The face of the medal of the Norwegian Nobel Committee shows Alfred Nobel in a pose slightly different from that of the other medals. The inscription is the same. The other side of the Nobel Peace Prize medal represents a group of three men forming a fraternal bond. The inscription reads: Pro pace et fraternitate gentium translated “For the peace and brotherhood of men”. “Prix Nobel de la Paix”, the relevant year, and the name of the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate is engraved on the edge of the medal. The Nobel Peace Prize Medal was designed by Gustav Vigeland.

In 1492, Columbus discovered the Americas. Then much later around 1892, teachers, preachers, poets and politicians used Columbus Day rituals to teach ideals of patriotism. These patriotic rituals were framed around themes such as support for war, citizenship boundaries, the importance of loyalty to the nation, and celebrating social progress. Fast forward through lightening speed to 2013 and I think Christopher Columbus would stop in the Americas to be the negotiator between our political parties or would pass us by.

There is a lot of good/bad reporting in the news these days. Recently two noble scientists won the Nobel Prize in Physics and a young brave woman, Malala Yousafzai survives a horrid attack from the Taliban and lives to profess her dreams. Then let me not forget to mention the black cloud hanging over our heads–the breakdown of our political parties and their failure to do their job to run the country effectively. The system is broken.

The progress of the scientific founders and brave young people who want to change their world is honorable. So let me stay focused on that this early Monday morning as I think about honoring Christopher Columbus today. The holiday prompts me to consider my own contributions towards making something right. While you might be interested to know that I fuss in the garden and live a healthy lifestyle, or that I am a mother of a righteous young adult, you’re most likely reading this because you are doing something business related so let me turn my attention to work. My work responsibility as Founder of Sales-Link is to help my clients bring forth what makes them different or valuable to their clients/prospects. I get the word out about their services/products backed by their research and development. I encourage them to document and declare their offerings and use social media like Twitter and LinkedIn. Some of the questions that help me formulate the written word that describes, promotes or advertises their products/services start with the basics. I hope they will help you as well.

Why are you in business? What is the true value you offer to those with the purse strings? Who is behind the leadership of your company, the one who has the mission/vision that formed the path for the business? Where are you located and why are you there? (Helps to build the passionate story). There is a story behind who you are or why you formed the business and last but not least important is Why. Why did you decide to go into business and what was it that caught your attention to drive you to make something better?

If all of these questions are answered and formulated into content, or inbound marketing or promotional pieces, companies would begin to see clarity not only for them but with regard to prospecting. It helps with:

  • Who, What, Where and Why you need to target certain companies.
  • Who, What, Where and Why you create, lease or buy a well thought-out prospect database that contains strong, relative and valuable contacts to pursue for new business; not just useless filler wherein 50% of the contacts are not even relative to your business.
  • Who, What, Where and Why’s to help decide the types of business developers you need to carry your company beyond the revenue targets you declare each year.
  • Who, What Where and Why’s to decide which content—blogs, press releases, publications, presentations, trade shows, business trips are most valuable for your business.

We can apply the 4W’s to many more aspects of your business decisions.

It is very challenging to have a good discussion between seller and buyer about business needs when the buyer hasn’t answered the questions above for themselves before making an important purchase. Recently, I was in discussion with a potential customer who wanted to supply the sales staff with a good tool that contained relevant contacts. It seemed the only concern was price. I tried to get the individual to consider more closely his needs based on the 4 W’s, but his patience for the exercise was not there and the bottom line still remained price. Now I know I am in no way going to receive the Nobel Prize for my efforts but I want to change people’s belief that data is cheap. Bad data is cheap but good, well aligned data/contacts requires research and validation, a job most people do not have the patience to do. If you don’t want to do it yourself, hire a group that will return quality and service and pay the money for this life-line to sales opportunities.

Many potential customers I speak with need help because the data or system holding their contacts is not working for them. These problems are classic symptoms of a broken component of a much larger sales system. Stay tuned for my next blog post infographic showing the system and the component that is broken.

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