A Few Thoughts for the Aspiring Entrepreneur
1. Thou shalt not covet specific customers. Too many entrepreneurs get fixed on winning specific accounts that they become emotionally attached. You pin all of your hopes, dreams and company on that…one…special prospect. Here’s a tip I learned the hard way: don’t. Think instead about the overall quality of your sales funnel and your business plan. “Build it right and it will come”.
2. Know the science behind your product, solution, and service cold. That is a start but not enough anymore. What do you know about your prospects industry? So many entrepreneurs are absolutely “bullet proof” on their “stuff” but lack basic knowledge of a day in the life of their prospects. Tip: It helps your credibility and you will certainly differentiate yourself from your competitors.
3. Slow down. I mean literally slow down! It is not necessary to tell your prospect everything on the first call. It is really not that impressive and frankly, they are probably tuning you out. Sales calls are a delicate balance between educating, informing and building a relationship. Think waltz rather than break dancing.
4. Every entrepreneur thinks they’re just so fabulous because they’re friendly, funny, intelligent and charming. Reality check? You are really not that special. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news. Get over yourself quickly. Tip: Being Mr. Personality is not going to separate you from the herd over the long term.
5. Do not bad mouth your competition. It is the first sign that you are an amateur. Take the high road!
6. Your comfort zone will be one of your biggest obstacles. In order to be widely successful, you have to get comfortable being uncomfortable. It is an acquired taste but one you must get used to in order to be wildly successful.
7. Quality appointments with real prospects take place within the next 30 days. Anything beyond that isn’t really a scheduled appointment. It’s a hope. Actually, hopeless.
8. Tell the truth and nothing but the whole truth. Your credibility must be a bullet-proof for long-term success.
9. You are not in the catering business. Be careful, once you say the word entrepreneur, you credit card becomes real popular with friends and family. Tip: every meeting does not have to have a meal associated with it.
10. Don’t take yourself so seriously but do take what you do VERY seriously. You might just change the world!
About the Author:
Devin Hughes is a former college basketball player, sales and marketing aficionado, keynote speaker, part-time academic and frequent eclectic thinker. He draws on a variety of ideas, disciplines and trends to inspire “Big Thoughts” and facilitate conversations. He is best known for his expertise in personal branding, sales experience selling, sales strategy, leadership development and sales coaching. He is an avid storyteller who has the unique ability to connect with audiences by inspiring them to be the change they wish to see in the world. A graduate of Colgate University, he lives Carlsbad, CA with his wife and four daughters. You may contact him via e-mail at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter. His website is: http://www.devinchughes.com/ He is available upon request for consultation.