Sales is not a department, a career, or someone’s job. Sales is the god of any business (no disrespect intended).
Sales affects everything: every person, every company, every industry, and entire economies. Companies die because they are unable to sell products in quantities great enough at prices high enough.
Sales is not just important to your organization—it is the lifeblood of it. It is everything. If a company does not continue to grow new revenue, it will only shrink. A business does not depend on manufacturing, research, or ideas— it depends on sales.
Whether you’re a manager, running your own company, or just getting started, you need to understand that the most important line on the financial statements of every company is the revenue line. People spend time writing business plans and forget to figure out how to sell the product or idea. Yes, you need a mission statement and you need product development, but you’d better figure out just how you’re going to get customers to buy from you and how you’re going to generate new revenue.
It doesn’t matter if you run a consulting business from home, have a hair salon, or are the CEO of a multinational corporation— you have to have a product or service to sell, you need to get attention for it and sell it in the market, and you need to expand your customer base. Sales is the only thing a person can do to guarantee that they control the top line of their business. It is impossible to make anything happen without sales.
If you say, “I don’t like sales,” or “I am not a sales type” and decide you’re not going to participate, you are not obsessed enough with your dreams. Anyone who says they don’t like sales is really denying the holy grail of business. I didn’t get into sales because I liked it. I got into it to survive.
The viability of any ongoing organization depends on new sales and new customers. Any company dependent upon only a few customers becomes too dependent on too few customers. You need lots of customers paying prices that have high margins. You need to become obsessed with making new customers and bringing in new money.
A major failure of sales organizations is that salespeople and managers are running around talking to customers but never presenting figures to them. They make contact with the customer, talk to the customer— and then report back to upper management about why the customer didn’t buy.
It doesn’t matter that the customer said, “It’s not the right time for us to buy,” when the salesperson didn’t even present an offer.
We did a mystery shopper program with over five hundred companies in America and discovered that this happens more than 70 percent of the time. In fact, never asking for the order is one of the top reasons sales organizations fail. The salesperson is scared of the competition or rejection or has some other neurosis, so they refuse to walk the prospect all the way through the sales process to a proposal. I have worked with tens of thousands of sales organizations and, while this may blow your mind, I assure you that it’s salespeople’s own fault that they’re losing sales. And the reason it happens is a lack of training and the fact that no one is holding the salespeople accountable for the little things along the way to closing.
This results in sales cycles that are longer than necessary, razor- thin margins, and over 50 percent of sales organizations missing quotas— all because the salesperson never took the transaction all the way and because the manager never held them accountable.
It’s a simple fact: If you miss a step, you will lose the sale.
· If you don’t ask for the order, you cannot close the sale.
· If you don’t present a proposal, you cannot close the sale.
· If you don’t deal with the decision maker, you will not close the sale.
· If you don’t deal with all the influencers, you will not close the sale.
· If you don’t solve the magic problem, you will not close the sale.
· If you don’t follow up, you will not close most of the sales.
If you are not obsessed with closing, you won’t. Go into every sales situation and customer interaction believing you can close the sale.
Adapted from Be Obsessed or Be Average, by Grant Cardone with permission of Portfolio, an imprint of Penguin Group, a division of Penguin Random House. Copyright © Grant Cardone, 2016.