Buck up Fellas (those doing anything for your agency on new business), it’s about time you heard the truth. If it’s your job to connect with new prospects, then pick up the phone when you’re told and stop hiding behind your keyboard! Stop staring at your call sheet and dial! Sales (the “S” word), as in the pleasant, professional art and science of commiserating with a prospect so as to share your “brand ambassador” story is NOT of itself a natural talent but a learned and practiced “skillset.” For starters, if you know a successful “New Business Pro”, seek permission to listen in, to witness, to bask in the majesty of one from whose lips the perfect, persuasive and yes “beautiful” sequence of words flow gently to the prospect. Not some slathering set of syllables from the lips of a “hot shoe” carney that offend upon impact, but the sweet, gentle flakes of new business persuasion.
Yes boys and girls, sales is an accomplished skill set worthy of respect and adoration.
Now that’s not to say some people don’t have an “inclination” towards sales. But even those naturals benefit from formal training. I urge and encourage anyone who wants to succeed at new business development to get formal generic “sales” training. My first exposure was with Dale Carnegie. (Not the man but the course) That or many others are available. If you’re the firm’s decision-maker, sign yourself up. If you have an employee in that new business role, enroll them. If you are that employee, ask your supervisor to get you enrolled. And don’t short-sheet their training. After that there are more than a few specific “agency” new business trainers. My favorite is Sanders Consulting. But in any of these, get the basic sales training first. And for any of you already in those roles, one thing you can do for immediate improvement is “role play.” You and an experienced colleague get on two telephones and start role-playing. Try various scenarios and work them!
My advocacy here is simply that “sales” ladies and gentlemen is a taught and learned skill set. We’ve also posted some relevant new business tips. So get cracking!
Let me know how it goes …