6 Steps to Financial Freedom for Businesses – Step 5September 28, 2023
A Simple and Duplicatable Sales Process
This is probably the number one thing that small business owners forget. The thought process at the dream stage of a business is rarely set in reality. A future small business owner might think, “I can open a business. Why? Because I’m really good at what I do, even if it’s only a hobby at the moment. I’m really good at baking, so I’ll just rent a building, buy an oven, and put out a sign that says “ABC Bakery,” and people are going to flood in.”
But there are dozens of other steps from that dream moment until they’re running a successful business. And one of the most important steps is the sales process.
A lot of time and attention needs to go into creating and implementing your sales process. How do you bring in new customers? Once they’re interested, how do you convert them from prospects to customers and then to repeat customers? So what is that process for your business? That process has to start by being simple.
Another mistake or oversight small businesses make is that they look at their sales staff and adjust the sales process based on each personality or ability. And each time a new team member is hired, the sales process is adjusted personally for them as well. The process is simple for some and more complicated for others, but never the same. And that can wreak havoc.
So why should it be simple? Well, simple is only half the formula, but let’s start there. Ask any HR manager, and they will tell you about the overwhelming effort needed to fill a very specialized position. They screen candidates based on where they’ve previously worked, the amount of experience, their technical expertise, and so on. Their ideal hire, however, is to hire a “normal” person who has ethics and drive and is willing to try hard at whatever task they’re given in the role they’ve applied for.
This is where a simple sales process comes into play. It removes the need to find a seasoned salesperson who has specific experience in your industry while you hope they don’t cause more trouble than they’re worth. The process is king here. If each person on the sales team adheres to the easy-to-follow process, then everyone will have met the sales goals. The elite, those with more in the tank when it comes to experience, charm, or drive, will simply make more money for the company and for themselves in commissions. But everyone will find success because the secret sauce is in the process. And the process was developed to answer all questions and objections a prospect might have. It is developed to give the prospect the information they want, the desire to buy our product, and the signature at the end of the presentation.
What About This Guy?
Let me give an example. Last year, we bought my speaking manager Krysta a new car as a year-end bonus. So when I broke the good news to her, I told her we’d go buy it together. I asked her what she had in mind, and she said she wanted a Toyota 4Runner. My first thought was that I was lucky to get away with that. She brings Ferrari-type value to our business, and she only wanted a Toyota. So we went down to the Toyota dealership. I advised her she shouldn’t pick a car off the lot but should order exactly what she wanted instead.
And so she did. And the salesman who handled the whole process was really good. In fact, he was so good I wanted to hire him for my heating and air conditioning company. He was very charismatic, very sales-oriented, basically a stud. So, I hired him on the spot. He didn’t know the first thing about heating and air conditioning though. But I had a secret that would make this decision more than okay.
I brought him in for one week. And because my sales system is simple and duplicatable, I can put it in front of a monkey and teach them to say the words and flip the pages. It’s a duplicatable process. I plugged him into the process, not the other way around. We put him out with the installers for a week so he’d at least know firsthand what a coil and a furnace were, and he’d get the hang of everything. Now he has one week of training under his belt but is otherwise brand new to the industry.
In his first month of selling, he sold $50,000 in product. The next month he sold over $100,000! How? Because our sales system is simple and duplicatable. You have to plug people into it. You have to be able to plug people in and let them go. One of the biggest mistakes small business owners make is they live and die on hiring the perfect people. They want to hire rock stars. Well, guess what? I’m here to tell you rockstars are one in a million, right? Just like real rockstars. You cannot build your business around perfect people because you will never have enough of them to scale your business in the future.
Getting your SALES right is about using a sales PROCESS to produce consistent sales results. Consistent sales results come from consistent sales activities. Random sales results come from random sales activities. Many sales professionals reject the idea of a process altogether, preferring to rely on their communication skills and ability to “wing it.” But when those salespeople leave your team, you’re stuck with needing to replace them with others who can “wing it,” and cross your fingers each time they go on a sales call because they’re not part of a well-designed and repeatable sales process.
You have to build your business, your operations, your customer service, and your sales process around a system that is easily implemented by anyone of average intelligence and an average amount of drive. When that happens, you’ll find you can meet all of your goals with that sales process. You can easily exceed your goals if the person you plug into your system also happens to be an amazing or gifted salesperson with a high drive.
The reality is that if we think we can build a business by finding rockstar salespeople whenever we need them, then we’re dreaming. It’s not going to happen because there are too many variables for people. What you do control, however, is the process. And when you control the process, you can hire reliable people, plug them in, and watch them go.