Hi there, it’s JP Moery, Observations from the Field. One thing many companies and associations overlook is their sales operation. They know they need a sales department, but they don’t spend a lot of time and intention building it the right way. I’ve got a couple observations for you that I hope are helpful because I think you’ve got to build this first.
If you don’t have this in place, you’re not going to have business for very long. It’s also good to recognize that if you’re a technician or a person that is starting a business who doesn’t have the skills background in sales or business development, don’t feel guilty about it, don’t apologize about it, but certainly don’t ignore it. This is what you should hire first in your business. Along those lines, sales and branding are the key parts of the operation because if you’re not able to get business, you’re not going to be able to sustain your operation for very long. So how would you start?
First, gather great data about your potential audiences. I’m starting these racing sponsorship efforts and I’ve been in the association sponsorship area for a long time, it’s all about the right people and the right contact information. If you don’t have that, you have very little to start from.
Second, how are you going to track things? It’s critical. I did this early on in my business because I couldn’t keep track of everything. With all the fantastic ways to keep information, to collect data, whether it’s Salesforce or whatever CRM, spend a bit of time learning and knowing how to implement that.
Third, what is the script and the narrative? You’ve built this infrastructure, why would you just fly by the seat of your pants in terms of the talking points? Here’s a good way to draft them.
- First, identify why other people join your organization or by your services. Start telling people about that story. “Hey, I don’t know about you, but here’s how Company ABC has benefited from us.”
- Number two, give some specific examples of how companies benefited from your help, and I mean specifics. This is where associations struggle sometimes because it’s too vague.
- Number three, share how companies that bought or joined your organization got started and maximized their relationship with you. Why is this important point? We’re going to be keeping people from making a mistake. No one wants to make a mistake, and that is what keeps so many sales from happening. People are fearful that they’re going to screw up. We’ve got to eliminate mistakes and the possibility for the buyer to make a mistake by buying our services or joining our organization.
Build that strong sales operation. I guarantee you it will help your company and your association grow.