One business skill to rule them all

There is one specific skill that every entrepreneur must master. If you learn it, your business will flourish. If you ignore it, your business will perish. What is it?

Countless research teams studied what makes entrepreneurs succeed. Also, walk into any bookstore and you will find isles of books filled with “surefire” advice on starting and running a successful business, including checklists to determine whether you have what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur.

Pretty much all of this research and checklists are in agreement about what makes a successful entrepreneur. They say you must be action-oriented, well-organized and a good analytical thinker. They also say you should be attracted by challenges, enjoy being in leadership roles, passionate about your ideas… the lists of skills and traits go on and on.

However, what most of them don’t tell you is that there is one specific skill that is far more superior than any other on any of the lists. In fact, it’s so important that your entire business depends on it. What is this “one skill to rule them all”?

That skill is selling.

It doesn’t matter that you might have the best product or service in the world. If you cannot sell it, you will be out of business as soon as you run out of funding. The simple truth is: you need cash to operate. Cash pays for everything: product manufacturing, service delivery, employee salaries, supplier fees, rental fees,  electricity bills, equipment, office supplies, stationery… everything. And, the only way to get cash flowing in is to be able to sell what you offer.

Don’t believe the saying “if you build it, they will come.” They won’t. History is littered with failed products that were far more superior than their competitors. And, in most cases, the reason for their failure can be squarely attributed to the lack of attention to selling.

Selling is the most important skill that you must master as an entrepreneur. Becoming good at selling means learning who your customers are, what makes them tick and how to convince them that your product or services is the best solution to their need or problem. Mastering selling should be your top priority. It should be what you are spending most of your time on. Always keep in mind that you don’t have a business until you can prove that there is need for your product or service. And, the only way to prove it is to sell it.

Perfecting your product or service can come later. Once your marketplace told you there is potential and once you have the money to spend. If you’re just starting out, put away designing your logo, buying office furniture and selecting a fax machine. What you need to be doing right now is learning as much as you can about selling and then putting into practice what you learned.

Every minute of your time spent on (studying and practicing) selling will pay off in spades. I promise you that!