During my years of working directly with small businesses, talking with entrepreneurs day in and day out, participating in forums and seminars, and joining small business and entrepreneur’s associations, it has become increasingly apparent to me how important it is for the business owner to play an integral part in the sales function of their business. In a recent survey with more than 800 small business owners around the globe, a recurring pattern emerged. The companies whose owners were highly involved in sales activity had almost twice the growth of those where the owners were not as involved.
The more information I get, the more clear it becomes that this is a key element to the success of small businesses. I remember several years ago I listened to a radio interview with the CEO of a big bank, and he said that part of the bank’s success comes from having a President and Chairman of the Board who are very active in selling big contracts, and are always promoting the bank’s services.
So it’s clear that one characteristic an entrepreneur/small business owner must possess is to be very active in both sales and marketing. This does not mean that the entrepreneur should not develop a sales system that a sales team can follow in a standardized fashion. This type of system is critical if any small business owner wants to have a business that doesn’t depend on him. But it is also very important that the small business owner stays involved in sales all the time. As the company evolves and develops standardization, then the role of the owner can shift towards marketing, but either way, the involvement of the business owner in sales and marketing activities seems to be critical.
So even if you don’t like sales or marketing, I suggest you start learning about it and get good at it – it could double your company’s growth rate!