Risk Management

If you think hiring a professional is expensive, try hiring an amateur!  You may have seen or heard this quote. A close friend and colleague sent this to me recently, and I really laughed when I read it, because it is SO TRUE!  The focus of this latest blog installment is to point out the cost of amateur vs. professional talent, and that you may have some amateur talent in your very own backyard to ponder. Something that is costing you Growth, far more than you may realize.

The cost of poor work by people who claim to be professionals, is extreme and almost too large to calculate. Just take a moment and imagine the sales you don’t get because your salespeople mess up opportunities. That statement alone might not seem like a BIG PROBLEM. However, if you really take a close look at all of the possible ways amateur sales people mess up, its staggering!

Salespeople, who…

  • Don’t listen well to the customer.
  • Don’t ask the right questions.
  • Don’t ask for the business.
  • Don’t practice / prepare before the sales call.
  • Don’t communicate well.
  • Don’t articulate value to the customer
  • Don’t know how to negotiate.
  • Don’t handle objections.
  • Don’t make a follow-up call.
  • Don’t show up on time.
  • Don’t do what they say and say what they do.
  • Don’t have good time management skills.
  • Don’t have good written / verbal communication skills.
  • Don’t make daily, weekly or monthly plans.
  • Don’t take constructive criticism well.
  • Don’t put the customer first.
  • Don’t prioritize tasks well.
  • Annoy customers.

This list took me only 5 minutes to assemble and I see these characteristics all of the time and everywhere. Certainly, if I took the time to research everything a salesperson potentially does poorly this list would likely be twice as large. In fact if you make a list of all the behaviors salespeople do well vs. behaviors done poorly, sadly the negative amateur behaviors far outweigh the positive. Suddenly we realize that the cost of amateur performance is staggering by any standard.

As a sales growth / business development consultant, I help many companies overcome obstacles to growth. Some of these barriers to growth are organic and some unintentionally home grown. All businesses want to improve their sales and believe that they are the best at what they do. However, many companies struggle with increasing sales and continuing to command top dollar in the marketplace. I objectively analyze businesses, review growth over the last 5 years and look for patterns that they may have missed. I then look at the available opportunities for predictable growth, crafting strategies and ultimately help implement the best plans.

I have spent half my life in sales and made every mistake there is to make. Anyone can make these kind of mistakes once, but making them habitually makes you an amateur. Every company I have ever worked with has had these kind of problems. Every time you mess up a sales opportunity, you may likely never get that customer back. So in short, what are the costs of doing business with an amateur? It’s almost impossible to calculate.

Whatever the real cost of hiring an amateur is, one thing I know for sure is it’s far more than I will ever charge – real food for thought and action!