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Grow Your Business Through Your Employees Not Your Customers

Grow Your Business Through Your Employees Not Your Customers

You’ve cut prices, you’ve refined your target customer base, you’ve increased your advertising and still — business is so slow it’s dangerous. The economy is not good, but other companies seem to be selling similar products and services. How are they able to survive (and yes, thrive) while your sales are tanking? They’ve focused on growing their businesses through their employees, instead of through their customers alone.

Successful companies have realized that if they better educate, train, and communicate with their employees on ‘the business’, their organization’s bottom line will likely improve. Why? Better informed and better trained employees are able to generate sales. They’re able to identify ways to improve processes, and to discover ways to reduce costs. Regardless of title or position, everyone in the organization can now contribute to growing ‘the business’.

Every employee, at every level of your organization is a potential sales person. Every employee is a potential manager and leader. Every employee is a potential process engineer. But your employees can’t reach their potential, until they’ve been given information, training, and guidance to make that potential a reality.

Who better to learn the entire production process than the people on the line? Why not teach them how enhancements to their process can positively impact the rest of the line?

Who better to learn project management than the people who have been gathering the data for the project? Why not teach them how to marry the data with real- world applications?

Who better to study the deep demographics of your customers than your front-line tellers? Why not teach them how to quickly identify customer segments and then use the appropriate cross-selling techniques?

Grow Your Business Through Your Employees Not Your CustomersAt a bare minimum, if your employees wear company shirts, jackets, or uniforms, recognize that they are your passive sales team. They’re walking billboards for your organization. Therefore, it’s critical these employees understand ‘the business’ and can explain it to others.

I recently suggested to one of my clients that he and his senior staff wear their company shirts to any Rotary, Chamber, Lions, business or community function. The owner thought the idea was rather weak. However, that night he wore his company shirt to an after-work community fund-raiser. The woman he sat next to commented on his shirt. My client explained what his company provided, and walked away with her card. The next day, he followed up with her — and received a large purchase order. My client has since scheduled more training for all of his employees, he now includes product and services briefings in his regular production meetings, and — he’s ordered more shirts!

Don’t limit your growth by focusing exclusively on your customers. Leverage your business through your employees. ‘Grow’ your employees, and they’ll grow your business.


Copyright MMIII – Liz Weber, CMC, CSP – Weber Business Services, LLC – www.WBSLLC.com +1.717.597.8890

Liz supports clients with strategic and succession planning, as well as leadership training and executive coaching. Learn more about Liz on LinkedIn!

Liz Weber CMCLiz Weber, CMC CSP

Liz Weber coaches, consults, and trains leadership teams. She specializes in strategic and succession planning, and leadership development.

Liz is one of fewer than 100 people in the U.S. to hold both the Certified Management Consultant (CMC) and Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) designations.

Contact Liz’s office at +1.717.597.8890 for more info on how Liz can help you, or click here to have Liz’s office contact you.

Copyright © Weber Business Services, LLC All rights reserved.


4 thoughts on “Grow Your Business Through Your Employees Not Your Customers”

  1. Alan Kay says:

    Liz, I couldn’t agree more. A critical element in talent development is re-framing the customer in the mind of the staff. Delivering the customer strategy should be framed as a decision-making tool for staff. When staff are caught in the ambiguity of the work between them, (happens all the time!) using the customer to decide on how to move forward helps them make informed decisions, grow their capability, be more accountable to each other, etc.

    1. Beautifully stated Alan. Too often staff view customers as “the enemy” or “a problem” instead of “an opportunity to find a solution.” That ‘reframing’ as you say works wonders. Thanks for your comments and for the learning! L

  2. Owen Charnley says:

    I Posed the question to my line manager many years ago. ” How do you expect the organisation to grow, if you do not invest in the growth of the employees?”

    His answer to me is not repeatable on this website. However the line manger contact with was very minimal, until I left the organisation

    1. Hi Owen and thanks for posting.
      Sad to say, there are more tunnel-focused managers out there like your former line manager than we’d like to see, but it happens. Believing you can treat employees poorly and not help them advance their skills, understanding, etc is a wise way to control funds is short-sighted (and down-right mean).
      You like many others are the reason for the saying, “Employees don’t quit companies; they quit managers.” I hope you’ve found a better organization to share your talents.
      Thanks Owen – Liz

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Posted by Liz Weber CMC on March 6, 2012 in Leadership Development and tagged , , , ,