The Two Key Entrepreneurial Skills You Need Now To Grow Sales
(First published 2/15/15) Do you want to be a success as an entrepreneur?
Do you have that entrepreneurial bug but you're not sure how to start?
Here are the entrepreneurial skills you need to become a success in business:
Here are the two main ways they both apply to you:
- Stop over-analyzing everything, so you can...
- Jump in!
Stop putting on sunscreen and checking the pH level of the pool and running the net across the surface to get the leaves and dead bees out and stop scrubbing the little green slime on the tile on the deep end of the pool and jump in and start swimming. (Check out my post on swimming 3.5 miles across Tampa Bay to see I know a thing or two about jumping in the deep end.)
This is so vital to your success that Seth Godin created "The Ship It Journal Five Pack."
Launch With Your MVP
In the world of product development, it's called the MVP—Minimum Viable Product.
What that means is don't ask yourself how much you need to add to your product in order to launch.
Rather, ask yourself how much you can remove and still have a valuable product.
This is so vital to your success that Mark Zuckerberg's slogan at Facebook is
Move fast and break things."
(I improved that saying a bit.)
You think you'll be ready when you finish your business plan because some dude with an MBA—and 6-figures in student loan debt—told you so?
Most entrepreneurs just need a one-page business plan—and hopefully, there are a lot of pictures on that one page!
(Wanna see a million-dollar business plan on a napkin? Check out the Ryan Deiss "Million Dollar Napkin." It's simple. It's classic. It's worth $1,000,000 and then some.)
Keep It Simple and Keep Moving
To succeed as an entrepreneur, you need to keep it simple because you can't know everything. You can't "cover all your bases."
You probably won't be able to see the finish line.
It's like driving your car at night.
As long as your lights are on and you can safely cover the distance that is visible, and you're headed in the right direction, keep going. (And if you're going through Hell, don't stop!)
Headlight by Michael Greenhill
Related Article: Motion Beats Meditation
Find your niche.
Follow the money.
(Hopefully, this path makes you happy, but the key to being happy is helping other people get what they want to be happy. Provide a product or service that you know others want or need and are willing to pay for, and you'll succeed.)
If you don't want to be treated "like everyone else," you cannot be afraid to stand out from the pack.
You must embrace being remarkable in your marketing and in your actions.
In today's global, mobile, social, inter-connected, always-on, work-from-anywhere economy, you can make as much money as you want if you'll state it, claim it, and get to work. (See how Mara Glazer made $10,000 per client because that's what she wanted to earn and how Mike Rowe and I believe in Work Jeans therapy as the best treatment to cure poverty.)
So pick your niche and stand out. You must get noticed!
Otherwise, how will those people you are hoping to serve find you? If they can't find you they can't pay you. If you don't get paid you can't help and serve more people.
What are some ways to stand out?
- Outrageous marketing. (Check out my Private Sales Training program.)
- Send X-Rays and peanuts and trash cans and shoes (actually, one shoe) to your top prospects to secure appointments.
- Send hand-written notes. (Crazy that this is now "outrageous," but they do stand out.)
- Implement multi-step, multi-media follow-up sequences and automate them. (Get a demo of what I use to automate my sales and marketing.)
- Write a blog and write from the heart.
- Bust out your iPhone or Android, film yourself walking and talking, and make a video "sales letters" you can upload to YouTube for free and embed in an email or on a blog and send a blast to your list and make a sale online.
- Use that same iPhone to record lots of testimonials of your happy clients.
- If you can't get a video, at least include a photo of your client with their testimonial.
- Or get their voice recorded on a conference call.
- At least get it in an email.
- Get better business cards. Use both sides and have a call to action on them. Check out my "coin" business card. They cost over $3 a piece to make, so I don't give them to just anyone, but the people I do give them never to throw it away. That builds top-of-mind awareness.
- Give public speeches. (Check out my closing session at TedX Temecula in Nov 2013.)
These are just a few ideas.
Here's the kicker: none of these are "impossible," but doing them all in concert with one another to build a wide funnel that creates self-screened prospects that come to your door ready to buy IS DANG HARD!
But you can do it over time IF you get started.
If you don't know how to write good sales copy, but you're not afraid to record your voice on your smartphone using one of the countless free or inexpensive apps, record yourself during your daily commute or on the way to see a client or while you're waiting in the minivan to pick up the kids from their practice and hand that file to someone your find on Fiverr or Odesk.
You now have a document you can edit and paste into a blog to create a blog post fast and easily, and you don't have to fret about grammar or spelling or punctuation or run-on sentences…as you can tell here!
It's okay to write the way you speak, so go ahead and speak to write.
Heck, you could then take that audio file and create a podcast out of it. (Check out The Sales Podcast for some motivation.)
Or get REALLY creative and film yourself with that smartphone of yours and share the video, strip out the audio for a podcast, and have it transcribed, so you have the written word with both. BAM!
If you don't know anything about SEO or paid marketing like SEM or PPC, that's fine.
Start writing and tagging what you write and submitting it to popular blogging sites like blogger.com, wordpress.com, even add it to your Facebook or Substack or Medium or LinkedIn profile, and let others comment on it.
That will get you some eyeballs, which will get you opt-ins, which will get you prospects, which will lead to sales.
If you don't know how to "market outrageously," but you're not afraid to pick up the phone, then do that and let your passion carry you to the next level.
Books to Read On Outrageous Marketing:
- Marketing Outrageously Redux: How to Increase Your Revenue by Staggering Amounts
- Outrageous Advertising That's Outrageously Successful: Created for the 99% of Small Business Owners Who are Dissatisfied with the Results They Get From Their Current Advertising
Eventually, you'll need to implement systems and processes to automate the simple things to enable you to spend more time on money-making things.
And forget that myth about "work on your weaknesses."
Work on your strengths. Do what you do best and outsource the rest.
Now get to work and remember, life is good. It's gooder when you're selling.