Have you ever tried to hit a big sales goal and for some reason they continually elude you and your efforts?
Over the last 14 years, I have talked to a lot of business owners. I regularly hear these people tell me things are good, but they could always be better. Now of course most people are not going to come right out and tell me on a whim that their business is in the dumpster and that they rarely hit their sales goals or reach their real dreams. That is until we are getting serious about growth and how I can help them overcome this problem.
I too had this issue. I had an entrepreneurial seizure (idea behind best selling book the E-myth). So the entrepreneurial seizure plays out something like this:
- You learn a trade or skill set
- You get really good at it over time
- You get sick of working for your boss and think “hell, if that guy can do it surely I can do it better”
- So you start your own business (often without business skills, marketing skills and worse sales skills)
So what’s the big deal? Well, here’s the big deal. A common quote thrown around business centers and books is that 90% of businesses fail in the first 5 years. Now let me share one of my beliefs to give you an example of how your beliefs can hold you back on some level. I agreed with this concept. I was pretty proud I made it through my first 5 years as a matter of fact I was pretty cocky and actually uprooted my company and moved it across the country to turn it into the company of my dreams. Within the next 5 years, I thought I was pretty special because I was able to do something that few people could do… continually run a business.
So I must have been pretty successful… Right? I beat the odds… or did I? Ok so here’s the deal my best year in the first 10 years was $51K. So what’s the problem? Well $51K as an income is good, but as a business revenue, it sucks. This is flat out horrible. Worse is the fact that I personally never got a “REAL” paycheck. So I shared the $51K with the cost involved with running a business. So in the grand scheme of things I was making a few thousand dollars a year and my company was really a JOB that I got paid pretty poorly at. I worked my tail off for peanuts.
So the belief that 90% of businesses fail in the first 5 years is a flawed concept realistically more time than not, a company does not fail, they die a long, slow, painful death and never make more than $50K per year. A buddy, Doug Staneart of the Leaders Institute shared this concept with me. As soon as he said it I instantly knew he was right on the money. I have been a member of the Fort Worth Chamber and many other business organization where I learned that many businesses are struggling and stuck in this level of mediocrity. I also knew it was true because I lived it. Early on this was my entrepreneurial seizure.
So what happened next? Well for the next 5 years, I dug in. I learned everything I could about the new ways to market. I became a thought leader in the inbound marketing world and an expert on Lead Generation. This is all important stuff and really great, but there still seamed to be a problem… I wasn’t hitting my sales goals and living my dream. So if your a thought leader in your industry and still not hitting your sales goals what’s the problem. The problem was I had no idea how to sell and was reinventing the wheel in every customer and prospect engagement. I focused on the “Products and Services” I sold as well as the “Features and Benefits” they offered. Then people went price shopping using my AWESOME proposal outlining everything they needed. Why not just give your prospect a shopping list they can take to your competitors.
Again, I believed you needed to play this game. I thought it was important to talk about the tools or products I sold. I thought it was important to talk benefits. I thought you HAD to do proposals. All this dog and pony show bullshit was keeping me from hitting my numbers. I then got into some sales training. Then I realized that over the first year, I no longer need to do proposals and I certainly will never lead again with a “tool”, “Product” or “Service.” I will only talk to CEOs and I will only talk to then if they are interested in growth. I will only give them a written outline of what we are going to do after they have gotten 98% through the sales process
Over the 3 years or so I have been digging into sales, I have tripled my previous income (and this is still growing). But more importantly, I found out that like some similar beliefs that I mentioned above the only thing holding me back was between my ears… yep, my thoughts and belief system. Once I started changing past beliefs and replacing them with NEW beliefs that helped me change what I thought about people, money, sales and myself, amazing things started happening.
So… what is holding you back? Could it be your beliefs? Could it be your understanding of a sales process? Could it be your Unsupportive Buy Cycle? Could it be your Need For Approval? Could it be that you get Emotionally Involved when you get push back? Could it be Call Anxiety? Maybe it is something else. The real question should be What are you going to do about these beliefs? How are you going to change? The bigger question may be, what are you going to do if you do not know what your problems are? How are you going to figure out what’s holding you back?
Maybe you need an outside professional to give you an assessment based on these types of issues. Maybe you need an outside professional to coach you on overcoming these issues. Maybe we should have a conversation. Are you ready to make a change in your beliefs? Are you ready to get the success your deserve? Then get on my calendar and let’s have a 20 minute conversation.