“No one wakes up and decides to be overhead” – words loaded with meaning and in need of context. So I love it when I can clarify the message – it’s significant for the future.
I do NOT define people as only revenue-producing or not. Doing so only creates more silos and, in many cases, resentment. So please don’t do it. It won’t end well.
Everyone – in their way – contributes to revenue.
“Everyone’s in sales” means everyone in the organization, regardless of department or title, has an enormous and fantastic opportunity to do something that helps the client or influences a client to say “yes.” In other words, I am redefining what selling is from a contextual, cultural perspective. “Nobody wakes up and decides to be overhead” reinforces the context that everyone matters, everyone has a role in the client saying “yes,” and no one is overhead, or it should be thought of as “just the back office.” Showing people that they are not just a “cog” and have as much meaning and impact as the sales team on the company’s success is a powerful cultural message, and your customers will feel it!
The last person – regardless of position – to interact with a customer is the “chief sales officer” for the whole company.
I believe passionately that people don’t WANT to be considered “overhead.” The traditional definition that non-salespeople are overhead is what I have spent my entire speaking career challenging – and successfully for those who are open to suspending disbelief. That’s the message. People hear my words through their filters and biases, which leads to an early and sometimes incorrect interpretation of the spirit of the message. For example, when a finance person hears “overhead,” they have a different reaction to the word, or when a service technician hears overhead, it can reaffirm in their minds an incorrect view of their role as somehow not as essential to the company’s overall success. Both are wrong and corrosive to a company’s long term healthy – if retaining and attracting people is vital ( yes, that’s a combination of my sarcasm and binge rhetorical)
Hearing the word “overhead” without context leads to silos, resentment, and turnover. So don’t bet against me on this one.
So, here is your challenge. Suspend judgment, do not be 100% literal, rush to a decision, and hear that message. Doing so will give you a powerful leg-up in building a better and more productive team and company.
Open your ears, and your mind – good stuff will follow!