How well do you articulate your value proposition and core capabilities to colleagues, clients and your employer? These elements of who you are, as a professional business person of worth, make you someone with whom people should want to do business. Is that your case?
In this expanding global economy, simply doing your specific job, making your numbers, or delivering services, is not enough for acquiring or retaining your client base. When you sell, you are asking customers to make more than a decision to purchase your products, platforms and services. You are asking them to believe in you.
Developing your ability to understand the changing dynamics of today’s global business development paradigm is critical to revenue generation. Perhaps you are a startup or a small to midsized business, retooling and recalibrating in response to the global meltdown. As you position yourself to acquire your first 25 customers, and more, the product you are really selling is You.
A question to ask yourself, from time to time, is whether you would do business with yourself.
If you were a stock, would you invest in You? Your customers are looking at you from this perspective, each time you request their time for a business development discussion. Are they going to make time to pay attention to you, or not? Have you created a compelling case for doing business with you and your company, or not?
This post is coming out during the fourth quarter of the fiscal year, an interesting time for all businesses. Typically, during fourth quarter, companies are well aware of whether or not they have “made their numbers.” There is a more telling question to ask. Have you and your company worked throughout the year to create and nurture the atmosphere that compels customers to feel your products, services and platforms are a critical piece to their own business equations?
Viewing selling as more than the process of transacting business and signing contracts is becoming a requirement for today’s globally competitive business equation. This strategy calls for your incorporating a perspective allowing you to anticipate the needs of not only the person to whom you are selling, but also the other individuals impacting the decision to do business with you. These are your external customers, the object of desire of your company’s selling process.
Equally, selling also is a matter of anticipating the needs of the person or team to whom you will be handing off a project or from whom you will be receiving the input to design and implement that project. Are you selling yourself, and your core capabilities, to your internal customers as well? Your team and professional colleagues continuously assess whether they want to do business with you, regardless of whether they are required to work with you.
Depending on where we sit around the table, we see the same things, differently. Take stock of your situation by understanding the context of why people want to do business with you. Work towards earning that enduring investment in you throughout the year, not just during every fourth quarter.
Babette N. Ten Haken, Founder & President of Sales Aerobics for Engineers®, LLC, is the catalyst for your business transition, startup growth and professional development.