Yep… Johnny Cash Teaches How to Sell
Johnny’s 7 Powerful Lessons for Business Developers (Marketing and Sales People)
Here are some powerful bits of wisdom for Business Developers that I stumbled across while listening to “The Man in Black,” Johnny Cash. If you’re thinking this is all from Johnny’s song, Hurt, then you’re wrong (But I do touch upon it, of course). Sure, marketing and selling is painful at times, but the rewards are rich if you do it right. So, let us talk about doing it right!
These are 7 song titles from Johnny:
1) Understand Your Man – Translated to, understand your target market!
You totally understand your market…right? No, you don’t! Startups, SMBs and billion-dollar businesses around the world all lie to themselves when they told me, “I know my market.” I define knowing your market by how many (70% at least) of the exact buyer’s names and contact details are correct and readily accessible in whatever contact record management (CRM) system you use. How you build your people and processes to obtain and maintain this ever changing data is what C-Level Global teaches around the world. Surprise, you can’t just go and buy this data for your CRM despite all that data charlatans who will claim different. Fix this problem and stop shooting in the dark!
2) Man In Black – The branding of a legend!
Was black Johnny’s favorite color? No, he wore all black because it was his trademark. Truth be told, I don’t listen to a lot of country music, but the Man in Black caught my attention and the brand lured me in to be his fan. Are you working on your brand? I have been asked many times, “it takes so much money and resources to brand my company, so we have to stand down until we get more capital, right?” In a word, No. You have to identify the exact buyers and just focus on messaging to them using what I call Consistent-Repeatable-Processes (C-R-P) via multiple Modes-to-Market. Sure, this is tricky and guess what… you and your staff probably have no clue how to deploy multiple Modes-to-Market, despite all the degrees and years of experience boasted about amongst the team. Sorry to be the black hat.
3) A Boy Named Sue – That’s you Mr. and Ms. business developer!
Like Johnny said… “Life ain’t easy for a boy named Sue,” and life ain’t easy for a business developer either. In the discovery I made after ten-years of global research which is published in, Overcoming The 15 Categories of Rejection, Mind Bocks (the first category of rejection… or source of YES vs. NO) reveals how your belief and confidence dictate your success, and how to control your personal Mind Blocks. Mind Blocks exist in your mind and in the mind of your target audience. You gotta know how to identify them and bust through them. Johnny tells us that Sue’s father told him, “This world is rough, and if you’re gonna make it, you’ve gotta be tough.” Tell yourself this everyday when you wake up. Seriously, do it!
4) In The Jailhouse Now – Organization and ethics make or break you!
Success in marketing, sales and business in general requires organization and honesty. Play by the rules and pay your taxes so Uncle Sam doesn’t “Want You.” Don’t spam your audience and lose credibility. Stealing is not going to get you ahead but will get you behind bars so play fairly and respect proprietary information and confidentiality. Be organized, take detailed notes, and put individual buyer data in your CRM so you can use it to follow up in a timely manner and win more. Plus, the more you shine with organization and ethics, the more you will increase your likability. Since people prefer to do business with those whom they like, be very likable!
5) Hurt – Yes… some days are going to hurt and that’s just life, so focus, market and sell!
Johnny asked Trent Reznor from Nine Inch Nails if he could cover Trent’s original song, Hurt. This came at a time when Johnny’s health was declining, and he was a frail 71-years old at the time. Fortunately for the world, Trent said yes and also played apart in making the powerful music video Johnny sang the song in. So, what does this have to do with business developers…? The answer is… Everything. No matter what the industry is, when it comes to business developers, it is a dog-eat-dog world. Meaning, it is survival of the fittest as business development has a high turnover rate. To survive, you have to take the pain and be ready to fail and fail and fail again but keep trying until you succeed. You will lose more than you win, and that’s okay. Just don’t give up and be willing to regularly work extra hours, cold call daily, study continuously, ask the market a lot of questions, including what they don’t like about you, and never let’em see you sweet.
6) One Piece at a Time – How you build your business development system matters!
Johnny sings about building a Cadillac one piece at a time, but it didn’t turnout as planned. What about you and your business development plan and execution? I have built business development systems around the world for many industries and the common thread is always the people and processes and how they integrate with technology. The Renaissance Methodology, R+E+NxAISS(A+N+C)E=π, teaches how to structure your go-to-market system into a cash machine. Simply put, it revolves on A. Identifying more buyers, B. Getting more meetings with buyers, C. Selling more effectively to buyers and D. Following up timely and winning more business. The secret is, you can’t build your business development system one piece at a time. You have to build several components simultaneously. Check out this article on how.
7) The Legend of John Henry’s Hammer – Technology, people and processes can be combustible!
Johnny sings that John Henry’s Daddy told him to, “Learn to a turn a jack, learn to lay a track, learn to pick and shovel too.” Are you leveraging technology to cut cost, touch more buyers, and free up time for business development efforts? Scope out competitors to see how they leverage tech and constantly study vendors to be ahead of the competitive curve. Be careful though, choose your tech wisely and be prepared for pushback when deploying change internally. How well do you know every aspect of your processes? When was the last time you spent a few hours in each department with the frontline people and walked in the shoes of the prospects and customers (those are two different groups of people)? Do this on a quarterly basis, otherwise, you risk becoming ignorant and irrelevant to the intrinsic wants and needs of buyers. It is easy for business developers to complain that management is in “the ivory tower,” and doesn’t understand the buyers today, yet if business developers don’t stay in touch with all levels of the company on a quarterly basis, they too will be ignorant in the ivory tower!