According to Daniel Pink’s new book – “To Sell is Human – The Surprising Truth About Moving Others”, “most of what we think we understand about selling is constructed atop a foundation of assumptions that is crumbling”.
What does this mean for us, business developers who job it is to bring in new clients for our companies?
Well, in my opinion, it means each conversation we have with prospects must be meaningful and purposeful.
Roughly translated, no winging it.
A great deal of work I do with clients is to deconstruct their pipelines from initial conversation all the way through to the close. We look at each step and think about these main building blocks or rules of engagement:
Rules of Engagement
1. What activities should be accomplished at this step?
2. What questions should I be asking the prospect to move him from this step to the next step in the pipeline?
3. What are 3 possible answers to each question that would help me classify this prospect as a GOOD, BETTER or BEST prospect?
4. Where is my prospect on the overall engagement scale? Can I accurately pinpoint where his mind is? (I use a 5 point scale of Unaware, Aware, Comprehend, Conviction, Action – more on these in a subsequent post)
5. What pieces of data do I want to track and measure that will help me, my managers, and my CEO have a more accurate pulse on how I’m doing?
After we look at Activities, Questions, Responses, Engagement and Tracking, we look at the requirements necessary to transition from one step to the next in the pipeline. You can think of this as the game we used to play as children – Monopoly. Specifically, the “Do Not Pass Go, Do Not Collect $200”. In other words – Do all the things in this step before you continue to the next step – NO DETOURS ALLOWED.
After we’ve defined items 1-5 in detail, we then set the “Do Not Pass Go, Do Not Collect $200” parameters:
1. What are the requirements that must be completed before entry to this step?
2. What are the requirements that must be competed upon exit from this step?
Repeat after me: Knowing the detail for each step in my pipeline frees me to completely and purposely service my clients in the way they deserve to be serviced.
Homework: Please put into your workplan this week to examine each step in your pipeline, build your rules of engagement and “do not pass go, do not collect $200” entry and exit strategy.
As Benjamin Franklin says – “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail”
Fiercely protect your right to earn a great living and service your clients by planning your work and working your plan. Consistent lead generation is the by-product of your efforts.