Here is your thought of the moment:
“Selling is the art of influencing the actions of another person so that they willingly engage with you towards a shared, win-win outcome. Sales is the highest form of leadership.”
– Coach Davender
I meet so many solopreneurs who have great talents and cool ideas – but what holds them back is that they believe “selling” is beneath them.
I effectively killed my first business, a technology consultancy, because of this attitude. I took the money that I borrowed from the bank thanks to my “brilliant” business plan, leased a class A office in a prestigious technology centre right by the airport, put up a brass nameplate on the door, and sat behind my desk waiting for the phone to ring. Which it did not.
Without clients to benefit from what we do in providing our products and services, we have nothing. Those who believe that they can “hire someone” to get clients for them are deluding themselves. If you outsource your sales, the trust connection is made between the client and the agent. And if the agent walks, so will your best clients. (Been there, got the t-shirt.)
What distinguishes a self-employed person from a solopreneur, is that a self-employed person is at the mercy of the client. Self-employed people surf from project to project, taking what they can get, just to survive to the next payday. Solopreneurs do the opposite: they first focus on building a network of contacts and positioning themselves in that network so the right and best clients come to them in a continuous flow.
I love it that now the phone rings a couple of times a week with people who say “Coach, help me!” They recognize the value of who I am and what I offer, and are ready to commit to action. No tirekickers or comparison shoppers here!
Sales takes time and effort. Expect to spend a third of your time in networking, prospecting, promotion and positioning activities. (Make sure you cover this time in your billable rates!). The effort you invest in building a stream of clients who appreciate the value you bring to them, and who are ready to commit to what you offer, will pay off big time.
Personally, I love the sales aspect of my project. I feel a freedom in going out and connecting with people. As I get more and better clients, I can improve how I deliver a result that makes my clients happier, while giving me the opportunity to live my passion. And my best clients become good friends!
Master the ultimate leadership skill of sales, and you will successfully make the transition from “self-employed” to “solopreneur”. Life is so much better when opportunities come to you, rather than you having to chase them!
So, who will you bless today with a sales conversation?
p.s. An awesome resource that helped me love selling is http://www.justsell.com
They have a great free newsletter and informative downloads. Highly recommended.