At the heart of the entrepreneur

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Author: Anders Christian Hjort

I think this interview with The former MD of MIT Kenneth Morse is worth reading.

It takes us to the heart of where entrepreneurs struggle the most.

In selling that new fantastic product that they are so passionate about.

But we all know that no sales equals no business.

From research we know that passion most likely leads feature dumping, or like an American labled this feature puking. And in selling this verbal behaviour would actually NOT be effective for moving the complex sale forward.

So no wonder they struggle getting the sale done.

But have a go with The interview now.

Enjoy!

“Good selling is not an art – it’s science!”

April 23, 2011 at 12:33am
Interview with MD Kenneth Morse

Facts about MIT Entrepreneurship Center

• MIT, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, world-renowned university in Boston.

• Known for its specialized knowledge and capability to combine the development of new breakthrough technologies with management and commercialization usually through spin- off companies.

• The mission of the MIT Entrepreneurship Center is to develop and nurture leaders who will make high-tech ventures successful by inspiring, training, and coaching new generations of entrepreneurs from all parts of MIT.

• Kenneth Morse is a serial entrepreneur, having played a key role in launching several high-tech start-ups.

He joined the MIT Entrepreneurship Center in 1996 as founding Managing Director. Sales is crucial to any startup company Kenneth Morse knows more about entrepreneurs than most others and knows exactly what kind of challenges they most face. Currently Kenneth is teaching and coaching ambitious entrepreneurs in Europe and here he talks about the hard road to success.

What are the characteristics of today’s successful entrepreneurs?

“There are at least five key elements that characterize a successful entrepreneur today:

• They have found the solution to a relevant and valuable problem
• They have high ambitions
• They are excellent at selling
• They are ready to go for a global market
• They are keen to recruit first-class staff”

What are the challenges of the post crisis entrepreneurship?

Improving the effectiveness of the sales force in globally ambitious companies, large and small, is still one of the highest priorities and challenges. In the current tough climate, every purchase by any prospective customer must be triple-justified at all levels of management. The way that I see it, it is essential to have the best ROI-based sales approach to shortening the sales cycle across borders and thus to the survival of most young companies.

From your point of view, how do you look at innovation and business development in Europe?

“I believe that startup teams in Europe may be at a disadvantage when it comes to having the necessary passion for perfection and swift, seamless sales execution. One of the most important life lessons – the importance of sales – usually comes late in the career of EU entrepreneurs. Today’s bright young European entrepreneurs were typically not raised to think about the importance of sales. They did not grow up running lemonade stands or going door-to-door selling girl-scout cookies. At university, their professors often looked down on sales and were rarely, if ever, themselves forced to compete for funding.”

Where will their sales mentors come from?

What will be your advice for Danish entrepreneurs?

“My advice will be to focus the entire team on delivering value to the customer. In today’s tough environment, high-tech startup companies must be excellent at sales and customer acquisition or else they will not survive. Sincere commitment to solving customer problems is also a key issue. If your CEO is not passionately committed to delivering significant value to customers, then either he/she should leave the company, or you should find another place to work, because the company will not succeed.”

I would like to stress that good selling is not an art; effective sales and customer relationship management is a science and can be both learned and promulgated throughout the organization.

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