Tag Archives: Relationship building
Posted on July 5, 2013 by FMI CorporationFour Essential Steps in Acquiring Profitable Work By Lee D. Smither Acquiring work, in particular profitable work, in today’s economic climate has never been more challenging. Competition is fierce and margins are painfully low. In spite of this, there are more than a few contracting firms that are profitable and several that are experiencing an increasingly higher bottom line. One of the reasons for these better-than-average performances is the ability to acquire higher-quality work. This is not the simple result of being in a better regional market or better segment of the market, but rather having a more sophisticated and proactive methodology of building backlog. Business development is a term and concept that is far removed from the world of Willy Loman, Arthur Miller’s tragic central character in “The Death of a Salesman.” Willy, the lonely purveyor on the road, pitching his wares to one potential buyer after another, has given way to complex, cross-functional team sales to multinational customers with multiple needs, buying practices and locations. The sales cycle is longer and less predictable; sales calls take more time and must be made to more people in order to develop business; buyers are becoming more sophisticated and in some ways, jaded; and the procedures for purchasing have become dense, often to the point of being a barrier to forging any constructive dialogue. Furthermore, the role of the salesperson or account manager has become more difficult. The ability to navigate the internal network of the customer organization is as significant as building relationships within it.