The Secret to Selling More

The secret to selling more isn’t where you’ve been looking—if it was, you’ve have found it already!

            But where is it?  To answer that question, let’s go back in time.  Long, long ago…in the 50s…when manufacturing was King, management was concerned with making  “good” stuff.  When the stuff coming off the manufacturing line was “bad”, top management went to the person running manufacturing and beat them up.  “Make better stuff!”, they screamed at the hapless manufacturing manager.  But lo, often the stuff never improved. 

            It never occurred to top management then that the reason that their stuff was coming off the manufacturing line “bad” didn’t lie in the manufacturing function at all!  It never occurred to them that maybe the problem was in design.  Maybe the stuff was never designed in a manufacturable way!

            Fast forward to…now.  Now your sales are down, and most managements are beating up their sales managers over it.  “Sell more stuff!”, they’re screaming!  Well, maybe the reason for insufficient sales isn’t in the sales area at all.  Maybe it’s in the marketing area.  Maybe Marketing has done a poor job of “designing” your stuff to be sold.  Maybe they’ve specified the wrong features, or targeted the wrong audience, or come up with the wrong positioning, or are using the wrong channel, or have “mis-specified” any number of other attributes of your stuff. 

            As design is to manufacturing, marketing is to sales. 

            Now’s the time to take a hard look whether your stuff is matched with the needs of the customers that you are uniquely qualified.  That is, whether your “what” (the stuff you make) is aligned with your “who” (the customers you are in a position to serve.)  A mis-alignment there is not something that can be solved by selling harder—you must address the root cause.  Yet the leverage of a proper alignment between you “who” and your “what” is enormous.  Then selling is easy! 

Ralph

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