The Most Significant Skills You Need To Succeed In Business
Successful entrepreneurs are often asked, “what are the most important skills an entrepreneur must possess in order to succeed?” The answer can be broken down into two parts: skills needed when you start a business and skills needed as you grow your business.
When Starting a Business
After taking the first few steps in launching their company, many entrepreneurs get caught up in the excitement that comes with building their company’s image: logo designs, business card, setting up a blog, etc. Getting involved in such things is not only understandable, but it’s also expected.
However, what they should do instead is practice the art of selling.
Learning How to Sell
Having the ability to sell your products or services is the only way you can bring cash into your business. Even if you’re new, you have to master sales techniques. Here are a few tips you should consider when coming up with a good sales strategy:
1. Get Experience
When I was in my early 20s, before I got into the internet marketing industry, I realized that I never really had any sales experience. Back then, I was mowing lawns to make some extra cash while trying to sell my service in between jobs, but it wasn’t enough. I knew that I needed to experience direct selling.
So, I got myself a telemarketing job. I convinced a phone company’s former customers to sign up with its services again. Through this job I learned traditional selling techniques and gained invaluable experience. Deciding to educate myself on the art of selling was by far one of the best and most rewarding things I have done.
2. Have No Fear
If you’re going to succeed at selling, you need to overcome the fear of people’s perception of you. This is a not-so-obvious obstacle that many new business owners face. In fact, Bill Brooks of the Brooks Group estimates that 85 percent of people have a negative view of all salespeople. This is probably based on the bullish stereotype that people generally have of salespeople.
Put all your other “startup chores” aside for a moment, and condition your mind to get over that fear in order to make your first sale. Once you make that first sale, it’ll become easy for you to make more and it will reward you with stable profits.
Practice your best sales script until it comes naturally. You can even go as far as having your friends help you. Tell them that you’re going to send them an email to sell them something. Then, get their feedback on how effective your copy is. Also, try calling them to train yourself in phone sales.
Remember, you can only perfect an art if you practice it. And selling is an essential skill to learn when starting a business.
4. Use Social Media
Social media is a great way to interact with prospects and customers. Casual conversations make it easier to communicate with your audience.
In January 2012, MOBE, still smaller than it is today, made $81,000 in gross sales. Most of the profit came from the phone sales with front-end buyers and through Facebook chat. I was getting good leads and had been closing sales consistently. Facebook chat also allowed me to easily communicate with customers and helped me sell a lot of back-end offers.
If you’re expecting to close a sale on your first attempt, you’ve still got a lot of homework to do! Selling is all about perseverance and not giving up on the first rejection by continuously following up with prospects.
According to a report on Marketing Donut, “different studies carried out at different times, in different places, by different market research companies over a number of years all reveal that 80 percent of non-routine sales occur only after at least five follow-ups.”
Therefore, it would take at least five follow-up efforts after the initial sales contact before a customer says “yes” to an offer. The article also reveals some other fascinating statistics about sales and perseverance:
44 percent of sales people give up after one “No.”
22 percent give up after two “Nos.”
14 percent give up after three Nos.”
12 percent give up after four “Nos.”
When You Grow Your Business
As your company begins to scale and you’ve become more skillful at selling, you’ll need to develop a couple of qualities that will help you thrive in this stage of your business:
1. Be Resilient
You may argue that this is more of a characteristic than a skill, but you need to develop your resilience if you want to become a successful entrepreneur. As your company grows, your challenges will grow, too. You need to recognize your company’s problems and know how to conquer them without comprising your resources.
Resilience is also an important quality that you and your team need when it comes to selling. It’s only when you overcome rejection that you can truly progress into making more sales. Some of my biggest challenges in MOBE emerged due to the company’s growth, but we’ve always overcome them by being resilient.
When you move from thousands of dollars in profit to millions, your company becomes less of a startup and more of an established enterprise. The latter is an important development that will help your business get to the next level.
However, as you scale your company, you may lose that promotional drive that you had when you were still starting out. Due to expansion, too many management issues may stop you from selling your brand. But you should never stop marketing your brand!
Keep your company’s presence in the public’s psyche as much as you can. You never know when you can tap into a new market and earn more profit.
The most important skill you can possess as an entrepreneur is the ability to sell. Even resilience and self-promotion fall under the sales umbrella. These are the abilities you have to possess to become a successful business owner.