Why Selling is so Important to Entrepreneurs and why Most Entrepreneurs Dont embrace Selling.
Selling is one of the most important skills an Entrepreneur will ever develop. Being an entrepreneur myself I know this first hand. Even though selling is a critical skill most entrepreneurs avoid it like the plague. There is a very simple reason for this. Read on and you will discover why most people avoid sales and how to learn to love selling.
When you think of a salesperson what do you think of? When I ask this question of my seminar audiences here are some of the answers I get:
Manipulator, high pressure, are twisting, liar, in it for themselves, and no integrity.
No wonder most people resist selling. If I associated selling to the list above I would avoid it as well. To me selling doesnt have to be those things above. I teach people how to sell from honesty, integrity, and compassion. It is not about a hard sell, it is about a heart sell. My definition of selling is selling equals service.
The reason why you MUST embrace selling skills is selling is about leading. Selling is about moving people to action. People need to be led. Not only do people need to be led, we want to be led. Think about it, when you make a purchase dont you want the person you are speaking with to lead you to make the correct purchase?
Imagine you call up a travel agent to book a cruise. You want to go Alaska. You want to travel in November. The travel agent lets you know that you will have a more enjoyable trip if you go after March 1 when the weather is better. You change your travel arrangements due to the recommendation of the travel agent. Notice the travel agent in this example didnt use high pressure or manipulation. They simply led you to make a better decision. They moved you to action.
Now that you know that you can embrace selling without being high pressure or manipulative it is time to get to work developing your selling skills. Here are some great tips on how you can improve your selling skills.
1. Develop a script. Most entrepreneurs I meet resist using scripts. The reason is they dont really know what a script is. Most people, when they think of a script, think of the telemarketer that calls them up during dinner offering the local newspaper. This is not what I mean. You are either using a script or you are speaking in glossolalia. Glossolalia is how schizophrenics speak. They say things like chair, computer, red, closet, car, etc. These words in sequence have no meaning. They speak in word salad. This is not how you speak therefore you are using a script. A script is simple a series of words that when spoken together have meaning. It is not a question of whether or not you are using a script. The question is how good are your scripts?
2. Reverse engineer your sales presentation. A sales presentation is anytime you are meeting with someone and attempting to influence them. When you reverse engineer your sales presentation it means you decide in advance what you are going to say, when you are going to say it, and how you are going to say it.
3. Set monthly goals for what you want to accomplish. Most entrepreneurs set goals only once per year. Take time out at the end of each month to set goals for the next month. If you have a team it is important that you set goals for what your team is to accomplish. Your job as the leader is to get EVERYONE paddling in the same direction towards the accomplishment of the team goals. It took me years to learn this lesson. This one idea is worth the investment you made in this book 100 times over.
4. Ask for the order. This is one of the simplest ideas yet I am constantly amazed at how many entrepreneurs dont ask for the order when they are speaking to their prospects. If you are speaking to someone and you dont ask for the order you didnt give a presentation you had a conversation. It is not necessary to use high pressure when asking but you must ask. Here are some simple ways to ask for the order. 1. How do you feel about moving forward? 2. What do you say we give it a try? 3. I am open on Tuesday at 3:00 or Wednesday at 3:00 what would work best for you? After you ask for the order be silent. Selling has its own language. Part of the language of influence is silence. Silence is a simple technique yet very powerful. Consider the following scenario. Most of us have seen the girl scouts selling cookies in front of the grocery story. Usually what happens is they ask us if we would like to buy some girls scout cookies. After they ask have you ever noticed they are silent? The reason they are silent is because that is part of the sales presentation. Does this technique work? The girl scouts have sold millions of boxes of cookies through the years. Now imagine this scenario. Instead of being asked if you would like to buy some Girl Scout cookies, she gave you a business card. She then explained to you that if you go to the web site you can purchase as many boxes as you would like. If she handed you a business card would you go to the web site and buy some cookies? The answer is no. Unfortunately most entrepreneurs give out their business card and tell the prospect to call them when they are ready.
5. Ask for referrals. One of the easiest ways to grow your business is by referrals. Many entrepreneurs wait for their customers to provide them with referrals. If this is how you do business you are leaving a ton of business on the table. If you have done a good job for someone, in most cases, if you ask for referrals they will give them to you. You must lead them and you must move them to action. The way to do this is with a script. Here is a simple script that has brought me thousands of referrals. As you probably know I work with referrals. A good referral for me is ______________ (tell the prospect what a good referral for you is). When you think of a good referral think of ____________ (share with them who to think of). Of everyone you know who would be the best referral for me?
I have helped many entrepreneurs grow their business. It all starts with mindset. Make a decision today to embrace selling skills instead of resisting them. This one decision could change your life. You will be more successful, make more money, and help more people. The purpose of my company, Eric Lofholm International, is to be a place where people can come from all over the world to learn the finest ideas on sales, influence and success. If you enjoyed this article and would like to learn more I encourage you to go to my web site www.ericlofholm.com and sign up for my newsletter. While you are there you can also sign up for a free conference call and a free coaching session. I also encourage you to go to www.mentorsmagazine.com. They wrote an 8 page article about me that has several other great selling and success tips in it.
Eric Lofholm is the President of Eric Lofholm International, a global sales training organization. To receive a free copy of Erics e-book, 21 Ways to Close More Sale Now go to www.ericlofholm.com.