How do you achieve success in your business? Most likely, you strive to set goals for yourself, stay organized, delegate appropriately, participate in professional development, and prepare adequately for a day’s work. Doing all these things is an excellent start on your road to success, but we’ve come up with a list of actions you can take that will help your business thrive. How many of them have you mastered?
- Be assertive without making prospects uncomfortable. There is a fine line between assertive and pushy. Prospects have confidence in those who are assertive because it’s easy to tell that they are knowledgeable and believe in their product. Those who are pushy, on the other hand, tend not to listen to the prospect, fail to ask appropriate questions, and sometimes make him or her feel pressured to take action right then and there. Potential customers often shut down in response to a pushy salesperson because they don’t want to be rushed into a decision that may not be right for them. Always be sure you are listening to your prospect and responding to his or her social cues (eye contact, body language, etc.).
- Don’t rely on your prospect to make the next move. In your effort to avoid being that pushy salesperson, don’t go too far in the other direction by leaving the ball in the prospect’s court. You must still be the one to take action in order to close the deal. That action may be to come right out and ask for the sale when appropriate, or possibly to follow up at a later date by sending an email or making a phone call. Even if the prospect leaves the meeting saying, “I’ll be in touch,” it is important that you follow up after an appropriate amount of time has passed. Reach out to him or her and find out if there are any questions that still need to be answered or where he or she is in the decision-making process. A follow-up is an effective way to seal the deal.
- Be positive by limiting negative thoughts. Negative thoughts and self-talk have a way of taking over your brain. When this happens, you begin to doubt yourself and lose motivation. Replace negative thoughts with positive affirmations, pep talks, and reminders of all you have accomplished. Don’t just be your own worst critic; be your own best cheerleader as well. By reminding yourself regularly that you are intelligent and capable, you are driving yourself toward the success you so greatly want and deserve.
- Think from a customer’s perspective. Avoid getting wrapped up in how a customer’s action or response affects you. Put yourself in your customers’ shoes; doing so allows you to better understand where you may be falling short in some aspect of your business. For example, you’ve recently replaced one of your products for a higher quality, but pricier version. At the same time, you notice that some of your most loyal customers haven’t been around lately. After reaching out to them, you find out that they are disappointed that their favorite product is no longer available. You may have been so excited about the new product that you failed to see how a customer would be hesitant to try something new, especially if it costs more and they loved the old version. Taking a walk in your customers’ shoes is essential to the success of your business.
- Become a problem solver. Instead of being someone who sells a product or service to make a profit, be the person who provides solutions to customers’ problems. When the owner of an in-home daycare seeks out new customers, she emphasizes that her business provides the professional quality of child care in the comfort of her home. This solves a problem many parents have: where can I send my children while I’m at work that will be educational and nurturing at the same time? Her clients know that their children are getting the individualized attention and stimulation they need during the day so they can be the happy and well-developed children their parents want them to be. Figure out what problem you can solve for your customers and make it your number one priority to do so.
You can learn how it feels to be successful by putting your customers first. Listen to their needs while being assertive, think from their points of view, and solve problems. Your genuine interest in helping people will certainly shine through, and your business will succeed. What do you think of our list? Please share your comments below!