Networking: Stop ‘Bobbing for Apples’

If you sign-on to Meetup.com, you’ll find there are approximately 130,000 Meetups (884 within 25 miles of my office) happening at any given time that represent opportunities to network and build great new relationships.

With this over-abundance of networking opportunities at our disposal, why do many small business owners struggle to make networking work for them?

The short answer is that most are not prepared for success when they walk through the door. Yes, networking can be time-consuming, frustrating and expensive if you don’t take the time to adequately prepare in advance.

Bobbing for Apples

As my good friend Jeff Klein, the author of ’30 Seconds to Success’ and the founder of Speaker Coop says, “There are only two reasons to network – to get referrals and give referrals”. Continue reading…

Priming the Pump for 2016

Your location is not your destination.” – Laverne Booker

This great quote and self-help book title by Laverne Booker is a perfect lead-in for our conversation about preparing for success in 2016.

Yes, it’s already that time again. Time flies when you’re having fun, right? The fourth quarter is upon us, so it is time to start thinking about 2016 and what opportunities and challenges a new calendar year will bring forth.

Priming the Pump

“There is no elevator to success, you have to take the stairs.” – Zig Ziglar

As I have said many times before, great results and success boil down to three active ingredients – great people + great planning + great performance. This basic formula for success is straightforward, but there are a lot of steps in-between that are necessary to reach the destination. Continue reading…

Get Your Head Out of the Cloud

Get your head out of the Cloud! Yeah, I’m talking to you (and me) and everyone else out there. Whether your business is online, offline or both, we all need time away from the keyboard and out in the ‘real world’ in order to effectively grow our businesses.

Although it has been said many times over that advancements in technology have brought us closer together, I contend that it has done just the opposite. While technology has made it easier for us to engage machine-to-machine and automate various aspects of our daily work lives, it has also diminished the “human touch” in the process.

The Cloud2

At the end of the day, however, building a profitable, scalable and sustainable business still comes down to people and the human interaction that happens in the marketplace between consumers and suppliers. That personal connection is still a key differentiator. Continue reading…

Let the 2nd Half Begin …

“Every success is built on the ability to do better than good enough.” – Unknown

Let the 2nd half begin … and so it has!! Sorry all of you raving NFL fans, it is not football season just yet. We’re talking about the 2nd half of the calendar year and you know what that means? It is time to step up the action!!!

 

Time to get serious about closing out the year strong and setting the stage for an even better new year to follow. Much the same as in sports, why do we humans always seem to have a greater sense of urgency in the 2nd half (of the year) than we do in the first half?

Most would say it’s a result of their efforts to recover from a slow start, an unexpected downturn in business or a major setback that put them behind in reaching their annual goals. I say it is simply human nature. We all go through cycles in life and business, ebbs and flows, much like the four seasons. As a result, our pace or sense of urgency is largely influenced by the cycle we are currently in, and how we are performing.

How can we create a greater sense of urgency for ourselves and our respective teams regardless of the business cycle? Continue reading…

Your Sales Pipeline Is Your “Lifeline”

Yes, your sales pipeline is truly your lifeline for future business success. You have heard me say this many times before, no sales forecast = no business; no sales pipeline = no business!”

We are heading towards a world of perfect knowledge. With a trillion sensors gathering data everywhere (autonomous cars, satellite systems, drones, wearables, cameras), you will be able to know anything you want, anytime, anywhere, and query that data for answers and insights. Yet with all this information available at our fingertips, many solopreneurs and small business owners today know very little about where their new business revenues will come from next week, month, quarter and so forth.

Why? Because far too many business owners don’t have an accurate sales pipeline to forecast and monitor their progress.

Who Wants Customers for Life2

How can you be expected to make intelligent decisions about where and how to invest in your business without accurate data available to predict monthly inflows (revenue) from sales and outflows (expenses)? The short answer is you can’t! Continue reading…

Dear Prospect: Let’s Get Hitched

Let's Get Hitched2

No not literally, figuratively. It is April Fool’s Day after all.

We speak and write a lot these days about sales “engagement”. However, we should be devoting more time and emphasis to the ‘S’ word – “sales”, in order to consummate the relationships with prospective customers.

“We become what we think about most of the time.”

I’m playing with words here to touch upon the major point of this article. Studies have shown that most of us have tens of thousands of thoughts each day. However, the vast majority are exactly the same as we had yesterday, or the days before. In effect, our actions tend to follow our thoughts (and our words). Continue reading…

Competition Is Not a Bloodsport

Unlike the early days of the industrial revolution, competition is not a bloodsport in the rapidly evolving, global marketplace of today. Instead, coopetition and collaboration have become the watchwords for this new era of global expansion and commerce.

When AT&T first entered the computer industry in the mid-1980s, it was their clear intent to dominate an industry controlled by IBM, Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC), Unisys, Wang, Data General and others. Although AT&T had been the defacto market leader in telecommunications since its inception, they soon learned that different rules of engagement applied in the computer business.

Fencing Sport

In order to survive and thrive as a new entry into the computer industry, AT&T had to learn to “plug and play” with everyone, including its direct competitors. To meet their over-arching business goals it was no longer about crushing the competition, but more about developing collaborative solutions that addressed the needs of the marketplace, by working together.

You don’t become a market leader in today’s fast-paced global economy by attempting to lord over the competition or your customers. Continue reading…

The Value of One More Day

The value of one more day. If you were granted one more day, what would you do with it and what value would you place on it?

Value of LifeIt is an age-old question, “what is the value of a human life”? The calculation seems to be fairly straightforward, or is it? Back in 2008, Stanford economists demonstrated that the average value of a year of quality human life is about $129,000 vs. $50,000 for the insurance industry.

So, just take this figure and multiple it by the average life span in years, and there you have it – the value of a human life. However, real life doesn’t work that way and the answer to the value of one more day would certainly vary for each individual.

“When you realize the value of all life, you dwell less on what is past and concentrate more on the preservation of the future.” – Dian Fossey

So back to the original question, if you were granted one more day, what would you do with it and what value would you place on it? Continue reading…

Relaunch of the Business Leaders Forum℠

Are You Passionate About Spending More Time Working ON Your Business And Learning Strategies To Help You Achieve The Results To Move Beyond Your Vision?

Growing a business in today’s challenging economic climate can be a daunting task for any business leader. Are you struggling to find the right formula for success to take your business to the next level and beyond? Do you need expert advice to help you …

  1. Develop a “game plan” to improve your sales and profits outlook, launch new products or services, and/or marketing initiatives?
  2. Change your business direction, enter new geographic markets or develop new sales channels?
  3. Get a new business venture started and develop the blueprint that will lead to future prosperity and growth?
  4. Develop new leadership skills and competencies, and discover YOUR personal plan for success?

The Business Leaders Forum mastermind program can help you address these critical business challenges, and achieve the results to move beyond your vision in a balanced way!

I know what you’re thinking … here we go again with yet another hollow sales pitch that makes wild claims but delivers little to no value in return. Well, not this time! The Business Leaders Forum℠ is a proven strategic mastermind program first launched in September, 2009 that has helped numerous entrepreneurs, small business owners and business leaders over the past several years dramatically improve business performance, while helping them achieve their personal and professional goals.

NOW, we have incorporated the very best elements of this highly regarded mastermind program into a new, advanced business leaders’ series. Continue reading…

Prospecting: Like Hunting for Werewolves

Prospecting can sometimes feel like hunting for werewolves, particularly if there is no full moon. And what better time to talk about werewolves than at Halloween, right?

Yes, prospecting can be a scary, time consuming and frustrating process. There are lots of ghouls, goblins and things that go bump in the night out there that can derail your efforts to secure new business and achieve your revenue goals. If you don’t have a solid game plan to reach your intended targets, you can spend a lot of time, energy and resources chasing your tail, with little or no return on investment (ROI).

Werewolf Marketing

So, what is the best way to maximize the return on your prospecting investment, and avoid getting caught in the jaws of the prospecting beast? Continue reading…