Many people have both succeeded and failed at reinvention.
Tony Abbott and Bill Shorten have unsuccessfully tried to morph into leaders.
Bruce Jenner successfully transitioned into Caitlyn Jenner.
Now, Jarryd Hayne has achieved success with his monumental reinvention from Rugby League to American Football (NFL).
But in our wonderful world of business development the opportunities for reinvention are taken about as often as Donald Trump’s Mastering Humility Classes.
There are three key areas from which we could gain a lot of revenue and growth.
1. Stop controlling the sale
Controlling the sale was invented by a bunch of narcissists and perfectionists around the time your grandfather was receiving corporal punishment for not completing his cursive writing correctly.
‘Tell the client this, steer them here, deliver these three key messages, ask a few questions, then qualify them hard, ask for the order, overcome their objections, did I mention three key messages yet and make sure it’s in the system by Friday or the CRM fairy will visit you at midnight and sprinkle soot in your mouth’.
The only people who want to be controlled are paid up members of Masochists Anonymous and British Tory MPs.
Nobody else wants to be steered and controlled, least of all by a person with the title of BDM, Sales Manager, Account Director or even Intergalactic Head of Sales.
How about we just have a professional business conversation with all its imperfections and see where it goes.
2. Role Blindness
Apparently we can’t promote or hire Stacey or Ashley because they haven’t specifically sold 4mm elongated grey gronks and flanks to enterprise level clients, especially in Financial services on Wednesdays.
I’ve seen 23 year olds and 53 year olds with a huge variety of skills and experience being overlooked for sales roles because they didn’t meet perceived exacting criteria – the same criteria that has led to stagnant growth for the past two years.
The next comment is ‘ Why can’t we find good people and get some fresh thinking in here’
Er..perhaps you need to hire, promote and train them to find out.
3. Selling to the same people the same way
OK, so you’ve sold your widget to a particular industry and they like it so you decide to target more clients in that industry.
By all means, go your hardest and you’ll probably win some new deals.
But what if the rectum falls out of that industry (see Mining) or the sales cycle ends up being longer than the US Primaries.
There are loads of new opportunities out there like:
- Go Direct/Channel or vice versa
- If you’re SMB focused, try Enterprise and vice versa
- Change the mix of your solutions so it appeals to different markets
- Change the inside sales/field sales model
- Change your suppliers/vendors/channel partners – you’re not married to them and divorce is legal anyway
Rather than deciding for yourself who your clients should be, ask one important question ‘Who needs you right now’ Go there first.
Jarryd Hayne threw away a million dollar NRL contract to pursue a career that had a greater chance of failure than success.
You don’t have to have the same appetite for risk but take a look at what you could change as to what you sell, who sells it and who buys it.
It’s not that scary, the rewards are huge and anyway helmets are available on eBay.
Elliot Epstein is a leading Sales Expert, Pitch Consultant, Keynote Speaker and Corporate Trainer who gets sales results rapidly. He has coached and trained high profile corporates globally in presenting, selling, negotiating and pitching. He has spoken at over 1500 conferences and workshops for leading companies such as HP, SEEK, Avaya, Hitachi , Computershare and CUB.
He is internationally renowned for ensuring sessions are creative, engaging, interactive and relevant to winning business in competitive markets.
Elliot is based in Melbourne where he lives with his wife and children who are subjected to reading this blog before you.