The following selling tips will help you build your business one customer at a time:

  1. Don't be shy about asking for referrals!
    Referrals are the key to building a successful and profitable business.

  2. Learn to sell it, not just tell it!
    Regardless of how you are selling a product, successful salespeople know that emphasizing the benefits of a product is a much more effective strategy than merely telling a customer about its features.

  3. Be accessible to your customers.
    Or at least have someone else who is accessible. If your customers can't reach you, they will go elsewhere.

  4. Teach your clients rather than try to hard-sell them.
    Some of the best salespeople are former teachers who help educate clients as to the value of their product or service.

  5. Listen to your customers!
    What your customers say to you is valuable information that can drive significant improvements in your operations and your profitability.

  6. Learn your customers' buying signals.
    What makes them buy? What kind of promotions do they respond to? It's your responsibility to find out what makes them buy, and then use that information to further customize your marketing messages and sales efforts to improve your revenues.

  7. Be sure to capture names and contact information everywhere you go.
    No matter where you are, get business cards from everyone. Don't ever assume that the people you meet at a particular event are not your potential customers. You never know who or what they know!

  8. Don't be shy about handing out your business cards - to everyone!
    Visibility, recognition, and acknowledgment are critical, especially if you are selling to customers within your local region.

  9. Explore the potential for unique and cooperative selling relationships.
    More and more firms are leveraging their joint resources and engaging in strategic alliances, co-marketing agreements, joint ventures, and other types of partnerships and alliances.

  10. Even if all your business is online, write and design a print brochure.
    You can mail this to prospective clients so they can touch and feel you. This is a great way to capture clients, build one-on-one client relationships, and outperform your competition. 

SOURCE: Adapted from Wendy S. Enelow, The $100,000+ Entrepreneur (Manassas Park: Impact Publications) pages 73-75. Copyright 2008. All rights reserved. Copying strictly forbidden.