The second most important paradigm shift most companies can make is to change their corporate culture for manufacturing, service, quality, or hospitality and get everyone from the receptionist to the truck driver involved in sales. You have to market to generate leads, but then you also have to sell!
I was able to make millions in the martial arts business for one simple reason. I wasn’t in the business for the love of the art. Sure, I liked it well enough. The hours were good, I didn’t have to get my hands dirty, it kept me in good shape, and my customers bowed to me on the way in and out of the dojo!
But unlike 99% of the schools I competed with, who were in it because they loved martial arts, I was actually in it for the money!
The majority of business owners end up in business because of a passion, a family connection, or by complete accident. Hardly any of these people see themselves as salespeople and so their businesses quickly hit a wall. Businesses seldom go broke because of bad service. Just think of the last time you were on the phone with your cell phone company, bank, or had a computer software problem. How good was that service? Yet they all make millions!
Businesses go broke, with few exceptions, for one reason— because they don’t make enough sales.
Recently I finished a highly successful consulting visit with a leader in the equestrian industry. The company was doing over $20 million a year. But, like many companies, sales was almost a dirty word among the employees.
The best example I can give you is that they had over 130,000 people on their customer list but had NEVER once made an outbound call to sell anything to their own customers!
When we consult with clients, we meet with the client’s staff to get them to understand that without sales, they don’t have a job. Sit down with your staff and do the same.
Sales is everyone’s job!
You must develop a sales culture in your organization if you’re going to succeed. That culture should involve monthly, weekly, and daily sales goals. At the very least, you need a Monday morning sales meeting/training session. Doing sales training daily for 15-20 minutes will have an astonishing effect on your business—even if all you do is play some sales DVDs or audio CDs with information like what you are reading now!
DO IT WITH EVERYONE ON STAFF!
If the conversation about sales takes place only occasionally, very little will happen, so it needs to be an ongoing effort. On a daily basis, work with the people who are in constant contact with customers, no matter what their positions. Fifteen minutes at the start of EVERY day listening to sales audios or watching a sales-training DVD will pay lasting dividends. One of my clients did this just once a week, and their phone team increased sales by almost a million dollars!
By all means, preach customer service and product superiority, but don’t buy too much into your own hype. Only by developing a culture based on a solid sales system can you succeed and grow in the long term, no matter what your business!
Every place where I have initiated this change in culture, two things have happened: “Dead wood” leaves the company and sales go up (and usually quite dramatically). The dead wood is usually the people who see sales as somehow distasteful, so you are better off without them!
Develop your corporate culture early and put a big emphasis on sales.
Getting every employee on your team involved in sales will pay huge dividends!
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