We’ve been talking all week about about how important it is for your top performers to hone their business development skills. Maybe you’ve even broached the subject with them. If so, you might have been met with a blank stare or even a look of panic. If that’s the case, send ‘em over here and tell them to read this post.
And, by the way, as a business leader yourself, you might consider taking some of this advice to heart as well!
SO you don’t think you are in sales, right? In fact, you say you hate sales. You don’t like sales people. Even the thought of doing “sales type” work makes you cringe. Well, guess what? We are all in sales. And, ladies, unless you figure that out early in your career, you are always going to be one step behind, one promotion behind and one salary increase behind the man who totally “gets” this concept.
What do I mean? In your role, no matter what your role is, you need to be able to SELL the value of YOU. You are a top executive and you need to interview for the CEO role, you need to sell YOU. You are a top attorney and you need to close the big case, you need to sell YOU. You are a CPA and you need to bring in a big client, you need to sell YOU. Sales skills and the ability to bring in revenue to any business are what separate the stars from the rest.
Oh, I know what you are thinking. You think your work speaks for itself and you don’t need to “sell” it.
Well, get over yourself and realize that every successful leader, I mean really successful leader, has figured out the magic of managing relationships. They don’t call it sales; they call it relationship management and here are a few tips to help you master the art.
1. Understand how you are wired. Some of us are incredibly social and others are not. If you are social, this relationship management/business development activity won’t be a stretch. It won’t feel like work. But, if you are not wired this way, it will be a daily activity that needs constant attention.
2. Realize that every event, meeting and social outing is an opportunity to create relationships. There are opportunities everywhere to meet people, sign up, get out there and be present! Now!
3. Follow up. As soon as you meet someone, follow up that day and tell them how nice it was to meet them or make sure to send them something you promised. Otherwise, you have completely lost the opportunity.
There are so many electronic tools out there now that make this easy. Use LinkedIn, use Outlook, find an easy way for you to make it part of your daily routine to meet a new person every day.
The only way you will get new opportunities, experience new jobs and be introduced to unfamiliar territories is by being exposed to new people.
If you don’t think business development, relationship management and SALES matter…..think again.
And, as women, managing relationships is what makes us unique and special. Consider this our competitive advantage and get out there and meet someone new today!