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How Effective is Your Sales Cycle?

Aug 17, 2007
If you are an independent professional or small business owner providing services, here is a simple four step sales process you can use to close more sales and expand your business.

1. Generate Leads

Developing a list of prospects to market to should be one of your core marketing activities, and one of the main goals of your website. Some traditional ways to generate leads include asking for referrals, networking, writing articles, or speaking at professional associations and conferences.

You can also generate leads online by offering an enticing giveaway report or ecourse at your website, submitting articles to online directories, writing a blog, posting to someone else's blog or a discussion forum, using pay-per-click ads, and advertising in ezines or at websites.

2. Fill your Marketing Funnel

Growing your business often comes down to a numbers game - the more people you have in your marketing funnel who are interested in your products and services, the more likely you are to be financially successful. Save a list of all your contacts in an online database so that you can easily follow up with them and keep in touch. Implementing a marketing funnel strategy can have a huge impact on your profitability. Giving the customer alternatives can be an effective way to make more sales.

3. Keep in Touch

The more frequently and consistently you follow up with prospects and clients, the better your chances of growing your sales. You can follow up with a phone call or an invitation to coffee or lunch. Or, you can keep in touch with an email, a newsletter, an article, a postcard, or an invitation to a no-charge talk. Have a way to contact your leads at least seven to nine times because most people aren't ready to buy the first time they meet you or visit your website.

4. Open the Relationship

This is my term for 'closing the sale'. I like to reframe the beginning of the sales process as 'opening the relationship'. It sounds less intimidating. Your goal in following up is to develop a relationship with prospects and demonstrate your expertise, not to promote sales. This is your chance to demonstrate that you really understand the challenges they are experiencing, and that you can help them solve their problems.

Get people interested in who you are and what you have to offer before you try to sell them anything, and your sales efforts will become effortless sales.
About the Author
Jan Marie Dore teaches women business owners secrets to success. Sign up for her savvy and smart FREE e-zine and receive a 30 page Bonus Workbook 'The 7 Critical Small Business Marketing Mistakes Women Make. . . and Solutions to Easily Fix Them' by visiting www.femalepreneurs.com
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