I was recently asked, “Need a Salesperson?” “NO I DON’T, “I said. “but I do need entrepreneurs” the conversation stumbled as the guy looked at me puzzled. “How do I be an entrepreneur inside your business, don’t Entrepreneurs start their own businesses?” My response was “Yes they do” I got even a more puzzled look.
So I will explain. A salesperson is focused on exactly that, the sale. Sales are just that, Sales, and that process is built for capitalizing on an emotion of want vs need. The art of sales is to achieve that magical step where your conscious says NO but your heart SAYS yes and I enable the heart to win! Sales are pulling at your worries, concerns fears, i.e., You need an alarm system! You need insurance for your loved ones, and so on. I have fast cars, insurance and vacuums I don’t need… I have also sold things just the same. That is emotion based sales. Relation-based sales are of the same order; it is simply credible enough to get your customer to repeat the same process!
So what is an Entrepreneur? Well for me it is someone that can perform the above and beyond, (that’s how we pay the bills) but also understands that making a living is a complete circle. Manufacturer, distributor, seller, end user, customer service, sale… REPEAT. A salesperson has a list of names and calls out, Hi do you want to buy my Widget, NO. Hi, do you want to buy my widget, NO… Hi, do you want to buy my widget YES!! WINNER!! They pick up the phone every time with one intention, move the widget. Here is the subtle but insurmountable difference. An entrepreneur picks up the phone with an idea of opportunity. Will the next person on my list be a buyer? Will they be a seller? Can they be a supplier for me? Maybe they have something else I want to buy from them and resell to others. Perhaps this could be a guy that likes car racing and just happens to need me to help in the pits? Maybe the person on the other end of the phone is related to my great aunt? Maybe they have a hunting plot I could use…. You get the idea.
An entrepreneur is in the business of business. What I mean by that is they can also turn non-business, into business, for example, let’s say you sell a certain product, you have researched the market and figured out that fabrication shops may or may not use your product for jobs. So off you go as a salesperson, hi want to buy my widget! Repeat… you close 20% of your contacts and pat yourself on the back as you receive the salesperson of the quarter. An entrepreneur goes to every fab shop and says, “Every thought of being in the widget business?” Those that are already in the widget business you start selling, battle the competition convince them why your better etc… BLAH BLAH BLAH….Those fab shops that aren’t in the widget business say, No we don’t sell/use widgets, my question is “Why not?” What if I was to show you how to get into the widget business? What if I ENABLE you to be in the widget business that 20% of your competitors are already in and I become your strategic ally in that venture?? See the difference? I am going to go after the hard 20% that already know the business, but more importantly, I am going to convert another 20% into customers therefore CREATING a market.
An entrepreneur figures how their products can revolutionize a market segment, how your products can fit into a market they are not it, save your customers money, expand your customers product base, enable your customers to expand their business. You become an enabler!
Enterprise can exist right inside a business, with thousands of employees every day! If you want to be in the business of business remember, every contact, every phone call, every handshake is a potential or link to a potential market, product a friend, a supplier, a distributer, a buyer, a link to a buyer, an information source about the markets, a product developer and so on. Each call is a potential, Potential! This works in your logistics department, your freight department, your operations department… Hell, I just hired a guy that doesn’t even have a department so we made one up because I think he is an entrepreneur!! Change the way you do business on all levels get yourself an entire staff of entrepreneurs!!
You don’t need to start your own business to be an entrepreneur why not just help your boss develop his business, you will find yourself handsomely rewarded!
Screw getting my market share…. Ill just go create a new market. 😊