If your 2012 objectives include winning more business (selling more) then here are just two ideas that you might want to give some serious thought to as 2011 comes to a close.
Measure sales activity not results
The financial results your business has achieved to date are history. Financial results are the by-product of the selling and business development activity started some time ago; maybe even months or years ago. Whether good or bad the results are what they are and there is nothing that can be done to change them (even with the most creative accounting!). Next year’s results can be massively influenced by the level of sales and business development activity over the next few weeks and months.
Most businesses will know what growth they want to achieve financially in 2012, it’s probably written down somewhere. Systems will be in place to monitor and measure. Writing down, monitoring and measuring what sales and business development activity will be needed to achieve those results is just as important.
December is a good time to be thinking about:
- What activity is required to defend existing customer relationships from competitors?
- What activity is required to develop new business with existing customers (in particular key accounts)?
- What new relationships need to be developed with existing customers?
- Which sectors or specific new prospects (and how many) will be targeted in 2012?
- What marketing activity will help build new trusted relationships before trying to ‘sell’?
- How many face to face meetings will be needed?
- How can we develop a company- wide business development culture?
Develop the Principled Selling mindset
Selling is not something we ‘do’ to customers or clients. It’s not about personality, sales techniques or ‘closing’.
The five key elements underpinning the Principled Selling mindset are:
- Selling is about motivation not manipulation
- Profitable relationships require investment
- There must be congruency throughout the business development process
- Long term relationships depend on being genuine
- Be human!
Get business development activity levels and the right mindset in place for 2012 and you’ll make a great start in the New Year!
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