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Selling your product or service

Provided by Business Partners Ltd, South Africa's leading investor in SMEs


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You may not see it this way, but no matter what type of business you operate, you will have to sell. Whether you are selling your product, your service or simply your company's reputation, you have to be good at it to guarantee the long-term success of your enterprise.

Direct selling can take many forms, including literally going out to make sales, marketing and advertising. To stake your claim to a certain customer base, you have to do a lot of hard selling, either to demonstrate the unique selling points of your product or service, or to convince people of your idea, how it works and that it fulfills a need or desire.

Making sales requires a certain set of skills, so if personal selling is not your strong point, you'll have to employ or partner with someone who is a good salesperson. Employees who are not sales people, but deal directly with clients, also need training in good customer relations and service.

Advertising your business is another way of attracting sales. How and where you advertise, will depend on the type of product, your target market and the goals you are trying to achieve. Budget is also a major factor.

A not-so-obvious way of boosting your sales is the way in which you display your product. This includes your branding, packaging and the occasions where you promote your goods at a trade event, for instance. Also, many small businesses don't pay attention to the way their goods are displayed in their shops, when in fact it influences whether you make a sale of not.

Do some research on this aspect of business and consider calling in an expert to help you or mentor you so you can do it yourself in the future. The type of product you are offering will dictate the way it's presented, so consider all these factors when planning this part of the selling process.

While your sales strategy is one of the most important facets of business, don't forget to keep the budget under control, as you don't want this to dent your profits in a big way.

Many SMEs are so passionate about their idea or product that they forget to focus on how they will make their customers just as excited about it. So now that you have some insight into the selling process, you can start planning your course of action, or review your current system.

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