Nothing happens until a sale is made. Unless money comes in, everything ceases to exist. Every living organism, every company, must sell something to exist and survive extinction. How children can be fed without their breadwinners make sales? Likewise, how employees are getting paid without cash flow that comes from the marketing strategist and the sales tactics. The patient won’t be alive if the pharmaceutical sales rep didn’t sell the doctor on the drugs that save patient’s life. That’s the business of life. When a head of global organization throws thousands of people out of work, as it happened a decade ago, it wasn’t personal; it’s because of the decline of sales. In the business world, everything comes into existence because of a sale. The caring entrepreneurs who changed the world for the better, are those who defy the taboo society has set around money, and declare bluntly that: “life is sales. The rest is details.”
Our failure to make sales and grow our business is due to leaving our assumptions untested in the real world. We assume that the product we sell provides value. We assume that we know what that value is. We theoretically combine these assumptions into a sales pitch. We rush into the market talking to people who perceive value in a different way. Instead of listening to find out what’s valuable to people to exchange our product for the money they pay, we hammer them with featuring our product. The result is usually a lukewarm response and our accompanying conclusion is: the product sucks.
Sales won’t be made until the value is clear and ready to be communicated. The process of finally making the sale starts and ends with marketing. Marketing initiates this process by figuring out what makes the product valuable and who it’s valuable for. Pizza Hut, for example, was dominating the pizza market, long time ago. People liked to go to Pizza Hut restaurants to dine-in. Meanwhile, a growing segment of people, who are on the move and busy, value eating pizza, either at the comfort of their homes or at work. They want their order to be delivered to where they are and in the shortest time possible. That’s the value they are looking for.
That’s how Domino’s Pizza gets in with the value of being the first and fastest home delivery Pizza chain. Marketing starts with finding the value, then making it, providing it to those who appreciate it and ready to pay for it, and, lastly, communicate this value to make more money, more often, and for more profits. It becomes clear that sales come as a result of finding the value then making it.
It was Thomas Watson Sr. who first coined the phrase “Nothing happens until a sale is made.” He was one of the greatest capitalists the world has ever known. He was president of International Business Machines (IBM) from 1914 to 1956. For more than a century, IBM has been a pioneer in computation. Under his leadership, IBM managed to survive the panic of the massive lay-offs that wiped out millions of investors as a result of the great depression that hit the industrialized world from 1929 to 1939.
During the tough times of early 1930s, Watson developed IBM’s distinctive management style and corporate culture. He turned the company into a highly-effective selling organization. He looks at everyone in his company as a member of his family. He was propagating the importance of selling and generating revenues in order for the company to exist. He was a head of his time, as the mindset of all businessmen at his time, was focused solely on production. Because of his caring for his people, he urged his employees to place marketing and sales at the forefront of business. Such thinking led IBM, in these hard times, to be a big winner in government contracts.
Everything comes into existence as soon as a sale is made. Still, before a sale is showed up, a process got to be in place. This process starts with finding the value that a certain segment of people are willing to pay for. After getting clear on this value, a product is made around this value, and then being communicated through various communication vehicles that hit the targeted segment and generate money.