I worked for a start-up company a couple of years ago. I stepped in when the product was just hitting the market to create a business structure, formulate policies and procedures, run the daily operations and provide customer service. I was the only employee and had a unique opportunity to develop a business from the ground up without having the burden of worrying about the investment.
Before the first year I working for the company, we hit the million dollar mark in sales.
Here's how I did it.
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The product was unique - it took an outdated, less than useful product and updated it to meet the needs of the 21st century. It was an innovative solution to an age old problem. There was a void in the market waiting for this product.
I believed in the product. I've never been a salesperson. It was never my thing. But I started to hear from people how much this product made a difference in their lives and I felt good about selling this product. I had a passion for getting the product out on the market. It was doing good across the country, helping people who needed or wanted their mobility to stay active.
I talked to my customers, not at them. I've heard from many people that my technique as a salesperson is very good. But the truth is, it's not a technique - its an authentic conversation between me and the person on the other end of the line. I remember small details about them or their company and let them know I've paid attention, even if we haven't spoken in months. I call them by their name during the conversation, as though I am a friend and not a stranger trying to sell them something. I leave the sales decision to them by not putting pressure to buy now. I make them feel as though I'm giving them a special deal even when not.
I was consistent with what you say and what you do. If you say your product is low maintenance, then it better be low maintenance. If you say it's the Cadillac of other products in that realm, then it better be the Cadillac. Give people value for their hard earned dollars. People expect to get what they pay for. How you promote the quality of your product will impact your company's reputation. If you say your product is high quality when its not, then your reputation gets tainted.
I paid attention to the details while keeping my eye on the big picture. Whatever product you are selling, it's your livelihood, it's your bread and butter. It is vital that the product quality meet your standards but it's essential to have high standards for your product quality.
Stop making money for other people and take whatever risks you can afford to take to work for yourself!