Cracking the sales code for entrepreneurial success

Someone has to figure it out how to sell the product and it really needs to be you. I hear presentations from entrepreneurs that outline a market need and the product to fill it. They make a very compelling case for market demand for the unique product they are offering. The really great presentations get my greed juices flowing as the entrepreneur makes me believe the market is just dying to have this product.

But then reality sets in. They haven’t sold one product to the identified market. In fact, the entrepreneur really does not know, really know, how much to charge, payment terms, sales cycle, delivery and support. What they do know is that they need money to build a sales force or maybe even a dealer network.

The problem is it costs money to figure out how to sell this new product to this market. The more time it takes to figure out the answers to the previous questions, the more money it takes. The more people you put between the entrepreneur, decision maker, and the market the longer it takes and the more it costs. There is no short-cut to discovering how to sell and deliver your product. You need to do it yourself.

I realize that this may slow down your spreadsheet sales projections but you won’t be burning your cash. Once you figure out who to sell what, for how much, then you can hire others to do it. You see, the first question a new salesman is going to ask you is: “Who do I call and what do I say?” If you are not certain of the answer to this question then you are burning cash.

So for all your entrepreneurs who want to raise money and grow fast, demonstrate to investors that you know how to sell your product to your market and the money will surely follow.

What’s your startup entrepreneurial challenge? Your tweets help me decide what to write about next. @cpaparelli

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