4 Big Sales Mistakes Startup Owners Should Avoid
Startup companies have many obstacles to overcome on the road to success. To make it past that crucial first year, a new business must have strong sales, as a company’s profits depend not only on the quality of its product, but on how well it sells that product to its prospective customers. When planning out their sales strategy, startup owners should keep in mind these miscalculations that trip up many new businesses.
The first mistake is sticking too closely to the sales pitch. Presentation is absolutely vital to close a sale, so it’s important to spend time creating a good, compelling pitch. At the same time, a pitch shouldn’t straitjacket you. No matter how much time and effort you put into crafting diagrams and memorizing soundbites, when you’re on the floor don’t let those elements distract you from what matters most. Always pay attention to the client, and adjust your pitch accordingly if they seem less than engaged. Don’t hesitate to enter an unscripted angle of conversation, as it may end up being your biggest selling point.
Secondly, don’t be shy about stating your price. Transparency about not only what you’re selling but how much you’re selling it for builds trust, and makes it clear to your potential customer that you have a genuine offer. It also displays confidence in your product, and will allow your client to start planning their budget early. You don’t need to give an exact price tag, since you’ll often need details for an accurate evaluation, but offer a ballpark figure.
Thirdly, know how to close. Caution about jumping right into a sale is justified, but don’t let negotiations drag out forever, either. There isn’t an absolute recommended timing to follow here, but communication between clients and startup owners is crucial to make a final deal. Tuning your instincts for when to close the sale may be key to your business’s success.
Last but not least, no matter how many sales you’ve closed, remember to keep prospecting for new openings. Never assume that you have sufficient customers; always be on the lookout for new markets. No matter how loyal your current customers may be, probability determines that you will lose some, so you need to start establishing a replacement pool at the earliest possible opportunity.
New businesses are always challenges for startup owners, but no matter the industry, better sales practices will help. By working on your communication and not becoming overly attached to your pitches, you can improve the chances for your company to succeed.