In Sales: Take the Road Less Traveled

Why should one take the road less traveled? First, there is less competition on this road. Yes, the road could lead to a dead end. Yes, the road could have some unexpected bumps along the way. This is true. However, the payoff for your perseverance and creativity can be quite high. Why? Most salespersons prefer to play it safe and stay on a road that is worn and well-traveled. In our terms this might be known as calling on the same people that everyone else calls on. This leads to more selling on price.

You cannot take just any road; but a road that you have strategically chosen that fits both your own interest areas, as well as the services your company excels in providing. You will find that many such buyers/companies you encounter along this road do not get contacted as often as others. Why? Drum roll…it is a road less traveled. They are a little more off the beaten path and this type of sales is scary to many who prefer to call on things they can pick up in the mail or grocery store. Hence, we stay off this road and the buyers are overlooked more times than not.

Does this mean your road less travelled should be a shortcut? No. Does this mean your road will make you successful overnight? No. There is no shortcut to sales. Sorry. However, creative planning, perseverance, passion and determination will help you prevail. Sales and marketing are two different things. However, I would challenge all salespersons to approach their sales activities like a strong marketer when choosing their “road.”

Here are some questions you need to ask. Do the customers I want to reach live on this road? Does my road have companies that need the products and services my organization does best? Does my road get overlooked by the competition? Does my road give me a chance to build solid relationships and meet others along the same road? Does my road allow me to be an expert problem solver who provides a “shot” of headache relief? Does my road allow me to more readily find buyers I like to work with? Does my road allow me to be a “consultant” who makes their life easier?

Ryan T. Sauers is president of Sauers Consulting Strategies and spent nearly 20 years leading printing and promotional product companies prior to founding the firm. The organization consults with printing and promotional product related companies across the country, helping them grow the front end of their organization. Sauers is working on his Doctoral degree in Organizational Leadership and is the author of the top-selling book “Everyone Is in Sales”, with another book in the works.  He is a Certified Myers Briggs Type Indicator and DiSC Practitioner and Certified Marketing Executive. Ryan writes national feature articles and speaks at national conferences on such topics as sales, marketing, communications, leadership, organizational strategy and social media. He is also an adjunct university professor. More info at
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  • Melissa Sienicki

    A smart and inspirational blog post – a great way to start the week. Thanks, Ryan!

  • Les Csonge

    "it’s never crowded on the extra mile" ;-)