Many entrepreneurs view the task of selling their ideas, products and services as an undesirable necessity. Some are fearful at the prospect of calling and visiting others in the hopes of growing their business. The Web is full of articles and stories documenting their disdain for selling. Sales is neither a job that they typically enjoy nor one for which they are particularly skilled and well-prepared for. What is to be done? Who is going to do the selling?
Entrepreneurs and small businesses often lack the budget needed for employing a sales professional. They often become the lone salesperson for their fledgling company. There are many skills to be learned, techniques to be mastered and sales closes to be remembered. It soon becomes readily apparent that sales is a tough requirement on unfamiliar ground. Many actually find it quite uncomfortable, perhaps formidable.
For entrepreneurs, superior selling skills can be broken down into three basic components which dictate the entire process:
1. Goals you set
2. Decisions you make
3. Actions you take
The establishment of goals is critical to the company’s sales success. Prior to the business plan and subsequent marketing and sales plans, the entrepreneur must establish focused goals. These actually commence with dreams and ideas. He/She must have a clear and vivid mental picture of what they want to accomplish. They must want it above all else and be totally focused upon it’s achievement. Their dream must constantly occupy their thoughts. Critical to the establishment of goals is the commitment to maintain written goals. Without the “writing down” component, goals are nothing more than impotent wishes.
Clear, concise decision-making is also critical to success in virtually any endeavor. There can be no meandering or fence-sitting when it comes to making decisions. While designing a precise timetable, prioritizing tasks and developing an expectant attitude will help to validate one’s decisions, these will not replace actual decision-making. In the event that a prior decision ends up being incorrect, waste no time in correcting the matter, deciding upon a better course of action.
Goals and decisions require action to both empower and complete them. The entrepreneur is always moving, always contemplating, always adjusting. To remain static would invite failure. These three key sales components will keep your selling efforts in check. You can monitor your progress at any time by reviewing your path towards the completion of your goals. That path will be always be enabled by your decisions and actions.
Sales is a dynamic function; one requiring confidence, courage and tenacity. Successful selling may sometimes require some give-and-take, some negotiating. The result should be a win-win situation for both the entrepreneur and customer. That is a decision you must make.
The key to remember is, that in the end, selling is simply people dealing with people. Your goals, decisions and actions are your road map to sales success.