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.
I like Wade because despite our age difference there is a resonance which started when I discovered that he had been a coal miner and lives in Virginia. No great details but I grew up in Hazard, Kentucky, a coal mining town. Wade escaped his coal miner drudgery by becoming a social media dude. I joined the US Air Force days after graduating from high school and escaped a future with few possibilities.
I liked what Wade had to say. I liked him especially in this first podcast where he acted as moderator with two Internet / Social Media gurus. Their topic was “The Pretend Friends of Social Media”. It makes you reconsider the people that you only know via social media. Are they really friends? Do you know much about them? Would you hang out with them in real life?
Listen to this hour-long podcast. It will be worth your time.
(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”.
In my studies of web development, social media, and online marketing, I have frequently been tempted to outsource things that I cannot do. But until this week, I have never done so.
What’s different about this week? Well, I’ve been following a very interesting guy called Jaime Buckely, a writer, an artist, and all around good guy. I bought a bundle of his writing and as a consequence, I got onto his mailing list.
On Tuesday, I received an email from him telling about how he is doing drawings and other things on Fiverr, a service where you can contract to get certain things done for $5. The first thing I saw was this picture of a decrepit Teddy Bear at http://bit.ly/1HyLiVN
This immediately stirred up my adrenaline.
Years ago, around 1974 or so, my son, Chris had a teddy bear named Georgewell. He carried that teddy for a very long time. Over the years, Georgewell moved with us from Arizona to Texas to Virginia and back to Texas.
Somewhere along the way, one of our dogs worried Georgewell to death and all that remains is his stuffing which we still carry with us when we move.
My son, Chris now has a son, Thomas.
My wife says she’s going to use the Georgewell innards to create a new stuffed animal for ToMas (as I call him) but that has not happened yet.
Recently I started following Jaime Buckley, a man whose work ethic and family orientation appeals to me. He recently started offering some of this work on Fiverr. Of particular interest to me is this image that reminds me so much of the elder Georgewell a while before his canine-induced demise.
I plan on sharing this image with my son and printing a copy of it for ToMas to hang on his wall amid the SuperHero images.
Dang, I think I’m displaying a bit of nostalgia.
My best to Jaime Buckley for helping me stroll down MY memory lane.
If you are lucky enough to share your life and work with animals, you’ll appreciate this post. They bring their own culture and make business more interesting. The first time I saw a real need for this was in the Office of the President of Southwest Texas State University (now called Texas State University. His golden retrievers slept quietly under his desk as we talked. I feel sure they added great knowledge and peace to what can be chaotic at all times of the year especially at the end of the college year.
Here’s to more animals in the workplace. Your perfect networking partners sharing and caring.
(Re-printed with permission of the author)
People and animals have a long history of living together and bonding. The oldest evidence of this special relationship was discovered a few years ago in Israel—–a 12,000 year old human skeleton buried with its hand resting on the skeleton of a 6 month old wolf pup. “The bond between animals and humans is part of our evolution, and it’s very powerful,” says Dr. Ann Berger, a physician and researcher at the NIH Clinical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.
Today animal companions are more popular than ever. The pet population nationwide has been growing dramatically for nearly a half century, about two-thirds of households now own at least one pet. Pets can serve as important sources of social and emotional support for “everyday people,” not just individuals facing significant health challenges, according to research by the American Psychological Association.
Some of the largest and most well-designed studies in the field of human-animal interactions suggest that 4 legged friends can help to improve our cardiovascular health. One NIH funded study looked at 421 adults who had suffered heart attacks. A year later, the scientists found, dog owners were significantly more likely to still be alive than were those who did not own dogs, regardless of the severity of the heart attack. Another NIH investigation looked at more than 2,000 adults and found that dog owners who walked their dogs were more physically active and less likely to be obese than those who didn’t. Older dog walkers (71-82 years of age) also had greater mobility inside the home than non dog walkers.
Man’s best friend may help you make more human friends too. Pets may enhance social interactions with other people, providing an indirect effect on well being. Social contact is beneficial because it alleviates feelings of loneliness and social isolation. Pets act as social catalysts, leading to greater social contact between people. This is particularly important for those at risk of social isolation, such as the elderly or people with physical disabilities. People who have more social relationships tend to live longer and are less likely to show mental and physical declines as they grow older. Several studies have shown that walking with a dog leads to more conversations and helps you stay socially connected.
Other research suggests that pet ownership may hold special benefits during childhood. “when children are asked who they talk to when they get upset, a lot of times their first answer is their pet,” says Dr. James Griffin an expert in child development and behavior. “This points to the importance of pets as a source of comfort and developing empathy.”
Several research teams are examining the potential benefits of bringing specially trained animals into clinical settings. Animal assisted therapy is offered in hospitals and nursing homes nationwide. Clinicians who watch patients interacting with animals say they can clearly see benefits, including improved mood and reduced anxiety.
“ I think we’re at the tip of the iceberg in terms of what we know about the human-animal bond and its potential health benefits,” says Dr. Sandra Barker, director of the Center for Human-Animal Interaction at Virginia Commonwealth University.
Betty Morgan R.N., FCN
Ref: BMJ; Pet Ownership and Human Health
NIH; News in Health
American Psychological Association; How Animals Affect Us
For the past few years, it has been my custom to create what I call a “web presence.” I would write a post on my website, use http://bit.ly to create a short URL back to that post, use http://twitter.com/xplorenewmedia to notify followers of that post, use the same text with perhaps a few extra descriptive words and post to http://facebook.com/exploringnewmedia.
My “web presence” has not been very productive in terms of getting people to comment on my blog post. I am using a service called Feejit to tell me about each visitor to http://exploringnewmedia.com. You can see how it works if you visit the site and check out the sidebar for “Who’s Looking at Me Now?” The last 10 visitors’ locations are shown. None of those visitors commented.
About a month ago, I became more interested in Google+ as yet another social media platform and I’ve been very excited with it. I’ve been using Facebook primarily to see pictures and comments posted by the parents of my 3-year old grandson. I’m not sure why I’ve continued to tweet. But with Google+, I’ve selectively added people that I want to follow based on their posts and how interesting they appear on their profile pages.
I won’t try to compare Google+ with Facebook or Twitter and I won’t forsake them. I will add Google+ to my social media toolbox as an addition to my web presence.
I’m taking a course on Google+ from PlusYourBusiness. I’m midway through it and will wait until I’m finished before describing what I’ve learned.
Do you have a web presence? How do you use social media? What more would you like to know about Google+ that you can’t or don’t want to Google to find out? Think about that last sentence.
As business people, we need to have good writing skills. One of those skills is the willingness to sit down and write: reports, business plans, requests for proposals, office procedures, emails, tweets, etc.
Scheduling your writing may be difficult. You get to the office and the phone is ringing. UPS is making delivery. Your Internet connection is acting up. Lots of things are vying for your attention.
Try this. Get up a little earlier each morning and free write. Set a goal for yourself and write until you meet it. My goal is 750+ words a day. First thing. Every day. In my home office or at the dining table. Write, write, write. This is a good way to clear your mind as well as to bring important to do items to the forefront of your mind.
I started writing this way in September 2013 and since then I’ve written over 600,000 words which I have posted at 750words.com.
I start my writing by talking about my scheduled appointments for the day and anything of interested associated with them. Then I write about what I’d like to do if I have time. Then I write about anything else that comes to mind as I’m doing this. Usually in 20-30 minutes, I’ve surpassed my goal.
Take a look at today’s post on my Exploring New Media website for more details.
Did you make time to write today?
Dr Jan and I have worked together to create this website
We try to be faithful in adding appropriate images to each post.
I was reminded of this today when I wrote a post on my website regarding the importance of images for increasing reader interest.
Please take a look at it and tell me what you do about images on posts.
Oops, almost forgot to add an image. As an afterthought, I posted it above. It came from the source mentioned in my article. It doesn’t have much to do with this post except that I was talking about adding images. Be sure the image that you add has at least something to do with the post. Let it be obvious. I only added it because I spent 2 hours yesterday with my 3-year grandson playing with … Legos.