This article first appeared on September 19th, 2011.
Company founders of all sizes struggle with a very important question – how much should you get involved in the sales process?
Most entrepreneurs (although not all) are natural salespeople. They are passionate about their company, they know the nitty gritty details of their product and they are in a position to respond to customer needs quickly and efficiently.
But making yourself a permenant part of the sales process can be dangerous, because you end up working on one part of the business, rather than all of it.
I think there’s a way around this though – a way you can have your cake and eat it too.
I call it the founder card. When my sales team is approaching a prospective client, they play the founder card and get me involved in meetings when they need a bit of help closing the deal, or explaining the philosophy of the business. This will usually be some way into the sales process, well after we know it’s a live prospect.
I also play the founder card with existing clients. I make sure I go on a sales visit to our existing clients once a year and also personally call them once a year to check in. If you’ve got lots of clients, just do this for the big ones. If you’ve got few clients, be a bit more regular in your visits and calls.
Get it done – today!