Many businesses are too small to make it worthwhile having someone working full time on sales, and the job of bringing in new business is often left to the directors. Here’s how to set up an army of people to sell for you…without having to pay them any commission or salary.
Motivating the troops
First of all, you have to make sure that you’ve got something for people to get enthusiastic about. If you haven’t heard me going on about how you need to have a remarkable business, have a read of this or come and hear me talk about it.
Finding the right people
You need to find the people who will be enthusiastic about what you’re doing. These might be your friends and family, your customers, suppliers, or just people that like you. For The Joy of Business, there are lots of people who have been customers (maybe they’ve only come along for the free advice session, or they’ve been clients for a while) who tell people all the time about what I do.
There are other people who also provide services to businesses, and they know what difference I can make in organisations. And there are people who I’ve met through networking and have become friends. They constantly tell people about what I do and encourage people to get in touch for help.
Write down a list of all the people who have bought from you, all the people who work in similar fields. Do the same for all the people you know socially.
Training them up
Your army of salespeople needs to know what you do. This means that you have to train them – don’t assume that people understand it because they often don’t. Be very specific here, give them free samples, explain the work that you’re doing and talk about your work in detail. Don’t be afraid that you’re being boring, remember that we often don’t talk about our work with friends and that people get enthusiastic about the things that you’re passionate about.
Next, you need to explain to people how they can help you. Work out exactly what you need to do to sell more. Do you need to make contacts in a particular organisation so that the right person will come to a meeting with you? Is there a specific geographical area that you need to sell to? Do you need to meet people in a specific industry?
Explain to your crack troops what you need, and ask them to help you. We’re often afraid to ask people for help, but helping each other out is part of what makes us human. There’s a feel good factor in allowing people to help you. Think about all the times that you’ve helped people, and remember that it’s okay to ask, as long as you allow people to say no.
Getting some help for you
If this seems like a big task, or you’re not quite sure how to go about it, why not get some help in working out exactly how to do things. You can book a coffee and cake session, and I’ll help you work out a plan of action. And when you see how effective this form of marketing can be, you’ll be able to repay me by becoming one of those people who tell everyone else to get in touch.