teamOr is the better question, “Do you really need to hire a salesperson”? Two different questions, two different answers.

Many small businesses struggle with these questions. As the founder of a company, you handle multiple aspects of its growth. The old phrase “chief cook and bottle washer” probably applies. You started your company with a passion for a particular product or service that was absent in the marketplace. You’re an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurs find a void and fill it.

You’ve done many things right, and your company achieved significant growth. You hired people to oversee your finances, technology, marketing, operations, and communications. But what about sales?

Sales Strength Matters

Your business is at the point where you need more clients and need to increase revenue. There are several solutions to your sales challenge: You could form alliances, identify distributors, or hire a sales person.

Finding and hiring a sales person is often an expensive and time-consuming process, and it will take at least six months for your new person to ramp up. So what to do?

Consider all of the costs of hiring the wrong salesperson before you make that decision. According to Barry Shamis, President of Selecting Winners, it’s not only the hard cost of salary, commission, recruitment, and training, but also the costs of lost opportunities if the salesperson is not successful. And don’t forget the cost of your time in the recruiting and hiring process. Read Barry’s article, “Have You Ever Thought About the Cost of Hiring the Wrong Salesperson?

However, if you’ve thought this through and really want to hire a salesperson, then Barry Shamis has great tips for you on his Selecting Winners Blog.

Sales Smarts, Too

But, do you really need to hire a salesperson? Many entrepreneurs tell me they don’t like to sell, don’t want to sell, and don’t want to manage the sales process. They wrestle with developing a sales plan. Yet frequently, you, the owner, have the connections needed to attract new business.

Maybe you don’t really need to hire a salesperson. Maybe what you need is to leverage your connections and adopt a disciplined referral-sales process to attract more clients. That’s the rub: Many small business owners don’t see themselves as the sales force, they really want to hand off the sales responsibility.

If this sounds like you, then check out my new Private Client Program. Designed specifically for the small business owner, the No More Cold Calling Private Client Program delivers your sales solution.

Consider carefully what you want and what you really need to build your sales. At the end of the day, sales means creating strong relationships, connecting with people, keeping in touch, helping others as much as you can, and leveraging your connections to gain profitable, productive referrals!

Comment and Join the Conversation

Let me know how you’re building your referral-sales business and share your struggles, breakthroughs, and successes!