Small Business Selling
Small Business Selling
William A. Cohen (Author & Founder, Institute of Leader Arts) gives expert video advice on: How should salespeople in my company be paid? and more...
What is "personal selling"?
Personal selling just means that you are using sales people to sell as opposed to say selling by mail or through advertisements. Personal selling is where you are using sales people whether this might be you personally as an individual or not. That is what Colonel Sanders did. He went to many different chicken restaurants trying to persuade them to give him a percentage in exchange for his secret recipe. They say it took him two years before he made his first sale but he finally did it. Persistence is everything in being an entrepreneur. Personal selling just means selling face to face as opposed to selling through advertising mediums.
Should I personally sell my product?
With small business selling, if you've got the time to personally sell and I mean a lot of time, it depends. When you are first starting out you may have to personally sell. When Mary K ASH first started Mary Kay cosmetics she had a store front, with about eight employees. Well you know that she had to do a lot of personal selling herself, she was a great sales person and she went on selling not directly to customers necessarily, but through her sales people, she motivated and sold through them. So, you don't have to, in other words, some people say "well I am not a good sales person, I don't want to get involved with this kind of stuff." O.K., you can hire people that will represent you and do this kind of thing for you. This doesn't necessarily make it easier, you can't just feel "now I don't have to worry about that”, it means “I don't want to get involved with this myself" as you can find other people that will want to do this business selling.
What does a "salesperson" do?
They're different types of sales people. Some sales people are not supposed to make the final sale, they're called "missionary" sales people. They're supposed go out and get the customer interested, find out more about what the customer wants to know. Over a period of time the sales made may not be necessarily closed by the original salesperson. Other sales people are simply supposed to maintain. In fact a very important job for a lot of sales people is to make sure that the customer is serviced correctly after that customer makes the purchase. It's especially true in business to business, where the person buys a set, a computer system and everything, you want to make sure they're satisfied. And, there's just a variety of different tests that may be associated with selling, but the basic thing to get back to again, in some fashion,is to sell.
How should salespeople in my company be paid?
Theres too many different answers for that. It depends on the type of salesperson. For example, a salesperson in the aerospace industry for let's say boeing they sell airliners for say 5 billion dollars per copy, they are not paid by the airplane. They are compensated at the level of a salary, you can combine salary and bonus. you can make it strictly on number of things sold. The other type of sales to motivate them, to compensate them best for every item that they sell, they get a percentage of that. So theres 1,000 different ways to do it, I think that you consider what you are trying to do, and what the product is. By the way there are some legal restrictions, for example in the education business. I mentioned in an earlier segment about companies dealing online where they advertise over the internet and someone calls to talk to a representative. Now in our state, these representatives are prohibited from being renumerated by the number of closes they make, the number of students they bring in. That is against the law. So it all depends there are a lot of different laws, that you have to be concerned with, that they restrict you. For the most part this isn't true, it is true in education though and you should be careful of that.