Dear New Business Owner: Welcome To Sales!

It’s a very exciting time. As a new business owner, you have spent the past several months preparing to launch your new company. You’ve written your business plan, consulted with an attorney, accountant, banker, etc., obtained your LLC, had your logo, business cards and brochure designed and printed, and your web site is ready to go live.

Now it’s time for the fun to begin … it’s time to announce your arrival, and go sell something. So, who is responsible for sales in your bright shining new business? Oh … that’s probably you, isn’t it? With all of your hard work and preparation up to this point, how much time have you devoted to sales training to help prepare you to successfully sell your product or service?

The small business owners I speak with devote little or no time to sales training, and most do not have a sales background. They know a great deal about the inter-workings of the business and their product or service, but do not know how to translate all of that knowledge into a selling proposition that is of value to the prospect, and motivates them to buy.

The #1 reason new businesses fail within the first 2-3 years is lack of sales. Successful selling is hard work and requires preparation, planning, in-depth training and experience. Unfortunately, many new business owners find out too late that they are ill-prepared for their new role of salesperson.

So, what can you do to be better prepared to take on the sales role for your company? First, to be successful in sales, you should complete skills training in all of the following key areas; sales planning, cold calling, effective listening, presentation skills, sales negotiation, and closing skills. Check online to find the skills and training programs to fit your particular business and budget.

Next, here’s my recommended readings list (in order), to help you learn more about the various aspects of successful selling from the masters:

  1. The Art of War by Sun Tzu.
  2. How To Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie.
  3. The Greatest Salesman in the World by Og Mandino.
  4. The Psychology of Selling by Brian Tracy.
  5. Secrets of Closing the Sale by Zig Ziglar.
  6. The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Cold Calling by Keith Rosen.
  7. Selling to the Very Important Top Officer by Anthony Parinello.
  8. Swim With the Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive by Harvey Mackay.

Don’t just read these sales classics, take copious notes to help you develop a sales “game plan” for your new business.

Third, attend a formal sales training program. Even if you have a sales background, it will help you be better prepared to sell your product or service effectively. Here is a short list of several of the top sales training programs:

  • Strategic Selling by Miller Heiman
  • Solution Selling by Sales Performance International
  • Sandler Selling System by Sandler Sales Institute
  • Power Base Selling by Holden International
  • SPIN Selling by Huthwaite

Put what you learn into practice, and continue to build on the training experience in your daily prospecting and selling activities.

And finally, hire a business coach who has extensive sales and marketing expertise to help you build a comprehensive sales and marketing system for your new business. By doing so, you will be far ahead of most of your small business competitors, and better positioned to achieve success when you launch your new business venture. Good luck and good selling!

COPYRIGHT © 2010-11 John Carroll