I have mentioned before how books end up in my library through recommendations. For this one, I can blame Amazon alone. You know, that bit where it says ‘People who purchased this book, also purchased this one’. As such, it ended up in my basket two years ago when I purchased my copy of the ‘Go-Giver’ but has lived unloved and unread on the shelf, until this month when I took it with me on a tour of France in the motor home. It is raining today.
The original ‘Go-Giver’ book was a simple, quick and useful read. This follow-on book serves as a refresher of the principles of the original book, coupled with some practical steps you can take to ensure you become a go-giver in all your dealings. It was also great to see our own HTG Peer Group and Arlin Sorenson recognised for the belief of this life strategy.
Looking closely at the approach we take from our company, Business Computer Solutions, lots of what we have developed over the last two years fit with this ethos and perhaps have been influenced by the first book. This includes the BCS Learning Zone (designed to upskill the end-users of our clients), the lunch and learns events (designed to upskill both our own clients and other people with wider networks than ours) and our forthcoming business magazine, BCS Bytesize (designed to inform and educate anyone with an appetite to improve). Creation of all three of these are without a direct return on investment forecast but of course positions us as an expert in our field and importantly, a giver. We are creating value for others with all of these actions.
It is difficult to read any of the books in the ‘go giver’ series without dealing with the fact that the strategies contained are in opposition to conventional business wisdom. People tell me that I should know my numbers. How many in the top of the funnel to allow me to sign up enough clients to achieve our growth plans? What will be the value of return from a £1 of marketing budget spend? If you are going to follow the Go-Giver, throw all you have learned out of the window.
This book made me reconsider my view of a ‘sales funnel’. When we get to the stage of meeting with a prospect and providing a formal proposal, based on experience, the prospect will most likely chose Business Computer Solutions to partner their IT support requirements. As such, before this book I had not fully considered the substance of the numbers. All that mattered to me was that we had a decent number of proposals going out. I would report to my HTG peer group an amazing percentage ‘close rate’ but a low number of new clients signing up. Why was this? Looking closer, I have realised that prospects that become customers enter our ‘funnel’ of their own accord. They find us. The ones we add ourselves in the hope we can nurture them through traditional methods just cause a distraction, overhead cost and have a much lower chance of coming on board. This reinforces my resolve to continue to invest in the BCS Learning Zone, Lunch & Learns and BCS Bytesize as these are all designed to widen our personal impact. Critically, we know that what we do helps others achieve what they do.
The book then provides some really useful help with how to handle networking environments where you normally feel compelled to spew your elevator pitch over everyone as if they are your prospect when in truth they mostly are not going to buy from you. Your efforts to steer away from a traditional pitch will help the person you are speaking with open up more too so you can start to build a relationship. Note to self: I must keep in mind, it’s not all about me!
You may know from an earlier blog about the Business Computer Solutions core values are integrity, dependability and education. This book aligns amazingly well with our values, with the way we use education as part of our gifting to anyone we can help, coupled with our ingrained integrity proving we are ‘real’ and often praised by everyone who deals with our team, our dependability.
I have learned from this book and through a very expensive and painfully repetitive mistake over the last twenty years that we have never sold IT support services. All we have done is enabled prospects to buy our services. We have not manipulated their decisions. We have just informed, educated and then partnered them for in most cases their whole business journey. So looking back, and I don’t recommend you do it, we have spent a tidy sum on people and activity to fill a sales funnel that we can’t even influence. We should have just directed our resources to widen our network.
The best time to change how we get new business was 20 years ago. The second best time is now!