I was on a call with a new customer this week who was sharing some of his deepest business struggles.
I mostly listened as he shared his thoughts.
What he was experiencing were real struggles.
I even felt a hint of some fatigue from the constant battle.
He wasn't complaining or raising a white flag to quit.
That's not him. He's a winner.
He is a person with vision, and vision drives everything.
He also wasn't looking for sympathy from me.
He was just sharing some battle scars from one business owner to another.
He wasn't ignoring the facts either, or turning a blind eye, or telling himself that 'everything will work out fine.'
He was authentic.
Providing unvarnished truth from his experiences.
It was only three years earlier that he began his journey as a new business owner fresh out of school. He is a master of his trade, an expert, investing most of his life in school to acquire his skills ---
But there was a big problem.
Though he was fully prepared for his trade --- he wasn't ready for running and scaling a business. Not because he was incapable of it, he just wasn't trained for running a business.
So while juggling the pressures of heading into the unknown and running a new start-up company, he was trying to figure out all the 'sales and marketing stuff.'
Over the last three years, he has learned that his business success is not based on his motivation, the services his company provides, his team, his passion, or his desire to change people's lives, although all of those are important.
His entire existence as a business owner lives and dies by how effective his sales and marketing efforts are at producing new revenue.
But marketing tactics only treat the symptoms to low sales and do not cure the systemic cause of the problem.
To be a truly effective business, you must become your business's number one expert at selling and investing most of your time, attention, and energy into revenue-producing activities --- or the activity of selling.
You must be very much involved in every step of the sales and marketing process, so you can understand the problems intimately and have a clear vision to identify the opportunities.
There are five primary functions of a business --- service/product development, customer service, accounting, operations, and marketing.
The one function that should ALWAYS be given top priority in any business is marketing.
The other functions are essential to a well-run business, yet without marketing, you will not have sales, and without sales, you will not have cash flow, and without cash flow, your business will die from a lack of cash, which is the oxygen to any business.
So at this point, I hope I've convinced you that as the business owner, selling should be your primary job. And if selling is essential, then sharpening your sales skills and acquiring a team with the knowledge and skills to sell as you expect is an obligation --- not a choice.
Jeff's Must Reads
The Vision Driven Leader- by Michael Hyatt I purchased this book after listening to a podcast with Michael Hyatt and heard him explain the difference vision makes. It was so compelling I bought the audio and hardback. I will be sharing more about this book soon!
Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions - by Dan Ariely I have spent much of my life mastering selling. I have invested thousands of dollars in books, workshops, on-site training, one-on-one coaching, seminars, and audiobooks seeking to learn as much as I can about selling. This book is one of my favorites.
If you feel like you don’t have the complete picture of what your business should look like or you have a business or marketing problem that you need a solution for, then a consultation with Jeff Payne is what you need.