What is it that your company does, anyway? Bet you get the answer wrong!

If you have ever been out and about in the public marketplace, you have heard these, or been asked these questions …”So, where do you work?” This is usually followed up with, “And what do they do?”

In my travels, I have asked this question to thousands of people, looking for the one answer that I have yet to get …
When that question gets answered correctly, then the entire mindset of the company changes focus off of the team and what it produces and its focus shifts to the client and how the company can help them.

Having spent almost 30 years owning a window distribution company, when someone asked me what my company did, I would say, “We sell doors, windows and skylights to … ”

Once I realized this was the wrong focus, I changed my outlook and challenge my clients now to do the same. Here is something to consider and question if you need to. It is a note that was found on the conference room door one morning after a long, heated debate had finished.

Picture the scene—a large conference room with one wall of all glass; everyone who walks by it can see in and see what is going on. Today, as you walk by, you see some of the leaders of the company in a heated discussion. Papers are spread out all over the place, and a PowerPoint presentation is hanging on the wall along with sticky notes everywhere. It looks like a war room, as you wonder to yourself what topic could be so important.

You get to watch from the outside. Grown adults, finger pointing and raised voices just raises your curiosity. Then you see it, in the middle of the room as if they were all around a campfire. It is a glass with water in it … They seem to be pointing to it on a regular basis. Some are more adamant than others. Yet, as you observe, it is clear to you that they are arguing about this glass of water. And as you step closer, they don’t see you but you can hear the back-and-forth arguments.

You are shocked to hear that they are arguing about such a trivial question …”Is the glass half empty, or half full?” “What! Are you kidding me?” you think to yourself.

The operations manager is sure that glass is half empty … the sales manager is sure that the glass is half full. Then they see you and they realize that they will never get the other side to cave in … so they storm out of the conference room and don’t even acknowledge you, their best sales professional.

As you walk into the room, you see a blank post-it note and a pen sitting right next to it, so you take a moment and write the following words on the note: “Dear Optimist and Pessimist, while you guys were arguing whether the glass is half full or half empty, I sold the glass! Sincerely, Your Top Sales Professional.”

Walking out of the conference room, you boldly adhere the note to the glass doors in hopes that they see the note when they return.

Remember, you are a sales organization. You might build windows, or sell them, or install them, or design them, or supply parts to them … that is what you do, it is not who you are.

If you want a list of ways to help your company be more sales-focused, please email me at dave@positivepolarity.com and I will send you some additional information! Now, go sell something!

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