People start out as entrepreneurs for different reasons. Because they have an idea or a dream product they want to deliver. Because they don’t like the traditional corporate structure and want more freedom. Maybe even just because they like the idea of running a business, even before they have a clear objective. Money can be a motivation too, but unlike the rest, it’s also a need. It’s very hard to run any sort of business without bringing in new customers and therefore new money.
The way that many businesses are run these days, you might be forgiven for thinking that people have forgotten this simple fact. With that in mind, we asked entrepreneur Justin Cobb for the worst thing an entrepreneur could do, to avoid making money.
Make Sales Difficult
So you have an amazing idea, and you’ve spent the time and money to turn it into the perfect product. Great. It should be an absolute cinch to sell it then. So why do so many startups with amazing products report dismal sales? One of the most common reasons is that they’re not making their product easy to buy.
The product might be tucked away in some corner of their website. You have to click through eight pages to get to a basket. Then you have to try to figure out which one of their five different payment providers to use. Do you have an account with one of them? Can you remember the login?
Okay, so maybe the product is on shelves in a supermarket. Well, that should work, right? Well, not necessarily. One of two things is going on. The product is an improvement on an existing product, but nobody knows that. So the customer looks at a shelf full of products they know, buys one they know, and ignores the one they don’t. Or alternatively, it’s a brand new product. But again, it’s just sitting there on a shelf, and most people are there to buy what they always buy.
That’s why we use face-to-face sales for all of our clients. A direct relationship with the customer means that we can put the product in the customer’s hand. Then we can explain the benefits, answer questions, and put a face to the brand. All in one short interaction. With face-to-face sales, you’re much more likely to get a sale. But even if you don’t, you are guaranteed a positive interaction that puts your brand in a good light.
The upshot is, that if you want to lose money as an entrepreneur, all you need to do is ignore the opportunities that already exist out there. You might have a good idea, but the likelihood is that you’re not an expert salesperson. So why not put your product in the hands of people who are experts?