Why There’s Only One Ideal Type of Salesperson

By Ronell Smith

Last year Rand Fishkin, a Seattle software executive, started an exciting Twitter thread when he let loose a provocative comment regarding sales tactics:

“Best way to sell something—don’t sell anything. Earn the awareness, respect, & trust of those who might buy.”

As you’d expect, the comments that flowed in ranged from total agreement to disagreement bordering on denouncement.

In many ways, everyone is right and wrong: Sales and salespeople get a bad rap, some of it deserved, in large part because the worst examples (i.e., pushy, sometimes sleazy tactics) stick out in our minds and override those occasions when salespeople were actually quite helpful.

We have our brains to blame for the contempt, says Clifford Nass, a Stanford communications professor and co-author of The Man Who Lied to His Laptop: What Machines Teach Us About Human Relationships, said in a New York Timespiece on the topic.

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Why There’s Only One Ideal Type of Salesperson Infographic

Don’t Forget About Good Customer Service When Growing Your Business

By Al Lopez, EGBI Executive Director

Too often, small business owners and startups are so focused on becoming known and marketing themselves to the wider public that they forget about the importance of good customer service. Either they fail to take into account customer satisfaction or they begin to take their earliest customers for granted. However, don’t let the pursuit of fast growth blind you to the need for good customer service.

First and most importantly, good customer service is the foundation of building a trusted brand with an engaged and loyal customer base. Especially in the digital era, the power of word-of-mouth marketing cannot be underestimated. If customers aren’t happy with the service they have received, they won’t just tell their friends – they will also let everyone on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram know about it as well.

But look what happens when you keep a close focus on customer service: you can convert regular customers into super-customers of your business. Marketers often refer to these super-customers as “brand ambassadors” or “evangelists.” And it’s exactly these ambassadors and evangelists who can really help your startup grow and take it to the next level. After all, it is much cheaper to retain a customer or gain a referral than it is to find a new customer.

The most obvious way existing customers can help to jump-start your growth is by bringing repeat business. You no longer have to worry about churning through customers and finding new ones. And, it is often the case that customers will trust you to take on bigger and bigger projects as they gain confidence with you. For example, a loyal customer who comes into your restaurant on a regular basis might decide to hire you for a big catering project that can help take your new restaurant in a new growth direction.

You also won’t have to worry about spending a bigger and bigger piece of your overall budget on marketing. Your customers will do your marketing for you. They will make word-of-mouth referrals for you and let everyone know what a quality product or service you deliver each time. Best of all, these are authentic reviews. Nobody is paying them to say something nice about you, and that’s something that readers or viewers will immediately recognize. Authentic customer testimonials can be very powerful indeed.

That’s why a satisfied customer is good, but a delighted customer is best. There are many ways to “surprise and delight” your customers with good customer service. If you’re paying attention on social media, for example, you can sometimes pre-empt any problems a customer might be having. It’s best to get ahead of a concern on Twitter than to let a few bad tweets get out there!

And, you can choose to surprise and delight customers around special times of the year – such as with a special year-end holiday gift. Even a small gesture – like giving away a complimentary dessert “on the house” to help celebrate a special anniversary – can create a very loyal customer.

So you can see why quality customer service is really the key to sustaining and growing your business. Every interaction with a customer can become an opportunity to deepen the relationship and ensure that your customers are as happy with you now as when they first started using your product or service.

In short, quick and rapid growth is not just about piling up new customers as fast as you can – it’s also about making sure that your existing customers are still enthusiastic about what you offer. Great customer service is the key to growing your business.

Customer service

Meet Monica Peña, EGBI’s New Marketing and Development Coordinator

Monica Peña will be assisting with the expansion of Economic Growth Business Incubator’s (EGBI) outreach by promoting programs and services through traditional marketing, social media, media outlets, and partnership development. She has an entrepreneur background including helping locally owned businesses as a strategist on marketing time management, promotion follow through, and maximization of their social media efforts. She has a strong passion for helping small businesses succeed and has been a supporter of EGBI prior to joining the team.

 

Meet Joni Foster, EGBI’s New Program Director

Joni Foster is Economic Growth Business Incubator’s (EGBI) new program director.  She has worked in the community economic development industry for over 25 years.  She is an experienced consultant, a skilled trainer, a former manager of a local loan fund for revitalization of inner city communities, and a serial entrepreneur, having launched her own businesses and numerous nonprofit organizations. For the past 5 years, Foster has worked as staff and consultant to the west coast-based Rural Community Assistance Corporation, developing new opportunities for rural economic development and entrepreneurship.  In addition, Foster has worked with the national financial intermediary, Local Initiatives Support Corporation, in various positions for over 17 years including the founder and executive director of the Jacksonville, FL LISC office for 11 years.  Foster has worked in urban and rural areas of the US, Nicaragua and Sierra Leone, and West Africa. Se habla espanol.

Barbra Boeta Accepts New Role as Executive Director at EGBI

With over 13 years experience working to grow small businesses within the Central Texas area, Barbra Boeta will transition from Program Director to Executive Director at the Economic Growth Business Incubator (EGBI).  For the past 6 years,she has spear-headed the organizations training programs and volunteer recruitment, she is looking forward to building and securing relationships in order to grow EGBI and local small businesses within the Austin area.

El recomendado de EGBI: Wester, dando soporte administrativo a pequeños negocios

¿Abrumado por el trabajo administratico de su pequeño negocio?, ¿Necesita ingresar y organizar la información de los clientes, archivar  gastos/recibos y subirlos a la nube y que no se pierdan?, ¿Requiere ayuda para enviar facturas a tiempo? ¿Ha decidido que es tiempo de diseñar una página web que se destaque más allá de la competencia? ¿Le gustaría  que lo acompañaran en una presentación o reunión de negocios en inglés? Wester proporciona apoyo administrativo a las empresas que necesitan estos servicios. La conveniencia de tener este tipo de colaboración con paquetes asequibles para elegir, es una valiosa fuente que permite a los propietarios de pequeñas empresas la posibilidad de concentrarse en el crecimiento de su negocio.

Verónica Trevisan, dueña de Wester  cree que ser empresario es tener la visión de ver una oportunidad de negocio detrás de una buena idea. Ejercitando su perspicacia empresarial, fundó Wester para dar apoyo administrativo a otras pequeñas empresas.

Como cliente graduado de EGBI, Verónica ayuda a la organización cuando se necesita personal adicional en eventos y exposiciones y ha trabajado en proyectos para traducir la currícula  y comunicaciones en español. También ha trabajado en otras tareas administrativas de la organización. Verónica ha sido reconocida por esta incubadora de negocios como voluntaria del año en el 2015. Ella también fue una de las 3 finalistas del Premio Capital de Texas bajo la categoría  Rising Star de Facebook en 2016; entregado por la Cámara de Comercio Hispana de Austin.

Para mas información, contacta a Veronica en info@westerbiz.com o llámala al 512.576.6637

Client Highlight: Wester, Providing Administrative Support to Businesses

Overwhelmed managing your home office like data entries, organizing information or receipts on cloud data sources, or filing paper work? Can’t seem to get your invoices out on time? Are you needing a web site that will stand out beyond the competition? On a deadline and need to create a PowerPoint in a hurry? Wester provides administrative support to businesses needing these services. The convenience of having extra assistance with affordable service packages to choose from is a valuable to source that enables small business owners the ability to focus on the growth of their business.

Verónica Trevisan believes that being an entrepreneur is to have the vision to see a business opportunity behind a good idea.  Exercising her business acumen she founded Wester to give administrative support to other small businesses.

As an Economic Growth Business Incubator (EGBI) graduate client, Verónica assists the organization when additional staffing is needed at events and expos and has worked on projects to translate curriculum and communications into Spanish. She has also worked on other administrative duties for the organization.  Verónica has been recognized by the EGBI as 2015 Volunteer of the Year. She was one of the finalists of 2016 Capital of Texas Award under the Facebook Rising Star category; recognition granted by the Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

3 tips para convertir tu pequeño negocio en una máquina de vender

Por Al Lopez, Director Ejecutivo de EGBI
Traduccion: Veronica Trevisan, Wester

Convertir el negocio en una máquina de vender es un problema muy común para los emprendedores. Ellos tienen una gran visión de su compañía, un excelente producto y tal vez inclusive una gran estrategia de mercadeo, pero no pueden hacer crecer sus ventas tan aceleradamente como quisieran. La solución es simple: un compromiso más efectivo con el cliente.

El problema para los que recién empiezan, es que todavía no se sienten cómodos con el proceso de venta. Ellos creen que su producto es tan bueno que se va a vender solo o están enfocados en presionar la venta de manera fuerte y rápida y nunca se comprometen con el cliente.

Si esto te suena conocido por experiencia propia, entonces aquí tienes algunos tips para convertir tu pequeño negocio en una máquina de vender.

Tip #1: Enfócate en una relación a largo plazo

Es fácil enfocarse en una venta a corto plazo. Después de todo, son las ventas rápidas las que van a poner dinero en el banco y ayudar a que el negocio crezca. No obstante, también debes tener una mirada de largo alcance en la relación con los clientes. Y esto es especialmente cierto si estas vendiendo productos relativamente caros o de alta gama. Necesitas desarrollar primero la relación y luego, construir tu credibilidad a través del tiempo.

Por ejemplo, digamos que acabas de lanzar al mercado un pequeño negocio de joyas. La primera vez que el cliente llega a tu tienda, puede que no hagas una gran venta. Pero si puedes educarlo acerca de los tipos de materiales que usas con tus joyas, o de los artesanos que trabajan esas piezas, así, estarás preparando al cliente para que efectué una compra más grande en un futuro.

Tip #2: Escucha al cliente

La mayoría de la gente cuando piensa en ventas, lo hace en términos de “repetición” de un guión o mensaje. Ellos piensan que existen frases perfectas que cerraran la venta. Ese no es el caso. Tú también necesitas escuchar al cliente. ¿Qué problemas trata de resolver? ¿Qué es lo que realmente está buscando?

Y este proceso de escuchar, incluye algo más que prestar atención a las palabras usadas por el cliente. Presta atención a su lenguaje corporal y a todo lo que ellos están diciendo con esa postura. Y si no estás seguro lo que ellos quieren, haz preguntas para entender. A menudo, la gente te dice que quiere una cosa, pero en realidad desean algo totalmente diferente.

Tip #3: Recuerda que el precio es solo un factor en la decisión de la compra.

Todo buen vendedor sabe que no se puede hablar del precio demasiado pronto (¡inclusive si el cliente pregunta!). Primero debes lograr que el cliente visualice el concepto de poseer tu producto o servicio y disfrutarlo. En ese momento, ellos podrían estar preparados a pagar cualquier precio que les digas.

Aquí un pequeño ejemplo: ¿Has ido a algún restaurante y visto “el especial del día”? Luego, el camarero/a llega a la mesa y describe ese especial de una manera tan deliciosa en detalles que simplemente no puedes evitar ordenar ese plato aún si es uno de los productos más caros de todo el menú.

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Y si finalmente no haces la venta, todavía puedes tener el compromiso de este cliente para cómpralo en otro momento. O puedes tomarlo como un proceso de aprendizaje para hacer que tu producto o servicio sea ofrecido de una manera aún más atractiva.

Una vez que tengas la respuesta a esa pregunta, tu puedes realmente volver tu emprendimiento en una máquina de vender. Puede que descubras que necesitas ampliar el rango de tus ofertas. O, que ciertos aspectos de tu producto o servicio simplemente no son lo suficiente atractivos para tus clientes. Al saber exactamente lo que tus clientes están comprando, te sentirás aún más cómodo con el proceso de vender, y eso es lo que realmente te permitirá ejecutar una estrategia de venta.

3 Tips For Turning Your Startup Into a Sales Machine

By Al Lopez, EGBI Executive Director

It’s a common problem faced by many first-time entrepreneurs in Austin. They have a great vision for their company, a great product and perhaps even a great marketing strategy, but they just can’t seem to grow their sales as quickly as they would like. The solution is simple: more effective customer engagement.

The problem is that many first-time entrepreneurs are still not comfortable with the sales process. Either they believe that the product is so good that it will literally sell itself, or they are concerned about pushing too hard and too fast so they never really engage with the customer.

If that sounds like your entrepreneurial experience, then here are some tips for turning your startup into a sales machine.

Tip #1: Focus on the long-term relationship

It’s easy to focus on the short-term sale. After all, it’s those short-term sales that are going to put money in the bank and help your business grow. However, you also have to take a long-term view of customer relationships. And that’s especially true if you are selling relatively expensive or high-end products. You need to develop the relationship first, steadily building credibility with the client over time.

For example, say that you have just launched a small jewelry business. The first time a customer comes into the store, you may not make a big sale. But if you can educate the customer about the types of materials you use in your jewelry, or the types of artisans who are working on these pieces of jewelry, you will be preparing the customer for a much larger purchase later.

Tip #2: Listen to the customer

Most people, when they think about sales, think in terms of a rehearsesd “script” or “messages.” They think that there is some perfect sales script that will convert every time. That’s just not the case. You also need to listen to the customer. What problem are they trying to solve? What are they really looking for?

And this listening process includes more than just the words that customers use. Pay attention to their body language and all the things they are saying with their posture. And if you’re not sure what they really want, ask questions to get clarification. Often, people may tell you they want one thing, but really have something entirely different in mind.

Tip #3: Remember that price is just one factor in the sales decision