You Gotta Understand the Business Before You Can Sell It

Here are some business lessons I’ve learned over the years.

There was an outside salesman who was part of my department when I was a sales manager.  He was hired at the direction of my boss.  I probably would have fired him by now. His performance has been marginal at best.

The problem with him as is the problem with a number of salespeople is they don’t understand the business they are selling and therefore don’t really know good business from bad business.

When I would voice my displeasure to the higher ups I would get responses like “he doesn’t take no for an answer” and “he doesn’t know to stop after the door’s been slammed in his face several times.”

Now tenacity is great but make sure you’re barking up the right tree.

He treated the support staff with subtle contempt as if they were somehow beneath him in a lower position.  Sometimes he was just downright rude.

Every so often he would bring in donuts for the office staff.  I guess he thought this would make everyone like him in spite of his demeaning attitude and behavior.

Drive and “stick to it” are great traits and required for success in any endeavor.  You also need knowledge.   You need to know when you’re banging your head against the wrong wall.

In sales or in any line of work if you want to succeed you need to know your product, how it is made, how it works.  You need to know your company, how it works and you need to know your industry and how it works.

You don’t learn this in a month or two.  You need to devote yourself to learning.tommyboykillthesale

Then you’ll know a good customer, a good quote package, a good sale and by good I mean profitable.  And by profitable I mean net profit.

That’s another problem with a lot of salespeople, they only see the gross dollars.

Like the old saying, it’s not what you make, it’s what you keep.

It’s not about the gross profit dollars, it’s all about the net profit dollars.

To see the true net profit potential you have to understand your product and all the costs associate with getting that product into your customer’s hands.  Then you will have a good idea of the dollars that will end up in your hands.

For myself and really everybody there is only one way to learn and understand the costs.

You got to roll up your sleeves and watch and do and learn all the processes it takes from start to finish.

A million dollar sale isn’t worth a dime if it’s got a million dollars of cost to go with it.

A good salesperson has to know this.

© Otis P Smith and About the Groove, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Otis P Smith and About the Groove with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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