Too Little Is Almost Always Better Than Too Much
Too little is almost always better than too much, both in life and in business.
And too little is virtually always always better than too much when it comes to managing sales guys.
Sales guys are famous for being lazy and greedy folks with a good line of bull. The good ones will say anything true (with a spin of course) to get a sale. The bad ones will say anything to get a sale.
If you have the task of managing a group of sales guys, you will almost certainly hear these 2 things from them:
- We need more leads
- The leads we have are crappy
Now, if you are a small business owner and your sales force is telling you that they need more leads and that the current leads that they have are crappy – you quickly translate that into one thing:
The sales guys are whining about leads which means I need to spend more money on better marketing so the leads aren’t crappy!
Or in other words – when you hear about the sales guys needing leads, a siren goes off in your head that flashes red telling you to spend money.
But it has been my experience — my experience 100% of the time without exception — that too few leads for a sales guy is always better than too many.
Well, first – it has been my experience that each sales person is only going to work as hard as he needs to due to the 2-4-6-8 problem.
And in the event that you spend money on getting leads in the door, at some point, the sales force will begin to experience the “I am so full I can’t take one more bite” phenomenon but they will not tell you — and money that you spent on leads will go to waste.
And finally, when the leads are scarce and crappy (according to your sales force), it has been my experience that there are always those sales guys with a little (or a lot) of the back alley factor pulsating through their veins and those are the guys you want on your team anyway.
The real trick if you are in charge of hiring and motivating a sales force is to understand these general ideas and then maximize your sales by keeping each individual sales person lean, mean and hungry.
I can’t take full credit for the “too little is almost always better than too much” idea, I learned it from a small business owner – and then read the same concept in one of Bill Gate’s books… but I never realized it until hundreds of sales guys were all screaming at me:
We don’t have enough leads and these leads are crappy!