Steer issue 26 Nov/Dec - Page 16

“So, why did you
BUY a sales job”
I asked the entrepreneur.
“Yeah, about that” they replied “I had no idea there
would need to be so much selling involved. I have a
great product, it’ll change the world, for some reason
I thought getting it out there would be easier.” “I hear
this all the time”, I said.
Entrepreneurs are great. They make the world colourful and exciting. They change lives, societies, communities and individuals. They bring new things in to a world
that is always looking for something. They are passionate and driven people. Often, they are focused 100% on
what they seek to achieve.
Unfortunately, this passion can cloud their ability to
sell what they have. Yes, a certain amount of sales will
come from your passion alone, but that is not a consistent, predictable way to sell. People buy emotionally and
justify intellectually. On occasions we let our emotional
response dictate our intellectual response. Whilst still a
valid way for people to buy, it is not a consistent stable
way to sell.
Too often businesses and ideas fail because the passion isn’t enough. I tell startups that what they need to
do is really put themselves in the shoes of those they
seek to sell too. Immerse yourself in their world, their
problems and frustrations. Understand how their problems would manifest themselves in a way that would allow an objective bystander, looking in, to see that they
are displaying symptoms of a root problem that your
product or service can fix.
It’s all too easy to be driven by your, the entrepreneur’s, reasons why buyers should need something, as
opposed to the buyer’s point of view, which is rarely
solution-based thinking but an emotional desire to
stop, prevent or overcome something.
• Who cares? Who actually cares about fixing this
• What symptoms would an individual or organisation
be displaying that would indicate they may have a
root cause problem I actually can fix?
• What would an individual or organisation be specifically complaining about, which they have no clue we
are the solution too?
• If they have a problem we fix how long would it have
been going on for?
• What would they have probably done to try and fix
it and if so how successful was that?
• What has this cost them in time, resources and
money to date and what will it continue to cost un
less acted on today?
• What’s the impact on the business been?
• How does that make them feel? - This is essential, even if they can answer the above, if they say
“It’ doesn’t really bother me” you’re not selling to this
person or organisation
• Have they given up trying to fix it?
To be a successful entrepreneur stop thinking and
talking about your creation, rather spend all your time
thinking and talking too your prospect about them.
Ask yourself simple but probing questions;
• What do I actually fix? This will often not be the very
thing you have specifically designed your product to
do - now that’s a counter intuitive thought process
for an entrepreneur!
• Why would anybody care? Have I fixed something
people actually care about?
• So what? If they don’t fix their problem, so what?
What happens?


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