So you’ve decided to sell your business. You may have all sorts of ideas about how easy it’s going to be, after all it’s your “baby”, right? Well, one of the first things you need to work out is are you sitting on a goldmine? What is your business value? The reality is that selling […]
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Entries by Andrew Laurie
It’s already a little late for New Year’s resolutions, but do you always promise yourself to work smarter, not harder on January 1 and then feel you never achieve this at the end of each year? Don’t worry, you’re not alone by any stretch. The reassuring news is that there is a way. Have your […]
When your enterprise reaches a certain point in its evolution you will have reached the synergy stage. However, it’s a process and creating the perfect corporate synergy in your business is easier said than done but by no means impossible! So what is corporate synergy? It’s when you reach a point where your business is […]
As you start the New Year have you thought about what your Unique Selling Point (USP) is? Remember USP isn’t just another acronym, it’s how to make your business stand up and be noticed. You need to find a way to be unique and for others, particularly customers, to recognise that at once. Your product […]
Sometimes it can be hard to appreciate or even remember that asking and looking for what you want in the business world is perfectly okay and in fact it will help you discover the hidden strategies on how to improve sales. Presumably, you know the nuts and bolts of getting sales off the ground but […]
You will have heard the saying “it’s a jungle out there” and never more so these days than in business which is why you need to determine: is your Unique Selling Proposition (USP) strong, clear and effective? When you are trying to work out your Unique Selling Proposition, a helpful process is to think about […]
How was your last recruiting experience? Did it take up your entire week (or month), distract you from running your business, and result in a few less-than-ideal candidates to choose from? We have a solution! Before you next hire someone for your business, consider that the recruitment process can be unsuccessful OR successful, depending which […]
Want to get some time back for yourself, but afraid that your business’ productivity or profits will suffer? We hear this from so many business owners who don’t have the strategies or time management tools to confidently step away and enjoy some free time to recharge or think about their next business idea. Ironically and […]
Brilliant people don’t just appear in your office one morning and start working perfectly in your business. It takes some skill and a proven process for attracting and retaining talent (great talent!). Rest assured, you don’t need an HR degree or a great deal of recruiting experience to attract a winning team. ActionCOACH has a five-hour recruitment process that will bring in the talent but first you need to ensure that your business is one that will appeal to great talent – they have to be attracted to work there and to stay there!
Why must a business be attractive to talent?
Good or bad, the people you get and retain are the people you deserve! And, if you want a great business, that doesn’t depend on you being there all the time, then you need a winning team. The more work you put into becoming really good at recruiting and retaining talent, the better the result will be for you and your business. Never underestimate the potential of a team that works well together towards your company vision… especially if they can do it while you’re on a beach somewhere with no internet access.
Six keys to a winning team that will attract and retain talent:
Key Element One – Strong Leadership. Your Team will look to you for guidance, growth, decisions and development. No matter which leadership style you have; strive to hand out praise, champion the team’s new ideas, teach people, make timely decisions, listen to your team and be enthusiastic about the business. These are the actions common to history’s successful business leaders.
Key Element Two – Common Goals. The company Vision, Mission and Goals should be shared with everyone in your team (new and existing). Before anyone signs up to a job, they want to know what they are getting involved with, what you and the business stands for and how you are all going to reach the said objectives. When recruiting team members – whether from inside the business or from outside – the vision statement is emphasized, explained, and delved into at great length.
Key Element Three – Rules of the Game. When it comes to business operations, employees and teams are often left in the dark about what they are actually required to do! Just like a professional football team has a playbook which defines the boundaries and areas of measurable responsibility for each team member – your business also needs a rule book so they know their unique and specialised roles, and the team keeps winning.
Key Element Four – Action Plan. Everyone in your team needs an action plan for success. Give each person a title, a job description, KPI’s and a clear plan for their success. Explain how others will support them in their role. Supporting the team with tools, training, technology, and systems ensures that the talent stays motivated, and means the owner or entrepreneur can run the business without being run by the business.
Key Element Five – Support Risk Taking. If you are not open to some degree of healthy risk-taking within your business, it is almost impossible for your team to succeed. Every new product, new way of marketing, new niche or internal business process seems too risky… until it works. To build effective teams in your business, led by example, and be open to change, calculated risk and new ideas.
Key Element Six – 100% Involvement and Inclusion. The best teams have everyone in the team doing their job and doing it well. Sometimes, team members even need to go ‘above and beyond’ their exact role. It’s a wonderful experience to work in a team where everyone really does deliver to their responsibilities and just a little more beyond. Make sure, as the leader, that you’re inclusive in your management style and also make sure that individual team members actively involve themselves – this is a two-way street!
How will I know when I have a great team?
The end result of a successful team is synergy. This means that the sum of teamwork is greater than the separate parts of the team. In business terms, this means that the return on an investment is greater than the contributions made to that investment. People have innate chemistry. If we combine that natural chemistry one way we get an explosive, disastrous outcome from opposite polarity. Combine it in another way and we get increased energy, vitality, and success from magical magnetism.
Even if your business has an outstanding service or in-demand product; without new sales leads, there is a good chance that your business success will be short term. So how do you future-proof your business? The answer lies in the ability to consistently find, develop and cultivate new sales leads, so they actualise into sales for your business.
There are many time-consuming and costly ways to generate new sales leads. We’ve seen all the mistakes that businesses make time and time again which stop them from thriving. Let’s take a look at how businesses are doing it well, so we can help your business gain quality sales leads.
Step 1 –Ensure that your Customer service delivers “WOW!”
Too many businesses forget about customer service, instead focusing on discounts and incentives to generate sales leads that end up costing them in the long run. If you concentrate on the way each customer feels after they’ve done business with you and that’s its now just positive for them but makes them think “wow!”, you will see more repeat business and they’ll start talking about you with others. Sound simple? It’s a simple concept, but you need to take a good hard look at internal processes to improve customer service. For example, look at the telephone and email scripts that your sales staff use, and see where the customer experience could be enhanced. Re-write the scripts or rules if needed… it could be the most valuable hour you’ll ever spend on your business!
Step 2 –Create referrals and make the most of your customers
Your Number 1 source of new leads is right under your nose… it’s your existing customers! No doubt if you have managed to get repeat business from one or more customers, they will have something great to say about your business. Ask them who else they know that is in a similar position or has similar needs to them? Would they be willing to introduce you? Be proactive about asking for referrals!
Also be diligent to collect positive experiences from these customers as you go. When you’re ready, you can use these words or stories as content to help generate sales leads.Did you know that people trust their peers more than they trust brand advertising? Research shows that more than 8-in-10 global respondents (83%) say they completely or somewhat trust the recommendations of friends and family. But trust isn’t confined only to those in our inner circle. In fact, two-thirds (66%) say they trust consumer opinions posted online—the third-most-trusted format. (Nielsen Poll 2015).
Your referral resources don’t have to be strictly word of mouth. Consumer reviews, testimonials, online ratings and social media following will all help boost the chances of a cold sales lead developing trust in your business without even seeing any paid advertising.
If you can turn your top customers into raving fans of your business you have gone a long way to ensure the long term viability of your business. For more great tips on impactful sales and marketing techniques, download our eBook.
Step 3 – Understand your customer acquisition costs
Do you look at your marketing as an expense or an investment? It is vital for businesses to understand that you don’t just get customers, you buy them. When you have that mind-set, you can begin to understand just what you need to spend on your marketing to generate new leads.
One of the cheapest ways to buy customers is through social media, and probably the most expensive is traditional major media advertising like television or radio. But you don’t necessarily just go with the cheaper option. First, find out what will work to attract your ideal customer. If television advertising costs $5,000 for 30 seconds, but it brings you 500 customers who spend an average of $100 each, that media could be a great investment for your business. Ask the person responsible for selling you the media spot (online, event, TV, radio etc.) to help you to determine what sales lead outcomes you are likely to generate. Of course you know your business best, so trust your judgement as well as their advice. Then be sure to track the results of all marketing activities so that you understand how well and how cost-effectively each one brings you leads.
Step 4 – Use strategic alliances
One of the greatest resources for generating leads for your business is other businesses. Working in strategic alliances with other businesses that sell to the same group you target as customers, but sell a different product, can be incredibly beneficial to all parties, including the customer. Consider how much easier would it be to get customers if you were using the database of a company that your potential customers had already done business with?
When McDonald’s has a new toy in its Happy Meal that relates to the latest summer movie, it’s a strategic alliance. The world’s biggest companies do it and their new sales grow because of it.
Strategic alliances also give you a sense of working in a team, rather that alone. You have another business owner, who is dealing with the same group of customers you are. You can discuss sale strategies, work on them together and profit together. If you need some help choosing a strategic alliance for your business, contact ActionCOACH for advice.
Using our proven 4 strategies for generating sales leads will ensure your business can generate enough new leads to keep your business moving forward. For advice unique to your business circumstances, book in a free first consultation with ActionCOACH, or call us on 02 9146 4439.
For more tips on sales and marketing download a copy of “Working with your niche so you don’t have to compete on price.”