Archive for the 'Sales' Category
“In the absence of clearly-defined goals, we become strangely loyal to performing daily trivia until ultimately we become enslaved by it.” — Robert Heinlein, American Novelist
This quote reminds us to be ruthless with what we do with our time. Email is a prime example of that. It can suck up your whole day and you find yourself at the end of the day without having done anything else on your to-do list. Or we fall into the bad habit of saying yes to stuff because we always have. Challenge yourself this week to set some clear goals on what you want to achieve and make those your first priority.
“Genius is the ability to reduce the complicated to the simple.”
~ C.W. Ceran
This quote sums up perfectly what great sales people do naturally. They have the ability to reduce the distractions, find out exactly what their customer needs and provide a solution that seems obvious after it’s presented. That is why great sales people are so hard to find – they are a very rare commodity.
Following our discussion earlier this week about the cost of owning your brand, I thought it best to look at best practices to build that brand personally. In order to understand what is important to your business its imparative for you to understand who and what you are as an entrepreneur. Pulled from the Globe and Mail’s article, ”Ten ways to build up your peronal brand“, the key points to retain are the following:
1. We are faced with an influence economy. Social capital is the new goodwill. Tools for measuring social capital are rapidly evolving, based on metrics such as quantity and quality of friends and followers and the ability to influence actions among them. Tweets and retweets, shares and likes, being circled and adding +1s are the currency of the new influence economy.
2. Pay attention to influence metrics, but don’t obsess. While there are tools, like Klout and Hootsuite that are trying to quantify your brand in terms of engagement, influence, expertise and trust. These scoring schemes are getting smarter. That being said, do not to ignore nor obsess about them. Build your personal brand on quality content and personal engagement and you will be well-served in the long run.
3. Filter quality content to express your unique brand. By investing the time to find and share what you consider the best information in your area of expertise, you provide a valuable service to your social network and cast your brand in a positive light.
4. Be a giver and a helper. Social media is predominantly based on the collective sense of helping others. Adding value to online discussions and helping people to discover new ways of understanding evokes a reciprocity in them. Blatant self-promotion or selling is easily filtered out. If education is the new marketing, then helping could be seen as the new selling.
5. Your personality is your greatest asset, feel free to share it. Personality is the distinguishing factor in many human interactions. But be careful: you still need to filter and decide what is appropriate to share and what isn’t. Sharing personality is different that sharing private information. Understand the difference.
6. You can outsource lots of things, but not your voice. Your brand is the product of your interactions, contributions and engagements within your social networks. That is not to say that you can’t enhance your personal brand with external advice, strategy and services. But don’t think you can hire someone to create your voice for you – any more than you can hire someone to go to the gym and workout for you.
7. Be knowable, likable and trustworthy. Conduct yourself with civility and generosity toward others and, generally speaking, try to be a liker not a hater. Be credible, reliable and personable, while keeping your selfish instincts in check.
8. Invest in thought leadership. Sharing your proprietary intellectual capital is one of the best ways to demonstrate your expertise and leadership. But, how do you build a business on something you’ve given away for free? If sharing your knowledge grows the market for your services and your leadership within that market, then there’s more to gain than lose.
9. Personal brands compete with corporate brands. Social media has empowered individuals to build a direct audience through Twitter, Facebook, Google+, email direct marketing, etc. And there’s increasing evidence coming from online influence measurement to suggest that personal brands actually exert more pull than established corporate brands in the social media space.
10. Like it or not, you are a personal brand. Whether you work for yourself or someone else, whether you’re in sales or marketing or you’re a business professional, if you are engaged in an occupation in which you rely on your reputation you probably should be thinking seriously about your personal brand. Everyone else is.
Pulling from Fast Company, today’s article talks about why some perks are not really all they are “perked” up to be. “Employee Perks That Don’t Work”, written by Dr. Serena Reep, looks at whether or not company’s are providing perks that truly add value to employees lives.
If you do not have children - would you care that your company is contributing employee incentive dollars to on-site child care? What about a work-at-home program? On the flip side, having such services could provide a more conducive environment for all employees, couldn’t it? Feel free to share your thoughts.
To read the full article, click here.
These past few years we’ve seen our fair share of companies that have let down stakeholders due to poor practice and loose ethical standards. Today’s featured article comes from Fast Company: The Future of Ethics In Branding.
We could all stand to learn a thing or two on how to be the very best at what we do both professionally and personally.
Read the full article by Martin Lindstrom here.
In an constantly changing, fast-growing business world the hardest skill for entrepreneurs to master is the art of delegation. As an entrepreneur growing your small business it can be difficult to “let go” and trust others to be responsible for your organization.
I can tell you, without delegating, you will be unsuccessful. This does not mean you should delegate all your responsibilities to others, as there are always tasks that you do not HAVE to do. If you have hired a staff you must believe they are capable of helping you, so let them. Task them with a responsibility, set expectations and the deadlines that you need to see results and then let them roll with it. Do not micro-manage them (checking in every 30 minutes IS micro-managing), they likely will not perform as well on the task if you do. Trust me, you can do this.
Read more on micro-managing vs. delegating via The New York Times, “Finding a Balance Between Delegating and Micromanaging“.
A little smile for today! This article is written by Steve Waterhouse and posted on Eyes on Sales Blog.
- I’ve never heard of your company before. What do you make here?
- Can you buy lunch? I’m a little short this month.
- Do you have any decision making power or should I be talking with your boss?
- Let me tell you about our product, then, if there is time, I’d like to hear about your needs.
- I hope you are ready to buy because I really need to make this sale to keep my job.
- I know what you want to hear, so let me cut right to the price.
- Your predecessor called me a jerk and refused to do business with me.
- Can we get everyone who is interested together now so I don’t have to do my presentation more than once?
- I know our price is high and our quality is low but that won’t really affect you because our delivery is so slow.
- Did you hear that our stock price crashed today?
Read full article here.
Recently featured in Make it Business, I wrote about surviving a recession and moving forward in 2012.
A recession survivor’s advice for 2012
I hear a lot of apprehension and doom-and-gloom in the business news these days. So, for this column, I went in search of a local company that was hit by the recession and managed to bounce back. What I found should give you some inspiration going into the New Year.
“Running your own business is not for sissies!” are the first words out of Leah Newcombe’s mouth. Newcombe’s company, Newco Solar Solutions (www.newcosolarsolutions.ca), opened for business in 1975. She joined the company in 1985; in 2006, she purchased it – and became president of the newly named Newco.
The company started off doing mobile auto tint installations. Then it opened a shop and branched out to do residential and commercial film installations. As the business grew, the company added window coverings to its product line. Eventually Newco started manufacturing its own window coverings. Now the company has a sales team, a manufacturing team and an installation team, in addition to the head-office staff.
To read the rest of the article, including Leah Newcombe’s Rules for Business Growth in 2012, click here.
“As for worrying about what other people might think – forget it. They aren’t concerned about you. They’re too busy worrying about what you and other people think of them.” — Michael Le Boeuf
I burst out laughing when I read this quote, having just come back from a networking event, where just before walking in the door, I got caught in a downpour and my hair was really bad. Instead of relaxing and enjoying the event, my hand kept creeping up to ‘fix’ my hair ( a truly hopeless cause) and a good part of my brain activity was preoccupied with what people were thinking of the image I was presenting……. what a waste of energy and thought!
So next time you find yourself on that treadmill of obsessing about what other people think, remember this quote. No one is paying all that much attention to you – they’re busy listening to that voice in their own head!
One of my favorite sites for resources and articles is Flying Solo, an online micro business community. One of the contributors recently interviewed Steve Herzberg on closing and some classic mistakes when it comes to getting a sale. Check out this great interview: How to Close a Sale.