Most companies avoid evaluations, for obvious reasons. Evaluating your effectiveness can be difficult to do, difficult to understand and even more difficult to accept (if the results don't go your way). We anonymously surveyed the salespeople who have participated in our training courses and created the infographic above to communicate the results.
Professors everywhere are constantly asking themselves the question, "Are we educating our students in the best way possible? Are they ready for the real world?" Professors John Tanner, Chase Edwards, Stacey Chamberlain and myself asked ourselves this very question, but with specific regard to legal studies. We think that the results are surprising, but see for yourself!
Are you a business school alum? Want to add to the research? Click the button below...
Edwards, C. J., Tanner, J., Theriot, R. P., Chamberlain, S. (in press). Business School Alumni Perspectives on the Need For Legal Studies. Southern Law Journal, XXIII (Fall 2017). http://www.southernlawjournal.com/.
1. People are Human
Sounds pretty silly, right? Sometimes I find myself forgetting that everyone has their own perspective. We can start to assume that others think and feel the way we do, but this is a dangerous trap! We must put people's perspectives before our own if we are to truly understand what they want and need. Be empathetic. Remember that 'value' is perceived; it is derived from the combination of someone's needs and desires.
2. Follow Success
Does innovation drive market changes or do markets changes drive innovation? Do entrepreneurs drive ideas or do ideas drive entrepreneurs? In both cases, the answer is 'yes.' These things happen simultaneously. If you continue doing what works for you, building off of it and making it better, you are sure to win with time. Remember, most winning runs are not grand-slams but consistent base hits - master the fundamentals.
If you think that you are not in sales, it's time to get rid of your ego (see #1) and realize that nothing happens until someone is persuaded to act. Ask questions, listen to the answers and create solutions where desires and needs present themselves. Everyone has something to sell; you are no different.
4. Revise Your Goals
I once presented to a large group of college students. I asked them to write down their biggest goal on a sheet of paper. Once they were finished, I told them to crumple up the paper and throw it to the front of the room. That's how easy it was to make them throw their dreams away. I am not suggesting that you throw your dreams away, but do reconsider them from time to time. Stubbornness and pride can really cripple you as you embark on your journey to success and happiness.
5. Associate with Winners
It took me a long time to realize that some people want me to succeed and others do not. Don't get me wrong. It's not that people want you or me to fail (some may), it's just that your success is not nearly as important to them as their own. Others are just not as fired up about what you do. Figure out ways to leverage this by incentivizing people to help you or rewarding those that do.
6. Mentor and be Mentored
Never be afraid to look up or down. Regardless of where you are in your journey, there is someone who can help you and someone that you can help.
7. Be the Birds on the Hippo
Hippos can't even scratch their own back - they rely on partners. You don't have to do it all on your own. Great possibilities are found within strategic partnerships. Yes, partnering requires the release of some control and authority. Yes, partnering means you have to share; but often times you can increase your business exponentially by partnering with the right person/organization.
This article was originally featured on SalesGravy - here. SalesGravy is owned and operated by Jeb Blount, the bestselling author of "Fanatical Prospecting"
Horton Hears a Who! is a classic children's book written in 1954 by Theodor Seuss Geisel, better known by his pen name Dr. Seuss. Throughout my sales training and collegiate sales lectures, I often refer back to Horton's story and the powerful moral message contained within it. If you are not familiar with Horton's story, allow me to summarize:
Horton is a normal elephant, who one day hears a small voice coming from a speck of dust placed on a clover. The small voice yells at him in panic as he almost sits on the clover. He realizes that an entire community, the Whos of Whoville, are living on this speck of dust! Horton vows to protect the Whos and their town of Whoville. As you can imagine, Horton is criticized by the other animals for 'believing' that an entire town is living on a speck of dust. The animals begin alienating Horton and even threaten to destroy the clover, unless Horton can prove that the Whos exist. Horton asks the Whos to make as much noise as they can so that the other animals might hear them on the dusty clover. As the Whos parade through Whoville, screaming and singing at the top of their lungs, Horton notices that the smallest Who, Cindy Lou Who, is not yelling. Horton pleads with her to give a shout and when she finally does, the rest of the animals finally hear the Whos of Whoville!
The Business Lesson
As the animals and Whos rejoice, Horton closes the story with his famous line, "A person's a person no matter how small." It's a heart-warming story and one I think everyone should read, but what's the business lesson here? In every copy of Horton Hears a Who! that I own, I re-write the line to read, "A customer is a customer no matter how small."
3 Ways to Implement Horton's Lesson into Your Business
Big data has been one of the hottest buzzwords in business for the last seven years or so. The reason is that big data holds big potential. Also, big data is sexy – it’s mysterious and complex. You have probably noticed that digital ads are becoming more and more tailored to fit your buying habits – that’s big data. Computers are slowly developing the capability to describe and categorize images without any human input… they are starting to see – that’s big data. Cars are driving themselves – again, that’s big data.
To give it a more palpable definition, big data refers to data sets that are so large and sometimes so unstructured that traditional data processing software is unable to deal with it. When companies are able to collect big data, that data needs to be stored in big places; this costs big money. Also, it is very difficult to mine big data; therefore the big data set is partially explored and leveraged by the organization which owns it. Companies typically try to view the data with visualization software which can also be quite expensive and difficult to use.
I must mention that I know data scientists who work tirelessly with big data. They are some of the smartest and creative people I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. What they can do with big data is truly heroic and has/will change the course of history.
Small Data, Huge Impact
If a company employs 500 people or less, it is considered to be a “small business.” Ninety-nine percent of the businesses in the United States can be classified as small businesses. Digging deeper, 79% of small businesses have only one employee; that’s right.
These businesses are called “non-employers” and they make up the largest segment of businesses in the United States. These shops are small and their data is small. As the number of employees in a firm increases, the number of existing firm trickles down. Small businesses of all sizes are harnessing small data. The good news is that small data can be harvested – meaning it can be analyzed using traditional processing software (EXCEL, SPSS, SAS). Small data is not exactly sexy like big data is, but it is useful… and well, that’s even better for businesses.
Show Me the Data!
Are you ready to start using whatever data you have to uncover knowledge and make better decisions? First, you need to tap into your data. Here are some sources of data that you can tap into:
If you would like to delve into data analytics on your own, I recommend using IBM's SPSS data analytics software. There are great tutorials online. A basic understanding of business statistics and analytics is necessary to get the maximum value from this software suite.
If you need help in this analytical effort, our team would be happy to work side-by-side with yours. Our team is highly educated with years of experience in the field as well as in academia. We can help you collect data, analyze data and even generate recommendations using the knowledge found deep within the numbers. We are talking deeper than graphs and charts. Have a hunch about your business and looking for an answer? We can even collect data that will validate or deny that hunch with 95% confidence. Finally, we never leave you in the dark. All findings will be clearly reported and presented to your team so that takeaways are clear and the impact is made.
The doorbell rings, an elderly lady opens the door and a little boy, about 7 years of age, asks her if she would like to buy a bag of fresh Japanese plums. She hands the boy three folded dollar bills.
The doorbell rings, a busy working mom answers and a boy, about 12 years old, holding a bucket and rag, asks her if she would like her car washed. The look of relief casts over her face as she hands the youth a ten dollar bill.
A phone rings; the vice president of sales answers. A young man with a shaky voice asks for 30 minutes of his time…
Let’s Talk About Selling
As an entrepreneur, collegiate sales/entrepreneurship instructor, and business consultant, entrepreneurs frequently ask me how they can make their companies thrive. My goal here is to bring it back to the basics; let’s talk about selling.
Before you close your browser, consider this. As an entrepreneur, I am sure you have heard of the following books: Business Model Generation by Alexander Osterwalder, The Startup Owner’s Manual by Steve Blank and Bob Dorf and The Lean Startup by Eric Ries. Each one of these books is fantastic and I highly recommend that you read them; however, I can summarize each into one single word… sell.
So many entrepreneurs get sucked into the process of creating ideas, that is to say, ideation. I certainly did. Three separate times in three separate ventures, I had a self-declared ‘brilliant’ idea that I dumped all of my effort, a lot of my money, and a good bit of my hope into. Let’s face it; cologne called The Stank is a far cry from being the next billion-dollar ‘unicorn.’
Creating The Next Best Customer
Peter Drucker, arguably the greatest business mind of all time, said that “the purpose of a business is to create a customer.” Therefore, you must turn your focus away from creating the ‘next best thing’ and toward ‘creating the next best customer.’
What this means is that you must identify the group of people or businesses that you can easily impact and influence. If you have a customer-base, great; start there. If you don’t have a customer-base, start thinking of friends, colleagues, associates and so on.
Once you do that, get out from behind your social media and start meeting with those people, either face-to-face or over the phone. Ask good questions and listen closely to the answers. Share your aspirations with them and ask for their ideas. After multiple conversations, you will see a theme start to develop. You find yourself confronted with more and more opportunities (even though some of the opportunities may not be directly related).
Steps to Acquiring New Customers
Let’s face it; it is extremely rare to create something completely novel. What is not so rare is creating a customer (that is not to say it is an easy feat). Creating a customer can be a sales-driven process; so here is a suggested outline an entrepreneur can follow.
Believe it or not, this five step process closely resembles the same process professional sales people use to sell their products/services. It also closely resembles the processes described in all three of the wildly popular books mentioned above.
Transactional vs. Relationship
Finally, it is important to note that successful salespeople and successful entrepreneurs need to have the proper mix of products to serve their customers well. This mix can be broken down into two basic elements: a transactional product/service and a relationship product/service.
Your transactional product/service will be a lower cost item that addresses a very common need amongst your customer-base. This product/service will get you in front of people and get them interested in doing business with you.
Your relationship product/service is a higher cost item that addresses common needs, but may require a higher level of trust to exist before a deal is made. As you serve your customer-base with your transactional product/service, You will build the trust needed to then up-sell customers your relationship product/service.
Example: XYZ Lawn Care Company will cut your lawn for $30 (transactional). After a relationship is established, XYZ Lawn Care Company will offer to pressure wash your house (it obviously needs it) for $300.
Original article was written by Reece Theriot and posted on businesstown.com - HERE
Reece Theriot, MBA
“We were put on this Earth to love; by loving, we serve others; by serving others, we create value; by creating value, we form successful ventures; by forming successful ventures we contribute to the advancement of Creation which pleases the Creator.”