There are two kinds of businesses in the world. Those that are in sales and those that are not. Ok, well really there is also a subcategory, those that are still in business and those that are out of business. The fact of the matter is that every business is in the sales business. Yes, I hear you in the back of your mind saying, “I have no need for sales as long as I provide quality work”. In fact, a lot small business owners pride themselves on not having to sell”.
What most people don’t realize is that if they are in business (even a non-profit), they are in sales. Here’s the thing, it’s OK to be in sales, and rather you’re a mom and pop shop on the corner of Main Street or a multinational fortune 500 company, your organization’s success depends on your ability to get people to purchase your product or service. Your right, there is nothing revolutionary about what I am saying, everyone understands that businesses run off of people’s desire and ability to purchase stuff. The revelation comes from how you decide to act upon this information.
For years I have seen small businesses operate with a “build it and they will come” mentality. The thought process is that if my product or service is good enough people will find me. The truth is that the destruction of any business starts with the myth that your businesses success will be driven by the quality of what you offer. The harsh reality is that no matter how good your product is people will not “find” you if you are not selling and marketing your business.
There are three statements that I hear failing businesses make all the time (rather they know they are failing yet, or not, is another question). Today we will outline the three statements that lead to the down fall of any business and next week’s article will focus on how to avoid or fix them.
1. I don’t have time to get out and sell.
O boy! Where do I start? I see this way too often. As things get busy the first priority to get tabled is sells. The problem is that once things start to slow down, the sales pipeline is now empty and you have to start all over.
2. I don’t need to sell; I opened up shop surrounded by my target market.
Who is your target market? Do you really have 100% market saturation? What you’re really saying is that you are ok with the status quo and you don’t want to take the effort to grow your business. The problem is that if your sales are not growing then they are shrinking (there is really no such thing as the “status quo” in business).
3. Sales and marketing are the same thing.
No they are not. Sells and marketing serve very different functions. Yes they go together, but I can’t tell you how many times I hear that marketing does not help increase sales. Of course it doesn’t! Marketing is about lead generation, sales are the process of taking those leads and turning them into customers. Marketing is useless without a sales process to back it up.
Next week we will talk about how your whole business should be based around sales and marketing. We will weave into our conversation the three false statements above and learn how to easily and effectively turn your business into a sales machine.
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