Page created 3/19/09

By Grant Cardone

Economies do not exist until somebody BUYS something! And economies cease to exist when a sale is not made. Management then
decides, “Customers aren’t buying anything so let’s just cut heads, slash budgets, hunker down and shrink our way to greatness!”

Prospecting, interviewing customers to properly identify problems and opportunities, and then collaborating with them to find appropriate
solutions, seems to be a skill set lost to an entire generation. How did this happen?

Two major shifts drove this change. In the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s, virtually every company had a sales force that were required and
depended on to do things like: prospecting - the creation of customers, product knowledge, application knowledge and selling skills.
Great companies were built on great sales teams who were responsible for creating opportunities not for just selling them. The sales
team was the engine, leading the charge, driving the revenues of the company! In the 90's sales teams were deemed too expensive to
maintain, inefficient, and difficult to manage; so the responsibility for driving revenues shifted to the marketing department. The theory
was that the company could create demand for products and services through advertising, promotion and gimmicks; then the company
could merely harvest the flood of incoming orders with call centers or order desks. The second major shift, which is currently taking place,
is from traditional marketing to Internet marketing.

But, what happens when customers stop looking and searching the net and the phone stops ringing? Because selling is a lost art the
solutions are limited to - increase the advertising, make even bigger claims of the importance of customer satisfaction, lower prices
(again) and increase gimmicks, such as no money down, rebates, zero percent interest and free trips. Companies started spending
more money on ad campaigns and Google search optimization than the entire sales force makes in salaries and commissions. While
these marketing shifts created breakthroughs in the ability to reach greater numbers of potential customers, the fact is, it failed! You don't
have to look far to see the corpses of companies who relied on marketing and disregarded the sales team; Circuit City, Heard
Automotive, Dillard’s, Sears, Washington Mutual, Wachovia and Merrill Lynch. These companies failed because of their dependence
upon their marketing campaigns and their inability to sell their products! Marketing without a trained sales team is a “one way” vehicle,
causing the company to only activate at the point of marketing and then become passive at the point of creating an opportunity or even
closing on those opportunities created.

These marketing methods virtually eliminated management's expectation of the sales team and their abilities. This is a critical problem
in a recession, maybe even the cause of it, whereby the customers stop looking for new products and services, and therefore become
immune to the wiles of marketing and promotion. The consumers' focus is now also on cutting expenses, and unless your product or
service can help them save money without any investment, they simply won’t pay attention. Search engine optimization is useless when
potential customers stop searching.

Companies must return to the creation of true sales skills and sales teams because without them nothing happens! Management,
marketing and customer satisfaction does not sell product. Sales people sell products and you must have effectively trained salespeople
that can:

  1. generate a prospect,
  2. know how to determine what is needed,
  3. know how your product or service can satisfy that need, and
  4. know how to justify a purchase decision. The lost art of real salesmanship must be restored in order to create the revenue a
    company desires.

A well trained sales team, not management, not the Internet, not customer satisfaction, and not marketing, is the only thing that can cost
effectively create customers in this economy. Economies exist only when someone finds a prospect and then sells that prospect a
product or service, at which point they exchange money with your company. Sales people drive entire economies and without them we
have no economy.

So is it going to be business as usual today?
I hope not because the marketplace will punish you if you approach today’s challenges with the same actions that made you successful
just a few months ago.

We are 100% committed to your success.  Our approach, our attitude and our action will bring success and profitability to you and your
company today.  The only way to predict the future is to create it!

Grant Cardone is a speaker, author, sales trainer and CEO of Cardone Training Technologies. Author of Sell To Survive and other
Audio, Video, and training programs, for more information on Mr. Cardone visit

Grant Cardone, Author of "Sell to Survive".      800-368-5771

Cardone Training Technologies, Inc. •6767 Neptune Place • La Jolla, CA 92037 Index of other articles on this site.
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