A Wake-Up Call About Selling


by on Jan 31, 2017 8:59 AM

Sometimes we make business far harder than it is.  We over-think our strategy, complicate our product line, and worry too much about our staff.  These are all important issues to be sure, but they pale in significance to the one area of business that contributes most to success: Time spent daily on SALES.

Sales should be the absolute center of what your company does every single day.  Ignore it at your peril.  As the founder of IBM, Thomas Watson once remarked, “Nothing happens until somebody sells something.”

I have mentored many business owners and when I see a business not performing, it’s primarily because they are not spending enough hours in the day on the sales process.  Specifically, they are not refining how they sell and aren’t getting out there face to face with potential customers.  My philosophy is that owners should not be involved in the internal processes of the business except to occasionally check in with trusted employees to verify that the business is on track.

So, how much time should you spend on sales?  If you are running a new business, at least 80 % of your day should be devoted to sales.  If you are an established business, at least 30% of your day should be devoted to the sales process or connecting with customers.

Does that sound too extreme?  It shouldn’t.  What else could you be doing that is more important?

Here’s an exercise worth trying: Sit down and work out the average amount of time you and your sales team spend each week, either directly selling or on improving the sales process. Then set a goal to triple it, starting next week.

You may say you’re too busy. You may protest that you have too many other things to do.  But if you can bring yourself to drop these excuses and try this technique, you will be stunned at how quickly your business improves.

When you spend most of your time selling, opportunities quickly arise as doors open, checks get written, and good things happen. When you stay in your office talking to your staff, pontificating over product details, admin and minutiae, your business may progress, but you won’t greatly increase your revenue.  You are merely tinkering on the peripheries of success.

If you’re not happy with how fast your business is growing, this is the area you should focus on, first, second and third. Get out there and generate more business opportunities. It may seem difficult at first so if you need some support, know that Trilogy Partners has helped business owners create process around selling, deal with the emotional side of letting go and maneuver through change.