You must ensure that all members of your staff are marketing your product or service if you want to be successful in the small business world. It is no longer possible to afford a receptionist who files paperwork for every client that calls or walks into your office. Every employee in the office must understand that servicing accounts/products, as well as selling new products/products, is essential to the growth of the business. Here are three ways to make that introverted accountant a valuable member of your sales team.
Is this concept familiar to you? That’s great! Let’s now implement it. You must explain to non-sales personnel why they should be selling your products. Although motivations are different for everyone, an explanation is the best way to start. Let them know that happy customers and sales growth keep the business open, which in turn keeps everyone employed. Although this may sound like common sense, if we assume everyone knows the concept, it can lead to big problems.
You can also tie dollars to it to gain buy-in. Personally, I like the idea behind an in-house referral commission. You should pay a dollar amount per sale for every non-sales staff member who brings a customer into your business. You can pay a percentage or a fixed amount. However, this personalizes the idea. You get the opportunity to raise yourself and the benefits of a production-based compensation model. No production, no additional compensation.
Each position should have a number of potential referrals to support its work objectives. While I don’t think we should be trying to get our families to buy our product, it is essential to set a goal for each member of staff. This goal should be easily achievable and require little effort. While we don’t want to distract them from their core duties, we want them to be motivated enough to ask for patronage.
Engage them. Invite them to the brainstorming tables and let them know that you value their ideas and knowledge. You might notice that many of my suggestions become internally organic after the buy-in is automated.
The process should be documented.
Now that you have their support, what do you do? You are likely to have some sales skills as a manager or business owner. Perhaps you have met people or done things that helped your business reach this point. How do you ask other people to spend their money at your business? These methods should be recorded!
It is essential to have a process or method that you can use to help others sell your products. A glossary should be created that describes your products and business. You can also include “taglines” that are appropriate for those descriptions. For example, if you’re in the pest control industry, you might not call the pesticides you use “chemicals”…”Product” is a more customer-friendly term. A similar example could be “spraying your home” or “treatment.”
Proper terminology and phrasing are essential for creating a positive image. As a business owner, you are automatically using this terminology….codify it and prepare to share it with those working for you.
You can also hire a consultant that specializes in these areas (shameless plug). Proper advice is often well worth the cost.
Get them to learn!
Employees should not only be told what to do but also how to do it. Training is always a critical factor in a company’s success. This is a case where the amount of training necessary to get a salesperson ready to go into the field is unnecessary. However, it is essential to have some basic knowledge.
They should be able to understand the following when they have completed their training:
You want the right kind of clients/customers. Who are your ideal clients? Which demographic is your most loyal client? This should be easy for your team to understand.
Describe the products or services that you offer and their working methods. Please be specific. Be specific.
What are the advantages of customers choosing your products and services over others? What are the benefits of your products/services to customers? Why should customers want it?
How do your business/products/services differ from the competition? What’s the competition doing? Why is it a benefit for you?
Team members need to understand the benefits and consequences of their participation. Recognize and compensate them for participating in sales.
How should they ask someone to spend their dollars with your organization/business? For some salespeople, asking for someone’s business can be awkward. This is especially true for those who don’t sell products for a living. It is essential to show them how to close the sale.
You’ve got the ball rolling. Now what?
Once everyone has engaged, it is crucial to reiterate the process and program consistently, track the results and keep them informed. Communication is essential, recognition is vital, and planned activity is necessary.
This, like many other aspects of business, will not produce immediate results. However, exponential growth can be achieved if you follow the process and create it. Good luck!