Maybe sales are declining or starting to wobble yet the corporate exec’s still don’t want to listen.
I used to bang my head against the wall dealing with corporate exec’s who would try to fit us into their boxed mold of marketing, promotions and outdated sales strategies.
What does a corporate manager know about running a small business if he’s never worked in one? Yet do the muckety mucks send their people into the field to see what goes on in their customer’s business? Maybe the field sales guy or gal, but that’s their job!
I have experienced and truly believe that there is a disconnect in Corporate America today where companies owned by public and private stock holders are not in tune with their small business customer. They think they know, but they don’t know. Not a clue!
They think they got it all figured out, yet they grope around in the dark like everything’s hunky dory and business will grow. Hey Frank – sales were up 10% this last month – Yahoo!
It’s so funny how corporate executives and their managers can run around playing business games while their customer, Mr. or Mrs. Small Biz Owner struggles to increase sales and maintain profitability with revenue models that have not changed in years.
You see my loyal reader, the small business owner doesn’t care if their vendor’s sales numbers are off. What they want to know is this – what is that vendor or supplier going to do today to help them in their business.
And this is where the small business connection comes in.
The bottom line is that running and operating a small business is a lot different than working at a corporation. It’s like comparing a cruise ship to a 21’ speed boat.
And this leads me to my whole reason for writing this article today. I can honestly tell you that the three best Field Sales Executives I ever worked with understood this whole concept of small business.
Greg came from a big corporation but had worked with small businesses for years.
Dave worked at a big corporation but had run a small company and so he understood what we had to deal with on a day-to-day basis.
Doug worked for small and large manufacturers but had also worked in a small business for over 15 years.
All three had really good people skills and were great at connecting with us.
Of the 50 or so manufacturers and suppliers we dealt with, these three were at the top when it came to sales and working with us in the trenches.
If you happen to be reading this and you come from the corporate landscape or are looking to increase your sales with small business clients, here are a few suggestions for you to consider:
1. Connect and find out what really makes a small business.
2. Read up and study books about Small Business & Entrepreneurialism.
3. Learn what makes the small business owner tick and click.
4. Become interested in the small businesses you work with on a daily basis.
5. Research, Research, Research – bring added value to the small business. And once you start to digest this information, take action and make a difference.
To your continued success,
PS – If you’re currently in a retail or service based business then head on over to Secrets of The Tiny Store to find out what we really did.