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Don’t Act Like a Seller, Think Like a Buyer! Business Expansion Will Lead Your Future

Don’t Act Like a Seller, Think Like a Buyer

Chapter 9: Business Expansion Will Lead Your Future

You may have the business skills of all the people like Zig Ziglar,

Jeffrey Gitomer,

and Brian Tracy combined,

but if you lack career opportunities,

you’re still in big trouble.

That’s why I say business expansion leads your future.

This is true for both commission

and corporate salespeople,

and entrepreneurs who run their own businesses.

Business expansion includes the following four activities:

1. Maintain a good customer base that you already have.

2. Develop opportunities based on that.

3. Upgrade existing customers for future business.

4. Find more new customers.

If you ignore any of those four factors, for example,

if you only know how to maintain your existing customer base well

but do not seek to find any new customers,

your business career will certainly not be successful cannot develop.

Being successful in business requires a salesperson

to think about many things,

two of which are extremely important:

how you spend your time,

and how you organize what you want to achieve.

But the sales person,

even with the right mindset,

may be the best in the world at the DELTA sales process,

can easily build business relationships,

but lack the ability to expand business and not create

If you find opportunities with new customers,

you will soon have

to say goodbye to your profession,

or fall into a deadlock, stagnate.

They’ll be left sitting around,

eating,

or fired,

both of which are not interesting at all.

“Confidence applied properly surpasses genius.

There’s nothing like confidence.” –Mike Tyson

****************

MAINTAIN THE CUSTOMER BASE YOU ALWAYS HAVE

You must constantly evaluate the business growth opportunities you have.

To do that,

you must seriously analyze your situation and ask the question:

Where is your business right now?

What are the opportunities for me to develop my current business?

Where are the customers who no longer buy their products?

Where are the opportunities

to do business with people

you don’t know

or meet but need to see

– perhaps by upgrading an existing relationship,

or by making a phone call?

Finally, perhaps this is the most important question:

In which relationship should I stop wasting my time?

If you are not active,

there will be no business.

I’ve given you a general approach

to thinking like a customer,

using the right mindset,

proven business processes,

and relationships to strengthen your business.

But if you don’t apply those ideas on a regular basis,

if you don’t build a foundation for your business,

you won’t get any results.

In short, the problem is not what you know,

but how you apply your knowledge.

Like many people,

I think of business growth as a funnel.

It is not a new concept,

but it has practical significance,

which is worth noting.

The question you need to ask yourself is:

how many leads do you have in that funnel?

Where are they in the funnel?

Your funnel must be filled

from multiple sources:

clients you’ve dealt with,

people your customers refer

(jump through the Relationship Tower),

potential mail customers,

phone,

advertising,

network expansion,

meeting talk…

The people you have dealt with are the people

who are more likely to continue doing business with you,

continue to provide you with business

from their company,

or will continue to help you do business

with other people is different.

So of course they are the most valuable part of your funnel,

but in terms of numbers they are in the minority,

because we always have more potential customers

than active customers.

Ideally, you’ve established positive,

lasting business relationships with these customers.

You can have a meaningful conversation with them at any time,

and there’s a good chance you’ll maintain

and grow the business you already have with them.

“You either suffer the pain of discipline or the pain of regret.” –Jim Rohn

****************

UPGRADE YOUR OWN CUSTOMERS FOR FUTURE BUSINESS

The second group of people in your funnel are the leads

that other people have referred to you.

Most salespeople know that they need

to actively seek referrals from loyal customers.

Linda Mullen,

a saleswoman for the apparel company Doncaster,

is willing to offer her clients a $100 fee each time

they refer her to a new client.

But sales managers also know that not all

salespeople are so eager

to find new customers.

In addition, the type of referral is also very important,

as there are less effective referral types

but also very effective referral types

(most effective is the Relationship Tower jump

when you are at the top of someone’s Relationship Tower)

A weak recommender is someone who says to you,

“You should call Bob Rose.”

Then you call Bob and say,

“Jerry Acuff told me to call you.”

It’s also an approach,

and it can be a warm,

friendly phone call,

but it’s not very impactful.

It’s much more effective if the referrer calls himself

and then informs you back:

“Bob, a friend of mine is about to call you.

Please wait to hear from her.”

The most effective referrer is the one

who not only makes the phone call,

but also arranges a meeting for all three.

“There is no such thing as failure.

There are only results.” –Tony Robbins

******************

CREATE NEW CUSTOMERS

The third group,

the largest group in your funnel,

are the people who are likely

to become customers through mail,

advertising, networking,

conference calls, or over the phone…

I will. I’m not saying

that just communicating over the phone won’t work,

because I have an acquaintance

who had a $15 million transaction based entirely on phone calls.

I also see many other business deals done over the phone.

But in my personal experience,

the phone is not the best way

to build business relationships with

people you don’t even know.

The best way to do business

with these people is to make them your acquaintances.

Whenever possible,

feel free to join the forum in business seminars.

Get involved in events that offer many networking opportunities.

Get involved in anything that will give you the opportunity to interact

with people who may want to do business with you,

or can refer you to people who want to do business with you.

In short, you must regularly go to places

where you can interact with other people.

Personally, I am often invited

to speak at universities and conferences.

When speaking at universities,

I not only have the opportunity

to bring knowledge to students,

but also have the opportunity

to interact with companies

that have relationships with those universities.

And who knows,

one day these companies will become my customers.

And speaking at conferences is also a great opportunity for me

to appear in public

and develop my client network.

Not long ago,

I was invited to speak at a convention in Philadelphia.

After a 30-minute talk,

a group of listeners approached me.

They are people sent by the company to the conference

with the purpose of finding a certain businessman

who can help them change the commercial culture in the company.

So from that conference,

I got a big project.

If you can create an opportunity for clients

to come along and watch you pitch your ideas,

products,

or services,

that’s well worth it.

Recently, we held a seminar that

attracted 32 people from 11 different companies,

and three people signed with us soon after.

These three contracts are worth many times more than

the cost to organize the workshop.

Put yourself in a position where you can start

and grow relationships.

There are many opportunities to do this,

however,

focus on building relationships rather than growing the business.

That growth will happen automatically after

you have established good relationships.

This means that

the way you think plays a key role in building business relationships

with people you don’t know.

If your focus is on finding a new client,

you’ll have a different approach;

But if you just want to know about that person,

and then think about whether to meet him

to discuss business or not,

you have another approach.

One day I went to the Arizona Cardinals football game,

and wore a T-shirt with the words VMI

(Virginia Military Institute) printed on it.

The person behind me,

also a season ticket holder,

lightly touched my shoulder

and asked if I was from Virginia.

I say I’m actually from Memphis,

but I studied in Virginia before.

He said that he, too,

had attended Virginia Tech.

Virginia Military Academy and Virginia Tech are “rivals”.

So the two of us talked about our school days

and about football programs.

When I went to watch the next game,

I met that John again and the two of us chatted again.

At the end of the season I asked John what his job was

and learned that he is currently working for

a financial accounting firm.

John suggested going out to lunch one day.

Please add that at the time

I didn’t have to worry about my financial officer,

I just enjoyed chatting with John.

So I agreed to have lunch.

We went to lunch together

without mentioning the subject of financial accounting.

We’re just talking about football,

about Virginia.

Turns out I was coaching a team

that played against my brother John’s team

when he was in high school.

So the connections

between me and John naturally increased.

Then he asked about my work.

He’s starting to get interested in my story.

They started seeing each other more often,

every couple of weeks.

Through those meetings,

I found that John is the right type of person to cooperate with

because he has all the PICK elements

– professionalism,

work ethic,

dedication to the profession,

and knowledge.

Finally John asked if I had a finance officer.

I said yes.

He asked me again

if I was satisfied with this employee.

I answer not really.

Now I understand that John is very talented.

If I had said then

that I was satisfied with my current financial officer,

he would never have tried to convince me;

you will know immediately that there is no match

between my situation and your service.

Now he is our financial manager,

specializing in the financial evaluation of the company,

and I am happy to refer him to four

or five other clients.

It is an example of developing a business

based on the spirit of building relationships.

Start with the relationships you have

with customers

or potential customers.

Think about who is already connected to you

and might refer you to someone they know.

Think about how you would put yourself in a position

where people would want to do business with you.

The goal is to strike a balance

between carrying out existing business

and managing clients with the creation of new business opportunities.

If you are so absorbed in your current business that you forget

to think about a new business in the future,

you will eventually fail.

So while I’m talking about relationship mapping,

I also want to talk about the concept

of targeting new business goals.

Who are the new business goals I need to pursue?

“When you undervalue what you do,

the world will undervalue who you are.” –Oprah Winfrey

*******************

SOME PEOPLE WILL NEVER BUY OUR PRODUCTS

It is sad that some people,

no matter how much precious time we have invested in them,

never end up buying our products.

The reason can be very simple,

for example,

that person also has a sister

or brother as an agent for a company

with the same product.

No matter how persuasive an offer is,

it won’t win the relationship,

and that person will only buy from his

or her brother’s or sister’s company.

Of course,

you will never know this fact

if you do not ask the right questions,

and do not try to grasp the reality of the situation.

It is important to invest the time to learn the facts.

There are also some people who never buy our products

because we have never contacted them.

It is said that persistence will convince others.

This may be true,

but it is also because of it that we end up having to taste failure.

I remember Kenny Rogers once advising, like,

you need to know when to close a business,

and when to spend time with others.

You have to invest your time in people you know

who have a real chance of succeeding,

otherwise you’re building a foundation for failure.

As I said before,

there are people who think they will be your customers,

but end up not buying your product,

their non-purchase is

due to one of three reasons:

first, your message not reach them;

second, they already have a relationship

with other people that you can’t get into;

third, they are disgruntled

with someone in your company

(or sometimes yourself).

The only thing that you can do in this case

is to find out the cause and try to fix it.

The ability to assess

and identify a real opportunity is extremely important.

The ability to assess a prospect’s needs

and desire to solve their problems on time is equally important.

Time management isn’t just about

how much time you spend growing your business.

It also includes the time you spend selling

and serving your current customers,

the time you spend pursuing your goals

that are likely to become your customers,

and the time spent on many other unnamed things.

There are many people who just want to buy your time,

and if you allow them to,

you are wasting time

that could have been spent doing something much more profitable.

But business people must always ask themselves,

“How do I use my time most effectively?”

How we spend our time drives the entire business development process.

There are many salespeople

who value the customer’s time,

thinking that the customer’s time is priceless.

But in reality,

the salesperson’s time is much more valuable.

If the sales agent misuses the customer’s time,

the customer only loses about an hour or so.

But as long as we miss an hour,

we may miss the greatest opportunity of our lives.

Melvin Boaz,

Chief Commercial Officer of Smith&Nephew,

thinks the same way,

“I’ve worked with sales reps

who often missed our appointments.

You know, people meet you at 3 o’clock and forever

By 3:30 they are still not ready to come see you.

There have been several times

when I have gone to the secretary

or the person making the appointment and said,

‘I know you guys are busy

but I don’t have any free time either.

I have many other appointments,

I have to go now.

Maybe we’ll just have to meet again.’”

As Melvin pointed out,

you should spend time talking to another person

who really wants to buy your product.

“Sitting in the office and waiting is taboo.

Doing so looks like you have no work to do,

and that makes your time less valuable in the eyes of the customer.”

Working in sales

but wasting time by not preparing

for the job in advance,

by talking too much with the wrong people

(those who do not buy products

or those who specialize in making appointments today),

by not following close to the requirements of customers,

then only the country left the profession.

Every time you take the time

to approach an inappropriate person,

you miss out on the opportunity

to contact the right person.

“If you can’t do great things,

do small things in a great way.” –Napoleon Hill

****************

FIND WHAT YOU WANT TO ACHIEVE

It starts with pinpointing the specific goal we want to achieve,

because according to Napoleon Hill,

author of Think and Grow Rich,

anything that If the human brain can understand

and believe it,

it can be achieved.

Dr. Maxwell Maltz, in Psycho-Cybernetics,

which I have read

and re-read 38 times,

says that our minds all have a detector mechanism.

-find-target,

like a heat-seeking missile.

There is nothing more important

than clearly defining what you want to achieve.

Once a goal has been clearly defined,

there will be a way

to bring that goal back to us

and make it a reality.

But just having a plan is not enough.

First, you need to define what your goal is,

and write it down.

Once you have a goal,

then you have a plan.

Here’s how I do it:

I always carry a list of goals

with me and reread it often.

On my list, the first goal is to get

to some level in business.

The next goal is to Find new business opportunities at company X,

in this section I have listed some of them.

Next is the section Complete a deal with an existing customer.

Not only do I keep records of deals,

but I also keep in mind the size of the contract.

Then next was the section Close a new deal,

along with a list of people

I had just had the opportunity to interact with.

The last item is Expand your list of goals

to pursue the business for next year,

and so far I have listed three companies in this category.

Doing so is to manage time,

to avoid the situation

that every day you are so busy

with business

and customer service that you have no time

to worry about business development.

Because if so,

maybe this year you will get many satisfactory results,

but next year you will not know what to do.

You need to manage goals

for both years in parallel.

That means you have to figure out

where you can get business,

and how you’ll strengthen your existing business relationships.

It also means that

you have to be very clear about the goals you want to achieve

and have strategies in place to grow your business.

These tactics must be close to reality to be able

to steer the work to the place you want.

Therefore, you need to have a thorough understanding of the job,

the market, the industry,

and your competitors.

You must have a clear understanding of your own work.

Don’t let your boss warn you when

and where you’re going to lose a customer.

(By then you may have already lost your job.)

You have to know when,

where,

and why for yourself,

in order to have concrete countermeasures for those losses.

After all, a general knowledge of the job

and the business industry will be very helpful.

You must determine where the people

who have a big influence on your success are now

and where they are going.

Identify potential people in your own industry

to build relationships with.

Be wary of possible mergers

or joint ventures within the company,

because if both companies are about to merge,

you don’t have a foothold,

don’t win the initial favor.

50% chance that your fate is already decided.

There is an acronym that must always be kept in mind,

which is ABL (Always Be Looking).

You can’t predict where business opportunities will come from,

so prepare quick talks,

called “elevator speeches,”

about what you do.

Always be ready to give a 15-second talk

when someone asks about your work.

There is an e-book that I would highly recommend to you.

It is Opening Doors with Brilliant Elevator Speech by Jeffrey Mayer;

This book teaches us how to compose an engaging elevator talk.

Do you want to tell people briefly

and convincingly about your career?

You never know where you’ll find your next opportunity

– from a new acquaintance at a cocktail party,

a seatmate on an airplane,

or even someone sharing an elevator.

Business growth is a process,

not a goal.

You need to be polite to everyone,

because you never know, one day,

who will help you.

Prepare your elevator talk in advance,

because you also never know

when an opportunity will turn into an opportunity.

Surely John in the story I told you,

when going to watch football,

did not expect and did not expect that

he would get a customer.

If you don’t aim for anything,

you won’t meet anything either.

But if you know what you want

and work hard to get it,

if you use your time productively

to grow your existing customer base

and find new ones,

then it’s definitely worth it,

you will reach your goal.

Based on the experience of a person

who has been a sales person,

a trade manager,

and a trade coach,

I believe that business talent must be based on three factors:

Right way of thinking,

good trading process,

and the ability to build high-quality business relationships.

At the same time,

the salesperson must also focus on growing the business.

The difference in method

I present is not in the business development issue,

as there are already many books written on the subject

of business development.

It is also not part of the trading process,

because there are many other commercial processes.

The difference that I want to emphasize here

is the right way of thinking

and the way to build relationships.

Without those two elements,

you will have no way to the top in business.

When you meet a potential customer,

be prepared that you’re trying to discover

if there’s a compromise

between that person’s needs

and your company’s supply.

Constantly improve your understanding of the company,

your industry,

your customers,

and your competitors.

Hone your messaging skills to discover the most persuasive words

and phrases.

Practice the DELTA trading process

so that your client listens to you,

so you can understand their situation emotionally and rationally,

and then come up with a solution.

Finally, build business relationships in a positive,

conscious,

systematic and regular way.

Don’t just know how to sell,

but also know how to help customers buy.

Don’t act like a seller,

think like a buyer.

Do those things,

and I am sure you will be successful in your sales business

– and more importantly

– will reap a lot of joy in life.

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