The Sales Carpenter

I remember moving my family to Argentina as Vice President of Sales for Latin America. I was in charge of managing five regional offices, Argentina of course being one of them.

In the company's ten year history of selling into Latin America it had never exceeded $14 million (M) in annual sales. The Argentina office itself had never produced more than $400 thousand (K) in sales. My task was to increase the sales locally in Argentina, but more importantly throughout Latin America.

I remember sitting in my office one day, looking out the window and wondering, "How the heck am I going to grow this business with problems in Mexico, Brazil, Puerto Rico and other hot spots? "How can I grow this business beyond $14M when no one in the past has been able to do so?" Forget the movie Sleepless in Seattle, I was "Sleepless in Argentina," trying to map out a strategy. How would I make "sales" happen?! "

A confession to you the reader: I was scared! Please don't tell anyone!

One day while on the phone with a customer, I heard loud noises from across my office building. After getting off the phone, I opened the window and looked at the shorter building next door. On the rooftop, I saw several men using a scrapping machine to rip apart the flat roof the size of two tennis courts. This noise went on for days.

Then one day I noticed the silence. I looked outside and discovered that the men had finishing stripping the rooftop and were now laying small ceramic tiles. Given the size of the roof I remember thinking, "That's going to take them a very long time."

A few days later to my surprise and amazement I looked outside and saw that they were three-quarters of the way complete. "Amazing! How were they able to lay so many small tiles so quickly?"

Satori,? a moment of enlightenment.

At that very moment, a new mindset was born for building sales. Instead of focusing in on the enormous task of increasing sales for the entire region (the whole roof), I would focus on building the company's sales slowly (one ceramic tile or sales office at a time).

It was this paradigm shift, this Latin American version of eating an elephant one-bite-at-a-time that helped me maintain the patience and sanity needed to grow the business. I considered each country in Latin America a "tile." I set out to make sure that each tile I laid was positioned correctly in the marketplace. The result? First year, we hit $14.3M. Second year $45M. By the end of the third year, the region's annual sales had grown to $98M. The Argentina office itself went from $400K in sales to $5M.

Success, in sales and in life, starts when you break things up into smaller pieces; you begin to feel a sense of control. And as I began to take action, I began to feel a sense of momentum. Control and momentum became my engine for success. And every time I felt overwhelmed or anxious, I thought to myself, "Victor, let's just lay one tile at a time."

Confucius said, "It is not a matter of how fast or slow, but simply a matter of you moving." I learned that progress or success never happens overnight, but over time?one tile at time. I learned how to become a sales 'carpintero' (carpenter who builds things).

Victor Gonzalez, top Hispanic motivational speaker and author of "The LOGIC of Success". For more info go to: www.thelogicofsuccess.com or by email [email protected]

In The News:

Sales Manager  Pedestrian TV
Chuck Irons joins GEW's sales team  Labels and Labeling
Multimedia Sales Planner  WKMG News 6 & ClickOrlando
Who's Coaching Our Customers?  Business 2 Community
Sales Coordinator  Pedestrian TV
Should You Become a Psychology Major? | SNHU  Southern New Hampshire University
Marketing Manager  Pedestrian TV
Is Trust Sufficient?  Business 2 Community

How You Can Raise Your Business Earnings By 50% With An Age-Old Magic Truth

Imagine increasing your business earnings by 30, 40, or 50%.... Read More

The ACCOUNTABILITY Challenge for Today?s Business Management

In today's 24/7 driven business word, accountability is becoming a... Read More

Sex, Drugs, & Rock-n-Roll: Trade Show Traps and Tips

Sex, Drugs & Rock-n-RollHere's the Scenario...You're at a trade show.... Read More

Offer Package Deals To Increase Profits And Sales

An effective way to increase your profits and sales is... Read More

10 Things to Help Your Business When Sales Are Slow During the Holidays

Twiddling your thumbs and waiting for some business to come... Read More

How to Sharpen Your Sales Message with Do-it-Yourself Focus Groups - Small Business Power Tools

You've probably heard of focus groups. It's a tool that... Read More

How to Organize a Seminar or an Event

Seminars and events have always been implemented as a holistic... Read More

Five Steps to Maximize Success in Targeting For Growth

Targeting is the process of selecting high potential customer accounts... Read More

Is Your Sales Trust Factor High Enough to Win Against the Competition?

How high is your sales trust factor?Is it higher than... Read More

Poor Performance - Fix it by Coaching

Coaching is about finding out the cause of poor performance... Read More

Make Time, Not Excuses

There are four primary activities that successful salespeople engage in... Read More

Small Business Marketing: Overtaking Your Competitors

Few businesses keep tabs on competitors, yet such knowledge can... Read More

The Achilles Heel of Management Coaching

While heading home at day's end, you begin reflecting on... Read More

Whats a Professional Sales Manager?

I was in the depths of a major depression. As... Read More

8 Line Items of a Trade Show Budget

Budget Guidelines for Trade Show MarketingB'techa didn't know - Trade... Read More

4 Tips for the Summer Slowdown - How To Pick Up Sales

You may have heard about the "summer slowdown". You may... Read More

3 Ways to Increase Your Sales

Last week I got a call from Jose, who was... Read More

To Increase Your Sales and Revenue Make Sure To Add Value

What are you and your company's services and products worth... Read More

The Product or the Sale

This is a quandary not unlike the chicken or the... Read More

Franchise Sales; Recruiting of Laid Off Employees

Because of corporate downsizing, many people have been laid-off or... Read More

14 Top Lead Generation Tactics

According to former Harvard Business School professor David Maister, typical... Read More

Shorten Sales Cycles in Complex Sales Environments

Help buyers discover the answers they need to understand and... Read More

Producing Premium Performance

One of the major issues that arises in managing a... Read More

Baditude!

As a group of sales trainees took a break from... Read More

A Coachs Handbook For Sales Managers

This article may be reprinted in its entirety with express... Read More