You might not know it, but nestled between the mountains in Northern Nevada there is a booming startup city, named Reno (Aka my home). We even have our own Startup Row. Our University has a growing entrepreneurship program and just opened the Ozmen Center for Entrepreneurship. We decided that there should be a sales class included in the course work to complete the minor. So they asked me to design an Entrepreneurial Sales class. I thought a lot about how to teach sales to college students, because we all know you can’t teach sales hypothetically. So I decided to design the class around the companies of the entrepreneurs in the class. I let the students chose which company they wanted to work on.
Here are the companies:
The students who had started businesses were excited to have a team to help them build their sales plan.
Young or old, the same applies to anyone one starting a business. You need a strong sales plan.
I made sure they had a plan that included:
- Their target audience and how they would reach them.
- What was unique about their company, products, and services.
- The best lead generation methods for their business.
- How and where to network for their business.
- How to build a trade show plan.
- How to keep their customers satisfied and get referrals.
- How to use social media to make connections and build and maintain relationships.
- How to choose the best CRM for their company.
- How to prepare for sales calls.
- How to build a sales funnel.
On the last day of class, after the final, I asked my students to share what they learned. From my students to you.
Here are lessons from young entrepreneurs that can apply to any
business owner or salesperson:
|“Relationships built on trust, accountability, and likeability will result in a successful business.” – Aspen Daley|
|“LinkedIn and twitter are valuable for sales. LinkedIn provides such an immense network while twitter keeps me constantly in the loop.” – Ryan Meza|
|“It is easy to think of a salesperson as sleazy or annoying, but I have learned that doesn’t have to be the case. If you are passionate and knowledgeable about a product, and have a quirky personality, you can sell anything, and with tools like the 6-minute speech from Say It in Six and How to Pitch Anything, one can be wildly successful and even have a fun career as a salesperson. It was something I had never considered, but now may be an entry into my next career.” – Chuck Campbell|
|“Sales isn’t necessarily hard. I learned to break it down into parts, work on the details in each and bring it all together.” – Brian Blair (Founder and Ceo of Irrigo LLC)|
|“I can’t be afraid of “No.” I have to put my business out there, believe in myself and value rejection as something to be learned from.” – Vanessa Walker|
|“I really like knowing that the stigma of being a salesperson is unjustified. Salespeople put so much effort into relationships and truly believe that what they do can be beneficial to their clients.” – Max Brennan|
|“I really found the Dan Pink’s book, To Sell is Human , specifically the whole idea that I have been selling my whole life, very encouraging. It gave me a lot of confidence that I could do a sales job.” – Brad Humphreys|
|“Always be relevant and authentic online!” – Alex Olivieri|
|“Sales are crucial to a business. Make a concise plan. Sales is made up of relationships and referrals, and I always need to be improving those skills.” – Amanda Wartgow|
|“Planning the before and after activities for a tradeshow keeps you from wasting money.” – Erik Edgington (Co-Founder at Nevada Dynamics Won 3rd place in the Nevada Governor’s Cup)|
“Build a relationship with a potential customer first before talking about business.”– Bryan Orellanan
If you are a business owner or salesperson, determine what you need to reach the next level in your sales. Think about the relationships you already have and how you can leverage them. Think about how you can use those relationships to gain introductions and referrals. Find your passion and go for it.
Alice is nationally known for her expertise in elevating sales to increase valuation for companies with a B2B complex sale that have exceptional growth potential. She’s originally, from the widely known Miller Heiman Group. Spending her time strategizing with CEOs and their leadership teams to build the strategies that find new business and grow existing accounts is her passion. Her clients love her spirit and the way she energizes their sales organization.