My wife and I were recently watching the television show Bar Rescue together. I enjoy watching that show because there are phenomenal business lessons there.
My wife turned to me and said, “I can’t believe there are people that clueless running businesses.”
Sadly, there are far more clueless people running businesses than she even realizes! And business owners and CEOs are not the only clueless people out there. There are also clueless sales managers and salespeople.
I recently got a phone call from the sales manager at a local business with multiple locations. He said, “My boss told me to call you and see if you can help us.”
I responded, “Why are you thinking I can help you?” I had met his CEO couple of times, but had never met him.
He said, “The ownership has laid out some pretty ambitious sales goals for the next three years. He’s not sure that we can do them without outside help.”
I was eventually able to get out of him that during the four to five years he’d been the sales manager, they’d never hit a sales goal for a month, a quarter, or a year! He also shared that despite that, he was pulling down a very decent salary.
I asked him, “What do you think the disconnect is?”
Surprisingly, he responded with, “I don’t really think there’s that much of the problem.”
They’d never hit their sales goals, but he didn’t think there was a problem?
“Okay. So then what would you like me to do?”
“Nothing. I’m just having this conversation because our CEO wanted me to.”
Unfortunately, a conversation like this is not that unusual for me.
Later on, I was talking to my client that referred the CEO to me. I asked, “Why did that CEO have his sales manager call me instead of calling me himself?”
My client was surprised that the CEO didn’t call me himself, so he promised to call him and see what was going on.
Later on, he called me back. “Sorry, I don’t think he’s going to call you.”
I asked, “Why is that?”
“I talked to him, and asked, ‘Isn’t this a priority for you?’ He responded, ‘I have people to do that.'”
Whose head is in the sand in that situation? Sure, the sales manager was clueless. But the CEO was the one employing a sales manager who hadn’t hit a goal in four to five years!
You can’t be successful with your head that deep in the sand. It doesn’t matter if you’re a salesperson, the sales manager, or the CEO. Whether it’s a bar on Bar Rescue where the owner isn’t paying attention to the details, or a CEO that continues to employ a sales manager who hasn’t hit a sales goal in four or five years, you can’t be successful in business that way.
How many people do you know that run their business like that, and are frustrated because they’re not growing? Don’t let yourself be that business owner, sales manager, or salesperson with your head in the sand. Take responsibility for your results and the results of your team.