Who Leads Your Sales Conversations? You or Your Prospects

When you really break it down, a salesperson who has the highest lead to sales conversions is doing one thing better than everyone else: leading the sales conversation. If you, in your sales role, or your salespeople are not leading the conversations you’re having with prospects, then the only other thing that can be happening is that the prospect is leading. There are only two options. When the prospect leads, the conversation is driven by whatever happens to be on the prospect’s mind, and that may or may not serve the result. The prospect is not focused on the result you’re there to produce. For example, she may be consumed by what she wants you to know about her, yesterday’s difficult department meeting, this morning’s argument with her husband as they left for work, the dinner plans she has for this evening, and yes, the thing she would rather be doing than speaking with you. We all have a finite amount of attention. If you’re not leading, you’re giving your prospects too much room to fill the available space in their hearts and minds with things that won’t lead to a ‘Yes’, even if your product or service is a real solution to their real problem.

Topics: Sales

Read More

The Sales Conversation You Don't Know You're Having

How well do you know what’s really going on in your sales department? Whether you’re a solopreneur or you’ve got a team of salespeople responsible for bringing in new business, how much do you really understand about how your sales staff (which might only be you) engages with people introduced to your products or services for the first time? Have you ever explored what your sales process actually communicates to prospects about your values, or how that makes a difference in your sales? If you’re looking for ways to increase your sales or your lead to sale conversions, it might help to take a look, in a very granular way, at the subtle messages you or your salespeople are sending to prospects that you may not have thought about before.

Topics: Sales

Read More

Are You Open to Getting More Sales?

Isn’t it curious that sales, the lifeblood of every small business, is so damn hard to get right? You started your business because you believed you could make or do something that other people wanted, but then you struggle to find a way to talk about it with them so they’re moved to say, “How can I get some of that?” You want so badly to connect with prospective customers. You want so sincerely to experience your salespeople connecting with them. And, it hardly ever feels like there’s enough connection going on, enough excitement about the product or service you’re so invested in, enough prospects turning into customers.

Topics: Sales

Read More

Stop Waiting for the Perfect Salesperson

It’s not hard to agree with the idea that your business needs systems. But, when it comes to sales, small business owners often have a lot of difficulty really getting behind creating a comprehensive sales system or sales process. Naturally, nobody wants their salespeople to sound ‘canned’. It’s much more thrilling to dream about finding salespeople who will just know how to bring in your best customers and create exponential growth for you because they have that magical gift of getting people to buy.

Topics: Sales

Read More

Stop Overpaying Your Small Business Taxes

The money you make in your business is hard-earned. It’s the reward for all of the sales calls, difficult client deadlines and customer support challenges. So it’s hard to give it up to anyone—least of all the government. Yet, taxes are a part of doing business in almost every country on earth. And we want you to focus on one thing: keeping as much of your money in your pocket as possible by taking advantage of every possible legal method of reducing your year-end tax bill.

Topics: Managing Money

Read More

The Money Tools and Teammates You Can't Afford to Live without

If, after reading part one and part two in this series, you’re starting to see the value in better understanding your financial performance, then we’re in a good place to move forward. If you’re thinking, “Sure, that all sounds good, but there’s no way I have time to put this much energy into tracking and thinking about my money—nor the ability to pay someone else to do it,” then you need to stop and reconsider. Wearing several hats is part of the art of running any small business, but there are tools you can use and people you can add to your financial team to make all of this possible with minimal resources and maximum efficiency.

Curious? I’m glad. The first principle to recognize is automate, automate, automate. The more you take these valuable—but admittedly time consuming—processes and automate them, the more you will be able to see the value in your data without feeling the pain. In the not-too-distant past, getting any information out of your accounting system was a nightmare. Data input involved long hours of tedious work—or hefty fees paid to bookkeepers to do it for you. But in this web 2.0, cloud-based, app-driven business ecosystem, there’s no reason to keep your accounting records in Excel or tape expense receipts to a piece of paper. And by leveraging these systems to automate financial functions, you’ll use your money and time in a smart way—allowing you to put more time into growing your business.

Topics: Managing Money, Technology

Read More

How Healthy Is Your Small Business?

Perhaps you use Google Analytics to track every visitor to your website, right down to the country they’re visiting from. Maybe you even use wearable technology and a smartphone to measure the steps you take in a day or how much sleep you get at night. But what are you doing to measure the financial health of your business? If your only measure of financial performance is the revenue you generate each month or the balance in your bank account, you’re missing out on a wealth of information about your business.

Financial statements and metrics are more than just numbers that go up or down month after month: they tell a story about your financial health, your ability to grow, and your ability to sustain and weather trying times. This information can help you build an awareness about your business finances. For most small business owners, it makes sense to “check in” at least once a quarter. The reason is that when you look at things at too granular a level, small variances can be distracting. It’s better to let things ebb and flow in a natural way, and to look at the development of your business over three month periods.

Topics: Managing Money

Read More

Not Good with Money? Are You Good with That?

How many times have you heard or said, “I’m just not a money person?” It’s a common expression and an easy escape hatch to fall through when you’re faced with spreadsheets full of numbers and formulas. But it’s a phrase, and an attitude, that you’re going to have to change if you want to grow your business to the next level.

The truth—one that many people wish they could ignore—is that money is the blood that pumps through every part of your business. It fuels your marketing efforts and product initiatives. It keeps the lights on. And, hopefully, it pays the wages that support everyone in the business, including you, with a quality of life you’re proud of.

Topics: Managing Money

Read More

Is Marketing Automation the Silver Bullet You're Looking For?

There are a lot of things marketing automation software can do for you. It can help you increase traffic, educate and inspire potential customers, and give you a microscopic view of what happens at every step of your buyer’s journey.

But like all good things, it’s not quite that simple. It takes a real investment of time, attention and money. It won’t create content for you. And it won’t tell you who your real buyers are. In short, you can get a lot out of it—but only if you put the right things into it first.

Topics: Brand, Marketing, Technology

Read More

Looking for the Perfect Customer? Look No Further.

It’s never been easier to chase after the wrong customers. With the explosion of online marketing tools, you and your team can spend all day (and all night) doing it. Which is why it’s never been more important that you have something—or more specifically, someone—to guide you. The challenge for today’s business owner is to get to know your customer in far deeper ways than you’ve ever done before.

Topics: Brand, Marketing

Read More