Sales...Gotta Have 'Em

About 10 years ago that I was preparing to go through a transition and I walked up on a group of employees who were making the transition with me to the new venture. Every one's spirits, or so I remember, were generally pretty good. I know mine were.

While everyone was visiting, rambling, just talking, I must have gotten a far-off look because I suddenly realized they were all looking at me and someone said "wow, he sure looks relaxed."

I'm not sure relaxed was exactly the right word, but I was relieved and my reply told what I was relieved from;

"Well, I don't have to sell any longer. That someone else's job now."

Ha!! How naive.

I was a producing manager for a wholesale organization and we had a good track record; production, processes and profitability were all in great order. It was rare that I got a call from my corporate manager and when I did it was to see if I was still alive. While I was the only real "sales" person, I spread the responsibility out among everyone. My goal was to get the business in the door and then KEEP IT!

And we did a good job of that. Our production was not near the level of the company's other 7 such branches, but profit per unit was highest and we were ranked in top 50% for overall profitability.

Years later I realized what an incredibly stupid statement I had made and somewhere along the way I realized that "sales" had steadily moved away from everyone and focused on "salespeople."

A well run, results getting, professional organization needs people selling. Sales people are our most important asset and we will either live or die based on how well everyone is selling.

To that end; sell and be sure everyone is selling.

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