The Strategic Business Blog

Increase Sales: How Are Your Sales People Defining a Sale?

Posted by Terry McGill

When considering how to increase sales, the term “SALE” may be interpreted different ways by different sales people. Do your sales people have the same values and attitude behind a sale that you do? Do they go about achieving sales in the way you want them to? How are they defining a sale?

Increase Sales - Defining a Sale The dictionary definition of a sale is “an exchange of goods or services for an amount of money or equivalent.”

As I travel around the country, one of the common themes that permeate a business owner’s mind is that they are not pleased with their sales people and/or sales levels. Many times, I listen to them complain or even blame the very people they have hired to be sales people and make sales. The objective of having sales people is for those sales people to make sales, is it not?

Sometimes, after you have drilled down a bit, it becomes apparent that not all sales people have the same definition of a sale and therefore may not be producing the best results with their endeavors. Let’s review a definition that I have come up with by combining some of the different ideas that may be floating around regarding a sale. It does not line up exactly with the dictionary version.

This is the version that I find all too often in the marketplace:

S – Say anything you need to accomplish the transaction.

A – Admit nothing that you said if questioned.

L – Lie about everything.

E – Expect to be paid.

As you can imagine, this may not be the best definition of a sale for a small business owner. As an owner, you may want to ask yourself if you have the best processes and procedures in place and also ask if you have the right people representing your company in the marketplace or are they potentially destroying your brand and reputation.

The responsibility always falls on the shoulders of the business owner(s) to determine the best directions for the sales and sales people. Define the parameters of your markets and brand to avoid allowing the wrong definitions to take over. The business owner(s) should define what a sale means in their company and what will be tolerated in order to achieve a sale.

In some of the successful companies I have visited, the definition looks more like the following:

S – Secure trust & credibility with the client or customer.

A – Assist the client or customer in getting what they want.

L – Leave no unanswered questions with the client or customer.

E – Expect to be compensated for positive results. 

The mistake for most business owners is assuming that everyone is on the same page and that everyone has the same set of values or definitions. That is usually not the case. As a small business owner, don’t be hesitant to define the role of your sales people and how they are to acquire sales. Every company wants and needs sales and revenue to survive. However, don’t assume that all the sales are equal. They may or may not be, depending on the attitudes and definitions of the people involved with those sales. In this difficult economy and with the rate at which information spreads on the internet, your company's brand, perception of your brand and credibility are extremely important. As your company attempts to increase sales, don’t allow the wrong values and definitions to bring you down.



Terry McGill is a small business consultant and managing partner of Strategic Business Directs.

Topics: Defining a Sale, increase sales