Successful business founders tend to be great at building relationships with their customers and selling their product or service.
The skill and enthusiasm they bring to this role is what brings them initial success.
They can “make it rain.”
Unfortunately, this creates a trap for them and a ceiling to growth for their company.
We call this trap the rainmaker’s dilemma.
The way out is to shift your role from “rainmaker” to “architect.”
Taking on the role of architect is what allows you to grow your business while at the same time, increasing your personal freedom by reducing the business’s reliance on you.
Here are 9 strategies for making the shift.
1. Design a marketing funnel that works while you sleep
Your marketing platform should be linked to your sales funnel, automating the communication with customers and leads.
The system should do things like send leads and opportunities to your salespeople and automatically send emails to thank customers after a purchase has been made or services have been performed.
While the owner needs to be involved in initially setting this up (because they understand what gets their customers to engage with the company) – once it’s complete, it becomes a hands-off system – giving the owner time to work on the next strategies.
2. Document your sales process
In my opinion, this is the most important process that you’ll ever develop for your company.
Many owners don’t really know exactly what they do to make a sale. They can’t articulate it.
Document your process by sitting down with your team and mapping it out on a long sheet of paper on a wall in a conference room. Write down each step from the point of time when a lead makes a contact with your company to when the sale is made to after that product or service has been delivered.
Once you quantify your sales process in this way, it can be taught to someone else.
3. Hire salespeople that are aligned with your values
It’s important to hire salespeople who share your values because they represent you, your company, and your brand. Honesty, humility, and creative problem solving are great qualities for salespeople to possess.
Look for salespeople that are good listeners. As Dale Carnegie once said, “you can make more friends in two months by becoming genuinely interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.” In other words, do more listening, do less talking.
4. Limit complexity
Complexity comes from several different sources. The biggest one is from selling too many things to a customer.
As an owner, you have you have the unique ability and knowledge and experience to be able to offer many different products and succeeded selling many different services. You can do that.
However, when training less experienced people, you need to simplify the complexity of the sale for them. Offering fewer products to more people can accelerate the salesperson’s competency.
Keep the sales process simple.
Good salespeople are most effective when selling. Not when they’re in front of a computer, entering orders or following a cumbersome, complicated process.
5. Avoid customizing
Customization is where you offer to change the flavor for every customer.
This creates complexity and reduces efficiencies. Customization, combined with complex sales processes leads to operational gridlock.
Henry Ford was famous for saying you can have your model T in any color you want, as long as it’s black.
He knew that he wanted that to be able to master scale and be able to crank out as many cars as possible on that assembly line. Every time he changed something about that car – like adding a different color – it added an exponential amount of complexity to his assembly line.
Customization just makes it that much more difficult for your salespeople to learn the sales process.
6. Set up your salespeople as experts
Especially when you are transitioning out of the sales role yourself and handing it over to your sales team, the way you position your salespeople is very important.
You need to provide the product knowledge, information, training, and resources so that your salespeople are your product knowledge experts.
This sets them up for success by giving them the ability to establish credibility and trust with your customers.
7. Never attend a customer meeting alone
As you transition from your role as the Rainmaker, make sure that the person you are handing it off to are involved in all your sales conversations and meetings with customers and clients.
There is nothing more frustrating for a salesperson than to feel left out of the conversation with a key customer.
Beware of situations where you may do this unintentionally out of habit – such as picking up the phone when a key customer calls. Instead of simply having the conversation, make a conscious effort to include your salespeople so that they can develop the relationship with the customer.
8. Create customer testimonials
Customer testimonials help the sales process by providing social proof.
Testimonials can also give your sales folks street credibility that they have yet to earn.
9. Offer guarantees
A no-questions-asked guarantee will go a long way to build customer loyalty and trust with your sales team.
While the odd credit might cost you in the short run, it will pay huge dividends in the long run.
If a customer becomes adversarial over a request for credit, you’ve immediately lost the trust of that customer. They will become a dissatisfied customer, and likely give your company bad reviews in the future.
However, nothing builds trust for salesperson as much as when a credit request turns into a positive experience for your customers.
Consider these requests as opportunities to generate future sales.
By taking the role of architect, you can build an entire team of rainmakers
One of the objections we often hear is that salespeople will never be able to do the job as well as you can.
In many ways, this is true. They don’t have the same passion that you have. They don’t have the pride of seeing their name on the company’s door. They don’t have the years of experience and deep expertise in your products and services that you have.
Then again, there is only one of you – and there are many of them. By adopting these 9 strategies, you can download your knowledge and develop an entire team of rainmakers.
If you’d like some support implementing these strategies, we would be happy to help! Book a call with an advisor.
Free Video: Rainmaker's Dilemma
Are you unable to grow your business because you're the one who's bringing IN all the business? Learn how to free up your time so that you can grow. Learn:
- Why the skills and strengths that "got you here" won't "get you there" (and what to do about it)
- Why you need to switch from Rainmaker to Architect
- 9 strategies for making the transition
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