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The Competitive Advantage

May 4, 2021

Get Your Sales Meeting Right… Or Lose the Battle in the Marketplace

Over the past couple of months, I’ve been asked to sit in one several of our clients’ weekly [online] sales meetings. It’s been really eye-opening.

Like the vast majority of seller-doers in our industry who have no real sales background, the sales managers in Market Research (with actual titles like President, Owner or Practice Lead) also have no real background as sales managers.

Which, unfortunately, leads to bad sales leadership and guidance and can have a dramatically negative impact on your sales efforts.

To help, here’s a menu of ideas/topics to help you prepare for your future sales meetings…

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April 20, 2021

Why Former Clients Are So Important

One of the on-boarding activities that we do with all new clients is to take a look back at their business for the past five years. And one of the things we inevitably see – and our clients seem to have forgotten – is the large number of former or lapsed clients. [Or maybe they remember, but just don’t like to be reminded of it.]

What’s really interesting about these former clients is that they stay former. That is, it’s extremely rare to see any of them come back into the ‘current client’ category.

I think this happens for three reasons…

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April 13, 2021

Stop Using Lousy Salespeople… They’re Killin’ You!

This morning, I participated in a Zoom chat with the senior team from one of our clients… there were five of them on the call. At one point, the CEO mentioned that he was receiving sales calls from this particular West Coast fieldwork firm. And before he could finish his comment, two of his colleagues jumped in with comments of their own.

One of them said, “They call me all the time.”

The other said, “They are ‘relentless!’” [And he didn’t mean that in a good way!]

Then the CEO chimed back in, “The kid calling me was obviously new at this… he was so bad that I almost felt sorry for him.”

Nothing was said about their professionalism, helpfulness, that they shared good information, that they had something new to talk about, etc. Just that they were selling hard and pretty bad at it.

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March 30, 2021

Why don’t research firms conduct research on themselves?

We’ve all heard the saying that “The cobbler’s children have no shoes”… which means, in business terms, that some companies are really good at doing things for their clients, but not so good at doing those same things for themselves.

And there’s no escaping that predicament in the Market Research industry.

For the nine years we’ve been in business, we’ve worked with scores of market research firms across the U.S. and around the world… and with relatively few exceptions, none of these firms conduct any research on themselves. Specifically, they’re not doing any post-project customer satisfaction surveys.

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March 16, 2021

Your Clients Don’t Know What They Need!

Alternate title: ‘Don’t Be an Order-Taker’

I received a call from a client last week. He said he wanted to talk with me about our sales training workshops. Great! Love to do those!

In my younger days… I would have hopped on the phone call and told him everything about our workshops, all the topics we covered, key takeaways for his employees and what makes it different than any other sales training workshop in our industry. It would have been awesome… at least that’s what I would have thought back then!

But I’m not that guy anymore… I’ve learned a few things.

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March 9, 2021

The 3 Keys to Your Personal Brand

Last week, I wrote a blog post about how your company’s brand is impacted by nearly everything it does. Well guess what? The same thing applies to your personal brand, as well! And yes, just like a company, whether you want to or not, you do have a brand out in the markets you serve. And just like a company’s brand, the market will determine what yours is… that is, what they think of you when they see you or hear your name.

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March 2, 2021

What can impact your brand? Absolutely everything!

When you hear the word “brand,” what do you think of? Most people think of logos, colors, fonts… the graphical representation of a brand. But that’s not it at all.

Your brand is determined by your buyers and prospective buyers. Your brand if what they think of when they see or hear your company’s name. You don’t get to determine what your brand is. Your brand is what the marketplace says it is. Period.

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February 16, 2021

The #1 Reason Why You Lose Clients? Arrogance!

why you lose clientsSure, there are a lot of reasons why you lose clients… you messed up a project or a competitor dramatically under cut your prices or your key contact left the company. But the #1 reason why you lose clients is ‘arrogance.’

You assume that your good work is enough to solidify your relationship with the buyer. It isn’t.

You assume that your good work will keep you top-of-mind with clients. It won’t.

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