I was taking a prospective buyer on a client tour recently. The principal of the buyer’s group is a serial entrepreneur who has started or bought numerous companies and taken each to the next level. We were talking about sales levels and growing the business. He made the statement that he and the core group of his people at the top were the key rainmakers. His companies had the systems, procedures and people in place to service the account, but he went out and landed the “whales”. This meshes with my own philosophy.
Many times smaller businesses plateau at a less than ideal sales level or they take a slide backwards. Owners have lived on word of mouth or a few choice clients, but that is not enough in these economic times. I see owners looking to hire that magic salesman and much time and resources wasted when they inevitably fail. Who can advocate your product and services better then you? Potential clients like dealing with the final decision maker, use this to your advantage.
Many entrepreneurs say they are not comfortable selling. Their vision of sales is high pressure, going for the close. A consultative environment where they listen to their client’s needs and together come up with solid fix is a better path.