"Sales Cure All" But What Cures Unhealthy Sales

Some might know of Mark Cuban's often quoted remark, "Sales Cure All." Not many people would disagree. I don't think it's a poor idea to live by in business. However, it's not all together true. Now, I don't think it's fair to take three words from a man and then try to discredit him out of context. I think Mark Cuban has it right-- or at least-- he is doing something, many somethings right. 

But let's talk about the idea of putting sales before everything else, just for the heck of it. 

If sales were all that mattered for everyone, then it'd be safe to put anyone into the scenario. Let's subject the owner of a company that sells bidets to this logic. For those of you that don't know, a bidet is a toilet that sprays your down there parts clean with a refreshing nether region spritz. It's European, okay. I'd totally buy one, but I don't like competing for dominance with a toilet in my own home. 

Anyway, the bidet company owner is having a hard time selling these babies in the area that he opened up shop. He's tried a lot of different things, but people just aren't into it. They don't feel entirely comfortable with the idea of it. They have skeptical views, traditional loyalty to TP only, they don't think it's worth the investment, they believe it isn't as green as could be, perhaps some are nervous about sexual connotations, who knows, but they aren't buying. 

This man needs them to buy his high-tech porcelain super soakers. He must sell them all to cure his problems. 

To use a cliche, this is putting the cart before the horse. 

Selling isn't his problem, selling is never the problem (unless you have terrible salespeople). It's not the selling but the buying. 

You should build a competent enough staff so that selling is never a problem. It should be that buying is the problem. People don't want to buy this guys bidets. If everyone wanted to buy his bidets, then selling would cure all-- he'd meet their demands. But no one wants them. So it's not the selling, but the buying. 

Selling makes it about what you are doing wrong or right in offering a product. Buying makes it about what is driving the consumer to or away from your product. 

This man doesn't need to sell the bidets. He needs people to want to buy them. I know that sounds redundant, and it sort of is, but I just want to delineate between the two conceptual approaches to completing a transaction. 

The best products make sure that their salespeople don't sell anything. The salespeople of incredible products accept money. Can you imagine at the launch of the iPhone 6 there being people spinning signs out front of apple begging people to come in, trading raunchy dance moves for a wave? No way, there's a line. A long line. Is there a long line for the bidet guy? Probably not, unless it's right next to a movie theatre with closed restrooms. 

Instead of focusing on selling their products, Apple focused on adding value to their products--- and on creative ways of revealing that value. Everyone does a little selling. But considering the consumer-product relationship before you consider the consumer-sales relationship, will help you set yourself apart from the sign spinners. 

People want to spend money. 90% of people work jobs they hate and if they can't spend some money then their lives aren't justified. This is capitalism baby. You've got to give them a really good reason to spend their money in your corner. There are a lot of options out there. But it's the business owners who actually care about the relationship consumers have with their products that succeed. Don't worry about pushing product. Focus on the product so you can pull cash.