Howdy! A Portland, OR native, I currently reside in the northern San Diego County area as a freelance writer. When I'm not sipping coffee, soaking up some rays and writing or playing guitar you can find me at the hot yoga studio.
If you are considering becoming an entrepreneur, take some time to think about the nature of your business, and if you are currently employed, are you actively looking for a different career?
Either way, the most successful entrepreneurs don't start their business in an area where they think it will be easy, they start in sales.
People naturally like to buy what others are selling and they will do so happily if you are a good salesperson.
The more you sell and the more you get the sale, the more successful you will be.
Great salespeople like famous 'salesmen' like Andrew Carnegie, who was worth over $350 million in his lifetime.
Carnegie started as a steam engine sales representative for Henry J. Kaiser.
While Carnegie is better known today as the founder of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, it should be noted that at the time that Carnegie started, he was just an employee, running a coal car he purchased for Henry J. Kaiser to sell coal to iron mines.
Carnegie went on to buy coal cars, hire a sales force, and become a successful entrepreneur.
He was then later on credited with being the first businessman to make significant changes in industrialization, during the time of the early 20th century.
If you are a potential entrepreneur, what do you need to know about becoming a great salesperson?
Sales are like anything in that you must be passionate about it.
Many good salespeople can talk about anything they want, and customers will go to great lengths to buy from them.
This is the benefit of being a sales professional. You can have a passion for lots of things and be successful in them, sales are no different.
Don't be afraid to use humor, you will be amazed by how many customers will buy from you when you are playful and joking around with them.
Negotiation is just one more element of being a good salesperson.
It is often said that you get better results out of a deal when you negotiate on your behalf.
You must negotiate on behalf of your customer because they may not always be able to do it themselves.
The USP is your unique selling proposition, or what sets you and your business apart from the rest.
So, the most important thing for you to be able to do is to come up with a compelling idea of what you are offering and be able to communicate it to your customers in a way that they understand and can get behind.
Now, some of the elements of your USP may not be set in stone, in fact, a USP is never set in stone.
You need to continually review your business and see how you can improve, or better express your USP.
Always be sure to put your customer first.
If a customer is not happy, they can simply not buy from you, and if you don't build loyalty, you will have trouble keeping them.
You must take the time to understand the customer so that you can be truly beneficial to them.
You must follow up with customers.
A good business is usually one that keeps its customers happy.
Some business owners are amazing salespeople but forget to be outstanding at customer service, they will always struggle to keep their customers happy.
You should always want to make your business work.
As a business owner, you should spend time looking for ways to grow your business.
You should always be learning and improving.
Creating a good environment is paramount to your success.
You can only control what you can, so be careful what you spend your time on, and be sure to avoid work that brings you down.
However, there is one exception to all this, focus on your passion, your mission, whatever it is that you are passionate about, and you will be good at everything else.
It is about what you love to do, and the people that you do it with. If you enjoy being at the store or on the phone with customers, you'll love making sales and helping people.