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Skills to Being a Better Entrepreneur: Part 2

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Skill #2: Get Out From Behind Your Desk

There is no business on the planet that doesn’t require some human contact. Chances are your business demands human contact. That’s a good thing because most of us are supremely wired to connect with humans. The bad news is that most people prefer to sit at their desks than go out and make those connections.Desks and the laptops that they support have a huge amount of gravity associated with them. They suck you into doing email and paperwork when you should be out there speaking to clients, partners, investors, and employees.

Even if you are a very small, work-from-home, type of business you need to make an effort to get out and meet the people you do business with. Go to networking meetings, conferences, trade shows, or join a local commerce group. My rule of thumb is to set at least 5 meetings a week. I generally allow for one full day at my desk so I can catch up on admin, writing and uninterrupted thinking time.

If you’re in a traditional sales role you need to be out of the office at least 50% of the time. That’s including time you might be on conference calls or doing virtual presentations. Being in front of real people allows you to make real connections that are immeasurably more important than virtual relationships. Use your virtual connections to identify the top people to connect with and then arrange meetings with them.

In our business we have seen close-rates on deals increase by more than 60% when we take the time to meet with the prospect face-to-face. It might not always be convenient or possible to set up in-person sales meetings but if you can filter your prospects effectively you’ll be more likely to close than if you just rely on email and phone calls.

Author Richard Banfield

As CEO, Richard leads Fresh Tilled Soil’s strategic vision. He’s a mentor at TechStars and BluePrintHealth, an advisor and lecturer at the Boston Startup School, and serves on the executive committees of TEDxBoston, the AdClub’s Edge Conference, and Boston Regional Entrepreneurship Week.

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