We call ourselves account executives and consultants, but do we behave like consultants?
Or do we act more like salespeople who are just there to close a deal and cash a commission check?
When I started working straight out of college, I sold advertising for a local radio station. I was 22 years old, so my real-world business experience was limited. As I grew from a salesperson to a sales manager to an executive at an advertising agency, my business acumen and expertise increased. As my business acumen increased, so did my ability to help clients. I started to behave less like a "seller" and more like a consultant who was there to help my clients.
It was a game-changer for me.
The moment that I saw myself as a business consultant, it also changed the way I interacted with and helped my clients. In return, they no longer saw me as a vendor who wanted their money but as their partner! The irony was that the more I focused on helping them, the more my sales grew!
So, if your goal is to increase your revenue, then one way to do it is to become a business consultant that wants to help grow your client's business. To do that, you need to improve your business expertise and experience.
5 Ways To Improve Your Business Acumen
1. Follow The Wall Street Journal on Twitter - My Dad told me years ago that if I read the front page of the Wall Street Journal, I would be more informed than 95% of the people that interacted with each day. Today, the Journal posts the full front page of the paper every day on Twitter for FREE.
Start each day reading it! https://twitter.com/WSJ
2. Subscribe to The Morning Brew - I've been subscribing to the Morning Brew for several years, and I love it. It is a witty spin on the world targeted to Gen X and younger. It's also a quick read that will add to your business knowledge.
Click here to subscribe: https://www.morningbrew.com/daily/r?kid=139ccd
3. Audit College Classes for FREE - Yes, you can actually take college business classes online from leading universities for FREE. The website, EDX.org, offers hundreds of free business school courses from Harvard, Berkley, Georgetown, Texas, and many more.
Click on this link to see some of the available courses: https://www.edx.org/search?tab=course&language=English&subject=Business+%26+Management&availability=Available+now
4. Listen to Business Podcasts - I'm a big fan of listening to business podcasts. I believe that I've learned more from these programs than from my actual college classes. Here are a few of my absolute favorites podcasts:
- How I Built This by Guy Raz
- Harvard Business Review's IdeaCast
- TED Talks Business
- The Indicator from Planet Money
- The McKinsey Podcast
5. Take a MasterClass - For $15 a month, you can take business courses from some of the greatest business leaders of our time. Howard Schultz (Starbucks), Sara Blakely (Spanx), Bob Iger (Disney), Richard Branson, and many more. Where else can you get this level of expertise from some of the most brilliant entrepreneurs and CEOs?
Click here to see what business classes are available: https://www.masterclass.com/categories/business-politics-society
People want to work with successful, experienced consultants (salespeople) who can help them grow their businesses. The question is, are you one of those people?
By spending some time increasing your business acumen, you can make a world of difference in how you help your clients and how they perceive you.