An entrepreneur can be successful without being a marketer or salesperson.
This might sound a bit odd. After all, an entrepreneur goes into business to sell something--to create a product, to meet a need, or to grow a business, right?
That's true. But not every entrepreneur has the talent or background. What's more, many entrepreneurs have no desire to become salespeople. They can do one thing really well. Maybe they can do several things really well. But what if sales isn't one of them?
It's OK. If there's an entrepreneur who doesn't have a sales bone in his body, he or she can still grow a business like gangbusters.
1. Produce content.
Modern online sales happens through content marketing. You will be successful at generating sales if you are successful at content marketing.
Companies who blog have 97 percent more inbound links. The more content on your blog, the better. Businesses that have websites of more than 400 pages get six times as many leads as websites consisting of only 51 to 100 pages. You get more pages by growing your trove of content.
Content marketing doesn't feel at all like sales. In the traditional sense of sales, it's not. What is it then? Content marketing is all about solving problems, providing value, creating connections, forming relationships, building an audience.
And, yes, it's making sales, but not directly.
2. Put calls to action in place, and let them work for you.
Every online sale happens when a customer clicks a CTA button.
The call to action is what executes the sale. It's the famous "close" in sales parlance.
Every online outlet should have smart and compelling CTAs. All an entrepreneur needs to do is to put the CTAs in place, optimize the CTAs, split test the CTAs, and let them do the work of selling.
3. Create a mailing list.
The email list is the modern equivalent of the old-school Rolodex or "warm lead."
Creating and curating an email list is one of the most important things that an entrepreneur can do. In seven years of doing business, I've sent more than 62 million emails, and collected more than 184,000 email addresses.
What are these emails about? I'm not directly selling anything. I'm providing help, solving problems, and focusing on delivering great content.
What's the outcome of this non-sales effort? It drives revenue. Nearly half of my blog's revenue comes from email. Creating an email list is the best thing I've ever done for my blog, and it doesn't involve any selling.
4. Be social.
You don't have to be salesy, but can you be social?
Some of the best salespeople I know are actually no good at selling. They're good at building relationships and an audience via social media.
The online sales cycle is intensely social. If an entrepreneur can build up a personal brand and following on social media, he or she will be selling by virtue of presence, not pitch.
5. Help people.
Sometimes, entrepreneurs fear sales, because sales require pushing their product. This feels uncomfortable.
An entrepreneur is a problem solver. In my niche, I try to help people solve the problem of growing their blog audience.
That's why content is such an important part of the online sales process. By virtue of its connection with the product or service, the content does the selling. The entrepreneur focuses his efforts on understanding where people need help, and producing content that provides that help.
If the entrepreneur's product helps meet that need, all the better.
6. Be all about customer retention.
It costs five times more to get a new customer than to retain an old one. Since this is true, you'd think that most companies would be aggressive about customer retention.
According to an eConsultancy study, only 30 percent said that they were "very committed" to relationship marketing.
So, maybe you're not into sales. But what about relationships? Your current customers are one of the best sources of sales, but it requires very little sales to maintain them as customers.
Customer retention will grow your business, and it can do so outside of the realm of sales as such.
7. Split test everything.
Split testing or A/B testing sounds like one of the furthest things from sales. Split testing is about identifying variables, creating versions, forming hypotheses, and running tests.
As un-sales-like as it is, split testing is one of the best revenue boosters for your online business. Without making a single direct sale, you can boost conversion rates and improve revenue.
Split testing is an indispensable growth strategy for any online business. I recommend that you test landing pages, headlines, email copy, CTA buttons, images, and anything else that strikes your fancy.
After executing several A/B tests, you'll start to see an increase in sales without even having to do any sales.
Remember, do what you're good at.
If that's sales, then go for it. If that's organization, nail it. If that's product development, do your thing.
I want you to know that you can still get sales and be successful, whether you're a sales natural or not. With these seven techniques in place, you can be assured that the sales will come.