In the summer of 1993 a young man at the bottom pole of a company was supporting a young family with two toddlers. When he got back from a holiday at the coast, he was told by the human resources manager that he would be retrenched together with 100 fellow employees.
The CEO who was trying to make a name for himself among investors put the knife into his head office specialist function employees. Blood flowed every where. Employees who had been there for many years were booted out. Only the HR manager who had worked with this CEO at a previous company survived the massacre.
Despite all his brutal efforts, this CEO never raised the share price of the company, was only known for his ruthless brutality and eventually got himself into trouble and had to resign in disgrace. He’s never done anything else and his face and name have vanished from the business world. All he has is a shameful legacy.
In those dark, terrifying days I realised that I had been concentrating so much on my functional expertise and trying to build up experience in it, that I had neglected the most important real-world skill – selling. I don’t know if it was my fisherman’s luck or what, but I met a vetran life insurance salesman who had cut his teeth selling encyclopaedias door to door. Afraid of no-one and nothing, this vetran took me onto the streets, forcing me to knock on doors and get my experience in door-to-door and cold call selling.
From these humble beginnings on cold and lonely streets I learned to sell. I went on to sell commodity products to the general trade, wholesalers and the industrial market. I had to put my previous career on hold for a couple years while I sold to bring home the bacon to support a young family. These were the days when I realised many things including the need to come up with something of your own that can be dependable, something you can rely on and trust to bring in an income. This was the time that I came up with new business ideas and started small ventures, some of which failed miserably and others became the seeds for new ventures.
But no matter what small business venture I started all required selling. If you see or hear someone talk about “selling without selling” be careful because you’re about to be sold a crock of nonsense. Fundamentals to effective selling exist. You need to know them, practice, rehearse and put them into action if you want to sell. I have taught this is essential or life skill to others with outstanding results.
If you have a start-up idea or are trying to get your small business off the ground, you may want to put your name down for my forthcoming book “Breakthrough Ideas” which shows you how to come up with a viable business idea and teaches you the basics of selling learnt in the real world, knocking on doors, cold calling prospecting and most importantly closing the sale. A limited number of copies will be available so if you don’t want to miss this opportunity, make sure you get your name to me.