I started my career in sales, selling PCs with standard software to home and corporate users. Later on, I moved on to sell Electronic Publishing Solutions to newspapers industry on a project basis. From sales of a few thousand dollars upgraded to over a million dollars in a single order, you may consider this a great leap forward.
But I disliked doing sales, especially project-based sales. You bade and pitched and diverted all your resources and times, writing thick proposals, presenting multiple presentations, and on top of that, you have to build relationships by becoming a Cheap Entertainment Officer rather than Chief Executive Officer. Even after all that, you might still fail to secure the project. It is worse if the industry is so niche that all you have are only a few potential clients in your region. It’s like your fate is not in your hands but belongs to a handful few.
That’s why I relentlessly sought for new ventures that can turn my own fate around when the newspapers industry was facing its own predicament from the Internet threat. When by chance I settled on Biometrics, the road forked. Whether to aim for the lavish government projects; or to be more commercial, where we can land on a broader customer base? Or perhaps we can be greedy and stomach both?
Life is definitely full of choices. I finally chose to go along with my passion and inclination. With that, I might have achieved success and happiness; or even if I failed, it would be a failure with dignity. And today, here we are, standing tall and firm in the commercial sector, but premature at that time when I made the decision without hesitation.
I still dislike doing sales. However, to avoid hefty selling process, a product has to speak for itself. And if customers shouldn’t be begged to buy your products, you have to be able to spread your feathers like a peacock to attract customers. Your inner system must behave like a magnetic field to draw customers. If selling is oblivious and diminishing, marketing must be obvious and overpowering. The larger image marketing system stand in the way of sales, the better the sales would be.
In the big picture, our sales persons are chasing more than just sales, they’re also chasing stories from our resellers to enrich the content of our monthly e-newsletters. Furthermore, they collect quality email addresses as recipients of our monthly e-newsletter from our resellers, with more in mind than to just accomplish their individual sale figures. The wide reach of a good marketing system’s message has proven to yield better results and assist resellers to reduce their sales cycle to close deals. Hence, when we hire, our sales personnel are from a plethora of backgrounds, but rarely sales.
Over the years, I have enjoyed seeing sales growth, being relaxed a bit in my office to improve our marketing system, to improve our support system, to improve our software and hardware products, to improve everything I think can be improved, with a clear vision and more importantly our own fate to where we are headed. With the oblique approach, ‘sales’ is no longer a worry to pursue a larger goal in life.