The #1 most important, most effective, most affordable thing you can do to grow your sales is...
Get some chalk.
Yes, blackboard/sidewalk chalk.
As in the white sticks of soft, porous sedimentary carbonate rock. It's a form of limestone composed of the mineral calcite. (What did we ever do before Google and Wikipedia?)
Don't believe me? Allow me to explain.
A little over 100 years ago Chuck was at his wits' end in his efforts to increase production at his factory.
He had tried being nice. He had tried being mean. He had even threatened firing his workers if they did not pick up the pace but nothing worked.
During yet another tour of his factory he asked the manager for a piece of chalk then asked another worker nearby what their production had been during that day's shift.
The worker answered "six" units.
Chuck took the chalk and wrote a huge number 6 on the floor of the factory and left.
When the night shift arrived and inquired as to the meaning of the chalk number they were told that it was the amount the day crew had produced during their shift.
Guess what happened?
The night crew increased production by 16.7% overnight to turn out seven units during their shift.
Guess what the day crew did?
They beat the night shift's production by 42.9% and beat their own previous day's production by 66%.
All because of a piece of chalk and a clear focus on what mattered.
This is the actual story of how Charles Michael Schwab, former president of the Carnegie Steel Company at the age of 35, the first president of the U.S. Steel Corporation after J.P. Morgan bought out Carnegie, and the former leader of the Bethlehem Shipbuilding and Steel Company.
Before the Great Depression hit he was worth somewhere between $500 million to $800 million (Back when $800 million was real money) so Schwab knew a thing or two about making money.
He also knew that we gravitate towards and bring to life the largest, most powerful images in our conscious and our sub-conscious minds.
SIDEBAR: This explains why amateur golfers hit every pond, sand trap, and out-of-bounds area. They are so afraid of hitting a bad shot into those areas that they only focus on
Don't hit a bad shot...don't hit a bad shot...don't hit a bad shot...AHHHH! I hit it right where I didn't want it to go!"
How can they NOT hit a bad shot when it's they only thing upon which they allowed their mind to focus?
How does this relate to you today?
While I'll take a fresh look at many traditional as well as subtle numbers, processes, and procedures to help you grow your sales without growing your staff in this series, if you don't have clearly defined sales goals you'll always struggle to grow because, like Alice in Wonderland, if you don't have a goal then any road will do, which means any process will as well.
So get some chalk today and get ready to grow tomorrow when we'll talk about nails.
Now go sell something.