Archive for August, 2009

Call it what you know it as: consultative sales, business development, recruiting or affiliate marketing support. ENROLLMENT involves being advocate, champion and evangelist for both the client in search of a solution and the professional services or product being offered.

Since 2002, I have officially been a student of the Art and Science of Enrollment. And I am happy to remain so, as I strive always for further mastery of enrollment, in an ever changing market place.

And I believe, we need to be able to do for ourselves (or at least understand), what we may prefer to have others do for us at some point. At least to understand it as best we can; and be consciously choosing to outsource the critical tasks as a growing small business of any size. Outsourcing sales tasks when you aren’t passionate about direct sales tasks will grow your client base more quickly and fill the offerings with more of the right and best people and end-users.

Is it sales? Yes, but more than sales.

Is it coaching? Yes, but more than coaching.

Is it easy? Yes, sometimes but not always.

Is it hard? Yes, sometimes but not always.

Is it rocket science? It can sure feel like it in the beginning.

Like any talent we are given or have and skill we aim to master, over time what feels complex becomes divinely simple activity. We’ve all met those people who make it look easy, yes? As natural as breathing?

Breadmaking, knitting, playing chess, table tennis, even learning to walk and talk took hours of practice and some amount of struggle. Sales skills CAN be learned, coaching CAN be learned, and enrollment too CAN be learned. At which point if one chooses not to do it for themselves, it is a choice made based on wisdom gained from direct experience. And there are some that just seem to have a knack for it. And sometimes it is a brilliant business choice to delegate to a “champion.” Kings and Queens and Noblemen had champions, why not we of the modern era?

When I figured out what I wanted to be doing and how I wanted to BE while doing it, and then realized this was “me being me,” while working, many things got easier. Including identifying right work for myself and I have never looked back.

It is for me, essentially, about knowing inside/out what is being offered–but not talking too much about it at first. It is about asking a key question and listening FIRST to what the prospective participant is seeking for themselves. There is always a pivotal, inspiring and telling story behind every inquiry. It is from there that I aim to have all my dialogues. –with Presence and Authenticity.

And much like Macy’s in Miracle on 34th Street (the original being my favorite) I do not hesitate to help a person find the best fit for themselves. And often times that leads them back to what it is I am representing anyways. Funny how that works! And better still how it is appreciated by the client.

Is it a numbers game? I suppose it could be said that it is a numbers game– too. But if I had to choose between a big list of unknown prospective participants or a smaller list of thoughtfully referred individuals, I’d take on the short list first and imagine more saying yes to the offer sooner and with more ease.

And of all the ingredients in a successful enrollment conversation I say it’s how and from where one listens. In all cases I lead with my heart and engage my head later in the conversation. No new wisdom here, but a humble heart-based reminder from a marketing specialist who loves championing others!

That adage of “do what you love and the money will follow” is true where there is consistency and congruency and effort.

I’d also suggest a twist though on the best practice. Be a true believer in what you represent and listen deeply to whom you are talking to and it becomes clear–very easily– if there is good match to be made.

And while all inquiries might not be enrolling on my/your timeline (or that of my client’s) it is my experience that eventually they may and many do; if the relationship I begin with them initially is nurtured with authenticity and gentle consistency.

So if you know you would rather “swim with sharks” than do enrollment by yourself, by all means engage a “champion” and focus on what you do best in all the ways you are poised and confident and exuberant. You may find you also get better at enrollment conversations, knowing someone else also has your back.

And again, the money follows as a natural by-product and better yet, recommendations and referrals as well.

May we all be blessed with recognizing great opportunities that suit us and be able to say yes first to ourselves, as we say yes to what is being offered at the magic moment.


boy and elephant