This is how my husband described the meeting space that was secured for the “leadership innovation meeting” he attended. There was no way that environment was going to act as the foundation for innovation or inspiring new thought. In fact, the moment the team walked into the room the life was sucked out of them. So, rather than hitting the ground running, they spent the first ten-minutes rebounding and re-motivating themselves
Noisy (people talking and the sound of milk foaming). Distracting. Confusing.
And, this is how my friend described the coffee shop where a consultant pitched her for business. My friend couldn’t engage, or follow the dialogue because the environment didn’t allow for it. The consultant didn’t win the business. And, the fact that he didn’t have the forethought to select the right meeting venue weighed heavily into her decision not to give him the business. Read more...
These on-demand, third-party services give small companies the ability to lower costs, drive efficiencies, build customer engagement and revenue. They can look and act like much larger organizations. There are numerous use cases when it comes to virtual services. For small businesses seeking ways to leverage virtual services, the following are some of the most compelling ones:
1. Virtual Addresses
Before the rise of virtual addresses, professional addresses were out of sight in terms of cost and simply a long-term dream entrepreneurs put on their list of targets. The same can be said of professional office and meeting space. Small businesses were relegated to permanent office space in subpar locations that made them cringe when clients and partners came to visit.
Virtual office solutions like Davinci Virtual Offices allow small businesses to secure professional addresses in highly desirable locations. And it doesn’t stop with headquarter addresses. Small businesses can seamlessly expand into new locations by leveraging virtual addresses. Read more...
In the “2017 State of Workspace and Communications Services” report TIRO Communications jointly published with Davinci Virtual at the beginning of the year, we noted that technology has disrupted how customers want to communicate with businesses. It does not matter if the business is a global enterprise or a small business; Customers have the same expectations in terms of engagement—in terms of both sales and service. They want to anywhere, anytime, and on any device. They also want multiple engagement options. Offering them a phone number to call isn’t enough.
When it comes to customers on your website, simply offering them static content no longer is sufficient. They expect to have personalized experiences served up to them; product recommendations and content based on their identity and browsing behavior. They also expect to have multiple engagement options—live web chat, email, phone, text, online knowledgebase, and social media. Read more...
Cross training. It’s a term that’s become popular in the health and fitness world, but it originated in the business world. There is some similarity though—cross training can make your business healthier and more fit.
Cross-training involves teaching an employee who was hired to perform one job function the skills required to perform other job functions, according to Inc. magazine’s encyclopedia of business terms.
While you can cross-train your employees across many lines, customer support is perhaps the most vital focus if you want to create an Amazon-like culture of winning with customers.
Think about the big picture. Good customer service is a quasi marketing tool that can drive extreme loyalty. Customers are actively engaging in word-of-mouth marketing over social media channels in the same way news is propagating in near real-time via Twitter. And listening, truly listening, to what your customers are saying can help you retain even the most disgruntled customers—and attract brand new ones. Read more...
Approach each customer with the idea of helping him or her to solve a problem or achieve a goal—not of selling a product or a service. So teaches motivational speaker and sales expert Brian Tracy.
That’s the baseline mantra of any good sales team. But that’s just the baseline. There are many factors that go into building a strategic sales team that drives your top line and ultimately enhances your bottom line. Here are six other considerations:
1. Hire the right people.
Without the “right” people on the team, the team will never see the “right” results. Although you want skilled salesmen in your pack, skills can be taught—motivation cannot. Don’t be afraid to create a team with a blend of seasoned high achievers and less-experienced candidates who are motivated and eager to learn. Read more...
US entrepreneurship hit a 40-year low in 2016. That compares to a 33-year low in 2010. Clearly, business startups are seeing a rapid decline in America.
Some blame the Great Recession but the startups didn’t start up again at historic levels after the economy recovered. Could it be the Amazon effect, where e-commerce is killing small businesses almost as fast as they can start? Are regulations to blame?
Whatever the reason, if you want to succeed as a startup you have one advantage: the landscape is less competitive. But you also have a challenge: it’s more difficult to succeed. You need a rock-solid plan.
A startup business plan has several purposes and goals, according to SCORE, the nation’s largest network of volunteer, expert business mentors. First, it helps you clarify your vision, mission and goals. But it can also help convince investors or lenders to put some financial power behind your business. Read more...
Well-planned and executed offsite meetings deliver tangible returns. The meetings foster ideation and collaboration, produce cohesion around short-and long-term strategies, solve big, complex problems, and align executives that simply don’t happen during day-to-day interactions between staff. But the flip side is also true. With over two-thirds of business meetings categorized as failures by executives, the amount of time and budget squandered on offsite meetings is huge.
So, what are some things that business leaders can do to ensure that their meetings are a success?
1. Consensus on Meeting Objectives
Preparation should begin 60 or 90 days beforehand. Much of what happens before an offsite meeting dictates its success—or lack thereof. Organizations that wait to the last minute almost guarantee that their offsite meetings fail to deliver the returns they desire. And we’re talking about more than setting an agenda, scheduling travel and hotels, and ordering catering. It starts by establishing meeting objectives and gaining consensus on them as well as the agenda. Read more...
Bla, bla, bla, bla. This is what it sounds like when you’re in a meeting and you have no agenda, no end time, and no idea why you’re there. A complete waste of time, right? Well, keep this in mind when you are pitching your next client. Taking complete control over every step of the sales meeting will put your prospect at ease with open ears and an open mind. Below is your Nine-Step framework for an incredibly successful sales meeting.
First: Select a meeting venue and service support that reflects the caliber of your brand.
There are thousands of meeting venues across the nation and indeed the world where you can choose the location, vibe and meeting setting that is in line with the impression you want to establish with your prospective client. You may reserve an intimate meeting room, grand boardroom or something in between by the hour or day. Read more...
Training sessions with your team play a pivotal role in keeping your business on track. Whether one-off sessions focused on specific topics or reoccurring sessions used to keep your team up to date, team training gives you a chance to assess past initiatives, address future goals, fill gaps in skill sets, ensure compliance with industry and labor regulations, and to adjust your business’ direction.
When it comes to the venue for these sessions, offsite training rooms are something many organizations should consider. The following are six reasons why offsite is better than hosting the meetings onsite.
Team Focus in a Training Room.
Training sessions require a lot of focus and quite often involve significant interactions and collaboration. Participants need to roll up their sleeves and drill down into the minute details of business objectives or topics. Hosting these sessions in your place of business can be distracting, with interruptions from other team members or partners or customers who come into the office getting the meeting off track very easily. Offsite meeting rooms give your team the chance to get away from the office and focus on training sessions. Read more...
Amazon.com has built a reputation for customer service. Yes, Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, has built a customer service-focused machine by looking at e-tailing through customer-colored glasses. Salesforce’s Desk.com put together seven statements from Bezos, with explanation, in a blog post entitled, “7 Lessons You Can Learn from Jeff Bezos About Serving the Customer.”
“Amazon’s CEO, Jeff Bezos has taken the philosophy of truly caring for the customer.” writes Kevin Baldacci. “Bezos has built a company from the ground up purely based off of the unbending, unyielding philosophy of serving the customer across all departments. With a 164 million Amazon customers, few would argue Bezos as the key architect of building an authentic, customer-centric company.”
As you train your staff on the customer service front, be sure to keep these proven tactics in mind. Read more...