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The Competitive Advantage

tag: process

January 15, 2019

I’ve Got an Accountability Partner… and You Should, Too

One of the primary responsibilities of a business owner is ‘accountability’… to make sure our employees are doing their jobs and making progress toward company goals. We hold our project teams accountable by getting feedback from clients. We hold salespeople accountable by monitoring selling activity and – of course – tracking revenue. We hold our financial team accountable by requiring timely completion of P&Ls, balance sheets and AP/AR reports.

But who holds us – the owners – accountable?

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January 1, 2019

Marketing & Sales for ‘Old’ Business Owners, Part 4

“I don’t have the time!”

After “I don’t have the money!”, the second most common excuse I hear from ‘oldsters’ like me for not engaging in any real marketing & sales efforts is “I don’t have the time!”.

To that, I have two responses:

#1. Bullsh**! The reason you don’t “have the time” is because you’re not “making the time”… and the reason you’re not “making the time” is because it’s not a “priority” for you.

It’s that simple.

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April 29, 2018

Want to improve your sales results? Sell like a doctor.

For years, while working with providers of market research consulting and technology services, one of my pleas has been (and still is)… “Seek first to help… then to sell.” I believe it is THE most effective selling mindset for winning projects and – more importantly – long-term relationships with clients.

But recently, I heard that same sentiment stated another way… one that, I think, will resonate with most of us: “Sell like a doctor.”

I went through rotator cuff surgery last year. And in thinking back about the interactions with my orthopedic surgeon throughout the process, I thought about his “selling skills” and how they might translate in our industry.

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March 27, 2018

For Sales & Marketing Success: Finish What You Start

One of the first questions I ask during an initial exploratory call with a prospective client is, “What kind of marketing and sales are you doing now?” And I generally get the kind of answers you’d expect…

  • “We blog once or twice a month.”
  • “We network at conferences.”
  • “We send out a monthly e-newsletter.”
  • “We’re all on LinkedIn.”

And so on.

And it all sounds pretty good on the surface, but once I dig a little deeper, I find that even though many of these firms have taken the first step… they rarely finish what they start. For example…

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January 9, 2018

Want Effective New Year’s Resolutions? Start by Fixing Your Problems.

Well, here we are… at the start of another calendar year. [By the way, Happy New Year to you and yours!] And like most years, with our annual New Year’s Resolutions, we think about what we can do to improve our lives – both personally and professionally – in the coming months. I’ll leave the ‘lose weight’ and ‘quit smoking’ type of resolutions to you and focus this post on a few things related to your business.

Since 99.99% of us want to grow our business in 2018, I want to suggest a different way to go about creating your resolutions… one that can truly have an impact on the growth of your firm: start by fixing your problems!

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October 24, 2017

A difficult client… can they be good for business?

difficult clientOne of the services we offer our clients is content development… creating blog posts, eBooks, etc. We have very talented writers on our team – they know the topics and they know how to write.

We also had this one particular client who nit-picked (at least we thought so) all the time and pushed back on our writing until we got it “perfect.” Very frustrating!

Amongst ourselves, we used to frequently complain about this client… that they were just a big ol’ pain in the a**!

But, guess what? We were wrong!

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January 3, 2017

Blogging in 2017? What do I write about?

blogA few weeks ago, I had a conference call with several contacts at one of my clients about Content Marketing in 2017… and specifically, about blogging.

The have committed to blogging a couple of times every month. Great! They understand the value of blogging in helping to position their firm as Subject Matter Experts, for building awareness and for helping with SEO. But every one of them had the same question…

“What do I write about?”

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April 12, 2016

LITTLE things can make a BIG difference in marketing

steelThe value of A/B Testing

A true story… Down the hall from our office is the sales & marketing office for a construction company that specializes in steel buildings. I’ve gotten to be friends with the heads of sales there.

He was telling me about a new video he recently placed on his website’s home page. He had hired a professional spokesperson, written a friendly script and produced a very nice little welcome video. Immediately, site activity dropped and bounce rates jumped. Huh?!

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