Some may advocate that the last thing you want is a business surprise. However, such an event may provide an opportunity to rethink what you have been doing or even embrace some new business language. This was my recent business surprise when I read the book Do You Mean Business? Technical/Non-Technical Collaboration, Business Development and You bu Babette N. Ten Haken.
As someone who is asked to review business books on a regular basis, I look for those few twists on older ideas not to mention entirely different ways at looking at the same small business or sales landscape. This book did provide those and offered even a few more business surprises.
Possibly my first business surprise started with the general overview of this book. I was prepared to receive another sales book, but much to my surprise Babette looked at sales as only a small part of what it means do you mean business. Her book was more like a text book, far easier to read than most, that had been intertwined into a process for understanding small business development. Sales Training Coaching Tip: Remember the majority of organizations in the US, are small businesses with under 100 employees.
She identified several new concepts, at least new to me. The first one was her discussion about communication and the need for one page thinking. Here she challenged our own status quo and how we have been conditioned to communicate more and thus need to streamline much of that communication.
Another key business and sales insight was this statement:
“Communication is the hallmark of humanity”
When we understand that listening is part of the communication process, we are demonstrating that we indeed are caring human beings. Far too many small business and sales people appear to be in presentation mode 24/7 and fail to engage in active listening. Sales Training Coaching Tip: Active listening is directly connected to emotional intelligence.
In the discussion of value, a hot topic in today’s business world, Babette believes business development is part of everyone’s job description and contributes to the overall value of the company to the solution.
Another business surprise was this statement:
“Your professional currency is the worth of your value proposition.”
This statement was further explained by:
“Your professional currency as a salesperson is your self discipline towards continuous improvement of your profession.”
These two statements along provide incredible food for thought and lead to continue reflection about one’s true capabilities or talents.
The book also looked at business plans and strategic plans and their importance. Even though we disagree about the definition of each of these terms, she does provide great information missing in many who speak to business planning.
Finally, one overriding business surprise was Babette’s belief we are all engineers. As someone who believes everyone was in sales, this concept was very easy for me to embrace because she returned to the root of the word engineer.
If you want a 30,000 viewpoint on business development along with some down to earth what do I need to do tactics, then I recommend this book even if you are not an engineer by training.
P.S. Babette was a past guest columnist when she discussed the talking head syndrome.