The Competitive Advantage

February 20, 2013

You’re a researcher… so do some for yourself to gain a competitive advantage!

Every day… you get up, go to the office, collect some data for your clients, interpret that data and give them some feedback to help them do their jobs better.  Yeah, a little over-simplified, but you get my drift.

So, here’s the question… are you doing that same thing for yourself?  Particularly with your marketing & sales as a way to help you do it better?

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February 13, 2013

You only get One Chance to make a First Impression

My wife, Lisa, and I are doing some updating to our home – knocking out a wall, putting in hardwood floors and the like.  And Lisa is the one in charge of the project.

During this process, she’s called numerous contractors to come to the house, look around and provide an estimate on doing the work. Her interaction with them has been really interesting… with some of the contractors not responding at all to her initial calls and others not submitting bids after visiting our home.

That’s nuts!  You’d think that these small, local businesses would jump at the chance to participate in a project like this.

Here’s what their lack of responsiveness has done… they’re off of our list!  Period.  We just won’t do business with them… even if they come back later with an apology and a lower bid.  Our feeling is that if they can’t be any more responsive when they’re trying to impress us to close the deal, what is it going to be like if we actually hire them?

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February 6, 2013

6 Simple Marketing & Sales Ideas that almost Never get implemented

In trying to build our businesses, we often get so wrapped up in working on the bigger marketing & sales initiatives (e.g. social media strategy, advertising campaigns, etc.) that sometimes, the simple little things just pass us by.  So, to help with that, here are six simple marketing & sales ideas to get you thinking in that direction:

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January 30, 2013

Suspects, Prospects and Clients: Is your firm focused on the right target?

In its simplest form, all businesses can look at their target market as divided into in three primary groups.

  • Suspects are those organizations that fit the profile of a client but with whom you’ve had no interaction. They’re just “out there.”
  • Prospects are those firms that you have connected with at some level and that have some interest in/need for what you do.
  • Clients are those organizations that have purchased from you at least once.

What’s interesting is that the focus of most firms’ marketing efforts is on groups one and two.

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January 29, 2013

Sales Management… how are you defining your ‘sales territories?’

children_fighting_568x240Remember back when you were 5 or 6 years old and you and a sibling or next-door neighbor would be fighting over the newest toy… “It’s mine!” “No, it’s mine!” No, it’s mine… gimme!” And back and forth it went… until your mother stepped in to mediate the dispute.

Well, if you work for a firm with more than one person responsible for sales – especially if they are compensated for new business growth – then unless you’ve got a very structured and manageable way to keep leads and clients separate for each rep, you’re going to end up with that same 5-year-old tug-of-war in your office.  And it ain’t pretty!  But there’s a fairly easy way to fix it…

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January 25, 2013

A Checklist for Conducting Your Own Marketing & Sales Audit

Sometimes, we get so busy working IN our business that we forget to work ON our business. When that happens, it helps to step back and take an objective look at what’s going on around you. And one of those areas of your business that most often needs a fresh set of eyes is business development. If that describes you, here are some ideas for conducting your own marketing & sales audit and getting back on track.

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January 23, 2013

Lead Generation drives business; 8 effective ways to generate leads for a competitive advantage.

Regardless of your sales philosophy or sales processes… virtually no sale has ever taken place that didn’t start out as a ‘sales lead.’  Those leads are developed and nurtured… and with some perseverance and a little luck, they eventually become clients.  That truism means that Lead Generation should be one of the primary strategies for every firm’s business development program.

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