The game of business is one we all want to master. None of us start a business so we can fail, go bankrupt, or barely survive from month to month.
But the cold truth is this.
It’s a cruel world for entrepreneurs. Most are struggling just to pay the bills. A U.S bank did a study that showed 82% of small businesses fail due to cash flow problems.
What’s worse is this finding that 90% of all startups end up failing.
Ouch. That’s not exactly motivating. And while I am a believer that both failure and success cannot be reduced down into just one single thing, there are certain key elements that are fundamental to any business.
In this article, I am sharing the ones that I feel matter the most, as they tend to be the ones often overlooked, especially by entrepreneurs. Do these few things well and success is inevitable. Ignore or overlook things and your business might just join the list of those failed businesses. In recent years, becoming an entrepreneur has ben tagged as pretty cool. But how many businesses are actually going to end this year with more revenue than last?
Are you on track with your financial goals as the year starts moving toward the last quarter or will this become yet another repeat of past years where you say you want to make more money, yet at the end of the year, the bank statement tells a different story?
I hope you are at least sober-minded enough to realize that without cash flow and increasing revenue there really won’t be a reason to call yourself a business owner.
Let’s be clear on something. Increasing your revenue won’t happen overnight. It’s super important that you get that. Hold the right perspective on this so you will avoid self-sabotaging and stunting your business growth. I’m assuming, like me, that you play the game to win and have fun. Well, having fun and winning feel way better in business when there’s money at the end of the month to prove that indeed, you played a great game!
This year will quickly come to an end and your business, whether new or old, will either have more revenue or less than when the year started. I want to make sure that you don’t fall into that pit of despair most entrepreneurs find themselves in. To me, the biggest reason isn’t what’s commonly talked about. And quite frankly, it all comes down to this one fundamental idea:
Learning to sell the value you bring. Zig Ziglar said, we need to sell the problem we solve, not the product. He was so right!
People don’t care about your product or service because buying is a very emotional experience. They do care about the value you can add to their life through the solution you offer.If I’m on a call with a software guy trying to sell me some new upgrade that can make my daughter’s browsing experience more safe, ad free, and enjoyable, I am definitely interested.
But I might end up declining that upgrade altogether if the guy on the other line does a poor job selling his value.
Quick story time:
My daughter’s Mac computer does have software that I purchased because I actually do want her to enjoy an ad-free Internet browsing experience.
She gets into a lot of research online on astronomy, scientific discoveries, and what not. Oftentimes leading to government sites or public education sites that are swamped with ads I can’t stand. I am also interested in preserving her privacy and anonymity as much as possible. So I’ve been investing in this wonderful software, which I’m quite happy with.
A few days ago, a sales guy tried to get my attention for an upgrade but the approach he had, his mannerism, and quite frankly his inability to demonstrate value and passion for the very thing he was trying to “sell me” ended up in no sales.
Am I interested in the upgrade? Perhaps. And I’m sure at the right time when I get into a conversation with someone who does a better job selling his or her value and solution, I will most likely say yes. Smacking me with a coupon or bigger discount just isn’t enough anymore.
What’s my point?
You have a product or service that can help your ideal customer. Whether you have a big team, little team, or no team, you must get better at selling yourself and the value you bring.Investing in ways that help you clarify the value and solution you bring and then doing your best to get in front of people consistently to relay this value is what your business needs. Not more technology.
So, below I am sharing four simple things you can start training yourself into today.
What you must do if you want more revenue this year:
1.Get your money mindset right
Your mindset has a direct impact on the level of success you can enjoy. If you’re struggling with old money wounds that haven’t healed, and you haven’t yet increased your financial thermostat, growing a profitable business will not come naturally. Before the tactics, strategies, and sales training skills, you need to make sure that your head is in the right place when it comes to money. I am realizing that money is a very good listener, and it rarely wants to hang out with people who have long-standing issues with it.
Don’t be in the dark about your financial situation. Educate yourself about finances and money management. Make yourself a magnet for money, so you can stop repelling business deals that would exponentially grow your startup.
Getting in the right mindset will also boost the confidence needed to keep reaching out to prospects.
2.Redefine what selling means to you
Selling, like sex, or success, is long overdue for a makeover. These are terms that have accumulated a lot of bad taste in society, and it’s to your detriment when you don’t clean them up.
Like it or not, sex is a natural part of human living. So is selling! Unless we want to go back to living like cave people.I believe that every individual needs to take some time to redefine fundamental ideas and attach new beliefs to the concepts that directly impact their lives. Selling is something that will always impact your life. Unless, of course, you fly to Mars or some uninhabited planet where no exchange is necessary. But as long as you’re here on planet Earth wanting to interact, exchange, and serve others – selling is good and necessary.
For me, selling is what my daughter has been doing to me since she learned to cry. At a very early age, she learned to persuade me into doing what she wanted. As she grew older, she got more sophisticated and started using words rather than screams (thank heavens).
And she has sold me on everything from what cereals to get in the supermarket, why getting more Easter eggs is the better choice, which cartoon movie to watch, to recently getting me to pay for Netflix!
Everything is a selling game. Did you ever think of it like that? Your family is always selling you into something. You are always selling yourself into something.
Now, take this new understanding of how natural selling is and apply it to your product or service. If you can tap into how the offer you have can help your customer, then you don’t even need to sell them anything. You just need to show them how it’s going to improve their lives.
The best way to develop a new relationship with this concept of selling is by:
- Redefining in your own terms what selling means for you.
- Practicing on as many people as possible this newfound concept of selling that you’ve chosen.
3. Follow up
This is the one thing most of us struggle with.
In this video, Grant Cardone the master closer and out-spoken advocate of selling says that we can’t hope to grow our businesses if we don’t get used to getting in front of prospects as much as possible and then following up. Cardone says 75% of all salespeople never call back the second time to follow up with a prospect.
So whether you are the salesperson or have a team doing the selling for you, there has to be consistent follow up once direct contact has been initiated with your ideal prospect.
And I mean following up a lot!
How good are you at following up by the way? And I don’t mean the second call or visit. I mean the fifth or sixth round of follow-up. Now you know why your business is where it is.
4. Make a commitment to unleashing greatness
The last thing I want to encourage you to do is to focus on unleashing your greatness. Competition can only get you so far. Wannabe entrepreneurs strive to compete. What you want to be is the world’s greatest and an open collaborator in your space.
What you must learn to do if you want to increase your business revenue is become the best, offer the best product or service, and authentically demonstrate why you are simply the best option for your customer.
If you can provide the best, you can easily charge premium prices, which naturally lead to increased revenue.
The game of sales is a game of revenue. The more revenue you want to have, the better you need to be at selling yourself and the valuable solution you offer.
If you’re stuck with an outdated, negative understanding of the term sales, it’s time for a makeover.
As a business owner, it’s your job to reach the right client at the right time and offer them a profitable solution and your insights to a problem they are struggling with.
That is true selling and with these tips, you can train yourself into being a heart-centered, service-oriented revenue-making rockstar, whether you have a small or big startup.