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The Competitive Advantage

September 27, 2022

A Capabilities Presentation Is a Waste of Time

I was having a conversation last week with two senior-level contacts at a client (a large MR agency) about their capabilities presentation. We were talking about some ways to improve their current presentation, when one of them interjected, “We’re trying to do less presentations and have more conversations.” I just about jumped out of my seat! Finally… somebody that gets it!

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September 19, 2022

Really Bad Social Selling

For some reason, I’m a magnet for bad salespeople (or, at least, bad sales efforts). And it happened again this week… only this time, the offending sales rep violated two rules of social selling.

OK, quick backstory (all true)… I accepted a LinkedIn invitation from [let’s call him] Mike just last week. Mike is in our industry, fits the profile of a potential client for us and is also supplier to other potential clients… so a good person for me to be connected to. Also, Mike is a senior-level person at his company with responsibility for revenue growth. All in all, a really good connection. But then it went bad…

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September 6, 2022

Wanna Grow? You Need Sales AND Marketing.

When it comes to sales and marketing in our industry, I bump up against two extremes more often than not. Some companies invest in sales teams, but don’t do much in the way of marketing to pave the way for them or support them along the journey. On the flip side are other firms that employ only marketing to create a presence in the marketplace and perhaps generate some sales leads… only to have a reticent and untrained seller-doer not take the necessary actions to build relationships with buyers and acquire clients. The reality is this… for you to successfully grow your business, you need both sales and marketing.

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August 30, 2022

Networking at a Conference? You Can’t Just Show Up!

The Fall season of industry events is upon us… the ESOMAR Congress, TMRE, the Corporate Researchers Conference and others. And if you’re planning on attending any of these… ARE YOU READY? Attending a conference to learn – and, more importantly – to network, should not be taken lightly. So, to help you get the most from your investment of time and money, here are 18 conference networking tips…

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August 9, 2022

Sales Success is About Your Activity – the Quantity and Quality

I started my career at the DuPont company a long, long, long time ago as a Technical Sales Representative. [My parents were so proud!] On the very first day of training, the national sales Director – Jim Thorn – welcomed our three-man training class to the company. To this day, I still remember his words, “I don’t care if you make only one sales call a week, just hit your sales goal!” True story.

And while it’s a bit of an extreme example, that philosophy still reigns supreme in the world of sales today. As a sales rep or seller-doer, exceeding your sales goal IS the goal! And that’s great… but it’s your selling activity that makes it happen. Send no emails, make no phone calls, send no proposals and – I guarantee – you won’t sell anything.

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August 2, 2022

Stop Being Complacent… and Build ‘Other’ Relationships

Last year, I wrote a blog post entitled, ‘The number one reason why you lose clients? Arrogance!’ It was one of the most read posts in all of 2021. Today I want to write about reason #1A – and the one I hear about more than any other reason for the loss of clients – complacency! And the story (err… excuse!) goes something like this… “We had a great relationship with [insert Fortune 500 company name here]… and they were a great client for several years… but then our main contact left and we lost the business.”

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July 18, 2022

Stop Selling on Price… It Can Ruin Your Business

I was having a conversation this past week with a firm in our industry when they told me that they had implemented a rebate program as a way to build and reward client loyalty… and to also have something new and interesting to catch prospects’ attention.

And to no one’s surprise, it was working pretty well. Existing clients appreciated the ‘free money’ (credits against future purchases) and it also got them in front of several new potential clients. I told them that I was happy for their success, but that they needed to be careful. That selling on price is a very risky B2B sales strategy. And for a whole host of reasons:

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July 5, 2022

2022 is Half Over…

… Are you halfway toward achieving your goals?

It’s hard to believe that this year is already half over… it has absolutely flown by! And I hope it’s been a good year, so far, for you and your firm. This midpoint in the year gives you an opportunity for a little reflection. To see if you’re on pace to achieve this year what you wanted to achieve.

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