Reality Check: Entrepreneurs Are Sales People
Entrepreneurs’ Sales Phobia
“Rich, you’re a natural salesman, you have the gift of gab.” This is what I hear often and it started at a really young age. I would say 10 or 11 years old. As I grew older, I felt like that term meant that I was good at BSing my way in and out of things. Well, I’m sure some of that is true, but what does that mean? And why is there such a phobia of selling?
If you haven’t realized this by now part of the mathematical equation for being an entrepreneur is “product + sales = entrepreneur”. You have plenty of other parts to this equation to be a successful sustaining entrepreneur, but if you miss this part, you’ll probably be working for the person who got it right.
“Nothing happens in the world without someone selling something” – Zig Ziglar
Sales people have gotten a bad rap over the years due to some misrepresentation by wrong doers, schemers, and “snake oil salesman”. For decades, these people have tarnished the sales person’s brand. It’s like how the world works now, receiving praise is like taking vitamins, people do it when they remember, and criticism is like taking painkillers, people do it as soon as they feel the pain. When people deal with a bad sales rep or service, the word spreads as fast a tweet by Kanye West.
So what’s the phobia all about? We can break this down all kinds of ways, but there is one main reason after years of sales training that I found with people that have this “phobia”. It is fear. Fear of rejection, fear of talking, fear of judgment, fear of embarrassment, and the list can go on and on. Most of these fears reside in the minds of people’s creative imaginations. We dream up these scenarios before we even take the first step.
The only people that I know that can be “sold” are sales people. We’re the easiest to be “sold” to. Why the quotations you ask? Well, no one wants to be sold, but everyone loves to get a good deal, service, and value.
As an entrepreneur, it’s an absolute must that you believe in what you’re building and selling. This confidence is what will flow through your team as you gear them up to take on your new adventure. First of all, you need to be the first sales person of your company. I think you’ll find it pretty easy to recruit anyone if you can sell your vision and product. When you start out, you may not be able to recruit the best of the best sales person, but this gives you an opportunity to mold the right person.
If you aren’t a sales person yourself here are a few books that I recommend.
When you’re entrepreneur, you should always be working on talking to more people. Nowadays you can do that through several mediums, but I still prefer the person-to-person interaction. When people hear the word sales training, they automatically think of someone on stage trying to motivate you with tips on closing the deal. I take a different approach to it.
I treat sales training like I do getting in shape. If you exercise a little bit each day and eat properly, you’ll start to see results. So how does that equate to training for sales?
Here’s my daily “training” schedule for sales.
Morning meal: Listen to a podcast of how others have done it before me.
Morning workout: Review my sales pipeline and make calls/emails/LinkedIn
Lunch meal: I try to never eat alone and I always go to lunch.Lunch workout: I’m with a potential partner, client or team member to see how I can add value for them. If I’m by myself, I find a busy restaurant with a bar and meet someone new.
Dinner meal: I drive home finishing up the podcast I started in the morning or listening to a new one.
Dinner workout: This month my wife has been on nights so I find another busy restaurant with a bar and meet someone new. If I’m not doing that, then I’m following up on responses from the morning.
Ok if you haven’t figured it out yet, your meal is some form of personal development and your workout is putting that into practice. The more you workout, the less sore you’ll be later. So the more people you come in contact with the easier it’ll be for you to build rapport and hopefully add value to their day. Which in turn will eventually add value to your business. If you’re serious about your business’s growing to the next level start a workout plan of your own. Your goal should be to build rapport with new people everyday and when you do it’ll help with your team, your pitch, your communication and your confidence.