Are you a typical wood working business owner? Did you set up shop because you like to make things more than because you want to sell them? Is your business suffering as a result?
It often happens that people are more comfortable with creating a product than making sales. But if you want your business to grow, you need to get better at selling whatever you make whether its high-quality bunk beds, customized cabinets, or wooden bowls.
Often people struggle with sales because they think of it as pushing someone to do something they don’t want to do or to spend money they don’t want to spend. They don’t want to make someone else feel uncomfortable and they certainly don’t want to be told no, so they don’t ask.
But you can build a business without being pushy or obnoxious. And in fact, being pushy can hurt more than it helps. Sales isn’t about winning. It’s about making a mutual agreement that is good for everyone. Your customer gets a great product and you get money for your time and effort.
As you think about sales and how to get what you make into the hands of other people, keep these things in mind:
You have something that many people need and want, but they won’t know it’s available unless you tell them.
Focus on describing your products and the benefits to customers. Ask them questions about what they’re looking for and the problems they’re trying to solve. Then explain how what you have could help. If you’re shy or find it hard to talk to people, write out what you want to say and practice ahead of time.
It’s not personal.
One of the things that holds people back in sales is fear of rejection. It’s true, you will be told no. But it’s not because they don’t like you or what you’ve made, it’s because they don’t need it right now. You will likely hear “no” many more times than “yes.” But that’s okay. It means you are making the offer and the more times you make the offer, the more times you are likely to hear “yes.”
The key to growing a woodworking business is word of mouth.
Treat everyone as if they are your best customer even if they’re not buying something. They may know somebody who knows somebody who needs what you have. And, if they’ve had a good conversation with you, they are likely to recommend you.
You deserve to get paid for your time and effort.
Some people don’t like selling because they’re not comfortable with naming a price or taking money. They lack confidence in themselves or feel they’re not worthy. You are creating something that people need or want. Your best customers are those who expect to pay for the things they want and would rather spend their money on the sort of high-quality, long-lasting items that you make than junk that will fall apart.