By Mario Contreras, CEO/President, CGM Consultants
Without a doubt, not having the ability to communicate effectively about their product or services is one of the main reasons why most entrepreneurs fail in business. Communicating effectively does not necessarily mean the ability to converse well with others. Although the use of this skill can definitely enhance one’s ability to function socially, it can be, in essence, mutually exclusive to an entrepreneur’s success in that being a skilled conversationalist will not necessarily guarantee you success as an entrepreneur. The skill we are talking about is an entrepreneur’s communicative ability to create perceived value for the products or services they provide. Following, are six key concepts about effective communications that every entrepreneur must know in order to succeed:
Great ideas alone will not guarantee your success.
In today’s highly competitive business environment, most entrepreneurs do not fail because their idea is bad; rather, they fail due to their ineffective dissemination of that idea to others. During the tech bubble of the nineties, most of the companies that eventually went bust were completely sold to investors on ideas alone. An entrepreneur can have a great idea, a great business plan, an experienced management staff plus all the necessary resources at their disposal, but, if they can’t sell it, no one will buy it. The old adage of “If you build it and they will come” has no meaning or application in today’s business atmosphere.
“Selling” is communicating effectively.
Unfortunately, when the topic selling is discussed, it is normally discussed in negative connotations and not as the skillful profession it should be. To be sure, “selling” is the utilization of a selling process as a means of effectively communicating the perceived value of an entrepreneur’s goods or services to both internal and external customers. The main reason entrepreneurs fail to communicate effectively about their product or service is due largely to a misperception of what effective communications in business should be. We believe this misperception results from programmed negative connotations of the word “selling” by society on what selling really is or should be.
The value of your product or service is determined by your ability to sell.
Consider the main purpose for being in business, to make a profit. Making a profit means your final sales price is greater than the associated costs to create your product or service. Although the final sales price of an entrepreneur’s product or service is determined by many factors, ultimately his ability to create the perceived value in his product or service will come from his ability to effectively communicate the value of his product or service; in short, his ability to sell his ideas and concepts.
Create a mental picture of your product or service.
The entrepreneur’s ability to formulate business conversations in a manner that creates a mental picture of comprehension regarding the perceived value on their products or services will be paramount to their success. For an entrepreneur, communicating effectively is about having the ability to use both verbal and non-verbal skills in creating a value proposition for both internal and external potential customers. Entrepreneurial success is, in essence, about an entrepreneur’s ability to communicate the value of what they offer.
Learn how to sell.
Every entrepreneur begins with an idea that requires selling to others in soliciting support in the creation of and the running of a business. Although many educational institutions teach several different aspects of a business, i.e., Financial Accounting, Marketing, and Advertising, they do not teach selling in their curriculums as integral part of being successful in business. Every entrepreneur needs to learn and develop the essential skill of selling to create value for his or her products or services.
If you can’t sell, you will fail.
Both the history of business, as well as the history of mankind are filled with examples of great entrepreneurial ideas that have failed not because of the product or service or even the lack of financing. In the business world, a great example is the success story behind the Xerox Corporation. Xerox did not invent the Xerographic copying process, Joe Wilson did, but Xerox was responsible for selling its perceived value. The fact is, Joe Wilson was turned down by IBM, 3M and others before he finally sold his idea on the xerographic process to Xerox. One historical example that comes to mind is Christopher Columbus’ successful bid to Queen Isabella of Spain into funding his entrepreneurial quest based only his concept of the world being round which would allow him to reach India, which incidentally led to the discovery of the new world.
Mario Contreras is President/CEO of CGM Consultants, an integrated consulting firm with over 20 years in business. CGM specializes in general business management consulting and training with proven results in Sales Training, Leadership and Management Training, Customer Service Training, Effective Communications and Executive Coaching. For more information, call toll free 1-888-500-CGM1 (2461), visit www.cgmcorp.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.