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Helping Canadian businesses beat the odds!
Helping Canadian businesses beat the odds!
Hi, I’m Josh from spurling associates charter professional accountants and I’m here with shot unfair Saudi today and today we’re talking about starting a business with sales immediately in the importance of that shot on, you know, you’ve been in public practice for about 10 years now and uh, I believe, uh, you’ve been a designated accountant for eight years and you’ve been a manager here with associates for two years. So thanks for. Thanks for being here today. And Edmonton CPA, so I like to start off with a couple statistics about why sales are important and immediately a see CB insights. They, what they do is they reviewed some essays from failed entrepreneurs and the failed entrepreneurs give a number of reasons of why the businesses didn’t work out. But the number one reason that was offered or the reason that was offered most commonly was 42 percent of the entrepreneurs said there was no market for their product or service Edmonton CPA.
Uh, the second most common reason was 29 percent of the entrepreneurs. They said that, um, you know, I’m 29 percent said they ran out of cash. So 42 percent of them said that, Edmonton CPA, there’s no market. Twenty nine percent they ran into cash and 23 percent said that they just had the wrong team or couldn’t find the right team. So those are the three most common reasons a listed that surprise you at all? No. No. Um, and just like to start off a quote with that. So, Edmonton CPA you know, Peter Drucker wrote 39 different business books. He said nothing happens until somebody sells something and it’ll just start off with it. You know, the story of the client that unfortunately this is a story that I haven’t just seen once and you haven’t just seen once. I know. Um, but the story is, you know, the client comes in and they have these huge, huge goals, you know, often they’re little, Edmonton CPA overly complex and there’s a lot of ideas floating around their head and then you meet with that same client in the next year and they haven’t sold anything. They’re not off the ground yet where their sales are very minimal. So shout it out. What do you think are the important questions to ask, uh, for these, for these businesses starting out? So what are the questions that you think these business owners should be asking?
What should they focus on? Well, I think they need to focus on their minimum viable product is what I call. So what that means is, you know, what is the least amount of capital and the least amount of time that they can get to a point where they can actually start selling clients and you know, we might want to say that, Edmonton CPA, you know, shouldn’t they be doing market research? Market research is a little bit tough for entrepreneurs. Ultimately the best market research is if you can sell, you know, the market’s accepting it. If you could research it means it might. So the quicker you can get to that point where you have a minimal viable product, you know, the least amount of capital expenses, least amount of money that’s come out of your pocket and least amount of time before you can actually start selling clients. I think that was Edmonton CPA, that’s the most important thing to focus on. First,
what would you say to business owners who wants a perfect for that? It’s
the perfect product and probably thinking about it the wrong way. I mean you and I know even in the firm, we’re always improving your processes, so I’m really busy as long as they have to think about improving the product. It’s something you do everyday. You come into the business, do you turn the lights on, you improve your product, you turn the lights off. You can’t just improve your product at the beginning, set it and forget it and hope to work out you you. It’s Edmonton CPA. it’s impossible because you just don’t know all the variables yet until you actually get into the business of, of selling the product, you’re really not going to understand. You know, what works, what doesn’t work, so you have to shift your mindset from thinking that it needs to be perfect from the start to I need to be continually improving my product. Your to make it relevant to the changing needs.
Customers for business owners who have no sales experience or should they start
so often? I think they struggle with their sales. I’m kind of their script or their process, it’s, it’s a little too complex, so, Edmonton CPA, I think what they need to do is boil down their product and service into a, what I call a one sheet, eight and a half by 11 piece of paper that explains, you know, the process of what their product or service is offering, how it’s delivered, what are the benefits in the least, the layman’s terms possible. You one sheet, whether this is a sheet that the customer actually sees or a sheet that just used by yourself to refresh this is the one piece of paper that benefits the, Edmonton CPA, that says the benefits of your product and the value proposition to your prospective clients. So I would start with that. That one.
One sheet. Okay. Well once they have that on one sheet, what’s the most important document? Well,
I think the next most important document is really they just needed a contract. Like you actually need a contract. What are you actually going to get them to purchase? And it wasn’t. It’s something that you can actually walk through the sales process. This is what we’re trying to sell, this is how much it’s gonna cost, the terms with it. Um, if you don’t have that, you really can’t even, you’re not even in a position to actually approach a customer because you have, Edmonton CPA you really don’t have anything to give them. So I think once you have the one sheet, then you have a, a, a, a perspective contract and it might not be the contract that you finished with what you need one sheet and a starting place of the contract because that’s what, that’s what you need to
approach a customer the first time. What ways portion clients initially
I would call it the hand the hand. Um, so, um, you know, you want to be reaching out by phone, networking events, a direct messaging on social media initially. It’s usually, there’s usually not a huge advertising budget for small businesses. You have, you know, at that point you usually have more time than money. Edmonton CPA, and most of the heavy hitting advertising initiatives, they cost more money. But initially starting out, you probably have more time. So I’d be looking at a networking. Uh, I would be looking at a direct phone sales, you know, just picking up the phone and calling your likely buyers. Um, I be looking at direct messaging on social media, people already in your network. I think that’s the, the best way to approach customers initially. You can do that even if you’re selling a, maybe you’re a consultant selling hr or even if you’re running a small restaurant, you could reach out to people on social media and ask them to come into your restaurant.
So, uh, this is not something that’s limited to one type of business. It’s, Edmonton CPA virtually free. Uh, there are ways to reach out to your, you’re likely buyers for free. And I think that’s the most important way to start would be, I would encourage business owners to go after the smaller clients first. And I think one of the, one of the important parts about that is it takes longer to sell the business. Customers is usually more decision makers are usually more entrenched in the way that they’re doing business. And we have to be aware that, um, you know, you’re really not going to find out is, is it the product or service or is it just the red tape in between yourself and the decision maker that’s, that’s the barrier. So when you smart with, when you start with the smaller people, you’re going to get the to the yes or no quicker and that kind of helps you with reason number two that, you know, business owners are listing for failing as they run out of cash.
So if you approach the bigger customers first, what’s going to happen is you’ll actually just want the sales cycle is longer, it might take a year to get in with a bigger customer and it might take a month to get in with a smaller customer. Um, so if you can get in with a smaller customer in a month, it might not be the type of revenue type of profits you want to generate, but you start getting some cash flow. There’s money coming into the bank. And remember, it’s not just determining if there’s a market for your product and service, but the other part of are you going to run out of cash and that sales cycle and the length of time before you actually start receiving any cash to smaller. So Edmonton CPA it’s not that you wouldn’t approach any or customers, but I would think your focus would be on the smaller ones first.
Also, it can be nice that you don’t mess up in front of the big guys if there’s only so many in your market first until you can have a little more time to perfect that sales process. So, so I, I mean the, the you have. So once you have the prospect, generally next thing that you need is you need a meeting, you need an appointment. Edmonton CPA, you know, if you’re operating a retail shop, that appointment is when they come into the store. But let’s say your buyer never, uh, it’s not, it’s not walk up traffic. You need to get an appointment. I see too many entrepreneurs. It’s just email back and forth in email and phone calls back and forth. Your first step is when you have, when you have a prospect, is get the appointment. That’s step number one. I’m really, most of the communication that happens before then.
I’ve learned that it’s not nearly as effective as I thought it was that, uh, you know, getting that appointment, even if it’s an online appointment, but a specific appointment with that, with that a likely buyer, that’s step one and the next thing you have to do is really try to establish what their needs are. Edmonton CPA, so they’re, you know, what’s important to them because you have your one sheet of all the different values that your, that your product or service offers. Um, but they might not eat all of them. They might only have two or three of them that are actually important to them. Maybe you have 10 different, uh, benefits of your product, but there’s really only two or three that are important to them. So the first part is, you know, you have two ears and one mouth and that’s the first part is to learn more about them.
You might want to give them a little bit of intro to yourself just enough to get them talking and ask some questions about, you know, what they’re looking for, what challenges they have, you know, people are buying stuff generally to solve a problem. So what issues are they having and what benefits of your product is going to have. So once we’ve established what their needs are, now you really want to start presented that to them, your product, your service, your terms, because once you have those needs and had, Edmonton CPA I guess what you can do is you can tailor your delivery of the values and put emphasis on the things that are actually important to the, to the person that you’re selling to because it won’t always be the same. They might be focused on one particular value and you can emphasize that one. But if you don’t establish those needs first, you’re kind of poking around at the dark, spent a lot of time on things that really aren’t important to you, buyer.
Um, and then the next part is you actually, you have to ask for the sale. Um, it, uh, you know, it, it’s one of the things is, you know, how many think about it in terms of how many appointments you have and how many proposals you actually made. Um, and I think that’s forgotten about people is that you’re going to have to make a recommendation to your buyer and this is what I believe we can do to, to help you with your issue. So you actually have to make a proposal. You have to walk them through that contract that we’ve already made made out for them. Um, and if even if they don’t buy it in the appointment or in a followup appointment, email it to them, you know, Edmonton CPA there’s a lot of great digital signature programs that are out there. Um, if you, if you ask for the sale and it’s not the right time, then you can forward that out to your likely buyer and they actually have something.
I think one of the biggest mistakes can make as soon someone is not interested. Um, you know, you don’t really know. I mean, sometimes you got a good hunch either way, but I’ve often been surprised about people who I think are interested in, they’re really interested, so don’t, don’t put too much emphasis on how that meeting goes to ask for the sale, Edmonton CPA leave them with that, uh, that contract, as long as you’re comfortable doing business with them, you have to ask and they have to have a mechanism that they can actually say yes. So you have to ask for that sale.
They don’t ask for the sale. That number one, uh, you know, lots of times they, people like to talk and they will go through the values and will understand the customer and they’ll, they’ll talk about the values of their product or service and then they don’t actually present them the solution with a price and a dotted line for them to sign on. So the number one thing that they miss is they just simply don’t ask for the sale. Edmonton CPA There’s a number of ways to get that out there, but you’ll never know if you don’t ask for the sale.
Well, it almost can be expected. Um, now we, we, we said to focus on the minimal viable product or service. So if you focus on the minimal viable product and service, now you’re at a bit of international because if they say no, you spent the least amount of money in the least amount of time to getting this, you know, irrefutable market research, you’re pitching your small customers, you’re getting some sales out there. So if they say no and you’ve only got into your minimal viable product, Edmonton CPA now you can pivot. Now you haven’t spent as much time. What the alternative is, is you’ve tried to go for the perfect product and instead of taking one month or two months to get your, your, your minimal viable product to market, you’ve taken one year or two years in order to get your minimal viable product to market. Now at this point you probably a depleted your cash and you’ve probably depleted your, I guess your level of resolve business owners.
They start getting up and start giving up. It starts getting more frustrating. Edmonton CPA, so if they say no initially, it’s not necessarily the worst case scenario because it’s going to allow you to refine your product or services, you’re going to get some feedback, so you’re going to get some feedback into the sales process, you’ll hear the objections that you’re getting, you will understand how to overcome these objections, um, and you’re, you’re going to get some sales too. So once you start actually delivering on that product or service, now you’re going to get some feedback from that too. And so you can refine your product based on actual sales versed on a hypothetical. So once you have that refined product, Edmonton CPA then you’re updating that one sheet and now that sale, you can build those refined processes into your initial sales pitch and that’s how you start to, you know, you make these incremental improvements over time that you get to a product or service that the customers are more likely to purchase. Thanks a lot guys. So, um, we look forward to seeing any comments or questions that you want in the comment section below and we’ll do our best to answer those in an upcoming show. Thanks very much.