The launch of my entrepreneurial venture consisted of buying a fax machine, submitting a ‘DBA’ to the local newspaper, and quitting my job. With no idea what I was doing, I gleefully began to figure out who our ideal client was, how to reach them, what to say, and not to give up.
In a nut shell, that is the sales plan for every new entrepreneur! Looking back there are 3 key sales ideas or philosophies that I discovered along the way that are my favorites…
1) When faced with a NO, find out why. Is there something that is not ideal about the product? Something confusing that could be better explained? What changed from interest to a need to wait? When you get a NO it is the perfect to find out, ‘why.’ You will have loads failures and no’s in your business but not learning from them is a big mistake. It’s the perfect research so don’t be afraid to probe further so you can improve from each interaction even if it does not result in business.
2) Talk to more people. Because we all operate in a ‘yes’ world we typically don’t go after people who we think we’ll get a ‘no’ from. And yet you must not make assumptions about anything or any one. And while you do want to spend time with qualified prospects… most entrepreneurs just don’t share their business with enough people! The result? Struggling because we become reliant on a few clients – never fun. Never lose sight of the fact that you must be out there engaging with potential clients all of the time.
3) Follow up. Follow up on the NO’s and stay in touch. Send cards, postcards, emails, and give a quick call. Be there – still in the game – when your customer is ready to hire you. Most people get a ‘no’ and they see it as never rather than ‘not yet.’ You must turn invested time into profitable and the only way to do that is to ensure you follow up with your qualified and interested (but not ready yet) prospects.
These are my 3… is there one more important to you? What would you put in place of these? Let me know!
Comments? Please let me know your thoughts. And if you liked this post, please share! – AW