Everybody’s in Sales
Business development should always be a priority, but it’s especially important for organizations that don’t have a sales force. In my opinion, everybody within an organization is in sales, because every touch-point with the outside world is an impression that you leave and an opportunity to sell. Too many times I have encountered a culture where business development was viewed as something that someone had to do (begrudgingly) and nobody took ownership. Somebody within your organization has to own sales and business development. This person needs to understand the process, or be able to hire somebody who does. Talking to somebody at an airport bar while waiting for a flight is one way to plug your business, but how many times can you do that? We need to think of business development as something that is replicable and that could be continued even if people leave the organization.
Set Up Systems
My opinion is that, if you get hit by a bus tomorrow and nobody can continue your job, because there is no system in place, you don’t really have a business. Warren Buffet once said “you need to set up a system for your organization that an idiot can run, because at one day that will happen” (check out the quote!).
Systems are used for engineering, IT, production, or accounting. Nobody would expect a company to not have an accounting system but it’s highly common for companies to live without any system when it comes to sales. That is when I developed the blueprint of “Selling & Dating” and how the two compare. It’s a humorous way of looking at the process, but if one follows the steps sales becomes more transparent.
Selling is a Process
That’s probably why most people are afraid of sales, because there is no guidelines, no blueprint. Hiring somebody who is charismatic is very often an option that is chosen. But charisma only takes you so far. Sales really is a process and once everyone in the organization understands that, it will be a lot easier to follow. There is this fear of selling, almost a disdain where sales is viewed as a practice where we have to persuade another person to buy something that they really need or like. Once we shift that mindset and understand that as long as we meet a need that another person has, it’s so much easier to embrace selling.
In my opinion, the fear and reluctance to selling stems from the fact that we are not taught to do it in a process oriented way. “Just pick up the phone and pitch our business”, seems to be the advice that many people are given, especially in smaller organizations. Once you have developed an ideal prospect profile and you know that what you are offering is something that your target will need, you can be structured in your approach and have a conversation rather than a sales chat.
Trust me, it works every single time.
Never forget those 3!
When developing the benefits to your audiences, always remember to develop messaging that helps them get their attention. If you have read my blog you will remember that people buy because you can help them:
- Make money and/or
- Save money or time and/or
- Improve their reputation internally