2009 was an interesting year for me as a small business owner and salesman. It was my first year of sales ever after spending the rest of my 7 years since college as an operations guy in three different fields.
There's a huge difference between the mindset of an operations guy and a sales guy. When I was an operations guy, I was 100% task oriented (sometimes to the dismay of my staff!) and results were judged by how much stuff you got done. As a sales guy, I have to be much more relational and friendly. Results are based on how much revenue you're bringing in to the company. A lot of the factors that determine whether or not you will get a new customer to bring in revenue are outside of your control though. Are they happy with their current vendor? Can you do the business for a better rate? Is your competitor the vice presidents brother in law? The one thing you can control is how often you put yourself in front of the customer so maybe if one of those uncontrollable factors changes, you're the person they think of first.
That's what this year is about for me. I'm going to put myself in front of and on the phone with as many people as possible and see what the difference is between 2010 and 2009, where I was still half-way sales and half-way operations.
This could be really awesome - or could really suck!