Infocusselling’s Blog

August 11, 2009

Business Development Today Goes Way Beyond Sales

Business development is often a nice term for a job that involves finding new customers from lots of prospecting and cold calling. Without a doubt, business development involves sales.

Business development also has bigger and more important definition. Business development is the process of creating a successful and profitable entity that has value for the owner which goes beyond the income that is made from sweating it out year after year. Business development requires many successful activities beyond just sales.

To successfully develop your business, you must capitalize on your strengths and find a way to work with your weaknesses, and build a business model that can work without you there 24/7 or even 12/6. Too many people spend too much time working on their weaknesses. The problem is the time and energy it takes for small improvement on a weakness is better spent on making your strengths even stronger.

When we work on activities that use our weaknesses, we end up emotionally and mentally drained and our business suffers. Your best approach is to outsource your weakness or hire someone who has that skill or task as a strength. For example, if you are chronically bad at accounting and it drags on you, don’t ruin your day and put yourself in the wrong attitude for other critical activities. If marketing is time consuming, hire a marketing expert—they are available from free to very expensive and can make your life easier and more profitable.

Clients pay for A+ performance. If you have a strength in the B range, practice, take classes or find coaching to get to an A or better level where you can command more money and higher margins. Business development is finding where you can maximize your profit per hour.

 Over the next months, we are going to profile company owners and successful professionals who figured out what they were good at and how they built their day and business around it, while dumping what they were bad at to someone else. If you read enough of the stories, you’ll probably find someone who describes themselves yesterday like you are today. Feel free to steal their strategy and call me. I’m always looking for good stories for next month.

January 5, 2009

Resisting an Invitation to Give Away a Quarter Million Bucks

Article by Chris McEvoy

Setting the stage, back a few years, when I’m president of PALLM, Inc., an Indy-based insurance software company.

 It was the English chap on the phone from Tokyo.

“Good news, you got the deal! They’re OK with your pricing. They want you to bring a technical person to Tokyo to present to the computer geeks while you finalize the deal.”

Continued…

December 17, 2008

You are a Superhero

Defining Your Market

You’re superman or superwoman—able to conquer tough prospects with ease. Bring them on! Any and all! You know no fear, and any block or obstacle can be easily scaled or crushed. No foe is too great.

OK, maybe you’re not superman or superwoman. But wait. Whether you are or not, do you really want to take on all foes? Do you really want to have to fight every enemy out there? What if you could focus your energy on one enemy? One nemesis? One competitor?

Think of the superheroes of your youth, however many years ago that was. Most of them countered one arch enemy day after day. And, every day, they won. Why? Simple. It was focus.

You are your own superhero. You can take on all comers, cover all needs, but you are most effective against one foe. The foe you know. The foe you fight every day. The foe you can beat at every confrontation.

Is this your approach to sales? It should be. Instead of taking on all comers, identify one point of attention and attack that point. Maybe it’s one specific need, or one specific competitor—one enemy. How are you different? Unique? Stronger? Better?

Superheroes have arch enemies for one reason—it allows the story writers to focus the good powers against one bad power that is between them and a perfect world. You need to select your arch nemesis, and plan now for complete domination in your world, using your one good power—you unique strength.

Your nemesis could be a specific competitor, or it could be a specific need that you are best suited to fill. No matter, you need to identify it, name in, and own it in the market.

When you go to war each day, when you pick up the phone and state your sales and marketing prowess, how do you grab that one focal point and attack it—every day? Superheroes are successful because they know their own weakness and they know the weakness of their enemy, and they focus their energy against that weakness in a way that is not impacted by their own weakness—day after day.

What is your focus for 2009? Have you figured out where you should aim, where you should target, so that all of your energies are most effectively put to use?

Through the end of the year and into January, we are going to talk about focus, attention, and attack. If you want to launch 2009 with a purpose, be prepared to be like your favorite superhero—powerful and focused. When you are focus, you can spend all of your energy on one need and dominate that need—just like your favorite superhero.

For info on my book, recently updated, go to www.InfocusSelling.com.

October 14, 2008

Have You Decided to Participate in or Ignore the Media Fueled Economic Blip?

Here’s my solution to the economic “issue” and it times well with the changing seasons.

1.      We fire all members of the media who have made a snide, biased, or politically motivated comment about the economy in the last 90 days, unless they have a Ph.D. in economics. (Trust me, they will all be gone.)

2.      We go outside and rake the leaves in our yard, adding to our mulch pile, burning off a few calories, and providing some much needed oxygen to our brains before the cold weather sets in.

3.      After the leaves are up and we realize how nice it is to be alive and living free in America, we go to our favorite store and buy that one item that you have been putting off buying yourself or someone special.  Here’s mine: http://search.barnesandnoble.com/The-Snowball

Think it would work? I am 99.96% sure that if we did this, we would find the new newscasters on Thanksgiving would be telling of how thankful we are for rising retail sales, increased cash in the economy, lower unemployment, and a decrease in murders and drug use (that’s another whole topic…).

Ok, that is pretty idealistic isn’t it? Unfortunately, the few who might do it could not carry the load for those who don’t do it. Darn. So, my second solution is to come visit one of our sales classes between now and the holidays, free, just to get some ideas on how you can sell more hours, products, or services, at a higher price, to more people. http://www.INFOCUSSelling.com Just let me know when you want to stop by, we’ll send you the material for that week, and you can come in and get some tips to help you battle the bad news that surrounds your prospects every day telling them why not to buy from you. Is this self serving? We might get a client or two out of it. But, bigger picture, I do know what everyone will get—a better attitude all around as everyone’s sales climb the last quarter of 2008 from new attitudes combined with new approaches, and that’s my early holiday gift to Rainmakers. http://www.gorainmakers.com

April 24, 2008

How do seasons affect your selling?

How will the change from winter to spring to summer affect your selling? If you think it won’t, I think you are wrong. I don’t want to give out the answer but think about:

1) how you and your customers respond to longer days and more sunshine

2) how vacation time affects your selling and/or the business of your customers

3) what natural seasonality exists in your business and why (tax payment timing, impact of weather on your product, spending variation due to holidays, introduction of new products, etc.)

Every business is affected in some way by the summer. How will yours be impacted? More importantly, if it is not a good impact, what will you do this year to minimize the impact of it AND if you really think ahead, make it a competitive advantage for you over your competition who isn’t thinking enough about it?

Part of successful selling is thinking ahead. What are you thinking about now?

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