As a small business, you may not be able to match the advertising budget of your larger or more established competitors. But the most powerful way to get a person or a company to do business with you remains a face-to-face presentation. Fortunately, as a small business owner, you can do just as good a job at face-to-face sales presentations as your largest competitor can. In fact, if you are competing with a really large business, you can do even better—because you make the sale presentation yourself!
Being the owner and making the presentation can be very persuasive, even if you are not a polished salesperson. Chances are, your bigger competitors won’t be sending their CEOs. It sends a strong message to prospective customers that their business is very important to you.
A much larger competitor might be 100 times larger than your business—and might have 1,000 times more products—but when it comes to a one-on-one sales presentation, you will be on equal footing. If you, the owner/manager, are making the pitch and the competitor is just leaving the pitch to its salesperson, you have the advantage.
In addition to just making the sales pitch and showing that your customer’s business is important, your presence as the owner/manager personifies your company and your product. The prospective customer identifies the company with you!
People Like to Help the Underdog
People generally like to help the underdog, especially if they get to know whom they are helping. As the owner/manager of your business, you probably know the ins and outs of your product a lot better than the competing salesperson. You also have a lot more at stake!
Face-to-Face Selling Blows Away Internet Marketing Every Time
Face-to-face selling can require a lot of time, energy, and expense, but the payoff can be tremendous.
Despite all of the new high-tech alternatives, an in-person sales presentation is the single-most powerful marketing tool in use today. National television advertising, telemarketing, Internet advertising, email, and print advertising have nowhere near the ability to motivate a particular customer to actually place an order as does face-to-face selling. Think about it: Who are you more likely to purchase a product from—the owner of a company sitting in front of you, presenting his or her products, or a faceless entity on the Internet?
Despite any fancy PowerPoint presentation or other dog-and-pony show you might use, your most effective selling tool will be your verbal presentation and interaction with the prospective buyer. In almost every case, the owner of a small business will be able to make the most effective sales presentation, even more so than someone with more extensive sales experience.
When you are starting out small, you are probably going to have to do a lot of selling yourself to jump-start your business. Your effectiveness as a salesperson will be an absolutely critical factor in the success of your business. Later, as your business grows and prospers, you may be able to delegate more and more of the selling process to your employees.
The majority of products and services being sold business to business, as well as many sold to consumers, can be sold by a personal sales call. If you’re like me, when you start a business you’re probably not really looking forward to making sales calls. But you might be surprised by how, with a little practice and effort, you can become very good at it—and how important it can be for small business success!
Takeaways You Can Use
- No matter how large your competitor, one-on-one sales puts you on equal footing.
- A personal pitch by the business owner is the ultimate sales presentation.
- Being the underdog can be an advantage.
- Your most effective selling tool . . . is you!