“If we are any good at what we do, we believe, then we should not have to talk people into hiring us.” -Blair Enns, author of Win Without Pitching
It’s a new year and from a business perspective a time to make annual assessments and projections. I’ve been doing what we all do, looking at income from last year, how many clients we served (ten!) and what clients were most profitable.
I’ve also been looking at how to accelerate the company in 2012 and what kind of advanced learning opportunities are available to me. While I already know that sales is service and success in sales is dependent on relationships, Blair Enns, a business development consultant to creative firms, is helping me to see what else selling is and how to best practice it today.
Proper selling can be distilled into three steps, based on the client’s place in the buying cycle. These three steps replace the art of persuasion.
To sell is to:
1. Help the unaware
2. Inspire the interested
3. Reassure those who have formed intent
In other words, new business development isn’t something persuaders do. It’s something educators and motivators do.
Enns is also a big believer in using thought leadership to establish one’s expertise. When you’re clearly the one person, or one firm that’s right for the job, a.k.a the clear expert, you win without pitching.
Of course, it’s not always possible to win without pitching. That’s why other more traditional sales gurus advise Biz Dev pros to “tie your solution to a pending regulation or other impending event” or “align the solution to a strategic objective.”
Speaking of aligning the solution to a strategic objective, I recently started using the free version of Capsule CRM, and am happy to report that it’s a nifty piece of software that helps me see what’s in the sales pipeline and how much revenue is on the line. If you need a similar Salesforce-like tool, give it a spin.
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