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Sales Make it Happen

CEO Masters with Clay Feet

Today, more than ever, professional salespeople should become valued resources for senior executives. Even celebrity CEO's need help - often now, and sometimes again! Take Donald Trump, better known by some as "The Donald." The recession of the early 1990's brought Trump's business to bankruptcy and brought him to the brink of personal bankruptcy. In 2004, hundreds of thousands of aspirants began competing on TV to become The Apprentice. At the same time, The Donald faced a major crisis at Trump Hotels and Casino Resorts, Inc. Not only was his company short of cash and 1.8 billion dollars in debt, but also it had never been profitable since becoming a public company in 1995. A CEO could lose an apprentice over this type of performance!

More often than not salespeople stand in awe of senior executives, especially CEO's. If you look at Mr. Trump's predicament, you see that even smart, experienced CEO's and senior executives fall prey to poor business decisions, encroaching competition and economic and environmental contingencies that affect their enterprises.

Want more evidence? The largest business consulting firms tell us that 80% of mergers and acquisitions fail to add to shareholder value, 33% of the public companies that file BK reorganization restructure or file permanent bankruptcy within five years, and the overall failure rate for public companies is 20-30%. It should be clear that CEO's and senior executives need all the help they can get so they can make the most informed decisions possible. With adequate preparation and confidence, many sales professionals will find themselves in the best position to deliver the information senior executives need to effectively run successful businesses.

Do you have any unusual insights, thoughts or knowledge you can share with senior executives? Is there anything you can do or say that might make them smarter? Thinking about this may take some time, but the investment in time can pay huge dividends in the form of continued access to senior executives and their loyalty to you and your company.

--- from the desk of a retired, successful leasing company president.