WARNING: Hiring a Sales Consultant Will Hurt

When you’re facing a challenge growing your sales volume, there are lots of places to turn. If you’re like me, you might start by Googling “sales books.” Every year, dozens of new “must read” books are published on the subject. But which one to believe? Seems like they all say something different.

Friends and colleagues can certainly provide invaluable perspective and counsel, as can your Vistage roundtable or other CEO support group. But it’s unlikely they would help you dive deep into the numbers, collaborate to develop a plan to take on your biggest competitive threat, or help you close the performance gap between your best salesperson and your worst.

In frustration, you go it alone.

It’s easy to fall into the trap of trying to resolve the problem yourself. After all, who knows the situation better than you? The problem is, although many steps can provide temporary relief, they usually fail to get at the root cause, and carry the risk of an expensive and time-consuming learning experience. Implementing Salesforce falls in this category.

Engaging an outsider with specialized knowledge can be expeditious, cost-effective, and provide a higher quality result.

Here’s a personal example. I’ve always been physically on the move, both in business and in life. To provide an outlet, I’ve been honing my physical endurance and mental focus as a master’s distance runner for over a decade. I’m now a veteran of eight marathons and countless shorter races.

Despite my best intentions, there have been occasions in my running career when I’ve had to back off due to injury. To some extent, it comes with the territory. You’re constantly pushing the envelope, and sometimes you go too far in the quest to find your physical and mental limits.

This is where Maggie comes in. Maggie Gebhardt, PT, DPT has allowed me to cheat the specter of retirement on three separate occasions through her specialized practice in orthopedic rehabilitation. She uses a stealthy bag of magic tricks that originate from a deep understanding of human physiology in motion. It’s one of those sciences that don’t reveal their secrets without a trusted advisor like Maggie.

Let’s compare my experience with Maggie to one of the typical solutions for back pain, massage.

Problem: Lower back pain making it difficult to run.

There’s nothing wrong with feeling good. I’ve experienced it as a participant in countless sales rallies. But businesses, like our bodies, sometimes need a Maggie to bring expert insight, new understanding, and a prescription for a transformation that takes the organization to the next level.

And it will hurt, because change isn’t easy.

When you’re ready to make that investment, find a sales consultant who:

  1. Has the credentials. Preferably, one who has walked (or run) in your shoes.

  2. Has a passion to see you succeed. Do they see consulting as a personal mission, or did they come to it because they ran into a wall in their sales career?

  3. Brings resources. No one has all the answers. The best consultants are transparent about this and can bring in specific expertise and tools as needed.

  4. Ignites personal chemistry. Your consultant must be able to tell you the truth, and you must be able to listen. Personal chemistry is a prerequisite to that kind of relationship.