A founder’s primary job is to do sales. Whether it is selling employment to potential hires, selling people on your company’s culture, selling investors on your vision, or selling customers on your product. Sales are a must, but what are you supposed to do if you absolutely hate selling?
Here are seven tips for the sales-averse start-up founder.
You may suck at getting sales, but guess what? So does everyone when they start out! It is a muscle that needs to be built up, not an innate skill that only certain people have. In order to be able to delegate the task out, you first need to prove that the product can be sold.
It can be easy to try many different things to see what sticks when you are starting out trying to make sales. And while this can be a helpful approach, it is an instance of working harder instead of smarter. Why? Because other people have already forged the path and provided their knowledge on how best to accomplish getting sales.
Surround yourself with people who have gone before you. Soak in their knowledge of what works, and what doesn’t. You can avoid spending unnecessary time, money, and energy by not reinventing the wheel.
It can be disheartening to spend time and energy on cold pitches only to hear next to nothing back from the people you reached out to, but take heart! Gathering data takes time and consistent effort before the numbers can be read.
Once you have a significant amount of data, you can begin tweaking your process based on the trends. How is your open rate? How frequently are you following up with potential clients? Are there some email contents that are doing better than others? How are your offers being received? Take the data and begin optimizing your strategies.
Sales can often be perceived as slimy, and for good reason! Many people are in the market to get rich quick, which unfortunately drags the reputation of selling a product down for everyone. People can tell when someone is genuine, but often their first instinct is that they are being scammed by someone trying to make a quick buck.
Having a passion for solving other people’s problems will give you an advantage in a market of shills. Advocate for your product sincerely and let that energy do the rest.
When it is time for you to delegate the task of sales, it is crucial that you select your employees carefully. As important as it is for you to truly believe in your product and the problem you are solving, the same goes for the people you hire. They represent you, your brand, and your product in your stead. You want someone who you can trust is as invested as you are!
You might even need to hire multiple people, if you are able, so that both you and your employees can handle the load as your company grows.