The accidental salesperson
Over the past two years, my business has seen a significant increase due to the influx of entrepreneurs who courageously stepped into the role of starting a brand new business. They also found themselves stepping into the role as the salesperson for that business. They never planned on losing their job and never thought they would find themselves dependent on their selling skills. They worked for someone else, started their own business and ended up in a sales role by accident, not by choice. If you own your own business, your selling skills are vital to its success.
These entrepreneurs have a great product or service but quickly realized they had no clue how to motivate customers to buy without knowing the fundamentals of sales skills and a solid foundation of the sales process. The economy is taking a toll on this unsuspecting population of new sales people.
Many are in industry sectors that would not normally be considered sales professions. Accountants, medical, financial consultants, contractors, home repair, banks, all types of businesses are now clearly realizing that in order to survive in today’s economy they need to get out there and sell themselves and their product or service.
When they hire me, I am thrilled to assist and excited to coach this new type of business owner — eager to learn and hungry for guidance because they know it means life or death for their business. They refuse to put their head in the sand, blame the economy and wait for brighter days. They know it’s about as bright as it’s going to get for a while.
Their success depends on their ability to sell their ideas, concepts, products and services to others. The good news is that once they got proficient at selling they realized their business could thrive, not just survive. Their choice to succeed rather than retreat is helping them to create their own economy.
No matter how great a business owner and entrepreneur, closing sales would be difficult if not impossible due to lack formal training and experience of being in a sales role. As a result, most waste time, money and energy on different aspects of their business that do not generate sales or revenue. Add in the assortment of myths and misconceptions about sales and you have a business owner with a distorted picture of the most import functions of their business. If they do not learn how to sell they will continue struggling to move their business forward. It does not have to be that way.
There are many moving parts and pieces to starting a business, and for many it is a dream come true. But too many entrepreneurs see their dreams fall apart: Their business fails because of common pitfalls around selling that could have been avoided. Underestimating the importance of learning how to sell and honing this precious skill will wreak havoc in their business.
This new trend of will continue unless this new breed of entrepreneur embraces the role of salesperson, steps up their game and learns how they can develop their sales skills. Help and success is closer than you think. It’s not what you sell in this economy; it’s how you sell in this economy.
Smart and enlightened business owners are recognizing that their “product” is only part of the sales process and that selling is the only way they are going to keep their business and their dream alive. Once they are coached and gain an understanding of the basics of a sales conversation and the sales process, they will gain a significant competitive advantage and succeed in any economy.