In Entrepreneur

Selling to Decision Makers; Entrepreneurs, Miami Sales, Minority Organization, The Council We have an amazingly awesome guest on the show today. It’s Beatrice Louissaint and we’re talking about entrepreneurship and how sales professionals benefit from this. She is the President and CEO of a non-profit organization, Southern Florida Minority Supplier Development Council (SFMSDC), otherwise known as The Council, which works with large corporations helping small-mid sized businesses become successful and profitable. Beatrice has helped a lot of companies, specifically minority-based businesses such as Hispanic, Asian, African-American, and Native American companies to grow. They have been in business for 40 years helping large organizations meet their supplier diversity objectives.

Below are some great principles behind how salespeople can work with entrepreneurs and some things entrepreneurs can do to better position themselves to enter new market and sell better.

Here are the highlights of my conversation with Beatrice:

About The Council:

  • With 24 regional councils around the country helping minority-based businesses
  • Companies are 51% owned, managed, operated by a U.S. citizen of Hispanic, Asian, African-American, and Native American descent
  • The council helps them by connecting them with opportunities with major corporations such as Fortune 1000 companies, governmental and educational institutions, and hospitals.
  • Services provided: loan funds, mentor protege program, advanced management programs at 3 top universities, legal accounting, marketing, etc.

Biggest pet peeves she comes across with salespeople:

  • Understanding what the customer’s needs are
  • Knowing about the customer and the company
  • Understanding when you’re overly aggressive

When to know when you’ve gone beyond the mark:

  • Limit the number of calls and emails
  • Snail mail still works! (handwritten note or card)
  • Vary the approach.
  • Do the opposite of what everyone else is doing.

Here’s a little secret: The best time to catch busy people is early morning or late evening

The Principles to Achieving Success in Sales

  1. Overcome your fear of rejection
  2. Have a sales plan.

Everyone has to sell. Know who your customers are. Grow from your current customers. Sometimes we get too busy chasing after the new deals that we forget to take care of what’s feeding us now. Who are your best prospects? Who’s growing that may need your widgets? What differentiates you from competitors?

  1. Have the right mindset to sell.

Check out Carol Dweck’s book, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success (How We Can Learn to Fulfill Our Potential)

Growth mindset vs. fixed mindset

  1. Have a clear vision.

Have a clear and concise vision. Dream BIG.

  1. Create a business plan, not only for new businesses but also for your current customers.

What are you going to do to work with them? How much do you know about their business and how much are you going to help them grow? Take care of those who take care of you!

  1. Put out a work plan for your organization.

It has to be quantifiable, specific, and measurable

How to better develop new business in new markets:

  1. Strategic alliances and joint ventures.

Teaming up, even with your competitors in joint ventures, helps you become much bigger and stronger.

  1. Look for growth opportunities.

Rethink what you’re doing. You might be in the wrong business. Find something that has growth potential. Be innovative and creative. Think outside of the box.

Current projects Beatrice is working on:

  • Celebrating their 40th anniversary as an organization (year long celebration)
  • Matchmakers with large schools and community colleges
  • September 26 – Annual Awards Dinner (honoring top minority businesses, corporation, and buyer of the year, and the Doing Well while Doing Good award)
  • SFMSDC Get Your Ducks in a Row with Rafael Marrero & Company (5-year mentorship program)

Beatrice’s Major Takeaway:

Be sure to check the vitals of your company and where you are.

Three things you need to have:

  • A great accountant
  • A banker
  • People you can bounce ideas off

Episode resources:

Check out the resource page on their website sfmsdc.org

Know more about them on Facebook

Books mentioned:

Sell or Be Sold by Grant Cardone

Mindset: The New Psychology of Success (How We Can Learn to Fulfill Our Potential) by Carol Dweck

My interview with Todd Cohen about Sales Culture

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