Thursday, August 31, 2006

The Passion Of Sales......

I have always excelled in sales. Since I was a young kid, and partnered with my childhood friend, Ken Smith to form a residential window cleaning business......sales and marketing are fun and exciting challenges. (Ken has gone on to be a highly motivated and successful entreprenuer, he founded and operated a fly fishing guide service in Aspen Colorado)....

We both knew and understood the importance of our business was our service offering, (cleaning windows) but, we also knew and comprehended that, when a prospect called us and asked us to give them a quote on the windows in their homes, WE RARELY (if ever) lost a job.

The reason for this (not losing a opportunity in its initial stages, quote) was because we had fun, brought good energy, but we also had, "passion for window cleaning."

Sounds crazy?

Have you ever cleaned a storm window, that has not been cleaned in 10 years, on a 105 degree day?

20 windows per house, 2 storms per window, 3 houses per day.

We had fun, we got tons of referrals (because we asked) but looking back on our success and profit, in those summers of our youth - I can attribute our financial gain to one ingredient.


We took our jobs seriously. We took the time to explain our "magic cleaning potion" that rid windows of the weather burns that most glass gets burned with when on the exterior side.
(The potion was not magical, it was a high level of ammonia mixed with water)

Our special skweegees.

Our state of the art equipment, (not) but overall none of this sold Ken and I.

It was a combination of HOW we discussed these features and benefits with our prospects....and customers.


Fast forward to now.


20 years later.

I have used the same positive energy and passion, to build for myself a good life, but the one consistent theme during my post-working, window cleaning life was.........

"I have always brought my sales passion to SOMEONE ELSES company, and not my own business."

Until now.

Passion is a two way street. It can be beneficial, but it can also (and has) proven to be a destructive force in certain situations.

You see, with the passion I've described, I possess a strong EMOTIONAL trait. I sell with emotion.

I have managed people on emotion.

It does not work. Its conterproductive, and works in the short term, but as a business scales, the emotion and passion MUST be replaced with, operational efficiency, and organization.

Early on, I've surrounded myself with skilled operational people. My criteria for hiring my early employees has been to look for skills and personality traits, that I'm lacking in.

I read people well, and I can help communicate effectively. But, make no mistake - a world class company will be built by me on, FAR. MORE than instinct and emotion.

I'm focused on combining my Passion for my new venture, with hiring and empowering people who have skills and tools which I lack.

My passion has made me aware of my shortcomings in regards to business....

I will continue to use positive emotion, and passion to build, recruit, and sell - the company I've created.

Instead of window cleaning, its targeting technology.

I've replaced storm windows with "linux code."

I love it, and I'm PASSIONATE about it.

Sent from my BlackBerry wireless handheld.


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