Selling and Star Trek – Next Generation

Selling and Star Trek – Next Generation

I grew up watching the original Star Trek series with William Shatner as Captain Kirk.  Kirk, always a crowd pleaser, would get himself into all types of galactic challenges, facing countless objections, and yet, by the end of the show, have saved himself, his crew, and the stunningly beautiful “lady creatures” from their peril. Then, a fresh batch of writers created Star Trek – Next Generation, featuring 24th century adventures of Captain Jean-Luc Picard aboard the U.S.S. Enterprise (NCC-1701-D).  Picard and crew faced a whole new series of threats and adventures, plus new lands, and new people.  Yet, at the end, Captain Picard would always find a way to prevail.  Now, how can I draw a sales development blog from this.  Watch and read…. One of the cool inventions featured on the deck of the Enterprise was the food replicator.  Picard would state “Tea, Earl Grey, Hot” and a steaming cup of hot Earl Grey tea would appear. (Let me know when Best Buy has these one sale.)  Here is the sales transition, there are three specific things Picard did or used in order to have his tea. Picard knows what he wants.  In 24th Century food replication or sales, you have to know what you want.  I teach this and model this as consistently as I can.  When you are in the Planning stage of a sales process, you have to Mentally know what you want to accomplish in the sales call.  Then, you prepare, you take notes, you gather samples, data, examples, stories, facts, quotes, testimonials, etc.  You know what you want before you have the sales...

Little Things, Part 4

Giving grows communities. It also grows business. We’ve talked about giving time. Giving resources is also a great habit to acquire. In my darkest financial days, my then new bride Elizabeth encouraged me to be more generous with our financial resources. It was a strange request, because, as I said, those were my darkest financial days. It didn’t seem to make sense. Having respect for Elizabeth’s wisdom, however, I tried it. What I learned was that giving changed my heart. I became more open, more compassionate, more willing to listen, more flexible. I believe that change made me more approachable and likable. People like to do business with people they like, I learned. Now is a good time to stretch our giving. Times are tough; they are particularly tough on the non-profit organizations that serve the needy and try to make our communities better. Consider digging a little deeper in your pocket this year. It may change your heart. You’ll like the change. Good...

Little Things: Part 5

Here’s another important little thing – do the excellent work promptly. While you may have many things on your desk, your client may not be able to take the next step until you’ve completed your work. Help the client move to the next project or deal. The more the client does, the more the client can use your services. Good...

Little Things: Part 3

Service develops business. Because of my history of political involvement, potential candidates sometimes call me to ask for advice about running for office. One of the first questions I ask is, “How have you been serving until now?” A person with a true servant’s heart serves when there are no accolades or publicity involved. Once you’re in the game, offer your talents and time to make your neighborhood, your community, your profession, the industry you serve, better. People take note of people who really want to make a difference and put in the sweat to make it happen. It also gives you a chance to demonstrate your talent. And every profession, industry, neighborhood and community needs good people to help make it better. Good...

Little Things: Part 2

Once you’re in the game, the coach will tell you to keep your head in the game. What does that mean in terms of business development? It means staying informed. In a community-based practice, that means reading the local newspapers (including the kind that are distributed for free and cover social events and the like). These publications tell us who got married or is getting married, whose parent, or spouse or child died, who is active in philanthropy and lots more. In an industry-based practice, it means keeping up with listservs, or LinkedIn groups, and reading industry publications and periodicals. For all clients, it may mean “liking” or befriending them on Facebook or connecting or following them on LinkedIn or Twitter. It is amazing how much (and what) one may learn by regular social media contact. Several lawyers in our firm have attracted new projects directly from social media activity in the past year. Good...

Little Things: Part 1

One of the points that I make frequently when discussing business development is that everyone can do it. That’s because doing small things consistently and with discipline produces success. This series will focus on small things that every person can do to build relationships, and, therefore, build business. Because we’re in the run up to the Super Bowl, let’s start with a sports analogy. To win the game, you have to be in the game. If you don’t play, you’ll never win. I recall a joke about a man who prayed every day to win the lottery, and each week he was disappointed by not winning. Finally, in exasperation, he asked God why He had not answered his consistent prayer. “Buy a ticket,” came the James Earl Jones voice from the clouds. How do you “buy a ticket” in the business development sense? First, you have to get out of your protective shell. Be a part of your community, or the industry you serve. Go when you’re invited and meet people. Build your circle of friends on Facebook, LinkedIn or Google+, or all three. Get in the game. Good...