The Monday after Thanksgiving, Jonathan Farrington told me that my book, Do YOU Mean Business: Technical / Non-Technical Collaboration, Business Development and YOU, is named Finalist, Top Sales and Marketing Book, Top Sales & Marketing Awards, 2012. This contest honors finalists in 11 business categories for their contributions to the fields of sales and marketing. The winners of the award will be announced via a live, online ceremony, on December 18.
- What an honor to be named a finalist for this prestigious award!
- What an honor to be part of the consortia of 12 authors selected as this year’s finalists!
- What an honor to have written a book inspired by my discussions with all of YOU. Our dialogues are very much a part of my book!
Writing is a funny thing. You find your “voice” and then become comfortable owning it. You realize that your dialogues and collaborations with friends, colleagues, and customers influence your writing voice. That book-writing journey, and the voice you develop along the way, becomes your second skin, your mantra. It becomes one of your defining moments.
Because you’ve walked every step you describe in your book. And you pay it forward, sparking others to find their own footsteps whilst you walk along the way with them.
Do YOU Mean Business? is a cross-over book. The book takes a solid look at the sales-engineering interface® – the place where technical and non-technical collaboration is supposed to happen, yet continues to fail miserably. The book takes you into those Monday morning cross-functional meetings – you know, the ones you dread, the meetings which are like running fingernails down a blackboard. The types of meetings where the sales people are rolling their eyes in frustration at the engineers, who second-guess every bit of sales data being presented and find reasons why your sales strategies won’t work. The types of meetings where the engineers are called on to save yet another stalled sale close because the sales person has over-promised, and low-bid, on impossible project deliverables.
I articulated your frustration, as a finance or engineering professional, in speaking with business folks outside your discipline who just couldn’t seem to understand what you so desperately – to the point of complete exasperation – were trying to communicate to them. You inspired me to use your own sales voices in communicating your angst, as a business development professional, in feeling like you had drawn the short straw when working with, for, or selling to the technical community.
I am your collective voice.
This is not “just” another book about selling. It is a book for these times. It’s about cross-functional collaboration: learning to think like the person on the other side of the table so that you can engage them in relevant and valuable dialogue. That’s how revenue is created and driven through organizations.
After that little financial debacle back in 2008 (!), the world has been dragged, kicking and screaming, most firmly into the digital millennium. And the world of selling and doing business has been forever altered, both for sales and technical professionals. This situation still catches – by surprise – much of the technical, manufacturing, Angel and VC, entrepreneurial start-up, and selling communities with whom I work.
The solutions and innovations of the future lie in our collective and collaborative abilities to communicate with – not sell at – each other. Communication has, and always will be, the hallmark of humanity. There’s no time like the present to bridge that right brain – left brain, philosophical impasse thing.
And innovate. Together.
After 25 years, I still observe the same Us versus Them, discipline-driven, siloed mindset in today’s businesses, no matter how big or how small, no matter whether family-owned or a large multi-national company. Folks see the word “technical” in the title and that “Us versus Them” bias tells them this book is not for them – because they are in sales. Folks see the word “non-technical” in the title and their own version of ” Us versus Them” mindset suggests that the book is not for them, because they are technical professionals.
Truth of the matter is: everyone is involved in business development and revenue generation these days – even if it’s not in your job description. This is a globally competitive business playground. If you are observing what’s going on in the global economic and political stage, your role within your company calls for nothing short of being able to think like all of the folks seated around the table.
Time to leave your baggage and biases at the door, because there’s really no future in that.
You see, I strongly believe that the fulcrum for leveraging innovative business development is collaboration between technical and non-technical professionals. I’ve been there when this has worked. It’s revelatory. So I will keep pointing my personal horizon – and yours – in that direction.
Thank you to Top Sales World for recognizing my book. Thank you to my colleagues, collaborators, and customers for sharing your stories with me, and allowing me to articulate yours and to tell mine as well, so that we can get to the finish line together.
You continue to be my voice. I am honored to remain yours.