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5 Ways to Improve Your Sales by Learning About Your Clients

Looking to improve your small business sales? It all starts with your clients! In a recent SCORE LIVE webinar “Preparing to Sell: Defining Your Target Market and Aligning Your Sales and Marketing Message,” Denise Graziano, President of Graziano Associates, gives tips on ways small business owners can improve their sales by understanding their clients. Denise who views sales as a “vital and necessary part of any successful business” correlates sales with “not something you do to someone, but what you do for someone.”

Understanding this approach of “doing something for someone” changes the way you approach your clients and the way you view your products or services. Denise gives tips on how this approach will help you better craft your messaging and give you the results and reactions you desire.

Know Your Client

Finding out who your clients are is the first step to providing great service and improving your sales. Take time to learn who they are, what industry they work in, where they shop, and even what motivates them. Having a solid understanding of what makes them tick helps you to easily identify their needs and how to solve them. Creating client avatars or personas help bring your clients to life and allows you to understand them in a way you may have never thought of.

Understand and Serve

“When clients feel understood they are much more likely to buy from you,” says Denise. It’s important to come from a place of service and not desperation. Give your clients reasons to want to do business with you. Sharing useful information, giving them access to industry trends and information helps in tailoring your product to their needs more easily.

Understanding What is Your Why

Denise mentions a quote from Simon Sinek. “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.” This idea of  people buying a product from you because of why you do it is very important. This inspires people to take action and helps them understand your passion, which builds stronger customer loyalty.

Where Will They See You

“Many business don’t choose the right medium because they don’t understand their clients well enough”, says Denise. This goes back to the point of truly knowing your client. Take Facebook for instance, although it is very popular, if you are a B2B business, you will have a better chance of reaching your audience on LinkedIn instead of Facebook. Looking into other media areas are very important. People are using videos more and more each day. Take advantage and create useful content that will provide information to your future client.


Understanding your client, how to serve them and how to reach them are very important when it comes to improving your sales. While all of these make a tremendous difference, it’s also important to be honest with your customers. Denise’s advice is to “be genuine and come from a place of service not desperation and be truthful.” When you are authentic you are taking the necessary steps in avoiding a one-time sell.

Want to learn more about engaging your clients to increase your sales? Listen to Denise’s webinar in its entirety here.

Interested in learning more about customer sales? Join us for these upcoming webinars!

6/5: Date Your Leads, Marry Your Customers with Lifecyle Marketing

6/12: Client Retention Practices for Today’s Competitive Business Landscape

Aliana Marino - Communications Manager, SCORE
Aliana is passionate about helping small businesses thrive and getting the word out about the great work SCORE mentors do across the country. | Facebook | @SCOREmentors | More from Aliana


Are You Scared to Start a Business?

Continuing a trend that’s been going for 12 months strong, America’s startup entrepreneurs are feeling confident about their businesses’ prospects, reports the latest Kauffman/LegalZoom Startup Confidence Index. In fact, their confidence is at all-time highs.

A whopping 91 percent of the nation’s startup business owners are either confident or very confident that their companies will be more profitable in the next 12 months. Perhaps more important, they’re also confident in the economy as a whole, with 82 percent predicting it will either improve or stay the same in the next 12 months.

More than half of entrepreneurs expect consumer demand to grow moderately or significantly in the next 12 months. Hiring plans are also on the rise, with 45 percent saying they will add staff in the next 12 months, up from 43 percent in the last quarter of 2013.

If you’ve been on the fence about whether or not to start a business, one reason could be lack of confidence. Are you second-guessing your business idea, worried about the economy or holding onto the safety of the familiar (like your job and paycheck)?

I’m all for writing business plans and doing your market research—it’s crucial to know what you’re getting into before you start a business. There’s a big difference between confidence and cockiness. Too many startup entrepreneurs get into business assuming they’ve got a unique product or business model, assuming they’ll get financing, and assuming they’ll learn as they go even if they have no experience in the industry they’ve chosen. Sadly, most of these people are doomed to fail.

But at the opposite extreme, too many would-be startup business owners dilly-dally for years, tweaking their concept and refining their business plan without ever stepping foot into the waters of entrepreneurship.

Somewhere in between these two points lies confidence—the kind that comes from doing your homework, realistically assessing the pros and cons of startup and taking the necessary steps to give your new business the best possible chance of success.

Like diving off the high dive, launching a business is scary no matter how much preparation you do. But without risk, there’s no reward. And make no mistake: The rewards of startup are huge. In another survey that polled owners of existing businesses, 77 percent say if they had it to do all over again, they would start their businesses; the same percentage say they would recommend owning a small business to their children.

What do experienced entrepreneurs like best about owning a small business?

  • being their own boss (79 percent)
  • independence (77 percent)
  • being able to make strategic decisions (77 percent)
  • relationships with customers (73 percent)

Asked what they would do if they could change one thing about their businesses, the number-one answer was “I would have started it earlier.”

What are you waiting for? If you’re considering starting a business, it sure sounds like the time is now.

SCORE mentors can help you assess your business idea and develop a startup plan. More than that, their support and encouragement can give you the confidence you need to “jump in the water.” If you don’t have a mentor, visit to get matched with one and get free startup help from an experienced entrepreneur.

Rieva Lesonsky - CEO, GrowBiz Media
Rieva is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a content and consulting company specializing in covering small businesses and entrepreneurship. She was formerly Editorial Director of Entrepreneur Magazine and has written several books about small business and entrepreneurship. | @rieva | More from Rieva


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