Are You An Experienced Sales Person? I Need Your Advice

I think I have crossed my last "starting up" hurdle. I've lost all my reasons to not go on my own.

Here's a hurried breakdown of how it all happened:
  • In 2012, a colleague suggested I start an Excel consultancy. He was blown away by my Excel skills. That day I contacted a graphics designer friend and placed an order for 500 biz cards. 
  • I began sharing my biz cards and telling people I'm an Excel Consultant.
  • In 2013, a company contacted me for Excel training for their staff.
  • Same 2013, I got several calls from people requesting for Excel training.
  • Still same 2013, I got mails from people who found me online, and were requesting for a custom service
  • I almost resigned my job in 2013. I was turning down too many offers because of my day job.
  • I emailed some of the top Excel consultants in the world for advice. About half said I should go for it and gave tips of what worked for them. Of the remainder, one told me he still works full-time for a big company. Another one told me how he began about 25 years ago and that things  have changed, and that he had no advice for me. The rest didn't reply my mail.
  • I got a private limited liability company registered and built a simple company website.
  • All my clients were very pleased with my work for them
  • In 2014, I began shifting the focus from me to the Company. 
  • I began doing things in a corporate way: corporate email and signature, professional invoices, sales receipt, and already in the process of having 1000 one page fliers printed.
  • Then 2 days ago, I figured out that for every one person who contacted me out of the blue there are at least 10 more with same need. If I can reach everyone in corporate Lagos. Which I know I can (I've done something similar before, 3ce). I will survive and then flourish.

Now it's a countdown to resignation day. Which surprisingly, I'm no more in a hurry to do. I guess knowing that I will do it removed the urge of wanting to do it today or first thing tomorrow morning.

I'm now working on a sales and prospect tracking strategy. I have tried Pipedrive, Nimble and Base CRM. I'm finally settling with Base CRM. At the cost of $15 (about N2,800) per month I get all I need to track my prospecting activities, leads, contacts, deals stage and client interactions. And it's got a very easy to use Android and iOS app, which makes life after day job easy for me.

What I now need is expert advice from Sales experts. I don't need advice on whether to resign or not. You will only make me feel sad by giving such advice. What I really want you to give me are practical well-tested strategies that I can use to achieve my goal of getting the attention of everyone who needs my services and closing lots of sales. 

Right now the only strategy I have is to attend events and talk to people. I'm sure there are more effective strategies. Somehow, emails aren't working for me. I sent emails to over 900 people, the only person who replied wanted to know how I got her email. She is a LinkedIn contact. Then I thought my mails weren't personal enough. I decided to send a personal mail to another set of people, people I had some level of connection with and even reminded some of how we met and what we've done together before. Again, only one replied.

It's really amazing how people need you and will still be playing hard to get. 


  1. Hi Michael, did a search of Simon Benninga and that lead me to your website . Great work you are doing here. I'll suggest that you set yourself up as a media friendly excel guru. Lots of interviews on blogs, tv shows, personal finance tips etc. It'll require a relatively huge some amount of money though. You'll achieve much if you work with a PR firm.

    Warm regards.
    Ohi Ozoya.

  2. Hi Ohi,

    Thanks for the kind and valuable advice.I'll begin slowly in that direction.

    Thanks again.


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