By: Phillip Johnson
The phrase “time is money” has been embedded into the minds of professionals, especially in the corporate world. Coincidentally, time and money are key components in selling to small businesses. There is a significant difference between selling to large corporations versus small business sales, although some commonalities do exist and both present challenges in their own way. Keep reading to discover how to sell to small business owners, while keeping it simple and being successful!
What it Takes
Large and small businesses have two major commonalities when it comes to your ability to sell: they require a great deal of patience and both have limited budgets. Large businesses can take a lot of time to maneuver through for different reasons, including being able to find the right department, the right manager or getting in contact with the ultimate decision maker. That being said, patience is also necessary when selling to small business owners, however for different reasons.
A small business owner does not usually want to make a decision right away, which often makes the process drawn out over a longer period of time than necessary. The small businesses owner may need more time to round up money before making a purchase or simply be too busy to pursue any type of merchandise or service you are selling.
It’s no secret that small businesses have limited budgets, but why would large corporations have to worry about monetary constraints? Well, the truth is both have to deal with this challenge because they amount to the same issue: buying one thing means they are not buying something else.
Small Business Sale Strategies
In order to speak the small business person vernacular, you have to understand how small business owners think and why they make the decisions they do. Large businesses have a lot of help to get things accomplished, from assistants to co-workers and even legal representation. However, you have to understand that the vast majority of small businesses are one-person shops. Therefore, small business owners often play multiple roles within their company, including president, receptionist, bookkeeping clerk, director of marketing etc. As a result, they are burdened with too much to think about and do.
In terms of expenditures, there is a significant qualitative difference to consider for small businesses. It’s not exactly common for small businesses to consistently receive a biweekly paycheck. If new business is not continually generated, the mortgage may go unpaid, and if small businesses experience a bad month, the employees are also affected. Therefore, cash-flow is a big issue for small business owners.
So, where does all this information leave you as a seller to small business owners? The two major points you have to understand and overcome when pursuing small business sales is lack of time and lack of money. Consequently, the key to selling to small businesses is the ability to show them how the products/services in question will save them both time and money. There are also other selling points to consider, including building rapport with the small business owner and putting yourself in their shoes to better understand how decisions are made from a buyer’s standpoint.