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Category Archives: Sales

How to React When a Customer Prospect Says “No”

By | Business By The Book, Sales, Sales, Sales & Marketing | No Comments

I recently received an email from a couple of young entrepreneurs that I am mentoring that were a bit downcast. They had given their best pitch to a prospective client, but it fell flat and they did not get the business. Here are a few tips that I shared with them on how to think of the sales process as a pipeline (see this blog post that explains the process in more detail along with definitions of the terms used below): As in any pipeline, the more you dump into the opening of the funnel, the more will come out the…

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What Exactly Are You Selling?

By | Business By The Book, Financing a Startup, Sales, Sales, Starting Up | No Comments
What Are You Selling?

As an entrepreneur, your most precious resource is your time and how you invest it. You can invest your time trying to get customers (by solving their problems) and/or you can invest your time trying to get investors. The more time you spend getting customers (selling your product), the less time you will need to spend getting investors (selling your stock). And if you spend enough time getting customers, you will not need investors. And just at the point that you don’t need investors is when they will start pestering you to let them invest. But of course by then…

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Compensation Plan for a Startup Sales Executive

By | Business By The Book, Compensation Management, HR Management, Human Resources, Sales, Sales & Marketing | No Comments

Q: I am the founder and CEO of an early-stage high-tech startup and I am in the beginning stages of trying to raise $2.5 million in an initial round of venture capital to ramp up operations. I am trying to attract a high-level sales/business development executive to sell for the company on a part-time basis. He has asked for $100 per hour for his base pay, plus 10% commission on anything he sales, plus 5% ownership of the company with an anti-dilution guarantee that his ownership will never fall below 5% no matter what happens to the company in terms of…

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Feast or Famine on Sales

By | Business By The Book, Growing a Business, Growth Strategy, Marketing, Sales, Sales, Sales & Marketing, Social Media | No Comments
Juggling Priorities

Q: I find myself really struggling right now to maintain an even level of sales. My work seems to come in chunks and by the time I’m finishing up, I have to jump back into sales mode and it always takes me a month or two to rebuild enough momentum to bring in more sales. I’m not sure if you can help or not, but any advice would be appreciated. A: What you are wrestling with is the classic dilemma of a small owner/operator that is both selling the service and delivering the service. It is very difficult to do both…

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To Train Up an Entrepreneur

By | Business By The Book, Landing Your First Customer, Leadership, Marketing, Sales, Starting a Part Time Business | No Comments
To Train up an Entrepreneur

We met Andy years ago when we lived in Minnesota. At the time, my wife was pregnant with our first child and whenever she pulled into the driveway, 10-year old Andy bounded over from next door to help her carry the groceries. His normal practice was to race her to open the door before she had a chance to open it for herself. He had also volunteered to shovel the snow from our sidewalk. Andy and his family had just moved in as our next door neighbors, but he had already captured the heart of my dear wife. He was…

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Teaching a Ten Year Old to Sell

By | Business By The Book, Leadership, Sales, Sales & Marketing | No Comments

When my son Adam was a ten year-old Cub Scout, he was handed a form to sell popcorn to raise money for his Cub Scout pack. The incentive was a modest commission and an Apple iPod Touch for the boy who sold the most in the pack of 35-odd boys. The leader announced that the goal for each boy should be to sell $600 of popcorn and then asked the boys to write down a commitment and turn it in. I looked over Adam’s shoulder as he filled out the form. He wrote $2,300. I thought it was time for…

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Venture Academy Video Excerpt: Service Distinctiveness

By | Advertising, Branding, Business By The Book, Business Communications, Coming Up with an Idea, Customer Relationship Management, Growing a Business, Marketing, Organization & Strategy, Sales | No Comments

This video provides insight into the necessity of having a distinctive service relative to competitors:     This video is just 1 of nearly 200 videos available with a Venture Academy subscription and is excerpted from the Sales and Marketing section.

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Three Ways to Avoid Confusing the Market with a New Product Launch

By | Advertising, Branding, Business By The Book, Customer Relationship Management, Landing Your First Customer, Marketing, Marketing, Sales | No Comments

The Netbook launch in 2007, which introduced a smaller, cheaper web-browsing computing device with fewer features than a laptop, is a case in point of poor alignment between what consumers want, what they thought they bought and what they actually got. It stems from core marketing issues of the lack of i) proper market research, ii) proper product positioning and iii) proper marketing messaging. Post-launch research revealed the following issues with the new Netbooks based upon extensive consumer survey of 600 Netbook purchasers: “60 percent of consumers who purchased a netbook instead of a notebook thought their netbooks would have the…

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How To Get Sales and Marketing Experience Prior to a Startup

By | Business By The Book, Channels and Alliances, Landing Your First Customer, Marketing, Marketing, Sales, Sales | No Comments

Q: It is quite apparent to me from reading through your site and listening to your presentations, that sales and marketing skills are essential for an entrepreneur. I am a young man without any experience in sales and marketing and I am curious what you might suggest for someone in my position. A: You are correct in that I strongly believe that sales and marketing is the most important skill in an entrepreneur. Of course there are other important factors such as the opportunity you are pursuing, your character, God’s providence, etc., but the most important skill for an entrepreneur is the…

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