I am a great believer in the old adage that “nothing happens until somebody sells something”. Once the strategic planning has all been completed, the business plan is nailed down and the proper marketing initiatives have been implemented, the final results are always going to be realized through sales.
Sales are always based on relationships. Sometimes, as is the case in a retail situation, the relationship must be developed very quickly and is over in an instant. Other times with a more sophisticated sales cycle, the relationships with key centers of influence are developed over long periods of time and must stand the test of time. Regardless of the time frame it is imperative that your sales people understand that in all cases their success will be based on their ability to develop and maintain relationships.
Relationships in business are the same as they are in any other area of life. The quality of a relationship is always based on a few simple character traits; trust, honor and integrity. Therefore, to be successful, your people and your company must demonstrate these traits in everything they do. I spoke about marketing earlier this week and this is the most critical point where marketing and sales cross paths. Your sales initiatives must be congruent with your marketing messages. If a product is being marketed as a highly value added, top shelf product, but the sales strategies employed appear to be slick and high pressured, this is going to scream “lack of integrity” to your customers. In the same manner, a cost leadership strategy can not be delivered with a high end polished sales strategy.
I am now going to wrap up this discussion with the same words I used for years at the end of almost every telephone discussion I had with the people in our organization; “Now let’s go sell something!”