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Mistakes I've Made in Sales and Marketing

"Justin, You're off like a shotgun, all over the place, losing opportunities for business growth because you are always looking the other way." An early mentor said just that to me, it was 1996. This statement really hit home because ...

Back in the 90's, I'd take any customer that could pick up the phone and call. Usually answering on the second ring, but ready to run across town to make my pitch. Business was great, or was it.

I'd jump on a plane, fly across the country, and spend 2 hours with someone who didn't buy. And, I made the best of my time by setting appointments around where I was visiting, however, I was out of pocket.

My IT consulting firm (Open Systems Networking Inc) served government contractors, industrial, medical companies, and then the Dot.Com's. Clients included small, medium, and large firms. Basically anyone who could sign a check was good enough.

And many industrial and technical service providers, government contracts, and consulting firms make the same mistake. They are all things to all people, doing what every work they can get a "contract" signed. It's one thing to provide a customized solution, yet another to be a "jack of all trades."

My early mentor, a wealthy man in the insurance trade, might as well slapped me across the face physically because those words hurt so much. I don't know what hurt more, how he said it or the truth of the statement. To say the least, I was confused.

I thought, this is what it's means to be in business. You do what customers want, they pay you most of the time, and you keep doing what you can get paid on. I thought, because customers were paying for something that I should do it. After all, Aren't we in business to get paid in exchange for labor?

My mentor insisted I take a look at my business, literally forcing me go through each contract over the last couple of months line by line. Here are the mistakes he found, which I'll help you avoid in the next couple of letters.

Okay, he pointed out a few more things I have jotted down here in my notes, but let's stop the flailing and work from here. You might even see yourself making a few of these mistakes that I'll help you avoid in upcoming issues, stay tuned.

I'm thankful for my mentors, this one in particular told me "You must focus on being great at one thing that a specific group of buyers will pay top dollar to have; ignore everyone else." Through making these mistakes less frequently, I was able to grow my business rapidly, however, much of the damage was already done as you may discovery later.

© 2008 JWH Consolidated LLC, All rights reserved.

Justin Hitt helps selling professionals create and keep more profitable customers through proven strategies for the industrial and technical business-to-business service firm. Learn about a consultation at https://www.justinhitt.com/
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By Justin Hitt at January 15, 2007 12:36 PM  Subscribe in a reader


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