Growth problem defined: in a new sales role, especially if you are starting your own company, you are very likely to become a victim of your own thinking when sales and revenue don't ramp up as you thought they would. You'll give up and quit. Perhaps this has happened to you already...and maybe even more than once.
The Cause of Your Growth Problem
In an employee sales role, you have a wage or salary. That will stave off giving up for awhile, but eventually you'll get discouraged when reality doesn't meet your expectations.
Here's your growth problem: you believe growth should be linear. But it doesn't work that way. And when growth doesn't proceed as 2, 4, 6, 8 etc., you get frustrated and quit.
What's disappointing and deadly about this is quitting resets you to zero. You lose any credibility you may have developed in the niche you were working in. Your specialized knowledge becomes useless. You are no longer "the person to talk to about X." Growth is back to square one.
People give up too soon.
So if growth in business isn't linear, how does it actually work?
Mapping Your Growth Problem
Check out this graph:
The horizontal axis is time passing, and the vertical axis is the money you earn. Look at the green, exponential curve. Growth occurs very slowly at first. Nobody knows who you are. Contrast these results to your expectations: the red, linear line. The gap between the green and red line is your disappointment. Is it any wonder you quit?
Your growth problem is entirely one of expectations. You go in with the linear view. But reality is exponential. So for a long time, things are slow. But at a point things take off. You can see that critical point on the graph. Enough collateral, belief, awareness and results are out there to really blow up your business. People who you've never spoken with before start contacting you, because they know you can solve their problem.
Too bad most people gave up long before. And then they went straight back to 0,0 on the graph, completely starting over.
In my experience with many companies and my own businesses, it takes three to four months to start getting known as "the person to talk to about X". And up to a full year to start getting those serious inbound inquiries from new prospects. Sure, you can speed this up with advertising. But without the "Oomph" of effective marketing and fulfillment collateral, you are going to have a tough time converting those inquiries into sales--until you've hit that critical point on the exponential graph.
Update To Your Growth Problem for 2023
This article was originally written in 2014. That was the year I started this blog. In the eight years since then I've watched many people start something, pursue it for a few days, then give up and jump to something else—putting themselves back to 0,0 on the exponential growth curve.
Success does not come from outside. It comes from you. You must persist, develop new plans, learn and apply new skills to keep striving for what you want. You must give yourself and the exponential growth curve time to work.
Of course, persisting without learning and modifying your plans ie. course correction is a recipe for frustration.
But this is one of those timeless principles rather than shiny objects that we discuss here at salestactics.org. Many people would rather believe the source of success is outside of themselves, and keep chasing those shiny objects. You cannot say, now, that you were not advised.
>> Jason Kanigan is a sales force developer. If you found this useful, please consider Liking, Sharing or Commenting to let us know! And if you want more key info like this, get the free Small Business Sales Effectiveness Report! <<