2007 saw the beginnings of Entrepreneurial Dynamics. Already 14 years old. The leader has faced a thousand storms in a sector where competitors were already well established and constantly innovating to better bounce back. When the waves presented themselves, it was necessary to be innovative but the first wave to face is that of the customers. Olivier Nishimata, co-founder of Dynamique Entrepreneuriale, looks back for you on the beginnings of the Dynamique adventure in order to share with you his experience and tell you how he managed to get out of the labyrinth of the inexperienced salesperson that he was.
At the start of the activity, we had no orders from customers, as happens more often than you think. Our student address book was almost non-existent and as the adventure had started in the form of an association within our school, we had no funds. We had to convince advertisers to invest in our magazine so that it could appear.
Start-ups: trial and error
We weren’t sure where or what to start. We embarked on the creation of a brochure, fluorescent pink, which described our project, the price of advertising insertions and the advantages of inserting advertising in our future magazine. At the same time, we compiled a list of potential advertisers for the magazine based on those present among direct or indirect competitors. These were all those who might have an interest in communicating with a target student / entrepreneur. The first difficulty we encountered was that we could not identify the final interlocutor, the one who was the decision maker and therefore the buyer. We looked in our network for people working for the brands and who could give us information on who to contact. At the same time, we did some research on the internet and we took our courage in calling.
The first difficulties
From the first meetings, we quickly understood that we were not familiar with the codes of the trade. The terms seemed obscure to us, so we had to figure out what they meant as we went along. This is where the competition proved to be very useful because we used their way of doing things to understand the tricks of the trade. During our progress, we had some “solid” elements to present which we supplemented with our brochure (called the media kit, a little presumptuous at the time, I admit) which has been modified numerous times. The main difficulty that we encountered subsequently was that we had no product to show, the magazine being in progress! A challenge. We finally managed to convince a few advertisers, seduced by our enthusiasm and also driven by their intuition, which allowed us to release our first issue. And it must be said: “the nerve pays off!” “And” thank you to those who trusted us! ”
From start-up to professionalization
For the second publication, we used the same strategy with the difference that we had already produced a first magazine. We could use what had been done to show and convince new advertisers and retain the first advertisers. We put a lot of emphasis on the innovative side but also on the richness of the second edition. The media kit has become more efficient and we have managed to convince more advertisers. Following this second experience, we were able to observe the weaknesses of our product and they were numerous: logo to create, model to redo, pages too loaded, distribution chain to break in etc … We decided to invest time on product improvement to fill all the loopholes. And it must be noted that between the second and the third edition of the magazine, they had little in common except the name. Commercial tools such as the insert were the first to receive a facelift and we quickly implemented email addresses professional. In June 2008, we embarked on the creation of the legal structure which marked our desire to definitely embark on the adventure.
The telephone obstacle first
The crisis was starting to take its toll as we began our commercial efforts. Despite a significant improvement in the quality of the magazine and our business tools, we had, above all, to develop our address book. In other words, to go into the hard. We called all the numbers in order to identify our final contact and have him online. We quickly learned to brush aside objections such as “I don’t have time” or “I already have everything I need” with “that’s exactly why I want to make an appointment. you with you when you have more time ”or“ it costs nothing to compare ”. In the end, it’s funny to see that there are only about ten common objections. The biggest learning from this period remains that the phone calls are not used to spread your offer but rather to fix an appointment. At the same time, we began to train ourselves in sales techniques.
The great learning of sales.
We were starting to get appointments thanks to our stubbornness. Organized, supported by an Excel list, we called our interlocutors without respite until we had them on the phone and managed to get appointments. Meetings with our clients turned out to be much more user-friendly than over the phone. Aware that we were not the only ones and that they were assailed by requests to sell them advertising inserts, we had rigorously worked on our commercial discourse in order to show them the interest of investing in our magazine. Yes but here it is: the first dates did not lead to any transformation. We quickly recognized that the crisis was shrinking budgets and that most advertisers were forced to reduce their investments. Fortunately, the characteristics of our support and our price, represented non-negligible advantages which should have convinced more than one interlocutor. The sales training (editor’s note: at Booster Académy) was particularly useful here. Already because we understood that it was necessary to develop a first capacity: listening and more than an argument delivered at full speed causes the opposite effect to that expected. You have stunned your interlocutor under the flood of your words and the result is negative. For your argument to be effective, you must seek to highlight its interest, that is to say, help it meet its objectives. If he has granted you an appointment, it is usually because he has perceived as little interest as it is in your offer. It’s up to you to find out which one and seize this opportunity to show him that thanks to your product or service he will be able to achieve his own results. There is no point in insisting on the power of a car engine if what interests your interlocutor lies in being able to put four people! Now it’s your turn to play! But never forget that it is your client who remains your best advisor.