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Build Your Business by Building Relationships

by Trilogy Partners on Jul 31, 2018 1:42:46 PM

One consistency among Trilogy clients and owners of ANY size business is that they often struggle with how to grow their business.

All too often, we hear, “I make so many cold calls,” “I network at so many events,” “I’m always on social media, posting about all our valuable services to clients,” “I send so many follow-up emails,” Yet they’re not reaching their business growth goals.

Does any of this sound familiar?  If so, here are five tips to help you achieve your business development goals:

EMBRACE YOUR NICHE: Too many business owners try to be all things to all people. They’re afraid that if they sound too “niche,” or narrowly-focused, they’ll miss out on some business opportunity. And that’s a shame, because prospects hire experts. So, if you want to grow, identify the industries, practice areas, and offerings you know better than your competition. Make sure you’ve got the results, proof, case studies, and ecstatic clients to back up your claim. And if you’re not comfortable with the idea of a niche, just think of it as your “Expertise Area.”

NETWORK WITH YOUR PROSPECTS: While there’s a benefit from networking with one’s peers, and I’d never discourage you from doing so, make sure that the majority of the time you’re networking with your prospects. Don’t be afraid of being the only “you” in the room. In fact, that’s exactly what you want.

DON’T JUST NETWORK, GET ACTIVE: Some define networking as joining groups, attending events, and so on. I don’t believe that’s enough to drive business, because you’re limiting yourself to the few you meet during the reception, or with whom you sit during the meal. Instead, 1) Seek out speaking engagements to any group that’s worth your joining (and see the point above to help determine that); and 2) Get active with that group! Volunteer to serve on a committee that allows you to demonstrate your knowledge, and even consider ultimately running for the group’s board. It’s far better to be well known in one or two groups, then be an inactive member of many groups.

ALWAYS BRING VALUE: Whether in a speech before your prospects, at a roundtable, or in writing your blog, shift from what you want to say about yourself and your company, to what will bring the prospect value and help them succeed in their business. When you do so consistently, the prospect will be more interested in knowing about you and your business.

MAKE IT PERSONAL: Although you’re hoping to help their business, your prospects are people, and people do business with people they trust and like. Remember to reach out on birthdays and anniversaries (both work and personal), know their alma mater(s), favorite sports teams, interests, etc. Unless you sense that they don’t want to “go there”, inquire about spouses, children, etc. The gift of a special bottle of wine, tickets to a concert by their favorite performer, or the new book by their favorite author will be so appreciated, because it shows you’re listening.

And remember the power of a hand-written note. As Maya Angelou said, “They may not remember what you said, but they’ll never forget how you made them feel.”

If you’re not satisfied with how your business is growing, Trilogy Partners can help. Contact us at results@gettrilogypartners.com or 609-688-0428.

A Wake-Up Call About Selling

by Trilogy Partners on Jan 31, 2017 8:59:09 AM

Sometimes we make business far harder than it is.  We over-think our strategy, complicate our product line, and worry too much about our staff.  These are all important issues to be sure, but they pale in significance to the one area of business that contributes most to success: Time spent daily on SALES.

Sales should be the absolute center of what your company does every single day.  Ignore it at your peril.  As the founder of IBM, Thomas Watson once remarked, “Nothing happens until somebody sells something.”

I have mentored many business owners and when I see a business not performing, it’s primarily because they are not spending enough hours in the day on the sales process.  Specifically, they are not refining how they sell and aren’t getting out there face to face with potential customers.  My philosophy is that owners should not be involved in the internal processes of the business except to occasionally check in with trusted employees to verify that the business is on track.

So, how much time should you spend on sales?  If you are running a new business, at least 80 % of your day should be devoted to sales.  If you are an established business, at least 30% of your day should be devoted to the sales process or connecting with customers.

Does that sound too extreme?  It shouldn’t.  What else could you be doing that is more important?

Here’s an exercise worth trying: Sit down and work out the average amount of time you and your sales team spend each week, either directly selling or on improving the sales process. Then set a goal to triple it, starting next week.

You may say you’re too busy. You may protest that you have too many other things to do.  But if you can bring yourself to drop these excuses and try this technique, you will be stunned at how quickly your business improves.

When you spend most of your time selling, opportunities quickly arise as doors open, checks get written, and good things happen. When you stay in your office talking to your staff, pontificating over product details, admin and minutiae, your business may progress, but you won’t greatly increase your revenue.  You are merely tinkering on the peripheries of success.

If you’re not happy with how fast your business is growing, this is the area you should focus on, first, second and third. Get out there and generate more business opportunities. It may seem difficult at first so if you need some support, know that Trilogy Partners has helped business owners create process around selling, deal with the emotional side of letting go and maneuver through change.

Are You Disappointed with Your Sales Team’s Performance?

by Trilogy Partners on Aug 31, 2016 8:00:37 AM

I had the opportunity to survey about 650 mid-size company executives, mostly CEO and senior executives, a while back and learned some interesting information. These executives were asked to make a first, second and third choice selection from a list of topics on which they wanted more information. The two subjects that rose to the top were:

  1. Building a high-performance sales organization. Nearly one quarter of the executives (22.4%; more than twice the number that chose the #2 topic) selected this topic as their first choice. This, I believe, stems from the interest of CEO’s trying to figure out how to return to the growth patterns they knew prior to the Great Recession.
  2. Strategic Planning. Just over 10% selected this topic as their #1 choice to talk about. Since every respondent holds a leadership role in a successful company, I believe that the interest in talking about Strategic Planning is not because their organizations don’t have a strategic plan (the executives were mostly from successful organizations and, therefore, almost certainly have a strategy). More likely the interest comes from a longing to clearly articulate a compelling strategy and communicate it to the organization’s stakeholders.

At a cursory glance, one might assume the two topics are unrelated. As a business strategist who works with these kinds of companies, I believe that the two topics are very closely related.

Too often, I find companies that believe that the path to success is as simple as hiring great sales people. When growth falls short of expectations, management is ready to declare the root cause of the shortfall is the quality (and/or the performance) of the sales staff. The reality is that it’s rarely that simple.

I argue (supported by my interaction with many management teams) that the company’s senior leadership team needs to make decisions about the products that the sales organization is to focus on and the markets and customer segments to whom the sales staff is to sell. Directions to the sales staff should include the following, as a minimum:

  • Clear definition and segmentation of the markets in which the organization has committed to be successful. This direction should identify the segments that require extra attention to grow, which segments are to be maintained and which are to be left to decline/harvested.
  • Similarly, the company’s products should be segmented so the sales organization understands which products need more, the same or less emphasis.
  • Each product/market combination should have specific sales and profitability goals that can be used to define success and monitor progress.

Once completed, the sales organization knows exactly what to sell and to whom. Furthermore, the rest of the organization can undertake longer term planning to ensure that the right products are developed and manufactured.

Nine Quick Questions to Knowing Your Own Brand Perception

by Trilogy Partners on Jun 03, 2015 3:30:00 PM

Do you deliver or sit through an Annual Review in your job? Usually, this process provides a barometer in how you are performing and what steps you can take to make improvements or enhance your skills and value. The same can be said when it comes to your personal brand. We can easily convince ourselves that we KNOW exactly how we project ourselves and exactly what others perceive. Do you? Really?  Maybe this quick 9-question review can help you fine-tune the brand called YOU.

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