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Saturday, November 25, 2006

Do You Need to Have a Salesperson During Start-Up?

In computer consulting, you’d be better off not having a salesperson early in the life of your business. Your focus should be on figuring out the identity of your business and communicating it. If you have a salesperson, you can draw focus away from your main business in favor of human resource issues and business development.

Instead of figuring out account ownership and controlling accounts, you will be monitoring someone else, motivating someone else and training someone else as a salesperson when you should be training your prospects, clients and yourself instead.

The computer services industry is about you being your business, and an outside salesperson will not be able to fully capture your talents and abilities. Your clients are buying you rather than your products and services, and you need to get your uniqueness across.

Account Ownership and the Salesperson

The other problem with having a salesperson is account ownership. Even if you have all sorts of non-disclosure agreements, non-competes and others a salesperson could technically claim legal entitlement to your accounts, and a long battle could kill your business. If an outside salesperson recruits 90% of your client base the first year, this is a lot of ownership to give someone that is not you.

Hiring a Salesperson

You will have a lot of time to hire a salesperson as your business evolves. During the first three to six months, a salesperson can actually be a liability. Besides the time and energy spent on the salesperson, legal issues could crop up and stall or halt your business. Keep your initial roster of sweet spot clients to yourself and enjoy a more stable business in the long-run.

Added By: Joshua Feinberg