The days of the lonely door-to-door salesman are over, thank goodness, but I often observe salespeople who have placed themselves in a sort of self-imposed exile. By falsely assuming that nobody can do it better than they can (whatever "it" is), they end up working themselves to a frazzle and never achieve the sales success they really deserve. The fact is that you can do more and do it better by harnessing the power of people.
If you need proof, just look at any major corporation. They never would have been a major corporation had they not hired people. Think of yourself as a mini corporation -- You, Inc.
Hang out a Help Wanted sign. Start interviewing people. Establish productive partnerships. Fuel your sales with people power:
Find out what's missing. What do you want to do that you can't do because you're lacking the time or expertise? As soon as you know what you need and don't have (time, expertise, resources), you have a pretty good idea of the people you need to hire or partner with -- people who have what you need.
Do what you do best and hire out the rest. Figure out how much you earn per hour. If you earn $50 an hour selling and you're cleaning your house over the weekend when you can hire someone for $10 an hour to do it, that's borderline insane ... unless, of course, cleaning your house is therapeutic or something you enjoy doing.
Hire an intern. Colleges and even some high schools have internships or coop programs in which students are willing to work for free or for a pittance in exchange for job experience. Look into these programs for some cheap and often highly qualified workers. Many of these "kids" are very tech savvy and can teach you a thing or two.
Hire the talent you're missing. Salespeople rarely hesitate to invest in a gadget or service they think they need, but when I recommend that they hire an assistant, they immediately find all sorts of excuses. The fact is that hiring an assistant has never been easier. You can even hire a virtual assistant. A virtual assistant works as a freelancer, so you don't have to deal with messy payroll issues and benefits. For additional information, check out the International Virtual Assistants Association Web site at www.ivaa.org.
Cash in on R-Commerce (Relationship-Commerce). As Terry Brock explains, on its surface, the economy is driven by the exchange of goods and services, but beneath this surface economy is the real economy, driven by relationships. By focusing on your relationships with customers, colleagues, and even your competitors, you can grow your sales infinitely more than by focusing solely on the exchange of goods and services.
Team up with a personal partner. It's far too easy to skip out on your responsibilities when you're accountable only to yourself. As Terry Wisner explains, by teaming up with a personal partner to set goals and keep one another on track, you can achieve much higher levels of success than by acting alone.
Get connected with a mentor or coach. Success leaves big footprints, so follow those footprints by taking on a mentor or hiring a sales coach to advise you. A mentor or coach can often point out shortcuts you may have missed, expose you to new opportunities, and make sure you're doing everything you need to do to stick to your plan.
Become a mentor. You may think that mentoring a student or a salesperson who's less qualified, less experienced, or less successful than you would be a huge expenditure of time, and perhaps it is, but what you get in return usually makes up for it. A younger student can often teach you a thing or two about using the latest technologies or expose you to new marketing and sales techniques. In addition, if you establish a solid relationship, your student promises to become a major networking asset later in his or her career.
If you start to feel the urge to fly solo, think again. When you open the doors and start connecting with people, you soon discover infinite opportunities. Try it!