If you had a crystal ball and knew building certain skills would guarantee your professional success, chances are you’d learn them right away. Amy Franko doesn’t have a crystal ball, but she knows the skills you need to succeed.
“The vast majority of us are running through our days and doing what is right in front of us and what is urgent,” she said. “Sometimes important things like business development get pushed to the side. If you’ve ever gotten to the end of the day and feel like you’ve been running around like crazy but didn’t get anything done, that’s an awareness factor that you aren’t investing like you could.”
Franko is a sales training and leadership development expert and author of the book, The Modern Seller. She joined us recently on our podcast, The State of Business with the Ohio Society of CPAs, to discuss building the skills accountants need to succeed.
Franko said she sees sales and leadership as synonymous.
“The very best sales people or business developers I see are also leaders, although they might not have a leadership title,” she said. “We’re not waiting for someone else to do it, we’re seeing ourselves as the person who needs to step up first and take the risk and action.”
Franko said the skills she sees as essential for professionals to develop are agility, entrepreneurship, holistic thinking, social ability and ambassadorship.
“Those five skill sets are what I like to think of as skills behind the skills,” she said. “Making business development calls, presenting to a prospect or client, being able to negotiate well, asking for the business – those are the everyday skills we need to practice as business developers. Those are the foundational skills that will make us better, and the everyday skills developers need to be successful.”
Instead of trying to tackle building all these skills at once, Franko suggested instead focusing on one at a time. As you focus on one, you’ll see benefits in other areas.
“And when you do start to see positive effects in that way, you’ll start to see positive effects in the others,” she said. “And it will help to create momentum.”
For managers and leaders, Franko said it’s important to let your team know building these skills is a priority. Long term, you’ll see improvements in team performance and the business will benefit. Even without a crystal ball, developing stronger professional skills is a worthwhile investment in your future.
Listen to the podcast episode now to learn ways accounting professionals can build these skills in everyday scenarios.