To prosper in business, you need to look for ways to earn more in less time, while maintaining good quality. Unfortunately, many businesses take longer to earn less, and it has nothing to do with quality...
During a series of marketing workshops we put on at the Belleview Biltmore Resort & Spa in Clearwater, Florida, we were continually amazed at the number of business owners who knew hardly anything about sales and marketing.
To their credit the people who came to our workshops knew they needed to learn more, and eagerly dug in and got to it. It's the ones who didn't come we worry about most. Here's why...
We've often come across businesses or practices that were taking six or seven months to make the same amount of money they could have made in four months - if only the owners, managers and employees had their act together as an organized, coordinated, well-trained team.
Now stretched out over a year or more, that's a lot of potential income down the drain… thousands, even hundreds of thousands of lost dollars in some cases. Money that could have been made, should have been made, but wasn't. This is a huge, often hidden, "expense." Probably the biggest expense in your business. And it doesn't show up directly on your financials.
It works like this: Because of dropped balls, disorganization, lousy or non-existent employee training, the sales or delivery transactions that should have taken place in May drag out and take place in June instead. Inefficiencies like this can, and do, pull a business down.
This is why some businesses make only half as much as other similar businesses. Money that should have been made in June doesn't come in until July and August. On and on, accumulating throughout the year.
This is why some healthcare professionals' personal income is 100-150 thousand dollars less than some of their colleagues. We know, because we've seen it over and over and over.
And many of these business owners were very bright people with college degrees. But they were still missing some very important knowledge.
Disorganization aside, you can lose PLENTY of money and waste excellent income opportunities if you don't know how to effectively market and sell your services or products.
The One-Two Punch
You need a "one-two punch" to be successful in business. "One" is your core technology, your goods or your services that you can provide people. "Two" is the effective marketing and selling of your technology, goods, or services. Yet poor salesmanship costs companies thousands, millions, hundreds of millions of dollars a year, depending on their size.
So does weak marketing. In fact, it probably costs even more because sales opportunities that should have materialized, don't. So there are fewer selling situations to begin with.
Both sales and marketing require some knowledge and expertise. Again, it's simply not enough to just be good at your core business or technology or the service you provide. You must be good - really good - at marketing and sales if you want to prosper and hit a home run with your business.
This is not something you can ignore. Well.... you can, but only if you're an ostrich and like to bury your head in the sand. Yet sales and marketing are often the weakest areas of a business or enterprise. Weird when you really think about it! And plain silly.
Now, this often occurs because business owners don't want to spend the time and money to get properly trained themselves, or train their employees,(a classic case of tripping over nickels on your way to dollars).... or because they aren't even aware that their business is woefully lacking in sales and marketing skills.
They don't have anything to compare it to, so they just don't know what they're missing out on. (Presumably, if they did, they would do something to fix it.)
But often they just don't realize the difference it would make to their business to have someone who truly knows what they are doing in these two crucial areas.
We've seen specific instances (many of them), in small- to medium-size businesses, where replacing a fumbling sales person with someone who really knew what they were doing meant the difference in thousands and thousands of dollars in income and profit.
Look, if you sell or market anything: merchandise, clothing, used goods, health care, consulting, web sites, real estate, insurance, legal services, you need to know what you're doing if you expect to maximize your potential. Otherwise, you will leave money on the table. Fact.
Technical people are notorious for not selling their services effectively. Many of these folks are literally geniuses at their core technology... but can only barely market or sell their services. Sad, but true.
In a way, it's quite understandable. They've often spent years perfecting their core knowledge or technology... only to find themselves in an uncomfortable situation where they have to get out market and sell that knowledge or skills if they want to put food on the table. They haven't had the time or opportunity in many cases to learn how to do that properly. It's an entirely new area for them.
Many healthcare providers and other professionals are in the same boat. They find it demeaning to have to "sell" their services. But that's usually because no one has shown them how to do it properly so that it fits their particular circumstances or situation. There is definitely a way to go about this without coming off like a snake oil "salesman." But it requires some very specific knowledge and training.
If you need to learn more about the fascinating subjects of sales or marketing, you should contact us. We offer custom-tailored training in sales and marketing for both individuals and groups, to fit any situation.
Meanwhile, to at least start to get a handle on this, you should read up on everything to do with
these subjects that you can get your hands on... if you know you need to improve, and want to. If you'd like a reading list, you can email us and we'll give you some authors and book titles.
Or if you just want to cut to the chase and learn how to do it the right way, right now, once and for all, call us.
But whether you utilize our services or not: PUHLEEZE pay attention to these two critical aspects of your business: sales and marketing. You could be making the best widgets in the world, but if you can't market them properly, what's the point?