Last week Lauren shared some good news with us all (funding!) and what this funding will mean for her big idea...This week she returns and addresses the all important issue of sales, and attracting sales. Over to Lauren to explain all...
I’m not a ‘natural’ sales person, so in order to address the sales aspect of my business I started by thinking about my experience with sales up until now. In the corporate world, I’ve always been part of the delivery team responsible for getting customers the grand promises sales have committed to, and this has left me a little biased. Many problems I’ve seen in business have been because it is too easy to over promise and under deliver. And all the effort gone into getting a customer in the first place is undone by disappointment experienced later on about the service or product in question.
To me, a good sales strategy is first and foremost about having happy customers that come back to you time and time again. Although I’m moving into the online world, to me this principle is still valid. So before delving into the complexities of employing aggressive SEO techniques to get people to visit my site, I personally think my time at the moment is better spent ensuring that visitors to my site are wowed enough to return. If customers do not like what they see, my effort to attract them there in the first place is worthless.
So in this past week I have been asking myself this question: How can I give my customers something great, exciting and fun when they visit my website, and make them want to visit me again? How can I connect with my customers?
The first step for me is to ensure I have a strong brand. I’m a sucker for good branding. I’ll pick up any product off the shelf with a quirky tag line or nice packaging. I believe a strong brand will allow people to remember my site rather than the hundreds of others they visit on a weekly basis.
One of the most important exercises I’ve done to define my brand is simply by talking to people about my business idea. Friends and family have all had to listen to me. It’s been a valuable exercise, as they’ve challenged me with questions that I’ve not always been able to answer. And each time I’ve been stumped, I’ve tried to distil my idea further and make the concept clearer. That was exercise number 1 in branding, and later that became the first paragraph in the executive summary of my business plan.
Now, as part of my funding award, I’m working with my preferred supplier on the design of the site. My ideas on what my business was, and how I wanted customers to see it, were written down in the form of a design brief and sent across to her. I chose my supplier specifically for her branding expertise, and she’s doing a fantastic job working with me to ensure the design on paper fits with my idea, my philosophy and my brand. Once the branding is complete, work will begin on development of the website.
If you are also starting your own sales journey - you may want to readMaking Sales Calls - the Basics, and if you are currently looking at branding these tips from ReeRee Rockette (one of the first posts on Startacus) might help -Branding.
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