By Sean Coyle, an EO Pittsburgh member and president of Sandler Training by Peak Performance Management
For entrepreneurs – especially those just starting out – businesses fail more than they succeed. In fact, more than 50 percent of entrepreneurial businesses fail within the first five years. There may come a time when the success or failure of your business comes down to whether or not you can make the sale. This can prove to be a daunting task, especially since it is common in today’s society to lie to salespeople just to get them to go away. Mostly this happens because business people aren’t good sales people.
Think of your own experience. As buyers, we are more and more aware of sales tactics and we find ways to work around them. Many of us have our own anti-sales system. Maybe we don’t tell the truth. Perhaps we milk the salesperson for unpaid consulting. If that doesn’t work, we might commit to nothing, explaining that we “need to think it over,” hoping the salesperson will disappear. Sound familiar?
As an entrepreneur you’ve worked hard to establish your business and you probably need to sell if you want it to succeed. Here are a few steps you can take to succeed when it’s your turn to sell, without acting like a salesperson:
Establish equal business stature. Make a potential buyer feel comfortable. Seek to understand their situation. Maintain this attitude and approach throughout the sales process.
- Set mutual expectations. This means agreeing on ground rules about your mutual purpose, next steps and necessary actions that could lead to a sale.
- Help your prospective buyer understand their real pain and present a solution that will help solve it. Show how your product or service will help solve the problem. It’s human nature for us to buy ways to avoid or overcome pain. We are not interested in features or benefits.
- Maintain your relationship after the sale – something we call the post sell. How many of us can recall being left high and dry after a sale? Don’t be that salesperson.
You’ve invested too much time building your business to end up like the majority of entrepreneurs. Don’t get caught in the cross-hairs of someone’s anti-sales system. When it comes down to the sale that will make or break your business, knowing ways to avoid failure and adapt your sales process will set you ahead of the curve.
If you’re looking to learn new sales strategies and techniques that will grow your bottom line, download our guide,