This may be a bit hard to swallow.
Just because you make something cool doesn’t mean people will buy it. Your product won’t close a sale by simply exuding coolness. The “If you build it, they will come” approach doesn’t work here (sorry, Kevin Costner).
Many new businesses have the benefit of being able to live pretty much anywhere in the world and sell to any market they want. But simply having your business on the Internet doesn’t mean sales automatically happen. It takes some work.
Some entrepreneurs either aren’t inclined or simply aren’t willing to picture themselves as salespeople. That kind of stuff, they think, is reserved for telemarketers.
While “selling” your online business doesn’t necessarily mean cold calls, you’ve still go to work to win business.
Over the last few years, I’ve heard many start-up and small business owners use the financial downturn as an excuse to let their business fail. When things were good, sales were up and people would show up organically. Entrepreneurs with this mindset now find themselves sitting around, and blaming the market rather than pounding the pavement. They need to be willing to pick up the phone, knock on the door and ask for people’s business.
So here’s what can you do to be a better salesperson:
Know What You’re Offering — If you started your own business, you probably know your baby better than anyone. What makes it special? Why do you love it so much? Be able to answer any question on any topic even remotely related. Not only will this give you the benefit of expertise, but your confidence will increase.
Solve Problems — People like things that solve their problems. Show how what you offer takes care of the most frustrating parts of their day.
Use the Right Tools — Screwdrivers are great for screws, not so much for nails. Present yourself professionally, there are a lot of online presentation software options out there. For us, none of them worked so we made our own presentation software. Find out what works and use it.
About the Author: Morgan Vandagriff is the Co-Founder of a small business that teaches kids how to use their money. The needs of this business have led him to a solution he would like to share with small business owners everywhere, Taxi (www.taximeeting.com).