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I Never Learned Something New From Someone Who Agreed With Me

Updated: Apr 21, 2021

This text is from our consulting firm's latest 321 Biz Development episode found on fifteen podcast platforms.

This quote is attributed to Robert Anson Heinlein, an American science-fiction author, aeronautical engineer, and Naval officer. His most notable book was "Starship Troopers". Another author, Dudley Field Malone, is also given credit for this quote.

I do not know much about Robert A. Heinlein and Dudley Field Malone, other than what I found online, but I love the quote.

I first heard of the quote from a colleague, Demi M. Giro, who mentioned the quote on a recent podcast episode. The quote, regardless who is credited with ownership, has wide practical implications.

What does the quote mean with respect to business development?

Wow! This quote resonates greatly when I look at how small business owners make decisions about growing their companies. As a consultant, the number one challenge I encounter with small business owners is their reluctance to accept new information.

Okay. Did I lose most of my readers and podcast episode listeners when I made the above statement?

There is something about the human mind, especially in the area of business development, where business owners push back on new information to improve sales productivity and sales performance.

Most of the reluctance to accept new information comes from white-collar business owners getting burned on marketing schemes that did not work and cost business owners thousand of dollars.

The remaining obstacle business owners have with accepting new information is attributed to not being exposed to business development education. Attorneys, CPAs, dentists, homebuilders, medical groups, plastic surgeons, and insurance brokers and real estate brokers spend little to no time learning formal business development basics. In their defense, white-collar business owners had to focus on passing rigorous certification exams to practice law, accounting, dentistry and medicine.

The mystery question is why are some business owners open to accepting new information and others resist new information?

I ask this question because I encounter white-collar small business who do accept new information about improving sales performance. Then, speaking with a different company with a different owner, with the same sales challenges, this business owner will not accept new information.

I guess the words to the Earth, Wind and Fire song applies: "That's the Way of the World".

Take me for instance. As a young sales manager in the late 1990's, early 2000's. I was a sponge for new information. My mindset was then, and still is today, that there is always something new to learn. And obviously, I do not have the information, so I am a seeker of people who can grow my knowledge.

Even prior to entering corporate sales, I worked in Operations at a Fortune 500 company in Los Angeles. I was known as the problem solver because I would research problems and provide solutions to other departments challenges because these departments' challenges affected my department.

In 2013, after the California real estate and mortgage crises, I had to reinvent myself. I looked at how companies sold their products and services and discovered many white-collar small business owners struggled with the following five sales system activities: contacting, prospecting, appointment setting, closing and getting zero-cost referrals.

Starting 321 Biz Dev LLC, my mission statement was to identify the missing pieces preventing white-collar small business owners from realizing high sales productivity and predictable sales performance. This is a consultant mission statement which reads much differently than a sales and marketing mission statement.

In writing the solutions to achieving high sales productivity and predictable sales performance, I had to find experts who could give me enough information and data.

I researched thousands of pages from digital university libraries containing papers written by psychologists knowledgeable in the area of human behavior. I found plenty of content and data showing how consumers behave under X conditions and how consumers behave under Y conditions.

Then, using the data and science, I beta-tested and recorded my findings with small business owners. After 10,000 hours of beta-testing and updating 321 Biz Dev sales system modules, I was able to finalize the 321 Biz Dev sales system in 2017, about three years after I started the company.

In addition to researching hundreds of university libraries, I was so lucky to meet two fantastic business owners who validated 321 Biz Dev solutions. These two people, Harley Gordon, Boston Attorney and Mark Arola, CEO and Insurance Broker, helped me convert the 321 Biz Dev sales system from a set of hypotheses to a library of facts.

A hypothesis is a proposed explanation for a phenomenon. For a hypothesis to be a scientific hypothesis, the scientific method requires that one can test it. Scientists generally base scientific hypotheses on previous observations that cannot satisfactorily be explained with the available scientific theories.

In other words, I expected new results based on a hypothesis that implementing sales productivity and sales performance fixes would help white-collar small business owners increase revenues. After several observations based on several hypotheses, I was able to move 321 Biz Dev hypotheses to theories to facts.

I met Harley Gordon, an elder law attorney, at a financial services seminar in Berkeley California. Although many of the attendees, like myself, were there for the insurance information, I quickly became more interested in the conversations Harley had with his prospects. His information about how he professionally communicated with prospects was priceless!

With Mark Arola, I worked with him as a long-term care insurance agent in his San Francisco Bay Area office. His training was the closest I had matching the training I received in corporate America. Mark's training taught me about the power of listening more than talking at prospect appointments.

In closing, I am so thankful that I was able to be open-minded to new information.

If this episode provoked some deep thought about improving your sales performance, please do not hesitate to contact me, Rick Nappier, at 726-999-0999. Or, if you are Spanish language business owner, please contact Yeilyn Rodriguez, VP, Business Development specialist at 786-697-3400. Ms. Rodriguez is fluent in both Spanish and English.

Interested parties can click here to visit our website. Then, click the Questionnaire tab to complete the 5-minute questionnaire so 321 Biz Dev can learn more about your current sales situation or learn about your current or past experiences with trying to improve sales performance. A 321 Biz Dev specialist will contact you within two business days to review your responses.

We hope your enjoyed today’s post and linked podcast episode.

Rick, CEO

Yeilyn, VP

Demi, VP

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