Today is the last day for our mini-sales boot camp.  If, you haven’t read the other two, scroll down a bit and read those first.  Today’s once again builds off of them, so it gives you the best footing to start from.  It’s kind of funny, when I started the first post I wasn’t sure I had enough content to make a decent dent.  Then it turned into three days.  Who knew.  The first day was about your mind set in sales.  Yesterday was about some tips to help you make it easy for your customers to buy.  Today is about casting your net.

castinganet

Casting a net, if you don’t know, is an image often used in sales to describe the process of bringing in your customers.  Your customers are like fish, and you want to hook them (although hopefully not club and gut them, that would make repeat business difficult).

Reach Out:

So as with the net theme, your initial focus needs to be reaching out to others that would be interested in the product or service you are making.  At the time of this writing, you can no longer just make a site, and hope people stumble across it.  Get out there and interface with people that you can offer your products to.  You are an expert on what you do, so its time to leverage that capital.

Of course you want to have a Facebook page, so reach out to other pages in the field.  Post a quick greeting and introduction on their wall.  Say who you are, what you do, and why they want to know about it.  Then, invite them to come like you.  That invitation at the end is huge.  Call them to action.

Next, find some forums relating to what you do.  So for example, if you sell chicken food, find chicken websites.  Answer a few questions on the forum each day, and have your web information in the signature file.  It doesn’t even have to be questions relating to your product.  Just interface with as many people as you can in a positive fashion, they will naturally want to come see you.

Lastly, find some people of influence in your field.  Maybe people with successful pages, blogs, or non competing businesses.  Ask them if you can submit a product for review, or a guest post on their blog.  When approached with humbleness and gratitude, most people are more than willing to help.

You are the brand, build it every day:

Now I mentioned this the last few days, you are selling you, just as much as you are selling your widgets.  So you need to focus less on what your product can do, and more on how you can help people, most likely by using your product.  This does tie in the with suggestion above with the message boards.  Your answer’s aren’t “goat soap will help you skin” they are “I can cure that skin problem with my goat soap”.  This makes you the solution, not a Google search for goat soap.

If you don’t have a blog, or some sort of blog function on your website, you need one.  You also need to update it regularly.  Static web-pages are out.  They will get torn off of the Google rankings over time, and on a more basic level, if you site never changes, why do I ever need to visit it more than once.  Pick a time interval to update your site on, and stick to it.  Daily updates would be best, but the most important thing is consistency.  We want to give people a reason to come back and see you over and over again.

Your updates don’t just have to be about widgets.  Remember, we are building your brand.  Look at me, my goal is to sell books, and maybe a physical product at some point.  I don’t just write about one thing.  I write every day.  Some posts are really good, sometimes I don’t capture the magic, but there is always something new, and that encourages people to come back.  The more times they come to see you, the more chances you have to help them.

Asking for the sale:

The last tip I have is probably the most universal failing of  new sales people everywhere.  They are afraid to ask for the sale.  They somehow think what they are doing is a great thing.  They have invented the amazing widget, or written the perfect book.  With this thing, they shall change the universe.  Yet if they ask for money for it, it somehow becomes dirty.

First off, the old myth is true.  If you don’t ask for the sale, your odds of completing one go down by at least 50%.  If you as a sales person feel weird about asking, its much weirder for the customer.  Most won’t do it, and just wander away.  So mathematically, if you want to sell something, you need to ask people to buy it.

Secondly, I feel that people look at this wrong, and that goes double in this particular homesteading community.  We do these things because we want to make a difference and change lives, especially our own.  So if we have a product, or a service, that we truly believes solves problems and helps people, aren’t we doing a disservice by not offering to sell it?  If I have a great new chicken food that makes birds happier and healthier, aren’t I damaging chickens by not selling it?  If my soap makes you look 10 years younger, aren’t I being cruel by keeping it to myself?

If you have followed everything I layed out, you have built value in, and a brand around, your ability to help people with something.  Whatever that thing happens to be.  The right thing to do is go out and spread that thing to as many people as you can, and the way to do that is to sell it.  Otherwise, you can’t afford to help people anymore.  So go out there and succeed.  Win with your business, because a win for you, is a win for everyone you help.

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