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The Competitive Advantage

tag: Relationships

March 4, 2019

8 Ways to Leverage Existing Relationships to Grow Revenue

How many clients and potential clients do you know? Before you answer… think about it. Consider all of your current clients and prospects, all of your past clients and prospects (those old names in your CRM), everyone you’ve ever chatted with at an industry conference or networking event, people you’ve connected with on LinkedIn and so on and so on. I’ll bet if you add all of those up, it’s a pretty impressive number. Hundreds? Maybe a couple thousand? And that’s great!

So, what are you doing with all of those ‘relationships?’

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February 26, 2019

Don’t go it alone! An Advisory Board can help with growth (and loneliness).

Many small business owners are often gripped with the fear of “being alone.” Of not having anyone to bounce ideas off of or share concerns with.

In larger firms, there may be key employees or colleagues to share with… but not so much in smaller firms. Masterimnd groups seem to be very popular, but are often full of competitors. And most businesses are too small for a formal Board of Directors. So, what’s the solution?

According to Rachel Crenshaw, founder of Strategy Sourcing Solutions, “Every small business owner could benefit from having an Advisory Board.”

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January 29, 2019

Human-to-Human… The New Old Way to Be Successful!

Texting, social media and email are not enough to build real working relationships.

Last week, I participated in the Insights Association’s CEO Summit in Miami… a sold-out industry event attended by nearly 100 C-level executives from throughout our industry. And during the three days, one over-arching theme became crystal clear… while we all work in a B2B environment, we all still live in a Human-to-Human (H2H) world. That’s not just me saying that… everyone I talked with about that idea at the Summit whole-heartedly agreed.

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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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November 13, 2018

Ignore the title on your business card… you’re in sales!

What is selling? Simply defined, selling is the process of influencing a buying decision. That’s it.

And guess what? Your sales people aren’t the only ones who do that. Everyone at your firm has the opportunity and responsibility to do that – particularly in regards to ensuring repeat clients.

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July 17, 2018

5 Times When You Should Turn Down a Project.

While we all have some level of responsibility to help grow our businesses – and for business leaders, there’s the added responsibility of keeping our employees employed – sometimes, as painful as it might be, there are projects that you just need to walk away from. Why? Because taking on those projects can do more harm than good.

Based on conversations with clients and my own experience, there are 5 times when you should turn down a project:

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May 16, 2018

Your feedback please: Are ‘thank you notes’ a good idea or a bad idea?

I got into a “passionate” discussion last week with a client about sending handwritten thank you notes, especially at the close of large projects.

I argued for them. I like the personal touch… and think that a handwritten note of sincere gratitude, thanking a client for their business is a good and appropriate thing to do. To my way of thinking, if a client spends $50,000 with you – or even $5,000 – I don’t think it’s asking too much to take five minutes out of your day to write and send a note.

For all the tools, techniques and technologies we employ, I believe we are still in the “people business.” And that well-written thank you notes (something, by the way, that your competitors are unlikely to do) are a real H2H (human-to-human) touch point.

One of my client contacts took the other side of the ‘discussion’… with equal fervor.

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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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