Steve Jobs was the greatest salesman of all time.
Notice: I said salesman, not product developer.
Sure, Apple developed amazing products, but he also crafted an engaging story around his vision.
He sold dreams. He sold the future. And he knew how to talk to his audience.
Steve was sales-focused, meaning he connected with his customers and their needs.
At its core, Apple is a sales company that also has great products.
Guess what: your company is a sales company too.
The difference is what you’re selling, to be frank, is probably nothing new.
Sure, your service might have a unique solution to the problem you solve, but more than likely, your competitors are providing something similar.
To cut through the noise in your market, you need to be sales-focused and put systems in place to consistently generate revenue, regardless of what type of company you are.
Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why you need to be a sales company.
You Alone are Not a Company
Jay-Z is a business, “man” - you, my friend, are not.
Real companies have teams and processes that drive sales regardless of who is on the team.
Let me ask you...
Could you pass the “if I get hit by a bus” test?
Meaning, would your company live beyond you if you were not around?
Would someone else be able to come in and sell your product?
I can hear some of you saying, “Well Damian, I’ve almost completely automated my sales so the company would be sitting pretty.”
You’re telling me your sales funnels are so dialed in you could leave for a month and people would keep buying?
Or you might say, “I have a strong referral network which drives most of my sales and that will just keep building.”
News flash: referrals only go so far.
Referrals will help you scale up to a point, but they’re not predictable or repeatable.
Moreover, most of your referrals are within a similar niche and network. To truly scale at a high level, you need to be able to sell outside your network.
With referrals, people are more so buying “you” than they are your product. Your "sales process" is just relying on your reputation. And when sales start drying up, you’re the one that has to reach out and ask for more intros.
To scale beyond yourself, you need to move beyond referrals.
Build a sales team. Not just for revenue, but because you’re not a real business until someone can come in and sell your product to someone else.
Until then, you’re self-employed, not running a company.
There is a difference.
There is a Gap Between Education and the Sale
A key point to remember is that a sale is a transaction.
No one’s going to pay you if you don’t ask them to.
Many people seem to think “If I keep creating content, then people are going to give me their money. I'm just going to talk about their problem and educate them about solutions a while, and if I do that enough, people will just show up and push my ‘buy now’ button.”
People don’t just push the ‘buy now’ button on a $1K+ service without speaking to an expert about the product. They need details, explanation, and confirmation that your services can meet their unique needs.
A one-size-fits-all landing page is not enough to persuade a customer to buy.
For this reason, many people think content marketing is a waste of their time.
They educate, educate, educate, but don’t have a real call to action.
The sales process ends there.
They don’t ask their customers to get on the phone because they don’t actually want to talk to people. That baffles me.
Think about it...
If we are talking four figures and above for a service, there has to be a sales call to get them engaged, answer their questions, and build trust. You have to establish a relationship to give yourself a chance at closing the deal.
You are not in the Product Business, you are in the Customer Business.
I’m appalled at the number of people who think their product will sell itself.
Building great products is awesome, but they only succeed if the person behind them is sales-focused.
Many equate a successful product with a successful company.
It’s not true.
Hell, Apple invented the personal computer and they were nearly bankrupt until they brought Jobs back to guide them.
A successful company is good at explaining why their vision exists and how to tell their story. They also have a repeatable sales process that connects their story with the customer's concerns.
You product might even be mediocre compared to your competitors, but if you can empathize with your customers and their issues, you gain a steep advantage.
Furthermore, you might have a super helpful product, but that doesn’t mean your customers see it the same way you do. Your product might require users to change their habits and behaviors around how they normally do things. And changing behavior is hard, even if the new behavior is better.
You need to be customer-focused so you can address these learning curves and establish a conversation around how your product actually addresses their needs.
As Steve Jobs said, “Technology is nothing. What’s important is that you have faith in people, that they’re basically good and smart, and if you give them tools, they’ll do wonderful things with them.”
For some of you, talking with your customers might make you uncomfortable.
My response: Grow the hell up.
Sales is hard work. Get over it and take control of your sales process.
Sales is not a Dirty Word
People need to stop talking trash about sales.
Time and time again I see people attribute a negative connotation to “sales.”
People try to avoid it and hope they can build a business without getting down into the trenches.
Sales is not a separate part of your business, it is your business.
You don’t earn money without a transaction, and a sale is that transaction.
The bad taste people have in their mouths about sales comes from a lack of understanding about effective sales systems.
They've never actually had a working sales process, and then they turn around and wonder why sales is so intimidating.
You need to nurture your sales process and accept that it's the driving force behind your business.
If you are ready to embrace the fact that you are a sales company and build a sales process designed for your business, Salesability is here to guide you.