A New View of Sales & Business Development in the 21st Century

old-new Is there a 'new' way to make more sales?

 "A rose by any other name would smell as sweet."

- William Shakespeare

With absolutely no disrespect intended, it is interesting to me that over the course of my career how computer programmers have become software developers, psychologists have become therapists, and secretaries have become administrative assistants.

I certainly understand that roles, technology, change and more play a part in redefining how certain jobs and professions evolve over time.  And that, outdated and in some cases demeaning titles, no longer apply.

During the first 30 or so years of my career, despite whatever the job title, I was in 'sales.'  The responsibilities were the same - find and develop new customers, take good care of existing ones, create long-term relationships, and help create revenue for the company.

Over the last few years I've been in 'business development.'  While many if not most of the tactics and methodologies (including social media, in-bound marketing, Zoom meetings etc.) have changed, the responsibilities are still - find and develop new customers, take good care of existing ones, create long-term relationships, and help create revenue for the company.

Trust me, I understand the changes in how that all happens in the modern world.  My primary weapon years ago, the 'cold call.'  Not sure that the younger generation even knows what that means now.  Even a dinosaur like me has had to evolve to stay current and relevant.  Life-long learning is not an option for any of us.

Yet… there are 3 things I compare from my previous life in sales to my current life in business development that are very much the same.

Business development is like….

An Iceberg.  Eighty percent of an iceberg, just like much of the effort in developing new business, lies below the surface to the naked eye, unseen.

A Glass Slipper.  It doesn't matter if you're the prince trying to find Cinderella or a sales/business development professional looking for ideal new clients, if the 'shoe doesn't fit', you're wasting your time.

The Harvest.  We still have to communicate and spread our message just as the farmer scatters seed.  And while we'd all like to pull the corn up in May, it just doesn't work that way.

So…while so many things are truly different, sometimes the fundamentals of success just can't be ignored.

Which is why it is interesting to me that Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr said long ago that, "The more things change the more they stay the same."

Brian Butler is the VP Business Development of The Allied Group and TAGmedica. He is also the author of two books: Find 'Em Get 'Em Keep 'Em and the recently released In Search Of...Customers!

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