Your customer’s attitude is your guide to how you sell and how you market. It also helps you make decisions about adding to or changing the services and products you offer. Attitude is not all about a customer’s wants, desires or needs. It is about their point of view (POV)— at least as it relates to what you have to offer them. The good news is you can choose what is the best customer attitude and POV for your business success from three options. Then you can focus on attracting customers who have the right attitude match. This will make your business a lot better for everyone.
Contract negotiations and re-negotiations can be risky business. Both parties go into it with the assumption of the potential for conflict. If you are the provider, you do have a secret weapon: your existing customers and their contracts.
These existing contracts give you precedent that you can use in the negotiations. This is especially true if you do business with a government entity. As my colleague Sandra Stenzel, founder of the Bid Resource Centers in Texas that became the model throughout the US has often said to clients, “the government wants the lowest responsive, responsible bid”. That translates in contract negotation to “we want the best deal” — unspoken is “than you give anyone else”.
In our case, our client was faced with a customer who wanted the same terms as the government got and not an increase in price from the last contract. Reasonable, but not in line with the contracts of their other clients. Our client’s goal was to provide parity with his other non-government contracts for the same work. Also reasonable and necessary for his growth in order to simplify his pricing structure which was definitely not standardized. [Read more…]
What can a CFO do to improve the company’s sales system? What do they even know about sales? You’d be surprised.
If you’re the CFO and CEO, the following applies to you. If you’re both of these plus the Director of Sales and maybe even the Chief Salesperson, you still need to include the tasks below in order to improve the results of your sales system. [Read more…]
Your sales projection formula is key to more accurate financial projections and to the success of your business.
Sales projection formulas are always wrong. Here are six ways to improve them.
Sales projection formulas are wrong because…
- Sales projections are not supposed to be right.
They’re a snapshot of what to expect each month based on relevant criteria and are defensible. Improve the sakes projection formula you use by making sure you don’t accept the projected sales numbers without question. The answers you get from salespeople in terms of what they think will close have to be reasonable and with some sort of basis not just hope. [Read more…]
My brother gave me a copy of A Left-Handed History of the World by Ed Wright for Christmas. As my husband, Daniel, said, that’s much better than a previous gift of 101 Uses for a Dead Cat by Simon Bond. Others found it amusing, as a cat lover, I did not.
I am left-handed. It was interesting to read about other prominent lefties. Some of my favorites include: Queen Victoria, Charlie Chaplin, Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Madame Curie, Henry Ford, Ramses the Great, and Joan of Arc. Several US presidents (Reagan, Ford, George W. Bush, and Clinton) were on the left – when it comes to hands at least. [Read more…]
I was just interviewed by Patricia Rogers of the Austin Business Journal . Ms. Rogers is the List Director for ABJ, writes the Growth Strategies and does some wonderful profiles. She asked me a lot of good questions and I learned something about her. She’s from Houston, we share a love of animals especially horses, and, luckily for Austin, she didn’t follow the advice of her uncle to stay out of journalism (he was a journalist in Houston).
One question she didn’t ask was about a scary moment in business. Mine was scary and the most fun. Last March I did a program for SXSW “Networking for Introverts”. Why was I concerned? What if no one showed up? That didn’t happen. As a matter of fact the room was full to overflowing.
I wondered if they would participate. Not good for a speaker when everyone is silent. No worries here either. I found that if you give an introvert an opportunity to talk, they’ll take it. They came up with good comments and questions. It was a blast that I wish I could repeat. [Read more…]
There are 7 potential customer types you could have. But you should have only the best, the Platinum Customer. They give you money and a lot more.
If you aren’t satisfied with the value of your current customers, make better choices by setting up a Platinum Profile™ identification system. This is more than just “target” or “niche” marketing. The four parts of a Platinum Profile™ are demographics, psychographics, behaviors, and geography. [Read more…]
I invited a business owner to come and talk to me about where he wanted to go with his business. I thought from what he told me about his concept that I might be able to help with his business vision and provide strategy that would get him the sales he wanted.
He accepted and he and his partners came — or most of them did.
Within a few minutes of starting our meeting, one of his partners began to get cell phone calls all of which he took. I consider that rude.
I deal only with small business owners. I know that calls can be critical and that owners feel they have to wear all the hats at first and do everything. I don’t mind if they need to take a short call or deal with an emergency.
However, if they are expecting an important call, then it would be courteous to let me know when we begin. I also think if the call is important enough to interrupt our meeting for some time, they should be courteous of my time and just reschedule. Things happen. I respect that. [Read more…]