As a coach with sales and marketing expertise, I take great pride in developing different ways to teach professionals with varying skillsets how to generate new business. In an increasingly competitive business world, the ability to acquire new clients hasn't gotten any easier. Many professionals who are responsible for developing business have never even been in a formal sales role, and they don’t consider themselves salespeople. Some are new business owners, and some are accountants or lawyers now responsible for building their practice.
If you are someone who needs help and decides to seek professional advice, there are three things you must have in order to take advantage of what you learn. It doesn’t matter if that advice comes via seminar, presentation, formal training or individual coaching sessions.
Despite the belief of many professionals, selling effectively is far more complicated than just telling someone why they should purchase your product or solution. The notion that you can achieve great and sustainable results by simply telling as many people as possible how great you are is a misnomer.
Whether you are selling widgets in a small town or delivering legal services to Fortune 500 companies, there should be a process involved. Understanding how to collect and analyze data in a way that positively impacts your results is part of the process. Whatever sales methodology or business development training you prescribe to, make sure there is enough structure so that you can properly analyze why your business development efforts are — or aren't — working.
Once you select a methodology or approach, remain disciplined in your execution. Too often, professionals will achieve some success, get excited, then forget all about following a process. This lack of discipline hinders their ability to achieve long-term success.
For example, professionals may acquire a client that the data suggests they should not target. Those professionals following a process are much more inclined to recognize the anomaly, which prevents them from making the mistake of redirecting their prospecting efforts to pursue those who are not likely to buy from them. Whereas those professionals without discipline end up wasting a lot of time and money pursuing the wrong prospects.
Understanding how important it is to have discipline is a critical step for growing your business, but having self-awareness is even more important. Many people can articulate what they have to offer and why they think it is beneficial to prospective clients. In fact, people often spend the majority of their time crafting their “pitches” or creating their “value propositions." Those activities are good and useful, but they lack power if you are not self-aware. Ultimately you want to be able to articulate how you can uniquely solve important problems. You can’t articulate your unique business value if you don’t know what it is.
Most professionals will agree with the importance of self-awareness, so I am amazed by the fact that self-awareness is not common. Since no one ever really admits to not being self-aware, my recommendation is to verify how you are perceived by others. The more accurate you are with the perception of your value, the easier it is to (1) identify prospects most likely to buy from you and (2) overcome objections that will arise from potential clients.
Once you are able to articulate your unique business value and you have a structured way to analyze your business development efforts, you are on your way to achieving sustainable success. However, despite all of the quality training and coaching, there is no single program that can guarantee success for everyone. As you progress, you will have to make adjustments. Some activities and efforts will prove to be fruitful and others will not. Some activities that worked in the past may no longer work. Remember it is a process and you must persevere. You will have to remain disciplined and determined in order to achieve your goals.
Originally published on December 31, 2017 by SpeakerMatch Speakers Bureau