The nature of my day job does, from time to time, place me in front of people who wish to talk about their thoughts, plans and dreams of opening their own businesses.
Many of these folks share with me their menu of everything they are doing or, believe necessary to do, in order for their businesses to become successful.
They talk at length about certifications and training courses they are taking to further their skill sets in their chosen new business ventures. They show me copies of marketing materials they have painstakingly developed over long period of time and they proudly display samples of the products or services they will deliver to their clients.
Every time I have these conversations I feel like Scrooge whose very presence at a party takes all the enjoyment away from those in attendance.
I agree that all of the discussions around training and preparedness and marketing materials and samples and products and services are all absolutely crucial and essential if one wants to have a successful business.
However, there is something else that so many of these well-intentioned folks have not given to much thought to and that is the age-old challenge that faces all business owners.
How are we going to get customers?
A wise old saying reminds us that “Nothing happens until somebody sells something”.
Indeed nothing will happen until the sale is completed.
The moment that my Scrooge persona appears is the moment when I begin to explain to the excited person across from me how all of their preparation will amount to nothing if they have not developed a process, and mastered the skills required in order to secure clients on an ongoing basis.
In order to realize their dreams they have to become exceptional salespeople.
I feel like I am bursting balloons when I point out the naivety of the statement “build a better mousetrap and people will beat a path to your door.”
The truth is that people will not beat a path to your door if you build a better mousetrap. If people don’t know about your better mousetrap, they will have no interest in finding your door. Mastering the skills required to market and sell oneself, one’s ideas, one’s thoughts, methods and solutions need to be front and center in the minds of anyone wishing to go into business for themselves.
And, having mastered those skills, it is necessary to apply them as often and as passionately as possible.
You have to be a salesperson first and a coach, trainer, consultant, electrician, plumber, realtor, carpenter second.
Few small businesses fail for any reason other than not having enough customers. And acquiring customers requires a commitment to sell, sell, sell.
To many people the thought of being a salesperson is anathema. They don’t want to. They shouldn’t have to. It’s not what they had in mind when they decided to go into business for themselves.
The sad truth for many is that, with very few exceptions, if we are unwilling to sell ourselves and our products or services, we are condemning ourselves to a life of stress and disappointment.
“Nothing happens until somebody sells something”
That’s the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
Till we read again.
My book Life Sinks or Soars – the Choice is Yours now has its very own website. Please visit us at www.lifesinksorsoars.com and let me know what you think.
P.S. My company, Strategic Pathways, recently introduced our newest Personal Coaching experience called Boot Camp for Your Brain. Please click here and take a peek at our Ebrochure
– I have recently completed a series of radio interviews. If you would like to listen to them, here is a link.
I would love to hear your thoughts, ideas or suggestions once you have listened to the interviews. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and share your thoughts.
– Robert French – an accomplished author – recently posted a flattering review of my book, Life Sinks or Soars, the Choice is Yours. Please click here and take a moment to read it.
– Here is another review of my book by Actionable Books.