AreSmall Business Owners Salespeople in Disguise? YES!
Smallbusinesses comprise more than 99% of all businesses in the U.S.according to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).
Thesuccess of a small business rests on the owner's ability to sell.Business owners have about 50 different hats to wear, but sales isthe biggest hat an entrepreneur wears. Actually without the saleshat, the other hats are useless.
And,when I say sales I'm not just talking, "Hey, please buy mystuff." Sales is not just selling your product or service. Thereare meaningful uses of selling skills that permeate every facet ofthe entrepreneurial process.
Hereare a few of the sales jobs that fall under the definition ofselling that a small business owner must perform:
•Getting credit from a supplier - Convincing your suppliersthat you're credit worthy is sometimes as good or better than a bankloan.
•Getting a loan from a banker - A true sales job. You have toconvince your banker you deserve the loan and can repay the debt.
•Getting small favors from employees - Work overtime, workweekends, work more productively, change work processes.
•Getting something delivered on time - Sell the supplier thatdelivery is imperative to serve your customers or grow your business.
•Satisfying a disgruntled customer - You don't want a badexperience to cost you a customer, so you sell acceptable solutions.
•Getting payment for an invoice - It's Friday. Payroll is due.You have no cash, but you do have receivables. You must collect thatcheck to pull it off.
Whatmakes small business owners so good at sales, even if they have hadno previous experience? Desire, fear, and about 50 other emotionsassociated with the risk and spirit of adventure that theentrepreneurial process breeds, including the love of being on yourown, and the passionate belief in what you're doing.
Hereare 7.5 reasons why business owners sell best:
1.The responsibility for success of the business is yours. Youwon't let your business fail due to lack of sales - so it's your jobto sell until it's successful.
2.The business is your child. You sell best because you knowyour product or service best. You are its most sincere and passionaterepresentative. You are responsible for feeding and nurturing yourbusiness.
3.You can make deals no one else can make. People think whenthey buy from the owner they're getting a special deal, may not haveto pay a commission and therefore are getting the best price, or atleast the best offer.
4.People like to buy from the owner. Customersknow they'll get special attention and special appreciation.
5.Customers have a special confidence in you. You sell itbecause you believe in in your business. Your enthusiasm generatesconfidence that transforms into sales. Customers also know the ownerwill go the extra mile to deliver what's promised.
6.The relationship with the customer is yours to build at first.You get to know the people who are helping you succeed. After yourbusiness matures, you choose who you will continue to handlepersonally, and who you can pass on to a salesperson.
7.You are in the best position for direct feedback about your product,service and business. Your customer has all the information youneed to succeed. Get close to him or her and listen. Then take actionas only the owner can do.
7.5If you have other salespeople, you must be the leader of your ownsales campaign. If you don't lead them, no one will. You must setthe example, drive the belief system, and create the atmosphere ofsuccess. You must be the best at sales, because that's where thesuccess is.
Ifyou're not an expert at sales, get to be one by taking lessons. Readevery book, listen to every CD, and go to seminars. Be a student.Form a mastermind group with other non-competing entrepreneurs.
Noone is able to sell your business like you can -- even if you don'tconsider yourself a salesperson. You can't say, "I'm not pushyenough to be in sales." You gotta push.
Butsales is not about pushy. It's about helping other people andbuilding relationships. It's about building your business, and aboutbeing responsible for your own success.
Toachieve your entrepreneurial dreams, you must make sales. Sales isabout making your entrepreneurial fantasy become a reality. Yourreality.
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