No matter how amazing your startup idea is, if you are not able to sell it to investors and customers, then you will never be able to get it off the ground.
That is why selling is one of the most important key skills that every founder should have. Without a killer salesperson attitude, you may not even be able to create a product that can get people excited.
Here are five reasons why founders should learn selling as a key skill:
1- Dealing with constant rejection
As a founder and an entrepreneur, rejection will be immensely common to you, especially if your startup is trying to sell something unique and innovative. Learning how to respond to that rejection and moving forward can be harder than you think.
Most founders need to understand that when investors say no to you, they are saying no to your company’s services or products, and not to you as a person. By making this very important distinction and taking constructive criticism in the best way possible, you can actually improve your products and optimize them according to the current market conditions.
Constantly selling products and dealing with different aspects of sales gives you the resilience to handle rejection in the right way. After all, that is what sales is all about — You go from one prospective client to another without expecting much, and still giving in your everything.
2. Learning to be more relatable
Founders who are truly passionate about their products have a problem understanding why people might not interested in their offerings. Instead of trying to understand the other person’s point of view, they talk about their own product in detail which can often put off investors and customers.
By learning sales as a key skill, founders are not just able to empathize with the person sitting on the other end of the table, but they are also able to connect with them on a personal level. Instead of directly talking about their own product, founders are able to focus on the problems that their products can solve.
3. Reading people and situations in a better way
Sales teaches you to read the room and make in-the-moment changes to the conversation when things aren’t going as planned. You are able to adapt quickly in case the customer doesn’t seem interested in your products.
A good salesman is at least able to procure important information from the customer about the industry they are in and understand why their sales pitch didn’t work even if they are not able to sell their product successfully. This feedback and insight can prove to be incredibly helpful for future client meetings.
4. Articulate the product’s benefits in a concise manner
Founders may want to explain their products in detail, simply because they are enthusiastic about it. But they need to remember that not everyone has the time or patience to listen to an hour long product pitch. You need to get their attention in the shortest time possible.
As a true salesman, you should be able to articulate what your product is all about, how it is different from the other products in the market, and its benefits in just one or two sentences at the most. As cliche as it sounds, a 30-second elevator can be a helpful trick for every founder.
5. Using customer feedback to make changes to the products
While founders may be proud of the product they have developed, by directly interacting with customers they can truly understand what works and what needs to be changed.
Not only are you able to ask questions to your customers which may not be possible through surveys, but you are also able to realise any incorrect assumptions that you might have made about your target audience. You are also about to create a more effective marketing strategy by getting a better understanding of your customers.
By learning sales as a key skill, founders can create a more effective product, sell it more easily, and in turn become a better entrepreneur.