On occasion I select an author then immerse myself in the tranquility of fiction. Last week I chose Louis L ’Amour and galloped through 542 pages of frontier stories from the wild- west.Inevitably the hero rides in on a trusty steed with six guns blazing and saves the day! We love these stories and the simplistic solution where the good guys always wins.
The other day I met with a potential client who needed to increase top line revenue fast. He related the following story.
The management team determined the answer was securing an experienced sales professional “hired gun” to come in and save the day. They went to the wanted posters, AKA “social media” to find the talent they were looking for. Awed by the resume, one reference and the LinkedIn self-aggrandizement (500+ Contacts), the hero was hired, paid extremely well, and set free to deliver the goods!
The hired “sales slinger” was a figment of his own imagination and within 6 months he was unceremoniously let out to pasture and the search for the new hero started all over again.
Unfortunately, the similarity to the Louis L’ Amour western myth is not an exaggeration and is repeated at high noon every day in big and small businesses around the country.
Finding a sales professional or for that matter a sales manager to cure all is a very seductive temptation. The reality is very few if any of Mr. L’ Amour’s heroes actually ever existed. And very few sales saviors actually have the ability to single handedly turn a sales organization around.
The answer to improving top line performance is not all that complicated, but a tad more comprehensive then the “hired gun” strategy:
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