Everyone on the team needs to help grow the business, not just sales and business development. If you have a company of 20 employees or of 1,000 it is better to find wayw to tap into everyone on the team, not just a handful of people with the title of “sales” or “development.”
Not Selling, Instead Relationship Building
The simplest way to do this in any business it to encourage the whole team to reach out to people they have worked with in the past and catch up with them. NO cold calls. NO “hey you want to buy some of our stuff?” Instead, reach out and check in with old customer contacts, with past strategic partners and see how they are doing? Give them an update on how you are doing. Listen, be engaged and show care.
The key to solid growth is sincere, genuine communications with as many people as possible. Remember, people want to work with people they know, they trust and they like.
Opportunity Hunting Tips:
- Never be pushy, never sell – instead check in, listen and share.
- Become active in industry groups– meaning do more than go to a meeting instead, join a committee, help set up the meeting, stuff envelops.
- Do your homework, find out want is new, what is of demand or issue with a potential customer or past relationship– always a good place to start a conversation “hey I just read about….”.
- Be a sounding board, a person others want to check in with and bounce ideas off of, a trusted advisor
- Share an interesting article you recently read.
- People always like hearing from a friend, no one wants a sales pitch.
- It is more about them and less about you – meaning ask 10 questions and listen to them vs. talking at them about yourself. People have a better feeling when they take with someone that asks more questions about them vs. talking about yourself.
Provide The Tools
Give your employees the simple tools to share and explore. This could be as simple as an internal process to handle leads and referrals. Give them simple sales tools, like PDF flyers, an elevator pitch. Have brown bag lunches on how to do relationship networking, etc. You could even look at rewarding the team for bringing in leads.
In time it becomes part of the culture, the way people at your company interact with the industry, the clients (existing, past and potential), with friends and partners.
Everyone at a company should help the business grow and thrive.
David Carrithers, of BusinessHive.com has over 25 years of market, sales and business development experience. Ranging from building a market development plan and team, to sales management and planning efforts. These tested programs and processes have grown products and service company revenues from 120% to over 300% in short time frames.