5 years ago I was broke and struggling and my business was in the tank. In the entire year we had about $20 000 in sales. It sucked to say the least.
I had creditors calling, couldn’t afford to keep my car on the road and had to move out of my space.
Fast forward 5 years to this year and the first 2 days of the new year and being back open after the holiday we did more in sales than that entire year 5 years ago. Years ago the phone would barely even ring in January let alone have my sales reps hustling to keep up on the first day.
I still find it fascinating and amazed and grateful for what has come.
So the question is how in just a few years do we grow from 5 figures to 7 and thinking about 8.
Focus of course but focus on what??
Sales process no question.
A good sales process is about 3 key steps:
- A relationship of adding value and building trust
- Follow up!
- Having a clear sequence, script or process of how to handle every interaction
The truth is however having more sales is about something bigger…it’s about becoming a visionary in your company.
There are 6 key areas of a company to focus on not just 1:
- Delivery of product or service
If you were to rate each of those areas from 1-10, 10 being highest where would you put your strengths.
Most entrepreneurs fit into 2 columns:
Those that are the talent and deliver the goods or service: training, trade skills, artist, design, being a chef, whatever;
Or they’re really good a sales and marketing.
Often times if you’re the talent you can possibly be alright at selling because of your passion and knowledge for the product.
The point is that it takes focus on all 6 areas to create something scalable and massively successful.
To do that you have to become a visionary which means you have to have the right team in place so you have the time to focus on strengthening all the areas.
You need a solid sales process: whether phone or email. You need to know the sequence your sales process takes your customer on.
In my company we use a solution selling model:
- Assess the needs
- Build credibility and excitement
- Offer solution/test close
- Why us
- Set the next steps
- Follow up
But you have to have more leads in order to be able to even use that process so you have to focus on marketing.
Marketing key principles:
- Identify clearly your ideal customer: Age, sex, income bracket
- Get clear on their deeper needs and wants, what painpoint do they have, what language do they use?
- Go fishing where the fish are: where is your target demographic so you can get in front of them
- Create compelling marketing with all the above content in it
This takes time. But you also have to deliver a good product or service so that people come back and buy more. A large part of our sales strategy is building long term relationships where people continue to buy.
Deliver the good and follow up after, create an experience they won’t forget so that your efforts in marketing and sales continue to reap benefits for years.
Now on top of that you have to be financially sound…I remember I just kept thinking more sales, more sales and we’ll become profitable.
After the $100 000 in a month and not making much profit I stopped and said ok what’s going on here. I found there was holes in my financial structure.
Like most entrepreneurs I had handed off the book keeping to my accountant because it was a weakness but then as a result had no idea where the money was going and blindly thought if we just sold more it would be ok.
I had to take it back on and get clear on the numbers
Now how do you do all this when you’re the one trying to deliver the goods or service or you’re out there trying to sell it?
This is why so many businesses fail to become profitable enough over the first 5-10 years to survive and thrive…lack of a visionary.
The visionary creates a vision of every area, finds the right people or resources for those areas, gives them the space to create in that area and then has time to focus on the other areas.
(S)he does not totally give up control and not pay attention to what is happening in those zones because its their responsibility to make sure they’re getting what they want, hold the people accountable and grow as needed.
Do you see how crucial this is?
Now I know it can seem incredibly hard when you don’t have the cashflow or the time or feel like you can’t find the right people to do this but I ask…
What could it do for you to figure it out?
And maybe more importantly:
What could it cost you if you don’t?
Learn more, sign up to my weekly focus mastery podcast for visionaries.