Thursday, December 6, 2007

The CEO as a Salesperson

In a small company, the CEO or president often has a central role in sales, whether directly, as in selling to customers or investors, or indirectly, as in establishing a sales strategy based on experience that others will follow. As Sara Blakely, founder of Spanx, says, “Everything about my journey to get Spanx off the ground entailed me having to be a salesperson—from going to the hosiery mills to get a prototype made to calling Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus.” Regardless of your level of involvement, understanding your sales style as explained by Ray Silverstein will provide some important insight on how to staff up or where to focus your improvement efforts. And like Michael Gerber (see previous post), the Dalai Lama, and countless others, Silverstein advocates self-awareness so he’s got my vote as a valuable voice for entrepreneurs to hear.

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