The #1 Thing You Should Do If You Are Struggling To Make Sales Or Don’t Have Time

By: Dan Kennedy on: June 11th, 2016 6 Comments

Years ago, I discovered the #1 thing I should focus on in business:  making saleable things and selling them.

And I can’t tell you how happy I am to have had that revelation early in life.

Without it, I most certainly would have struggled to survive, let alone grow my business.

Because one of the biggest problems that stop businesses from growing and also gets businesses quickly into trouble is failing to focus on making sales.  

It’s not uncommon to find situations where everybody in the company gets so focused on their own little job, each in his own cubicle, that they collectively place customers’ needs and preferences dead last on their list of priorities.

In large companies, the bigger a business gets, the more likely it is to be infected this way.

In smaller companies, where each person has multiple (and often conflicting) responsibilities, the customer becomes the interruption, perceived as an annoying distraction to getting the work done.

With entrepreneurs running solo, they put longer and longer hours in, trying to wear too many hats, and as a result, end up with “sales” near or at the bottom because they don’t have time to give it the attention it deserves.

When you carefully analyze the majority of companies that get into financial trouble or that are stymied on how to grow their company, you will discover that they have sacrificed effective sales methods and customer service in favor of the convenience and preferences of employees.

So if your sales are shrinking or if you are struggling to make sales…if you feel you are too busy to focus on sales or find you are putting sales at the low-end of the spectrum, I suggest you stop what you are doing right now and evaluate. Because this is a sure sign that you are headed for trouble.

The #1 thing you need to focus on is making sales. It’s the fastest and best way to grow your company.

Here are three recommendations for keeping sales the focus in your business:

Have people on your team whose sole purpose is selling. Sales is too important. When you hire someone and have them split their time between sales and some other role, it often leads to sales getting the short end of the stick.  

Not too mention you can hire people to worry over every imaginable detail and potential problem for a whole lot less when you leave the sales part out of the position. And a sales person devoted solely to sales can make a whole lot more from the same time spent on selling or causing sales.  

Never put someone with a financial background as CEO of your company. When sales are shrinking, it is the tendency of financial people to cut investments in the things that drive sales. It is better to have someone who knows how to make money in this position.

Create “miracle salesmen.” In 1937, W. Clement Stone energized his sales force by hiring Napoleon Hill to conduct classes for his entire national sales force on the thirteen principles from Hill’s book THINK AND GROW RICH. In Stone’s words, he and Hill built “miracle salesmen.” What he discovered is that many sales managers and companies have forgotten or were under-valuing the fact that motivation is more important than technique.

About this training Stone said, “My sales managers began to be builders of miracle salesmen, and our salesmen began to make such phenomenal sales records that the results achieved seemed unbelievable to those who haven’t learned the art of motivation.”

Most modern sales training is heavily weighted to process, with barely a nod to attitudes, but the truth is that most salespeople can sell—but don’t; they have sufficient skills to sell—but don’t, because they are not sufficiently motivated and self-motivated to overcome the inherent rejection and frustration of selling. Conversely, you can teach people all the technique in the world, and they’ll still fail if burdened with unproductive attitudes or lacking successful attitudes.

If I had a sales force, I would implement a continuing, multi-faceted system of “attitude training and improvement” to build self-images, confidence, and ambition of my salespeople.

You can attract, recruit, and motivate the best salespeople to sell your stuff so you can concentrate on making saleable things for them to sell.

What most people define as and perceive as important has not one darned thing to do with making a lot of money. (Tweet this!)

What you need is to come up with saleable things and then sell them. Discover how to leverage your talents, work less hard, while earning the income you desire and taking all the time off you choose.

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Dan Kennedy is internationally recognized as the 'Millionaire Maker,' helping people in just about every category of business turn their ideas into fortunes. Dan's "No B.S." approach is refreshing amidst a world of small business marketing hype and enriches those who act on his advice. For more money-making marketing tips, tactics and strategies, go to

6 Responses

  1. Hi Dan,

    Great post as all ways!

    I like that revelation: “making saleable things and selling them.” It sounds simple or common sense (and is), but still profound and life changing.

    In fact, just about anything that is as simply profound as this is can be life changing if we let it.

    …You know sometimes, we make the subconscious choice not to let our lives change, but we talk about wanting our lives to change like there is no tomorrow. It just doesn’t make any logical sense.

    Also, I like your point about hiring people that sole job is to sell. I would tend to agree that if you hire someone that has many roles and obligations including selling, then naturally selling will end up going at the bottom of the priority list. It is just the human nature of things…

    That is, of course, people make it an obligation to intake as much positive thinking and selling material and resources. In fact, I have been reading as many books and listening to as many CDs and DVDs (including your material) as I possibly can to stuff myself with selling and wealth “food”. Thank you, by the way, for all the wealth, sales and marketing mental food you feed me. You are a great “Chief”.

  2. David Hunter says:

    Your second point reminds me of businesses who, when the going gets tough, cut their marketing budget to save money. It’s the worst thing they can do. The job of marketing is to get the prospect to take action!

    To quote Claude Whitacre in his Selling Local Advertising book: “Trying to save money by not advertising is like an employee trying to save gas money by not showing up for work.”

  3. Darren Teale says:

    There are many aspects of a business and unless they turn together and are sales driven it won’t work. The other thing all the brilliant marketing in the world will not held a poor sales team or if the sales team is telling a different story, I have been in sales a long time and one thing that needs to work as one is sales and marketing the two should never be separated and both need to know what each other is doing. Copywriting is you or your sales team in print and that is what should be getting people to take action. Prospects should be getting the same message from you or anyone selling for you and anything you put in print.
    If you are looking to be sales focused (you should be) or even just make sure you are, get “The Ultimate No B.S. Renegade Guide To Putting Together a Highly Effective Sales Team” if you haven’t got it already, it is worth 10 times the asking price get it before Dan comes to his senses.
    And No apology for sounding “salesy” since 1984 that’s how I made my livin’ it gets me where I need to go and some, make it yours.

  4. Corey Zeimen says:

    Steve Jobs had installed a CEO that could sell, but didn’t have product vision and cut the 2nd most important part of business that matters, having a product people will buy again.

    Ideally, most money in the organization goes to sales, marketing, and developing an experience that generates referrals and repeat purchases, the rest is always on the chopping block like your admin people who find themselves all so important.

  5. Corey Zeimen says:

    Seems like a lot of successful companies that scale do satellite offices or are franchises as to avoid this compartmentalized “customer last” effect you normally get at a mid sized company. Your only problem in this case then is actually picking something you can find brand managers for.

  6. Sales, marketing and the customer service departments should always be talking with each other. I have found that these three have information that will help each other improve. Customer Service can help let your team know what is work or not for the client. Thank you for the post.
    Richard Benchimol

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