Do you know how to sell? Do you know that sales skill is one of the most important entrepreneurial skills entrepreneurs must possess? Do you know that selling is the number one job of an entrepreneur? If you feel otherwise, then please read on as I highlight several reasons why you must develop your sales skills and learn how to sell.
"The ability to sell is the number one skill in business. If you cannot sell, don't bother thinking about becoming a business owner." – Rich Dad
Selling is indisputably an issue most individuals don’t want to be associated with. Once the word “selling” is mentioned; people tend to immediately imagine a picture of a salesperson knocking from door to door to sell a product. Most individuals shy away from selling all in a bid to avoid rejection. Well, I see nothing wrong in disliking salesmanship but if you are an entrepreneur; then selling is not an option for you, it’s a must. I am privileged to talk to people everyday and some statements I hear often with respect to sales are these:
“I hate selling.”
“I hate making cold calls.”
“It’s not about selling; I simply hate rejection.”
“Sales is not for me; I am a degree holder.”
"The biggest challenge you have is to challenge your own self doubt and your laziness. It is your self doubt and your laziness that defines and limit who you are." – Rich Dad
While everyone is entitled to his or her opinion, I believe selling is one of the most important subjects of life. Whether you like it or not, I want you to know that we were all born salespeople. Most people don’t know that selling is part of life and we do it everyday; consciously or unconsciously. We sell our friends on trying out a product that has benefited us without even getting paid for it.
We voluntarily refer our family and friends to fast food joints, hospitals or even to businesses. Most of the consultants and businesses I have business relationship today were established on the bases of referral from other satisfied customers.
“Salesmanship is limitless. Our very living is selling. We are all salespeople.” – James Cash Penny
So if we unconsciously engage in selling and not get paid for it; why don’t we do it consciously and get paid for it. That the reason why I wrote this article for you. Though this article is targeted at entrepreneurs; I feel anyone who has an open mind can learn one or two lessons from it.
"If you cannot sell, you will be sold." – Ajaero Tony Martins
Now why is selling important to entrepreneurs? Sales skills is one of the most important entrepreneurial skills and the points below will make you see the need to develop your sales skills and learn how to sell.
Why you must Develop your Sales Skills and Learn How to Sell
1. The number one reason why I emphasize the need to develop your sales skills and learn how to sell is because selling is life. It’s what we do everyday; consciously or unconsciously. The process of learning to sell is not just about selling a product to a customer; it’s about going beyond your comfort zone and facing your worst fear.
Fear is the primary reason most brilliant ideas don’t get off the planning table; fear is the reason most people are afraid to quit their jobs and start a business. Fear is the reason most people don’t dare to dream big and that’s why they remain small.
"It is easy to stay the same but it is not easy to change. Most people choose to stay the same all their lives." – Rich Dad
“People who dream small dreams continue to live as small people." – Rich Dad
That’s why I emphasize entrepreneurs go through the process of “learning how to sell.” Selling is all about facing and overcoming your worst fear; selling is going beyond your comfort zone. Selling is all about being unafraid of rejection and selling is all about a change of core value.
"The more I risk being rejected, the better my chances are of being accepted." – Rich Dad
2. Profits and Business growth are all dependent on one factor; “Sales.” The speed at which your business grows is dependent on your ability to sell. If you cannot sell, you will have less sales and limited growth.
“Selling is our number one job. Never get away from selling a lot of merchandise personally. The more you sell, the more you learn.” – James Cash Penny
3. As entrepreneurs, we sell to our customers to increase sales and profits. We also sell to our customers to increase their loyalty and patronage; selling, more importantly is all about getting repeated sales.
Brand building, brand loyalty and every aspect of branding boils down to selling. Branding is all about emotional selling with the strategic use of words, images and actions. If you cannot sell, you will only get one-time sales; you will not be able to build customer loyalty and without customer loyalty, no repeated sales. Statistics show that it is easier and less expensive to sell to a loyal customer than to a new customer.
4. As entrepreneurs; we sell our competence, business ideas and plans to investors, all in a bid to raise capital. Lack of sales skills is the primary reason why most brilliant ideas don’t get funded; inability to sell is the reason why most businesses never get started.
Even the process of raising capital via an IPO requires you sell the public on the competence of your management team and the market accessibility of your products. Raising capital in its most simplistic term is selling.
“Raising capital is the primary duty of an entrepreneur. To build a successful business, an entrepreneur must learn to raise capital from customers, investors and suppliers.” – Robert Kiyosaki
5. We sell our credibility to suppliers to get credit lines. If you don’t know how to sell, you will not be able to get goods on credit from suppliers and even if you do; you will not be able to keep to your words because the largest credit allowance will be given to the business owner that displays the ability to sell products faster and make returns.
6. We sell our business goals, objectives and long term service benefits to our employees all in a bid to motivate them to discharge their duties with a feeling of commitment. Motivating employees to increase their productivity is selling.
7. We sell our business mission, vision and long term goals to highly skilled professionals all in a bid to lure them into joining our business team. One of the major business challenges faced by entrepreneurs is the challenge of transferring their passion to their business team. Your ability to sell your business mission to your top management is the determinant factor that will forge them into a team.
“Do you want to spend the rest of your life selling sugared water or do you want a chance to change the world?
– The line Steve Jobs used to lure John Sculley as Apple's CEO, according to Odyssey: Pepsi to Apple
If you can’t sell your business mission and vision to your business team; your team will not be able to act with a common definiteness of purpose.
8. And finally, business will always flow towards the great communicators. The biggest business contracts and deals will always go to those who have the ability to communicate in the right language and sell themselves. Communication is part of selling.
“I couldn’t sell him on my experience or my accomplishment, so instead I sold him on my energy and enthusiasm.” – Donald Trump
Lastly, I want it to sink into your skull that building a successful business can never be possible without selling. I hope the few points above have increased your awareness on the need to develop your sales skills and learn how to sell. So get down to learning how to sell and I will see you at the top.