About Graham Royce

To date I have mentored over 400 companies. Eight are fully funded HPSU's through Enterprise Ireland. The mentoring covered all aspects of the start up process from new conception - New product development - taking care of existing clients through to wanting to add new revenue streams.

Lean Business Start-Up

Lean Business Start-Up

In this much talked about Lean Business Start-Up It has come to my notice that more and more of the so called stars of the Internet blogging world, gurus on Lean Business Star-Up Its the greatest method since slicing the bread and is what you must do.  Just to put up a diagram for the harden entrepreneurs among you fig1.

Eric Ries I love your ideas great book but we have to go back to basics challenge the knowledge of the wannabe entrepreneurs  begin with the fundamentals. Do these young business people actually know and understand what a Value Proposition is, do they know how to go out and ask the questions of potential customers, do they know the questions to actually ask potential customers

lean Fig 1

Fig 1 example of a Lean Start-up

It seems to me a whole industry is growing around the new business Start-Up which is not advantages to the new start-ups.  Books diagrams training sessions Webinars Seminars all costing money and valuable time when an entrepreneur should be spending time as a Funder get his/her show on the road.

For any start-up in any world, segment, area of expertise should be understanding the fundamentals

Who is the customer ?

Having identified the real customer

Find the pain problem call it what you will the sweet spot that will make them buy from you.

Having identified that sweet spot talk to them ask the question

If I can solve that pain will you buy from me ?

All the time they should challenge the idea by talking to the potential buyers of the service or product. Not developing the product wasting time designing. When and only when the customer has been identified clarified pigeon hold them you might only might have a business.

Using the jargon Value Propositions example fig2 can be worked on market research can be re-enforced you can begin to build your business.

value propositionFig 2

Fig 2 Generic Value Proposition

To me its very simple do the fundamental work like identifying the customer asking the questions identifying the sweet spot know the rules apply them to your idea and it works. Every thing else is what I call business mechanics.

I am beginning to have a real problem with the so called support industry selling the notion the if you follow these method of that method rehashed from 5 years ago using the modern internet lingo that you will make a fortune. Not so!!!

1 Identify the customer

2 identify the problem  based on you perceived business idea

3. As the customer if I solve it will you buy it.

boom you might have a business.


The Sales Process

The purpose of my blog is to help those starting in business to understand the sales process. A group of simple ideas tried and tested over the years.Wannabe entrepreneurs ask the question all the time “What’s the secret sauce”?.  There is no secrete sauce just a series of tried and tested business mechanical processes that are the same for everybody. You add in the cream, Jam, flavour to make it work. Some flavours will work some wont.

Find more here Graham Royce

Most entrepreneurs know that’s its going to work its just a case of staying the course talking to the right people making the connections and doing what you say will do.

Her is one business mechanical process Sales.

My Sales Process slideshare

Again back to basics Sales. They always work sorry to be boring but they work.

I have put nothing new in this document old methods work don’t mess with them. Sales are particularly difficult to new start up company as the majority of start ups companies are technical based or back office based. Sales personnel who know their job are worth their weight in gold.

Some hints as to how you can solve this.

Completion of sales often not done and why:-

Most new business people are afraid of rejection. When some says no to your product or service is down to that business owner not identifying if the prospect has a pain that you are solving.

If this pain or need has not been identified correctly you will NOT make the sale.

However more often or not you would have identified the pain or need but just not asked for the sale.

A sale has to be made the following are some hints as to how that can be completed.

The secret

  • Know you product inside out
  • Know your prospect inside out
  • Be polite get them to like you
  • Don’t forget to LISTEN
  • Understand the problem
  • Don’t forget to say thank you

Some of the following might be relevant

You need to

  • Ask
  • Close
  • Restate the problem ± pain
  • Get the client to agree

1. Ask for it.

Would you like to go ahead?

Would Tuesday be suitable to deliver it? What PO will I use?

2. The Order form close.

This simply assumes confirmation of the sale from the prospect every time he answers a Question, when you are filling out an order form.

  • What is the company’s full postal address?
  • It is 10 you need in the first shipment, correct?
  • When the order form is finally complete, make sure to get the PO, bank details.

3. The either /or close (Alternative close).

It is very often possible to get a prospect to agree to go ahead by asking which (is the more acceptable of 2 alternatives offered).

  • Would you prefer to pay the full cost up front or avail of our instalment payment plan?
  • Would you like it delivered to your Limerick of Cork office?

4. Almost there.

To use this effectively you need to have very good product knowledge and you need to be Sure, that what you are offering is what your prospect really needs.

*(what is the pain you are solving), If the prospect says:

  • I cannot afford that big an outlay right now I would need to arrange finance for it. To which you reply:
  • On the basis that I can arrange a finance deal, for you over 5 years,
  • Would, you be happy to go ahead?

5. The Highlighted problems

This close involves your prospect writing down all the reasons they should buy on one side of the page and all the reasons he should not on the other.

The salesperson helps the prospect write down all the reasons he should go ahead but leaves the ³against´ side to the prospect.

6. The Cautionary Tale close.

Many people like to feel associated with other people who have been in a similar situation.

Your cautionary tale can be negative ± illustrating what, happened when a prospect did not go ahead or positive illustrating the benefits obtained by a client who did buy. Remember to make the tale relevant and realistic.

7. The Lost Sale close. (be careful requires plenty of practise)

If what appears to be a final rejection by your prospect question him as to why you have failed?

This is a good way to identify hidden objections.

  • Prospect: I have decided not to go ahead.
  • Salesperson: I owe you an apology
  • Prospect: Well, that’s alright, we all have our jobs to do.
  • Salesperson: Yes I know but I did mine badly. If I had done my presentation properly, you would now be looking forward to all the benefits that purchase has to offer.
  • Perhaps you could help me so I don’t make that mistake again. What do you feel I have not made clear in my presentation?
  • Prospect: Frankly, I am worried about your lack of experience in the industry.
  • Salesperson: If I can demonstrate to you that we have delivered an excellent product /service to similar clients to yourself in the past, would you go ahead on that basis?

8. I’ll think about it close.

Probably the most powerful weapon used against a salesperson.

  • Prospect: I’ll think about it.
  • Salesperson: that’s great! I would hate you to make a snap decision about an important thing like this as you wouldn’t need to think it over if you weren’t interested. What particular points are you thinking about? So that you have all the facts in your mind while you’re considering it, perhaps you could tell me what it is I haven’t satisfied you about? Is it perhaps the lead time?

9. The final objection close.

The objective is to obtain the prospect’s agreement. As there is, in your prospect’s mind, only one reason for going ahead, you have to correctly identify it.

Listen very carefully right through to the end and make sure you fully understand your prospect’s objection.

Having got your prospect to state clearly what his objection Is, you then are in a position to start the process again.