The failure rate for new businesses is extremely high. Depending on the source the numbers vary, but there’s no arguing with the fact, that if you start your own business, the odds are stacked against you.
Now, there are a multitude of good reasons why businesses fail, and starting a new business is extremely difficult.
One of the most common reasons for failure however, is that most entrepreneurs don’t sell their product aggressively enough. They believe that “if you build it they will come”. And while this might have been true if we’re talking about a baseball field in the late 80’s, this is no longer the case. Simply put, that mode of thinking and outdated. In our day and age we need to put ourselves out there. We need to invest not only our time and money, but our personalities into our business. And this is an investment that not everyone is willing to make – because it is scary, it is uncomfortable, and we can’t be certain how we’re going to be received – that’s terrifying.
But here’s the rub – if you don’t manage to sell what you’ve built, you might as well not have built it at all. In other words you have to sell – whether you like it or not. What’s more, most entrepreneurs would very much prefer not to sell, and simply let the beauty of their product or service attract their clients. If that’s how you operate, then you’re in for a hard and rude awakening.
In order to be successful in selling your products, we’ve boiled it down to five steps that you can follow to give yourself the best chance of being successful:
Step 1: Identify 5 decision makers per day that you want to call on.
This is very different from identifying your niche (which you’ve hopefully already done). This step is singling out people who are likely to be interested in your product. You can go about this in any number of ways, but the most straightforward way for me, is going to LinkedIn and connecting with people who are in the field that your product or service is aimed at. Most people will accept, and some will even have their phone number on there.
Step 2: Cold-call at least 2 people per day
Being an entrepreneur is very much about focusing on what is within one’s own control. This means that we need to be extremely conscious about what is and what isn’t within our control. One of the things that we do control is how many people we call on each day. We don’t control how many meetings we get in the calendar, we don’t control how many people buy or don’t buy our products, but we do control how many people we call on.
If you cold-call at least 2 people a day (and if you don’t know how, here is a guide) then you dramatically increase your chances of getting in front of people who you can sell your product to. And the more people you put yourself in front of, who you can sell your product to the better.
Step 3: Make it your mission to figure out what’s top of mind in every customer meeting
In every single meeting you have with customers you must make it your top priority to figure out what the customer is struggling with, what they are trying to achieve and most importantly how you can tap into that.
When you do this, you gain an understanding of the client’s business that they themselves may not have had before you entered the meeting. When you walk into a client meeting with a curious and open frame of mind, looking for ways to understand the client (as opposed to trying to sell, sell, sell) that is going to have a strong impact on the client, and they are going to want to share more details with you, trust you more, and at the end of the day be more willing to do business with you.
If you follow this 3-step framework, you give yourself and your business the best possible chance.
To your success.