Are You Stuck in the Friendly Networking Trap?

Many of the business owners I have met with during this past year have told me that traditional networking does not work for them, and as a result they are seeking alternatives in an effort to generate more leads, referrals and new business.

Some networking groups tend to be little more than social clubs where friends hang-out for breakfast, lunch or after-hour drinks, rather than venues to build business relationships, share referrals, and establish new partnerships and alliances that will enable them to successfully grow their respective businesses.

Are you stuck in the friendly networking trap? Continue reading…

Have a Personal Plan for Success in 2010

The ball dropped in Times Square at the stroke of midnight, and the tartan-clad gnomes have erased the blackboards, officially ushering in the New Year. It is time to start anew … new hopes, new dreams, and a new list of New Year’s resolutions, goals and challenges awaits each of us.

Yes, it’s hard to believe we are already well into the first full week of 2010. So, what’s next for you? Do you have a personal plan to prepare you for success in 2010 and the new decade ahead? Continue reading…

Top 5 DO and Top 5 DON’T Lists for 2010

The holiday season is a great time for both reflection and renewal, and a perfect time to work on your “lists” of things to accomplish in the new calendar year, while enjoying quality time with family and friends. So, let’s get started on your lists.

Here are my suggested Top 5 DO and Top 5 DON’T lists that I hope will serve as a guide to help you put together your New Year’s resolutions and 2010 goals. Continue reading…

Serious Business Owner or Playing Office?

Most of us think of ourselves as serious business professionals, committed to the success of our businesses. But are we really? Do our actions truly reflect a serious commitment to success?

Are you a serious business owner or playing office?

A Kauffman Foundation study of 549 successful businesses showed that 93% of the business owners surveyed cited “not putting in the time and effort required” as the #2 most common barrier to entrepreneurial success next to failure to take risk. Are you devoting the time and effort required to grow your business and reach your personal and financial goals?

The following is a simple test that should help provide you with some clarity and answers regarding your focus and level of commitment to building a successful business. Continue reading…

6 Tips to Help Keep Your Sales on Track

Every business owner or salesperson needs to continually add new customers and increase sales in order to grow their business. So, it is important to have a well defined sales process to enable you to build consensus with prospective buyers at each critical juncture during the selling process to improve sales results.

Having a well defined sales process will help you improve close rates, shorten sales cycles and enhance the profitability of each sale. Here are some tips to help keep your sales on track: Continue reading…

Make Time for Conversations

Can we talk?

A few short years ago this would have been a ridiculous question. But today in a world that is dominated by “drive by” communications, it has become much more challenging to have a simple conversation.

When was the last time you sat around the dinner table as a family or with friends and just talked? Talked about nothing in particular, just had a conversation? Are you finding it more difficult to get your telephone calls returned, or to get responses to your emails these days? Or, to get someone to take 5 minutes out of their busy day to speak with you?

In this modern era of voice mail, email, text, chat, IM, tweets, etc. we have relegated conversations to sound bytes, 140 characters, or the 30-second elevator pitch. Continue reading…

Do Your Goals Align With Your Vision?

When I think of the challenges most companies face in aligning their organizational goals with the vision for the company, I’m reminded of this quote by Isaac Asimov:

“Life is pleasant. Death is peaceful. It’s the transition that’s troublesome.”

Our mastermind group has been focused on The Visioning Process for the past month or so, and the members have completed weekly exercises to help them re-define the Vision Statement and Mission Statement for their respective companies. As the group has come to experience, it’s hard work to go through the process when taking into account the past, present and future in order to find a better pathway to success.

Do your goals align with your vision? Continue reading…

Sales & Marketing Plan Check-up Time

Now that the 2nd half of the year has begun, it is time for some routine maintenance.

Much the same as your car or home, you should also schedule periodic check-ups of your sales and marketing plans to ensure that you are receiving the optimal performance and results.

These check-ups should be done on a monthly, quarterly and annual basis as part of the business planning process. Regularly scheduled plan reviews will enable you to capitalize on emerging business and market trends, and make necessary course corrections to minimize potential shortfalls.

At a minimum, the areas that are listed below should be audited as an integral part of your business plan reviews to determine your company’s sales and marketing effectiveness. Continue reading…

The 4C’s of Social Media Marketing

For serious entrepreneurs and business owners alike, social media marketing should be all about the 4C’s …

  1. Content
  2. Connections
  3. Conversions
  4. Cash

It starts with knowing your targeted customer profile and how to reach prospective buyers through your social media marketing activities. Rich content will help you get the word out and draw the intended audience to your social media sites, drive additional traffic to your web site, and help you establish key connections that can be converted into cash. Continue reading…

5 Tips to Help You Sell With Purpose

Today’s selling environment is much more challenging and complex than it has been in our history. Buyer’s are highly educated, and the Internet has opened up vast reservoirs of information to the consumers and corporate decision makers to enable them to be better informed when making purchase decisions.

To be effective in selling to a more sophisticated, well educated and informed buyer, you must match or exceed the buyer’s level of knowledge of the products and services you are selling, and be able to articulate how they will directly benefit them and their organization. You have to be able to sell with purpose. Continue reading…