Ask a group of professional services providers how much of their business comes from existing clients and the answers usually will be 60%, 70%, 80%, or even more. Then ask them how much time they put into nurturing those same clients and the answers will be a little, not much, or none. Finally, ask why they spend so little time building relationships when there is potential for so much new business and the answers will be:
“Don’t want to be a pest.”
“Don’t have the time.”
“I am not sure what to do to keep in touch.”
“I feel like a stalker.”
Obviously, doing great work is the first step in keeping in the best graces of your clients. But client loyalty can be fleeting and is not something you should take for granted.
There are thousands of ways to kill a sale. Some are obvious like not showing up to a meeting prepared, not following up, not listening, not establishing trust, going to proposal too early, not speaking to decision makers… the list goes on. These are all pretty easy to see and with some work and practice can be overcome.
Then there are the killers that hide beneath the surface that many sellers and sales managers do not even know exist. They are the sales weaknesses that are a part of an individual salesperson’s makeup that act like weights pulling them down.
By: John Tabis founder and CEO of The Bouqs Company, a cut-to-order online flower delivery service.
It’s difficult to launch a new business. And it can seem even more challenging to innovate in an industry where other companies are already well-established (and with deep pockets). But I say do it anyway.
Small businesses added 75,000 jobs last January, according to payroll company Automated Data Processing. If things have been looking up at your organization, you may be eyeing a few new potential staff members as well. If you’ve been on the sidelines in the hiring game these past few years though, you might want to take a few moments to review some best practices for your expanding team. Here are seven tips for effective hiring at your small business.
Accepting every potential customer is a recipe for disaster, not a growth strategy.
Does the hunger for a sale ever get in the way of finding clients that are a good fit for you and your business? Any business owner can be seduced into making a sale when a prospect expresses interest, especially when you’re just starting out or are in your early years of growth. Yet, some clients can be challenging to work with, aren’t profitable or just don’t fit for a variety of reasons.
Not every sales lead is worth your time or effort, so qualifying leads is an essential part of any growth strategy. Here are some guidelines I’ve developed to qualify leads and ensure the client is a good fit for our company strategically: Continue reading
Most folks reading this will know that many startups were built in part with the help of venture capital
. Most attention goes to tech companies ranging from Google to Genentech, but some non-tech companies like FedEx and Starbucks also raised VC early in their lives.
However, many folks probably don’t think about exactly where those VC dollars that help fund startups actually come from. So I wanted to dive a little deeper into what I call the startup capital supply chain. I’ve had a version of this post in my “drafts” folder for some time, but the confluence of three unconnected things (more on these later) prompted me to finally finish and publish it.
For the elite startups and entrepreneurs who manage to attract the investor they dream of and survive the term sheet negotiation, there is still one more hurdle before the money is in the bank. This is the mysterious and dreaded due diligence process, which can kill the whole deal. In reality, it is nothing more than a final integrity check on all aspects of the business and the team.
Some entrepreneurs do very little to prepare for due diligence, assuming all the talking has already been done, and the business plan and results to date tell the right story. Others schedule exhaustive training sessions for the team, including showcase customers, to make sure that everyone paints a consistent picture. My best advice is to stick to the middle ground.