Every business owner needs to be able to sell, whether it's to clients, the bank, investors or even your employees; you need to be able to convince people your business is worth their time and money. That doesn't mean you have to be a hardnosed sales person or the stereotypical second hand car salesperson, this guide takes you through the basic sales skills you will need to help your business grow and prosper.

  • A strong sales story
  • Negotiation skills
  • Closing a deal
  • Knowledge is power

A strong sales story

You need to know your business inside out and this is even more important when it comes to selling the ethos of your business to others. Clarity is essential here, so make sure you inform people why they should be your customers. Be prepared for questions and aim to turn negative objections into positive ones.

  • Make sure you fully understand your own business
  • Keep it simple. Customers need to understand the main objectives of your business
  • Be ready to answer tricky questions positively

Negotiation skills

Being able to negotiate is just as important as being a confident seller. Customers and other business owners will expect to negotiate discounts and deals but as well as keeping customers happy you need to benefit financially too. Be firm and don't allow yourself to be pushed into offering discounts or special offers if your business can't afford.

  • Look at what sort of discount you can make work before offering it
  • If a discount doesn't work for your business at a certain time, let your customer know when it will
  • Don't lose out for the sake of offering a discount

Closing a deal

If your passionate about your business, chances are you'll be great at getting people interested. However, it could be a different story when it comes to closing that deal however big or small. Have figures and proposals down on paper, keep cool and calm and work to develop these skills or recruit someone who has strong skills in this area. Learn when to talk about money - read books on selling to find out more.

  • Have figures and proposals on paper, clearly and concisely set out
  • Know when and how to talk about money and keep calm
  • Read books on selling for more advice

Knowledge is power

Knowing your customer is the most powerful tool when it comes to selling. You'll need to know your customer, their needs, buying patterns and expectations inside out. You won't gain this knowledge overnight so ensure you keep detailed records on your customers including what they buy and when and how much they spend. Encourage repeat sales by offering inacenstives and a personal service so they feel they are getting special treatment.

  • Keep records of customers from the first sale
  • Offer them incentives to return
  • Make repeat buyers feel special

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