What’s In a Name?

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name
would smell as sweet.”
   — William Shakespeare

Where Do Names Come From?

Does a name really matter?  The Affordable Care Act was given its name before it was implemented and tested in the marketplace.  Based on this fact, one must conclude that the name was chosen either for its intentions and/or to influence public opinion.  What other reasons could there be?

What comes first, the name or the reason for the name?  I suppose a name can be arbitrarily assigned for no other reason than we need a word for it.  Even so, the name eventually takes on meaning and significance, sometimes more than the object itself.  The Cleveland Browns is a franchise consisting of players, coaches, supporting staff and stadium.  This includes the heritage and the name.  In 1995, when the owner made plans to move the franchise to Baltimore, the city threatened legal action.  The team name was so important that it became a major bargaining chip in the compromise that in the end, allowed the owner to move the team to Baltimore, but leave the name behind.

Names are assigned to something that is real or at least created in the mind.  I’m not aware of any situation where someone created a name first then set out to make something that fit it.  “Google!”  That’s a cool word.  I think I’ll make a Google this week, IF I can decide what it is.”

Business Development – A Confusing Name

Sometimes a name takes on brand new meaning even to the point where it has so many meanings that the name becomes confusing.  This brings us to the topic of the week: business development.  Some people associate it with the sales function.  Others would say business development is about building infrastructure or strategic business relationships.  Product development is another perspective. So which is it?

What you most often associate with business development probably depends on your personal perspective.  Here are two definitions that bring clarity to the name and accommodate our multiple perspectives:

“Business development is … the process of uncovering the “unknown unknowns” that can help to grow a company. The key is to focus on specific metrics that define growth for your business and then seek out the partnerships, people and products that increase those metrics.”
— Source:  www.businessinsider.com

“In 1997, the international Committee of Donors for Small Enterprise Development coined the term ‘business development service’ to describe services that improve the performance of the enterprise, its access to markets, and its ability to compete.  BDS includes training, counselling and advice, developing commercial entities, technology development and transfer, information, and business linkages.”
— Source: www.ilo.org

I like both of these definitions for their strong emphasis on people.  Even more, I like what Zig Ziglar said.  “You don’t build a business –you build people– and then people build the business.”

Clay Mathile, former owner of IAMS, once said this, “When you invest a dollar in a person, you get $10 back.  When you invest a dollar in a machine, you get $2 back.”

People are the intended beneficiaries of business development.  They are also the cause of it.  Therefore, business development is “of the people, by the people, for the people”.  Any activity that develops people is at the heart of developing business.  For this reason, I am proud to say that Wright Cross Performance Group, a company that develops people, is in the business development business.

CLICK HERE for business development opportunities the Ziglar Way!


 

Elegance in Simplicity, Wisdom in Truth

“To thine own self be true.”
— William Shakespeare

There is elegance in simplicity and wisdom in truth.  Recently I was treated to an example of this when Bryan Flanagan, during a sales workshop in Ohio, used two simple questions and one statement to make a key point to a room full of sales professionals.  He began with an important sales tool – transportation.  “How much do you spend each year on your car?”  He then asked us how much we spend on professional appearance (hair, clothing, hygiene, etc.)  The estimate was in excess of $6000.

In context with the rest of the session the logical conclusion was clear when he completed the point by revealing the price of his sales training package.  Your car gets you to the appointment.  Your personal appearance helps create a good first impression.  But, it’s who you are that earns their business.  The implication was this.  You need to continue investing in yourself and here’s an affordable opportunity for doing so.

“Honesty is the first chapter of the book of wisdom.”
― Thomas Jefferson

It’s amazing how much simpler life appears when we give honest, straightforward answers to the right questions.  It’s even more amazing how much simpler life becomes when we comport ourselves according to what we discover in those answers, not what we wish to be true.

“If you look for truth, you may find comfort in the end;
if you look for comfort you will not get neither comfort nor truth
only soft soap and wishful thinking to begin, and in the end, despair.”
— C. S. Lewis

Facetime

Here’s a short lesson about leveraging business events to build business relationships.  It begins with the news that Bryan Flanagan, Zig Ziglar’s #1 business trainer, is coming to Dayton on January 24, 2013.  For my Ohio friends and colleagues, including my connections on LinkedIN, this is your chance to make a face-to-face connection with one of the industry’s best sales trainers.  (See details on line.)

However, this post is also a reminder about the importance of facetime with those whom you have a relationship and those with whom you would like to develop a relationship.  That’s where networking comes in.  From a career perspective, networking is often cited in the top 10 things a career professional must do regularly in order to be successful.

John C. Maxwell wrote a book called, “Everyone Communicates, Few Connect.”  In these four words, Maxwell reveals why so many people struggle in their careers — their relationship-building skills are either weak or not employed.  In part, I blame technology.  LinkedIN and FaceBook are great communication tools, but they lack the relationship-building power of face time.  It’s time for career-minded professionals to step away from the computer and get in front of people.

Sales managers, sales professionals and other supporters of the sales function, have an opportunity to spend a day with Bryan Flanagan.  The benefits are clear: you’ll learn a lot, be entertained and possibly start a relationship with Bryan or someone else you meet.