Salespeople, think like an entrepreneur! This will be one of the greatest changes you can make to your career. By contrast, the employee mindset says “someone else is responsible.” “My job is just to close the sale.” Or, “I’ll just sell as much as I need to stay employed.” The entrepreneur mindset however, says “I am responsible,” “My job is to delight my customers,” and “How much do I want to sell? As much as humanly possible!”
Now don’t get me wrong – I’m not trying to say that all sales employees lack responsibility, ambition, and customer focus. Rather, if you want to join the ranks of top salespeople, the way to achieve it is to think like one, and top salespeople see themselves as entrepreneurs!
To Think Like an Entrepreneur, Take Personal Responsibility
I have heard many times salespeople blaming their products, economy, and poor quality leads for their lack of performance. They resign to the “fact” that their success lies in the hands of factors outside themselves, and as a result never take the necessary action to bring about success for themselves. Entrepreneurs however, take responsibility for every result in their businesses, and so should you. No more excuses. “If it is to be, it is up to me” is your mantra. Consider yourself the head of your own company, and your biggest client is your employer. Oh, and your employer’s clients are also your clients!
To Think Like an Entrepreneur, Delight Your Clients
In my consultations with numerous sales organisations, one of the key complaints I hear is that salespeople are indiscriminate when it comes to who they sell to. Not all clients will glean the same value from your product, and not all clients are desirable for your company. With the attitude “I’m just here to close the sale,” many salespeople don’t care whether or not the client benefits, or whether acquiring them as a client is in the best interests of the company.
Let’s suppose you meet a prospect who you know won’t be better off with your product. Since your job is just to close the sale, you use all of your persuasive prowess to seal the deal. The client comes on board, doesn’t see the value, and cancels. You lose your commission, and blame customer service for not serving them well. Customer service on the other hand, are upset that they had to deal with an angry client who should never have become a client in the first place. The disgruntled client takes advantage of your company’s money-back guarantee, and storms to social media to ensure no one else does business with you or your company ever again.
The entrepreneurial salesperson on the other hand, thinks differently. They know that if they take on clients who are not a good fit for their business, that it will come back and bite them in the butt later on. They are meticulous in consulting with prospects to ensure a good fit, and when they come on board, do everything within their power to ensure they are happy and become clients for life. This often takes the form of collaborating with customer service, and keeping close contact with the client during onboarding. The salesperson earns his commission, and starts building a pipeline of repeat business and referrals from the satisfied client.
To Think Like an Entrepreneur, Have Grand Ambitions
“B grade” salespeople are those who usually achieve sales targets, but never much more1. They’re content with achieving as much as they need to not get fired or into trouble, but comfort is their greatest enemy to real success. This might be fine for some, but if you want greater success (financial and otherwise), you need to shatter this mindset for something greater.
Sales entrepreneurs have grand visions for where they want to be, and for them the sky is the limit. Ambition is what gets them out of bed in the morning and perks them up as much as their daily dose of coffee. The shakers and movers of our economy are those with great ambitions, initiating and creating value where it never existed before. You can do the same by setting your personal goals higher than what your company expects from you, and giving it your absolute best to achieving them. No more idle chit-chat, “busy” non-sales work, or excuses. YOU are responsible for achieving your goals!
Ambition demands self-improvement – if you don’t change, neither will your results. Entrepreneurial salespeople are constantly looking for new and better ways to do things. They’ll read books, attend seminars, and find mentors to improve their knowledge and skills. For your sales enterprise, you’ll need to do the same to up your game.
Take out a pen and paper and write your answers to the following:
- What excuses do you make for not achieving greater sales results?
- What can you implement immediately to delight your clients?
- Set yourself an ambitious goal for your sales in 2016.
Sales entrepreneurs don’t make excuses, are not short-sighted about their clients, and are never satisfied with being average. Instead, they take personal responsibility, delight their clients, and have grand ambitions. Even while being employed, you must consider yourself the CEO of your own sales business, and doing so will unleash your full potential. You, your clients, and your employer, will be better off for it!
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1 The Maverick Selling Method: Simplifying the Complex Sale, by Brian Burns