One of the biggest barriers is not in the ability to sell but the will to do so. Most readers of this article will have chosen their profession for a specific reason and I bet that it is not because they wanted to be good at business development. We are professionals not sales people.
Given the choice between spending time on client work and business development work, we choose that which we see to be easier, more attractive and more aligned with our image of ourselves. Hence, those professionals who have a business development action plan will do the client work first and leave any business development tasks until later in the day when they have finished their client work. Of course, the client work is rarely finished and so the business development tasks don’t get actioned.
We need to change the mindset of individuals, the culture of our firms and the identity of ourselves as professionals to see the significance of business development to our success. We need to become comfortable with the concept of selling and to embrace it as an intrinsic part of what we do rather than an ‘add-on’.
Firms need to recognise and reward sales and business development success and make it a key performance indicator for performance management and career development purposes.
For further information or for help in implementing some of these solutions please contact Jacqueline Harris of Auric Results Limited on 0118 969 0783 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Author – Jacqueline Harris has extensive experience of helping professionals and professional service firms to grow and increase their fee income. Her work focuses on business development, sales, client relationship management, business communication skills and executive coaching.