Owner entrepreneurs are in many ways the most unusual to sell. Regardless of their success, they go through the following stages towards success:
Those most successful at selling to owners know to sell to the right "step" for their prospects. They are most often other entrepreneurs like attorneys, financial planners, consultants, or coaches. Why? Because entrepreneurs often turn to those like themselves. Unlike the corporate market, entrepreneurs respect and respond to the success, individualism, and risk taking of those vendors who walk in similar shoes. Therefore, the lessons learned when selling to entrepreneurs are:
- Owners first dread the potential of failing, particularly if it makes them miss a payroll, threatens their independence, or ultimately results in having to work for someone else.
- Once an owner's fear of failure is over, their next focus is on increasing their company's wealth by producing quality products purchased by grateful customers.
- After gaining this success, owners turn their attention next to creating their legacy, first as a successful business owner and thereafter as a creator of greater social good.
- Sell to your prospect "owner-to-owner".
- Sell as much to the person across the table as to his or her company; they are indivisible.
- Appeal first to their business needs to gain their attention but understand their egos and personalities.
- Display both empathy as well as the ability to lead them to success.
Saturday, February 3, 2007
Advice To Sell To Entrepreneurs
I recently came across an article Andy Birol wrote on selling. In the article he gives advice for selling to employees, C-level executives, and small business owners. Here is what he wrote for selling to entrepreneurs: