It is an art to sell to an entrepreneur. A different kind of person, business owners generally have certain characteristics that can mean selling to them can be confusing.
While some are very calculated and careful, the rest only throw caution to the wind. Instead of making hope their strategy, the best salespeople are figuring out how to get inside an entrepreneur’s head to make more consistent sales with less energy. If your efforts to convert entrepreneurs into customers have resulted in too few sales, you may be making one of these mistakes.
Here are the top 4 reasons why entrepreneurs don’t buy from you.
You’re too slow
If a classic entrepreneur wants something, they want it yesterday. Whether that’s the completion of a product, the operational support of a new venture, or a price for a service, you can never get it to them fast enough. They want to come up with an idea and have it budgeted and scoped before the end of the day, and will look for suppliers who can match their pace. If you use the word “soon” and it takes all week, you’ll have to chase to find the goods, or if you just don’t act before they change their mind, you’ll miss out on sales that you could have easily won. .
Speed paralyzes, so be faster. Improve your processes to ship in half the time or create an instant quote by collecting a few details. The early bird catches the worm and the lazy sailor misses the boat. Your potential customers will mistake your lack of speed for a lack of enthusiasm and assume that you are not concerned with their business. Don’t let down an entrepreneur and you will be chosen more often than those who wait.
You are not visionary
Thinking too small can mean that entrepreneurs do not buy from you. Whether you’re selling a physical product, marketing service, or administrative support, communicate the benefits as if your life depended on it. Are you going to help them make more impact, make more sales or have more headspace? What could they achieve from there? Describe the big picture to capture an entrepreneur at their most visionary and watch them get excited about getting you on board.
Marginal profits don’t impress, so think bigger with what you have to offer. Find out what is important to them and speak in their language. Relevance, awards, money or freedom; each requires a different approach to a sales proposal. Explain how you’re going to change their lives to secure the sale, then keep your promise to keep them forever.
They doubt your competence
While away from the fairies more often than deep in the weeds, entrepreneurs spot patterns and spot inconsistencies. If your story doesn’t add up, it turns out you’ve distorted the truth, or if your words say one thing but your actions scream another, it’s jeopardizing your sales. The little things add up and sloppiness never goes unnoticed. An entrepreneur doesn’t just want to tick a box and sign his marketing budget.
Doing what you say you’re going to do, being on time, not making mistakes and remembering what you’re told all build confidence and competence.
Don’t let something small raise a red flag and cost your business a new customer. Cover the basics and practice what you preach. A-players only want to work with other A-players, so consistency in competence is important. Doing everything to a high standard assures an entrepreneur that you are a solid bet.
They see no way out
Although they see the big picture and like to take calculated risks, they want to be able to recover quickly from mistakes. Betting on a possible win is fine, throwing good money after bad is not. Not giving an entrepreneur an easy way out can make them run a mile.
Long contracts can jeopardize their flexible business strategy and high sunk costs can jeopardize their freedom. Both can prevent them from signing your contract. They operate on their own terms and are accountable to no one, so the last thing they want to feel is pushed into a corner.
Cover the reverse side. Communicate the worst that could happen. Help them see it’s not that bad so they see the jump as an experiment they want to try. Explain that you play the game together and that you support them. Make it important to you that they don’t lose money or look crazy, and that their worst fears don’t come true.
If you are too slow, think too small, seem inconsistent and incompetent or try to bind them, you will not sell much to an entrepreneur. Acting fast, thinking big, doing what you preach and giving them an easy way out will appeal to their impulsive, sharp and visionary tendencies and means you’ll be in a much better position to attract those entrepreneurial clients.
Janice has been with businesskinda for 5 years, writing copy for client websites, blog posts, EDMs and other mediums to engage readers and encourage action. By collaborating with clients, our SEO manager and the wider businesskinda team, Janice seeks to understand an audience before creating memorable, persuasive copy.