"In business for yourself,
not by yourself."
-- William James
This is an idea that I've tried to impart to a lot of people in sales, and especially auto salespeople, and that is that they would be best served and have the best possible results if they would realize that they don't have a job working for a company, but that they are in business for themselves, but not by themselves.
Of course, when you do it by yourself, you have capital outlays, and all kinds of logistics and a long list of expenses just to get to the point of beginning, but as a commissioned salesperson working for any company, even when treated as a business, there is very little of that in comparison. However, there would need to be some legitimate business expenses, yet they would be small.
The advantage of being in business for ourselves is tied to the idea of freedom. We get to control our own destiny as it were. The bigger advantage to the salesperson is that the company puts up most of the capital, supplies, buildings and furnishings, phones, often even computers, and so much more. In reality, it is often a far better business to go into business as than if one were to go open their own business because of these things.
The other thing is that there are people who support us in many different ways from accounting to filing to personal assistants. Not so much in business by ourselves, but with a team already in place. How cool is that?
Need more? More can be arranged. When we start out with this attitude and design of our own sales career, convincing others to help us do even better is relatively easy from this perspective.
When I first started in sales in 1972, I thought of this and treated it as if I were in business by investing in myself and my own growth, and by adding some small amounts of capital to give rewards to clients who referred people, and follow up systems. I didn't have much money, so I got a library card and read every book I could on sales, then borrowed others, many from my so-called boss. In 1975, when I became a sales manager, I still invested in my own learning path, and to an even greater degree, which has never stopped all these years. In fact, it has increased dramatically.
If I were advising any salesperson starting out, it would be to treat it as if you are in business for yourself, but not by yourself. What a difference it will make.
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