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January 2009

Every Farmer Knows, "Never Eat the Seed Corn"

Every company has two classes of employees, those who make products and those who make money by selling.

If there is one class of employees you cannot do without under any circumstances it is the sales and marketing people. Yes, I said marketing. At least marketing people who can prove the ROI for the wealth they create. Marketing and salespeople are the seed corn for your company. You can’t destroy the seed corn and expect to survive and plant in the coming year.

At this time in your company’s existence it must support and encourage the people who create revenue. It must retain revenue creators. You must hire and keep the best sales and marketing people you can afford because you cannot afford to do anything else.  You must preserve the seed corn.

Yes, a company can weed the garden and get rid of the "B and C players" and replace them with "A Players, " but you cannot under any circumstances reduce your sales workforce.

When the chips are down, winners find a way to keep on winning. Losers lose because of their timidity and fear; their customers smell the fear and destroy them by not buying.

This is a time when every company president, VP of Sales and VP of Marketing must decide who you are. There will be winners in every industry. There will be survivors who make some other marketer die for their timid response.

I have several clients who are hiring salespeople. They are spending on marketing. They are determined to win, show no fear and make the timid and faint of heart regret their decisions. They know that salespeople make money. That is their product.

In every battle there are those who step forward and are counted. Sometimes they are called heroes, sometimes they are called salespeople or marketing managers. To me they are one in the same.

So, I ask you, what are you made of? Will you huddle in a corner eating your seed corn or will you plant?  Will you grow by adding revenue producers or die back and shrivel.  The choice is yours.