New business development - you have to make prospects think

THOUGHT LEADERSHIP

13th July 2016

New business development – you have to make prospects think

new business development

New business development can be a tough job. It’s about breaking brand new business opportunities for our clients.

If you have come across us through Google you may well have searched for; new business development, lead generation or, indeed, telemarketing – undoubtedly you will have received the regulation 5,000,000+ responses.

Broadley Speaking, holds a very particular niche in this firmament. We specialise in new business development for companies who (generally) sell complex, products and services to senior people.

Often these are very high value sales opportunities that are measured in six and eight figures.

Invariably they involve the research, and negotiation, of complex buying grids in large organisations.

Regularly we are asked buy our clients , we’ve tried using other companies – how come you actually make it work?

Having had a few weeks of Greek air and sunshine, and visiting some remarkable archaeological sites  – it gave me a little time to ponder

I’d like to take you back to between 469 BC – 399 BC

Socrates was knocking about the Athenian forums between these times. Apart from being a founder of Western philosophy, winning renown for his contribution to the field of ethics and making major contributions to epistemology and logic he also pioneered what came to be known as the Socratic method, or the method of elencus. (Phaenarete must have been pretty chuffed!)

In a nutshell this is a form of inquiry and discussion between individuals. A series of questions are asked not only to draw individual answers, but also to encourage fundamental insight into the issue at hand. Based on asking these questions and listening to the answers you can stimulate critical thinking and illuminate ideas. In the discussion it may be that the defence of a point is questioned, indeed one participant may lead another to contradict himself in some way, thus strengthening the inquirer’s own point.

This was Socrates point above, and if we replace one word it starts to make some sense in a sales and marketing context: “I cannot sell anyone anything. I can only make them think”. If you are going to go about catalysing change and culture with experienced, senior decision makers – you have got to play smart. You’ve got to make them think!

You may ask yourself if this sort of technique has been recognised and developed for over 2500 years why isn’t it used as standard when your trying to sell things on the telephone?

The answer: well actually it’s quite difficult to do well. It involves employing sales people who are prepared to think, and respond,and think again. Training people to this level requires a huge investment of intellectual property, time and money. It’s challenging. It’s impossible to automate using call management software (although some systems attempt to with ‘if they say this, you say that’ scripts– which if you think back to some the more ludicrous telemarketing or telesales calls you have had, where the agent appears to be in a parallel universe this is probably what caused them )

However it is what we do here at Broadley Speaking. It is inherent in our culture. It’s why when we engage with our clients we talk about our Socratic approach.

Its why we’re chosen by some of the World’s biggest business-to-business brands to act as their business development service.

It’s why if you are serious about sales results and about enhancing your brand you should probably give us a call on 0800 988 7253 

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