Over break, I had the opportunity to get candid feedback from nearly a dozen CEOs. I asked tough questions so I could learn what worked and didn’t work for them as they passed $1M in revenue, then $5M, and learn what’s it’s like on the way to $10M.
Here’s my TOP 7:
1. There’s a fine line between doing it yourself and knowing when to ask for help; even if it means spending money.
2. Confidence, drive, and passion is essential… but ego, arrogance, and stubbornness may show up if you don’t watch yourself.
3. Being able to shift from the original vision / product / service and adapt as the market suggests is extremely difficult if you’re too attached to what you’ve created
4. Many early prospects negotiate low pricing; watch out and know your walk away point. The prospects leverage:
Their big brand name, as it could look good that you’ve won them as a client.
“From CEO to CEO, I know you need our account to hit your growth targets.”
“Come on, we’re friends.”
5. You can’t scale chaos – build systems early or pay the price later when you’re “stuck” (PS – it’s a lot more expensive if you wait).
6. When it’s time to grow your sales team, don’t hire your best friend’s cousin’s uncle (you know who I mean), because they come highly referred… or anyone that hasn’t followed a rigid hiring process.
7. Don’t train your employees through osmosis; they’re not you. They’re not CEO. They need a documented on-boarding plan, structure for their role, detailed training, and ongoing coaching that holds them accountable to clear metrics. Otherwise, managing them will be a nightmare and they’ll cause you significant losses.
When I told them my team is consultants to CEOs, specific to growing their sales, I asked what we could do that would have the greatest impact. Together, we narrowed down our ideal client. And the ROI statement comes direct from them.
You can read the full outcome of the discussion in the first 3 paragraphs here.
I’m thankful to the people who candidly shared their hearts and stories with me so we could shape our service to impact great change in these growing companies.
No one will tell you better how you can serve them, than the customer themselves.
Mary Grothe, CEO
Founder of Sales BQ™