Are You Prepared for More Sales?
Over the last decade as a speaker, coach and consultant I’ve had the opportunity to work with thousands of businesses, ranging from the new startup to the organization that has weathered 30 years. Regardless of their maturity, many of these businesses seem to experience the same problems obtaining leads, getting clients or making sales.
In most cases, identifying the problem is simple: lack of differentiation, no targeted marketing niche and little-to-no sales system. It’s never difficult to remedy the situation. After a few simple exercises and the creation of a well-thought-out sales script, the owner very quickly turns their business around and starts selling much higher levels of product and/or services.
As Peter Thiel says in his book Zero-to-One, “Superior sales and distribution by itself can create a monopoly, even with no product differentiation. However the converse is not true. No matter how strong your product -- even if it easily fits into already established habits and anybody who tries it likes it immediately -- you must still support it with a strong distribution plan.”
Generally at this stage the business owner is very happy and congratulations are in order. Unfortunately, this is an extremely dangerous time for a business. Can you imagine if the phone kept ringing and more jobs just kept coming in? Complacency can undermine all that hard work and the momentary success; this is quite often when organizations get into deep trouble and even go out of business.
Related: How to Cope With Overnight Success
I have seen it happen time and time again; without assistance from a strong coach or mentor, businesses are doomed to follow the same road to organizational disaster.
Stage 1: The business owner, even working long hours, cannot manage the workload.
Stage 2: The business owner starts to overlook important tasks, resulting in the quality of the work decreasing.
Stage 3: The business and its owner’s reputations become tarnished, trust is lost and customers look elsewhere for their goods and services.
Stage 4: The business takes a sharp turn into unwanted territory.
Quite often an owner will look at their earnings and determine that they need more sales to make higher profits. While this is quite often the case, there is a much more important question to ask first: “Am I ready for more sales?” Business owners need to get their systems under control, understand what growth restrictions could have detrimental implications to their business and correct them before they are ready for an increased level of sales. After all, having to fix one in ten defects or get one in ten contracts resigned is fine when you only have ten sales coming in each month. What happens when that number is fifty, seventy or-- as in one of my last businesses-- two hundred new acquisitions per month?
Follow the advice of Henry Ford: “Before everything else, getting ready is the secret of success.”