The Competitive Advantage
December 13, 2022
Setting Your Sales Goal for 2023? You’re doing it wrong!
Right about now, management teams from firms all over our industry are gathering around conference tables to make plans for next year. And one of the key items on every one of those agendas is, “What’s our sales* goal for 2023?”
[*For those of you afraid of the word “sales,” insert “revenue” here.]
Too often, the management team will defer to the president or CEO, who picks a number ‘out of the air’ because that’s what he/she would like to see happen in the next year. Sadly, very little thinking has gone into the president’s sales goal… it’s mostly gut feel and hope.Continue Reading
November 29, 2022
Best Sales Question Ever?
One of the key attributes of every successful sales rep and seller-doer is their ability to ask questions. Ask enough of the right kind of sales questions, and the buyer will tell you everything you need to know to earn their business.
There are all types of questions – during the exploratory phase of a relationship – that can help you to understand the problems and challenges faced by the buyer. And by understanding what’s happening there, allow you to solve their problem, and in the process, win the sale.Continue Reading
November 15, 2022
Revenue Measurement: 4 Ways to Improve What You’re Doing Now
There are all kinds of metrics that business owners and leaders need to track… but none more important than revenue. And if I was a betting man, I’d wager that you’re tracking your firm’s revenue in three or four ways:
- Revenue this month
- Revenue year-to-date
- Revenue last year-to-date (for comparison)
- Revenue by sales rep (if you’re including sales commissions in their comp plan)
And there’s nothing wrong with those. What you learn from them is helpful in terms of the health of your firm, but there’s not much ‘actionable’ you can take away. Those measurements are good… but they’re incomplete.Continue Reading
November 8, 2022
The 4 Biggest Mistakes That Seller-Doers Make… and How to Fix Them
In the 10+ years I’ve been working with seller-doers in our industry, I’ve observed a number of common behaviors that impact sales. Negatively! Behaviors that the vast majority of seller-doers exhibit. Behaviors that are actually pretty easy to change and in doing so, would significantly help them to be more successful.Continue Reading
October 18, 2022
Is Your Work Good Enough to Ensure Repeat Clients?
Spoiler alert: It’s not!
If you were to ask 10 market research business owners what keeps their repeat clients coming back, nine of those 10 will say, “It’s because of the good work we do.”
To be fair, if you do lousy work, your clients won’t become repeat clients. But the reality is that most all firms do good work. It’s table stakes these days. There’s nothing unusual about it. Just to ‘be in the game,’ you’d better be good at what you do.Continue Reading
October 12, 2022
A Marketing Research Firm Doing Research on Their Marketing? WHAAAT?!
I received an email a couple of weeks ago from Merrill Dubrow, CEO at MARC Research in Dallas. Merrill is a good friend and a client… and he was looking for feedback on something he was working on.
We scheduled a Zoom call so I could see what it was. As it turned out, he and his colleague, Jim O’Hara, had created a series of ads for LinkedIn and were soliciting feedback on which of the ads I thought was most effective and why. And not just me… they also reached out to other marketing-types and some client-types.Continue Reading
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!Continue Reading
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…Continue Reading