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Starting a business? Shark, Marnus Broodryk, and Mike Anderson have sales advice for you

“Young entrepreneurs often underestimate the power of meeting people face-to face, especially when trying to land BIG deals,” says Marnus Broodryk, founder and CEO of accounting firm, The Beancounter, and the youngest investor on the international television show, Shark Tank. This is especially critical for those just starting out in business.

“They spend their days hiding behind computers screens hoping to build the next billion-rand company.”

He doesn’t stop there. “It’s just as important for both experienced and new business owners to put themselves in their customers’ shoes”, says Broodryk. “Consider what the customer thinks is important – their buying motives – and build from there.”

Mike Anderson’s advice is equally to the point – speak less and listen more, says the founder and CEO of the National Small Business Chamber.

“Listen, be genuine and understand the client’s needs and get to know their pain. You need to recognise that before you can sell something, you need to know what the prospective client wants to buy.”

More valuable advice from Broodryk and Anderson below:

Broodryk’s Do’s and Don’ts

What to stop doing:

Don’t waste money trying to sell what you and your team like, instead sell what the customer wants.

“As business people, we often become so immersed in our own product or service that we no longer consider that what we find special is not the same thing our customers are buying. We don’t think like our customers. Or we forget how to.”

Also stay away from jargon and other technical terms, warns Broodryk. “Customers may not know or understand technical terms. They often just want a basic problem solved, and they don’t care how you do it.”

Do this instead:

  • Get out and meet people.
  • Look at appointing a sales force on the ground.
  • Network, build relationships and connect.

Anderson’s Do’s and Don’ts

What to stop doing:

SME owners are not doing what’s required to secure clients and increase revenue or gross sales within their business. “They need to see quality prospects all day every day. They need to become the rainmaker of their own businesses. Sales is everything.”

Do this instead:

  • Have a pure focus, have a sales budget, then work out a plan of what needs to be done to achieve the sales budget.
  • Every morning before the day starts, they need to know exactly what activity they need to do to achieve their daily target. Then every day repeat the process.
  • Build a prospect (contact) base of high-quality prospects and the decision makers. Then make personal contact in order to secure face-to-face meetings.

Article first published on SME South Africa