I have a perspective that says we are all selling at some time or other despite the fact that our role title may not have the word “sales” in it.
I have worked with a wide range of different people with differing skills and life perspectives and occasionally there was a tacit understanding that whilst the “sales team” carried a responsibility for the “number”, everyone had a responsibility as a representative of the company to present a positive external image to the World at large and in so doing increased the potential for businesses to want to work with us.
This has not always been the case, and at the other extreme, I have experienced the silos of “you are sales” we are….. etc. Whilst I am not saying that this is right or wrong, what I am intending to highlight is the fact that I believe, we all have a responsibility as a member of the business team to take the job of representing the business as positively as we can as “ambassadors” if you will. In so doing, it is my belief that this will create a wave of good-will that can only be positive. Remember of course that the reach of social media can play a big role in this and everyone in the business knows people – very often people of influence and potential customers for your business’s services or products.
Make sure you are a person of value to yourself and your business and ultimately you are contributing to the success of the organisation – PLEASE don’t just leave it to the sales team
Selling – is it an art or a science?
In truth, it’s both. The process of a non- customer becoming a customer through their buying process, has a bucket full of potential twists and turns to arrive as a new customer to your enterprise.
The science of selling is in the planning and understanding of how to get from where you are, to where you want to be. How you reach your target audience and what will attract them to your online presence (the NEW Shop window). The art component is to do with your engagement with the potential customer.
However you consider customer acquisition, you need to attract or find new ones and take care of and nurture the ones you already have. Rest assured that someone will be trying to lure your customers away from you, just as you are attempting to encourage new customers into your care.
The one universal truth is that this does all take some time, so do not expect to have orders rolling in because you have launched your web site or because you have received 3 inquires this week. Building your business is a long game, so stay ambitious but realistic and keep trusting the process, and above all be persistent and professional.
I was watching the TV earlier in the week – Vera was the name of the programme in question and for those not acquainted, it’s a police detective drama.
There is the usual hierarchy on display with a hard working sergeant who is smart and growing in confidence in his role and adding enormous value to the case currently under investigation. What struck me about this particular episode was the fact that the Inspector, whilst valuing the sergeant’s inputs, was not particularly OPEN with him, and in fact the communication was pretty one-way traffic, apart from the issuing of instructions and orders – sound familiar?
At the end of this episode, there is a moment where the inspector and her sergeant are sitting in a car and the conversation takes a turn to matters of a more “personal” nature, and the sergeant speaks up to say that he learns a lot from her, and he needs her to share more with him to help him to develop……how true this must be for organisations around the World! The old paradigm of “knowledge is power” still rings through the corporate corridors and business “leaders” are jealously guarding their knowledge for fear that giving it away makes them somehow impotent. The reality is that this very act is holding back the success of the “group” and ultimately the business. This outdated thinking is also creating a positive reason why those very individuals being starved of help and support will most likely entertain the call from the “head-hunter” when he comes knocking.
Don’t let your fear and neurosis halt your progress, as it is through the success and development of the people you are responsible for, that you will deliver the result that you and your business are seeking.
But hey – what do I know!
I was showering this morning and began thinking about the year just gone and the coming year ahead. I was thinking about all the well wishes I was receiving and sending and I started to think about some of the language we use and ended up thinking about reaching our full potential. Further thought on this had me delving deeper and asking myself some questions which I would like to pose to you here now- Firstly what exactly is your full potential? How do you measure it and where is the ‘limit’?
I’m still pondering on that one and hope to hear some alternative perspectives and thoughts.
I hope you reach yours and achieve fulfilment 🙂
I guess we’ve all felt the recession in some form and have felt some pain or seen some benefit, depending upon the business we are in, or the state of our personal finances. Whatever our position, we have seen impact. Often we have no ability to influence what happens to us, but we can absolutely choose how we respond to what happens to us. So I decided to share an abridged version of my 2009.
I left long term employment in October 2008 as a result of taking a redundancy package, and immediately began a consulting assignment. At the start of 2009 I decided to press on and see what business I could become involved in and although not consciously, something far from what I had been doing (it was only later that this realisation came to me).
I became involved in publishing and assessing sales people’s capabilities and fit for specific roles and spread myself so thinly that I found it difficult to explain when asked, what business I was in. During this time I also began to network extensively and learnt much about social media and social networking. I read significantly too and took the opportunity to invest in personal development- training with Delta TCC and completing three INLPTA diplomas: Leadership, Coaching and Sales all were delivered using NLP techniques which provide a platform for enhanced communication with people.
After the summer I came to a realisation that I had much invested in my experiences to date and expertise gained from more than 20 years in the Telecom market place and so I made a decision to return and subsequently found my self a great role to immerse myself in, and am delighted to be doing so.
So what have I learnt? I learnt a huge amount about myself, a lot about people generally, and about human nature, as well as behaviour. I learnt much more about business generally too – certainly more than I would ever have expected to. Overall an invaluable life lesson and absolutely unmissable. I am most definitely a better person, and more heavily armed to take on business than I could ever have hoped to be – PRICELESS
The Telecom industry is under-invested in training as a whole. This was the general feedback and view of many attendees of the recent Convergence Summit held at Sandown Park during a panel debate session. So why is this so? Do people generally feel that there is no need to invest in training because they already have all the skills they need to have? I’m sure that most of us need training and do generally welcome it, so why is this the case? Perhaps it’s as simple as not having sufficient training available to them… I’d be interested to know what holds us back in this area, because I know from first hand experience how valuable training is.
What’s in it for me? And What are you going to do to help me? These are just two of the key questions any potential channel partner will be asking, presupposing that you can get an invitation to meet in the first place. How quickly can the new partner generate profitable revenues, and who will assist them to price, win and implement their initial sales? Next steps are to really build a significant revenue stream together and manage the support issues and obvious cash management challenges, notwithstanding the “hygiene” factors of ongoing training and relationship- building ongoing trust and goodwill. It is a worthwhile journey if you are committed to this path. One word of caution- don’t do this if investing is something you are trying to avoid – you can’t build success by “allowing” partners just to have access to your offering. You may make a few opportunistic sales, but you won’t build a business.