All you need is 21 weeks to grow your small business. Or at least, that’s what author of “The SOHO Solution: 21 Selling Strategies For Growing Your Small Business“, Tom Abbott, will show you. In his book, Abbot recommends 21 strategies that you can employ – one for each week – to help you increase sales.
Abbott himself is a SOHO (small office home office) entrepreneur as well as a certified sales coach, and he pens down many of the ideas that have helped him explore better ways to sell. The ideas covers four key fundamental themes: (i) the customer, (ii) the product, (iii) presentation and finally, (iv) relationships.
Here are just some of the 21 strategies to give you an idea what you can expect:
1. Discover your niche.
Consider which market best suits your purpose, identify your expertise and pay attention to trends in the market.
4. Understanding the decision-making process.
Do you understand the differences between selling to a business-to-business (B2B) customer or a business-to-consumer (B2C) one? Do you understand the factors that influence them?
5. Discovering ways to reach customers.
There are many different ways to reach prospects; do you know which are the top ways you can connect with them?
7. Becoming familiar with your products.
Being a product expert will simplify and shorten the buying process for your customers, especially in a time when they have more choices available to them as ever before.
13. Creating a needs assessment.
Too many sales people make the mistake of trying to sell before fully understanding their prospect’s most pressing challenges.
17. Focusing on the future.
Learning from your clients and then acting on feedback helps keep your business viable for the future.
19. Developing your “expert power”.
One of the best ways to stand out from the competition is to become an expert in your field.
What I really like about “The SOHO Solution” is that it is well-structured – the chapters are organized according to the steps of the sales process – and concisely written. At between three to eight pages per chapter, it’s also easy to digest the practical tips within (so it even works for those who don’t tend to like reading) and then apply them to your own circumstances.
Abbott may have written these concepts for the SOHO entrepreneur, but I think it’s equally applicable to anybody who works in a sales or business development functions in a large organization. If I ran my own sales department, I’d buy this for every member in the team.