If you were to look up the definition of sales, you might see something like: the act of selling something : the exchange of goods, services, or property for money. Sounds simple enough, right? But if you were to ask any sales professional if this describes their career, the answer would be a loud NO!
When you think of a sales person, what do you associate them with? Used cars? Electronics at a department store? The truth is that we are all in sales in one way or another. You see, sales is not always about the exchange of goods or services, it’s about the exchange and acceptance of ideas as well.
I know many business owners that are really good at their chosen profession but not so great at sales. When you first start a business your biggest problem is obscurity, people do not know you exist. You might be the best cleaner in the USA but if you have no one to clean for, you’re out of business before you start.
You must bring the service to the prospects and convince them to give you a try. I have worked with many new business owners that use our telemarketing program. Even though I explain that a lead might not be considered ‘hot’, many still expect a stronger interest when we schedule them to see a prospect.
I have had plenty of potential clients tell me they are happy with their current service, it’s up to me to give them a reason to try us, without being critical. It’s up to me to give them new information that may change their mind, maybe improved quality or a more efficient schedule. I never try to sell on price by the way, if they switch to save money once they will switch to the next guy that comes along as well.
If someone thinks that they can start a business, and wait for people to find them, they will be very disappointed. Yes- you will get some referrals and people will find you, but not enough for steady growth and profitability. The bottom line is that you must have better than average sales skills to start and grow a cleaning business.
If you’ve never had any sales training here’s a few good places to start:
- Read- I recommend anything written by Grant Cardone, Brian Tracy, Zig Ziglar and Bob Proctor.
- Network- You must know someone in the sales profession, offer to buy them lunch or meet for coffee to ask for a few pointers.
- Attend a sales seminar or find one online.
- Listen to a podcast about sales while you clean or drive.
These are just a few of the ways you can improve your selling ability, without it, you will need to delegate to someone else and most new businesses cannot afford a sales professional. You will wear many hats as a cleaning service owner, one of them will be sales pro, at least in the beginning.
When you’re first getting started, the single most important thing is sales. You must fight the obscurity and spread the word about your business. Next week I will be writing about the sales process, from prospecting to the close. Be sure to check back.