We are living in a golden age of business. With the invention of the internet, creating a successful enterprise has never been more viable. Today’s article is dedicated to the courageous solopreneurs, who account for 61 per cent of Australian businesses. It’s an exciting but tough journey. With statistics showing that half of start-ups dropped out within 4 years1, those choosing this path must prepare themselves thoroughly to make their new venture failure-resistant. In particular, I’d like to share three reasons, solopreneur-to-solopreneur, why you must learn how to sell.
Reason #1 for Learning How to Sell: When starting out, it’s one of your most economical options
The most important thing a start-up can do at its beginning is to acquire new clients. Essentially, there are three ways they can achieve this – they can sell directly, they can use marketing, or a combination of both. For solopreneurs whose primary capital is their personal savings, it can be difficult to make much room in the budget for marketing. Having worked in the industry, I have also seen how easy it is to be seduced by the over-promises many marketing companies make. Thousands of dollars can be easily spent without making any return.
By contrast, direct selling only requires things you already have: a phone, transport, and a computer. Your financial risk is minimised, and your chances of converting a prospect into a client are much better when meeting people face-to-face. The only investment required is in improving your skills!
Reason #2 for Learning How to Sell: Even with successful marketing, you still need to sell
Let’s assume that you run a successful marketing campaign, and you start receiving dozens of email and phone enquiries. They’re not quite ready to buy yet, so guess what you’ll need to do? You’ll need to sell to them, of course! The only way you will turn these leads into clients is if you help them understand your product’s value, handle their concerns, and close them to buy.
Marketing and selling both understand what drives people to buy. By honing your skills in sales, you will have a better grasp on how to word your advertisements and collateral. You’ll understand what their “hot buttons” are (the reasons that will cause them to buy), and what emotions to appeal to.
Reason #3 for Learning How to Sell: You will use the skills for the rest of your career
Selling is persuasion. Persuasion is universal. Whether you are dealing with prospects, employees, or suppliers, successful negotiations necessitate competency in this critical skill. An investment in your sales skills will travel with you and carry over to wherever your career may go. Does that sound like something worth investing in?
I speak from experience when I say that being a solopreneur is tough. However, a tough career doesn’t have to lead to failure. By honing your sales skills, you will be utilising the most economical, marketable, and practical methods of launching your business. Why don’t you pick up a book, or attend a local sales training seminar today?
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1 Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2014