Tips from the Top®: Small Business Tips From Business Owners For Business Owners
Sales: What Is It All About
Some companies feel that sales are all about the Feeds and Speeds -- or the Features, Advantages and Benefits of the offering. This may be true for product sales, but for professional services, one must first build the trusted relationship with the prospect. How can one do that if the discussion immediately progresses to what we call the Hard Deliverables? The Soft Deliverables (which are more difficult to deliver) must be explored early, even if the prospect does not realize that it is going on. Soft Deliverables are much more than simply bonding and building rapport (sameness, safety and a common communication language). They are about demonstrating Credibility, Reliability and a desire to Care about the prospect’s best interest. Understand that the prospect cares far less about what you know than knowing that you care!Read more
Perspective is Key
When considering changes to staff and organizational structure, keep in mind that the process is often iterative. Once we rearrange responsibilities and tasks, we might then be able to see other options that previously couldn't be seen. If you decide to change direction, tell the team about getting a new perspective and finding an even better way forward. Don't be afraid to change direction.Read more
Having a Difficult Time with Work/Life Balance?
Include Vendors in Planning
Make coordination with your vendors easier by including them in your online planning. We include our advertising agency on our Trello boards and this helps us stay in synch more easily.
Keys to Success
As your company grows, retention of the best people is one of the keys to success. It is a good idea to conduct an annual HR audit - identifying those that are high performers, those that are not. For the performers, what is their career progression within the company? Work on a plan with the performers to increase the odds of them staying.
Holding Employees Accountable
Make sure you have a good Quality Assurance program in place to measure performance and bring visibility to any gaps. Then you can address the gaps.
After getting a well-functioning executive team in place, consider hiring a CEO and simply being the owner (i.e. holding company) for your company.