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How selling professional can stop struggling to create and keep profitable customers, simple strategies that turn every business relationship into profits guaranteed.
Absenteeism is a symptom of poor relationship management on the part of both employees and the employer. This is a very serious problem costing you thousands per year, even producing additional discontent and reducing your overall productivity. Fortunately, absenteeism doesn't have to cripple your business:
(Continue ... A Quick Guide To Reducing Absenteeism)
Even before your sales presentation or first customer interaction, you need to know exactly what prospects expect to receive from your product or service. It is naive to assume your sales people know the specific touch points for each prospect-- but asking the right questions will make a huge difference to prequalify prospects.
(Continue ... Close More Sales With Needs Analysis Questions)
Only skin-deep? Attractiveness pays off, researchers find [IHT: Business]
People want to please attractive people, fortunately the level of ones physical attractiveness is relative within social groups. Attractiveness is also measured by your actions. If you appeal to your employees, you're more likely to be followed.
(Continue ... Look Sharp To Improve Business Relationships)
Your engineers know things about your product that your customer must know to make an educated buying decision. Encourage engineering teams to work with your companies sales and marketing resources.
(Continue ... What Your Engineers Know About Improving Sales)
Technical companies are outsourcing labor, imports are bring you the materials you need, and finished goods are exported around the world. World trade is easier than ever, it's important to build relationships around the world.
(Continue ... Tips For Doing Business In China Or Any Other Country)
Employers know that overworked employees often make mistakes. There is a balance between production and your peoples ability to provide it.
(Continue ... Getting The Most From Your People Without Burning Them Out)
Serious Consequences In Failing To Prove Marketing ROI. Failure to define 'return on investment' prevents effective measurement of B2B marketing. (ChannelMinds, August 19th 2003)
You already know how to do what will bring more profits to your business. Regular readers will notice the perpetual theme of cultivating customer relationships and high-skilled employees.
(Continue ... Go Back To Basics For Marketing ROI)
Latin Proverb. "If the wind will not serve, take to the oars." [Motivational Quotes of the Day]
Ideally you want profitable customers pounding down your door, demanding your products and services to the point you can't delivery anymore. Customers so loyal that they ignore small mistakes and work with you on bigger ones. Imagine how much revenue you could generate if you had even a handful of customers like this.
(Continue ... Seek Out Your Most Profitable Customers)
'Big Bang' Works Best. Trying to improve your supply chain operations? A new study says bold action yields a bigger ROI than incrementalism. [Computerworld CRM News]
While bold actions can yield larger returns, there are several issues to consider when reading about Booz-Allen Hamilton's results:
(Continue ... Take Big Bold Actions, But Don't Gamble)
Your organizations fixed costs are one things you can control in your business. Often managers are overly concerned with cost reductions and remove the wrong things. These wrong things include:
(Continue ... Common Fixed Costs Cut By Hasty Managers)
Raz, Tahl. The 10 Secrets of a Master Networker (Inc. Magazine, Jan 2003)
Strong networking skills are necessary in both on-line and off-line communities, in this abstract we'll explore the strategies used by one well-connected mogul Keith Ferrazzi. Includes commentary relevant to building business-to-business relationships.
(Continue ... The 10 Secrets Of A Master Networker (Abstract))
Networking: Greater incentive to meet face-to-face. About how e-networking may be working counter to networking, here are a few concerns raised by a few articles and debates. [Kaleem Aziz's blog at Ecademy]
In the never ending debate: networking on-line in communities like Ryze, Ecademy, or even the Coaching Forum on "Applying Strategic Relations" may or may not contribute to mutually beneficial relationships. On-line communities are easy to use, accessible from anywhere and bring people from diverse geographic locations to your desktop. However, it shouldn't replace physical networking.
(Continue ... Does Convenience Dilute Relationship Value?)
At any point you communicate with customers you should collect certain information that improves your ability to serve their needs. While consumers quickly become concern about their privacy, business-to-business customers expect you to use this information to their benefit.
(Continue ... Turn Data Collection Into Customer Relationships)
Boeing's anti spam spin off takes flight. The aerospace giant launches its anti spam spin off, MessageGate, a commercialized version of the software the company uses internally to fight unsolicited email. [CNET News.com]
While Boeing is involved with custom software development projects for the military, and many government contractors regularly seek commercially viable products, spinning off their new anti spam software is a smart decision.
(Continue ... Stay Focused On Your Core Business)
Recognition of a pitch: Branding. In So much for branding Seth comments on an article about how irrelevant branding can be in today's over-advertised world. [inluminent]
The message you share with your customers should guide your employees and draw out the most qualified customers. It should identify your organization with the unique reason to do business with your company. Your message should clearly identify your business in the mind of buyers.
(Continue ... What Does Your Message Mean To Customers?)
Brandt On Leadership -- Are You A Pricing Pussycat?. Toughen up with these three rules on protecting your margins. [IndustryWeek - Articles & Columns]
John Brandt brings up a number of great points on pricing, including how to maximize your profits. Skipping interesting story about Louie DePalma, the dispatcher on the television series Taxi, here are the points you should take away:
(Continue ... Are You A Pricing Pussycat? (Abstract))
A Benchmarking Tip: Compare Expenses Against Gross Profits, Not Revenue (Culpepper Report, July 17, 2003)
I talk a lot about helping you build profits, but (a) what are profits and (b) what ratios should you use to measure them. I've worked with companies who measured profits in every way imaginable, including profits against payroll, expenses against revenue, profits verse revenue, and at least ten other ways. I am sure you will agree, every company measures everything differently, but let me share one measure that has worked for my clients.
(Continue ... Revenue Is Great, But Compare Expenses Against Gross Profits)
I've been swapping around experiences with Lee LeFever, an Online Communications Planning Consultant. The following are great resources for using your website to develop business relationships.
(Continue ... Communications On-Line Must Be Clear To Build Relationships)
This satire demonstrates a long-term plan for the use of strategic relations methods correctly implemented but for the wrong purposes. This is a hypothetical situation based on current outsourcing trends and isn't representational of any real company, nor is it consulting advice.
(Continue ... How To Become The Next Technology Leader (Satire))
Most organizations don't consider customer satisfaction as part of the business process. Often employees are overly focused on daily fires, rather than the desires of your customers.
Here are a few strategies to involve employees in customer satisfaction:
(Continue ... How Employees Can Embrace Customer Satisfaction)
Help Wanted. Maybe the talk about jobs and the need for more of them is a way to obscure a darker issue: what globalization will ultimately do to the American middle class. By Walter Kirn. [New York Times: Business]
Two things I advocate (and expressed in Walter Kirn's Help Wanted article) are:
(Continue ... Too Much Outsourcing Is Bad For Your Revenue)
Common Craft - Online Communication Planning: What is an Online Community?. Another excellent explanation complete with a great illustrative example. [Roland Tanglao: KLogs]
Online communities help share information on a specific topic, connect individuals for mutually beneficial relationships, and can help you achieve a common interest. While on-line communities can extend your reach across geographic boundaries, don't forget your local community networks.
(Continue ... Online communities can be just as useful as local events)
Counter-Googling - the next marketing wave?!?. Counter-Googling is using search engines to do background research on individuals. [Roland Tanglao: KLogs]
I've integrated Google and numerous other search engines into my customer relationship management system, for years, it has helped me do background research before sales calls and meetings. I highly recommend you use public information to better understand the needs and desires of your customers.
(Continue ... You May Already Have Access To Customer Secrets)
Judy Garland. "Be a first rate version of yourself, not a second rate version of someone else." [Motivational Quotes of the Day]
Too many companies are worried about what the competitor are doing instead of being focused on what their customers are demanding. It doesn't matter what someone else is doing when you are doing your best.
(Continue ... Be A Unique Business Focused On Your Customer Desires)
Customer feedback is gold to your business, it provides great?value for the small amount of time it takes to collect. Use feedback to learn more about how your customer thinks. To gather regular feedback that can help your business, encourage feedback that:
(Continue ... Ways Customer Feedback Helps Your Company)
The Need to Build Relationships in Today's Market. by Al Fox and Mike Cuccia, August 12, 2003 [MarketingProfs.com]
You'll see over the next few months that "experts" will reduce business relationships into a few steps, or even clich?as they have done with customer relationship management (CRM) and enterprise resource planning (ERP). It doesn't have to be that way, and there is no quick fix.
(Continue ... The Need To Build Relationships In Today's Market (Abstract))
10 things a tech-savvy executive should know by Isaac Cheiftz [StarTribune: Business]
Often the CIO is the most tech-savvy executive in any company, however, it is important to be familiar certain technical insights. This abstract will share Isaac Cheifetz's original strategies plus some commentary.
(Continue ... 10 Things A Tech-Savvy Executive Should Know (Abstract))
You are probably busy, have limited resources, and really can't afford to spend several hours a day laboring through current news. With so many news channels most issues are over covered, too much information for a single company to consolidate while still providing for customers. Fortunately a number of newsletters are available to help you turn current events into powerful strategies.
(Continue ... Current News Can Teach You About Business Relationships)
The New Focus Is on Customer Services. These days everyone seems to be defined as a customer. A bank-account holder, a commuter, an online shopper, an end user of corporate IT systems -- one thing that unites all these people is their status as a customer. And the one thing that all customers want, and expect, is "service." [CRMDaily]
"Acronyms are the secret language of the obscure, designed to degrade those not in the know. Describing a thing in a way understood by all is inclusive and as valuable as gold." -- Justin Hitt, 2003.
It is not clear to me why we rename things that already are known. I guess it makes old concepts new against. This articles introduces ITSM and ITIL, two acronyms I don't want to hear a single customer of mine use. But for your reference:
(Continue ... The New Focus Is On Customer Services (Abstract))
Preserve the Data Warehouse. BI capabilities embedded in transactional systems degrade confidence [Intelligent Enterprise Magazine]
Advanced Analytics Return to BI. BI tools are quietly gaining statistical depth, but exploiting the new possibilities isn't straightforward [Intelligent Enterprise Magazine]
Aristotle. "For the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them." [Motivational Quotes of the Day]
Your organization is like a person in that it has a common intelligence composed of all it's members. Most processes are learned overtime and implemented according to an individuals understanding over exact progression. To change the way people do things, it is often better to help them learn new procedures through adjusting what they are already doing.
(Continue ... Improve Adoption Through Reinforced Learning Strategies)
A Professor Takes Aim at Corrosive Silence. Leslie A. Perlow, an associate professor at the Harvard Business School, has made a career analyzing how people behave at work. By Claudia H. Deutsch. [New York Times: Business]
I recently saw Bartleby by Outrider Pictures on the Sundance Channel and was amazed. It is a recreations of Herman Melville's Bartleby the Scrivener, set in our modern times, filmed 2001. The original book is about a law clerk who gradually "prefers not to" work, it's wrought with both social and business relationship context.
(Continue ... A Professor Takes Aim At Corrosive Silence (Abstract))
Parr, Christopher, et. al. Trust me, You chose me (Ecademy, Draft Article and Discussion)
While this discussion is still quite fluid, Christopher Parr and those contributing their comments have some excellent insights on trust in business relationships.
(Continue ... Cultivating Trust In An Age Of Skepticism)
Co-operation and survive!. What happens when you are faced with tremendous competition? Do you fight tooth and nail, or find alliance partners to fight together? [seamusphan.com magazine]
Things you forgot you knew about collaborative cooperation:
(Continue ... What You Forgot You Knew About Collaborative Cooperation)
Andrea Bocelli. "All that counts in life is intention." [Motivational Quotes of the Day]
Andrea Bocelli is a musician who grew up on a family farm in a close knit family in rural Tuscany. Bocelli was wrong about intention.
(Continue ... All That Counts In Business Is Intention Balanced By Action)
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