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22 SMT Magazine • December 2016 Editor's Note: New columnist Craig Arcuri will offer expert advice on running and growing a successful EMS company—or any company. Part 1—Build the Foundation I was in Kinko's the other day, and while waiting for the copier to finish printing, I was pacing out of boredom. I stumbled upon a rack filled with candy and treats on one side and a few dozen paperback books on the oth - er. Nearly every book covered one of two sub- ject areas: how to get organized or how to close a sale. I found it interesting, because I was just putting the finishing touches on this article about sales. As I thumbed through a few, I found lots of good ideas I could relate to, many of which I have used myself. Yet none provided step-by-step instructions—at least, not the kind that take you deep into the trenches of real life. Let's get some basics out of the way. I will presume for the moment that if you are read- ing this, you already know what you are selling and who the likely buyers are. You've memo- rized the features and benefits of your products, and you've done your homework on both your customers and your competition. You've read about the art of selling, and you've refined your sales pitch. I will further assume that once you close a sale, you can do what you said you could do. Lastly, I will assume that in return for mon- ey, you performed a service or delivered goods that were well-received. You're totally prepared for trench warfare! Or are you? Let me back up and provide some back- ground about myself. I have started and sold several companies, some large and some small. Most were in the crucible that is Silicon Valley. The largest of these companies was $150M in annual revenue and the smallest $5M. Some were manufacturing companies and some were service companies. I have built big sales teams, and at other times I have been the sales team. Now, you might think Silicon Valley, where money falls off the light poles (it doesn't), and customers line up to throw money at you (they don't) is the land of opportunity. Well, it is, but those same truths attract hundreds of competitors just itching to scoop up all that money. So, kid, if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere. My MBA was earned in the field, making lots of mistakes. I do not claim to be anything other than old, experienced and battle-scarred, but nonethe - less, a survivor. I've spent my life in the trench- es, and along the way, I've learned a thing or two. My resume would tout my decades of expe- rience as a successful CEO. But what does being CEO have to do with sales? Everything! As CEO, you are always selling—to peers, banks, inves- tors, employees, customers, prospective team members, etc. In fact, I would argue that the CEO position of a company of any size is, or must be, the chief master sales person. by Craig Arcuri BIZREMODEL.COM Sales: a.k.a., Trench Warfare! FEATURE COLUMN: FRONT LINES

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