This is one of the most destructive beliefs I see on a regular basis:
“My idea is so good it sells itself.”~Every Misguided Entrepreneur
For three years I was a mentor at the world’s number one tech incubator, 1871, which is located here in Chicago. Once a month I’d have office hours where entrepreneurs could schedule one on one strategy sessions.
From that project alone I got to chat with hundreds of very sharp business owners.
The one thing they all had in common?
Horrible sales skills.
They’re brilliant people.
Researchers, innovators, big thinkers. But they’re not sales people.
Their work could change the world, and it was so painfully obvious to them how it would happen that they couldn’t understand that nobody else could see it.
That’s when I’d hit them with this quote:
“Don’t worry about people stealing an idea. If it’s original, you will have to ram it down their throats.”Howard Hathaway Aiken, Computer Pioneer, (March 8, 1900 – March 14, 1973)
Their Biggest Problem
Over and over again I would see the same issue.
They were so impressed with what their product/service did that they wouldn’t tell me what it did for me.
They would explain features instead of telling me the benefits.
“It spins faster!” vs “Saves you time.”
You should always start with what benefits the customer gets.
Only then can you explain how it happens.
What Happens If You Don’t
Every company needs all the help it can get.
I don’t care if you found the cure for cancer. You aren’t going to be successful unless you tell the world about it, and ask them to pay you for it.
Your business makes the world a better place, and if you don’t learn how to explain that then you’re going to have fewer sales. That means a smaller budget. That means a smaller salary (if you’re lucky enough to have one at all).
That means you suffer. That means your family suffers. That means all the people who could use your help suffer.
Failing to work on your sales skills means you’re directly responsible for the world being worse off than it could be.
Where To Start
I’ve been in sales my whole life. My first professional engagement was at age 13 when I got paid $200 to entertain a company’s employees at a summer picnic.
Since then I’ve been the top sales person at the highest grossing 3rd party vendor at an international tourist destination, sold 5 and 6 figure deals, and taught Fortune 500 teams how to improve their sales, negotiation, and presentation skills through my company, The Hellstrom Group.
I know not everyone has the luxury of having the company footing the training bill, so I’m currently working on an online training process to help individual entrepreneurs and side hustlers make more money with better sales skills.
If you’re interested in learning more, go check out the project site, and sign up for email notifications as it gets closer to completion.