Who’s your ideal client? If you plan on describing someone in the C-Suite of Fortune a 500 company, let me get out my calculator. This is going to get expensive. Almost every day I hear from owners that want to grow, work on big projects, and cut out the middleman. “We want to deal directly with the buyer – the Decision-Maker.” What’s your beef with the middleman? “They take too big of a cut. That’s money I could be making. Plus, it adds another gatekeeper. We need to communicate directly with the economic buyer in order to meet their needs.” Ah, now I understand. You don’t realize that middleman exists because your ideal buyer doesn’t want to pay you that “extra” money. They are buying insurance against – well, you. Now, you want to tell them that you are all the insurance they need, how wrong they are? Awkward. And I suspect that the middleman is keeping you at arm’s length precisely because you covet their customer. Basically, you are not trustworthy. You are not respecting the sales channel. But let’s look at this another way. The middleman is providing a valuable service to you. Agencies, Producers, General Contractors, Architects, Designers, […]
Employee Reviews are no one’s core competency in small business. They can be time-consuming, sometimes awkward, and potentially polarizing. Done well, reviews can help your team grow, make you a better manager, and enhance company culture. Done poorly? I have seen good employees quit on the spot, dedicated employees give up, and poor employees continue to wreak havoc on your business.
I don’t often talk about how to get your price down. I’m more of a ‘how to get more money out of your target customer’ kind of coach. However, some of my followers are cost leaders and sometimes they need to leverage that advantage.
Too often we conflate our cost with price. There is a correlation: If your costs are higher so must your price be. But never forget that…
The marketplace sets the price for most of us.
When it comes to finding the perfect customer, what we all need is one key non-negotiable quality.
Without that key quality, you will spend too much time, money, and brand capital wasted on chasing imperfect, unsatisfying, and unfulfilling buyers using resources that could be developing ideal customers.
Trust me. I have done it. It’s not worth it.
Most of my clients have predictably busy and slow seasons. Of course they would prefer to have steady business year-round with no timing conflicts, but I will write a fantasy blog another time. Today I want to expose an opportunity many companies are missing.
It begins with a change in mindset: There are no slow months.
I’ve been a Marriott customer for a long time. When I started my solo career as a consultant, my travel agent encouraged me to pick one chain and stick with it. At the time I chose Hilton, stayed mostly at Hampton Inns and was unimpressed. The hotels were often tired and the points system was not very generous.
Then I stayed at a Residence Inn somewhere I don’t recall, but I clearly remember walking in and seeing a message board that welcomed elite guests by name. At the front desk they were thanking guests for being an elite guest. Recognition.
If you call me or any other business advisor for advice, sometime in that first 30 minutes you are going to express concern about a business outcome and we are going to ask you about the relevant budget.
It’s OK to say you don’t have a budget if you don’t. You are not alone.
When you factor in capacity, timing, and cash flow – no two companies will ever have an identical cost basis. So why do we focus so much energy on price?
“I hate marketing.” My client said these words to me in a meeting about rejuvenating their sales pipeline.
How would you prefer to do this? I asked.
“I don’t know, I just want to have an honest conversation. The rest of this doesn’t seem genuine.”
Weeks later I asked him, “How many honest conversations have you managed to have since we last spoke?”
You can guess what his answer was. My client’s ideal prospect might be looking for him. The problem is, they are going to find someone else first.
Thus begins an unhealthy pattern.