Sam Kariuki is business growth strategist, sales trainer, coach and consultant. He is the founder of Growth Partners a firm that helps businesses design scalable business models, identify and remove growth constraints and train business owners, entrepreneurs and managers on ways to effectively grow business revenues and profitability through leveraged sales and marketing strategies.
Sam is also a specialist in sales and sales management where he has consulted and trained for several large and mid-sized organizations in various industries across East Africa.
Organizations that have engaged Sam have developed new revenue streams, experienced increased sales, developed professional sales teams and increased returns on their sales and marketing expenditure.
He has contributed articles to various business publications including Business Daily, Marketing Africa, and Selling Power East Africa among others. He is the author of the book, The Guy Who Fired His Boss.
By Sam Kariuki
Many years ago I read somewhere that if you really want to be successful you must do that which you really love doing. The writer of the piece insisted that you should look for it till you find it. He went on to say that once you find it just do it even if no one is paying you to do it.
As I grew older I figured out that if you did only that which you will enjoy doing without making money then you have a hobby and soon enough you may end up doing that which you don’t like to sustain it. To be really successful you require figuring out how you will make money from this passion of yours. I also discovered that I need to combine that which I love doing with what am good at. Passion combined with talent it is unstoppable. This then got me into the journey of finding out that one thing that I love doing( I can happily do for free), I am good at and can make a living from.
The Helping Business
Five years ago I got the answer………… HELPING. I love helping people. I’m good at helping people (sometimes to my detriment) and but how can make a living out of helping people? I had to get people who had problems that I would enjoy helping people overcome and they would be willing to pay to be helped. To cut the story short I saw many business people who struggled to generate and grow sales. I saw sales people under pressure to perform but no know-how to do it. I saw managers struggling to get the right people to do the right job. I saw frustrated entrepreneurs caught up it traps of their dreams but minimal returns from their hard work. I felt for these people and there I knew how I could help. That explains how I got into the consulting business.
The best definition of consulting I have come across is the one that emphasizes that it is the business of helping people and organizations become more efficient and effective in pursuing and achieving their goals.
Not Effort, But Results
The end result of my engagement with my clients is leaving them better off that I found them. I want to see them making more sales and profits, having more efficient and effective organization, become more competitive, have happier and motivated people and develop highly professional people working with them.
That’s why whenever I am contracted by clients (not customers) I make it clear to them that I don’t wanted to be engaged in the processes of writing papers, strategic plans and other initiatives that will not be implemented for whatever reason. Declaration of intentions may have their place but I believe that the most important differentiator in life is not the plans and intentions but actions.
Whatever strategy we come up with we keep on asking the big question how can we make it simple and practical enough that the client will implement it. We are always seeking ways of dealing with the various obstacles that render many consulting engagements unfruitful. We create systems of monitoring the implementation of the strategies. We, politely but firmly, push our clients to act. All this is because we really want to see the fruits of our helping efforts. Of course we know the client is free to choose and take responsibility for the task at hand.
The most frustrating clients for us are those that are not action oriented. In the few years I have been in consulting business I describe the biggest reason why most consulting projects fail as lack of action. Our definition of action is strategic focused action towards realization of the intended goal.
Many managers and business owners don’t take this kind of action. Instead they go through work motions without asking themselves where the activity will lead them. They are trapped by daily emergencies and petty emergencies that make them fail to take the right action. I believe that a semi good consulting engagement backed with strategic action will bear more fruits than a perfect one without strategic action.
Our highest rewards are the results our clients get. We consider it a failure if we do the job and not get results. That’s why we turn away from jobs that we cannot promise results for whatever reason. By focusing on results we feel happy that we do not take our clients money and leave them worse off than we found them.
As I have said we are in the business of helping our clients accomplish their goals. We don’t take the clients responsibility for their success.
In a nutshell that is my brief experience in helping business. I love it. I enjoy it. And it pays!
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