Here’s the honest truth: your innovative business needs to make sales to thrive

We know what you’re thinking, but you need to remove the association of ‘sales’ with pushy door-to-door salespeople. Experienced venture investor and CEO of ANU Connect Ventures Nick McNaughton says that ‘sales’ is more about matching a client need with a solution.

“Salespeople are problem solvers. Their hardest task is identifying the right industry, company and persona within that company who is responsible for ‘the problem’. You are there to help them,” he says.

Nick has a proven track record in selling and he loves empowering entrepreneurs to make sales by helping them to put into practice simple methods that really work, like picking up the phone.

And in 2021, Nick thinks that we have lost the art of the ‘cold call’.

“If you have identified the right person within the organisation who is responsible for the problem your product or service solves then they will welcome your call,” says Nick.

“Identifying the right person is the hard part. Once you get them on the phone and confirm that they are the right person and they do have the problem you will have a mutually rewarding, in-depth, conversation.”

As one would prospect for gold, prospecting for ‘leads’ is crucial in effective sales. This ‘lead generation’ is the lifeblood of a salesperson – without leads there is no one to call, and with no one to call there are no sales.

“Intelligent prospecting for leads will increase your success rate when you finally get to speak with the prospect. If your prospecting is not aligned with a client need there is no chance of a sale.”

But what happens when we hear the dreaded ‘no’? Nick reassures us that the person on the other end of the line is not saying ‘no’ to you. They are saying ‘no’ to your proposition. This may be because they are the wrong person or it may be the wrong time for them to speak with you.

“Always try to secure a warm referral when a prospect says ‘no’. Counter with ‘Who do you think would be interested in this product or service?’” Nick suggests.

Do you want to learn more about the sales process? Do you want to gain the confidence to pick up the phone? Join Nick McNaughton next month in Selling to Grow, an online workshop with the Canberra Innovation Network that will allow you to spend an afternoon learning practical methods to find real customers and make sales.

Selling to Grow is happening online on the 18th of November – Get your ticket now.