In order to be a great salesperson and/or a great entrepreneur, you have to have conviction. You have to believe in your own vision, and in your own ability to execute on that vision if you have any chance of success
One of the things that you must constantly do in entrepreneurial sales is experiment.
You need to experiment on price, on pitch, on the offering, and essentially everything about the product. When you experiment, you learn about what the issues are that are the most important and also what the levers are that will draw the actual close out of a person.
Remember the old campy country song that warned Mommas to not grow up to be cowboys? While I’m completely aware that the song was not intended to be taken seriously, but it of course promotes the professions of “doctors and lawyers and such”
While those are truly admiral professions, I have to say that I am not sure why salesmanship is not promoted more. “Let ’em be doctors or salesmen or such” fits just fine. (My apologies to all the VERY talented saleswomen that I work with – but salespeople was too many syllables, but don’t think that doesn’t mean that I don’t think mommas should push women into sales too.)
One of the nicest things about being in sales is getting to travel to interesting places that you probably wouldn’t go to normally. In my career, I’ve seen nearly the entire US and several countries. Last week, I got the opportunity to travel to Istanbul and it was an amazing experience. I am very intriqued by historic sites, and in particular the events that shaped the world we live in today, but actually planning a trip to Turkey wasn’t high on my list. My family would much rather travel to more relaxed and vacation sites that require less thinking. And… as a salesperson that travels, we are often at the mercy of where our families want to go when we do get fun travel.
Anyone who has done sales in a start-up can attest to that fact. Great salespeople make it look easy – or at least hide the struggle well from non-salespeople. Once a great salesperson builds their pipeline, gets down their pitch and starts rolling with it, they can easily bring companies on the pipeline, and move them through, and can often do it with, what looks like, ease and finesse – and often with amazing predictability.
The essential but horrible sounding named murder board. Every time I bring it up with a new person, I get confused stares – yet I think its an essential tool for both salespeople and entrepreneurs.
Up-selling, despite what some people believe, is not a sneaky or dishonest sales strategy. In fact is is an essential strategy for start-ups. I do, however, understand, how many people can see it this way.
At the bagel store near my house, a bagel costs $0.49. Yet, order that bagel with $0.03 worth of butter, and the bagel is suddenly $1.69. Why does the store do this? Because its great to advertise bagels that cost only $0.49, but who comes into the store and only orders 1 bagel with nothing on it? The upsell is the critical method of driving profit into the store.
Its worth repeating my post from last December about the December Sales Problem.
December is a hard sales month for companies for several reasons: The month is really only 2.5 weeks long before your prospects shut down. Budgets are often used up. Vacations make it hard to get deals done. Prospects are more focused on their Holiday party then they are on your solution, etc. The list is long, and very intuitive why its hard to get sales done. However, as I’ve posted before, December can actually be an amazing month for sales.