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…..its an activity game. Its about doing the right amount of the right activities in the right way. If you focus on the numbers you just get numbers. If you focus on the right activities then you get results. This was the essence of the advice from Chris Mather – a top sales manager from a company selling door to door when I interviewed him for TheAccidentalSalesman.com last year.
Achieving clarity in business development is like having a blindfold removed. Suddenly everything is clear and the way forward is obvious. It can also be compared to a combination lock. You have 5 numbers on the lock and you have four correct. Getting the 5th number is all it takes for everything to fall into place. A small change in clarity can lead to a big difference in results. Clarity cannot be trained but it can be facilitated.
Sales is the lifeblood of any business and profitable sales is the starting point towards cash in the bank. No cash means No business. For many businesses in the recession sales provide them with their regular source of cash. Most business owners understand this intellectually and yet at some level many people who start a business for themselves hate the idea of having to sell.
Starting up in business can be an exciting time but also a daunting time too and in the excitement of getting things going, people often overlook the obvious. Profitable sales are the lifeblood of any business and selling is a skill. Without sales there is no business and for most starting a new business there is not the funds to employ a sales person. So that said, where do you start?
The hair on the back of your neck stands on end and you feel strangely spooky. You have just seen and heard something that you are sure you have experienced before. Was it a dream? Was it a premonition? Was it an event just forgotten about? Science is still struggling to explain and reproduce the déjà vu phenomenon.
Clients are often surprised at how quickly they manage to turn around their sales when we work together. Its all very simple really – I get them to specialise. So many small business owners make sales and marketing harder than necessary by following a flawed belief that if they cast their net wide they are more likely to catch something. Sadly the reverse is true. The way forward for business owners is to narrow their focus and specialise, specialise, specialise!
I am sure you have heard the ubiquitous phrase ‘You never get a second chance to make a first impression’. It’s used so often that it has become a bit of a cliché. We hear it. We nod and say ‘yes how true’ yet we forget to check what sort of an impression we are giving in those all important first 20 seconds. Even before you have said a word your fate in a sale could be sealed by some small detail.
An interesting show on TV called “Style by Jury” confirms strongly just how powerful first impressions are. Not my normal TV viewing but I have to say it was fascinating!
I live in a traditional English village. There is the normal pub, church, pond, and a village green where they play cricket on the weekends. I am not a big cricket fan myself but it does look lovely to have a cricket match going on with spectators sitting on rugs and having a picnic.
I was at a networking meeting recently and I was having a discussion with an ex accountant who was running a business and struggling to find new customers. I have nothing against accountants – I was one of them once.
Anyway, I normally get on with everyone I meet but I found this person to be very cold and unapproachable. It was as if he was holding people at arms length, never allowing them to get close. His way of interacting with people may have been appropriate for auditing but in business development it was really holding him back.
It seems that most people are perfectly capable of speaking when sitting down. Get them to stand up and talk, even for just a minute, and their legs turn to jelly! I can remember when I first started to speak in public my knees knocked so loudly no one could hear what I had to say.