As entrepreneurs, should we be focus our energy on the parts of the business we enjoy and have a natural affinity with, or should we develop the areas we struggle with?
I am the world’s worst sales person and for a long time I felt this was a weakness I had to overcome in order to be a successful magazine publisher. After all, isn’t that what being an entrepreneur is all about – closing the deal, getting top dollar, coming out on top?
But no matter how many books on sales I read or seminars I attended, I was never going to love the sales process, and without passion, I was never going to master it.
What I finally realised was that my responsibility to the business was to employ good sales people, and learn enough about how to motivate them, monitor them and (most challenging of all) manage them, to ensure they met their targets.
The interesting thing was that once I accepted this, I realised that my concern about my lack of sales ability was actually ego based. And once I understood this I also realised that I did, in fact, sell the business every day.
Every time I gave a radio interview or a speech, or met with a high profile entrepreneur or government minister, I was selling the magazine in a way that was far more important than flogging pages of advertising. I was establishing the brand as no one else could and that was undoubtedly the best use of my time. And guess what else? I was having fun.
Clare Loewenthal has lived and breathed small business for two decades since launching Dynamic Small Business magazine, which grew to become Australia’s largest small business publication. Clare is now communicating with entrepreneurs online through the Dynamic Small Business Network (DSBN)..