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Turning Employees into Salespeople

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Looking for new ways to address flat sales and low profitability? Try turning all your employees into salespeople.

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Regardless of an employee’s position or job description, there’s an opportunity for people at all levels to be salespeople. Here are eight ways to make sales part of every person’s job, adapted from Patricia Sigmon’s new book Six Steps to Creating a Profit.

1. Create an easy-to-follow package for employees.

Come up with a bulleted list of messages about your products and services that tells a story and illustrates value. In every interaction, encourage employees to engage clients (or potential clients) in a conversation that conveys your company’s offerings. This isn’t about overselling – it’s about subtle message-spreading.

2. Make email an everyday marketing tool.

For every email that leaves your office, create a tagline below the signature that promotes the website, has the company logo, or even offers a service. Emails to business peers, vendors and prospects are important, too – you never know where you’ll find a new client.

3. In face-to-face encounters, look sharp and be positive.

Insist employees dress appropriately, arrive promptly and treat clients with the utmost respect. And finding a way to say “yes” instead of “no” when answering a client’s question will go a long way toward creating a positive image.

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4. Recruit profit-boosting talent from within.

Every employee has a hidden talent that can be tapped to promote the business. At a brainstorming meeting, ask employees what ideas they have for generating more sales. You might be surprised by their suggestions and ideas.

5. Foster and inspire self-growth.

Improve your company’s profits by raising the caliber of your existing employees. To promote self-growth that isn’t job mandated, start an in-house newsletter; set up roundtables, conferences, and lunchtime meetings, and reward employees’ self-driven accomplishments and development.

6. Build a pro-company attitude.

The easiest way to get everyone at your company rooting for its success is to formally ask employees what’s working and what’s not working. Ask these same questions of clients. When you find problems, fix them.

7. Enlist employees as customers.

Everyone at your business should be using your products and services – and swearing by them. If you have a staff of 30, you’ll have 30 customers/salespeople talking about your products and services to family, friends and casual acquaintances after hours.

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8. Actively promote team spirit.

Come up with fun and meaningful activities that demand cooperation and foster team spirit. Camaraderie builds enthusiasm and can help build company loyalty.

– provided by the National Federation of Independent Businesses (www.nfib.com)

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