’re actually looking for faster means of transportation. So there’s a difference between a complaint statement and the actual problem and an entrepreneur must be able to see the difference.

Always discover the root cause of any problem. A simple technique to use is to ask “Why?” five times consecutively. Here is an example:

🥺 Boy, I have a headache…

❓Why? Because I have a cold.

❓Why did you catch a cold? Because yesterday I spent time in the cold.

❓Why? Because I didn’t take my coat.

❓ Why? Because I didn’t think that it would be so cold outside.

(❓ Why? Because in the morning I don’t check the weather forecast. (✅ )

Solution: Install a thermometer in the balcony and watch it before going out.

Ideation

Ideation is the mode of the design process in which you concentrate on idea generation. Mentally it represents a process of ‘going wide’ in terms of concepts and outcomes. Ideation provides both the fuel and also the source material for building prototypes and getting innovative solutions into the hands of your users.

Stanford d.school

The goal of ideation is to quickly come up with ideas to solve the problem. Don’t be overly critical in this phase, just sit with your team (or a bunch of friends if you don’t have a team yet) and come up with ideas, engage even your wildest fantasies.

Tips for an effective ideation session:

  • Defer judgement
  • Encourage wild ideas
  • Build on the ideas of others
  • Stay focused on the topic
  • One conversation at a time
  • Be visual
  • Go for quantity

After you have a bunch of ideas put your mind to something else eat a pie, watch a show and come back to it the next day. The next morning write down any fresh ideas you might have come up with and then remove all the ideas that you think are not commercially viable or technologically feasible? For example, a supersonic passenger plane is technologically feasible we even had one called Concorde but it wasn’t commercially viable so now we have Airbus 380s.

If everything went well you might have 3 to 7 ideas. Now it’s time to test these but how do you prioritise. Make a decision matrix. My decision matrices usually have these four columns.

  1. How easy it is to implement this day get some feedback in 90 days?
  2. How much does this “cause” or “idea” moves you and your team?
  3. How much control do you have over the implementation?
  4. How easy it is to get sponsors, subsidies, government aids etc.?
This is an example of a decision matrix

So now you have an idea and resources to implement it but how to monetise it?

Business Model and Revenue

A business model is a company’s core strategy for profitably doing business. The four most important questions to consider are:

• Who are you selling to?

• What do you sell?

• How do you create and deliver it?

• Why it is commercially viable?

You can even download a Business Model Canvas to make this process easier. Now you’re set to go, start sharing about your product/service to your family and friends even while you’re developing it, Eventually you might want to create a more deliberate marketing strategy but for now, you can even ask some of the people who’s complaints you’re trying to solve, that if we came up with this solution would like to book it in advance for a special pre-launch price. Talk to people, post on social media and try to earn $1000 dollars in the first three months.

If you succeed with this then take a step back, go back to your drafting table and now put systems in place to scale the business, create a marketing plan, register the business if you haven’t already done so to limit your personal liabilities, consider hiring people, outsourcing tasks etc. No more juggling and stressing unnecessarily.

This is how you do it! When people with money want something (or to get rid of something) more than their money they’ll pay any (fair) price for it. And that is the only sustainable way to be rich by the means of a business. At the end of the day, a business is about revenue and it should be sustainable and profitable.

Stay away from “get rich quick” schemes on YouTube or elsewhere, you’ll end up wasting your time and avoid things like downloading apps or filling quizzes to earn money (silly YouTube tips), those are not sustainable means. The only way to get money from people is to solve their problems or satisfy their needs.

If you like the article, share it with your family and friends so they can benefit from it too. After all, sharing is caring ;).