Before anyone buys anything, they have to complete their own buying continuum™ process. This is true whether they are from the government, a non-profit, a consumer, or another business. From your point of view, you want them to accomplish this process and in a specific order. If they do, your sales cycle will shorten. It will result in a win-win for you both or you will be able to cull them as a prospect with a clear conscience that this was NOT the sale for you. [Read more…]
There are good, better and best sales. You may have thought all sales are equal.They’re not if you are trying to build a successful business that is sustainable, profitable and transferable.
Focus on Sales Value
Sales people (even if it’s the owner) need to concentrate on finding and getting sales that add the most value to the business. This requires a sales process that doesn’t just look at the dollars coming in from this sale. It also can’t include only the costs — money going out, time to get and manage the sale, profit level, and any “hassle” factors.
4 Ways to Measure Sales Value
The value of each sale must also be measured by:
- Its ability to add to the reputation of the business and the product or service
- How it affects company image,
- Its ability to attract customers of the same or higher value to the business,
- How well it supports brand and company positioning.
Sales commission, bonus, and career advancement should be based on the salesperson’s ability to bring in good sales and to prevent spending time and effort on bad sales.
Use Sales Value to Prioritize
I have seen it written that 50% of all sales leads are not followed up. That sounds bad. What I don’t know, because they don’t say, is how many weren’t followed up on purpose. Maybe they were right!
Choose sales opportunities at your own risk. Choose wisely and succeed. Choose poorly and there are long term consequences.
Use Sales Value to Allocate Resources
Don’t go after every sale equally. Evaluate and prioritize those new leads, upselling opportunities, or repeat sales in terms of those with the highest value.
Also, make sure your sales process gives you and your salespeople a way to quickly identify bad sales opportunities that should not be pursued or only under restricted circumstances.
The less the sales value, the more likely it’s a bad deal or at least should not be given the same time, effort and resources.
In the end, it’s the quality of each sale, not the quantity of sales that matter.
Here’s to your success!
I love Thanksgiving but it’s got to go. Growing up, it was my favorite time of year — even better than Christmas because it was all about friends. My mother would invite the family but also anyone who was alone and had been granted titles of “uncle” or “aunt”. We dressed up ourselves, the table and the house. There were special dishes I got to make at first with her, then by myself. Conversation was the order of the day and sharing and being thankful for what we have. How wonderful!
I want that BACK! With all the troubles, hate, and anger in the world, I think we need to take time for Thanksgiving for sanity’s sake if nothing else.
Thanksgiving Has Had Options Before
It wasn’t President Abraham Lincoln’s fault. How could he know when he established the 4th Thursday in November in 1863 as Thanksgiving Day and a federal holiday, that we would make All Hallows’ Eve (Halloween) as big as Christmas with lights, costumes and parties, etc. and the day after, Black Friday, the biggest shopping day of the year? He was just following in George Washington’s footsteps. Washington was the one who encouraged a national celebration of thanks in 1789. Then, of course there were those pilgrims who regularly celebrated thanksgivings (not just the three-day feast in 1621).
My solution suggested by my friend Anne: let’s move Thanksgiving to a different date. If we do something about it now, there is a full year to get organized.
Potential Consequences of Moving Thanksgiving
Here’s why: time is too short and precious. Do you celebrate Christmas (25th), Hanukkah (starts the 6th), Kwanzaa (starts the 26th), Mawlid un Nabil (23rd) Boxing Day (26th), Winter Solstice (22nd), or other holidays in December? I think there’s not enough time between Thanksgiving, any of the above, and the end of the year. Let’s enjoy Thanksgiving by moving the date; not rush through it to get to some other event.
Moving it may cause retailers some angst or they may rejoice because they can legitimately merchandise and advertise for Christmas. They wouldn’d have to deal with “Nay Sayers” like me who wonder what happened to Thanksgiving. The schools will have to keep kids in class and parents won’t have a couple of days off to shop but they will survive. Football fans can still have their Thanksgiving games, but they will be just Thursday games. Travel should be safer if we don’t have to cram it all in so close together.
Life-Work Choices Owners Make at Thanksgiving
If you’re a business owner, it’s even worse. You have to get ready for everything that’s due this quarter or has to be closed out before or by the end of the year. Do you find yourself agonizing over what to do? What do you do?
- Get work done for pay or get work done to keep connected to friends and family? Shopping, decorating, and card writing is work, too.
- Focus on fun, family and friends, giving donations of time or money or both to causes you support or be professional and concentrate on end of the year business stuff – closing out the books, preparing for next year, making final sales quotas, finishing projects or reports?
What do you say? Would you vote to move Thanksgiving? Let’s do something so we won’t start the new year exhausted, stressed, or burned out.
One Thanksgiving Recommendation You Can Implement Anytime
Look at your city and state. do you know not just its history but those who have made it so special? The Institute of Texan Cultures in San Antonio Texas reminds us to be thankful to all 26 cultures that came before and are still here and vibrant. If you live in Texas, spend a day or two there. If you live elsewhere visit it or visit your own thanksgiving sites and be grateful.
Photo courtesy of ryanjunell.
(Excerpt from The Networker’s Guide to Success by Jan Triplett)
Not all groups are right for you to join and give your valuable time and effort. Not all people are key to your networking success. It’s not about the numbers. It’s about knowing when to say “Yes” and more importantly, when to say “No”.
There have been times when I just said no. That’s hard for those of us who use networking to do, but it’s vital.
At some point your time, money, and energy run out. Before it gets to be a crisis, back off for a while. Reconsider how you are networking. Remember, you are responsible for helping your current networks as well as helping yourself. In networking, you have to be constantly on the lookout for new additions and people to add to your current networks, or even new networks to join. In addition, other people will invite you to join their network. You are going to have to say “no” or “not right now” to some of them. It’s okay.
In Austin, there are between ten and twenty new networks, Meetup groups, and new formal and informal associations that are formed each month. An equal number fold or change. There may be even more opportunities where you live. You have to decide what’s right for you and what’s not.
Take a minute to consider how much time, effort and money you’re willing to invest and at what rate of return. Make sure you also consider what you can invest. Say “yes” to the people, organizations, meetings, lunches, etc. with the highest value to meet your goals; say “no” to the rest. You can always change your mind if your situation or theirs changes.
For ways to look at organizations before you take the plunge, read my post about what’s wrong with many networking meetings. You also might want to check out Jerry Ussem’s post that discusses various experts opinions on why it pays to be a jerk sometimes. He quotes research from the University of Amsterdam that found that semi-obnoxious behavior not only can make a person seem more powerful, but can make them more powerful. Your goal should be to be ok with being perceived as obnoxious by some if you say “no”.
The buyer’s world is key. Want more sales? Stop looking at it from your point of view. It’s not about you. It’s about the buyer. It’s about their buying process and your role. [Read more…]
Heroes and mentors are inspiring. They are both unique. They can be household names or unknown and unsung. Both are remarkable in their own ways. Both have the potential of great power and influence over others.
Everyone needs heroes and everyone needs mentors but they are not usually the same person. If you listen to others, you will hear the names of both. You will also get an idea of the value of each one. This can help you in your own quest to find the right person to help you develop and grow your business and your life. [Read more…]
Where can you find someone who is just what you need? They may be sitting next to you reading the paper. Look around.
I’ve had several wonderful personal mentors. My godmother, Northwestern University professor Alvina Krause, had “teas”. At these salons, I learned the fine art of conversation. My grandmother taught me the importance of family. My mother helped me find my voice and be comfortable being myself. She always said, “We grew up together”. Maybe so, but she was also my guide. [Read more…]
Do you want to find a mentor? Do you want to be a mentor? As Pamela Ryckman says, the author of Stiletto Network: Inside the Women’s Power Circles That Are Changing the Face of Business., “Mentoring—or at minimum connecting with a variety of people in all industries and age groups—has never been more important.”
Having a successful experience as a mentor or as a mentee is dependent on the choices you make before and during the relationship. You can be better prepared to use mentoring if you understand what each side is expecting and what choices have to be made. If you already use mentoring, consider how you made your choices. There are ways to improve the experience for both of you. [Read more…]
4 More Networking Rules: Successful Networking with Friends
There are standard Networking Rules that can be applied most of the time. But friends aren’t just anybody and they deserve some special attention. Consider using these rules with the most valuable people in your formal and informal networks and when doing personal networking with friends, family, and others who are close to you. [Read more…]
If you want to be more successful when you network for business, follow the golden rules. These help you get the most of your Networking experiences and opportunities. Used regularly, they will save you time and help you find, maintain, and grow the best networks to meet your goals. They do take discipline. [Read more…]