Mike Southon's Sales on a Beermat is an excellent, down-to-earth and pragmatic book on selling for entrepreneurs and SME's.Posted by: David Regler @
I met Mike recently at a networking event in Barcelona; he's a great guy.
At the end of the book Mike makes some interesting points about sales people and entrepreneurs.
Mike says, "Entrepreneurs, and no doubt some bosses of SME's, senior partners, etc think they can sell. They ususally can't". That's not to say they don't have some of the attributes of great sales people, such as charisma, but that they often lack many of the traits which really count.
A couple of key distinctions that Mike makes are that salespeople are very good listeners, where as entrpreneurs are usually too focused on their own ideas and projects.
Another is that Entrepreneurs are often impatient (they need to be to get things done), whereas sales people have to be patient and remain focused over long sales cycles.
These differences, as well as others, are why Mike advocates that every startup and SME has a sales cornerstone in the business: someone who can compliment the CEO's own skills with those necessary to winning business.