Good horsemanship is built on solid basics…so is good business!

Posted by Lisa Derby Oden
Lisa Derby Oden
I've been fortunate to be involved with horses throughout my life... so far that
User is currently offline
on Sunday, 23 February 2014
in Professional Development

Sales Is NOT a Four-Letter Word!

ResourcesCar sales people, insurance, telesales….. We all cringe at the thought, and given the chance avoid these aggressive sales approaches. Sadly, it is hard pushing sales people that leave us with this bad taste in our mouth. There are really great sales people out there too – who approach us like we are fellow human beings and engage in an honest, and often very informative, conversation rather than cramming something down our throats.


I remember a day when an insurance man came to my horse facility without having called for an appointment. I was out straight, finishing turning horses out and getting ready for the students that would soon be arriving. I was ready to send him on his way immediately when he said, “I can save you money.” I wasn’t sure whether to believe him or not but thought it was worth finding out. We made an appointment for another day, and it turned out that he could save me money, and lots. I had discovered that sales people should not be summarily dismissed.


Here’s my question: Do you take advantage of opportunities that come your way to build your network, bring new prospects into your sales funnel, and then subsequently move clients through the funnel? Most of us are not very good at this, and many shy away from “sales” tactics for fear that they will be viewed as pushy. Sales CAN be a positive experience for both you and your prospects and clients. And let’s face it, if you spend your time, energy and resources building your programs, services, and offerings – and then attract inquiries – and don’t have a sales process in place….well, it’s about like saying, “Oh, you’re interested in what we have to offer? Oh, never mind, I didn’t really mean to get your attention.”


Over the next several months I’ll be breaking apart the sales/purchase process as well as providing recommendations for you to begin building your sales process. Take a couple minutes to think about positive and negative sales experiences that you’ve had. Then please share your questions and reflections here.


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About the author

Lisa Derby Oden

I've been fortunate to be involved with horses throughout my life... so far that is! Early in my career I owned and operated Derby Farm, a riding stable in Buxton, Maine. I have also worked as a freelance riding instructor and bring all this practical experience to my consulting work. Blue Ribbon Consulting focuses on business and nonprofit development in the equine industry. I provide evaluation, planning, research, marketing and problem-solving services to take you successfully through all your horse business transitions. I've worked with clients around the world, and have received state and national honors for my work in the equine industry. Since I love this industry and believe in it, I've also been a nonprofit founder, board member, and executive officer for local, state and national organizations. I've worked with nonprofits in strategic planning, program development, corporate development, fundraising, grant writing and grant administration. Part of this wonderful journey has also allowed me to serve as adjunct faculty and guest lecturer at several universities, and to deliver business development, marketing, and leadership seminars throughout the United States. I also developed and oversaw the Entrepreneurs Resource Center for a community college. I've published two books, have been a columnist and freelance writer for many trade publications, and am a partner in the CD series “Inventing Your Horse Career.”


Lisa Derby Oden
Lisa Derby Oden
I've been fortunate to be involved with horses throughout my life... so far that
User is currently offline
Lisa Derby Oden Sunday, 23 February 2014 Reply Cancel

This is a really good subject. I am looking forward to more.

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"When I was an adjunct at UNH, Lisa Derby Oden brought a wealth of information and knowledge about current issues facing the equine industry locally and nationally to the equine science students there...Lisa provided a full understanding of how each segment of the industry is dependent upon each other for stability and growth. Her in-class workshops helped students increase their awareness of problems encountered in the equine field. She offered opportunities to learn about small business operations and professionalism.

Time and again, she offered UNH undergraduate students insights into current horse industry trends which have an effect on their chosen equine profession. I sat in on Equine Business Management when Lisa offered it through UNH. It helped me tremendously with my own business on my farm. I highly recommend her industry workshops as a must do walkthrough before venturing into any horse-related business. "

Heather Smith, Sunrise Bay Farm, Durham, NH