The Competitive Advantage
May 5, 2019
Like me, many of you are small business owners… proud of what you’ve built and of what you’re doing. But the fact is, regardless of how slick your technology, how well constructed your processes or how professional your [small] team… your clients are buying YOU! They know the risks of doing business with a small firm (remember “No one ever got fired for hiring IBM!”?)… but they’re willing to take a chance. Why? Because of you.Continue Reading
April 30, 2019
Admit it… you’re losing clients occasionally. Not a happy topic, but it happens to all of us. The question is ‘why?’
On the surface, there are any number of reasons:
- You screwed up a project… it hurts, but sometimes it happens.
- You pi**ed-off a key client contact… not intentionally, but communications can go awry.
- There was a massive change in the client’s business… e.g. they restructured the division you were working with, they were acquired or maybe they even closed their doors for good.
- One of your competitors showed up with a “shiny new penny”… a new methodology or a new technology that had a ‘wow’ factor.
- A new ‘leader’ was hired at the client, bringing his/her own favorite vendors along.
- The project ended. Not all client work can be recurring or happen on a frequent basis.
Every one of those reasons is real and legitimate, but none are the most common.Continue Reading
March 4, 2019
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?’Continue Reading
February 26, 2019
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?Continue Reading
January 29, 2019
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.Continue Reading
January 15, 2019
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?Continue Reading
November 13, 2018
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.Continue Reading
July 17, 2018
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:Continue Reading