Written by Frédéric Lucas. This was originally posted by our OMG Partner affiliate in Canada, Prima Ressource and has been translated from French with minor adaptation.

how_ceos_win_at_salesWho is your company’s top seller? Is it by chance the CEO or business owner? Have you ever wondered why a CEO might sell more than a salesperson, despite having less finely-honed sales skills? (That generalization reflects the fact that salespeople are devoted full-time to sales while CEOs must wear many hats).

Who is the Top Seller at Many Companies? The CEO or Owner.

Business owners are often the best sellers of their company — NOT because they have developed special skills or because they have a talent that others do not. So how do CEOs sell effectively? Business owners are able to sell because they must sell! When they have good sales skills, it is easier for them, but when this is not the case, they may still succeed through so-called intangibles.

Here is a list of some intangibles that may compensate when business owners lack sales skills:

  • Motivation: Owners are motivated by success more than anyone in their business because it is THEIR business, and also because they are accountable for the results to the ultimate level. If the money stops coming in to pay suppliers, employees . . . then the company is doomed to death.
  • Evangelism: Owners talk incessantly about what they do and about their business. People buy the person. The head of the company is a real springboard to sell what the company has to offer. In general, business owners and CEOs really like this aspect of their role.
  • Memorable: Their passion is such that the people they encounter remember them. CEOs and business owners who succeed are effective with people and are appreciated. Their story is often inspiring for people.
  • Risk Taking: CEOs take risks to grow their business and they will find creative solutions to operate the business. You can be sure they will always find a way to deliver the goods as agreed and get paid for what they have delivered.
  • Effort: Business owners tend to think about their business 24/7. Although they may be ineffective at selling, the number of hours and the amount of effort they invest in the company overall more than compensates (but beware ─ at some point, this can become a weakness and it is not a viable long-term strategy).
  • Ego: Many CEOs see themselves as excellent sellers ─ regardless of whether it is the case or not ─ because it allows them to stand tall. You may already know that 80% of success in sales is due to mindset.
  • Impatience: Things are moving so fast in their world, they expect everything to go as fast with others. This impatience supports the ability to obtain decisions from people they deal with. When they do not get a response quickly, they move to the next potential customer.

While business owners and CEOs can sell ─ even without exceptional sales skills ─ it may also limit their growth when they reach a certain size. When it is easier for owners to sell than have others sell, they tend to go save their salespeople at every opportunity. Their sales department becomes totally dependent on them, and although it may work for a while, this is not a scalable model. This explains why many companies can not grow beyond a certain size.

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If you enjoyed this, you may be interested in this related post for CEOs and business owners: Why Can’t My Salespeople Close Business the Way I Can?

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