In Sales Won’t Save Your Business, “Super” Joe Pardo answers the questions business owners have about how to create a viable and successful business beyond just selling. The book’s title is very apt because, as Joe points out, selling a lot of your product won’t help your business if you don’t have an effective team in place to handle customer service and you don’t have the right processes and procedures in place to prepare for the growth that results from sales. As a result, Joe takes the reader on a journey to the TOP by dividing the book into three parts that focus on Team, Offer, and Process.
Following a foreword by Lee Cockerell, Retired Executive Vice President of Walt Disney World® Resort, Super Joe jumps right into telling it like it is by asking readers to recall why they started a business in the first place, what is the biggest stress generator in the business, and what they can do to empower themselves in the business.
Joe refers to the contents page as a roadmap, and rather than having chapters, he calls each section a “pin” on that roadmap-a place you must stop and master to move forward in your journey to business growth.
At the heart of this book is a request for the reader to become self-aware. Joe reminds readers to ask others for feedback about their own strengths and weaknesses, to ask for help, not to work themselves to death, and to focus on the influence they have on others. That influence affects the business owner’s team members and their success, so the first part of the book focuses on how to create a successful team, which is an extension of the business and its owner. As Joe says, “Your business is a tree, and the roots of that tree are made of strong relationships.” Being a business owner also means being a leader, which means you have to dig in and do the work yourself. Joe states, “At times, you will need to fill in because of a worker shortage or an emergency. In such situations, it is important for your team to understand you are not just going to sit back and make them do all of the work. This does not mean, however, that you should be working in your business all of the time versus on your business. A great leader knows how to find the balance that will earn respect.”
Being a leader means inspiring your team, and it also means entrusting that team to do what you would do when you don’t have time to do it. Relinquishing power to others is often difficult for leaders, but Joe points out that when you try to micromanage your team, you take power from your managers; that makes team members second-guess their managers and do what they think you want, even though they may not always know what you want. Therefore, you have to empower your managers by letting go of all the power.
Change is always difficult for organizations, so if you want to implement the changes Joe recommends, you’ll have to deal with people who don’t like change.
Consequently, Joe spends a lot of time talking about how to incorporate change in your business without ruffling too many feathers. To illustrate his point, he shares his own story of implementing change in his family’s business, and how, despite a few ruffled feathers, the process became successful.
Despite whatever changes you make, the ultimate goal is to provide customer satisfaction. In Part 2: Focus on the Offer, Joe talks about how to price products properly and how to get your team aligned with providing customer service. The best advice Joe gives here is how to teach your team to focus on the customer’s perspective when providing service.
In Part 3: Focus on the Process, Joe reminds us it’s vital that business owners always seek ways not just to change but to improve. In order to do that, you have to have clear processes. Once processes are in place, team members are clear on their tasks and then the business can run smoothly. As a result, you won’t need to micromanage; you’ll then have time to work on your business rather than working in it.
There’s much more I could talk about here-excellent advice on hiring, firing, and promoting team members; advice on incorporating technology into your business; and advice on how to grow your profit by improving your training. Throughout, Joe sprinkles in his “Super Joe Says” sayings-which are like modern proverbs for business owners. Each pin ends with exercises so that readers don’t just have a reading but a learning experience, allowing them to look at their own businesses and come up with the answers they need. As a result, they’ll close this book having the tools to take their businesses to new levels of growth and their own lives to increased satisfaction.