A few nights ago, I caught with an old friend for dinner. I was very happy to know that his newly set up company is doing well and he is ready to hire more people. He was sharing with me how he met a gentleman who could be a potential candidate. My, was he excited.
The following day, I dropped my friend a quick text to find out if the hiring went well. To my disappointment, kid decided to say no because the company was a start up. He didn’t think he has it in him to work for a start up with his existing client base.
Yes, there are so many reasons for you not to make that move. I will even put some out in the open for you:
- Company financials
- Start ups usually fails
- Real hard work with unlimited responsibilities
- Company size too small for your clients
- Getting clients are not easy for start ups
Personally, I think it is embarrassing for a great sales professional to shy away from working for a start up. Sure it is a risk, but it can be a calculated risk if you ask the right questions.
- How long have the company been set up?
- Do you already have clients and who are they?
- How much did you make in your first 6 months or 12 months?
- How big is the current team and what is the growth plan?
These are some of the questions you can ask to mitigate your risk of not getting paid, the company closing down 2 months down the road and overworking. You know exactly what you are getting into.
Then we get to the point on how we actually sell with a start up. It will be difficult and it will be many no before you see that yes. I will not lie to you. However, young companies are the real hunters out there. They want the business, they will do what it takes.
They will thoroughly use every resources, every inch of knowledge to win new businesses. They will deliver excellent service as building a brand and reputation rides on that. Start ups have low overhead cost, which allows them to be very competitive with pricing.
Sell with confidence, believe in the brand and believe in you. That is half the sales done. The other half is everything you already know: the right pitch, the right negotiation process and the right close.
Trust me, taking that chance with a start up will change you. You will grow professionally, that I assure you. Your good work will be recognised and it is fulfilling. You get through failures together and work on your craft. Even as a sales professional, you will be more involved, giving you opportunities to attain new skills.
So should we skip the start ups completely? Google, Facebook, Twitter, Spotify were once a start up too. If we don’t take that chance, someone else will.