Why Your Company's Collective Knowledge is a Potential Gold Mine

10/1/2014 posted in Business, Getting Ahead, Sales, Employee Motivation

Many entrepreneurs, business owners, executives, and CEOs think that their business’ best asset is what’s in the bank account. They think value comes from a warehouse full of products or an office full of expensive equipment. But the truth is, a business’ best asset is something much more powerful: its institutional knowledge. When the staff fails to capture that knowledge and make it shareable, that business bleeds value left, right, and centre. It’s up to the leadership team to ensure that institutional expert knowledge isn’t sidelined or going to waste, causing untold inefficiencies and missed opportunities.

What Happens When Knowledge Stays In The Brain?

When an organisation’s collective knowledge is trapped in the brains of its best personnel, countless opportunities to support employees and clients are missed. Just look at the problems a business faces when its collective knowledge isn’t tangible and accessible and is only transferred verbally:  

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Are Your Sales Teams Still Making Basic Mistakes?

9/27/2014 posted in Sales

I recently had the opportunity to sit with one of our clients in a Marketing / PR presentation that was being given to them about how to better position their business online.  Sadly, my recent experience has revealed that there are still some basic sales mistakes that many sales professionals are making today.

The client in question is one that we have been helping with their sales team for a while now so I have got to know the owners pretty well.  They had asked me to be there in an observation capacity and to make sure that whatever branding and imaging improvements being considering were fully aligned to the sales effort, which made perfect sense.

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Advanced Negotiation Skills (1): Always Getting What We Want

9/24/2014 posted in Business, Sales

 

You may well know many of the ‘Golden Rules’ of Negotiating – such as the importance of preparation, aiming high (‘if you don’t ask, you may never get’), establishing the other side’s full agenda before starting to negotiate (to avoid last-minute demands), keeping all issues linked to avoid ‘salami slicing’, searching for variables in both side’s situation to trade for mutual advantage; and the importance of actually trading concessions rather than just donating them.

Following these tips alone can result in vastly improved outcomes. But there are many other things we can do to ensure an even better deal.

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Save Your Breath: Why Verbal Education Only Does Half the Job

9/23/2014 posted in Business, Sales, Marketing


If you’re in business, chances are you spend a good portion of your day delivering verbal education. You may not know what that means, but it doesn’t mean that you don’t do it. Any time you communicate instructions or information verbally – that is, any time you answer a client’s question, provide them with advice, or explain a product or service – you’re teaching them. This fantastic service is what makes you “you” – but it’s also a huge waste of time. So, what should SMEs really be doing?
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How to Lose a Customer in 10 Days

9/18/2014 posted in Business, Sales

 

Have you ever been seen the film “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days”? The premise of it is pretty simple. A journalist is challenged to do everything she can to make her new boyfriend break-up with her. Trying, in effect, to lose a guy in 10 days.

What has this got to do with it? Well think about the last time you were disappointed by a company’s customer service. Whether it’s logistical complications, difficulties getting a straight answer or downright rudeness, it can sometimes feel like companies are doing everything they can to make you take your custom elsewhere.

While we are all quick to notice customer service failing in other organisations, we don’t always notice internal issues until it’s too late. It might be longer than 10 days, but eventually customers will get so frustrated that they take their business somewhere else. Identifying these traits and correcting them as early as possible will help you to keep your customers engaged and happy.

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3 Keys Things to Remember When You’re Fired by Your Best Customer

9/8/2014 posted in Business, Leading, Not Managing, Sales

You were just informed that your company’s best customer sent an email saying they are not happy and are taking their business elsewhere. What do you do next?

Before we answer that question, let’s reflect on what led up to this point with the customer. Most of the proactive interaction with your customer probably involved things that we would never think of doing when they are unhappy. For example, you might regularly send them group emails via BCC saying that you hope they are doing ok. You might have another department call them to up sell additional services. Perhaps you may even send them gifts. Of course, if those “gifts” are in the form of your own branded merchandise, then that’s marketing… not a gift.

As a business leader, you know how to jump into action when a disaster occurs. But, what you do when the customer is almost out the door also offers insight into what you can do to avoid that situation all together.

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Sales Forecasting: How to Take the Hunch Out of the Guesswork

8/20/2014 posted in Business, Sales


How accurate is your sales forecast? Do you know? Actually, let me clarify that: how many of the deals you predict actually come in? Many people fool themselves that if the revenue is within (say) 5% then that is a reasonably accurate forecast. But often, that is not the case.

Closer examination may expose that the actual forecast was, for example, 70% with the other 30% ‘flying in’ from unlisted opportunities.

Once you have assessed the true gap in the accuracy of your forecast you and your teams may wish to consider how to improve it. So, here are some ideas on how:

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Why You Must Get to the Why Question and Avoid the Why Me Question

8/18/2014 posted in Sales

Why did the customer choose company A over companies B or C?

Is the way you sell leading you to the same place every time?

How many times have you reached the final stage of the sales process only to find out there are more hoops to jump through?

For example, they want a reference from someone who's in their exact same industry, the exact same size, with 100% satisfaction over the past two and a half years and they only pay a few thousand pounds a month.

You're think, "Wow, I don't have anyone like that. I'm finished." Right? You don't call them back. You walk away. Or, you make something up.

And, by the way, people are getting pretty fed up with giving references too.

What if we stopped getting to that point, by instead of having the "why me?" discussion, have a "why overall?" discussion.

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How to Make the Sales Questions You Ask a Key Differentiator

8/12/2014 posted in Sales


Let’s face it. By the time your sales person gets to the new prospect meeting it’s likely that they already know about your product from searching the Internet. They’ve done their research and have educated themselves on your company and your competitors – and the solution.

So what does your sales person do? Do they talk about the features of the products, how long you’ve been in business, the happy customers you have – and the price. The truth is probably – and it’s wrong. Prospects don’t’ really care about you or your company. Decision makers don’t care about the awards you have won. Most people don’t care what other companies you have worked with.

Hands up if you’ve ever been in this situation. You win a new customer and then when you asked why did you choose us, their CEO says: “To be honest, you all (competitors included) said pretty much the same things and it wasn’t an easy decision.”

You only have to look at your website and your competitors website to realise that in fact you all look the same. No one says that have unhappy customers and no one says their products are second best.

One way you can differentiate is by encouraging your sales teams to take a different approach.

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Why It's Easier to Succeed with Sales 2.0 Than You Might Think

7/15/2014 posted in Sales

It's no denying that technology has transformed the way that people buy – both for businesses and for consumers. 

At the point of need, buyers now search the internet for solutions and information before making a decision on where to buy a product or service. Infact research by Forrester shows that up to 70% of buying decisions are made in this way.

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