Strong sales skills are an essential element of building and growing a successful small business in Westchester County. Many times, entrepreneurs go into business because they’re passionate about their work, whether that’s running a day care center, providing medical billing services, manufacturing products, catering or anything else. Their expertise may not be in selling, and this hurts them in a competitive marketplace. Luckily, selling is a skill that can be learned.

SCORE Westchester’s upcoming two-session small business workshop, “Effective Selling Skills,”; features Jim Coleman. Over the past 25 years, Mr. Coleman has closed billions of dollars in sales for some of the country’s largest brands. He’s going to share his tips and techniques with Westchester County entrepreneurs in order to help them build their businesses.

During this two-session small business workshop, you will learn the 6 keys to effective selling. These include:

Key #1: Preparation
Effective selling starts with doing your homework. You must know more about your products or services than anyone else in the marketplace. What are your brand’s strengths and weaknesses? How do you stack up against your competition? You also need to research your marketplace. What are your customers’ primary challenges? How can you help them solve their problems?

Key #2: Relating to Customer
It’s essential that your customer feels like you understand them, and that you’re on their side. Smart sales people are really students of human psychology. Strong listening skills are very helpful. Understanding the pressures your customers may be under and what they need to be successful at their jobs will help you present your products and services in the most compelling way.

Key #3: Showcase Benefits
People often confuse features with benefits. Features are the specific details about your product or service; benefits are the ways in which your product or service could make the customer’s life better. Benefits can be practical, such as the fact that your offering will save the customer money or make them more productive, or they can be emotional, such as the fact that your offering will make your customer feel more confident or happier.

Key #4: Interact with Customer
Customers have very specific expectations about how they like to be treated by sales professionals in your industry. Understanding what they are and knowing the most effective way to interact with your customer is key. This can mean structuring your approach to be a consultant or guide rather than a vendor. Keeping the emphasis on helping your customer rather than selling your offerings seems counterintuitive but it can be a very powerful sales technique.

Key #5: Tackling Objections
Objections are a normal part of the sales process. You can’t give up when your customer presents a reason they can’t buy from you. Anticipating common objections and strategically developing responses that keep the customer engaged in the sales process is one of the most vital sales skills Westchester Business owners can develop.

Key #6: Seal the Deal
Asking for and closing the sale is the final and most crucial part of the sales process. Unfortunately, many entrepreneurs become very shy at this point. Timidity and subtlety aren’t helping you build your business. You need a clear, confident approach that helps persuade your customer to take the next step and do business with you.

Learn more about the six keys of effective selling and how you can use them to build your Westchester County small business at SCORE Westchester’s free 2-part workshop, “Effective Selling Skills.”; This event will be held on March 4th and 11th at the Mt. Vernon City Hall. Register now to reserve your space!

6 Keys to Effective Selling