The Competitive Advantage

July 5, 2016

20 Marketing and Sales Concepts Business Leaders Need to Know, Part 1

A 2-part series for CEOs, Presidents and other Execs on the Realities of Business Development

marketing+salesMost of the CEOs in our industry are researchers who either started their firms or rose through the ranks to take the helm. None came out of the marketing & sales world. Yes, they have responsibility for the overall growth of their firm, but many (if not most) built their business on good work, referrals and word-of-mouth. And many (if not most) are uncomfortable with the concept of a proactive, outward-reaching marketing and sales initiative. It’s not necessarily that they don’t want to do it, they’re simply not sure how to go about it.

In this two-part series, we’ll outline some of the primary marketing and sales concepts that all leaders need to understand to help grow their firms in our ever-more-competitive industry.

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June 21, 2016

If these were my employees… I’d fire them!

For wasting thousands of dollars

firedAs I write this, I’m attending Greenbook’s IIeX event in Atlanta… one of the largest conferences in our industry with over 800 participants. Along with the educational sessions, there are several dozen exhibiting companies lining the hallways and in adjacent exhibit rooms.

And here’s where it gets interesting – or infuriating – depending on your perspective. One of the exhibitors had a tabletop display that spanned the length of their 6-foot table. Behind the table, they placed their two chairs… WHERE THEY SAT FOR THE ENTIRE EVENT!

Over the course of the three days, I passed by their table numerous times (the last several times, out of morbid curiosity!). I never saw them engage passersby… and it was a busy event. They – yes, there were two of them – just sat there, talking to each other, ‘working’ on their cell phones and hiding from everyone else. They never once took advantage of the great selling opportunity that was [literally] right in front of them.

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June 6, 2016

10 Guidelines for How to Be Successful at Sales

how to be successful at salesWhether you’re a full-time sales professional or a senior executive who does it “on the side,” we all want to know how to be successful at sales. Sales success – especially in our industry – is not what you think. Cast aside all of those heavily-scripted, high-pressure sales tactics and integrate these guidelines into your everyday activities…

  1. It’s a relationship. For someone to decide to buy from you, they first have to get to KNOW you… then LIKE you…then TRUST you. And if all they ever hear from you is “buy something from me” – then you will never make it through that gauntlet. It takes some time for a sales prospect to get through all three phases… so be patient and stay engaged.
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May 31, 2016

Use this 16-point Checklist to help fix your broken website.

website 3This past week, I spent some time online doing research for new project management software. I did a Google search for highly-rated platforms, then went to the website of those that interested me.

One of the first things I do when investigating software is to watch a video demo to get a feel for the platform. This week, though, on the websites of two of the platforms I was investigating, the videos weren’t working! Videos are perhaps the most important element on a website selling software… and they were broken. And these are software companies!

Which got me to thinking about all businesses… after a new website launch, how often do we go back and look through it to make sure everything is functioning properly? If you’re like most businesses, not very often… or more likely – never! At least not until a client calls to alert you about a problem… and by then, the damage has been done.

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