There are certain skills and traits common to everyone who strives for and achieves any reasonable level of success in the business world. That much is clear to anyone who has worked for a large company or held roles in different areas.
But some role requirements and tendencies overlap more than others. Take a sales professional and an entrepreneur, have them trade places, and you’ll see them thrive — but why? What is it about these types of people that make them so similar?
That’s exactly what we’re going to look at in this piece, so let’s get started.
They know how to negotiate
Sales professionals need to be able to think on their feet, addressing concerns, stressing positives, and — whenever possible — turning reluctant prospects into enthusiastic buyers. They live and breathe that kind of frenzied discussion, the back and forth of it.
Entrepreneurs are often in the same position of needing to drum up support and positivity. Whether they’re looking for investors or trying to build arrangements with suppliers, they can never afford to become passive and start just going with the flow. They dictate terms and exert their will on the world.
They never give up
Even the strongest determination not to make any fast business decisions can be worn down by an unrelenting salesperson. Professionals in the sales industry know one thing above all others: people want to be convinced. It’s an ego boost to be treated as a prospective customer important enough to be given that kind of attention.
Entrepreneurs face rocky roads to success. Some of the most well-known entrepreneurs in the world have faced massive failures and even bankruptcy but refused to concede. They know that it’s never too late to regather yourself and redouble your efforts.
They focus on self-improvement
Top sales patter is a rich and complex talent that takes years to hone. If you change the product or service on offer, the context, or the audience, you end up with slightly different requirements. You can get some success through memorizing a script, but it won’t last. Sales professionals develop the ability to sell in an ad-hoc manner, and never stop learning, ensuring that they’re ready for anything.
Entrepreneurs must do the same, especially since business ventures tend to come and go. Markets change, demand shifts, and operational models lose their viability. Being great at in-person networking isn’t enough when social media is rising in prominence. Only by getting good at every area of business can an entrepreneur be truly armed for victory.
They use any tools available
Sometimes talk isn’t enough, and sales professionals need to break out the tools at their disposal in the form of discounts, trials, glossy leaflets, presentations, or even dinners. You find a way to sweeten the deal enough to make it work, and if you have to go above and beyond the call of duty to get it done, you do it.
A smart entrepreneur knows that they can’t do everything alone, so they use all available tools. Instead of sending marketing emails manually, they use an automation program. Instead of spending heavily to have a simple store developed, they use a DIY low-cost shop creator. In doing so, they are able to get by in a business world dominated by retail juggernauts.
They see potential others don’t
Give the average person a pen, and they’ll see a writing implement. Give it to a sales professional and they’ll see a creative tool, a way to leave a mark on the world, and an indicator of control and authority. They have the ability to be imaginative and understand that people don’t always buy things for the things themselves but for what they hope life will be like when they have them.
An entrepreneur can look at the market and see what could be. They can look at an existing technology and envision it used in a totally different way to achieve something amazing. And communicating that kind of vision is essential for getting investor support since you’re asking someone to trust that the money they give you isn’t going to get them something worthwhile in return.
The art of selling doesn’t have a ceiling, and there’s always room for improvement. As a sales professional, you sell something else, and as an entrepreneur, you sell yourself as a valuable commodity. The specifics don’t really matter — it’s the spirit, the drive, and the ingenuity that make you a success.