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Home Archive for category "Sales"

Don’t produce a budget. Map out a Profit Plan. (Part 1)

In our last posting, we talked about building an annual plan around three to five strategic initiatives.  We also suggested that you open up your planning process to as many of your employees as possible . . . don’t restrict it to only you and your top managers.  Make your planning process as inclusive as

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Compensation is an equity issue.

In American business, an individual’s compensation package, particularly among managers and sales people, frequently includes an incentive component.  An example might be a manager who is paid a base salary of $75,000, but is able to earn an additional $25,000 if he or she is able to achieve certain goals or outcomes.  The proposition is,

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That’s your competitive advantage? Really? You sure about that?

We have talked about ”competitive advantage” here before, but it’s been awhile and it’s an important concept that bears repeating. Jaynie Smith is a consultant, best-selling author, and keynote speaker. She is also CEO of her company, Smart Advantage, Inc.  I heard her speak about competitive advantage before a group of a dozen or so

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A good customer/supplier relationship is essentially a partnership

Life is all about relationships, not the least of which are business relationships. We must build relationships with business peers and advisors, with employees, with our vendors and suppliers, and of course, with our customers. But what sort of relationship do we enjoy with our customers? While many like to think they’ve forged a “partnership”

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“Negotiations are built on agreement, not disagreement.”

We tend to associate “negotiating” with lawyers, politicians, and purchasing agents.  But the fact is, we all negotiate.  We negotiate compensation packages for new employees, we negotiate price and terms with our customers, we negotiate bedtimes with our kids, and household budgets with our spouses.  So we all negotiate all sorts of stuff . .

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“Marketing is a contest for people’s attention.”

Good marketing is probably more art than science.  It’s the art of building relationships.  It’s moving prospects along a continuum that begins at “Never heard of ya,” and ends at “Where do I sign?”  The trick is, knowing where along that line a prospect is so that our marketing communication is both appropriate and effective. 

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Are You Doing Things Right or Doing the Right Things?

Let’s be clear.  Doing things right is all about being efficient.  Doing the right things is about being effective.  So it isn’t an either/or situation, is it?  We want both, don’t we?  We want to do the right things and do them right.  After all, why would we want to be very efficient at doing

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Price is an Evil Mistress

Price is an Evil Mistress Setting our price is a conundrum, isn’t it?  If we set our price too high, customers go elsewhere.  If we set it too low, we leave money on the table.  So it’s a tough line to walk, but we all have to walk it.  Wait a minute though, is price

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What causes sales?

Just about every business tracks its sales in some way or another.  But not all of them track what causes sales.  Curious, don’t you think?  If we know what causes sales, we can do more of that (whatever “that” is), and our sales will go up.  So why wouldn’t we want to track what causes

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Time to audit your products/services?

Last time, we talked about the importance of knowing profitability by customer, but what about the products and/or services you sell?  Do you know which lines of business are the most profitable and which are the least?  You may think you know where your profits are coming from, but do you really?  Are you sure? 

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