Some entrepreneurs are all about sales. What's not to love? You're out there showing the world this thing you've thrown your life into. Plus, you get the indulgence of room service, the frequent-flier miles, and the dependability of chain restaurants. Of course, some entrepreneurs abhor sales. What's not to hate? People challenge your product, and there are the scratchy sheets at cheap hotels, the delayed flights, and the creepy déjà vu that comes from eating in, seemingly, the exact same Fuddruckers in Phoenix and Billings and Atlanta. But whether you love or hate selling, the biggest nightmare is a bad sales presentation. You realize things are going poorly, and the clients just want you gone. You see their eyes gazing at the ceiling, they're yawning, and your frantic race through your PowerPoint has no effect. You're bombing. Well, cue the laughter and applause. We've found four entrepreneurs who know all about sales performance. Marketing man and brand expert Dann Ilicic has the effect of a magician, surprising clients with props and food. Selina Lo racks up sales by getting to know her targets and tailoring each presentation specifically for them. Peter Click barely mentions his product in his presentations, focusing instead on how he'll increase his clients' profits. And then there's Tom Szaky, who believes the key to a good sales performance lies in rehearsing a pitch over and over and over again. As for surviving Fuddruckers, we advise loading up on the free pickles.
Stephanie Clifford is a senior writer.