Question: What is one thing most entrepreneurs do not understand about sales?
You Are Not Your Customer
"Only a very small percentage of entrepreneurs are the target customer for their own product. Too many companies use the language of tech startups when they should be learning the language of their target market. "
Questions Are Valuable
"When I started out, I would spend 80 percent of meetings telling clients about my business and how it could help them. I developed a few relationships, but many slipped through the cracks. I read a great book called Spin Selling, and since then spend 18 percent of meetings asking questions, 80 percent listening to answers and 2 percent telling people how my company can solve their specific problems."
You Can Also Be Sold To
"Entrepreneurs who are not versed in sales can fall into the trap of being sold to by their own sales team. It is important for entrepreneurs to understand how to set realistic sales goals and look for sales trends alongside their sales team. If you don't establish these metrics and goals, your sales team may end up selling you a lot of excuses or speculation of why deals are not happening."
Sales Requires a Lot of Effort
"Most entrepreneurs, particularly those who have never started a company from scratch before, don't understand the amount of effort and organization it takes to build a real sales engine. Oftentimes, entrepreneurs are good at one aspect of the sales engine. But very few are good at pulling all of the aspects of sales together into one finely tuned machine that continually delivers leads."
All Customers Are Not Created Equal
"Every sale is not the same. When building a company, it is important to align oneself with the right partners in every avenue, including customers. If a would-be client is difficult to deal with or requires a lot of bandwidth during negotiations, he/she won't be any easier to deal with after the signature is on the dotted line. Every entrepreneur has a limited bandwidth; focus yours on good people"
Sales Is a Business Partnership
"No matter what business you're in, you are a salesperson. So own it. It doesn't matter if you're selling your own products and services or selling yourself to your team, everything relates to sales. Yet, when you start “selling” to a customer instead of working with and helping them, you won't win. Great salespeople win by serving as business partners, first."