Thanks blog and social media community for encouraging me to continue to write about entrepreneurship and sales. This all started with teaching a class at UNC – Charlotte. Over the course of time I have realized that being an entrepreneur and being a salesperson have a lot in common. So much so that it pays to study the other if you are on the other side. Meaning if you are a sales person – studying successful (and unsuccessful – sometimes I get more from them) entrepreneurs will enable you to be a better creator which ultimately ends bigger and better deals. Conversely, if you are an entrepreneur, becoming a better salesperson will help your family, employees and your business.
Here is today’s topic, innovation. I just recently lectured on the topic and found myself frustrated with driving home how important innovation is as an entrepreneur. Frustrated because I noticed that my students wanted to be safe in their business decisions. “There is a big difference in being bold and being conservative” I told them to relatively blank looks. Continuing I said, “People perceive entrepreneurs as risk takers, but they are not”. Now blank has turned to shocked. Not helping my case I said, “There are a lot of plumbers out there and it’s ok if you want to be another plumber, the world can use more good ones, but if you really want to a change or impact you have to be innovative”. Still not satisfied with my response, I felt like I needed a more material or concrete example – Creative Destruction.
I found this on the Google (and yes… I call it “The Google”)
Creative destruction is the visible – tangible thing that tells a person they or their business is being innovative. Originally developed by Joseph Schumpeter, an Austrian born economist that taught at Harvard in the mid-1900, creative destruction having it roots in industrial revelations was a concept that helped inventors and growth minded capitalist achieve. I told my class that if you are really innovating there will be a path of destruction in their wake. Now their faces are from blank to shock to “I don’t want to do that”. However I said, “the great thing about creative destruction is, although initially the response in negative the people who are displaced by innovation get better – higher paying jobs”. That is why the concept is so powerful.
Ok, what this means to sales is very important and it is one of the reasons why I tagged my site to “smooth seas don’t make good sailors – just like easy deals don’t make good salespeople”.
As a salesperson, helping a client is at your core, however when push comes to pushing more salespeople don’t want to come across as old school, Glengarry Glen Ross buy or die. I don’t want you to be that either, however it is important that you keep going. Keep going because no one or no company has ever achieved anything important without pain. With the evolution of Fintech and especially in my world of AP and payment automation I hope you can imagine how painful it is to sit across from an accounting or finance person and say, “you know everything you have known your entire business career (shaking my head a little)?” when they say with trepidation, “yea…”. I say, “Forget that and do this”. Now I don’t say it like that, but that is what they hear. I tell them that there will be no need to type payable information into the accounting system, or file or put checks into envelops, their natural reaction are for jobs of the people who are doing the work. To do this it takes, skill in your message at the right time for the right reasons, but whatever you do don’t shy away from difficult opportunities and never give up!
Want to know more? Buy My Books!
To buy the book – The Argument to Automate – How Innovation Can INSPIRE Not Fire – click here to buy
(Also) To get your copy of The 8 Pitfalls of Accounts Payable Automation – click here to buy
How about a children’s book? The Princess and the Paper – click here to buy
About The Author:
Christopher Elmore has written 8 books, countless articles, lectures at UNC – Charlotte and travels around the country speaking on the topics of startup success, sales, presentation skills, change, entrepreneurship, accounts payable and payment automation. Having deep startup and entrepreneurial experience, Christopher was one of the six people who started AvidXchange in 2000 and continues to work in the business today. If you hire Christopher to speak or teach at your company or event… you won’t be sorry! Request a media kit or contact us for more information