2721 839 4839 karen@karenwessels.com
This is why better presales can help your sales process

This is why better presales can help your sales process

This is why better presales can help your sales process

The call it the ‘art of the sale’ and if you think about, it is quite an art to have conversational skills, listening skills, to think on your feet, craft a deal that makes sense and at the same time is beneficial to both parties, and being able to make the client feel important and cared for during this process.

So, let’s chat about the art of presales. This is a topic that not many broach.

The art of presales

If you do the presale right, guess what, you never have to sell in your life again! Presales done correctly builds the sales foundation so beautifully that the entire sales process is negated. Now you can just close the loop. Sounds awesome right. So how do we accomplish this?

There are a few essential pillars to presales. I want to go through each one with you so that you can build a cohesive picture of what your presales should look like in your sales journey.

4 Pillars of Presales

Relationship building

Presales is essentially built on relationship building. You know by now that sales nowadays is based on relationships. We ensure that we really know our target market, that we can speak to our prospective clients on a level and in a manner that resonates with them. It’s almost like you should be able to have a cup of coffee and a chat with each & every one of your clients. You should be able to pick up the phone, find out how their day is going and not enter into any sales talk.

Building trust & credibility

Trust and credibility is built through sharing your entrerpeneurial story, your business journey, why you started your business, sharing testimonials and referrals. Having constant social proof is a new way of doing presales, but is so important for business because so much of our marketing and advertising takes place on social media. Be prepared to tell the world how amazing you are through meeting your team, understanding your business’ North Star and inviting prospective clients to engage with you and your team. Remember to always value current clients and thank them for being a part of your journey.

Objection management

Your presales is a modern way of managing objections before the actual sale is even done. This means that all objections are managed before they are raised, easing the sales process and basically negating a huge portion of negotiating. Find creative ways of managing objections.

In our marketing agency that is focused on lead generation we created an infographic that handles the top 5 most common objections we face from prospective clients and this infographic has saved us so much time over and over again.

Eduselling

This is a new concept to most of us, basically what it means is to sell to prospective clients through education. This is an important presale pillar, however, it does run through the entire sales process to after sales as well.

Keep educating your market through storytelling and value-add. Show your prospective clients the value you bring to the table, the benefits of using your solution and empower them with key factors to help with their decision-making process.

Use the power of video, social media, blogs and your website as a tool to educate your target market.

About the Author : Karen has facilitated and hosted many sales masterclasses, workshops and training sessions to not only boost sales confidence however to also instill sales skills and tools that are personalised to each individual.

Karen is also a sought after speaker at Sales Conferences & Seminars, Secretarial Conferences & Symposiums and Entrepreneur Conferences & Workshops, where she engages her audience with story-like presentations of sales, outsourcing and business.

To learn more or to book Karen, visit her website.

How to achieve success as a Businesswoman in Sales

How to achieve success as a Businesswoman in Sales

How to achieve success as a Businesswoman in Sales

A Sales Masterclass that teaches it all

Imagine being so comfortable and simultaneously so great in sales that you achieve success after success as a businesswomen. And yes, this is totally possible!

Why is it that as businesswomen we tend to think that we’re not good with sales? Rubbish! Of course you’re great when it comes to sales! Are you not a mother who has to keep negotiating with her children regarding bedtime, pocket money or what to eat?

Are you not a wife that needs to have conversations about me-time and the benefit of this to the entire family?

Are you not a partner who openly communicates with her husband about how uncomfortable his mannerisms with her in front of his friends makes her feel and how best to deal with it?

Sounds to me like you are a stellar salesperson! You could write books on this stuff.

So now that we have that out of the way, here’s something I would like to share with you. If you asked me more than a decade ago what is the worst job on the planet, I would have said being a sales rep!! Ask me now? I would probably say having to sit behind a desk inputting data all day long – arrghhh! I love sales and I am a sales rep. It’s the highlight of my day to close another sales deal.

Sales Training, Speaking & Masterclasses

Over the span of my career as an Entrepreneur I have been so privileged to speak at various conferences, events, accelerator programs and the like about sales. Alot of our focus has been to boost women’s confidence when it comes to sales.

I have been invited to host a Sales Masterclass for Women in Cape Town early July 2018. Details are being finalised as I write this and will be shared with you in due course. I’m super excited about this opportunity, as I have an innate desire to see all those around me succeed. Part of this success is imparting my knowledge and empowering other businesswomen to succeed in the world of sales.

In this particular sales masterclass we’re going to take a look at how to gain practical skills and boost your confidence in sales.

The topics discussed will be centred around your Elevator Pitch and the importance thereof. Understanding the Sales Process and how it fits in with your business. Sales Tools and implementing a Sales Action plan.

The idea behind this sales masterclass is for it to be as practical as possible and for each business owner to walk away with easy to use action steps.

Bringing it together

Sales confidence is such an important part of business success, why not invest in yourself and spend the time building your sales confidence?

I would love for you to join us at this masterclass and any future masterclasses that we’ll be hosting.

If you have any enquiries, need some sales advice or tips, or would like to know more about our upcoming sales masterclass, please feel free to drop me line on karen@karenwessels.com

About the Author : Karen has facilitated and hosted many sales masterclasses, workshops and training sessions to not only boost sales confidence however to also instill sales skills and tools that are personalised to each individual.

Karen is also a sought after speaker at Sales Conferences & Seminars, Secretarial Conferences & Symposiums and Entrepreneur Conferences & Workshops, where she engages her audience with story-like presentations of sales, outsourcing and business.

To learn more or to book Karen, visit her website.

4 Smart ways to get your business off the ground

4 Smart ways to get your business off the ground

4 Smart ways to get your business off the ground

Like many of us, you probably don’t come from a rich family and more than likely you don’t have access to funding to get your business off the ground. With every venture I’ve founded I’ve bootstrapped the business. My philosophy is sell first and then build.

I don’t want to waste time trying to perfect my product (or service) before taking it to market. As a startup you need to be agile and flexible in your approach, and as you learn from the market you’ll soon realise that your business is going to go through several iterations and phases before finding the “perfect” market fit.

Based on living through these iterations and thanks to my experience as a startup, I’ve put together four of my best recommendations to get your business off the ground.

1.   Always be selling

I may come from a sales background, which has certainly aided me loads in launching my startups, however, sales is a skill that can be learned. Remember, sales isn’t that staid old way of doing business where we force non-willing and non-believing prospects to purchase our products or services. Sales has evolved and now we talk about building relationships, developing a level of trust, proving credibility, ensuring brand awareness and then only do we enter into the sales conversation. Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, make sure that you are always selling your business. You are its best and foremost brand ambassador. Your passion will shine through and it will be because of your passion that you’ll be able to bring on board great clients, never mind recruit an amazing team.

2.   Don’t spend money on unnecessary things

Right now you don’t have the budget to hire staff, or to buy that awesome CRM software. Be frugal and very savvy about where and how you spend money. You cannot afford to use your limited cash flow right now to outsource marketing or such like. Don’t rent that fancy office space or buy a new Macbook. These things can wait. And trust me, the last thing you want is added stress at the end of the month wondering how you’re going to pay for everything when you haven’t signed up a new client for the month. Don’t do this to yourself! Let YouTube and Google become your best friends. Use tutorials to teach yourself great marketing skills, how to build your own website and basic SEO for now until you can afford to outsource it. Use tutorials to teach you how to use open source CRM systems and take advantage of free project management software for now.

3.   Get down in the trenches

Be prepared to get your hands dirty. The best way to really understand your business and the processes is for you to start out doing everything. Don’t be afraid to get stuck in and work all hours when starting out. This is great learning ground and it offers you the opportunity to understand the kind of support structure you require and size of your support team. People buy from people and your market will love your work ethic, because it will naturally flow through the team. We learn by example and if your team sees you putting shoulder to the wheel and really getting stuck in to make this business a success, they will follow suit.

4.   Be coachable

Soak up knowledge like your life depended on it. This is not an easy journey you’ve chosen for yourself and nobody is going to come rescue you if it’s not working out, or does not go according to plan, or a client has shirked their invoice responsibilities, or a team member has done the dirty on you. This is you, all you, for now. So you’ll need to toughen up, learn to roll with the punches and ensure that you are strong mentally, physically and emotionally, so that you can build a successful business.

Be prepared to learn, learn, learn. Whether you are teaching yourself new skills, or learning how your market thinks, or learning business the hard way (because again this journey is not an easy one), be coachable. Be open to listening to what other successful entrepreneurs have to say. Learn to listen to your staff, learn to listen to your intuition. The more coachable you are and the more you are willing to learn, the easier the information and knowledge will flow your way. You need your team and support structure to make a success of this, without a doubt, however, you also need you. You need to be willing to put in the hours and you need to be willing to be agile and change direction without batting an eyelid. In the name of building your business into a success, do this as if your life depended on it.

Bringing it together

Don’t think you know-it-all, because you don’t. Even highly successful people, the likes of Taylor Swift or Sara Blakely (founder of Spanx) will rather listen in a conversation than speak more. They will openly tell you that they don’t know everything and that they are willing to learn.

You’ve got this! You are your greatest resource setting out on this journey, so make sure that your resource is well-fed mentally, emotionally and physically.

About the Author : Karen has facilitated and hosted many sales masterclasses, workshops and training sessions to not only boost sales confidence however to also instill sales skills and tools that are personalised to each individual.

Karen is also a sought after speaker at Sales Conferences & Seminars, Secretarial Conferences & Symposiums and Entrepreneur Conferences & Workshops, where she engages her audience with story-like presentations of sales, outsourcing and business.

To learn more or to book Karen, email her on karen@karenwessels.com

Appreciating The Good, The Bad And The Ugly Of Business

Appreciating The Good, The Bad And The Ugly Of Business

Appreciating The Good, The Bad And The Ugly Of Business

Experiencing Gratitude on a daily basis

I woke up this morning feeling immense gratitude. This is not an uncommon thing mind you. I feel grateful every day, however, today I feel particularly grateful for this journey we’re on.

This entrepreneurial journey has taken me on paths never before imagined. It has stretched my comfort zones beyond recognition, it has helped round me as a person and a business person, and I keep learning, every day.

At the end of the day I guess it has to do with your mind-set and whether you choose to see the positive or the negative in any given situation.

With gratitude you choose to see the light, the possibility. As we’ve grown in our roles as business owners and entrepreneurs we have been taught to problem-solve. A simple thing, yet, taken for granted by most.

Why? Because most people don’t know how to problem-solve naturally. As an example, maths is about problem-solving, and yet, most of us did not excel at maths when at school. We weren’t encouraged to pursue that way of thinking and instead we were “allowed” to find alternatives to this subject.

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly of Business

When in business you’re going to see all sides of human beings, whether they are staff, fellow business owners, suppliers or clients.

Over time you become a better judge of character and you start realising the kind of energy and mind-set you want to align your business and culture with. It goes all ways. You need to be selective when you on board staff. You need to choose your clients carefully. You should align your business with the right kind of suppliers.

It may not seem important now, however, down the line you’ll thank your lucky stars for being so selective with the company you keep.

You’re going to see it all in business. How competitors try to do you in. How staff members take advantage of your kindness. How clients try to negotiate discounted prices over and over again.

Yet, you’re also going to see how your fellow entrepreneurs rally to support you, how your staff have your back and how suppliers will go out of their way to ensure longevity in the relationship.

There may come a time that you will need the services of a very good lawyer to help draft your terms and conditions, and proper paperwork.

You’ll need the help of an accountant, a tax expert, a web developer, an IT person and so on.

The point is this : You learn, you grow, you evolve, you become better at what you do. Have gratitude for The Good, The Bad and The Ugly that you’ll face in business.

These are the things that shape you and develop you as a stellar business owner.

Continue showing gratitude on a daily basis

Elon Musk famously said that being an entrepreneur is like “chewing glass while staring into the abyss.”

This is an immense journey that you are blessed to be on, so enjoy it, make the most of it and make sure that you make every moment count.

You’ve got this!

Do you have a can do attitude? Here’s how to develop one

Do you have a can do attitude? Here’s how to develop one

Do you have a can do attitude? Here’s how to develop one

In a mentoring session today with my top mentor, he made an interesting observation. He said that one of the things he has observed and admired about me is my ‘can do’ attitude. This got me thinking about our general attitude towards business amongst women entrepreneurs.

When it comes to finding new business, resolving client issues, keeping suppliers on track and upskilling staff, do we show a can do attitude?

Being an entrepreneur is tough and you’re going to face daily challenges. How you manage these challenges are entirely up to you. If you choose to have an attitude of “I can do this” then your success level will be higher than most.

Somehow displaying an attitude of anything is possible places you in the right mind-set and now it feels like you can take on the world!

Here are a couple of tips to help you on the path of facing business challenges with success and aplomb.

  1. Believe in yourself. Confidence starts with you. You absolutely need to believe in your capabilities and your ability to manage anything thrown your way. You can develop your self-confidence by being open to learning and growing. Be ready to take on a mentor, read business books daily and surround yourself with like-minded people.
  2. Do not compare yourself to others. Instead of putting yourself down by thinking you could never be like them, rather ask yourself what can you learn from them and start implementing immediately. To be successful we need to emulate what successful people do. Don’t begrudge them, don’t compare yourself, however, rather use this as an opportunity for personal growth and development.
  3. Develop a strong inner voice. You know that inner voice that criticises you? Let that voice go! Replace it with positive thinking, daily affirmations and the belief system that anything is possible. If you don’t know how, Google it, YouTube it, ask a fellow business owner or seek guidance from a successful businessperson in your particular industry.
  4. Step out of your comfort zone! Oh yes, my favourite one this! If you know me, you’ll know that I often talk about becoming comfortable by being un-comfortable, because growth starts in the un-comfort zone. If you stretch yourself, you force yourself to face a challenge head on and this places you completely out of your comfort zone, therefore it necessarily follows that your confidence will soar. This is where the real magic happens.
  5. As always, remember to have fun. Learn to see potentially stressful situations as an opportunity to showcase your can do attitude, as an opportunity to learn and grow. Keeping it fun makes it easier to come up with creative solutions.

Bringing it together

My personal mantra is anything is possible. If I don’t know how, I’ll learn. You can do the same. It boils down to having the right mind-set and attitude. Always be open to learning, in this way you’ll keep growing as a business person and you will very quickly find out the kind of gold you’re truly made of.

You’ve got this!

3 Secrets an Entrepreneur will never reveal – until now!

3 Secrets an Entrepreneur will never reveal – until now!

3 Secrets an Entrepreneur will never reveal – until now!

Some things happen by accident and I guess you could say that my entrepreneurial journey was just that, a happy accidental happening. Although, I do believe it was always part of my path, I didn’t initially set out to be an entrepreneur.

And I’m glad it “just happened”! This has to be the most rewarding, most daunting, most uncomfortable and the most happy I have ever been – so yay to this journey!

For some of us the entrepreneur life chooses us and for others you have chosen it mindfully. Whatever the course, there are certain things that seasoned entrepreneurs have experienced but might not share that newbie entrepreneurs need to know about. Perhaps if I had known these points mentioned below I might have felt more mentally prepared, but then again, maybe I wouldn’t have become an entrepreneur if I had been forewarned ! J

1.   It can be a lonely journey

They say it’s lonely at the top and for sure it is. However, being an entrepreneur can be a lonely journey of self-discovery, discovering what your niche is, what skills you have and where you are lacking. It’s lonely because friends and family won’t understand this drive you have to succeed, no matter what, even if it means working 20 hours per day for 7 days a week. You are determined and focussed, and this could alienate your loved ones. You’ll notice how social invites start becoming less, how friends drop off your radar and it becomes you & this beautiful thing you’re building. If you’re okay with this, and you’re willing to make the sacrifices to achieve success with your business, then you know you’re onto a good thing. Keep going!

2.   Doubt can drive you insane

To the outside world there is bravado, “I’ve got this!” and of course there has to be. But internally an entrepreneur could be doubting themselves daily asking “Am I doing the right thing?”, “Why am I doing this?”, “Maybe I should find a job again, at least then I’m assured of an income”, “What if I’m wrong and the market doesn’t really want/need my product/service”. Endless reassurance from clients, advisors and the like cannot always quieten these voices. But remember, for an entrepreneur, it’s the unknown that drives them and makes the journey so exciting! Hear the voices, but don’t take heed of them, persistence and perseverance is what is going to help you succeed. (And of course not taking no’s personally J)

3.   We constantly worry about being broke

It’s hard, but it’s the truth! As an entrepreneur you are now financially responsible for not only your family but also of your team. Every business decision you make has a direct impact on the bottom line. You could be self-funded or have an angel investor, whichever way, you still need to stay on top of your numbers, constantly make sound business decisions and ensure that you pay your team at the end of the month. There are times that you need to spend money to make money. It could be that you need a small budget to market your business, or funds to develop an app or CRM specific to your business. Make the calculations carefully, but take calculated risk, because without risk there is no growth. Indeed, being broke is constantly on our minds, however, we focus on the future build of our business to make sure that everyone is taken care of.

Bringing it together

There are a ton more things we could chat about regarding this amazing entrepreneurial journey. The bottom line is this, it’s not easy, sometimes you need to make tough calls, you should be prepared to make sacrifices, and possibly lose friends along the way. If your vision is strong, your will is unwavering and you have the tenacity of a baby learning to walk, then you’ve got this!

As Melanie Hawken, founder of Lionesses of Africa, famously says (and there’s more to it than pleasantries) “Have yourself an inspired entrepreneurial day”!