Are Small Business Owners Salespeople in Disguise?

Are Small Business Owners Salespeople in Disguise?

Written By Jeffrey Gitomer

KING OF SALES, The author of seventeen best-selling books including The Sales Bible, The Little Red Book of Selling, and The Little Gold Book of Yes! Attitude. His live coaching program, Sales Mastery, is available at



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Are Small Business Owners Salespeople in Disguise?


The success of a small business rests on the owner’s ability to sell. Small business owners have about 50 different hats to wear, but sales is the biggest hat an entrepreneur wears. Actually without the sales hat, the other hats are useless.

When I say sales I’m not just talking “Hey, please buy my stuff.” Sales is not just selling your product or service. There are meaningful uses of selling skills that permeate every facet of the entrepreneurial process.

Here are a few of the sales jobs that fall under the definition of selling that a small business owner must perform:

Getting credit from a supplier Convincing your suppliers that you’re credit worthy is sometimes as good or better than a bank loan.

Getting a loan from a banker A true sales job. You have to convince your banker you deserve the loan and can repay the debt.

Getting small favors from employees Work overtime, work weekends.

Getting something delivered on time Sell the supplier that delivery is imperative.

Satisfying a disgruntled customer You don’t want a bad experience to cost you a customer, so you sell acceptable solutions.

Getting payment for an invoice It’s Friday. Payroll is due. You have no cash, but you do have receivables. You must collect that check to pull it off.

What makes small business owners so good at sales, even if they have had no previous experience? Desire. Fear. And about 50 other emotions associated with the risk and spirit of adventure that the entrepreneurial process breeds.

Here are 7.5 reasons why owners sell best…

1. The responsibility for success of the business is yours You won’t let your business fail due to lack of sales so it’s your job to sell until it’s successful.

2. The business is your child You sell best because you know your product or service best. You are its most sincere representative. You are responsible for feeding and nurturing your business.

3. You can make deals no one else can make People think when they buy from the owner they’re getting a special deal, may not have to pay a commission and therefore are getting the best price.

4. People like to buy from the owner Customers know they’ll get special attention.

5. Customers have a special confidence in you. You sell it because you believe in in your business. Your enthusiasm generates confidence that transforms into sales. Customers also know the owner will go the extra mile to deliver what’s promised.

6. The relationship with the customer is yours to build at first After your business matures, you choose who you will continue to handle personally, and who you can pass on to a salesperson.

7. You are in the best position for direct feedback about your product, service and business. Your customer has all the information you need to succeed. Get close to him or her and listen.

7.5 If you have other salespeople, you must be the leader of your own sales campaign. If you don’t lead them, no one will. You must set the example. You must be the best at sales that’s where the success is.

If you’re not an expert at sales, get to be one by taking lessons. Read every book and listen to every tape on the subject.

No one is able to sell your business like you can even if you don’t consider yourself a salesperson. Don’t say, “I’m not pushy enough to be in sales.” Sales is not about pushy. It’s about helping other people and building relationships. It’s about building your business. It’s about being responsible for your own success. It’s about making your entrepreneurial fantasy come true. Make sales. Make it a reality.


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The small business owners

biggest responsibility

in making his or her

business successful is sales.


Jeffrey Gitomer, President of Charlottebased BuyGitomer, gives seminars, runs annual sales meetings, and conducts training programs on selling and customer service. His book The Sales Bible is now available in bookstores everywhere. He can be reached at 704/3331112.

1999 All Rights Reserved

Don’t even think about reproducing this document

without written permission from Jeffrey H. Gitomer

and BuyGitomer 704/3331112.