So, you've spent years building the skills you need for your business to be successful.
Hours, Days, Weeks, Months, Years, Decades of study, discipline, experience, continuous education, technical training.
Over time, you start to bring people in around you, to build out your team.
Each member of your growing team has, are, and will invest hours, days, weeks, months, years, decades of study, discipline, experience, continuous education, technical training.
Over time, 10's of years, becomes 100's of years of skill and experience.
What is missing, I often find, are the skills to generate business. Sales, if you will.
Ironically, the single, most, important skill every business owner needs, and every team member should have.
Landing clients is the 'petrol in the engine' of business.
It is the 'bread and butter' issue that makes the difference between a successful Firm and a struggling one.
Here's 5 more practical things you can do to build your Firm's business. These timeless principles can be applied again and again, day after day, year after year, decade after decade.
They are proven to generate new revenue, new client accounts, new opportunities, when done right.
6) Get Professional
Get involved in your local business community.
Join professional associations such as Institute of Directors (IoD), Chamber of Commerce (CoC), Federation of Small Business (FSB) or Business Networking International (BNI).
Attend the meetings, play an active role in creating opportunity for the people you get to know, like and trust.
Over time look to be elected into a professional association leadership position.
This is one of the fastest ways to make connections in your industry, in your marketplace, in your area.
Those connections can often translate into opportunity to partner on projects for mutual benefit.
2) Be Unique
Your organisation should have some aspect about it that stands our and is different from the crowd.
Failing that, perhaps you should have some aspect about you that makes you stand out from the crowd.
In most settings organisations that do the same thing, look the same, sound the same, and as such feel samey.
Develop messages that distinguish you from others, that differentiates you from others, that others ‘prick up their ears’ and listen to.
Talk more about the problems you solve than the products and/or services you provide.
Think about the “what’s in it for me” from your client or potential clients perspective.
Then communicate in that language.
Me? “I’m a sleep therapist! I work with exhausted Business Owners who can’t sleep at night for worrying about the state and future of their business.”
3) Get Known In Your Community
Find a seat the board of non-profit organisations or local associations.
Start to develop your name amongst the local community.
People, in all walks of life primarily talk about 4 things when making small-talk:
Talking clearly and concisely with others about these things help them to get to know you.
People tend to refer people they know. They tend to refer people they like. They tend to refer people they trust. They tend to do business with people they trust.
Getting more involved, will always lead to more referrals and by association more clients.
People often think of whom they know first to solve a problem.
Board membership can help you to develop name recognition for you, and your company, very quickly.
4) Don’t Dodge the “How much?” Question
Potential clients handle the ‘money’ talk far better when they have a clear idea of the price of a product and/or service at the beginning.
Too often salespeople dance uncomfortably around the subject of price. They tell the client “let me get a proposal over”.
The potential client just wanted a ‘ballpark’. If they haven’t bought a product and/or service like this before then they’ll have no real context for cost and budget.
They don’t want to open a faceless proposal in an eMail only to have the shock of their lives when the price is 10X what they had in mind.
It is your responsibility, as a professional, to help your potential buyers buy.
Money is going to have to be discussed at some point.
Make sure you are bringing it up, appropriately early in the conversation.
5) Every Day Is A ‘School Day’
You cannot learn when you are in “I know!” mode.
Professionals spend a defined portion of their career developing their skills in their chosen profession. They constantly certify and accredit those skills.
Sandler are the only organisation, globally, to offer a recognised Certification Program in professional selling.
Don’t get stuck in a rut.
Carve out time in your calendar for personal development. Regularly learn new things and add them to your toolkit.
If you aren’t learning then you are lagging.
I shared 5 tips last weekend for those of you who are interested in seeing more. You can find them here:
Out of curiosity, how would you assess your current sales environment?
Excellent? Well-run? Average? At-Risk? Unsure?
If you currently assess as less than excellent it might make sense for us to have a brief conversation.
I don’t know if I can help, but I know that if we talk, we can work that out, together.
I can be reached on M: +44 (0) 7773 397810 or P: +44 (0) 118 969 1752
During our call you can assess me, decide if it makes sense for us to meet and talk further.
There’s no pressure. If we don’t think there’s a good fit, we can both be honest and say “No, thanks”.
We’ll part as friends.