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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