So did you really know what you signed up for when you became an entrepreneur? Were you shocked by the reality? If you are like the majority of entrepreneurs you probably thought that all you had to do was create a product or service and BAM people would line up to buy. Well…not exactly. The shocking reality for entrepreneurs is that they have to make actual sales; the majority of them don’t have sales experience and don’t want to do sales. They want to deliver the services they are so great at. If you want to stay in business, you need to be successful at making sales.
Don’t Give Up So Easily
The #1 mistake I see people make is that they give up on the sale too quickly. As soon as they hear the words, “Oh…I can’t afford it,” they give up. Let me just tell you what “I can’t afford it” really means.
- “I don’t want to spend that kind of money”
- “I don’t see the value in this yet”
- “I need to think about it”
- “I need more time”
Hang in there! Most sales are not made during the first sales conversation, so don’t get bent out of shape when it doesn’t happen. In fact, did you know it usually takes 6-8 “touches” before your prospect is ready to buy??? Patience folks, you’re going to need a lot of it!
Get a Bigger Net
I have spent a lot of time in my life fishing and what I can tell you is that if you fish with a small net, you can only catch a little bit of fish but if you fish with a big net, you can catch a lot of fish. Notice I didn’t say you will catch a lot of fish, there is no guarantee; but do you realize that by using a bigger net, you increased your potential to catch more fish? Success in sales works the same way. The more people you have sales conversations with the more sales you make. You need to talk to people – a lot of people. For every 10 people, you have a sales conversation with only 1, 2 or maybe 3 will buy. So you need to figure out how many sales you need per month and plan it out. For example, if you want 3 new clients per month, you need to have sales conversations with at least 20 to 30 people. Selling is a game of numbers; improve your odds by fishing with a bigger net!
To be successful in sales you have to be confident in the value of your product or service. Charge what you are truly worth, and don’t apologize for it. Don’t initiate sales conversations with “I’m sorry….”, and don’t be so quick to hand out a discount or a freebie in an effort to make a sale. There is a time and a place for discounts and freebies, and I’ll teach you about them, but they should not be used as a last-ditch effort to save a sale. You know that your product or service can help people and that is nothing to apologize for, so own your value.
Another issue I see during sales conversations is that a lot of entrepreneurs are losing money because of sympathy. I recorded a great video on the difference between sympathy and empathy.