Most of you in the sales profession are more acquainted with the phrase “walking the talk” than you are with “owning your own process.” Talk alone can be cheap and superficial. What’s actually involved in walking your talk?
Your customers are looking for a business partner, not another golf partner. They are looking for answers from a knowledgeable resource, instead of a plethora of social chatter.
What your customers want is for you to own your own business development and transactional process. Developing and mastering your own process requires you to digest, interpret and potentially question information that your company provides to enable your selling activities. From a base of solid quantitative data and qualitative information, you must confidently create your own knowledge platform.
Walking the talk is about connecting their dots with your dots. Walking the talk is doing your own thinking.
Do these activities sound like too much work? These actions are what differentiate top sellers from the rest of the hungry pack.
Here’s your homework for this month:
1) Pick a business topic. Take a deep dive, even if it seems to have nothing to do with your company, product or services. Isn’t there some industry vertical that perplexes you? Don’t you wish you knew more about this stuff? Now is your chance to satisfy your curiosity.
2) Find 10 articles about this topic. (Note: Wikipedia doesn’t count as a resource.) Read original source material, not just someone’s list or synopsis. Move beyond SparkNotes® mindset. Find out what the originator of the information really had to say about the topic. Compare perspectives. What do folks agree about? What are they debating? What’s news to you?
3) Identify areas of overlap with your own industry or market. Are these articles raising the same issues you’ve been hearing about within your own business sector? What are their approaches to finding solutions? Could you adapt some of these approaches into your own business activities? What would be the benefit of incorporating this hybridized learning into your own business development and selling process?
There you go. You are on your way to creating and owning your own business development and selling process. Keep your insights fresh by learning across categories and professional disciplines. The difference is in the relevant and valuable solutions and outcomes you provide to your customers.
Babette N. Ten Haken, President of Sales Aerobics for Engineers®, LLC, catalyzes business transition, startup growth, and professional development. She works with non-traditional sellers like engineers, manufacturers, and technical startups to create sustainable business models and revenue strategies. She was named a Top 50 Sales & Marketing Influencer 2014, for the second year in a row, by Top Sales World magazine.