Ever heard of the cliché, it's not who you know but what you know?
The meaning of this saying is people get ahead in life based on their connections, not so much on their skills or knowledge. It is a saying that people often advance based on nepotism or on friendship, not on whether they actually know what they are doing in their jobs.
I'm sure just about everyone knows someone who has an unearned job or got an undeserved promotion. I definitely saw these events when I worked as a sales manager at a Fortune 500 company in Los Angeles.
Usually, the higher the job responsibilities, the less the time inexperienced remain in these positions unless they are protected by personnel higher up in the organization. Unfortunately and fortunately, I worked for a VP who was very unqualified for the high $100,000 annual income.
It was unfortunate because under, the leadership of this individual, the department of 300 customer services reps provided poor service to 1.8M California customers. It was fortunate for me because I had the opportunity to display my skills to improve customer service, get a foot into the Sales Department and meet the top leaders at the company of 40,000 employees. And no, I did not work to embarrass my VP supervisor. She actually thanked me after she figured out I had the same goals as she had...but I had more skills to execute the company mission.
In the sales environment, the cliché, "what you don't know can hurt you", is a hard reality.
Selling is a beast of its own kind. Strategies, techniques, and skills not known to salespeople can result in a tremendous lost of clients and sales revenues.
Looking back and observing behaviors in the present, I can pinpoint several reasons why salespeople miss out on good information. Here are the top three reasons I have noted as a consultant to white-collar small business owners since 2014:
Education level and industry knowledge are viewed as more important than sales knowledge. The most skilled CPA, Insurance Broker or Attorney can have tremendous industry knowledge and experience, but often as my company has seen, knowledge and industry does not translate into finding more clients.
The white-collar business professional owns the company and knows all. This reason is equal to being the "captain of the ship". Never mind that the crew does all the work and may have ideas to improve operations. I occasionally saw this top-down management style in corporate America where managers were reluctant to listen to the underlings doing the work. Clearly, I am not saying the owner does not have the responsibility to make final decisions. But I have seen hundreds of instances as a consultant where white-collar small business owners have said on one hand "my business is failing because I do not have enough clients" and, on the other hand I have heard from the same business owners, "I do not need any support finding new clients".
The white-collar small business owner has not seen good results from expensive marketing campaigns over the years. This sentiment ranks as the number one reason white-collar small business do not accept sales growth ideas. Business owners will not provide this feedback to marketers making their pitches. Owners simply say "no thank you". Owners have this saying in the back of their minds:"Burn me once, shame on you...Burn me twice, shame on me".
What can be done by marketers in the court of public opinion to reverse the feelings business owners have about marketing's effectiveness? Not much really!
Marketing is defined as promoting a company's products and services to the public. Unfortunately, there are no guarantees to small business owners to add more clients and increased sales revenues. A marketing company can never guarantee a good ROI value for marketing dollars invested.
Large corporations like Apple, Disney, Ford, and Carnival Cruise Lines must use million-dollar marketing and advertising campaigns to sell their products and services. Yes, social media and digital marketing work for large corporations.
Notice anything different about large companies and small businesses using social media? Answer: large corporations have a few competitors. Small businesses have hundreds if not thousands of competitors just in a metro area. How many attorneys are there in Los Angeles? Thousands. How many insurance brokers are in Philadelphia? Thousands. How many CPAs and accounting firms are in Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties? Thousands. Therefore, it must be crystal clear, due to fierce competition, small business owners will not add any significant new clients using social media and digital marketing.
This is why consulting companies are different than marketing companies. A consulting agreement should not look like or feel like a marketing agreement in disguise! A consulting agreement must include a guarantee to improve the internal behaviors or actions to increase sales. This means company staff will be included in the action plan. In short, consultants help small business owners increase sales skills to be more effective.
Learning how to improve contacting, prospecting and closing is the best way a consultant can guarantee small business owners will add new clients. And, as a result of improving the above sales skills, small business owners will increase the number of no-cost referrals.
321 Biz Dev LLC is a consulting firm and does not charge for marketing. Meaning, our company will never present a marketing agreement to a white-collar small business owner to pay thousands of dollars in advance for future new clients and additional revenues to exceed the marketing investment. Our company cannot meet that obligation. No company looking to support white-collar small business owners can deliver on these terms.
What 321 Biz Dev LLC does is offer affordable, professional sales system training to elevate staff skills for the business to find its own customers/clients. 321 Biz Dev LLC offers two other services.
321 Biz Dev LLC will identify prospects and set appointments for our white-collar small business clients to close transactions. We know no company is proficient is selling and finding their own clients after our 6-9 hour training. It normally takes 1,000 to 1,600 hours (6 to 9 months) of full-time selling for salespeople to move through the sales learning curve.
321 Biz Dev LLC offers monthly coaching to help white-collar small business owners move through sales learning curves. What we know that 99% of white-collar small business owners do not know is: closing has very little to do with the product or service being offered. Therefore, 321 Biz Dev LLC will coach business owners to position themselves to have an 80% probability prospects will say YES. Remember, 321 Biz Dev LLC wrote the closing component of the sales system.
Hopefully, this article defines our consulting firm's role.
For interested parties wanting to know more about our services, please complete a 5-minute Questionnaire located on our website under the Services tab.
All services are offered in English and Spanish languages.
All the best,
Rick Nappier, CEO
Yeilyn Rodriguez, VP
Spanish Language Business Owners