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...
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...
The workforce is evolving quickly and becoming increasingly more mobile—for both big and small companies. Technological advances enable employees to access company information and to do their jobs from virtually anywhere. One outcome is that workplaces and work spaces are being remade, with some companies getting rid of permanent work space altogether and electing to use co working space, day offices, and rented conference rooms.
The forecast is that this work space evolution will continue. IDC predicts that the U.S. mobile workforce population will grow to over 105 million workers by 2020, accounting for nearly three-quarters of the total workforce. Mobile work takes different forms and occurs from different places.
Some mobile work is done from home offices, while other work is done from rented meeting space and day offices. In these cases, workers access the Internet through private Wi-Fi that is gated and reduces the possibilities of security hacking. But other mobile work is done from coffee shops, public transport, libraries, and other places where public Wi-Fi access is the norm. Growing numbers of cities even offer free Wi-Fi access in downtown areas and other locations. Read more...
Many small businesses, particularly sole proprietors with service businesses, do not have a professional business address but instead use their home address. However, there are some downsides and potential legal issues when doing so. Intuit spells out some of the more prevalent ones in a QuickBooks posting:
Lease and HOA Rules.
Apartment and condo complexes restrict the ability for residents to run a business out of their home (or in this case apartment or condo). Check your lease and home owners’ association (HOA) rules to confirm if there are any restrictions.
Local municipality codes (zoning regulations) in some cities may restrict or prohibit home owners from running a commercial operation out of their homes.
LLCs and corporations may negate the benefits they received by forming a limited liability company or corporation. Those protections only apply if business and personal activities are kept separate. If the courts deem the two are intertwined, then you could be personally liable for business debts and obligations.
Presentation options for businesses and solopreneurs are no longer restricted to Microsoft PowerPoint or Google Docs. And for Mac users wed to non-Microsoft tools, they also have expanded to choices beyond Apple Keynote. Alternatives like Prezi and Emaze provide users with new, innovative ways to tackle presentations.
PowerPoint—and the various alternatives—serve much broader functions than just sales and marketing presentations. As a result, there are myriad ways for which businesses can use presentation solutions. Possibilities include: Read more...
External Business Presentations. Common business scenarios such as sales, analyst briefings, webinars, seminars, briefings, and investor pitches.
Trade Show and Conference Presentations. Conference track and keynote presentations at events and conferences.
Internal Business Presentations. Training, reports on research, activity updates, and internal pitches.
Project management, status reporting, and spreadsheet reports.
Non-Presentations. There are many use cases here such as online photo and image albums, simple brochures or flyers, and even animations.
In 2017, companies are doing everything they can in order to improve their business. One of the things that they have started implementing is chatbots. As you will see, using these devices can certainly add to the way your business communicates with customers.
If you’ve ever used Facebook Messenger, you’ve already used chatbots to do these tasks. Utilizing a chatbot during non-business hours will allow customers to get their first questions answered. As a result, they can start detailed conversations with staff members during live chats. Read more...
You may be laboring as hard as you can to grow your small business—wearing several hats, burning the midnight oil, and otherwise giving it all you’ve got—but you may also be shooting yourself in the foot with common, yet costly marketing mistakes.
It’s time to reassess what you’re doing right, wrong—or not at all. It’s time to reconsider what you should be doing that you aren’t and what you shouldn’t be doing that you must. Take heart, these marketing mistakes are common to small businesses—but you don’t have to keep making them.
1. Neglecting a Strategic Marketing Plan:
You can have the best products and most compelling services in your local market, but a big idea alone doesn’t make successful small business. You need to get the word out about your products and services, or you may as well work under a rock. Read more...
I’m overloaded. There’s way too many demands on me in comparison to the number of hours in a day. At the same time, I’m committed to eating right and sleeping well—and not burning out. In other words, I’ve learned that burning the candle at both ends does not a long-term successful business make.
That’s why I’m reading a book right now that’s absolutely changing my life—not just my business life but my entire life. It’s called Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity.
David Allen penned a time-management method that is more suitable for the modern age in which we live. Admittedly, the Getting Things Done (GTD) model is challenging at times to apply but will set your brain free to create and execute on more than you ever thought possible if you adopt it. Read more...
Building your own startup isn’t an easy process. If anyone tells you different, they aren’t being honest. There are an enormous number of variables at play, and unfortunately sometimes luck isn’t on your side.
Between funding, market health, brand awareness, staffing, and consumer recognition, building a company from the ground up is always a gamble. The hard data tells the same story. Depending on your definition of success, anywhere from 40-90 percent of startups fail.
Well, independence for one. The ability to control your own destiny is very appealing to many Americans. Then there’s the 10-60 percent of startups that actually succeed. These are the companies glorified on investor television programs such as Shark Tank. Read more...
Small businesses are the engine that drives the U.S. economy. Employing 55% of all workers, 28 million small businesses account for 54% of all sales in the country today. And the future of small businesses is bright: they have created 66% of all net new jobs since the 1970’s and have increased in number by 49% since 1982. When compared to their much larger counterparts, this success stands in even greater light: mid-size and large businesses have eliminated four million jobs since 1990, while small businesses have added eight million new jobs.
Wow! These are some pretty impressive statistics. Small business owners should take a moment and congratulate themselves for all of this success. But they shouldn’t take very long; it takes a lot of organization to run a small business. Indeed, those that succeed often are the ones that are the most organized. With better organization, a small business can focus on strategic initiatives and its customers. Read more...