We are a start up company, we offer many services, however the problem we are facing is growing our client base. We are very active on social media sites I have tried cold calling, e-mailing I am used to rejection and move on from there, but I battle to close. It might be a lack of sales experience , as I was more part of operations in previous companies. I need to gain stability with regards to gaining various income streams, which I have, but cannot seem to get people on board to make use of our services. It is frustrating at times and I would like to know where or what i am doing wrong? I am a go-getter and do not give up easily and I would really like my business to succeed.
Thank you for your responses and feedback, really appreciated!
With regards to what services we offer: Recruiting, Virtual Assistant, CV writing, Management Consulting, HR Services. We are in South Africa - Cape Town and offer services Nationally. I understand that this is an extremely competitive industry to be in but with the correct guidance I am sure I can make this work. The challenge is being on your own with really no resources and no one to talk to that will understand what you are going through, hence joining this site.
Forget cold e-mailing or calling anyone-thats a waste of time and money. Heres what you gotta do:
- Find out who buys/uses your services. Create an average customer profile (Age, gender, occupation etc. )
- if you have a website, invest some time into SEM. That means SEO, optimizing your website to get it further up in search results, and SEA. with google Adwords you can create more page views and increase your visibility on Google, creating organic views.
- put sponsored content on facebook. with the help of your average customer profile you can target your specific audience. just beeing active is useless if noone sees your content.
- If you can, and i highly recommend you to do that, invest some time/money into content marketing. This means writing posts about specific subjects (that fit your product), publishing studies and releasing them on your website. you can easily fill these up with keywords, increasing your SEO.
- Create Videos. Create a Video with a lenght of MAXIMUM 2 min about your product. Put it on your website. This can not only increase your SEO, but it will also increase the time customers spend on your page.
- Create a 10 sec. video advertisment about your Product. Put that ad on youtube with the helps of google adwords. This can cost some money, but it will get you customers, since you have great targeting options on YT. You can always contact google for further information
Now, if you dont have the time (and money) for creating a video with the help of adobe PS and AE, i advise you to either use goanimate.com, a service that makes creating a very good advertisment very easy for newcomers, or hire a freelancer. At Fiverr you can get somone to create you a video for under 100$.
Hope this helped, for further information feel free to contact me.
depends on your digital presence and product/services. first of all you need to identify who are you competing with and then you can tell google or bing how much are you willing to pay to get people to go to your site rather then your competition. Linkedin is a good source for professional services and google is very good at selling products. Email is also a very good tool but you need to make sure it's not landing up in people's junk. Your email provider like exacttarget or edialogue can provide you those vital stats.
What type of service do you sell? Is your target market consumers, small business owners or C-Level Executives of larger corporatons; Mid Size companies? Sometimes, cold calling can work - but it depends on the market. It also depends on what you are saying and how you are doing it. In my current business, I've found tremendous growth for my company using meet-up and working through local networking organizations but I'm not sure that would work if you were selling a "mobile -app" for instance. Without giving away anything proprietary - can you describe your business a little more so other co-founders can help?
Thanks for your response.
Are the Management Consulting Services you offer centered around HR issues ? What are HR Services? I would think Recruiting, Virtual Assistant and CV Writing are HR Services - if so it would be clearer to just say something like:
Hi my name is X Y, of XY Consulting. We provide a suite of HR Services to Small Business Owners that does (feature 1) and (feature 2).
Whether or not you are saying that statement for the first time over the phone, at an in-person networking meeting or through content management via the web is irrelevant. You cannot enroll another person in a vision statement or as some would say a unique selling proposition that doesn't exist.
One thing I would recommend is joining a networking group such as Business Networking International (BNI). BNI groups are designed to help you connect with other business professionals in your local area for the sole purpose of growing your business through referrals made by other members. It also gives you a safe platform for determining what works and what doesn't work in communicating who you are and what your business can and cannot do for other business professionals.
Below please find two links for the Northern and Southern Peninsula's of South Africa. To view the South Peninsula pages please visit www.bni-southpen.co.za and for the Northern Peninsula, www.bni-northpen.co.za ;
I joined a BNI Group here in the United States over 3 years ago and it has been the best thing I've ever done for my business.
I'm totally confused by the replies, except the on from Katie Taylor, that, IMO, actually asked the right question. What is it that you are selling and who is your "named" customer?
Sales is not a mysterious black box. While there is a lot of "art" involved and "relationships" often do play a great role, successful selling is fundamentally grounded in data about your customer, your market, your competitors, and, depending on the industry, your timing. Furthermore, more leads/emails/calls does not mean more sales. More "qualified" leads/emails/calls, however, does mean more sales.
There is no "one size fits all" answer to selling.
If you give us more information, the community here would likely be able to offer some real advice that you can use.
Thank you! I will make contact privately to all that have offered assistance. I am really impressed with this site and the support and advice I am receiving, it really has helped me and I am ready to try out what has been suggested in your comments. It is always good to hear other people's opinions in business and if this site can help me get to where I want to be then this site is what I need.
Be very honest with yourself as to whether you are really a salesman. If not then please please please go out and find a trained salesman - and a very experienced one. Do not waste any further time trying to do it yourself if that is not what you are. Sales is the number 1 thing in a startup. Your fabulous idea is absolutely nothing unless you sell it.
For persuasion in sales you must address three points: 1) Personal benefit, 2) Dramatic difference, and 3) Reason to believe. If you understand the difference between a benefit and a feature you're on the right path for number one. For number two, people don't switch for small differences, what you think is dramatic is probably smaller than the customer thinks. It's been shown that a 20% difference is not significant enough for most people to switch. And third, the reason to believe might include testimonials, but something that the potential customer can evaluate on their own without suspecting the source as biased is much better.
Advertising tactics mean very little if you cannot conquer these three elements of persuasion.
The business environment only seems competitive to you because you aren't different enough. Think more about how your company can be dramatically different, provide personal benefits to the decision makers, and be authentically credible. Changing these things about your business, not your sales techniques, will get you a much larger slice of customers once you do decide to advertise.
I have found, in developing my own businesses and in working with clients, that personal contact is the best way to grow your customer base. Find local business groups, Chambers of Commerce (if they exist in your area), and seminars, and attend as many as you are able. Learn to do a quick summary pitch of your business and product, and then learn to listen and ask questions. Through the discussion that follows, you can introduce your service or product without seeming to be "selling". Once you have customers, ask for referrals and think about creating a referral program through which existing customers get some reward for sending clients your way.