Sunday, May 26, 2013

5 Critical Skills for Entrepreneurs

These are 5 essential skills that every entrepreneur needs in order to be successful and effective. The world’s best CEOs are masters at these skills. You should aim to master these skills also.

1. Sales

When you are first starting out on your own, being able to sell will be the single most important skill that can determine whether your business will succeed.

You will need to sell to consumers on the internet, to businesses on the phone, to corporations in person — you are always selling, selling, selling. When you are networking, you are not just making contacts — you are selling yourself. When you are presenting your idea to venture capitalists, you are not only selling your concept. You are also selling yourself. The venture capitalists will be thinking to themselves:

Can this person deliver?

Can this person execute?

Is this person passionate?

Does she have what it takes to make this thing succeed?

Rarely does an idea by itself get funded. A great sales person can make even a terrible business idea get funded if it’s pitched right. A brilliant idea that’s terribly presented will not typically be considered.

So it goes for any product or service you may have to offer. As an entrepreneur, you wear many hats. You are CEO of sales, advertising, administration, website, recruiting, customer service. The single most important hat that you will wear is sales. This will determine whether you will bring in revenue.

The art of selling is not to hit people over the head and get them to buy from you. It is not about being pushy. It is much more subtle. It is about asking the right questions. Communicating your viewpoint persuasively. Listening. It seems counterintuitive but some of the best sales people are the best listeners.