7 Myths Entrepreneurs Believe About Sales
7 Myths Entrepreneurs Believe About Sales
The only thing that entrepreneurs are worse at than prospecting is follow-up. They fall down on the follow-up. BUT in order to follow up on a lead, they first have to get the lead.
Typical service-based B2B entrepreneurs or solopreneurs do not get an avalanche of leads. They’re lucky to get one a day or 1-2 a week and then they have to convert them into a sale. Even at a 50% conversion rate, that’s not going to keep them at a six-figure sales level without doing more pro-active sales activities, which strikes fear in them.
SO – they need to go out and do the nasty – prospecting, finding new clients and that is super scary for those of you who have never done this before.
I’m lucky in that I was a full-time sales professional for about twenty years, so I’ve prospected A LOT. And it no longer scares me at all. In fact, I love it. I’m a true sales pioneer who loves the challenge of selling something that’s never been sold before, which I have done repeatedly for decades.
So what the sales myths that keep entrepreneurs from prospecting and closing more business:
1. Outdated sleazy salesperson mentality
Being disturbed at dinner by the proverbial duct cleaner annoys everyone. As the majority of salespeople are NEVER trained at all in the sales process, that’s why you have lousy pushy salespeople. That is no longer the case. I even teach Entrepreneurial Sales at my old alma mater to business students, so selling is on its way to being a respected profession.
2. Cold Calling is Dead
NOTHING can be further from the truth though I call it ‘warm calling’ now. With all the information that is available to us, there is no reason to just blindly call anyone WITHOUT doing your research first.
I tell my clients to never ask what you should have Googled first. That’s boring to the other person and shows that you haven’t done your homework and is a sign of disrespect and unprofessionalism.
3. Too MUCH Research
This doesn’t contradict the previous ‘ don’t ask what you should have googled first’ but it’s when entrepreneurs or sales reps get stuck in research overload and spend more than 5-10 minutes on each contact.
You can get trapped into information overload wasting time so that there’s less time to dial for dollars which is the main objective. Don’t overly research until you get the meeting!
4. Scripts Work – NOT!
I’m a huge anti-script sales trainer. The ones that you read when talking to a prospective client that is.
Why? Because it sounds artificial and boring. And when you’re bored, then you bore others.
Sure, draft up a script for your first few calls and use that as a cheat sheet to make sure you cover the points you want to make. But don’t memorize it as that will have you concentrating on your own words rather than listening for the answers from your prospective new client.
Now practice that script until it flows well. Practice with a trusted colleague or advisor. Refine the words so you say as little as you have to for maximum impact. Have your questions on the tip of your tongue so you start engaging that person ASAP. And questions are what engages and get you the information that you need.
5. Fear of Rejection
NO means Next Opportunity. It’s not fatal and it will happen to you. In my decades of selling, I have encountered one rude person who hung up on me. And I have called thousands of people.
The vast majority of people are nice if you approach them asking for help in a friendly tone. Speak to them as if they were your newest BFF. I call them my BBFs – Best Business Friend – so that takes the edge off as talking to friends is not stressful – right?
6. Salespeople are born, not made
Totally false and I’m living proof that you can take a shy introverted insecure geek and turn them into a million-dollar sales professional. BUT I did first have to learn the basics of how to sell and then go and practice it until I got to make the process my own.
And that’s what I teach you to do – how to guide a conversation using questions as selling is listening NOT talking.
7. You have to manipulate people in order to close them
NOTHING can be further from the truth. Being in sales means being of service to others. You are there to make their lives better in some way. It could be in a cheaper system so that they save money or a higher-performing gadget that saves them time – but there has to be some VALUE to you doing business together.
Yes, you have to know the way sales works and ask for the order. Then you have to know that you need to shut up until they answer. Those are sales techniques, not tricks. I only teach you how to ethically have conversations that naturally lead to you doing business together.
Patti Pokorchak, 416-951-3842 or firstname.lastname@example.org