Remember what you were doing in September 2008? That’s when the sales paradigm, and the global economy, broke into a million little pieces. And all the kings horses and all the kings men are still re-assembling the component parts. But not the same way, ever again.
For those of you still waiting for things to go back to the post-industrial mindset economic halcyon days… they are over. Your expertise is needed. More than ever. To be part of the new business development paradigm. And that paradigm favors individuals who are comfortable working cross-functionally. Who are comfortable on both sides of the technical/non-technical table.
There’s more to “you” than whatever you were “before” 2008. In fact, the global economy requires everyone to expand the “who you are” beyond corporate mindset and status quo thinking. Beyond postgraduate degrees and professional certifications. Think horizontal, as well as vertical. Think 360 degrees, taking 10,000 foot eagle’s eye view of the business terrain. It’s time to start tipping the dominoes.
Starting in 2008, I saw many technical professionals, colleagues of mine, displaced when their companies downsized. This was unheard of. So many engineers were schooled to feel that their technical acumen was an insurance policy for career longevity. Yet they found themselves on the outside, looking in. And not knowing why they were in this predicament. It’s time to start challenging siloed mindset and start tipping the dominoes.
Starting in 2008, I was spending more time untangling the disconnects and dysfunction of my clients’ out-of-touch business models, than I was selling marketing solutions. Before we could even get to the solution, we needed to determine the root cause of why these manufacturers and service companies were stuck with a client base that didn’t grow and with projects that utilized only part of their capabilities and capacity. The last thing they needed was a marketing solution. The first thing they needed to do was take a good look at what they had become over the years. Even the status quo is no longer comfortable. The dominoes have started tipping.
Starting in 2008, I was coaching entrepreneurs and MBAs. These very bright, very smart young people told me of conversations they were having with their technical or non-technical counterparts. These conversations sounded amazingly like the same ones I had 25 years ago as a corporate newbie. These conversations sounded amazingly like the ones I was having with current customers, you know, the ones with the disconnects and dysfunction.
The digital millennium allows our customers and prospects to access all the information they need to acquire about our business – without our having to “sell” them anything. Even if they require a custom solution which your out-of-date website inadequately explains while it fails to engage the reader. It strikes me as absurd that social media and web companies are all the rage with B2B companies. How can your company effectively utilize social media when your business model and certainly your sales methodologies are outdated? It’s time to start tipping the dominoes.
We all have to mean business, regardless of our respective job descriptions. We have to work horizontally as well as vertically with our colleagues and customers. That’s the dialogue I began with you on April 18, 2009. That’s the dialogue I continue today, starting my fourth year, in this blog, and in Do YOU Mean Business? Technical/Non-Technical Collaboration, Business Development and YOU, now available on Amazon.com.
You continue to inspire our collective conversations. It is my sincere desire to inspire you to move 1 millimeter outside your comfort level, so that you will, indeed, mean business and revenue generation for your customers.
Babette N. Ten Haken
Babette N. Ten Haken, Founder & President of Sales Aerobics for Engineers®, LLC, brings entrepreneurial mojo and business- and revenue-producing collaboration and communication tools to small and mid-sized businesses and startups. Download her newest White Paper at her Free Resources Page. She was named one of the Top 50 Sales & Marketing Influencers 2013. Her book, Do YOU Mean Business? focuses on technical / non-technical collaboration strategies and tools. You can download the first chapter here.