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Elizabeth Bellsey Marketing and Business Development Coordinator BAM Architecture Studio

Elizabeth Bellsey
The SMPS-NY Leadership Committee hosted its monthly “Leadership Lunch,” a one-hour lunch-time gathering that explores the fundamentals of leadership, the skills necessary to develop our leadership abilities, and the challenges we meet as leaders across job levels. The monthly gathering was held on March 27th, 2015. This month’s program facilitator was Raffi Asatoorian, Business Development Manager at Urban Engineers of New York, D.P.C., who presented the topic “Leadership in Business Development.” Dave Fischer, Founder and President of Chartwell Seventeen Advisory Group, and this month’s speaker, developed a discussion geared towards leadership in relation to sales in the A/E/C sector. In many cases, marketers and their A/E/C colleagues are selling their company’s services. It is our job to interact with clients, the buyers of our services, making this an especially relevant topic for our industry.

[expand title=”Click here to read more about the March 2015 Leadership Lunch…”] Dave Fischer began his presentation by breaking down the buyer/seller progression into a series of lessons. His first lesson is to have an efficient and effective process when it comes to sales. To create an effective process, it is important to understand the perspective and the process of the buyers. There are generally 3 processes that buyers may have:

1. A “legitimate” process, where the buyer has a need 2. Looking to get your price, but will stay with the incumbent 3. Looking for unpaid consulting

When approaching a buyer, it is important to make your first impression with disarming honesty. This allows the seller to build trust and credibility; the clients aren’t buying you, they are buying the conviction that you will get them where they need to be. In a similar vein, creating up-front agreements clearly identify what the client wants to see and hear to make the meetings productive. Up-front agreements also mean the buyer and seller have a mutual understanding of the next steps in the process. Finding the “buyer’s pain,” or the true root of the issue that needs to be fixed, will enable you to earnestly solve your client’s problem. Ask a lot of questions, as the problem may not always be what the client suggests it is. Fischer ended his presentation with some helpful statements about how people may adapt their process to sell to clients. He points out that people will buy the way you sell to them much quicker than what you sell to them. Selling is about collaboration, facilitating an interactive solution between you and the client. With this in mind, the Three Objectives of Selling will help to foster this collaboration:

1. Do you (the buyer) have a problem or issue that my product or service can address? 2. Are you committed to fixing the issue? 3. Am I the best possible solution?

He urged us to remember that our “value as selling professionals is based more on the information [we] gather than the information [we] give.” We should qualify and understand what the client is looking for. Carrie Snyder, Director of Marketing at Leslie E. Robertson Associates, commented on how Fischer’s discussion, “was a great reminder to slow it down and ask the clients ‘What problems are you having?’” This enables us, as the sellers, to put together a strong response that truly helps the client. She also points out that, “marketing is selling ideas, and the tips Dave Fischer provides can be used to help us all be internal advocates for our marketing ideas.” Speaker Dave Fischer is the Founder and President of Chartwell Seventeen Advisory Group Inc., a certified Sandler Training Center based in Manhattan. With over 20 years of experience in selling and leading sales organizations as well as the Sandler Selling System, Dave has partnered with solopreneurs, small businesses and Fortune 500 companies across a wide range of industries to help them build a high performance sales culture. Dave’s experience has amplified his passion for helping individuals and organizations reach their professional goals and increase their revenue. Dave is a published author and public speaker, facilitating professional interactive workshops to Associations, Chapter Meetings, Chambers of Commerce, Company Development Days and Educational Institutions across New York City. Planner/Facilitator Business Development Manager at Urban Engineers of New York, D.P.C., Raffi Asatoorian is a leader and relationship builder who delivers strategic sales, marketing, public relations, and public affairs support. He develops corporate strategies and executes campaigns that effectively convey messages, promote brands, and impact firm’s bottom lines. Raffi has developed a national professional network. At Urban, since opening the New York City office, his contributions have impacted the firm through business acquisition, brand development, and by supporting organic growth. Raffi believes that the Business Development process begins with researching and planning, and ends with selling, and distributing a product or service, while maintaining lasting professional relationships.[/expand]