6 Steps to Selling
By: Dr. Deborah Osgood
...it's all about the flow.
Have you ever floated in a canoe or kayak down a gently flowing river?
Perhaps you recall the peacefulness of riding with the current. What about the different sounds, smells, textures and colors? Collectively, these things make for a fun day and get you somewhere!
This analogy is a lot like selling. Think of the canoe as your products/services, the river is the market and your surroundings are the details that collectively combine to support your ultimate objective of making the sale. Brainstorm how you'll make the sale along the way. For example...
- At Mile #1, imagine what your "PRODUCTS/SERVICES" are. If you're new to business, this could be something you've done as a hobby, at a past job, or volunteer work.
- At Mile #2, picture "WHO" your customers are. Are they men, women, young, old, a business, group or nonprofit agency? The better you define who they are, the more likely you'll know where they are.
- At Mile #3, "WHAT" is involved in the sale? Do you need a price list, certain equipment, a contract, brochure, transportation, web site, business card and special facilities? What else?
- At Mile #4, "HOW" do you see yourself connecting with prospective customers? What kinds of advertising and promotional practices will you use? Keep in mind that tools like social media and publicity can be very useful where they don't cost anything other than your time and a little ingenuity!
- At Mile #5, "WHERE" can you get help? There are thousands of no-cost government and nonprofit small business assistance programs funded through our tax dollars. Take full advantage of them. Don't go it alone. You don't have to. Check out SCORE and SBDCs, or search by Type of Business Help that you're looking for. Google search for free training webinars. Connect with no-cost Business Counseling Agencies for further suggestions. Consider Self Training options as well.
- At Mile #6 (...and the best part!), "WHEN" will you know that you succeeded? Think about it.
- Are you looking to make "X" amount of money each month from this activity? Use a Sales Forecasting Tool (Excel File) to figure this out.
- How much would you have to make or hours would you have to sell to generate this much? Use a Breakeven Worksheet (Excel File) to figure this out.
- Do you have to come up with some money ahead of time before making a sale? Read up on How to Manage Cash Flow and use a Cash Flow Worksheet (Excel File) to figure this out.
Do you like what you're doing? Do you like who you're selling to? Who is there to help you? Are your family and friends a part of your success? How many new and enjoyable relationships are possible in this self-employment or small business adventure?
Celebrate all of the good things that come about as you take this journey down the river. The possibilities are endless and you can count on having a great boss - YOU!
Click Here to download a fun worksheet that will help you to get started. ...and enjoy the ride!