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Are You Valuable?

By Gregory Ferrett I had just finished my degree and been hired by Honeywell as a trainee sales rep. I arrived late to a sales meeting and felt thedaggers from my sales manager as I walked into the room. He stood up and said “Ferrett, I want you to convince everyone in the room you are valuable enough to be on the team.” I looked at the assembly of faces and thought ‘what is it that makes me valuable?’    I survived that day. However, this experience taught me a valuable lesson very early in my sales career. Every day I ask myself "What is the value I bring to the people around me?" Do people talk about me and my work in a positive way? Do people want me as a part of their team? Are people concerned at the thought of losing me to a competitor? Are my customers excited about referring me to their colleagues? I want my actions to scream ‘valuable’ without me needing to say it. As a salesperson or business owner this is where you want to be. Who do you deal with every day that helps build your business? Your suppliers Customers Colleagues Business partners Others in your industry The one thing that creates true economic and job security is the value you create for others. The Fundamentals of Sales Value When pressed most sales people and business owners I coach will say the most valuable thing they do is close sales. While I cannot disagree closing sales is a vital part of the job, a sale will only close when the person you are selling to can see the value of what you are selling is greater than the price you are asking them to pay. As a salesperson or business owner there are many things which contribute to your professional value. The fundamentals for salespeople begin with the following: Customers, Suppliers and Business Partners How well do you and your product / service help them meet their perceived need? Are you helping them maintain a competitive advantage? Do they enjoy working with you? Do they call to discuss business ideas with you? Do you call them to provide ideas? Internally Are you meeting and exceeding sales and activity goals Are you a positive and inspiring member of the team? Do others like to work with you? Are you an expert in your product or service and industry? Are you valuable? You most certainly are. With a little effort you can begin to understand the value and continue to hone the value into a powerful resource for yourself, your team and your business. Today’s question and action What is your value? This week set aside 30 minutes to have a coffee with yourself and ask these four questions What can I do to add value to my customers? Why is it people want me to be on their team? How can I become a more valuable resource in my industry? Who do I need to maintain a connection with to build strong teams? Review your answers and create an action plan to improve in each area where you feel you should. Then ask When do I need to do this? I hope your answer is NOW! Have a great week! Reprint permission Permission is granted to reprint this article with the condition it is republished unedited and in full with full attribution to the author and the authors bio. Please provide a link to the reprint to the following email; greg.ferrett@exceptionalsales.com.au Author Bio Greg Ferrett Melbourne, Australia Business and sales leader, as well as author and blogger, who brings to life the science of human behaviour and motivation. Greg is a graduate from Newcastle University and a lifelong student of the sciences unlocking the complexities of human behaviour. With 30 years operational sales and management experience he brings resources and a wealth of practical ideas when influencing others decisions and their behaviour is critical to success.

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Haven't Planned for Succession? It's Time for a Re-think

Nothing and no one is irreplaceable that includes you too, so sometimes it is for the best to leave the job to others.  Selling a business is a hard decision to make and can't be done overnight but with careful planning, you can make that decision and sell it quickly.  Your ultimate goal is to make your business more profitable and appealing for investors if your manager can make the business prosper pass the baton.  But my business CAN’T BE sold because it’s nothing without me! Does this sound familiar? Is this you? We have heard this plenty of times and have many real-life examples of why it is incorrect and we haven't yet come across any particular person who has such stand out skills that cannot be replaced. Sure you may be good but there is someone just as good or better coming along …  and there is a fair chance if you are that good someone is copying you right now. If you have the time and the inclination every business can be prepared for sale, even yours. So if you have a business that is really just a job that pays you the equivalent of a salary there is not much you can do. However, if you have a real business and you do nothing then you are potentially leaving a significant retirement fund behind. You see, if your business makes a profit over and above a fair remuneration to you then it has a market value … someone will invest in it! If your business returns a profit over and above the cost of resourcing the business with competent employees, read on because succession planning is an option worth considering. They won’t do it as good as me! Perhaps they won’t but if they do it 80% as good it will still turn a profit? And if you replaced yourself with two people both doing 80% of your results will that produce 160% of what you produced? Maybe, maybe not but you can see where I’m going with this. Let me tell you a story I have heard time and again when visiting businesses which “are unsaleable". When I start talking to the team I get comments like “If the boss would only stay out of it we would get a whole lot more done”. What this tells me is there are replacements for most businesses quite often already working within. My General Manager could probably run my business but he couldn’t afford to buy it! Two very big opportunities here! Firstly, if you have a competent person in your organisation then there is an opportunity to groom them to run the business … IF AND WHEN YOU CHOOSE TO. This not only makes your business more saleable but turns it into an investment rather than a job, again only when you choose to. Secondly, it gives you the opportunity to sell the business to your key employee. He or she doesn’t need to necessarily have the money to buy it, just the interest in owning it. We have assisted small businesses in succession planning by introducing key employees as owners with the following results: Sale prices at or above market prices. Original owners partnering with key employees resulting in actual profit earned by the owner improving even after they own a lesser share. After a period of co-ownership, financiers are willing to fund the employee to buy out the owner based on the security of the business. In one instance an employee has been able to purchase a business worth in excess of $5 million without having any security to buy in. And it’s able to be replicated! We have also facilitated a sale of the same business that over a period of nearly 40 years has had seven separate sales involving a revolving door of “partners” buying shares, eventually buying the whole business and then in turn on selling to new key employees … all in all a transition of the business in total to new owners three times. All grown from within the business and all have enjoyed very successful financial outcomes. It’s succession planning at its best. Is it time for you to have a re-think about your exit strategy?

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