Why Great Salespeople Become Exceptional Entrepreneurs

The title may evoke every emotion from shock, anger and even downright contempt from those of you who’ve read past it. And it should – if you have dreams of entrepreneurial greatness and you have yet to refine your sales presence!

Now let me explain before every shy, introvert and/or scatterbrained-type in the audience starts to scream and shout…

Not everyone can become a great car salesman. You may not have what it takes to get a job selling paper for a paper mill. Heck, most of you would be terrible appliance salespeople too, right?


Because you need passion for the products/services you’re selling to people and businesses.

Passion is mostly all you need actually…

A butcher selling his products
photo credit: Frank Kovalchek / Flickr

Don’t you notice that when someone loves somebody or something, they take on an entirely different presence. That they miraculously and instantly develop an innate ability to articulate that subject matter better than they’ve ever described anything ever before?

When you’re truly inspired by something, you can become that Grade-A salesperson everyone loves to hate. The type who can sell ice to eskimos and dirt to farmers.

Passion + Practice = Unstoppable Entrepreneur

Sure, you’ll have to drill your pitch after learning everything you can about the business(es) you plan to enter into and conquer.

Nobody’s a born salesperson, even if some just seem to have that knack. They were just practising how to talk to people and sell them on their ideas while the rest of us were trying to decide which G.I. Joe or Barbie we wanted for birthdays and Christmases.

Being a “Webpreneur” Doesn’t Exclude the Need for Sales

Oh yeah, you can sit behind a computer screen and close deals from across the world without ever seeing the people you’re selling to. That’s half-true.

Some lucky people aspire to untold riches that way. Some, like KimDotCom made themselves into multi-millionaires from behind a computer screen (even with the seemingly unending allegations made against him.) A better example would be John ChowMichael Arrington. Mark Zuckerberg. Sergey Brin.  And many others, the famous ones and not-too-famous ones.

But do you want to be like them? If so, do you have what it takes? Do you think you can skip selling at all, even if it’s online? I don’t think so – salesmanship is even more prominent when you’re online, simply because you need to compensate for the lack of face-to-face sales meeting.  You need to be an expert in digital storytelling; copywriting; content marketing; and so on.

Behold – the power of persuasion

Eventually you’ll still have to sell ideas to make your business scream. Whether it be to customers, partners, bank managers, private investors. The power to persuade, using your passion, still comes into play – big time.

You don’t need to be aggressive. Nor do you have to be the most well-spoken or loudest. You don’t need to have an IQ in the 150’s.

Persuasive car dealer

You just have to have passion for your products and do the following 3 things really well:

1. Be a good listener

Perhaps the hardest thing when it comes to human communication to do really well. If you’re an introvert, this is even better news for you becoming an exceptional entrepreneur. It’s a skill people with your personality type are already revered for.

And I’m not casting stones at all you extroverts out there. Anyone CAN become a good listener with practise.

Make it a goal to always listen more than you talk. And here’s the big key to becoming a great listener, great salesperson and exceptional entrepreneur: While listening to people speak, do nothing but listen and absorb what they’re saying.

Most people waste valuable comprehension-power thinking about what they’ll after the speaker’s done, at the same time the other’s speaking.

Everyone wants to be heard.

If you listen, then take time to contemplate before answering after they’re finished (while maintaining eye-contact), and then respond in a way that lets them know you understand their issues or needs, you’ve just become a better salesman than 75% of the other slugs out there plying their wares!

2. Solve their problem

This won’t be a problem if you’ve taken the time to question and listen to your potential customers. When you’ve listened really well and come up with a viable – even spectacular – solution, the work’s already done.

The product should sell itself at this point. Put it in front of them and tell them who to make the check out to!

3. Offer exceptional customer service

This is where being a great salesman and successful entrepreneur CAN become difficult – if you’re cheap or completely inept. Your customer service levels will become your second best company salesperson (next to you) as word spreads of your brand.

Don’t stifle this step by offering sub-par or just-enough-to-be-competitive, or you’ll never be able to point to your service levels as a reason to purchase.

Your company’s reputation for going the extra mile, throwing in extras with every sale, honoring warranties, etc., will do all the selling for you in a few years time. With the Internet and social media, maybe even less time than that.

Time to implement what you’ve learned

Hopefully now (if you didn’t already) you can see that what many people have traditionally defined as a good salesperson is no longer the be-all, end-all toward determining how successful you can be.

The 21st Century has opened the door for so-called “non-sales-savvy” entrepreneurs to succeed as good salespeople in business, simply by focusing on the customer and their needs.

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