As a former Los Angeles corporate sales manager who used to interview and hire account executives who passed psychological and emotional aptitude tests, the first question I would ask is: "what has been your past experience working in sales?"
The candidate's response would determine 50% of the likelihood to make an offer to hire.
If the candidate could not answer this question, I knew this was not the candidate to put at the top of hire list.
The response gave me an answer to the second to the last question: "Have you tried?"
A salesperson who has tried often will definitely has experiences.
This blog article and podcast episode looks at white-collar small business owners who may not have experience finding new clients because they have not tried to find new clients.
Just to be clear, finding new clients does not mean the well-educated business owner is meeting with a prospect and converts the prospect into a new client.
The process of finding a new client starts long before the prospect-business owner appointment. And, finding new clients begin with trying...or industry term for trying is effort.
White-collar small business owners face several dilemmas in putting effort into find new clients:
Colleges and specialty schools never provided effort training or business development courses. Business development training requires about 1,000 hours of working in a sales related occupation. The 1,000 hours are not connected with delivering the product or service.
Today's white-collar small business owners do not have the time to attend a formal business development course nor cannot afford the $25,000 training fee.
Some white-collar small business owners reject the idea that new clients must be found. Business owners believe their titles, education and experience should suffice.
Lastly, although most white-collar small business can turn-on the necessary charm to close transactions, there is a different temperament required to open a dialogue with strangers.
The business owner must very be motivated to open dialogue with potential new clients. Business development training is the source to modify personalities just enough for the mind to accept that it will be more comfortable, less stressful to contact strangers about products and services.
The best example I can think of comes from the movie, "The Matrix", where martial arts skills are downloaded to Neo's brain. Here is the clip.
Instead of acquiring the technical expertise to master martial arts as portrayed in the movie, business development training gives salespeople professional permission to contact strangers about a company's products and services.
Once a salesperson understands it's acceptable to contact people, most of the stress is removed. Before social media, it was common practice to contact small business owners, over the phone, and people, in person.
Some people are great candidates for business development training while the training may not be compatible with others' personality styles.
At 321 Biz Development, we believe most white-collar small business owners cannot add a totally different mental discipline to the advanced training in legal, accounting, dentistry and medicine these professionals have already acquired.
The current economic and political conditions may motivate small business owners to look at ways to improve their interpersonal skills. 321 Biz Development is here when the time is right.
Rick Nappier, President
321 Biz Development