6 tips to help get your first sale
When you start a new venture, you’ll have so much on your mind managing the set-up, it’s easy to forget about the business of actually doing business. Securing your first transaction can be tough. Here are six tips that might help you attract that all-important first sale, order or booking.
It could be a good idea to test your product or service as exhaustively as you can before launch, as you are looking to validate concepts before finessing them. Don’t feel you have to have the perfect product for this pre-launch phase, as gathering early feedback will help you preserve your strategy or pivot it as required.
If you find yourself struggling to sell the benefits of your product or service, it may be a sign that you haven’t got its presentation quite right.
Be attractive. Make your product or service look or sound so good that it sells itself. Hopefully that will help avoid the need to be too pushy, as most people do not like being subjected to excessive sales pitches.
You may have years of experience in a previous industry and a healthy network. It’s less time-consuming to promote to existing contacts than to create new ones, so think about how you can leverage your network.
Would your peers be willing to recommend your business to their own networks? How could you encourage them to?
There are people in your industry who look for what is new and innovative. If you give them a sample of your product or service, they may share their experience, talk about your business or even become a customer of yours.
Nowadays you’ll also find influencers online, featured on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Admittedly some provide more quantity (of followers) than quality. But in many industries these influencers are now considered to be an essential part of the marketing mix.
Even if you are yet to land customers or clients, awareness is the first step. People are exposed to hundreds of messages each day and it can take time before people instantly recognise your brand. You also want to consistently show up in people’s feeds, so you are there when someone is considering businesses in your area.
For more about marketing, read our 10 marketing tips for your small business and How can I stand out from the crowd? articles.
While the ‘lone wolf’ entrepreneur image is often promoted by the media, in real life there is so much value and opportunity in connecting with like-minded people. And remember that people like doing business with businesses that care – so becoming a good member of your corporate community could pay dividends.
Read more about this topic in our Ideas for corporate social responsibility article.
Before you find yourself in a position to land your first sale, you will want to have a few essentials in place. Think about how you’re going to accept payments – our How can I take payments in my business? article talks about many of the options available, including EFTPOS2. Think about your business banking needs. And if you’re issuing invoices, you may wish to read about the benefits of our Biz Invoice invoicing tool, which incorporates an invoice template and other time-saving features1.
1. To be eligible for Biz Invoice you must hold a Business One Low Plan or Business One High Plan account or foreign currency account and be registered for Westpac Live Online Banking.
2. Westpac’s products are subject to terms, conditions and fees; and eligibility criteria may apply. Before making a decision, read the disclosure documents for your selected product or service, including the Product Disclosure Statement and T&Cs for Westpac business bank accounts, foreign currency accounts, payment solutions (such as EFTPOS) and online banking, by clicking the above links and consider if the product is right for you.
This information is general in nature and has been prepared without taking your objectives, needs and overall financial situation into account. For this reason, you should consider the appropriateness for the information to your own circumstances and, if necessary, seek appropriate professional advice.