Now, every Friday, you can get reflecting, improving and developing with the help of the new 5 on Friday videos series presented by Malcolm Gallagher of the BizVision Network. Episode 1 is the 5 Things good leaders do. Are you achieving all of them? Click play to find out!
Connecting better than Networking, says Malcolm Gallagher
Do you want bigger and better customers? Do you want to get into bigger companies? Is your networking NOT working? Connecting can be your answer. It’s much more effective than plain old networking! Start connecting to deliver results. Here’s how!
This is one of my short, incisive SpotLearn from BizVision tips.
Use the format in the image below (right click to copy the image and make into your own template) then you can commence connecting to get to where you want to go. (There are two goals here, A&B).
Start with your 3 years ahead vision and then work backward listing the who and what you need to connect for you to reach your goals.
Or you can vary it by reducing the time.
The KEY is to picture the goal, the business person you want to connect with and work backward from there.
Hello from the BizVision Sales Shed. I’m Malcolm Gallagher and I’m feeling positive and optimistic.
I’ve been taking my Brexit Gloom Buster Tablets twice daily and they are working! For example, this last week I developed thrive strategies for 5 businesses I met, mostly in food and drink, developed a win contracts strategy for another, come out with an exciting new brand initiative for us and have initiated a programme for SMEs to access the African market. All in a week……!
I’ve managed to do that, and motivate the businesses involved because I have long been practising what I call “beyond half-full”. I have a mantra of No Problems Only Opportunities and I’ve bored people for years with it!
But it’s true and works!
For instance, research just published by Aberdeen and PJA Marketing clearly shows that buyers actually reach out to vendors or suppliers at the beginning of the buying process.
What’s more, buyers are especially willing to speak to suppliers early in the buying process IF the supplier can actually help them make a buying decision.
Far too many businesses have salespeople who are not making the prospect contact and are coming up with the weak excuse nobody is buying because of “Brexit”. Now, I can understand that excuse existing when you are besieged daily with Brexit gloom. But somewhere the sky is blue. And that’s where I prefer to fly. How about you?
A great answer to finding the blue sky is in my recent interview with Charlotte Foster (see it in Sales Shed TV ) in which she talks about the real need to communicate even more in these challenging or uncertain times. Keep existing and potential customers updated with positive news and great ideas.
One other thing that I’d add is the need to firm up on the communication of your difference from your competitors. Don’t let yourself, or your team, fall into the “similar” trap. As Dr. Jonas Ridderstråle in Funky Business said too many similar businesses, offering similar things, to similar people… you get the idea. Maximise your difference.
With the businesses I work with, I usually go straight in on this at the beginning and ask where they are different. It usually needs a lot of probing to get the answer. Most are too busy getting on with the business that they have forgotten their differentiation which usually means they are missing opportunities.
This last week I also did something I hate doing and have avoided for the past number of years by hiding behind the web and email. I actually went cold calling and I got two new customers! It was hard to do at first, (it’s years since I did it) but then I felt elated after the first call said yes to my proposal. That made me confident for the second one which also proved to be successful. High fives all round!
And, on top of that, I succeeded in getting two other clients, with whom we had been communicating by email but were wavering, fully on board through a face to face visit.
Watch out world next week – I’m planning more personal visits!
What about you- are you still hiding behind the web or are you getting out?
I had to laugh at one web company who were trying to prospect, or sell to me, the other day. They invited me to travel to their place for a coffee and a chat!
It doesn’t work that way does it?!
So many businesses have been seduced by IT slick-talk into thinking that the web can do it all for them. That’s not true and I’ve been walking the walk myself to prove it. The old adage that people buy from people they know like and trust is so important at this time. It’s not just important for surviving but, I believe, vital for thriving.
Don’t get me wrong the web has an important to play in lead generation, customer confidence and service but don’t let your salespeople , or even yourself if you are the salesperson, believe that nobody is buying because of Brexit.
I’m quite excited about the African trading initiative, the new channels for my distillery client, the development with another client of their new home delivered freshly prepared food pack, the new heritage range with my Ceramic artist client around Mayflower 400 which is about the fact that in 2020 it’s 400 years since the Mayflower – think of the American market opportunities around that! Oh, and have I told you about the many Indian companies talking to us about accessing the UK market…. See there are no problems only opportunities. I’ll repeat don’t let your sales team, marketing people or anyone else tell you that “nobody is buying because of Brexit”. There’s a big world out there beyond Brexit and the EU. Tell yourself you are going truffle hunting to sniff out opportunity or reach for the blue sky (select your own analogy!).
Ask yourself these 6 key questions to see if your timing is right for growth
says, Malcolm Gallagher of BizVision,
A key question at the moment should be “Is your business ready to grow”? Irrespective of what is happening in the bigger “Brexit” picture at the moment. In growth, timing is crucial.
You need to decide if your business is in what I call a sensible position to journey on a growth strategy. To help you make this decision, coming up are just 6 deep dive questions to ask yourself.
- How is your business performing against your budget in sales, and costs? I hope you are using some key ratios here. If not then email me firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll send you the top 3 ratios for small businesses
- Thinking of your available resources, how is your business using those resources to generate profit? Or is it not? Sometimes resources such as assets are bought and they lie unused or underutilised. Also, have you sold off old equipment (say on eBay)) – a few pounds is better than nothing
- Is your market sector expanding or contracting? Or where is it changing? We have seen horror stories about retailers recently and problems about construction businesses. But these changes usually mean there is opportunity elsewhere. Are you missing it? Is your radar working to seek out opportunities?
- How are your competitors behaving? Rationally or not? What are they saying publicly? If you don’t know, you need to start what I call a Comp Set. Take your top 5 competitors and monitor them, benchmark your elf against them, keep a watch for news on their website with RSS feeds or use services such as Mention.com or Talkwalker.com to get a hold of what they are both saying and doing.
- Ask yourself the truthful question of how much cash have you got that is readily available to fund growth. Likely it is not enough so you need to go searching for funding. Do it soon not last minute.
- How well do you use your working capital? Funders will want to know but you should know this NOW not when you want more money.
Okay, there’s your six key questions to get you truly ready for growth. Armed with the answers you can make your growth decision. Which are the most relevant to you? Have I missed any key ones?