Hey solopreneurs, do you suck at sales?
I get it. You went into business to do a thing, not be a salesperson. But guess what, if you can’t close a deal (i.e., bring home the bacon), it doesn’t matter how good you are at the thing.
Starting a business is a dream come true for many solopreneurs. You get to do what you love—the way you want it done, set your own schedule and be your own boss. However, the reality of running a business can be much different than the initial vision. One of the biggest challenges in a small enterprise is balancing our passion for what we do with the need to make sales and generate revenue.
The good news is that success is possible even if you didn’t go into business with a strong sales or management background. I promise! The key is to recognize the areas of weakness and add support systems to make your life easier. Here are some tips:
Embracing sales as a solopreneur.
Sales might not be your favorite part of running a business, but it’s essential! To get better at anything, you must embrace the process and learn everything you can about it. That means understanding your target market, knowing how to prospect and qualify leads, and developing effective sales techniques that resonate with your customers. You can start by reading books on sales or attending workshops and webinars.
But here is the real deal on consuming content: this can easily turn into something you use to procrastinate doing the work you don’t want to do. If you are serious about getting better at the sales process, ask salespeople for tips, or better yet, practice your pitch at networking events or with trusted friends.
Develop a sales plan.
Don’t say ewww! You are the captain of this enterprise, and it’s irresponsible to set sail without some type of chartered course. It’s ok if you don’t exactly know how you are getting to your destination or if things change over time.
Start by creating a document that outlines your revenue goal, target market, and a concise summary of your unique selling proposition. Next, outline your strategy, such as networking events, direct messaging, content marketing, email marketing, etc.
Your sales plan should also include specific activities that you’ll undertake to generate leads and convert them into paying customers. Track your progress by noting the number of calls made, proposals sent, or meetings scheduled. This keeps you accountable and provides valuable insights into what’s working and what may need adjustment.
Don’t overcomplicate this and then procrastinate. A simple Excel sheet will do.
Don’t stop when you have business!
When business is good, taking a breather can be tempting. However, pausing your sales activities can lead to a dreaded dry spell and significantly impact your future revenue. To ensure sustained success, dedicate a small portion of your time and energy to nurturing new leads and exploring potential opportunities.
Remember, sales is not just about closing deals but building and nurturing long-term relationships. While it’s essential to focus on acquiring new customers, don’t neglect your existing ones. Happy customers become brand advocates, referring others to your business and contributing to its growth.
Focus on profitability.
Profitability is the lifeblood of any business. To improve profitability, start by tracking and analyzing your expenses. In addition to expenses, track your time diligently. Time is a valuable resource, especially for solopreneurs. Understanding “where it goes” is crucial. By monitoring the time you spend on various projects and tasks, you can determine the true cost of each activity.
However, profitability isn’t just about reducing costs. It also involves increasing revenue. Evaluate your pricing strategy and consider whether adjustments are necessary to reflect the value you provide.
Confidence helps build trust and reassures potential clients that you are the right person for the job. You demonstrate this through a deep understanding of your audience and what they need and want. This happens over time as you have more conversations and ask insightful questions. Never stop learning about how to serve your clients best.
And do not get in their head about what they can and cannot afford. If you want to give your stuff away, start a nonprofit or open a yearly scholarship opportunity.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Running a business is challenging, and there is no need to do it alone! Consider working with a business coach or mentor who can help you develop your skills and provide guidance. At the very least, find other solopreneurs and small business owners so you have a network and support. Also, consider outsourcing tasks that are not your core strengths or hiring a VA so you can use your time effectively.
Remember, effective sales skills are built through practice. While sales as a solopreneur may not be your favorite part of the entrepreneurial journey, it's a skill that will set you up for greater success. Embrace the process, and the rest will fall into place!
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I specialize in helping 1-2 person businesses increase revenue and impact. If you're struggling, I can help you clarify what makes you special and add peace to your life through systems so you can attract your perfect clients and make more money.
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