Always Be Selling

posted by Administrator on 05/30/2023 in Blog Posts  | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,
By Tom Cramer


In my conversations with the members of our group, I find a series of topics that are raised consistently and across all industries and markets. One of the more prevalent concerns is that of “being out of your comfort zone.” What I have found is most of us get into business to follow an idea or concept based on a specific strength or experience or idea or all of these.

That is the natural course, but then we all find that business involves many areas in which we feel lost, incompetent, and out of our league. However, that too is normal and should be expected. Fortunately, this is a process all successful Founders and managers learn how to overcome and even master.

Interestingly, sales and marketing is the area many in leadership feel is a forbidding challenge, especially in this age of ever-complex digital marketing.

The reality is that if you are a leader, you are also a marketer. That does not simply mean adding customers. Selling your vision, motivating your team, and dealing with day-to-day relationship issues all require skills for selling your vision and your point of view. The key is being an even more effective salesperson.

We find, however, that it takes a focused awareness of this skill of “salesmanship” to maximize the effectiveness of your role and carry out your responsibilities. We like the concept of “Seven Customers” as developed by the Job Creation Institute. Everyone knows it is a fundamental requirement to identify your target customer for any positioning and marketing effort. However, this concept presented by the Institute expands the number of target customers to seven in addressing every area where you will be called to “always be selling.”


No one who has started, grown, and/or managed a successful business can pretend it is not tough, very tough. The day-to-day demands will wear on any individual, no matter how strong or committed. Like sand blowing against paint, even “small things” add to the weight you carry. The unrelenting wear of simple problems combined with major issues, demanding an almost inhuman resiliency.

Ray Kroc, founder of McDonalds, noted that persistence was the only reason he ultimately achieved success with his “struggling” concept of a 15-cent hamburger chain. He was proud of being a salesperson, so his lifelong habits were a tremendous asset. He knew he had to start off each day selling himself on why he was willing to struggle through the challenges – known and unknown – that would face him that day.

Especially if you are not a trained salesperson, Kroc’s example is an important one to follow. The entire spirit and motivation of any endeavor ultimately rests on the shoulders and the heart of the leader. Sell yourself every day on the why of what you are doing and that what your business is accomplishing is important to the world and the people you impact. Remember that good team members read the room well – and when you are in that room, they should read excitement, confidence, and a sense of purpose in which they want to participate.


We have made the point repeatedly that there are no successful Lone Rangers in business. Many individuals working towards a common goal is the essential requirement in building a successful business. That fervent commitment makes it all too easy to let the work environment be all-consuming, to the detriment of one’s personal life. As we discuss below, your team is important, but it should never be the replacement for your personal life or relationships. We as humans are made to need those relationships for balance and purpose.

Whatever your marital and family relationships, they should play a significant role in maintaining the perspective you need to keep pushing for the long haul. You don’t have to involve them in your work or expose them to all your challenges. However, if you view them in part as some of your most important customers, it allows a perspective that produces very rewarding results.

This is the type of “selling” you use with your best customers. You have closed them, but you seek to communicate your appreciation, you maintain open, proactive communications to identify early issues or concerns. Plus, you keep them up to date regarding all the reasons you are the best choice for the product/service they look to you to provide.

We will touch on the next five “Customers” in Part Two.