(Originally posted 7/12/12 to the chagrin of a few wimpy salespeople.)
Nothing happens until a sale is made.
I used to work for who a sales guy who was fond of saying
Sales is the straw that stirs the drink."
Nothing happens until a sale is made.
That's why the world has no use for wimpy sales people and they should be forced to do manual labor to provide some value to the planet or "burned at the stake*."
On second thought, don't burn them at the stake. Soon enough they'll go work at the DMV or the post office or the IRS, which I needs 16,000 more peeps thanks to Obamacare...but I digress.
Wimpy salesmen exist in Corporate America, in Direct Marketing, in small business and as sole proprietors. In fact, wimpy salesmen are the norm.
The three questions you must answer as an owner, sales manager and/or sole proprietor is:
- How can I only hire sales superstars and avoid the wimps?
- What should I do if I have a wimp in my midst, or worse, on my payroll?
- What do I do if I'm a wimp?
How to only hire sales superstars and avoid the wimps.
You need a process, a road map, a proven system that you stick to for every single person you hire. And remove yourself from that process until the end.
What do I mean?
Most people are terrible interviewers. Studies have shown that typical interviews are 14% accurate in selecting the right sales person for the job.
Think that's too low? Think about the last time you either went on an interview or interviewed a sales person. The typical interviewer throws out some cliched "Tell me about yourself" or "What's your greatest weakness" mumbo-jumbo then jumps into a 45-minute dissertation on how wonderful their company is.
If you're hiring and you're doing all of the talking you are in for a world of hurt. You need to put that sales candidate through the ringer to create a real world scenario for them to see how they perform under pressure. You need to see what inherent, natural selling skills they possess.
As we used to say in the Air Force,
The more you sweat in practice, the less you bleed in battle."
Your interview is the practice you setup for this candidate. Make it tough.
Order "No More Sales Duds" to streamline your hiring of sales professionals now.
What to do if you already have a wimp.
- Start recruiting and continue recruiting sales professionals.
- Set higher expectations for everyone in your life, including the wimp. This goes for employees, vendors, even clients.
- Explain your expectations to the wimp.
- Help them if they ask for help.
- Ignore them if they do not ask for help.
- Focus on your star(s).
- If you don't have any stars focus on recruiting.
Businesses, like human beings, are growing or dying. Homeostasis is for your body temperature and internal stability. Homeostasis in your business means death is around the corner.
If the change outside your business is greater than the change within your business, the end is near."
~Jack Welch, Former CEO of GE
What to do if you are the wimp?
You are not alone...by a long shot.
The great Michael E. Gerber discusses the 3 types of business owners in his E-Myth series—The Entrepreneur, The Manager, The Technician.
The Technician is the one that most often starts a business and he HATES selling with a passion. He hates it. He cannot do it. He has never done. He doesn't want to do it. He just wants to do what he does, which is why he opened his business in the first place.
If this is you, which it probably is, and your goal is to grow, which it probably is, you need to do these two things:
- Take a deep breath and take comfort in the fact you are not alone.
- Stare deeply into your Technician soul and decide to:
- Stay on your current path (maybe work a few more hours a day) and hope for the best. (Let me know how that works out for ya.)
- Hire someone to help with sales and maybe even hire someone to manage that someone.
- Get good at sales and marketing yourself to make sure your baby—the business—is cared for, nurtured and grows.
Simple options. Tough actions. But you don't have to do this alone.
Whatever you choose, make sure you ask me about the "No More Sales Duds" program. It will make your hiring process smoother than the Dos Equis "Most Interesting Man Alive" I include access to it with any of these other programs.
I don't always hire people. But when I do, I follow Wes's No More Sales Duds program. Hire responsibly, my friend."
Market like you mean it.
Now go sell something.
*Note: No actual sales people—wimpy or otherwise—were harmed in the making of this blog post.