What is the best approach for selling services to small to medium businesses?
I am not a sales person but I am in need of a couple of good pitches for calling or emailing perspective clients.
Emails are not content copies! This is the first thing you must understand before you launch an email campaign.
It is supposed to be short, concise and filled only with the important information regarding the product/service and the company selling it.
You should focus only on the 3 most vital selling points and one of them should be about saving money or extra benefits.
All you need is 1 or 2 videos showing your services. Upload that into a great medium and see your "email opening rate", click through rate hit the roof. Knowing someone has viewed your video helps break the communication barrier, allowing you an open dialogue with your prospects.
"Helping businesses communicate better"
Remember their time is valuable. Get straight to the point. Who are you? What do you offer? Provide information for review with your contact information and follow up.
Their funds may be tight. Give them an introductory offer.
Why should they buy you? What makes you stand out from the competition?
Keep It Simple. Don't throw "the kitchen sink" at them at the first contact, just offer one thing. Depending on your product or service, the length of time to follow up to offer further products or services can vary widely.
Try out the Word of Mouth Marketing / Selling. And nothing beats setting up a Net Promoter Score where customers answer 1 simple Q (how likely or unlikely are you to suggest this service to a friend). In this case the friend could be a fellow business owner.Selling is an exercise of getting Shelf Space And Eyeball time from the customer. Think about ways in which you get that shelf space and possibly eyeball time for your services.
You can't email perspective clients to pitch a service if they have not opted in to be contacted.
The best way is either connect with perspective clients on sites like Facebook and LinkedIn. You can also pick up the phone and call them or hire someone to do it for you.
You can do direct mail if you have the budget for that.
Either which way you do, you have to determine the client's need and how what you sell can help them solve their issues.
USP of selling to small to any enterprise is creating very good relationship on a consistent basis.
If you don't know them, the best thing to do is start building relationships with them first so they will want to do business with you.
Lisa, services are all about trust and engagement. Your outbound effort is thus to simply find out if a company or person needs what you offer. Since you are going for trust, I think it is best to be very straightforward and very clear. I answered a similar question a few days ago, and I think the advice is the same. So I wrote there (and will include it again here):
"My script is always honest and not gimmicky and always follows this pattern in my voice mail and is more or less exactly the same in any related email:
"Hi, I'm Doug McCartney and I am calling to follow up my email. My company xyz works with companies (people) like yours (you) to (do whatever you do for them, for me it would be "improve their sales processes and bottom line sales results"). If you'd be interested in learning more about how we (I) do that, please give me a call back. My number is xxx-xxx-xxxx or my email is xxx at xxxxx.xxx . "
If I get them live, the same basic format works. Note the one "trick" here, which is that I offered to tell them how we help others, meaning I didn't offer to talk about their needs. That is important, because people don't like to admit they need help right from the start. It is an admission of some sort of weakness. But if you offer to tell them about how you helped others, well they can then assess if you might be able to help them. It's a minor point, but I think it helps.calls real fast and then knock out the emails second. Order doesn't seem to impact results, so it is just about how to push yourself through it as effectively as possible."
Once you have someone that says, "tell me more" or similar then much and all of the advice from others really comes into play. Be the expert, know your subject, give them good counsel, and most of all listen and respond to what they are saying. If you can show you can help address their needs, they'll be interested in talking more.
All very good responses above, however, one of the keys to successfully selling my company's services was first selling myself. In my experience, most small business owners will only do business with qualified referrals, people they have come to know and trust. How do you do that? Not via a sales pitch, but by getting to know the business owners one-to-one and building a relationship with them. Through that more personalized process, I learned their pain points and how I could help alleviate them. Less pitch; more hands-on. It works!
Hello Lisa! I have been in sales for 7 years and went to Sandler for 2.5 of those years. I think their approach is best. I agree with Josie's points below about having 3 problems to address.
I created scripts per industry for cold calling where you introduce yourself, ask them if you can tell them why you're calling and see if it makes sense to talk further, give them your 10 second company elevator speech (who you are and what you do), describe three common problems your clients typically face and the impact of those problems, ask them if they can relate to any of those (if they say no try one or two more), if they say yes ask them to elaborate and then see if they would be willing to set up a follow-up appointment for you to ask them questions about their business, what they are doing currently, what problems they are facing, how they make decisions, if they have a budget, what their timeline looks like and what they hope you can do for them. Then and only then do you offer any solutions.
The old way of selling was to offer features and benefits upfront. The modern sales metholody says that you first find out what the customer is doing, what their problems are to determine if there is a fit. How can you know if you can help them if you don't first understand them. If you just spit up features and benefits you may try and sell them something they don't need or want and take yourself out of the equation completely.
Best of luck to you!
It is absolutely neccesary to know the market, its needs, its resources, the main regional players, prices, buying habits, competitors' selling strategies, in essence you have to do your homework and analyze your market
Lisa, this is such a good question! Every entrepreneur who is not a copywriter , has at some point, asked this same question.
Along with the great suggestions here are mine:
1. Even before You sit at the keyboard You must know who your ideal client is. By that I mean, You must have their demographic and psychographic profiles clearly in your mind.
2. You know their top three pain points
3. You know how your service/product address aforementioned 'pain points'
4. Now when You craft your letter. Engage them as if they were sitting across from You having a coffee. In fact do just that-into a recorder-. Transcribe, then. without losing your authentic voice edit for fluidity and flow.
Now Here are some extra pointers for the actual message.
If its email ensure that:
0. Have a Catchy Headlines
1. Keep the body to a max of 40 lines, spaced; and short sentences for emphasis
2. After Your opening introduction have a list of clear and succinct points.
Remember that these points are to illustrate the 'benefits' and not the features.
3. Have a few links to your offer throughout your ad copy
4. Create an OTO [One Time Offer] & or Limited offers- Make "Time" an ally
5. Add some testimonials
6. If there is a sign-up process keep it simple.
Hope this helps a bit.
I Am Wishing You Well!
Peace + Much Love
Know how to solve a problem your prospect has. If you can show them you are saving them money, time, etc. or meeting a need they have, they are more willing to absorb what you are offering. All the other answers below are VERY insightful, good and correct. Isn't this group awesome?
All the answers above have validity to some degree. My two cents to you is always find a way to quickly show accountability. Services, hardware, software...these things are all commodities. Everyone is pitching them. Align yourself with their direction and be accountable.
If cold calling, always have a script and build a value prop for each individual call.
If selling bread, be the BEST expert on bread as it pertains to that customers' business.
So like this..."Hello Mr Dough, I'm Lisa Smith-Maxam from Bread World. We specialize in helping businesses like yours maximize every last crumb."
"Would it be worth 30 minutes of your time if I can show you how our method of baking bread can bring immediate results in the form of money saved and improved customer satisfaction?"
If the answer is "no"...do you really want to waste time with this customer?
When they say "yes", schedule the meeting. Don't waste extra time on the phone, possibly saying something not on the script and weakening your position. Have your schedule open and have 2 possible dates and times ready. Pauses are killers...
If it's "not right now"...then say,"is next week better?"...if it's still no then say,"I can tell you are very busy, can I email you some helpful information about what we spoke about?" If "yes", then get the email address and name, as well as suggesting an email follow up strategy...once again, have paper and pen ready...no delays. If "no", then say, "I understand, have a great day and I'll try you again in 2 weeks."
See...the reality is that until someone firmly says " I have no interest in this" or hangs up on you, be prepared to up the ante and get your job done.
Most people have a subconscious fear of rejection or hearing negativity. Dig deep, look your fears straight in the face and move past them. Realize this, fear of dying is one thing!!!Fear of hearing the word "no" is just silly...
There is a YES in every No. I keep contact with the "NO Buyers" with consistent and polite, yet "I WANT YOUR BUSINESS" approach. Even if they say no, eventually... I do get a yes! Too many people give up too fast. Getting a NO is a good thing, they at least responded. Now, you can build a relationship.
The best approach is to "sell problems and fears" rather than selling solutions!
Since you mention "selling" services I will assume you are not referring to prospecting and how to get to a decision maker, as that is a entire subject unto itself. With respect to selling any service, I believe wholeheartedly in customizing your value proposition and service provision based on understanding the needs and wants of your customer and presenting a solution to meet those needs and wants within their budget. Many service companies practice what has been referred to as "show up and throw up", telling your prospective customer all the reasons why your company is better and what all your features and benefits are. My experience has taught me that before I ever tell them what I have I need to clearly understand what they really need and want. Only then can I present a truly differentiated and customized solution that is likely to result in a new and longer term business relationship.
Small&medium businesses are much more reference oriented&owner centric compared to larger businesses,Where they have earmarked people for evaluating&deciding any new product or services.Hence it will be a good idea to identify relevant references or alternatively create a visibility in the circles relevant to the industry or company you are targetting.
With the advent &phenomenal growth of online/digital medium,it is possible to create such a highly focused visibility ,in a cost-effective way in a limited time.
Its the same as pitching to any other business. Put yourself in their shoes and what kind of sales person would you respond to? I bet the answer is someone who knows enough about your business to be relevant and able to provide value, right? If I were you, I'd research as much as you can about each individual person and their business, LinkedIn is a great place to start. You don't need to spend a ton of time on it, but think of it as quality over quantity. Yes, it will take you longer than if you just blast a blanket email to a list, but I guarantee the return will be better which is the ultimate goal anyway!
Be as real as possible. Make sure you believe and understand the value of what you have. Think about the reason you feel they should have the product and give them that.
If the product/service has a lot of competitors you can still find reasons you believe it will benefit them.
If you are creating a need for a product/service, once again you still have a reason they should buy in.
Use a real reason it will work for them and as mentioned here there is some research involved in finding that reason unless you have a niche.
I'd be more than happy to talk to you about it.