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Sell Block

You're a great business owner, but how good of a salesperson are you? Read these tips if you want to improve your less-than-stellar sales skills.

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This story appears in the September 2000 issue of Entrepreneurs Start-Ups magazine.

"First prize is a Cadillac Eldorado. Second prize is a set of steak knives. Third prize is you're fired." These words are from the über-sales movie Glengarry Glen Ross, as the sales force gets chewed out for weak performance. But as an entrepreneur, you don't even get a set of Ginsus when you lose a sale-you're just outta luck.

So what do you do when you get a strong lead on a prospect who needs exactly what you offer? You meet; you present; you bond. You send a proposal that includes competitive pricing and an implementation plan. Next thing you know, you've lost the account to a competitor, perhaps even a more expensive provider. What went wrong? Most likely, it's your sales skills, or lack thereof.

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