Many salespersons fail to create or win new opportunities because they lack enough knowledge concerning their business. They make the mistake of believing it’s enough to know their products or services to have just a tiny bit of sales acumen. Most of them even have a rehearsed script for overcoming objections. In the past, product knowledge enough would have been enough, but today, your dream clients have no interest in hiring just a salesperson. They want someone who can help them solve their business challenges. They are looking for a partner who can help them visualize a better future and guide them towards it. A salesperson who tends to recite product features and benefits is of no benefit.
Business acumen takes time and effort to acquire but does not necessarily require money or an Ivy League MBA degree. Here are some ways to improve your business acumen.
Read Business Books
The first step in acquiring business acumen is through mastering the fundamental concepts and vocabulary of business. Both topics have undergone extensive research and there are a lot of resources available, with extensive information being provided almost free. Business books are written by professionals and take many days of research. They contain valuable information you can use to improve on various aspects of the business. You need to read widely and from different fields such as Harvard Business Review, Bloomberg Business Week, Forbes, Fortune among others.
Find Company Tutors
They are many companies that offer free training and have a lot of resources aimed at employee development. Most people would love to help you understand the areas of expertise by showing off what they know. Company tutors may not be formally offered, but by the end of the process, you will have learned a lot of valuable information. If you need to develop a better understanding of financial reports, a good starting point is to go to the finance and accounting departments and ask staffers to walk you through the process. If you need help in understanding how people in operations think about certain business challenges, be sure to ask from the right departments.
You will probably have family members, neighbors, or acquaintances who have some expertise in different areas of a business. In most cases, these people will be happy to share their knowledge in areas of business you want insights on. Ask these people to mentor you and educate you on the areas you need guidance. They will most likely be flattered and excited to help you. Find a couple of these people who know about certain areas of a business, take notes and learn from their experiences. Never be shy to reach out for help and guidance.
Get formal education
If you are willing to devote some time, money, and mental resources, getting some formal education from universities and colleges can be a good starting point. The experience you get from universities can be full of fun, excitement, and externally rewarding on your efforts to build a business.