It’s “GO” time!
You know what I mean. After all the planning, preparing, designing, building, projecting and anticipation, it’s now time for you to sell your idea, product or service to the market. It could be to potential investors, partners or clients. The pressure is the same. It’s your “baby” and it’s time for you to seek validation, approval and hopefully new signed business for your company. You are the Founder and it’s up to YOU to make it happen. Or NOT happen. No pressure. Right??
Starting and growing a successful start-up is one of the most exciting and stressful things that you can do in life. But hey, you already know this. You live it every day. If you’ve read this far it’s because you are a Founder, or at least work very closely with one. No matter what your industry is, you need to be able to SELL what you do to others. Sometimes it starts right at home, selling the idea to a spouse or significant other. Maybe it’s family and friends. The bottom-line is you need to start selling the moment you decide to be an entrepreneur.
Here’s a sobering fact: MOST new start-ups will FAIL. Depending on who you ask or what study you read, the number that fail could be as high as 80%. Let’s just say that it’s safely the majority that will crash and burn. I’m not trying to scare anyone. I’m just being very real.
So why does it happen? There are a lot of possible reasons why, but I’m going to simplify things and share with you my opinion on the two biggest reasons. Here they are:
1) Insufficient funding – lack of working capital AND
you guessed it:
2) Lack of / poor sales results!
Whether you are “bootstrapping” or working with significant resources, you must invest significantly in improving your sales skills and results. As a founder, that investment may be developing your own personal selling skills, or it may be in the form of bringing those skills into your company by adding the necessary talent. One thing is for sure: You need people on your team that can win new business for you and your company. You see, it’s not about websites, landing pages, funnels, marketing pieces and all the other elements that make up what your potential clients see. It all really comes down to one single thing..
So what is the one thing? It’s the QUALITY of every interaction with your potential client.
You see, whether you realize it or not, sales is all about cumulative relationship-building. Every interaction plays a role in the relationship with a client. Every email, phone call, voicemail message, video conference and in-person meeting shapes the relationship.
So how do you take control of that process and succeed in selling? It’s actually very simple in concept, but challenging in execution: You have to make it all about VALUE to the client.
Here’s what I mean: With every interaction, flip your focus from what YOU hope to accomplish to what VALUE the client can receive. Instead of “pitching” product or service, ask detailed, impactful questions of your client and pay attention to their replies. Look for opportunities to improve them first, and then match up your product or service offering as a way to provide that improvement. Too many times people “show up and throw up” during a sales interaction. They just ramble on, spitting out details to the client before ever establishing rapport and building a relationship with the potential client. It’s natural and completely normal to be excited about what you offer, but it’s critical that you control your excitement. In sales, you need to check your ego at the door. The bottom-line is this: Who you are and what you do simply does not matter to your potential client. In fact, nobody really cares. Now, I’m not saying people are naturally insensitive. What I’m saying is that people are conditioned to look for value and impact to them. Your best results will always come from focusing on the value to the client and exploring the impact it will have with them.
Here’s the good news: If you become good at that, your business will survive. You see, if you can generate consistent, quality sales, you can overcome most challenges your business will face. If you can become great at it, your business will thrive and your life will change in a big way.
If you or your business is struggling to generate the sales you need or want, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for a FREE IMPACT strategy session on ways to improve your sales results and generate explosive profits for you and your business. You’ll be glad that you did.