In his book, Ready, Fire, Aim, Michael Masterson makes a great point that should be burned into every entrepreneur’s head as early in his/her career as possible.

Your number one priority in business is in marketing and selling you core product/service.

Back in my undergraduate studies at Syracuse University in upstate New York, one memory sticks out in my mind so vividly clear.  I was sitting in a business class – it could’ve very well been a class in Entrepreneurship because that was one of my majors – and while sitting there waiting for the class to start, I could overhear a conversation between a man and a woman.

The man was apparently looking for a job and the woman asks, “what type of job are you looking for?”

The guy tells her passionately that he would take almost anything as long as it was not a job in selling.

I could tell by the way he spoke that he didn’t hold selling as a worthy profession. 

In my mind I kept thinking to myself that this guy was “selling” himself every time he went on an interview.  The whole interview process is about the applicant selling his/her services to the company, right?

And where do we get this notion that a salesman is a second class citizen?  Our parents, our schools, the media? Maybe a few sleazy car salesmen ruined it for everyone.

Not sure but this attitude is fatal to startup businesses everywhere. Without sales, we could have the best product in the world and no one would know about it.

The business owner can keep busy fourteen hours a day on anything and everything other than marketing and selling and then wonder why he can’t pay his bills.  This happens everyday. 

Forming the right legal entity, designing a logo, creating a website, printing brochures, setting up the office…. all useless without sales.

Spend twenty percent of your time on these activities and eighty percent of your time getting customers and bringing in sales.

Dan Kennedy, “the Millionaire Maker,” has said many times, to delegate everything in your business except for one thing.  The marketing must be your job.

“But, but… wait”

I know, we will all do anything to get out of selling.

Trust me. Unless you can learn to sell your product, your business is not going anywhere.

Leave your two cents below.