The Wall Street Journal just posted an extended article, actually the product of four interviews, with four start-up coaches. I won’t try to echo their advice, just give you the link.
The relevance here, to this site, Selling Face-to-Face, is that a lot of readers of the blog, and of my how to sell guides, are people who are already engaged in, or considering undertaking, new business start-ups. Reinventing your career (voluntarily or involuntarily)? Considering self-employment? Got a new better mousetrap– or better App– you think (hope?) the market really, really needs? You’ll find some savvy advice in this article.
Link to Wall Street Journal article “4 Low Cost Ways to Gauge Demand for your Start-up”
If you're thinking of going into sales, if you're already in sales, if you don't know what you want to be when you grow up (no matter your present age!) there's a top-rank article you need to read in the magazine FAST COMPANY.
It's "Why smart people should go into sales," by Andrew Yong, and among his accomplishments include authorship of the book, SMART PEOPLE SHOULD BUILD THINGS.
I'll leave the article to you, but add that "selling" is not just selling products or services, but it's also persuading, reading body language and other buying signals, pulling out objections and hesitations, presenting concepts, learning to find and fill needs (needs that often the other person isn't really aware of, so part of "selling" is showing the need and how you can best fill it). All of these abilities pay off many times over if you move from sales per-se to management, customer service — even to setting up your own business and marketing your skills, perhaps as part of career reinvention, or electing for self-employment as your new career option.
Link to article in Fast Company
This five-step model approach in responding to objections and questions: Explore, Listen Well, Restate (if appropriate), Respond, then Move on.
1. Explore. Ask questions to get the person talking about what they really mean by the objection, and why it's important to them. (Why do you feel that way? will do if nothing better comes to mind.)
2. Listen well to their response. You may have heard this objection a dozen times already this week, but this person may put a different twist on it. Don't be too quick in cutting off the
Continue reading 5 steps in responding to sales objections and questions
The Wall Street Journal just posted an extended article, actually the product of four interviews, with four start-up coaches. I won't try to echo their advice, just give you the link.
The relevance here, to this site, Selling Face-to-Face, is that a lot of readers of the blog, and of my how to sell guides, are people who are already engaged in, or considering undertaking, new business start-ups. Reinventing your career (voluntarily or involuntarily)? Considering self-employment? Got a new better mousetrap– or better App– you think (hope?) the market really, really needs? You'll find some savvy advice in this article.
Link to Wall Street Journal article "4 Low Cost Ways to Guage Demand for your Start-up"
What better way to come up with a great and marketable idea than to invent it out of necessity . . . as the Moms in this article did.
What gave them the advantage is that they started with a known need (their own) and then found the best way to fill it: their invention.
Stating the obvious, I suppose, but the point is that instead of thinking up a "Great Idea," these Mom-preneurs started with a specific need . . .and then realized that others in the target audience likely had that same need.
According to the article: ". . . the term “mom inventors” yields about 290,000 results on Google"
Go to NYTimes article on "Mom inventors/marketers"
"HEALTH navigator? Conflict coach? Pollution mitigation outreach worker? These
emerging jobs aren’t household terms yet, but they are a natural fit for older
people looking for new career opportunities, said Phyllis Segal, vice president
at Civic Ventures, a nonprofit research group based in San Francisco."
— That's the opening paragraph in Elizabeth Pope's article in the New York Times.
You might ask, "What does it have to do with the subject of this blog—Selling Face-to-Face?"
Continue reading “Matching life experience with new careers” — article in NY Times
Amazon has recently upgraded its Kindle software, so what appears on the Kindle comes out closer to the visual quality and layout of the printed version.
I took advantage of that opportunity, and cleaned up the electronic typography of SELLING 101, and at the same time entered it in the Amazon Prime program. Here's the link: Selling 101: Essential Selling Skills for Entrepreneurs, Consultants, Free Agents
What Amazon Prime means to you as a reader is that you can borrow it free, from Amazon, for however long you want. As I understand it, if you're a Prime member, and own any version of Kindle, you can borrow up to 12 books each year. Only catch, only one book at a time.
And if you borrow a book and find it so indispensable that you just gotta have it? Just "return" it, virtually, buy it, and borrow another.
If just want to buy Selling 101 in e-format, not borrow it, same link gets you there.
Fascinating perspective on career reinvention and entrepreneurship in, of all places, Britain's New Scientist, Myshkin Ingawale, co-founder and CEO of Biosense Technologies. The hook:
"When I was 17, I was clueless about what I wanted to do with my life. Now I'm 27 and I am as clear as I can be – I want to a successful entrepreneur, starting and growing more than one organisation in my lifetime. Sometime over these last 10 years, I'm not exactly sure when, I made the transition from "clueless" to "clear as I can be".
Definitely worth reading on a variety of fronts. I'll leave you to it.
Link to article
The New York Times this past weekend ran an article on Sam Palmisano, who is retiring after about a decade as CEO of IBM. Particularly interesting to me were the four questions he devised as a tool to help get key people thinking in productive new ways.
"The four questions, he explains, were a way to focus thinking and prod the company beyond its comfort zone and to make I.B.M. pre-eminent again. He presented the four-question framework to the company’s top 300 managers at a meeting in early 2003 in Boca Raton, Fla."
• “Why would someone spend their money with you — so what is unique about you?”
• “Why would somebody work for you?”
• “Why would society allow you to operate in their defined geography — their country?”
• “And why would somebody invest their money with you?”
Seems to me those questions — especially the first — are equally useful for business ventures a lot smaller than IBM, including those of us who are setting up new businesses or consulting ventures, reinventing careers, or taking a fresh look at whether we're as effective as we could be.
Further, a savvy sales person could incorporate them into a consultative selling approach, adapting these questions into a form to be asked of potential prospects … thereby establishing the need for your product or service.
NYTimes article on Sam Palmisano's four key questions
As I mentioned here recently, this Selling Face to Face site is aimed at new business start-ups as much as at the sales training needs of experienced sales teams.
In that regard— new business start-ups and how-to — here's an interesting link to an article on
Wicked Start a free site designed by an experienced entrepreneur and management consultant. I haven't personally checked it out yet, just read the article and looked at the Wicked Start website, but it seems definitely worth your taking a look.
As I understand, when you sign up you get access to a series of how-to checklists and templates to hold your hand through each of the major steps of a new business start-up from scratch.
It's free, so I'm not at all clear on the business model.
Here's the article I read, which came to me via the "Small Business from the New York Times" weekly e-mailing.
A Start-Up That Automates the Process of Starting Up — NYTimes article