• Laurent Notin

Why You Are Better At Sales Than You Think

Updated: Apr 13

All quotes are taken from my podcast Inter:views, Cracking The Entrepreneurship Code.


“Unless the sales happen, nothing happens. Without clients, without revenue, you’re out of business.” Dom Einhorn, Founder, UniQorn Incubator-Accelerator, France, ep. 50.


You could have the best product or service in the world, but if you don’t sell it, you have zero business.


Entrepreneurs, I’m afraid you need to level up your sales game. It comes with the job.

“Be prepared to sell. So many people are like me, they don’t like the idea of selling, they don’t like the process of selling, they don’t like leaving their comfort zone and asking people to try or buy something. If you want to be a successful entrepreneur, you have to be able to sell.” Matt Franklin, Founder, Bottle Rocket Labs, USA, ep. 71.


In our digital era, things become more and more automated and as result, we develop a tendency to hide behind algorithms, automatic messages, and other chatbots.


No doubt technology is an accelerator of growth. However, I’d like to remind you of the following:


There’s always another human being clicking on the Buy button on the other side of the screen. After all, someone must record the payment card details into the system.


Having said that, I hear many entrepreneurs saying they’re bad salespeople or they’re afraid of being too pushy.


That’s because they’re not looking at sales the way they should.


They try to show their customers how great their products or services are without first checking if anybody wants or needs them.


Let me tell you:


Nobody cares how great your brand is, especially when your products or services look very similar to the many others.


Then, dropping the price becomes the natural move to sell more.


The problem with such an approach is that it’s a race to the bottom. There will always be someone who’s cheaper than you.


“More entrepreneurs need to learn selling, from prospecting all the way to close. How to deal with objections and get referrals? How to deal with issues like when to move on to the close part? How to identify your decision-makers?“ Joshua Schulman, Founder, Schulman Communications Interactive Inc., USA; ep 10.


Instead, run a race to the top, and understand 3 things:


1) Selling is a conversation


Remember, there are people on the other side of the sales interaction, so what’s the best way to connect with them?


Simple: Having conversations, asking questions, and being genuinely curious about them.


Obviously, not all conversations will get you a sale, but they’ll definitely leave a better impression than being pushy.


“It’s important to be good at sales, or at least have an understanding of sales. The most passionate salespeople are the ones who genuinely believe in what they’re doing. I always think sales is just a useful life lesson.” Joel Willans, Founder, Very Finnish Problem, Finland, ep. 57.


2) Selling is always about your customers’ needs, never about you


Put your buyer’s hat on.


Every time you make a purchase, you follow the emotional connections that you create with a product (e.g., being part of the same tribe) or a person (e.g., trust), and justify your choice with rational reasons later.


If you don’t believe me, ask yourself the following: How did you select your bank?


My point is, put yourself in your customers’ shoes.


Do they want to be told how fantastic your product is or do they want an explanation on how your product will solve their problem or make their life better?


“I’m not selling I’m helping. Once I changed my perspective about sales, I realized that helping means understanding what people want and why do they want it, and how my service can help them. Sales are about communication and continuous exchange.” Natalijia Rodonovia Founder, IT Academy STEP Cambodia, ep. 41.


3) Selling never ends


You’ve got a project or sold a product.


Great, all hands on deck!


Not too fast… When the project is completed, or once you’ve delivered the product, what will happen if there’s nothing else in your pipeline?


Always make sure you dedicate time to business development (aka sales), although you’re busy executing projects or delivering products.


Selling is a cycle, not a one-off thing. It never ends.


It also means you must find ways to go beyond technology and remain connected to your existing customers.


“It’s no longer price, it’s no longer your products and features that are defining whether a business is successful. Starting now and going forward it’s going to be customer experience. The companies that give that customer focus, and they genuinely and truly do in everything they do, those are the ones that will succeed moving forward.” Anita Toth, Churn Consultant, Canada, ep. 29.


Your customers, not your investors, are the business’ main source of revenue. They can build or destroy your company.


Never lose contact with them.


“Be customer-centric. The validation is fundamental. You need to listen to the market, you need to take care of lot about your customers, the customer is your boss.” Ana Perez Garcia, Founder, Canard Drones, Spain, ep. 68.


Make it mandatory for yourself and your executive team to have regular conversations with them, especially as your business scales and you’re more and more disconnected from the field and more and more dependent on technology.


“The most time I ask when is the last time you actually spoke to a customer? You know, the person that your role relies on, the person that makes sure you get out of bed, when is the last time you actually asked for feedback? Frequently, people have never spoken to one of their customers.” Chris Elkin, Founder, Doodle Brands, Vietnam, ep. 17.

 

This is an extract from my eBook The Entrepreneur Mindset: 7 Tactics To Avoid Being The Bottleneck In Your Business.

Download the full eBook for free here.

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