“Nothing happens in business until something gets sold” – Thomas J. Watson
The CEO of IBM clearly understood that sales must come before everything else. Without sales, there is no need for service. Without sales, there is no need for anything for a business that lacks sales cannot survive. If you have a business that is currently struggling, have no fear. Take solace in the fact that an immediate increase in sales will have an immediate and positive impact on your prospects of immediate survival and ultimate success.
Do you as your company’s CEO have to be the best salesperson in your company? In a word, “No.” However, you do have to be the best at either finding and acquiring top sales talent or the best at finding a subordinate who can accomplish this necessary goal for you. If you lack sales skills as a CEO, heed the advice of Steel Magnate and in his time, the richest man in the world, Andrew Carnegie: “The secret of success lies not in doing your own work, but in recognizing the right man to do it.” Of course, today the secret of success lies not in doing your own work, but in recognizing the right man or woman to do it.
Sure, the words of Watson and Carnegie rang true in the previous century? Do they still hold true today? You can bet your bottom dollar that they do. If you are in business for yourself, you just may have to make that bet. As billionaire CEO, Mark Cuban is fond of saying on ABC’s Shark Tank, “Sales cures everything!” Mark has sold door-to-door and he advises aspiring entrepreneurs to do the same.
Sales bring companies the most important resource that every business needs, revenue. Revenue means cash and as we all know the axiom, Cash is King! The working capital that sales bring into a business funds everything else. This working capital not only pays today’s bills to allow a business to survive, it may be reinvested into growth so that the business may thrive.
Bottom-line, to achieve success in business a CEO should be a salesperson. When time is spent driving sales, time is well spent indeed.
Robert J. Smith, BBA, MBA, MFA, Ph.D., CLU, ChFC, LIC, RFC, RIA, AAMS, CCCC, CMP, CMPS