Watch & learn

After almost 2 decades as a professional salesman I have solicited, sold to, advised, partnered, and observed tens of thousands of businesses. Ranging from the one-man band to multi-national corporations. You could say I have learned a lot. I have seen and met great people in great companies along the way. Conversely, I have met some very unsavory and down right stupid people in mediocre companies that will always suffer the worse for it. Don’t get me wrong, in most instances these are just observations. My opinions of these people and organizations are rarely formed based on whether or not they bought from me.

Here are 10 lessons that I have learned from the best and the worst in business.

1. There are only 3 real elements to any business. Customers, employees, and the product or service they sell. If any one of those fail, the whole operation can and will fail. One of the smartest and most successful businessman I have ever known once told me that. That same man also happens to be my brother-in-law.

2. Look at your people and infrastructure as investments, not costs.

3. Doing what is best for the customer is ALMOST always in your best interest.

4. Everyone makes mistakes. It is just how you respond to them and rectify them.

5. Hiring and firing will always cost more then just paying a little bit more to retain good people.

6. Use your resources. You are not in school any more. It is not cheating to use any and all resources at your disposal. One of the best sales managers I ever worked for told me that when I was a very young salesman. It has guided me out of many tough challenges in my career and life.

7. The people behind your brand are more important then your brand itself.

8. Never place someone in charge of others that were once their peers.

9. If you are not happy where you are, do something about it.

10. No matter what the situation, just be nice.

I am sure as I move into the next phases of my professional life I will learn even more. Stay tuned.

Good Luck and Good Selling!