Featured Guest Blogger: Babette Ten Haken
Sales Aerobics for Engineers
Strategies and Toolkit for the Sales-Engineering Interface
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It’s Mid-Year! Time to reflect on where you have been and where you are going. And perhaps it’s time for your mid-year crisis. Or not. So….. what have you accomplished this year? In your own eyes? Not in the eyes of others. We all work for other people. Even if we are self employed. We work for our customers.
In the long run, our customers elect to work with us depending on how we perceive ourselves. If we have trust, respect, ethical behavior, integrity and, therefore, confidence in ourselves, I don’t have to tell you how those qualities translate for our customers and prospects. They want us on their team.
So what kind of report card would you give yourself at this point during the fiscal year? What lessons have you learned and how have you used these to improve yourself, personally and professionally? Has your sense of direction remained stable or has it been altered in a new, positive, complementary direction? Are you becoming more than, compared to less?
And when I ask you about giving yourself a report card, I am not talking about a report card where you listen to those ”too” voices in your head. You know: too this, too that, too under qualified, too overqualified, yada, yada, yada…. Listen to your own voice, not theirs. How are you doing? Really?
Developing business gets insane sometimes. You are so busy “selling” that you cannot develop business. You are meeting other people’s quotas or you are frantically trying to get someone to buy your consulting civil engineering services if you are self employed or own a business. And you are not getting much support from the “support” staff because you are treating them like, well, “support.”
You know, there is a BIG difference between most people’s perception of “selling” and the sales process resulting in business development. And business development is not a solo act. It needs a team of individuals who understand how to work collaboratively with each other. No room for rock stars here. So much for the sales paradigm. It’s been broken for a while. And needs fixing.
So am I describing your own workplace or some ideological, collaborative workplace which you feel is in “la-la land”? Guess again. You know, those civil engineers who you feel are the worker bees rather than the rock stars. Gotta tell you… they are your rock stars. You are their agents. Put them in front of the folks you want to develop business with and facilitate and nurture those discussions. See what happens.
You civil engineers who prefer to get fed and sheltered by employers and their business development folks. You know who you are. You believe that business development isn’t part of your job description. Guess again. It is part of your job description whether stated or not. Rise up and go forth from your cubicles and at least talk to these guys and gals who are in front of the customers. Find out how they think and approach business development. Because you need to become part of the same team.
So what kind of report card would you give yourself, thus far? And moving forward, how are your business development efforts going to change considering you are not alone. In fact, you have far more synergy in your efforts than you ever thought you had.
Now what are you going to do? Now that you have allies and assets in your organization. Cultivate these relationships. You may find out more about yourself than you thought you ever knew.
Think about it. And let me know.