“The monkey may be off your back but it doesn’t mean that the circus has left town.” ~ George Carlin
Running a business today is like running a three ring circus!
- Be more
- Do More
- Capture More Business
Since you run a business, you have a pretty good idea of what running a circus is like. That circus for the last two years has left most of us feeling as Mark LeBlanc, noted business speaker and past president of the National Speakers Association calls “turtled up”. We get into our shells and try to stay under the radar. Nobody goes to the circus to see a performing turtle.
A lot of New Years Intentions have been knocked out of the ring by a winter full of distractions. Our office focus may have been hijacked by distracting events such as:
- Egypt, the middle East and business disruptions
- Weather woes
- And of course the Super Bowl.
But spring is here (in Texas) and things are coming back to life. let’s get out of our shells and back in the center ring. As owners/managers, getting up to speed and capturing the business is about having the right staff doing the right thing to sell what we have.
Our big tops have three critical rings of focus but this edition will focus on # 1 – Sales Capture
- Sales capture
- Customer advocacy
My book, Make Yourself Matter, Becoming Your Own Best Asset, is all about building value in what we do. Usually the biggest enemies to making ourselves matter are the distractions that crowd our worlds. Their presence can drain the very oxygen we need to keep going. Our sales can suffer, business messages can be murky, and profits can decline. We are distracted. Back in our turtle shells.
For me, it was easy to lose track of business priorities like sales. Heck, just getting to work was a big challenge with snow and ice.
But hey, I got distracted. Back to our task at hand.
In my lunch with a consulting client, our topic was sales capture. For now, more than ever, mattering to our customers is critical. We have to make ourselves important to our potential customers that we are their natural business choice. We have to build loyalty, even through multiple bids.
The only way we connect our products or services to our customers is through relationships.
Here’s how we can help.
Sales capture = Everybody Sells™
When you look around your company, does one person carry the sales effort or is it shared? Are you the only person who works the data base?
Recently, a client shared his troubled observation about his engineers and their discomfort with building on-going relationships with potential clients.
Yes, he found them quick to jump on RFP’s that came their way. Put the request in front of them and they were quick to respond. Filling in the blanks is more comfortable than picking up the phone and inviting a potential busness lead to lunch.
His biggest concern was their lack of energy in their client relationship building. Good service is not good enough. This is not about customer service. It is about connecting. A recent Gallup survey showed a customer who is "emotionally connected" to your place of business is likely to spend 46% more money than a customer who is merely "satisfied" but not emotionally bonded.
In Everybody Sells, the entire team understands the purpose of every communication with every customer or prospect. It is not about giving and collecting business cards at a trade show.
In Everybody Sells, we never engage in “throw-away” communications. Every conversation and every email should have a clear purpose. that purpose should roll up into your Strategic Plan for the customer, and what your company is all about and how that fits with your customer’s needs.
The Key Steps in “Everybody Sells”
- Understand the difference between “Information” and “Communication”
- Relationships build business
- People sell people - Sam’s Club vs. NM
- We each build relationships in our own ways - But we must know what they are
- When we build relationships, we get the jump on business opportunities
Everybody Sells is not an auto-pilot program. Your team members know their focus is on connecting to their customers, and achieving the larger company building goal. Sylvester Stallone nailed it in the movie “ Over the Top” - "The world meets no one half way."
See if the three part Everybody Sells program works for your needs.
- Part One – Know yourself at work – The DiSC program is the quickest way to come up to speed on your behavioral styles on the job. Consider using behavioral profiles as part of the hiring process. These profiles help identify the true style characteristics of your applicants. They'll help you find your next relationship builder.
- Part Two –Know the client through relationship building - take the DiSC information and research your client’s styles. How can you reach and maintain a good relationship that works. Lunch meetings, dinners and sporting events are all successful relationship builders. We show you how in this section.
- Part Three – Develop the RFP with the client’s involvement and eliminate any surprises. Everything that you put in a proposal needs to be shared along with way with the client. The proposal request is the natural outcome of their knowledge of your capabilities.
Don’t let the circus leave town without you. Keep the elephant out of the conference room and in the circus ring.
And this is Everybody Sells in a nutshell.
- Everyone knows more about themselves
- They learn about their customers
- They turn knowledge into relationships
- They turn relationships into sales
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