In our last episode, we discussed the fact that you can only really build and sustain a profit-focused business if you are consistently creating exceptional value for your customers.
What’s a good gauge for whether or not you’re doing that?
Ask yourself this: Are you being paid enough for the time you’re putting in?
The question “are you being paid enough for the time you’re putting into your business” may sound funny, or perhaps strange, particularly to an employee, because many employees just assume that most business owners are overpaid, right?
If you listen to what’s said in the media about people who own businesses, you will get the impression that we’re all greedy pigs, hopelessly overpaid. But in small businesses particularly, that is very often not the case.
Businesses don’t survive very long unless they’re actually able to help people.
In our industry, we help people create awareness, we help them with their promotions, we help them get attention and attract customers.
Obviously we want to sell them our products, but the result is that we help people — and hopefully make a living as a reward for providing that help.
When we’re starting out, in a lot of cases we’re not likely to be making that money much up front. That goes for commissioned salespeople, as well as for business owners. We may need to put money in upfront, and we will almost certainly have to put in a lot of time, energy and effort learning our craft before we can get things to where they ultimately need to be.
In the early stages, small businesses owners in particular are constantly reinvesting in the business and often not getting paid.
Sometimes we have to be reminded to pay ourselves. “Pay yourself first!” You’ve heard that, right? But we don’t always feel like we can do it.
So asking yourself the question, “Are you being paid enough for your hours and effort?” is really important.
When you look at these two things, the hours you’re putting in and the effort you’re putting in and then you compare that with the compensation you’re receiving, it’s pretty straightforward.
Either you are or you’re not.
If you think about the hours you put in prospecting people, marketing to people, getting in front of them, having meetings, getting details, writing an order, placing the order with the supplier, getting everything done, following up after the order… If you add up the time and then divide the commission you’re receiving by the number of hours you put in to it, you might discover that the kid who served you lunch at McDonald’s today was actually making more on an hourly basis than you were.
That’s why we have to be extremely careful about where we’re investing our time and energy. If you think about it from the standpoint of where are you now, versus where do you want to be, that’s probably a good start.
Then the question becomes how do I get there? Am I going to do it through my own personal sales efforts or by hiring others? And either way, what are the efforts I’m going to have to engage in to make that happen?
Most of us have a pretty good idea of what it is that we have to do, but sometimes we’re not completely clear about how we need to do it.
For example, we all know we have to do prospecting, we all know we have to make presentations, we all know we need to follow up. But then the question becomes “how am I going to go about doing all those things?”
Will I make cold calls? Will I do in-person canvassing? Will I use the process taught in the Top Secrets of Customer Acquisition Program?
If you’re smart, you will!
But there are a lot of different ways to prospect, some great, some terrible and some in between. But you have to make those decisions. You have to test the things you’re doing, determine what’s working and what’s not.
What’s working really well, what seems like it could work better with some additional effort? And what isn’t working at all?
In other words, what are the things that really have to change?
Zig Zigler used to say that selling is the highest paid hard work, and the lowest paid easy work there is. And back when he said that, I think it was probably true. But today, selling is more about being the highest paid “smart work” and the lowest paid “not so smart work” there is.
So if the time to money ratio isn’t currently working in your favor, maybe it’s time to ask yourself what changes are you willing to make?
If you’re new to the industry and need to get grounded in the essentials of promotional products sales, visit us online at topsecrets.com/gettingstarted. If you need to get clients now with no distractions and no excuses, visit topsecrets.com/tsca. Or, if you’re a smart, focused, independent distributor doing a reasonable volume of sales, join the AIM SmartEQP community today at SmartEQP.com that’s SmartEQP.com.