Yet if that same child arrives looking for a job from you - as a Sales person (common starting position) you do expect them to increase the viability of your company. Surely they are going to cost your business at least £500 a week or so - maybe more. So we can assume that between 5 years old and say, 21 years old you have assumed they have learnt much about Sales and being a member of your team - a work ethic, the concept they are here to pull their weight, earn money far beyond their sales figures and generally be useful to your business. Oh yeah - really? And where did they learn all that from then. School? I do think they will have learnt the basics of maths and how to read and write (though not to any high level - grammar is a lost subject these days and many teachers though not all thank goodness, think it's irrelevant!). But a work ethic and sales skills? I'm afraid this comes more from families and businesses than it does from schools and if you care to look around I think you'll find many of them in trouble.
As many of the major scientists of the past have shown such a viewpoint is only held by those who don't understand the major laws of the subject they are dealing with. If you really know you can just do it - produce the result or product of your department any time you need to - its A,B,C and the result is D - not sometimes or if - every time - or you are either missing something or not doing something right. Look - you can make a cup of tea - you don't have to wonder about it or hope - you just do it as you know how - you are in control of every step - you have teas bags, a kettle, milk etc. You have the correct tools and you know how to use them - any time you need to make a cup of tea you can do it or sort out the problem if there is no milk.
Now running a Sales Department is a bigger game for sure - though since I doubt you want to spend your life making cups of tea for a living we can take this as a good thing. But the same principles apply. There is a precise technology of selling goods or services and if you know them you can sell any amount of anything - if you know them and get them applied. I won't go into detailing them all here - you should figure it out for yourself for your business anyway - it is very therapeutic. Here are some big basics I don't think you could miss though.
- A worthwhile product to sell - for the end user - doesn't have to be saving the planet or lives, good insurance is valuable. If your insurance is pricey and very reluctant to pay out when it should then I wouldn't have to go any further to work out why sales were poor! A decent product is a good start - if it isn't then fix that first!
- Marketed - does your public (your target market) know about it? Magazine ads, telly, web site, email, shows etc. If sales is to close 10 leads a week then marketing better be promoting to thousands! Many businesses miss this one in a big way - complete wrong order of magnitude on the marketing and wonder why sales are poor.
- Sales - ah! Where I came in - and yes there is a considerable and very precise technology on this. Not the unethical foot in the door Dale Carnegie pushy salesman drivel either. A good sales person cares about his prospect and believes in their product - if not - your in the wrong job bud. If you are only there for the car and pay your lost. Sure it's ok to want lots of money - but not at any price! I hope you want lots of money for the great work you do getting people insured - if you didn't make them do it they wouldn't bother and too many of them will regret that omission in a big way later - so you do a good job and get everyone insured - then your society doesn't have people destroyed by the occasional calamity (Cumbrian floods, sudden deaths, fire - they do happen) and you can enjoy your Aston Martin - you earned it!
- Quality Control - that critical factor of sorting out things when they inevitably (occasionally) go wrong - so things don't pile up and get left unhandled.
There is much more to all this - all I'm banging on about here really is the fact that the technology for these things does exist and it is very worthwhile knowing. I could add some old adages here - the wise person never stops learning, it's a wise person who knows what he doesn't know, and Look, don't listen. Look usually involves getting up and opening your eyes. Anyway - nuff for now.