In a perfect world of business you could pick up the phone or attend a meeting and walk away with a folder full of closed sales. What is the life cycle of a sale? They all vary, but there are some standards and steps that many sales calls and prospecting meetings go through until they reach the “sign on the bottom line” portion of a meeting.
As a business owner you will wear many hats. Unless you have a sales force behind you, one of the hats you will don will be “sales person.” Every business owner is a salesperson, but the extent of the amount of selling you need to make will vary.
If you imagined you’d be only focusing on your core competency, you need to step back and realize in order to work our core competency — you need to have a client.
In business, you are always selling if you want to thrive.
What Is The Life Cycle Of A Sale?
Take heed of these steps and work them into your daily routine. Marketing will be part of your business tasks until you can hire a sales team — even in that case though you still may be the one who jumps in and closes the deal.
Always be prospecting. Meet people– in person or on line. Pick up the phone and call former colleagues. Ask for referrals. Where are your ideal clients gathering? Go there. Build relationships.
Relationship building is the most important component of any sales cycle.
Who is your ideal client and how does what you do or sell address their pain point? Keep that in focus when you’re talking with prospective clients.
Listen. Listen. Listen. Don’t fall over yourself giving a pitch.
Take notes. Wrap up the conversation in an email after the meeting is over.
Tell the prospect you will be in touch — then follow through.
Once the contract has been signed, the real work begins — give the client what he believes he is getting and more!
Rex Richard is a business coach who works with his clients from idea to fruition and beyond. Reach out to him if you’re struggling with any aspect of your business operations.
If you want to have the best day at the office — whether you’re working from home or in your office — a great day starts the night before. Stick with me because once I get done you will understand what I mean and you will want to incorporate some of these routines.
Coronavirus has changed the routines of many of us, but one thing that remains the same is the way in which you end a day will have a profound impact on how you greet the new day
A Great Day Starts The Night Before
Move and stretch. If you’ve been sitting at your desk all day, your muscles are cramped and crimped. Get out of the chair and do some stretches. Touch your toes. Do jumping jacks. Twist. Look for an online yoga class. Meditate. Do what you need to do to rid yourself of the stressors of the workday. When you leave the office — no matter if it’s the home office — you want to face your off-hours feeling refreshed.
Before you fall asleep, count your blessings. Better yet, write them down. Jot down something you’re grateful for at work, in your family and life and your health or whatever strikes your fancy. Even in your worst days, you can usually find something to be grateful for. Read your journal and look at what you were grateful for yesterday; this is a great way to start a day on a positive note.
Plan and prep meals. If you find yourself in front of the camera all day in Zoom calls it’s difficult to find a way to sneak in a meal. This is especially true if you find yourself with thirty minutes between calls — what will you eat? How can you get something quick and nutritious? Pre-planning helps. Don’t waste precious minutes trying to decide what to eat. Plan what you want to eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner and prep what you can the day before. If you’re planning to have tuna salad for lunch, make it the night before, then the next day you can easily put it on some bread with some sprouts and viola — lunch without any muss or fuss!
Go to bed when you’re tired. Don’t fall asleep on the couch then drag yourself to bed at some late hour. When you’re tired that is bedtime. Take a bath. Do as much pre-bed prep before you go to bed. If you’re tired, then have to go outdoors to walk your dogs, then come in and brush your teeth and lay your clothes out… you will wake yourself back up then toss and turn. There is nothing better to help you face a day than a good night’s sleep.
Monsoons, hurricanes, fires and the coronavirus storm really kicked a lot of business owners in the bank account. How did your business pivot during the coronavirus shut down? Did you have to shutter your doors? Did you manage to make the changes necessary to retain clients and keep your bank account healthy enough to keep the lights on? If so, congratulations! We do have tips for weathering the coronavirus storm (whether it continues or if you’re faced with other “storms.)
Do you have a physical location out of which you have to operate? What did you do when you couldn’t access it — whether because of Mother Nature or the coronavirus? Did you have another location from which you could work? Did you have to send employees home to work? Did they have the equipment they needed and did you have the infrastructure to help them work productively?
Entrepreneurs need to find ways to deal with entrepreneurial intangibles. Getting knocked off your path because of things beyond your control. Are there items your business plan didn’t address because you just couldn’t have ever imagined them? Hello, again COVID-19.
Here are steps to implement right now to help maintain an even keel and thrive in the midst of a storm:
What is the business vision? Can you still see it even during a storm?
Does the mission for the business and the way in which you deliver your products and services clear?
How much input does your team have to keep your mission and vision tangible in everything they do?
What are the individual roles and responsibilities your team has in the midst of a crisis?
Are you standing up front and center in the midst of the storm? Are you doing all you can to inspire and hold yourself as accountable as you hold your team? You need to lead by example.
If you didn’t come out the other side of the 2020 storm with your bank balance in the black, you need to take steps now to help you weather the next storm and you just know there is one brewing.
It’s not always possible for a person to say, “I quit!” then jump into being a business owner. You need to make plans. I recommend having enough money in the bank to cover your living expenses for several months. Don’t focus on paying the bills if you’re focusing on starting a business — it’s putting a lot of stress and pressure on yourself. I have tips for how to start your business without quitting your day job. You have probably heard of a “side gig” and that is the approach I am talking about.
I do caution you though, that at some point you will need to “give your notice” at your day job and make the move to full-time entrepreneurship IF you want to be fully self-employed. You will need to jump in and take the chance on yourself.
Start Your Business Without Quitting Your Day Job
Here are some ways to make the most of the resources you have available and scale your part time side gig to full time entrepreneurial endeavor.
Don’t give it away for free. By “free” I mean truly for free or by pricing your goods and services so low that you may as well be giving it away for free. You need to value your gifts and you need to charge for them. Potential clients will de-value your products and services if you’re not charging appropriate fees for them.
Know the value of the products and services you’re offering. See what the competition is charging. Determine what you need to make a living then price your goods and services accordingly.
Be a freelancer in the field you want to start your business in – if possible. If you want to be a full time writer, take on freelance gigs. If you want to be a full time dog groomer, become an intern or freelance or groom your friends’ pets. Gain experience and use that toward furthering your goal for becoming a business owner.
Focus on a niche. Don’t think you have to be everything to everyone… you can’t. Find a niche and make your mark.
What skills can only you perform in your business and what skills do you need to contract out? If you’re an accountant and are not well-versed in copywriting or social media or making graphics, contract those marketing tasks out.
Decide what you need to have to make you feel like you can make the leap into full time business owner. Is it money? Is it a specific number of clients? Once you know your must-haves you will have the freedom to let go of the full time job.