After completing the Aboriginal B.E.S.T. course and getting their business idea off the ground with knowledge around how to research the market and write a business plan, Indigenous entrepreneurs from the Squamish Nation who are starting and operating businesses participated in a sales course, taught by Loa Fridfinnson of Activ8, as part of the Indigenous small business training program.
Students' products and services ranged from apparel to organic soaps, a mobile spa, weaving, roofing, and an Aboriginal-themed game. These budding entrepreneurs are in the midst of creating their brands and discovering how to best get their product to market.
Participants learned how to identify their ideal prospective customer, where to find them, what to say to open the door to conversation and investigate if there is a fit. In practicing their sales conversations, students even found complimentary business goals where they could share resources and help to promote each other. There was also potential new customer relationships formed because, Hey, who doesn't love organic soaps made from goats milK? Yes, please Valerie!
By the end of the course, participants felt more comfortable in approaching sales prospects and making a genuine connection, identifying if the person had a need or desire for their product or service, assessing decision making factors and leading the prospect to a close.
Sales is critical for every entrepreneur that wants to start and grow a business. It's inspiring to see Squamish Nation members committed to their own professional development and launching exciting businesses!