Innovation

9 Tested Ways to Sell So Much More

Members of the 2015 W100 share their top transacting tactics, from generating leads to closing deals

Written by PROFIT Staff

You may have a great product or service and a passion for what you do, but the ultimate test of a business’s value is sales: Do other people want to buy what you’re selling? For the women on the 2015 PROFIT/Chatelaine W100 Ranking of Canada’s Top Female Entrepreneurs, the answer is a resounding “yes.”

Most of the companies run by the W100 have experienced significant revenue growth over the last three years, whether from launching popular new offerings, entering lucrative new markets, finding new ways of attracting clients, or simply continuing to do what they do best.

Unwavering committment to customer service and strong leadership from the inspiring women at the top are two of the attributes that all these companies share. Here are some other sales strategies from Canada’s Top Female Entrepreneurs.

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“A firm handshake goes a long way. I teach it to every intern and staffer on day one.”
—Christine Faulhaber (No. 83), Faulhaber Communications, Toronto

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“This past year I decided to eliminate my external sales team and replace it with inside sales. That has allowed us to provide better and faster customer service as well as touch base with a larger number of existing and potential clients.”
—Orit Koren (No. 11), Trillium FSB, Concord, Ont.

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“We’ve found that providing prospective franchisees with a list of all of the franchisees in our network, and inviting them to speak to as many franchisees as they like, generally results in them deciding to take on a franchise.”
—Christine Stanschus (No. 66), Little Kickers Group, Toronto

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“Buy your potential clients lunch! Plus give them some free information. We have used lunch-and-learns where we have lunch catered at a hotel for up to 50 potential buyers. At the lunch our senior staff introduce themselves and conduct a presentation on a specific topic like “What is new in advertising research?”  Attendees not only get lunch, but they also learn new methods in research and how they may apply to their clients or organization.”
—Corrin Harper (No. 89), Insightrix Research, Saskatoon

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“We love technology and so do clients, but when it comes down to creating an honest partnership, we find success comes when they meet us face-to-face and talk in person—business the €˜old fashioned’ way.”
—Mandy Rennehan (No. 25), Freshco, Oakville, Ont.

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“Norsat uses different pricing models in different regions of the world to reflect the realities of local economies, taxes and duties, as well as localized certifications. For example, in mainland China and Brazil there are significant expenses to bring foreign product into the country. Norsat has used a combination of special pricing or incentives for local partners to undergo the expense of “harmonization,” to help offset the extra costs of doing business in the region.”
—Aimee Chan (No. 49), Norsat International, Richmond, B.C.

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“Traditional rate cards and time-based billing models rarely help deliver the best results—staff and clients tended to hate them. But no one dared get rid of them. Instead of forcing employees to track and bill every minute of their day, North works with clients from the beginning to develop team commitments and budgets based on KPIs and scope of work. Once defined, the team’s sole focus is on results, not filling out timesheets.”
—Mia Pearson (No. 5), North Strategic, Toronto

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“We now attend five major trade shows, and met 99% of our customers there.”
—Manon Hogue (No. 87), Diagnostics Biochem Canada, Dorchester, Ont.

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“Our sales team has received tremendous success by using the company story as a sales tactic. I would suggest finding a personal side of the business that could draw intrigue and offer unique positioning. Our retailers and consumers support the fact we are not a big faceless corporation but a family founded, organically grown company that found a niche and set out to make a difference.”
—Jennifer Carlson (No. 7), Baby Gourment Foods, Calgary

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MORE ESSENTIAL ADVICE FROM THE PROFIT W100:

What are your most effective sales strategies? Share your tactics and experiences using the comments section below.

Originally appeared on PROFITguide.com