By Lindsay Ellis
Times Union, Albany, N.Y.
WWR Article Summary (Tl;dr) Entrepreneurs gathered in Upstate New York to learn the best sales tactics when running a startup. For many women in business, trying to figure out how to lure a new customer can be daunting. Experts say small business women should always remember to end a meeting with enough time to discuss next steps with a potential client/customer.
Entrepreneurs do not often start a business to go into sales, but sales are a crucial element to a startup’s success, Lorraine Ferguson of Sandler Training said in a talk with Schenectady business owners at the New York BizLab office on State Street on Monday morning.
Ferguson, the president of the Sandler Sales Institute’s Albany franchise location, answered attendee questions and discussed how to assemble a successful sales team in her presentation to about 50 people.
Preparation and setting expectations are crucial to a successful sale, Ferguson said. In a sales conversation, entrepreneurs should make sure that they are talking to someone who can make a decision, and that they end such meetings with time to discuss next steps.
She urged entrepreneurs to focus on the client as they presented their solution to their potential customers’ problems, and she noted that being a salesperson requires convincing someone to make a change — a tough argument when many people tend toward inertia.
Attitude, she said, absolutely plays a role.
“Who wants to work with someone who’s begging?” she asked, saying that, on initial sales runs, she would convince herself that she did not need the sale, even when that was not the case. “That gives you a backbone to ask the tough questions.”
Hiring the right sales team and successfully training sales associates will create a sustainable model, Ferguson said.