Are My Lips Moving … ?

Are my lips moving and no sounds coming out? That’s a question I am sure most of us have asked ourselves from time to time in attempting to communicate both verbally and in written form with our intended audience.

At times it can be hard to determine if your message is getting through all the noise, particularly when you consider that your prospects are flooded with more than 4,000 messages a day from various media sources.

So, how do you get your voice heard above the noise of the crowd? Continue reading…

Run Through the Tape to Achieve Your Goals

We are fast approaching the time of the year where things really start to get exciting for most businesses. Whether you are making a mad dash to close out the 2010 calendar year strong, or starting your planning cycle for 2011, one thing all business owners should have in common – you better be running!

To stay ahead of the pack, you must have a solid game plan and execute to perfection. Much like the runner, your objective should always be to run through the tape (not to the tape) to achieve your goals and thus improve your odds of winning. Continue reading…

Who Is Responsible for Sales?

If you are a solo entrepreneur the answer to this question is obvious – you are. However, if you’re a business owner or business leader with numerous employees and/or direct reports the answer may not be so straightforward. But it should be.

The short answer is EVERYBODY!!!

Whether you are a small business of one or a large corporation with 100,000+ employees, everybody is directly or indirectly responsible for either driving or supporting sales, regardless of their job title. Unfortunately, far too often this fact gets lost on many companies and employees alike. Continue reading…

Is FREE Still a Great Marketing Tool?

Is FREE still a great marketing and promotional tool or has it lost its luster? I have to admit, I’m on the fence on this one, and could really use some feedback from you.

Back in the “old days” it was a foregone conclusion that price = value. However, we all know market conditions have shifted drastically as a result of e-commerce and more aggressive global competition, to the extent that it is hard to recognize a good value when you see one today, particularly when shopping online. Continue reading…

Selling Beyond the Bid Process

Developing a bid response to a Request for Proposal (RFP) in the private or public sectors is time consuming, resource intensive and in most cases the end result will be a “no sale” unless you are the incumbent, or have established a strong business relationship with the decision-makers in advance.

If you did not write or help the client develop the bid requirements, your chances of winning are less than 20%. Why? Most bids, either directly or indirectly are biased toward another vendor’s products or services. Oftentimes, the incumbent plays a significant role in developing the bid specifications, or it is a bias on the part of the client’s internal team toward a particular solution that influences the bid specifications and the final outcome.

So, how do you increase your odds of winning when you are in a loss position before you even start to formulate a proposal response? The most effective way to improve your win rates in bid situations is to change the ground rules and sell beyond the bid process. Continue reading…

Are You the ‘World Wide Wes’ of Your Industry?

A couple weeks ago I happened to tune into the Mike and Mike in the Morning show on ESPN Radio while in route to a networking breakfast. Jalen Rose, retired NBA basketball player and sports commentator was a guest on the show to discuss where LeBron James will end up if he decides to opt out of his contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

But that was not the most interesting segment of the show to me. The most interesting part of the program was when the conversation shifted to William Wesley (a.k.a. World Wide Wes) and the influence he could have on the decision regarding LeBron James’ basketball future. I’m a big NBA basketball fan, but have to admit I had never heard of Mr. Wesley and neither had the radio show co-host Mike Golic, much to his chagrin, as he would discover a little later in the broadcast. Continue reading…

How to Turn Your Rolodex into Cash

One of my pet peeves is the use of a Rolodex. In many cases they are not utilized effectively as an important business development tool. And in the modern era, the Rolodex has been reduced to little more than an electronic repository for business cards.

Note: For those of you unfamiliar with the term, a Rolodex is a rotating file device used to share business contact information. However, to clarify for this article I consider the Rolodex, business card file and Contacts list interchangeably to mean the same thing.

For years in the corporate world, I listened to executives talk about their “who’s who” list of contacts and the size of their Rolodex, like this somehow made them more important. However, when it came to helping a sales team member with an executive introduction, closing a sale or resolving a customer problem, their Rolodex of business contacts was rarely of any value in helping move things along. Continue reading…

8 Tips to Put Fun Back Into Your Workplace

In the business world, we are notorious for putting fun last on our list of priorities and as a result, never getting to it. We’re so busy during the year trying to meet our sales, revenue, expense, quality and customer satisfaction goals that we don’t schedule time to have fun. That needs to change.

Are you having fun yet? If not, here are some things to consider in order to put fun back into your workplace. Continue reading…

Doing Business the R.I.G.H.T. Way

There is only one way to do business, the right way. But, what exactly does that mean for your particular business situation?

Don Hicks, founder of the Hispanic American Business Development Group in Fort Worth, Texas got me thinking about this topic recently when he posed the question “Would you do business with yourself?” to the group at a networking breakfast. It’s one of those great defining questions that every business owner should take time to reflect upon. Continue reading…

Tips for Starting a Mastermind Group – Part 2

Part 1 of this two-part article focused primarily on the pre-launch planning and preparation necessary to develop a successful mastermind program. Part 2 will provide you with additional tips, suggestions and strategies to consider for both your pre- and post-launch planning endeavors as you and your new mastermind group participants begin to focus on the major elements of the program that will ultimately deliver business value to the members.

A sincere willingness by all members to provide open, honest and respectful communication is an absolute must to enrich the mastermind experience. An open platform for discussion enables business leaders to engage in an active dialogue and information exchange, without reservations. As participants become more comfortable with each other, the group will begin to function as a peer-to-peer Executive Board, offering expert knowledge, guidance, inspiration and support to benefit each member’s particular business situation. Continue reading…