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Sales & Marketing Challenges Faced By Start-Ups

The greatest challenge for a start up business when looking at Marketing and Sales is where you start. There are so many people telling you, you should do this, that and the other.

Lets make it simple.

First lets look at what marketing and sales is, and put a simple definition to them.

Marketing = Lead generation + Sales = Lead Conversion

The work of marketing is to bring in qualified leads from lots of lead sources for example:

- Press advertising
- Pay per click advertising
- Website form completion
- E-mail campaigns
- Referrals
- Word of mouth marketing
- Joint venture marketing
- Social media engagement
- Networking
- Search

Qualification means they have a need, and they have money. You can spend a lot of time having meeting with people with needs, but no money. This is a waste of your time.

But where do you start?

To save you money, and a lot of wasted time, begin with working out whom your ideal customer is. What they are interested in, and what are their needs. If you try and market to everyone with all your products and services, you will achieve nothing.

Focus on a single persona with a specific need that you have a solution for. This will deliver you results.

Next, select one or two lead sources from the list above that suits your skill set and where your target prospect hangs out. Select ones that will give you the greatest result for the least effort.

Once you have a lead the sales process takes over. The sales process is:

Make the appointment

Take action and make the appointment with your prospect. You have the lead so this is a warm call. Dont email for the appointment, it may get missed. People buy from people they like; this is your first contact so make it count.

Problem identification

Once you are in front of your prospect its time to make friends. Your job is to build trust and credibility. You do this by being friendly, helpful, respectful, and asking great questions and most importantly, listen to what your prospect is saying.

The last thing you do is sell. Your mission is to get the prospect to buy from you. You do this by listening to the problems and suggesting solutions.

Once you have the agreed solution, suggest that you go away and prepare a proposal. Book your next appointment before you leave.

Answering objections

Dont send your proposal by email or post, present it to your prospect. Make sure you repeat their exact requirements. If you dont they will perceive you did not listen to them and this could end the sale.

Build the value of your proposal, and give the benefits before you talk about price. You want to build the value so it feels like the price does not matter from the solution and benefits you are offering.

Ask a closing question to test if they are ready to buy. If not, ask more questions to answer any objections.

Before your meeting you should work out all the objections the prospect could ask and work out the answer to each one. Preparation for the sale is key.

Closing the sale

Many people fear asking for the business, but it is simple when you know a few easy techniques. Below you will find two simple closing techniques. There are many more but these will serve you well.

The Alternative Close

The alternative close works by offering more than one clearly defined alternative to the customer.

Dont provide too many alternatives; two or three is often quite adequate. If you offer too many, the customer will be faced with a more complex decision in terms of choosing between them, and you need to keep things simple.

Note that this technique works well in many different situations where you are seeking agreement, not just selling products.

Would you prefer the red one or the yellow one?
Would you like one packet or two?
Which of these three instruments seems best for you?
Shall we meet next week or the week after?

How it works
The Alternative Close is a variant on the broader-based Assumptive Close. It works primarily through the assumption principle, where you act as if the customer has already decided to buy, and the only question left is which of a limited number of options they should choose.

What alternative closes can you think of for your products or services?

The Assumptive Close
Act as if the other person has made the decision already.
Turn the focus of the conversation towards the next level of questions, such as how many they want, when they want it delivered, what size they need and so on.


When shall we deliver it to you?
What will your friends say when they see it?
Will 20 cases be enough?
Where will you put it?

How it works
The Assumptive Close works by the Assumption principle, where acting confidently as if something is true makes it difficult for the other person to deny it. For them to say you are wrong would be to cast themselves as an antisocial naysayer.

Note: This is one of the most common closes used. Many other closes, such as the Alternative Close are variants of the Assumptive Close.

What assumption phrases could you say?

Bob Evans
Your Ideal Business Partner

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