6 Awesome Business Development Articles

What have you enjoyed reading this past month? 

What new ideas have you learned? 

How have your grown professionally?  Personally?

Here is a list of business development articles I came across in the month of July.  Enjoy!

 
1.  12 Sales Tips from Don Cooper, Sales Consultant.
  • My three favorite tips:

#1 – “Do less, better.”

#2 – “Acknowledge the obstacles. Don’t give them power.”

#9 – “Stand-out or don’t bother.”

Also, check-out some of Don’s other great articles listed on the right-side of his blog.

 

2.  What Direction Is Your LinkedIn Profile Going: Past or Future?  by Wayne Breitbarth.

  • What message are you sending with your LinkedIn profile?  Past accomplishments are great but don’t forget to give your readers a preview of things to come.

 

3.  A Simple Exercise To Get You Unstuck from the Harvard Business Review.

  •  The basic structure of this change process:

Once there was…
And every day…
Until one day…
And because of that…
And because of that…
And because of that…
Until finally…
And so…

 

4.  The Games Buyers Play With Vendors by Reed Holden.

  • In today’s competitive and ever-changing marketplace, the buying process is changing.  Less “relationship buyers” and more “economic buyers”.  A vendor (or salesperson) must understand the buyer’s process and honestly access their chances of winning the business before engaging.

 

5.  7 Ways To Rewire Your Brain And Become A Better Leader by Jessie Lyn Stoner.

  • Great article on how our mind works and how people process stressful and/or negative events.  Other great articles are archived on this blog.

 

6.  Make Work Happy by Skip Prichard. 

  • Interesting review of the book, Work Happy, What Great Bosses Know.

 

Share Me With Others:

  • I am trying to build my blog and share great content with my clients, friends, family, etc. If you like my blog, then please “share” it with others on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Thanks!

Questions? Give me a call (815) 979-4045.

Frank Haney

10 Things Business Can Learn From The NCAA Tournament

1.  Work Today, Win Tomorrow.  Winning is in the details.  Do you always win a business deal because of a great presentation?  Heck no!  You win because of all the hard work and attention to detail in the days, weeks, months prior to the big presentation (big game).  Do you consistently out-prepare your competition?

2.  In business, there are no brackets to fill-out; however, there are a hell of a lot of people predicting you will fail.  Are you going to listen to them?

3.  Four rules of a functional team: “Shine your stars, work your horses, fix your problems, get rid of deadwood.”

4.  Teamwork still matters – Recruiting talent still matters as well.

5.  Experience matters.  You see countless examples of mid-major teams beating high major teams.  In many cases, the mid-major teams have a core group of experienced players competing against high-profile underclassmen at high-major schools.

6.  Duke’s Coach K on his team’s loss yesterday:  “Basketball can take you to incredible highs and incredible lows.”  ….  So can business.  So can life.

7.  Great players and great teams have mastered the art of the comeback.  The best business leaders I have met have a great comeback story in their past.  The best sales professionals I know, demonstrate this quality as well.

8.  You can also tell a lot about a team by how they play with the lead.  Do they keep strategically attacking or do they get overly conservative and lose their edge.  Do you play to win or not to lose?  Be honest.  In hoops, you are either building on your lead or losing it.  In business, you are either growing market share or losing it.

9.  Social Media: Yesterday, #15 Lehigh beats #2 Duke.  Within minutes the Lehigh website crashes and they are trending on Twitter.

- Whether the questions is, “Who is Lehigh” or “Who is Jerry’s HVAC Service” - when people want to learn more about you, they will turn to Google, LinkedIn, Your Website, Facebook, Manta, etc.  What do these platforms say about you and your business?

10.  Just like in the game of basketball, opportunities present themselves at odd times and in weird places in business….  For example, you are reading a blog post on the 10 Things Business Can Learn From The NCAA Tournament…  and here I am with a unique opportunity to tell you that I help businesses and families with their insuranceWhen the time is right, I would love to review your insurance and see if we can improve your situation.

Questions? Call me at (815) 979-9121.

Frank Haney

Relationship-focused insurance agent dedicated to protecting your business and family.

Agency: Williams-Manny, Inc. – located in Rockford, Illinois.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only.  There is no legal advice being suggested or offered.  The author assumes no responsibility or liability for the actions take or not taken by the readers based upon the above-mention information.

 

 

10 Next Level Sales Tips

1. Selling a product or service is not something you do to people; it is something you do with and for them. 

If you don’t get this, then stop reading – you are in the wrong profession.

2. It is not how you feel, it is what you do.

-Sales is about attitude (what you choose to think), behavior (what you choose to do), and technique (what you choose to learn).

-If everyone on your sales team had your attitude, how good would your company be?

-If everyone on your sales team had your work ethic, how good would your company be?

-If everyone on your sales team was as knowledgable as you, how good would your company be?

3. Sometimes you need to be 2nd before you can be 1st.  Hang in there!

4. Your best clients are your competitor’s best prospects.  Make sure you don’t forget that.

5. Ask yourself, what are the three most obvious objections to moving forward?  Address those probable objections in your presentation.

6. I split my cold calling into two segments:

- Prospect to find the right person.  - Call blitz to get the right person on the phone.

7. Does everyone who needs your product or service know what you do?  Are you the world’s best kept secret?  Whose fault is that?

8.  3 Foot Rule - If someone is within 3 feet of you, introduce yourself and ask them who they are want they do.  You will be surprised about what you will find out.

9.  I once heard a sales consultant say, “the problem is that the sales team spends more time drinking coffee than actually prospecting.  Get clear on what you want and get clear on what you are really doing with your time.” 

10.  When is the last time your current insurance agent reviewed your property and casualty insurance with you?  61% of all claims issues could have been prevented by a simple review of your insurance.  Call me today at (815) 979-9121 to get a second opinion. 

Questions? Call me at (815) 979-9121.

Frank Haney

Relationship-focused insurance agent dedicated to protecting your business and family.

Agency: Williams-Manny, Inc. – located in Rockford, Illinois.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only.  There is no legal advice being suggested or offered.  The author assumes no responsibility or liability for the actions take or not taken by the readers based upon the above-mention information.

 

What Do You Actually Control?

My #1 goal this year: Focus on “controllables” in my business and personal life.  However, to do that, I am going to have to let someone else worry about the “uncontrollables”…….

One could create a long list of things they do NOT control (market conditions, other’s people’s actions, weather, etc) but only a short list  of things they do control.

As an example, my “controllables” in my role as an independent insurance agent:

1. How many calls I make to prospective clients.

2. How many pre-approach letters I mail.

3.  The amount of time I spend on professional development to ensure that I give my existing clients the best possible consulting.

4.  The amount of time I spend planning (vs. reacting).

5.  The amount of time I spend on presentation preparation.

6.  How many blog posts I shoot-out to those in my network (& beyond) regarding insurance, social media, and business development.  Side note: I do this to add value to existing relationship as well as to grow personally and professionally.  It is amazing how much great info one comes across when they share ideas with others.

STRUCTURE – BEHAVIOR – OUTCOME CONNECTION

- My thought structure (what is going on between my ears) drives my behavior.

- My behavior influences (but does not 100% control) my outcomes: sales, appointments, client retention, etc.

CONNECTION BETWEEN “LAST” & “NEXT”

Does your last result (last call, last meeting, last whatever) impact your next action?  Is that a good thing or a bad thing? (Confession: I need work on this one).

It is funny how this seems to come into play only when your “last” is something negative…. you missed a putt on the golf course or jumpshot on the basketball court, you missed a sale, had a bad call, etc.  I am not talking about a quick adjustment but rather being stopped dead in your tracks… as if paralyzed by fear – you start over-thinking your next action.

GREAT QUOTE ON FOCUSING ON “CONTROLLABLES” 

The following quote is posted inside the Chapel at Duke University next to the donation box (clever marketing actually):

I am one – but still I am one.

I cannot do everything – but I can do something.

And because I cannot do everything,

I will not refuse to do the something that I can do.

                                  – Everett Hale

What are three things you control?  What are three things you don’t control but have spent substantial time / energy worrying about?

Thanks for reading!

Questions?  Call me at (815) 979-4045.

Frank Haney

20 Word Chinese Proverb = 1 Powerful Sales Tip

 

If you must play, decide on three things at the start:

1. The rules of the game.

2.  The stakes.

3.  Quitting time.

                 – Chinese Proverb

This is one of the sales (life) lessons you sometimes need to learn the hard way, wouldn’t you agree?

I have come across this saying several times in recent years.  Most recently, when I read the book, The Insurance Xperience, by Matt Brown – www.theinsurancexperience.com.  Great book!

Questions?  Call me at (815) 979-9121.

Frank Haney

Relationship-focused insurance agent dedicated to protecting your business and family.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only.  There is no legal advice being suggested or offered.  The author assumes no responsibility or liability for the actions take or not taken by the readers based upon the above-mention information.
 

Agency: Williams-Manny, Inc. – located in Rockford, Illinois.

I blog about three things:  insurance, how I use social media to better serve my insurance clients and build my business, and business development ideas I have learned along the way.

Quiet Courage

This blog post falls under the, “it’s not how you feel, it’s what you do” category.  For 99% of us, we know what we need to do in-order to be successful in business and in life.  However, when it comes to New Year Resolutions and goal setting, many of us think BIG but do not act.

When it comes to achieving my goals, there are no real roadblocks in my way.  Success often comes down to, do I have the guts to execute when it counts?

I came across the concept of “quiet courage” while reading the book, Work The System, by Sam Carpenter.  Great book!  He says, “although there are many possible technical excuses for failure, it is a lack of what I call “quiet courage” that often precedes downfall.  Quiet courage is the opposite of procrastination.”

Quiet courage is taking that next step toward a goal even when the conditions are not ideal.  In athletics, they say great players work hard even when the coach is not watching.  Quiet courage is executing when no one is watching… when you have had a hectic day…. when you don’t feel so well…  when there is a perfectly good excuse for putting something off… when there is no immediate reward… when the second most important thing is pulling you away from what matters most.

For me, having quiet courage looks like this:

  • Blocking off chunks of time for prospecting –  EVERYDAY! This includes executing a mail /call campaign for ideal prospective clients.  I can get lost in my day with the best of them.
  • “Batching” on-going activities like email management and the returning of non-urgent phone calls so that my day is not one big interruption.  If you are like me, this is going to be a painful process.  They call it a “crackberry” for a reason!
  • Making the commitment to go to the gym 5 times per week for the next five months and train for a 1/2 marathon.
  • Making a commitment to 1-2 blog posts per week so that, come the end of the year, I have added a great deal of value to my clients and those in my network.
  • Continuing my professional development by, among other things, knocking-out a couple of CIC (Certified Insurance Counselor) classes.  It is really hard to leave the office for three days at a time for a class even though being a student of insurance is one of the best ways to serve existing and future clients.
  • Doing church, family dinners, and movie night with the kids even when my wife and I are exhausted from a crazy work day/week and would rather just decompress. 

What does quiet courage look like to you?

Questions?  Call me at (815) 979-4045.

Frank Haney