One of the privileges of being an accountant is to see into many different people’s businesses.  After a while you start to see the patterns.

Something that becomes clear quite quickly is that whilst most people are getting by not many are really making a profit.  And when you start to look why you can’t help noticing the weakness of most business’s sales and marketing.

Maybe selling has a bad name.  Maybe we are afraid to make promises to customers.  Maybe we just prefer to stay in the comfort zone of delivering our product or service.

Whatever the reason and honourable exceptions aside the marketing systems are puny and the effort we put in is paltry.

Another place this shows up is in the price people charge.  Selling is much easier if you are giving something away for nothing and this is exactly what happens in a lot of businesses.  Often the price charged simply doesn’t cover the costs, especially if you include the value of business owner’s time.

So in this newsletter we want to celebrate marketing and selling and remind ourselves what a fundamental aspect of business this is.

Of course sales and marketing is culturally very associated with swindling and conning people.  But in fact we assert that good sales and marketing is the only place in your business where you can create value for your customer.  Here’s why:

The sales and marketing process is the means by which you uncover what is important to a customer and show them that what you are offering is going to make a difference over and above the alternatives.

When people get that, they get that what you are offering has value.

Delivering our product or service may seem like the place where we create value because that is where people get to experience the value but unless the value has been created first there is no experience of it later.  You can see this when products or services are given away, recipients often do not get what is on offer.

In fact we assert that our fundamental fear that our service or product may not have value is often what stops us from selling.  Conversely people who themselves get the importance, possibility and value of what they have to offer also have no problem in sales and marketing.

If you want to sell with integrity you need to be clear to whom and in what circumstances your offering has value and also to walk away if in particular instances you find it does not.

So let’s go out and sell, for ourselves to make money and for the value we will create for our customers.