Are you built to sell?


Whether you are a business owner, a consultant or a W-2 employee — you want to be able to sell off what you have of value.

  • For the owner, it’s probably the business itself.
  • The consultant wants to evolve into having product to sell, so they aren’t just selling their time.
  • And the employee wants to sell his services — either to re-sell and demonstrate value to his current employer or be sought after by a new employer.

Although it was written with the business owner in mind, the book Built to Sell by John Warrillow speaks to all three circumstances.  (click here to buy the book*)  Absolutely every business owner should read this book but so should anyone doing business today.

A few key insights from the book for all of us…regardless of job title:

#1: If you remain a generalist, you will only be able to charge generalist prices and you’ll compete with everyone for their business.  Specialists command higher prices and are sought after — rather than having to chase down their potential customers.

#2: Let process and technology systemize your business and create the consistency that your customers can come to count on.

#3: Package what you sell and make it something that needs to be re-purchased/used often.

#4:  Say no.  Define who you want as a customer (or boss) and say no to the rest.  Don’t settle, don’t compromise and don’t spread yourself too thin.

The book is a fast, enjoyable read.  It’s written in the business parable style that many authors like Steve Farber, Patrick Lencioni and others have done so well.  And…you get more than the story.  John’s built an implementation guide with plenty of how to’s into the back of the book so you can get right to work on making yourself/your business ready for the next sale!

So — jump into the comments section and let’s talk about how to make ourselves more sellable.  What are you going to do first?


*Yup, it’s an affiliate link.  And yes, someone (publisher or the author) sent me the book to read.  As you know, I get books in the mail every day.  I only share the ones I think you’ll find valuable.   Otherwise, you’d think I sucked.

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5 comments on “Are you built to sell?

  1. #2 jumped out at me. Process and technology can go a long way to helping you deliver consistent product while giving you time to focus on something else.

    1. Scott,

      How are you leveraging this at work today?


  2. Tracy Geier says:

    #1: Apple, Starbucks, Jaguar…enough said.

    1. Tracy,

      Hard to argue with that list, isn’t it?


  3. I believe #1 integrates the concept of differentiation strategy. A business must bring distinction to its product for it survive, if it can’t compete with other products of the same niche in pricing.

    Louis Vuitton is an example of this strategy. Surely, anybody can have a bag, but those who want to belong to a social stratum with elegant taste choose expensive bags such as the LV brand.

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