4 Sales Tips to Startups from One of the Smartest and Wealthiest Businessmen in the World – Bill Gates
In this piece, I’ll be sharing the four sales tips that I learnt from one of smartest and wealthiest businessmen in the world – Bill Gates.
I called him “one of the smartest” because the four tips you’ll find in this piece actually proves his smartness in business. You probably know why I called him “one of the wealthiest” – he ranks “the world’s richest man” almost every year, even with all he puts into charity.
Before we proceed, here are 3 things that are worth keeping in mind:
I. Like I mentioned earlier, you’re about to get sales tips from one of the smartest businessmen in the world – I’m mentioning this again so you’ll know the gravity of each tip.
II. Secondly, each tip comes with a broader explanation of what Bill Gates wants you to know.
III. Lastly, each tip comprises action steps that you can draw on to get results.
So, get a little closer and I’ll share the four sales tips that I learnt from Bill Gates:
1. You supercharge sales when you solve unique problems
In Bill Gates’ words: “If you show people the problem and you show people the solution; they will be moved to act”
Here’s what Bill was saying: People don’t celebrate the “ordinaries,” they celebrate the “extra ordinaries.” Instead of starting up a business that solves the same problems that many sellers already have solutions to, come up with a different approach by showing people a “new problem” and “a new solution.” Then they will be moved to buy from you.
In other words, don’t try to vie with those “giant competitors” in your industry, come up with something new that will show your customers why they should patronize you instead.
Action steps: I’m not saying you should start thinking of doing something that’s totally different from what your competitors do. All you need is to tie up your product or service with something that will make it unique.
Here’s what I’m saying: For instance, if most of your competitors are bloggers who write generally on money-saving tips, come up with a different approach by writing content on “money-saving tips for students”. This way, you will be doing what your competitors are doing, but with an “extra” added to yours so that when students get to know your blog, they won’t have to visit the big “money-saving tips blog” where they have to filter out contents that are not meant for students. Instead, they go straight to your blog – where all contents are meant for them.
2. Learn from the customers who complain
In Bill Gates’ words: “Your most unhappy customers are your greatest sources of learning”
Here’s what Bill was saying: Like your old college lecturer would say: “the best way to learn is to learn from experience.” The experience you have with those customers who complained should show you the defects of your product or service.
If you’ve ever stared at Windows’ “blue screen of death”, you’ll know how Bill really made customers unhappy. Yet, windows has been the world’s main operating system since 1990 – largely in part because Microsoft takes customers’ complaints into consideration and figures out how to improve through it.
Action steps: When a customer complains about your product or service, pin your ears back and keep trying out ways to make amends until you find a solution.
When you lose one customer, find out why. Once you’re able to get the reason as to why customers are not satisfied with your product, you will be able to learn another point of view that you might not have known before. This way, you will get insights into how to improve your products. And it is common knowledge that once your product improves, sales will eventually rise with it.
3. Boost sales by making your products better
In Bill Gates’ words:“There is nothing that was overnight.”
Here’s what Bill was saying: Windows 1.0 was released in 1985, but wasn’t much of an achievement. Two years later, Microsoft produced windows 2.0 which was just fairly better than 1.0. It wasn’t until 1990 when Microsoft launched windows 3.0 that they found a major success with a graphical operating system.
It was a giant success for Microsoft at that time, so much that they sold over 10 million units in just two years. But it really wasn’t overnight – it was a process. It was only after trying (and not necessary succeeding) at getting encouraging results with windows 1.0 and, two years later, with 2.0, that they finally triumphed with windows 3.0.
Action steps: Every effort you make in your startup (marketing, customers service, etc) is going to reflect in your sales. Great sales are not just going to happen overnight – your diligence and consistency in enhancing your products plays a crucial role in the process.
4. Have a global view
In Bill Gates’ words: “I do think this next century, hopefully, will be about a more global view. Where you don’t just think, yes my country is doing well, but you begin to think about the world at large”
Here’s what Bill was saying: It’s not enough to know how to satisfy customers in your locality alone, you need to run your startup keeping in mind that your aim is to sell to the world at large.
In reality, when you plan on selling to your local environment alone, you literally limit your sales to those who need your products or services outside your locality.
Action steps: Don’t just market your products or services to your country alone; take your business off the limits by going global. Join world-known communities online and be active. If you have a blog, get your articles published on popular blogs that link back to your site.
So there you have it! 4 sales tips from one of the smartest and wealthiest businessmen in the world – trust me, Bill Gates is someone you should listen to.
Do you have some other sales tips you’d like to share? You can share what you know in the comments.