Become a Selling Expert with These 5 Tactics

Brad Ferris Enmast

This week’s Connection Thursday brings you tips for improving your sales strategy.  Our guest blogger is Brad Farris. Brad has been advising small businesses since 2001. He’s the Founder of and Co-Host of Breaking Down Your Business, self-proclaimed the “Most Entertaining Business Podcast in the World.” He loves football (especially the 49ers), and cooking with his family. Chat with him on Google+ and Twitter!

Become a Selling Expert with These 5 Tactics

The Internet has totally changed the sales process—it’s true. Long gone are the days of the salesperson being in charge of the information. We all know that all it takes in today’s world is a quick Google search to find whatever details we need about a product. In fact, buyers can do all the research on a product they want. Then they decide where to buy it from, whereas it used to be the other way around.

However, one thing remains true: Behind every sale, there’s still a person. And people like to buy things from sources they know, like, and trust. So when you can become a resource and build the foundation of a relationship (trust!) with your audience, you can still connect with others and be the person they call when they are ready to make a purchase—even online.

Here are 5 tactics to help you becoming a selling expert on the Internet:

1.  Become an expert—and share your knowledge. 

People are looking for a solution to their problem, so anytime you can share information about what you know, you’re establishing yourself as an expert in your field. You’re showing you can, indeed, solve their problems.

How to do that:

  • Write blog content that addresses the FAQs you hear from prospects. Your customer is looking for those answers, too.
  • Educate your audience and inform them about your product/service.
  • Be a storyteller. Talk about how your product or service helped a client through a dilemma (and make your client shine.)
  • Go behind the curtain. Give your readers a peek behind the scenes around what you do to make them feel like part of your process.

2.  Be personable.

People see through phoniness and fluff. And the more sales-y your website and online voice looks and feels, the more likely you are to scare off new contacts. Keep it real and showcase the actual person behind your brand.

How to do that:

  • Highlight your team. Include photos, bios, and a few fun facts about the real human beings who make your business come to life.
  • Showcase your company values. Talk about your outings, group discussions, favorite hobbies, foods, etc. People like people, not businesses.
  • Avoid jargon. Vague, technical phrases like “business solutions” and “great customer service” provide no real information. Your online voice should make sense to other humans.

3.  Make introductions.

You need your face to be associated with your brand—and the only way to do that is to get out there and start meeting with people. Online interaction is great, but don’t discredit real conversation, either.

How to do that:

  • Attend workshops or association meetings targeted to your industry.
  • Be a speaker (or just attend) a relevant conference.
  • Get involved with a local organization.
  • Ask for introductions to be made through a mutual connection.
  • Volunteer for a cause you’re passionate about.

 4.  Create a valuable offer (and capture new leads!)

You can create awesome blog content all day long, but sometimes, you need to incorporate an interesting offer that gets your readers to move a bit further down the sales funnel. Even if it’s only an email address you’re capturing in exchange for the offer—you now have a way to keep in touch with that person.

How to do that:

  • Offer an eBook that explains how to be better at a certain topic.
  • Create a series of videos or podcasts available exclusively to those who opt-in.
  • Craft helpful templates users can download.
  • Host a webinar that goes deeper into one key area prospects need to know more about.

Remember: These offers should be for something truly valuable—they should outweigh your audience’s hesitation to hand over their email addresses. (P.S. No sales pitches here—save that for later.)

5. Make time.

You’ve worked hard to nudge your prospect toward the close of a sale—when they’re ready to commit, make sure you’re available to talk them through this last step. Sales are closed human-to-human, after all.

How to do that:

  • Make a phone call to a lead who engages with your content.
  • Go out for coffee to discuss a potential client’s questions.
  • Hop on a Skype chat for face-to-face troubleshooting.
  • Follow up on email inquiries with a real, non-automated response.

If you can follow all of these steps, the Internet is actually a helpful tool for your sales efforts—not a threat. Just remember, people want to buy from people they like and trust. Become the person you would want to buy from.