I think this guest blogger may be the first who comes from a similar perspective as me (now I don’t feel so alone!), so it’s interesting (personally) to hear his enthusiasm mixed with nerves…how I know both of those emotions well. Please meet Brian, newborn entrepreneur and 20-something:
So here it is…time to show that I can walk my own talk. After spending the majority of my 20’s managing the sales performance of others in the corporate world, the site for my new business is up and running (www.GreenTechBuyer.org), and it’s on me to prove that I can create sales in a new market armed only with the tools of my trade; a phone, inbox and internet browser. Gulp! Let the fun begin.
About a year ago I came to the realization that my entrepreneurial itch couldn’t get the scratching it needed relying on others to bring in the deals while enduring tedious meetings, so I found an industry I’m passionate about, reigned in my assets and decided to give it a shot. A few gut checks and skipped paychecks later, I’m an entrepreneur, and it’s just as scary and invigorating as the books say it will be, only more so.
OK, OK. Let’s go through our pre-sale checklist:
– Quality product that’s in high demand. CHECK.
– Well defined target customer base. GOT THAT TOO.
– Marketing plan and the tools to pull it off. DAMN RIGHT.
– Clear and differentiating messaging. THE COMPETITION IS GOING TO HATE ME.
– Price point that reflects value. FEELING GREAT ABOUT IT.
I’m a sales pro. I write a blog and consult about sales best practices. I’ve come on board as the third hire at a startup that turned into a 100+ headcount industry powerhouse before I left. This is what I do best! Yet I can’t seem to shake a dull sense of lingering anxious tension, urging me to head back to the land of salaries and employer-provided healthcare coverage.
Everybody says “good luck”, but they’re tone and demeanor feels more like a dire warning than well wishes. I know, I know. They just want me to be safe, which some confuse with being happy. But safe was boring, and the chip on my shoulder weighs heavier than the strain of a bank account that (temporarily…I hope) keeps going backwards. It’s time to get selfish and self-absorbed. Websites don’t drive traffic, convert it to action and sign up vendors on their own. The internet is a big place without much respect for newcomers that don’t go out and earn it. Time to sell!
Selling is persistence, goal setting, staying positive and constantly refining a strategy that rarely goes as planned. It’s the thrill of a yes, the hope of a bite and the refusal to accept no. Selling is a blast, and man do I miss it!
All the clichés about failure are true. You don’t know what you don’t know, and most new businesses don’t last even a few years. Everything takes longer and costs more than you think too. So what? That’s got nothing to do with me. There’s also a ton of success stories from entrepreneurs no brighter or motivated than myself who put on the blinders and focused on creating the business and lifestyle they set out to achieve. Nothing happens in business until somebody makes a sale, and I’ve got just the man for the job staring back at me in the mirror.
I may not have the flashiest site or biggest budget, but I’ve got the best sales team in the industry. Watch me prove it.
* Sorry Brian, the site wasn’t participating with your preconceived spacing, so my regrets for that!