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The Competitive Advantage

tag: sales

April 16, 2019

Why the Seller-Doer Model is So Challenging

Does your firm subscribe to the seller-doer model for business development? That is, are there leaders and managers in your firm who, in addition to their primary roles, are also tasked with responsibility for revenue growth? If you answered ‘yes,’ then your firm is like the vast majority of others… the seller-doer model is, by far, the most prevalent sales structure in professional services industries like ours.

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February 12, 2019

Want to hook a new sales prospect? Create a “wow experience” for them!

I was sitting in my office earlier this week when the UPS deliveryman walked in with a box. A big box! And I wasn’t expecting anything.

When I looked at the label to see who sent it, I saw that it was from Fracture, the ‘photo on glass’ people. Ooh… my daughter is sending a new photo of our granddaughter, I thought.

I was wrong.

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December 18, 2018

Marketing & Sales for ‘Old’ Business Owners, Part 3

“Sales doesn’t work for a company like ours.”

Or “Sales doesn’t work in our industry” or any number of other anti-sales statements. Why is it that so many “old” business owners say those kinds of things? Why is there such a bias against “sales” people?

I think their responses are driven by one of three things:

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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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October 16, 2018

Case Studies: Your ‘Proof Source’ for Closing Deals.

This past week, I sat in on a webinar entitled, “How to Engage and Sell Today’s Corporate Research Buyer,” hosted by GreenBook. It was the presentation of data collected by GreenBook, Collaborata and David Harris. In it, a lot of really good information was presented, but one of the recurring themes – directly stated by the buyers themselves – was the value of ‘case studies’ and their role in the buying decision.

Some content – eBooks and checklists, for example – are used to generate interest and awareness… to get prospects into the “top of the funnel.”

Other content – for the middle of the funnel – is used to educate and inform (and showcase your Subject Matter Expertise). Think webinars, blog posts and infographics.

But at the bottom of the funnel – at decision time – your prospective buyer wants proof. Proof that you can do what you say you can do… and that’s where case studies come in to play.

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August 21, 2018

Marketing is Not a Substitute for Sales

For years, I’ve said that ours is an industry that does not embrace sales & marketing. And even for those firms that employ marketing, rarely do they have anyone dedicated to selling.

Forgetting for a minute the incorrect assumption that, “Selling doesn’t work for a firm like ours,” when asked about it, the response is often, “We don’t need sales… we do marketing.”

Seriously?! Let’s think about that for a minute…

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July 24, 2018

5 Ways to Say “No thanks” to a Proposal

Twice in the past few years, I’ve written a blog post about the frustration that I (and all people involved in business development) feel when not hearing back from a potential client after submitting a proposal… a proposal that they requested. I wrote about how any answer – even a ‘no’ – is better than being ignored. With a clear answer… at least I’ll know how to move forward.

Sadly, the practice of ‘responding with silence’ from potential clients continues to this day.

So, on behalf of all small business owners who do the selling, seller-doers and professional salespeople everywhere, I’ve taken the liberty of writing out actual email scripts – based on several different scenarios – that you can use when responding to proposals you don’t want to accept. I hope these help:

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July 3, 2018

The Perfect Sales Commission Plan! Sorry, it doesn’t exist.

But these 10 guidelines can help you get close.

A few weeks ago, I met with the President and Senior Sales Executive for a firm in Dallas. They were looking for an objective assessment of their sales commission plan. Here’s what I told them…

After 30+ years in sales & marketing – and after seeing literally hundreds of different plans in a variety of industries – I can say, with ABSOLUTE CERTAINTY, that there is no one perfect sales commission structure.

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