Tough Questions

At times in our businesses we have to address difficult questions to come to the conclusions we require.  In this podcast, business growth expert David Blaise asks two tough questions and provides a scary insight.

Today I have a couple of uncomfortable questions and a scary insight for you.

The questions might make you cringe, but I hope the insight will cause you to stop and really think about the way you do business. But perhaps most importantly, I hope it will cause you to take action today.

First, take a moment and really focus in on the answer to the questions I’m about to ask you.

Imagine we’re sitting face to face and consider the real, true, honest answers to these questions. Not the answers that you’d like to be able to give.

Ready? Here’s the first question:

To Whom Will You Sell Something Today?

This is a really important question, and please notice that I’m not asking you about the people you intend to approach. I’m not asking about the people you plan to put into your pipeline. I’m not asking about your prospecting list. I’m asking about the people to whom you actually plan to sell something today.

Do you have a crystal clear idea of everyone who is likely to buy from you today? Are there such people? Are there enough of them? And what is your level of certainty that one or more of them will actually close today?

Take a moment and answer that question for yourself right now.

Do I know who’s likely to buy something — from me — today?

Have the answer? OK, then let’s move on to the second question, which directly impacts the first.

The second question is:

Do You Currently Have a Profit Model in Place that Generates Leads and Converts Prospects into Clients Consistently in Your Business?

In that question, the key words are “in place” and “consistently.” Because if you don’t have it in place, it won’t do you any good and if it doesn’t work consistently, then the system you have in place is flawed and in need of repair or replacement.

Answer that question for yourself now.

OK, how did you do? If the answer to that question is yes, then you probably DO have a very good idea of who is likely to buy from you today and the questions I asked won’t make you feel uncomfortable at all.

But if the answer is no, then you might not have a clue who’s likely to buy something from you today and your lack of an answer is bound to make you feel at least a bit uncomfortable — particularly if getting to consistent sales is the goal.

Now the scary insight:

Most Distributors Do Not Have a Fully Functional Profit Model

I’ve been operating in this industry since 1988 and I’ve been conducting training at all the major industry tradeshows since 2001. I’ve met a lot of people and I’ve worked with a lot of people, so I don’t make that statement lightly. In fact, many distributors don’t even have a PARTIALLY functional profit model in place.

This is true of many salespeople in our industry, but it’s also true of many distributor businesses, both large and small.

In some respects promotional products sales is like a “Bizarro World” in which people start selling (or even create an entire business) without bothering to first put a functional profit model in place. They just start talking to people, having conversations and trying to sell stuff. And while that can sometimes work (or at least lead to something good,) it is not the foundation for a solid business or sales career. It’s essentially a series of random conversations, punctuated by the occasional sale when all the stars happen to align.

It’s Feast and Famine, Often Offering Too Little Feast and Way Too Much Famine

Some distributors attempt to grow by simply adding more salespeople to the mix, but without a functional profit model, adding more people just expands the chaos! You have one person who’s not selling particularly well training another person to not sell particularly well and on and on and on!

Regardless of whether you plan to grow your sales and profits through your own personal sales efforts or by hiring a sales team, you need to have a fully functional profit model in place before you can ever hope to grow your business as successfully as possible. Any sales that you may be doing now without one are just the tip of the iceberg.

So let’s get back to that face to face discussion we were talking about earlier.

If you don’t know who you’ll be selling to today… if you don’t have a crystal clear idea of everyone or even anyone who is likely to buy from you today… if you’re not sure that there are such people, or if you already know that there are not enough of them, then I encourage you to join our community of Top Secrets trained industry professionals. Increase your sales, improve your profit margins and grow your business. This is what we do, all day, every day. We help promotional products distributors sell more and be more successful.

So I encourage you to get full details and start a full-year, risk-free trial of our Top Secrets of Customer Acquisition system by visiting That’s If you have questions, feel free to give us a call, toll-free at 1-800-494-2721 or 610-685-9700.

Or, if you’re a smart, focused independent distributor already doing a reasonable volume of sales and looking to take your profits to the next level, visit That’s

    2 replies to "Two Tough Questions… and a Scary Insight!"

    • Laurie Buchbinder

      Hi David: The best thing I did was go vertical. Find an industry or association that needs what I sell. Once I did this and made myself very visible and got to know potential customers, I had more contacts that were warm than I had time for. So yes, I do know who I am going to sell and that is my profit model. It has worked very well for me. I also sponsor some of their networking events and give to their charities and do anything I can to make myself visible. If their is a 50/50 and I win it–I give it all back to the association. My motto is to give back and help my customers as much as I can be getting them new customers.

      Also, one thing that has really helped me is AIM.

      • David Blaise

        Hi Laurie, your story is a great example of how focusing on the right things creates tremendous results. Many distributors never get to the point where they have more contacts than they have time for. This allows you to be a lot more selective in choosing the clients you want and being able to “pass” on those you don’t. Congratulations, you’re obviously doing a lot of things right! I’m really glad to hear that your participation in AIM SmartEQP has helped!

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