Recently I’ve had several Consultants, Business Coaches and Business Advisers reach out to me here on Linkedin. Each stated that we could perhaps mutually benefit from one another. I accepted their request and then sent a message asking to meet by phone and learn more about each others business. In a couple of instances, I didn’t get a chance to immediately respond but planned on doing so at my first opportunity. Almost all of these folks sent me the same message. That message contained the words, “I am going to Improve Your Sales by 30%.”
No effort to get to know me or my business. None of these people knew where my clients came from, none of these people knew if my practice was accepting new clients, had reached its capacity or wanted to increase my sales. Yet each and every one of them made the exact same claim, “I am Going to Improve Your Sales By 30%.”
Now anyone who knows me has been a client of mine or attended one of my workshops knows that I do not believe that more sales mean more profit. Shoot, I once had a client who lost 2 dollars on every dollar in sales. We fixed that after his Business Coach told him to sell more to fix the problem; he quickly realized that more sales weren’t the solution.
It was obvious to me that some of these individuals making that promise of increasing my sales attended a recent free workshop on how someone could grow a business by inundating Linkedin Connections with private messages promising to increase a prospect’s business by 30%. I attended that free workshop myself and saw it for the hype it was. Apparently, others did not. In fact, I still have the notes I took from that free session, offering to sell you more in order to help you help others grow their business by 30%, and that is exactly what it tells them to do. Send out that blast and here is the language to use.
Yes, I too can help you grow your sales by 30%. I won’t promote that because I don’t believe it is a healthy growth rate. I don’t believe it is the right thing to do unless I know that your production or service providing can manage that increase. That your customer service and retention can manage that increase and that the increase will not cause you more waste and error which increases your cost.
Cleverly and deceptively I could tell you that, once we increased your sales 30%, that I have done what I said I was going to do…and I did do that. However, is your business more profitable? Can you sustain what the increase gave you? Are you working fewer hours or more hours? Are your customers still experiencing the high quality and great customer service they had before you increased your sales by 30%? Every one of those issues arrives on your desk or workbench when you increase your sales by 30%.
To successfully grow a business takes time. To successfully grow and sustain a business takes time. It isn’t done simply by selling more. It is done by balancing everything your business does to protect the brand you created when you started the business. High-quality product or service, high-quality customer service, a customer retention rate of about 85% and a steady 15%-20% annual growth in sales. All of those things done together make your business successful.
To do all of that it means someone must get into your business with you. They must walk the floors, talk to your employees, yes look at your financial reports, and understand exactly what you are doing. That cannot be done only by a phone call or a Webex or skype session. It must be done the old-fashioned way, in the trenches getting dirty alongside you and your workforce.
So when someone connects with you for mutual benefit and the very next thing you hear from them is a sales pitch do what I do, remove them from your connections. They aren’t interested in anything about you. They simply want your money and access to your connections so they can solicit them too.