Book In Advance And Enjoy Your Vacations
Book In Advance And Enjoy Your VacationsSuccessful entrepreneurs sell while they are still working on the fine detail of their business. It is very easy to convince yourself that you first need to raise money, find accommodation, do test marketing, buy specialist help, finish the prototype, build a perfect website or write a business plan.
It is not that these are bad things to be doing, but none is a reason to avoid selling, except in very rare cases. Even in those rare cases, you can pre-sell, pre-book or build a waiting list.
If you stop to think about it, all of these "gotta do it first" activities can only be enhanced by real live business contact, sales experience and customer feedback.
Build a Prospect Database
Research Prospective ClientsNow that you have a list, select the names that you do not know and email them a questionnaire to test out some of your assumptions.
Call Potential ClientsAsk for their help. Tell them you want to check out your ideas about the needs of people like them. Describe your business idea. Ask them for feedback. Listen very carefully. Record what they say. Chances are that in the course of discussion they will reveal a sales opportunity. If they do, ask if they would like to discuss how you can meet their needs.They may reveal a pressing need. They may express interest in seeing the product, or trying the service. At the very least, they may be happy refer you to someone else.
Go Back to the Business PlanWith all the data and sales opportunities that you have garnered from the real world, you will inevitably need to modify the business plan. What you will find is that you will restructure, rewrite and re-evaluate your business idea. Then surprisingly, you will realize that you need to go back to some more prospective clients and test out your new conclusions.
Now Repeat the CycleBefore you know it, your business will be up and running. Getting in touch with prospects several times a week during the planning stage of your startup will become more and more natural. Discipline yourself, even if you hate cold calling. Comfort yourself that you are doing research, rather than selling. This will give you a much more relaxed approach and you will hardly notice the transition from planning to doing.
- do your homework; only make contact with people in businesses that you have found out about; sound like a colleague not a person reading a questionnaire.
- write up interview notes when you have finished; you'd be surprised how quickly you can forget who said what.
- be honest and upfront about what you are doing; you have no need to be reticent about starting a business.
- ask if you may refer to the person or what you learned when speaking to others.
- if an opportunity is revealed, make sure you follow up expeditiously.
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