Improving sales is typically a hot topic on every small business owner’s mind. To help you sell well, today’s guest blogger Julie Steelman shares 10 tips adapted from her new book, The Effortless Yes.

  1. Start a conversation. Talk about your products and services like you would to a good friend. More sales are made with genuine, unbridled enthusiasm than with fancy strategies.
  2. Be inspirational and heartfelt. Remember your own “aha” moment? Share stories about how you and others were transformed using your products or services. Believe in them and others will too.
  3. Be helpful, caring, and service-oriented. Educate your customers on how you can help them solve a problem, get more of what they want, and feel better about themselves.
  4. Understand the buyer. The three stages buyers go through before they’re ready to buy: awareness—noticing what they want; education—gathering information; and interest—asking questions to see if you’re trustworthy. Each time they pass to the next stage, their desire to buy increases.
  5. Claim your sweet spot. Your sweet spot lies at the intersection of your expertise, talent, and knowledge. It’s what you’re known for. Craft a message that clearly communicates your sweet spot.
  6. Avoid three common sales mistakes. Three mistakes salespeople make are: focusing on product details rather than customers’ emotions; delivering the entire sales story in one big monologue; and trying to charm them into a sale.
  7. Craft an irresistible pitch. Give your customer a clear, concise explanation of what you do best and how it will benefit them. Be honest about why you care about helping them. Ask an intriguing question that draw them into conversation. Use language that appeals to your ideal customer.
  8. Be smart with social media. Extend your desire to provide value into the social media world. Blogs, videos, and podcasts are fine, but they’re one-way communications. Host interactive events, chats, and conversations that engage your audience and serve their needs.
  9. Nix the cold call. Never make a “cold” call again. Research your top 10 prospective customers thoroughly. Now, write down what you think their top challenges are and how your offerings could help. Then craft an opening line based on that information. When you call, explain why your companies have great synergy and what you can do for them.
  10. Overcome objections. Customers only object when they’re considering buying from you. Discover what’s holding them back. Are they resistant to change? Do they misunderstand the value? Do they need someone else’s input, like a spouse? Or do they simply need a bit more time to decide? Show interest in what’s bothering them, and then try to help them get beyond it.

Julie Steelman has generated more than $100 million in sales during her 30-year sales career using her unique “heart-based” selling approach. Her new book, The Effortless Yes: Get the Sales You Want and Make All You’ll Ever Need (Franklin-Green Publishing,, features a seven-step approach that helps sales-averse entrepreneurs create profits by learning a new way to sell that’s pleasurable and easy.