Sales – the unfortunate truth is that any business small or large has to have sales. Your business might be producing a product, in the case of my readers it might be something they baked. I am just like a lot of you. I like to bake, but dread selling. At least that was the case when I started my business. The thought of attending a networking opportunity like a Chamber of Commerce meeting made my stomach churn.
The scenario started with walking into a networking event. My palms would be sweaty and I would scan the crowd for a friendly face. Often I would grab a cup of coffee hoping someone would approach me. Sometimes that happened, sometimes not. If not, the only choices were to stand there alone looking out of place, or approach someone else and strike up a conversation. My first few events were miserable. I felt so out of place, and it showed. I had no idea of how to turn those type of situations around, and frequently left feeling like I had wasted my time and money.
Marketing Mindset Adjustment
After awhile, I got tired of feeling that the marketing efforts were useless. After all, I was in business to make sales, and sales are the byproduct of marketing. I faced the fact that I had to equip myself with some “how -to’s” for those who are afraid to network.I started getting serious about marketing techniques that I felt comfortable with.
- Change the focus for networking events. Make sales a byproduct. Instead scout out new friends. After all “strangers are just friends we have yet to meet”. A lot of the people at those events are just as nervous as you are. You know how you are just hoping someone will talk to you – well they are feeling like that too. Make the first move and you both win.
- A lot of people envy those with the gift of gab. You know what I mean, those natural extroverts who never met a stranger. My dad was the type of person who could easily strike up a conversation with anyone, anywhere. I always wished I was like that. I am not denying that extroverts have a gift, but introverts can learn tools that help them get past their shyness
- Be happy with who you are, and what you are selling. “Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else.”. That is so true. No one is impressed with phonies. If you bake quality products, feel confident that the world is hungry for the fresh homemade products you offer. Let me say that again, all those products sold in stores that are pumped full of artificial chemicals and preservatives are pretty much the same. Everyone truly appreciates homemade products. That is the niche we are talking about filling.
How do you know what to say?
That is the $64 question. If you are a stay at home mom or someone who never had to do sales before, knowing what to say to others who someday might be your customer is really important. Unfortunately, many have no idea how to approach selling. It is like expecting to be able to speak another language without ever studying that language. Luckily, there are some simple tricks that you will be able to learn in short order.
I bet you did not know that all you need to get started is a two sentence introduction. One of the teachers I have learned from, Barbara Lopez teaches you how to prepare that short “speech”.
Well, you know how some people* have…(insert pain point/problem)?
Pause and wait for acknowledgement.
Well, what I do is……(insert answer/solution)
*The word people can be exchanged for whomever your target market is.
So, let me demonstrate that.
You know how a lot of people would love to be able to make money baking but they simply have no idea how they can get started?
Well, what I do is help them do what it takes to get started. Sometimes the main problem they have is finding a to kitchen to work in, and in a lot of cases, all they need to know to get started is what the laws of their state are. I specialize finding solutions to get started on a small scale if at all possible, and working toward growth without a lot of debt.
Next time I will talk more about this. It is important that we bakers learn how we can make sales and build our businesses. With my corporate catering company, I had to force myself to learn how to sell. Learning how to do that took time because in the beginning I did not know tricks like I have covered today. I just wanted to let you know that we will talk about things like this in the free mini coaching sessions I have. If you would like to attend, just click on the link and sign up. If you would just like to talk one on one, please check out my coaching services.
Please leave any questions in the comment area and I will try and answer them here on the site.
photo credit: Jackson, Donovan, and Anna