jgugliada's blog

Selling to New Sectors

It is just natural to find a "sweet spot" & focus your business in that direction. Unfortunately these are subject to change over time. Consolidation, global competition, margin struggles etc. may render your sweet spot, something less than that.

Most likely you should be looking for alternative sectors for growth. Many firms avoid this as it comes with much anxiety; new competition, possible product alterations, unknowns (pricing, margins) etc. Unfortunately avoidance will not add anything to your top line.

Prospecting Large Accounts

Many of us in business are always looking to land that one big customer or account. It's the one that puts our business on solid footing for the future.

There are many firms that are successful & unfortunately even more so that are not. I would like to address one of the biggest reasons many fail to "reel in the big fish".

Salespeople- Churn & Burn

First let me upfront & say I am a salesperson at heart & not an HR professional. I can only comment on what I am seeing among friends, colleagues & former employees. I welcome any professional views on the subject.

Over the last 2-3 years, I have seen so much turnover in sales. Granted we are in the midst of some very troubled times but 3-4 positions in 24-30 months!!!

Cross Border Sales

At one time or another, we have been hit with the "it just does translate well". Having a little experience with a foreign language or two, I can understand how some words just do not have the same meaning from one language to another.

One word that I am very familiar with that really does translate well grammatically but not so well strategically; sales & selling.

Selling: Comfort Breeds Trust

I'm not a big believer in the schmoozing method to selling, although I am a true fan of developing professional trust by creating a level of comfort.

By comfort, I do not mean sharing stories about sports, kids or beer consumption. I look to make the client comfortable in my ability & my firm's capability to deliver. Today, it's all about results & managing the business for the client. I'm looking to make the client comfortable on a professional level.

Selling vs Development

I am continually talking to potential clients interested in "selling", "making a sale", "finding new clients" etc. I then proceed to ask them what these things mean to them. Typically I get the "I need to increase revenue" answer.

Well we all want to increase revenue, but, is making a sale the long term answer? Many want to jump right in without a plan or strategy (I have already blogged on that topic). They see the quick sale as the answer to their growth & revenue issues.

US Market Opportunities

Those that are eventually rewarded in this economy continue to see the glass as half full. They never stop developing business & looking for opportunities.

I continue to encounter many that have decided to wait "until things get better". And yes, things will get better, but don't think you will be the only one trying to grab a piece of the pie at that time.

Selling: Art of Listening

Years ago, the sales function went to that character that everybody liked, usually, he/she was "good with people". Translated today to mean a good talker, schmoozer, everyone's buddy etc.

This was the individual that was entrusted to build relationships, take clients out, golf, entertain.. And years ago this worked fine. The world was less complex, sales cycles were short, & orders were a mere paper napkin.

The Account Life Cycle

It is easy to get caught up in the daily problems, activities & issues during the course of the day. In today's complex business world this is perfectly understandable. It is when it becomes the focus of the day, week in & week out that one should become concerned.

Many a business development plan has been left in the dust as owners become consumed by these activities. Growth takes a back seat until it is "needed". Unfortunately, more often than not, it is too late by then.

"Thanks but no thanks"

Having been in sales a good part of my adult life, this was always a difficult concept once I had stepped out on my own. As a corporate employee & then as an owner of a small business, top line revenue growth was always the name of the game. Turning down a sale was not common.