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Powerful back-to-business basics

Have you taken a moment to reflect since COVID-19? Now is the time to reflect on your business and try some of these business basics to bring back the power in your business. Though there are many challenges being faced during this time, we can start with this practical advice to start to move our businesses forward. Here are five powerful back-to-business basics that you should be focusing on.

BASIC 1: Work on your pitching skills

“Go for the mutual win”, says Mike Anderson, respected author and founder and CEO of the National Small Business Chamber (NSBC). “A successful deal is where both parties walk away feeling that they have won. Your negotiation skills have a lot to do with this.” You need to think like a doctor and focus on taking your client’s pain way. Find the decision-maker and speak only to them. Make sure you listen actively to your client and be the last one to speak. Know what part of the deal will make you walk away and when this happens walk away. Be the guru on your industry and your product or service offering. You should be able to solve your customer’s problem there and then, and be able to make quick decisions. Ensure you remain patient and composed during the process and, finally, always build rapport with your clients and prospective clients. People like to buy from people they know and trust.

BASIC 2: Look at your competitors

Dr Thommie Burger, founder of JTB Consulting, states that your competition might just be the ones who point out your strengths and weaknesses. They may also help you focus and set your concentration on what you’re really good at. Your weaknesses help you become better, while your strength drives you to achieve more.

Stop seeing competition as a challenge to your business, instead see how your fellow entrepreneurs can make you a better entrepreneur. If you don’t believe this see Dr Thommie Burger’s ’11 Reasons Why Competition is Good for You’. “The reality is competition is everywhere. No matter what business you’re in, you will benefit greatly from studying your competition,” he writes. Learn more about loving your competition here.

BASIC 3: Sell more to existing customers

“Your biggest salespeople are your customers. People do business with people they know and trust and mostly with people they like. If a customer realises that you care about them, they are more likely to refer other potential customers to use your services” says Themba Nkuna, author, sales coach and founder of How to Sell Academy.

You’ve heard the saying ‘it’s cheaper to keep an existing customer than it is to acquire a new one’. Themba Nkuna shows you how you can win by delighting your existing customers.

He writes, “Once you have established reliable relationships with your existing clients, opportunities to resell, upsell and cross-sell will emerge, as a result there might not even be a need to allocate a comprehensive budget to advertising because of the relationships you’ve built with your existing customers.”

BASIC 4: Start following up

Aaron Beashel from Qwilr states that by following up with clients and taking a proactive (not reactive) approach during and after the sales process, you create extra touchpoints to check and see if they’re pleased with your service or if there is an issue you may need to address.

“Generating sales is now, during COVID-19, more important than ever. Wondering why you can’t seem to close any deals? It could be because you are failing to keep in contact with your prospects while they are in the “consideration phase”, writes Aaron Beashel.

“Maintaining contact during your prospect’s “consideration phase” (and even after a contract is signed) keeps that trust high and lets them know that you care. This makes it more likely for you to have happy clients who will stick around for a while, giving you a high lifetime value per client.”

BASIC 5: Learn to embrace failure

Will Smith, actor and investor, says “you actually have to seek failure. Failure is where all the lessons are”.

“Ultimately, success is not guaranteed. You are going to face business challenges, but being able to find the lesson in each failure is what will likely lead to your success”, argues Will Smith. You can learn more about what he has to say here.

Article first published by SME South Africa and adapted by the NSBC.

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