Much has been written about all the skills an entrepreneur needs to be successful. Creative, action oriented, risk taker, visionary, opportunistic, resourceful, etc. But in my opinion, the number one skill every owner requires, if you are going to have any chance of success, is the ability to sell.
It’s surprising how many business owners try to avoid selling whenever possible. When challenged, they readily admit that they find it a very uncomfortable and a highly stressful activity. However, what they fail to remember is that by not selling, they risk compounding their stress levels when they have insufficient business to pay their suppliers, rent or employees. In others word, “No Sale, No Business!”
Selling has many definitions, but at the end of the day, selling is nothing more than the ability to convince someone that your idea, thought, or product is better than the alternative. Selling is not, high pressure, aggressive or confrontational. Nor is it a full contact sport where winner takes all, but more about finding common ground that allow the buyer and seller to agree that they have found the best solution.
Yes there are natural born sales people, just as there are natural born inventors and athletes, but for the vast majority of us we need to learn the skills we lack. The great thing about selling is that it is can be a learned. Although you may never become a professional sales person, your goal is to simply be able to sell well enough to create revenue for your enterprise until such time as you can afford to hire someone who can do the job better than you. Once this goal has been achieved, you can then spend more of your time doing the things you actually enjoy. In the meantime pick up some books or download their digital versions and listen to them in your car or at the gym.
Strangely enough, some of the best sales people I’ve encountered will tell you they aren’t sales people at all, yet their unassuming manner coupled with their deep passion and belief in what they’re doing make them powerfully persuasive individuals.
So if you genuinely believe in your product or service, you’re passionate about the benefits it can deliver and you are truly concerned about delivering quality results, chances are you can sell.
So put your inhibitions aside, be yourself and just be honest with people. Your passion and enthusiasm should be enough to be a convincing sales person.
Copyright © Greg Weatherdon 2011
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