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Selling And Doing Good Business – Engineers Guide

Paul Naybour Paul Naybour

Published: 28th February 2012

Uncertain Economic Outlook

We face uncertain economic times…

During these challenging periods no-one can ignore the importance of business development. In this talk we discuss the different approaches to business development. This is based on my experience growing small consultancy businesses over the past ten years.

Relative Perspectives

Engineers and sales people often treat each other with disrespect; both have a poor view of the other. Lord Sugar said “I have never yet come across an engineer that can turn his hand to business.” And like wise engineers. Engineers tend to have dim view of sales people, they will promise the customer anything to make the sale and earn the commission”. In fact given the current market everyone need to be a sales person.

Journey From Consultant to Business Developer

In this section we talk about the transition from a worker bee to a leader of business development, and the different approaches to business development including

Order Taking

These supplier have a

  • Very strong brand icon
  • Customers flock to your door
  • Compelling unique selling proposition
  • Marketing driven approach
  • Mostly B2C

Farming

These suppliers
Care for and Cultivate the Account
Show that they are constantly thinking about the customer needs
Be active in bringing us new ideas
Be highly responsive to our needs and problems
Show sensitivity in working with our decision making processes.
Support us with state of the art technology, products and processes.
From a supplier perspective we need to

  • Have a clearly defined strategy for each key account
  • Demonstrate that they have all angles covered with an account management plan
  • Identify and manage key decision-makers
  • Understand how buying decisions are made
  • Use a process to actively manage the account

The aim is to grow the depth and scale of the relationship

Hunting for New Customers

Hunting for new customers is hard work with a significant failure rate

  • Generate a list of targets
  • Cold calling
  • Work with a pre-qualified list
  • Its a numbers game

A key part is appointment generation via

  • Networking
  • Social networking (linked-in)
  • Personal network

Proactive Sales Funnel

New customers are very expensive to acquire and the attrition rate can be very high. It takes time to establish the relationship and trust. Most bids are decided before the proposals go in, however new customers support a healthy business

Tips for Bidding

  • Read the ITT, three times.
  • Understand the customer benefits and order winners.
  • Story board your response.
  • Understand your own weaknesses and turn them into strengths.
  • Understand your competitors strengths and counteract them.
  • Allow plenty of time and plan.

Fishing for leads

  • Heavily promote you business and let customers find you
  • Search Engine Optimisation
  • e-mail opt-in white paper download
  • Blogging
  • Events
  • Publications
  • PR
  • Search Engine Optimisation
  • Different Approaches to Business Development

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