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Find A Ham Sandwich Idea

Date - 15 June 2016/ Category - How To Sell
How to sell

You’re probably looking at this title and thinking I’ve lost the plot. I assure you I could not be more serious. Find an idea that could be run by a ham sandwich (an actual Warren Buffett quote!).

In my time as a consultant, director and project specialist the most successful businesses I have seen can be characterised by two points.

1. An idea so good that the leadership team behind it are dreadful and no one has noticed
2. An idea so good that the sales made themselves!

What’s worse is that because the people in point 1 are often so poor, they have no idea that point 2 is going on and as such continually reward the sales people in control of point 2 when they don’t have to because they mistakenly identify them as the source of their success and not point one!

Now I have loads of examples of this and if you want to chat about this some more then feel free. My first example then is hubspot, a brilliant idea and an amazing piece of kit, but having purchased their software on a few occasions; a purchase which costs roughly £10,000 upfront, I can confirm that their sales team are terrible.

If you could pick out a team of completely disinterested people who were handed sales so never had to try then hubspot would be it, and yet when I raised this issue with their management they were incredulous. The problem was the management were misdiagnosing the root cause of their success and their idea was in fact succeeding in spite of poor sales teams than because of it.

Equally then I worked for a period of time for an entrepreneur who came across a ham sandwich idea about 8 years ago. In that 8 years he’s started 30 other businesses all of which have failed but that one ham sandwich idea has kept them going despite the fact he had no idea what he was doing. He actually never stepped foot in his own office for a period of 4 years because he had nothing to contribute to it!

Finding that one great idea is the single most important thing you need to do as an entrepreneur, but the problem is how do you tell a ham sandwich idea apart from the rest? That I’m afraid can only come if you have the guts to try it out.

The best thing you can do is put some money into marketing it and see if the phone rings. Don’t build it or invest £1000’s before you know it will sell, and if the phone rings off the hook then you know you’ll be ok.

Chapter Summary:

• Ideas that run themselves are the best ones
• This will allow you to turbo charge them instead of fighting for survival
• Understand when your idea is causing the success and your staff aren’t

Read our next blog post “The problem with reports”.

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success, ideas,