Marketing and Sales for Small BusinessesHow to spend your available funds wisely Bob Goedjen Silicon Valley SCORE www.svscore.org
Marketing & Sales Overview • This segment will explain how to create a marketing plan and how selling is done • Elements of a Marketing Plan • Knowing your customers and their needs • Knowing your product’s or service’s value • Creating the marketing strategy • Creating the support tools • Budgeting and forecasting • Executing your sales plan
Market Planning HIGH LEVEL VIEW • WhoAre your customers going to be? • Where Are they located? • When Do they decide to buy your product or service? • Why Do they “need” your product or service? • How Will you find them or they find you? • What Is your product or service worth? • Do they have the resources to pay for it?
Marketing Plan • General description of your service or product • Customers; The specific ones you will focus on. • What issue/need do you solve/provide for them? (does it save time/money, make them happier?) Valuing your product/service. (price) • Competition; What alternatives do your customers have or who else can provide your solution to your customers? • How do you plan to reach them? (strategy) • A Marketing budget by month and sales forecast • www.smalltownmarketing.com, www.MarketResearch.com
Your Focus Customers Demographics • Location, occupation, gender, ethnicity, income, hobbies, recreation, age, etc. • How many potential focus customers/orders are there? This becomes your “Served Market” • Are they “End Users” ? (if not also describe the “End Users”) • How, where, and when do they look for your products or services? • Low hanging fruit! Your first targets!
What is your Message? • When You provide a service: • Customer needs assurance and you need credibility • References (from satisfied clients) • Licenses • Certifications • Detail description of what will be done and the time required as well as support you require of client • Guarantees • Liability Insurance
What is your Message? • When You provide a product: • Customer is concerned about: • Performance • Quality and reliability • Delivery • Price or cost of ownership • Is price competitive? • What if it doesn’t work? • Options of leasing, renting, return etc.
Pricing - How much do I charge? • How much value does the customer perceive? • Why do you need a price schedule? • What about payment terms? Up front charge? • Guarantees, policies on returns, • Discounts, Sales, introductory offers? • Lowering your price is always easier than raising! • Warning: PRICE may define VALUE in your customer’s mind
Tools to reach your target customers • Word of Mouth • Shows, conventions, fairs, associations • Mailers, brochures, business cards, • Promotions, free samples • Signage on your store or location! • Public Relations, Articles mentioning your company • Alliances and referals • Advertisements, listings • Salesmen, distributors, retail outlets, catalogs, web sites • Repetition! Help everyone remember your name or brand
Strategic PartnershipsMust be WIN-WIN • Joint Product Development & Offerings • Special Joint Promotions • Joint trade show participation • Web site links, combined customer databases • Cross Market Selling • Literature • International partnerships • Combined shipping or other support activities
Marketing Revenue and Expense Budgeting • Marketing is responsible for forecasting sales! (by month) • Marketing is responsible for planning expenses (by month) • A very critical part of your business planning!
SALESManaging your program • Types of sales: • Business to Business selling • Business to Consumer selling • In store selling (Retail stores) • 6 biggest mistakes made by sales persons
Preparation Is Key to Success • You have a marketing plan: • You have defined your potential customers Their Location, demographics, etc. • You know your product or service features • You have a price schedule, terms and conditions • You know who is your competition and their weaknesses • Your employees are trained & customer oriented? • You are ready to unleash a sales program!
Can Anybody Be a Successful Sales Person? • The Short Answer is Certainly! • Preparation (know your product/service description) • Positive Attitude of Confidence and Belief in what you are offering • Persistence • Practice your product/service description • Do not take Loss of Sale Personally (learn from every sale and lost sale) listen to your customer
Prospect Mining • Sales work is inefficient at best. • One on one sales time often is 20% or less of a full time sales person’s time • Optimize your time by filtering through lists of possible customers: • Take prospective customer lists and prune them for best chances • Plan visits to minimize travel and wait time • Follow up by phone if possible
Retaining Customers, GettingThem to Refer You to Others • Give them a bit more than they expect • Set proper and accurate expectations • Give them something more • Always ask for feedback and learn from it and ask for referrals if appropriate. • Leave your business card and brochure with them. Thank them for their business. • Follow up in weeks with thank you card • Consider an regular newsletter
Making the SALE • Be friendly, nice and sincerely interested in your customer • Emphasize benefits of buying and owning • Minimize natural buyer’s reluctance to make purchase decision • Money back or return privileges • Product or Price may not be available later • Guarantees, warrantees, assurances • Financing or credit
B to B versus B to C selling • More long term repeat relationships B to B • Dollar value per sale usually much larger • Investment in sales process longer and requires more time/cost investment • Buyer is usually more task orientated • Purchase is more planned and less impulsive • Decision sometimes made by more than one person and sometimes by a team
In Store Selling • Remember the purpose of stores is to make it convenient for customers to find, visit, see, learn and buy merchandise or services free of hassle, noise, delays, and frustration. • Therefore, customer service is number 1 • Other attributes include: Clean, bright, well lighted building, easy to find merchandise, cheerful knowledgeable assistants, adequate inventories, recognition of repeat and good customers • Or Buy it on the Internet
Six Biggest Sales Mistakes • Sales person appears too much in a hurry (not listening to customer) • Customer will become defensive if rushed • Sales person is late to appointment, does not return calls or appears distracted. • Sales person not familiar with customer’s application • Quotation is not responsive to customer’s RFQ.
Six Biggest Sales Mistakes(Continued) • Sales person disagrees with customer • Customer is always “right” even when wrong • Customer may not have communicated well enough or miss-understood sales person • May be testing if sales really is interested in the customer’s business • Consider cost of being right but not getting sale. • Sales person continues to sell after getting customer’s decision to buy
Secrets of Successful SellingGood Planning and Persistence • Questions are often the best selling tool • When visit does not result in an immediate sale provide an excuse to see customer again • Ask the customer for names of others that might need product or service • Follow up and continue to show interest in customer as well as sale.
Where are we ? Workshops and Seminars at 84 W. Santa Clara St., Suite 100 San Jose, CA 95113 408-288-8479 Counseling Sites at Entrepreneur Center Many local Chambers of Commerce Web Page: www.svscore.org
What can we do for you ? • One-on-One Counseling (unlimited number by appointment) no charge • Individual Counseling, normally two counselors for each client • E-mail Counseling, nationwide • Business Site Counseling • Business Assessment Program
What areas do we counsel? • Strategic & Tactical Business Planning • Marketing & Selling • Managing Programs • Reviewing Financial Data • Keeping Records
What areas do we counsel? • Hiring Personnel • Managing Staff & Volunteers • Serving Clients • Raising Funds • Writing and Obtaining Grants • We do not offer legal advice but may help you find such advice
What Training is available? Startup/Existing Business Workshop Nonprofit Workshop Consulting & Contracts Business Planning Franchising Taxes 10 Rules for Business Cash Flow & Finances