When it comes to your social enterprise, it is important to hold true to the notion of ‘always be selling’. The power of sales for a social impact company is tremendous. Connect with like-minded folks. Share your story. Share your company. Listen to their stories. That is the start of a sales process. By staying silent and not sharing your social impact ventures with anyone you interact, you do yourself a disservice. As mentioned in this Global Grassroots Consulting video, “you could find your next great client, you could make your next great sale” if you stay true to this idea. Yet, for many people, this activity may seem awkward. On the contrary, it can be a very natural process. In this blog are tips to help you sell your social impact company without being too ‘salesy’.
Don’t Judge a Book by its Cover
No matter who you talk to, no matter who you meet, do not shy away from sharing with them what you do. Share your work with anyone and everyone. You never know who they are or with whom they are connected. Each person you speak with quite possibly could get you closer to your professional goals. Judging a book by its cover limits you and your network. Never set limitations on yourself, nor your network. Look beyond the cover to find a common ground that brings forth mutual support and respect.
Have a Normal Conversation
The most important, and least understood component of sales is the structure of the conversation. Many people in a sales process, tend to put on this quintessential sales persona that they see in the movie, The Wolf of Wallstreet. Yet for most, this tactic will not work. In actuality, authenticity is what sells. As our CEO, Ian Shepardson, mentions in his video, be yourself in your sales process. Have a normal conversation. Learn about the person you are speaking to and share with them your story. Listen and pay attention to what they are saying. When the opportunity arises to talk more about your company and what you do, share. When you share, you open up to hear the other person’s opinions.
Schedule a Meeting
If you find that after meeting someone and sharing your work, there is a possible business relationship to be had, schedule a meeting. It is nearly impossible to strike a deal with someone upon first meeting them. By scheduling a meeting, it proves that you are serious about building a mutually beneficial relationship. Meet for coffee. Meet at a local sandwich shop. Meet on Zoom. Whatever method you use, make sure that you schedule a meeting with people you feel a connection to. Then, prepare for the meeting to ensure productivity.
Do Not Oversell
No one likes a pushy salesman. Follow the flow of the conversation. Put yourself out there, but if the person does not reciprocate, pull back. Continuing to push your agenda without acknowledging the disinterest of the other person, will only hinder the relationship. As stated earlier, have a normal conversation. If the conversation leads to further business discussion, share what you need to share and gauge their interest.
Sales is a fun process. Interacting with like-minded folks, sharing stories and talking business can lead to some interesting conversations. Sales becomes limiting when expectations are set. Quotas and high self-standards can lead to frustration. It is easy to tell how a sales person feels based on how they carry their conversations with new connections/prospects. If you simply have fun with the process, the people you speak to will enjoy the conversation and will therefore want to speak with you more. It’s only natural.
Global Grassroots Consulting earned its first two clients by being authentic and having fun with the process. We scheduled meetings with them to discuss business, and it turned into a working relationship! Sales does not have to be a painful process. Just make sure that you are always on your game, because you do not know who could present you with your next big opportunity.