The blog

The secrets to exceeding your business expectations!

Growth Rate – Company vs. Market

During a recent conversation with a prospective client, the client was telling me how proud he was that his company grew 10% YoY last year. When I asked him the next logical question (at least in my mind) ‘how much did the market grow?’, I got the “deer in the headlights” look….

So here’s a question for all my readers: is a positive company growth rate a good indicator of a healthy business?

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Getting to Know Your Customers

With the third “Get to Know Your Customers Day” coming right around the corner, I thought it would be an interesting topic for this week’s blog. 

To be honest, I think the idea of a “know your customers” day is a bit silly (even if it is four times a year) as successful businesses know their customers everyday. But I guess the idea of having a day to remind yourself of its importance isn’t all bad. So what’s the best way to go about knowing your customers?

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Sales Processes

I’ve found that many people try to complicate the concept of “Sales.” The concept is simple- it’s the execution that’s the challenging part. You see, when you remove any process from the equation, things tend to get more difficult because one now has to think rather than already knowing what the next step is. The problem is, the real world doesn’t work on a process – the real world is dynamic, with outside sales being perhaps the most dynamic role in just about any organization.

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Opening Lines

In addition to this blog and my videos, I also spend time answering questions and offering suggestions about sales via various social media outlets. One question that seems to repeat itself is “what’s the best way to start a call?” or some variation of this. In addition to the challenge of this question being far too vague to give a meaningful answer to (is this a cold call, first F-2-F with a customer, referral meeting, etc),  there is no one size fits all answer to any aspect of the sales process. Check out this post to read more on how to go about opening a relationship with a potential client.

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Target Market

Properly defining Target market tends to be an area most small businesses require growth- it is really difficult to avoid the temptation to ‘cast as wide of a net as possible’. This primarily comes down to properly understanding the difference between ‘target’ and ‘addressable’.
Get a sneak peak here of the next installment in our Sales Plan mini-series all about Target market!

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Business Resources

How does a small business go about finding new potential customers, clients, or partners? There’s LinkedIn, but that’s limited by the reach of your network and is extremely time consuming. There’s Local Chambers of Commerce, but that’s limited to small areas and opt-in membership – while they can be good resources for networking activities, they’re not very useful for larger scale campaigns. And most marketing database providers are cost prohibitive for all but the richest of small businesses.

So what is the answer? Read on to find out!

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Sales Plans- Organizations

To say that “Team” is an iterative process is an understatement. Before you can properly define the Team, you’ve got to consider Target Market, Positioning, Marketing Strategy and Prospecting Strategy, all of which aren’t addressed until later in the plan. And, all of this has to be aligned with your business plan.

I’ve discussed Sales Organization strategies in previous posts, but let’s take a more in-depth look here.

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