The first MGM challenge is centered on revenue generation, because you can’t really save and grow money until you earn it, and revenue generation happens to be what I know about! Most of us aren’t particularly comfortable with asking for opportunity, advancement, more money, an appointment, a referral or someone’s business. It seems like the sort of work relegated to aggressive sorts that one might associate with bulldogs, sharks and other tenacious members of the animal kingdom known for their single mindedness. We would all much prefer to just express our talents, skills and brilliance without having to engage in the unsavory business of “selling” ourselves! It seems unfair, outrageous and overwhelming that in addition to having a skill, service or talent we must also be required to peddle it like a street vendor hawking snake oil from a covered wagon. Not to worry, you can elect to take a much different approach to selling your service, one that is elegant, ethical and serves the client.
Because of my training it would be remiss not to support your revenue generation efforts with a bit of sales and business development intelligence. So here is what you need to know to change your relationship with selling and business development:
- You are trying to serve your client by educating him or her to make the best buying decision. It’s not coercion or manipulation. Sell as an adviser, consultant, advocate, educator and expert, and everyone wins.
- Most likely the person you are selling to is selling something to someone else. This is what our economy is built upon and we all just need to accept that.
- Being the best does not mean you don’t have to sell. We all know complete incompetent idiots in our own industries making truckloads of money so being the best isn’t a barrier nor is it an e-ticket to success, you still have to convey your value.
- LEARN how develop your business. Despite popular belief selling is not the domain of the extrovert. When you unlock the little mystery of selling, your life gets a whole hell of a lot easier.
- Don’t get caught up on rejection. It’s really not you and if you let it bother you it will disturb your success and limit your earning power – we hate that! Rejection is never delightful, but that doesn’t mean it needs to be soul crushing either. It’s really not such a big deal, just move on.
- Self-advocate. That’s right, you should claim your piece of the pie because you deserve it. Do this with elegance and craft your language deliberately, but don’t allow someone else to take an opportunity from you because you’re unwilling to express why you’re the right decision, and if you can’t do this for yourself, you most certainly cannot rely upon someone else to do this for you.
- Find someone who develops business successfully and become his or her student. Yes, grasshopper you must find a master to show you the ways of success. Don’t be embarrassed or limited in your thinking. They already have it figured out and can mitigate the learning curve.
- If you think that you’re just bad at selling then you’re right and nothing and no one will change your mind so go and do something else. I’m not being glib. Your attitude is your truth. Decide that while you might not be an expert, you can be, and then over time, you will be.
- Take risks, because fortune favors the bold. I didn’t get to where I am because I waited for someone to notice me. You get the big opportunities because you let everyone know that you are ready and able. Don’t be shy. Throw your hat into the ring and ask for what you really want. Some people will say ‘no,’ but eventually someone will say, ‘yes.’
- Decide that you can have fun and make money. Look, there are days that I am intensely irritated, but ultimately, I really love my work and I know that when people write me a check they’re doing a good thing for their business. They aren’t doing me a favor, they are taking care of themselves and I’m helping them. You have to KNOW that what you do or what you sell has value or you aren’t going to sell much or have any fun.
I know, I know, you’re smart and hard working and special and that should be enough, and it absolutely would be if there was little competition, but we live in a highly competitive market full of choices and it’s our job to educate our clients and defend our worth.
I hope this changes your mind a bit. I have navigated this process and continue to do so for myself as well as my clients, and I want you to know that you can do it as well, but you have to replace your resistance with receptivity.