In a recent conversation with an industry veteran he made a comment that brought a chuckle and laugh but rang true and loud as a church bell. We were discussing a particular project which eventually lead to the topic of sales.
His comment, “The only department that isn’t shrinking is the ‘Sales Prevention’ department,” made me think about how many owners, managers and directors of small businesses and organizations get in the way of the sales process.
Yet I have seen this time and time again and it amazes me how some businesses even stay afloat as the owner continues to stunt the growth while thinking he or she is what makes the operation run. I have experienced this during my years with The Tiny Store and ad agencies as we encountered so many different businesses that got in the way of sales and business development.
It’s a sad, sad story that makes me wonder and think how more small business owners and managers could avoid this prevention pitfall?
With the economy as tough as it is and consumers being more cautious with their wallets, you would think that the small biz owner/manager would wake up and smell the coffee!
But noooooo! He or she continues on the prevention path adding blockades and boulders anywhere they will fit. And the funny part about this is that he or she might actually enjoy the prevention but not know that it’s hurting ye ole’ bank account.
Sales prevention can be fixed, corrected or even prevented if you, the business owner will allow your team to sell and give them the tools they need to bring in the sales.
If you are a solo-practitioner – I understand that it all comes down to you doing the selling, whether it be live, on the phone, via email, e-commerce or virtually, using Paypal or a shopping cart. I’ll go into more about this in another post, but just do your best to focus on sales and bringing in business versus the busy work that seems to clutter the path to your bank account. This busy work can sometimes be the one obstacle that prevents sales and stunts growth for the solopreneur and you can avoid by simply keeping your mind focused on bringing in new business and servicing existing clients.
Sales Prevention – “How to Increase Sales and Remove the Obstacles”
So now it’s time to take a Step Back and Review to see what or who is getting in the way, or is something that you are doing preventing your business from moving forward and intercepting possible sales. This is tough for some owners but necessary in order to determine what the root of the problem is.
Because if you are going to increase sales – then you best open the hood and see what’s causing the engine to cough and sputter.
Yes, it’s that simple – look yourself in the mirror and say, “Am I the one causing the decline or lack of sales in my business????” Because you might be able to fix your problem and increase sales with a simple turn of the screwdriver or maybe identify that there is a bigger challenge and you need outside help.
Anyway you look at it, if you are going to increase sales and get away from sales prevention, it all starts with you – the small business owner. It’s your business and your dream. So look in the mirror and have an honest conversation with the person looking back at you. Then make a decision to change and improve, or get out of the way and let someone else make the change for you.
The bottom line is that in order increase sales and avoid the sales prevention pitfall you will need to identify and remove the roadblocks. One of the them may be you or someone else, possibly a third party or even outside factors like location, marketing, or even merchandising. Once you remove the roadblocks, your sales should increase and business should begin to improve.
To your small business success,
PS – If you are still looking in the mirror unable to find any roadblocks, but your sales continue to decline…contact The SBM for some guidance. He might be able to help you before it’s too late.