How to sell more during the current liquidity crunch

Sales drive your business. Without sales you are have no business. Knowing your product is okay, but that knowledge differs from industry to industry. But human nature never changes; therefore the selling process doesn’t change either. Once you get good at selling, it doesn’t matter what product or service you want to supply, you can start a business in any industry where there is an opportunity. The current liquidity crisis gripping Zimbabwe has slowed down business and economic activity. People are more hesitant to buy; they would rather spend their precious dollars on the most pressing needs and delay buying anything that is not essential or critical to their business. For ordinary business owners, this is a serious challenge to their business survival. Many firms are closing today citing low demand, external competition, lack of finance, customers not paying etc. But to the high performance entrepreneur, the liquidity crisis and economic downturn presents a unique opportunity to sell more.

Here are a few tips that successful entrepreneurs are applying to sell more products and services right now:

a) Go the extra mile: give customers some reassurance with more and better service than they expect. Those who are hesitant to buy will quickly act if they are convinced of the good value they are getting.

b) Reduce risk: with money tight, customers are afraid of making mistakes and buying something that won’t work for them and losing their money. Offer guarantees, assurance of results; remove the fear of loss.

c) Build relationships: if customers feel you have their best interest at heart and that you are not just after their money, they will buy from you more. Show genuine concern to customers’ needs and problems.

d) Focus on quality over quantity: you might be tempted to target more customers in order to increase revenue. This could be a mistake. Focus, instead, on spending more time with high quality prospects and customers. A few good customers are worth more than a lot of low margin, highly demanding customers.

e) Avoid cold calling: it gives the impression of desperation. Let qualified customers contact you when they are ready to buy. Focus instead on your marketing communication, informing potential customers of the value and benefits of your offering through your website, newsletters, referrals, word of mouth, press reports etc.

f) Position yourself as the expert in your industry: build yourself a reputation as a trusted advisor that people run to when times are hard.

g) Get legitimacy: testimonials from satisfied customers boost your legitimacy. Get happy customers to write letters, emails etc that you can circulate through your newsletter, blog or website etc.

h) Project success: dress professionally and speak clearly. People like to do business with someone who looks successful.

Under the Young Graduate Entrepreneurs Program which we are launching on 10 July, successful participants will undergo intensive training in the essential selling skills that every entrepreneur must have. AND they will engage in actual real-life selling and marketing activities so as to master the art of selling that will lead them to business success. If you want know more about this program, please send me a request by email at the address below, or visit our website from 25 June for the detailed program information. And please, don’t forget to tell someone who might benefit for the program. If you wish to receive my free weekly newsletter full of business insights and advice, simply send me a request by email. Don’t forget the BusinessLink Networking Breakfast meeting for this month, to be held at Gaby’s Restaurant in Harare on Wednesday 27th June, from 0815 to 0945. This is an opportunity to meet and network with other high performance entrepreneurs who want to accelerate their growth. See detailed information on our website. Feedback email address: chichonip@smebusinesslink.com. Website: http://smebusinesslink.com.

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