Hello Aunty B,
We run a services business. Our business makes an OK profit and ambles along with regular but slow growth. The problem is that I know we have much more potential.
My background, skills and motivation are not sales focused, so I struggle with the sales side of the business. Despite having a good sales consultant, we still seem to be on the treadmill of hire-train-lose sales staff, who do a mediocre job at best.
Is it reasonable of me to expect to find a fired-up, motivated and successful sales manager to drive this side of the business?
My experienced friends all tell me that the owner must be the best sales person and I can’t palm it off. But being shy and introverted I’m rubbish at sales and don’t want to pretend that I’m something I’m not.
There is no getting around it. You could sell more if you were out there selling. Now I can hear the Michael Gerber “work on the business, not in the business” fan club gearing up with howls of protest, so I will finish quickly.
You must isolate what your problem is. You say you are shy and introverted and rubbish at sales.
Do you hate actually prospecting? Getting the leads? If so, you could get an agency to set up the calls. You then go out on the big sales calls and get a junior sales person to do the smaller calls.
However if you hate the face-to-face selling then you could be taught a process to deal with that.
If you intend to do no sales, that’s OK.
But what your friends are really saying is you must be very involved in the sales process. You can’t palm that off.
You must have a clear sales plan. You must work on innovating your sales offer so it is attractive and simple. You must really know who your profitable prospects are and how you should reach them (phone or in person).
A lot of selling fails because the sales staff have no clear idea of who to call.
Of course you should be able to find a fired-up, motivated and successful sales manager. However they mat be able to build a team, but they are often not your best sales people. Elite sales staff love to sell and often are poor managers.
I suggest you call in a consultant. Give Sue Barrett from Barrett Consulting a call. She is one of our bloggists and will give you some sound advice.
Your Aunty B