Why Won’t Entrepreneurs Learn How to Sell?
I don’t get it–Why Won’t Entrepreneurs Learn How to Sell?
If you have your own business–you ARE a sales person.
There is no super successful entrepreneur who is not also their own best sales person. Think of Sir Richard Branson, he is truly a one-of-a-kind self-promo wizard. He is out promoting the Virgin brand 24/7 .
Born into an entrepreneurial family, it’s in my DNA to be independent and stubborn, like most entrepreneurs. You need that persistence gene to be able to cope with the rollercoaster life that comes with being an entrepreneur. Without a 100% firm belief in yourself and your products/services, you have no chance of making it as the world (your friends and family can easily wear you down, asking when you’ll get a real job).
I almost didn’t pass my Sales course at IBM. It was a two-week intensive residential class, where we had daily-videotaped practice sales calls that were critiqued not only by the instructor, but also by the 3 peers who evaluated you on a 20 point scale. It was tough. We had 18 hour days getting ready for these calls.
The main problem is that the Professional Sales Skills II (PSSII) course’s goal was to produce sales clones that could successfully sell IBM computers. I am no clone. I am quite the individual, as many will attest to. I did okay trying to make a formulaic framework fit my style, but it wasn’t fun.
It was only after a few years, when I adapted what I had learned into my own unique style of selling, that I finally relaxed and started enjoying the whole sales game process. Leaving the office on a sale call, I’d tell the admin staff that I was ‘off to kiss a few frogs’, in my optimistic hope that they would turn into charming clients. Without hope, you cannot be a successful sales professional or entrepreneur. If you have no hope, you have no business.
Standard sales training is usually aimed at career sales professionals. Having been one for years, I’ve been thoroughly trained in advanced sales and negotiation skills and I have practiced those skills over the past 30+ years. Because I typically worked at leading or bleeding edge tech startups, I found that I had a true talent in being a Sales Pioneer, the rarest of sales pros.
Unlike the Sales Hunter or Farmer types, I sold things that had never been sold before. There was no one to follow so I had to make it up. I had to figure out who the target market was, why they needed what I had, and then figure out how to get them to buy it.
Entrepreneurs do not start their own business to become great at sales. They start their business to be their own boss, have freedom and to serve the world in their own individual way. Many see sales as a necessary evil. The only way to do more of what you love is to sell it to someone first.
If you learn about the sales process, it will help you figure out where you are in the game (process) with each prospect. Learning how to deal with objectives–even becoming aware of what objections are–is a huge deal and a key step towards bigger and more frequent sales.
Knowing how and when to start pitching (for instance NOT at the beginning of the sales call before understanding what exactly the prospect is looking for) stops you from the ‘show-up and throw-up’ mode of irrelevant info dump that is so common with untrained sales people.
Make no mistake–if you have your own business, you are in sales. So get over that silly attitude and learn how to love selling. That is the only way you can do more of what you truly love doing. Only after you learn how to sell effectively, will you be able to hire a sales person or business development professional to take over for you. As I wrote in an early article “You cannot hire your way out of a sales crisis” you must first master the art of selling your ‘stuff’ yourself BEFORE you can hire someone else.
If you cannot sell your own ‘stuff’ you cannot hire an outsider to do it for you. You risk your company, thousands of dollars in missed opportunities, and more if you do that. It is a fatal flaw for some entrepreneurs who just can’t get over the notion that sales is sleazy, and that they could never be good at it.
There are NO born sales professionals–we all learn how to do it properly in time. And just like learning to communicate, it’s a variance on being highly persuasive. One reason my coaching is so effective in such a short period of time is that I tailor my coaching to match your style and get you selling much more effectively, naturally and with as little stress as possible.
You are learning a new skill! Growth can be painful as you leave your comfort zone behind. I help make is as painless as possible–read some of my client testimonials for confirmation of that.
You will benefit from my 30+ years of direct sales experience, which I have deconstructed so that you only have to learn what you need and nothing more.
It’s a crash course in how to sell, negotiate, ask for more money and GET IT! Wouldn’t you rather look forward to a new prospect call instead of fearing it?
Book your free, 30-minute Sales Challenge call where I will help you identify your personal sales challenge and get you there!