Business Development Rants and Resources

Pitfalls for Entrepreneurs Part II

“What on earth is he DOING?” is no longer my question, (from the first article) because I have had the opportunity, through one or two subsequent meetings, to figure it out: My friend (were still calling him Kevin) doesnt have a clue about selling.

Now I am not here to make fun of him for that. At the end of the day, it is a skill that is lacking to some degree – sometimes totally – by almost everyone who runs a business. And I’ll raise my hand here too. So whatKevin does is continually expand his product offerings.

I guess I’d liken it to the old days where the soldiers would storm the castle in an attempt to penetrate and overcome the enemy. Imagine 100 troops rushing the castle wall and putting their shoulders into it trying to knock down the wall. A good commander would call them back and say “Boys, that isnt going to work. Bring up the cannons.” Then they would proceed to blow holes into the wall and rush in. Kevin is the kind of commander that says “Boys, keep at it. Im sending another hundred guys to help you push.”

Ever hear the expression If all you have is a hammer, every problem is a nail? Well allKevin has is another hundred guys, and maybe another hundred after them. He doesn’t have a cannon, so he solves his problems using the tool he has. In this case the tool is his big brain and willingness to do hard work. It is easy for him to come up with other ideas and set them out there for people. But he doesnt know how to blow any holes in walls. In fact, he took me through a lengthy presentation he was going to make to what could be a significant new customer – if he could do some selling.  He goes on and on about not only the product he is trying to sell, but all ancillary offerings that his company has, almost straining to somehow get that in. In the meantime, I am the customer, saying. “Why do I care about this. Why SHOULD I care? Where are we going with this?”

The presentation should have been heavily customer focused, shortened, and broken up into bitesized chunks that allowed for better focus. (kind of like this blog article) There probably should have been an outline in the front. And before that, some reference to the problem or challenge that the customer has expressed that he has and a direct statement about what he was offering to address that challenge. But let’s stop there because we are getting into sales training and that is a whole other topic.

The bottom line here is that if you are an entrepreneur that has an offering that you KNOW can and should be more successful in the market, think twice before looking to increase sales revenue with another offering and then another. Yes, there are some legitimate reasons for that sometimes, but we all must question whether we should be spending our resources getting ahold of a cannon and breaching the wall in the way that a good commander would.

May 9, 2012 - Posted by | Business Building

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