- Posted by: Steve Wood
- Categories: Established business, News, SME
The Money Tree – How to build sales capability and generate ongoing sales revenue
“The Money Tree – How to build sales capability and generate ongoing sales revenue” is a book that looks at the sales process, and put’s it where it should be – as part of a wider strategic framework aimed at maximising your chances of sales success.
We have noticed in our travels, that whilst business leaders well and truly now that they have to keep customers happy with good products and services, and provide excellent follow-up and support; and they know that they need to win new business; they sometimes find it challenging to put the building blocks together to create a Marketing and Sales process that works.
As business owners ourselves, we are able to experience first-hand the joy (or otherwise) of sales efforts that have worked (or failed miserably)!
The book is aimed at those who are in business and need to, want to, or are required to find and win new sales.
What does The Money Tree cover?
This book is built upon real life experience – sometimes painfully won. I recall my first stumblings as a “sales account guy” when I was in the automotive components business at Ford Motor Company.
Then the harsh reality of life as a newly minted self-employed consultant in 2003, when I really started to learn about what worked and what did not work when selling.
Basic things like …. how to find the work? How to find real projects rather than just another job, for instance.
How to write up a winning proposal? What should be included and what could legitimately be left out?
What to charge? Should it be day rates – project fees – fixed price – time and materials – or something else?
How to protect myself from the less savoury individuals that we come across when in business? These are the time thieves and people who want you to do the work, but then find excuses for not paying the bill. Yes, that happens. It happened to me.
Then there is this phrase. “You really do need to win some more business”. Yes, we know, but isn’t the real problem – how?
My intent, as a consultant is to help gain clarity, help to focus and build skills. It’s much better for the customer if someone shows them what to do and how to do it, and then teach them how to do it for themselves. That way they no longer need me or any other consultant. I consider that a perfect outcome. They help themselves. We have the joy of seeing them grow as individuals and their businesses blossom.
That adds real value to their business – and is a reason why we get return invites to help on other challenging projects.
So, I have set this book out as a bit of a journey for the reader.
We start with a small quiz. What do you actually know about the marketing and selling process already? Apologies if you do not score top marks in the quiz. I have added a few items which I have personally created, and appear for the first time in book form, although they have been around for a number of years as we have used them with our clients.
Then we talk through some examples of what not to do. That was illuminating for me as I compiled it. Hopefully, you will find it as insightful.
There is a section on what is selling, what is marketing, and how are they different.
Then we launch into who to sell to. Who are our ideal customers? What markets are they sitting in and what do those customers look like? What do they want?
How do we find opportunities? They are everywhere, but sometimes we just don’t see them.
And how do we get in front of those customers? How do we get a first meeting? What do we need to cover in that first meeting? How do we position ourselves so that we get completely away from that “canned presentation” and telling them about what they want and need? The discussion on playing to the customer’s best interests is here. Some of you know it as the WIIFM or What’s In It For Me.
Then what do we need to do to persuade the customer that we are the best choice? Is there a way to focus on the value that we bring and get paid for it rather than be forced to be the lowest bidder?
I hope to show you that selling is not a black art. It is in fact a business process that can be process mapped, planned and managed; and there are a number of associated tools which the reader will hopefully find of interest. Here we have a section on Scripting the Discussion, and introduce a wider audience to the idea of the Valley of Value.
Penultimately, “If you think you can, or you think you can’t you are right.” Thank you to Henry Ford II for that quote and so setting the scene for the section on Mind over Matter in which we will cover the psychological aspects of selling. Those of you who have experienced the sweaty palms or had other physical symptoms will no doubt be able to recount your own stories here.
Finally, I have put together a number of case study examples of how some business people have gone about selling with either good or not quite so good results.
I do sincerely hope that the reader will be able to pick out a few gems which resonate and then put them into practice.
So with that experience in mind, I wrote this book. The aim is to help with thinking about “what do I need to get going?” and then to “get going faster”.
Whilst this book is aimed at the Selling part of the Sales and Marketing process, by necessity Marketing thinking and activities will need to creep in. Bear with me if I meander a touch, but I think you’ll find that it hangs together quite nicely in the end.