Given Americans love affair with boxing, pro-wrestling and now the UFC I thought it was time to host my very own small biz smackdown.
That’s right. It’s time for the first ever…
Profit Cage Match!
If you’ve been in business longer than 5 minutes you know this epic battle never ends.
Think about it. Sales always wants lower prices, higher commmissions and better products. Finance always wants higher margins, lower risk, and streamlined products. These desires are in direct conflict with each other.
This is a GOOD thing
No I haven’t suffered a recent blow to my head.
The natural tension between sales and finance helps optimize price and profit, while acting as a catalyst for continuous improvement.
If there is absolutely no friction between finance and sales then you either have poor sales or an underpriced product. Either way I doubt you’ll be in business for long.
Many of you are solopreneurs and may wonder, does this really affect me? Yes!
So I’m supposed to fight myself?!
Nope, we’re going to get you a stunt double.
All of us have natural tendencies and inherent abilities. Take a minute to think about how you handled the pricing for your last sale. Which thought was stuck in your head?
“Making this sale is huge. If we just drop the price…”
“I can see this becoming a long term client. A reliable source of income…”
If the first sounds like you, then you need Finance Stunt Double. If the second refrain was running through your head you need a Sales Stand In.
Where do I find my stunt double?
Great question! Clearly posting on Craigslist or calling up your local temp agency is not going to be effective. (Although the temp agencies response may provide a few laughs.)
The good news is that you probably already know this person. Think about your extended network of business associates and colleagues. Chances are within that group is someone who is also a solo or micro business, and needs the other type of stand in.
Start speaking with your direct connections. Share your need and the benefits the other person will receive. Ask them for ideas on who to contact. The more specific you can be, the better your chances of getting a practical lead.
Also keep your eyes open on social media. If someone in your twitter stream, or during a chat expresses frustration with sales / finance reach out to them. It may feel a little weird at first, however you are offering a win win. Done politely and professionally the worst you will hear is no thanks. I’ve personally done this more than once with fantastic results.
When the Bell Rings
You’ve got your punching bag partner, now what?
I recommend having regularly scheduled calls or even face to face meetings if you live in the same city. They don’t have to be often, even once a month should be enough.
Plan to discuss past and pending decisions around pricing and sales efforts. While you are there to represent “the other side”, don’t be offended if your partner does not always follow your advice. The idea is to get each other thinking through all sides of the issue before reaching a decision.
Are you happy to see my cage match is more like those faux sumo wrestling events, with big padded costumes?
Do you have a stunt double? How do you find the balance in your business? Is there a specific burning issue you have in the struggle between sales and finance?