We have a person who is helping us with sales. He’s opening a lot of doors, but not closing much. We like this person a lot and would like to see him succeed. What should we do?
Thoughts of the Day: Sales is a multi-disciplined job. Look for bad habits that are getting in the way. Consider if fears are holding your sales person back. Think about the kind of training you’re willing to invest in. Use a formula to figure out what to expect.
We need to get a loan to tide us over as we start to ramp up to our busy season. All the banks have been calling us saying they want our business, and so far we’ve talked to a couple. When we get into the details, we find they are hard to please. While the local reps say they want our business, the higher-ups don’t seem so eager. One bank said they didn’t want our business, another said they needed more information. Is it worth it going through the process? If we don’t get a loan it could be really tough managing cash until all our clients pay up.
THOUGHTS OF THE DAY: Understand what the bank wants. Be prepared to fill out a lot of forms. Ask for a realistic loan amount and repayment terms. Back up what you say with a business plan.
You need to have business experience. If you’re a startup with less than two years of history, getting any bank loan will be close to impossible. You’ll probably do better getting a personal loan and personally lending money to the company until there’s some history to show.
I’m not aggressive and I have to get it done. I’m a nice guy, but while I tend to see the best in other people, I know I also get walked on by vendors, customers and sometimes even employees. How do I find the balance?
THOUGHTS OF THE DAY: Think about what makes you call yourself a “nice guy.” Hone skills that are synonymous with leadership. Make sure you’re clear about where you want to go with the company. Make asking for input a sign of strength, not weakness.
We haven’t had good experience turning things over to salespeople. We give them leads and they don’t turn that into business. Later on we find out that they didn’t do a good job on following up. Or they followed up but couldn’t turn the lead into a sale. Not sure how to better manage this.
Thoughts of the day: Your job includes managing both salespeople and sales activities. Make sure that you have the right people in place doing the right job. Save time and effort by knowing the profile of who you want to sell to. Get salespeople involved in the effort so that they place greater value on the leads. Check out the ROI on sales activities.
It’s time to rebrand – at least I think it is. We’ve been through a lot of changes the last few years in terms of customers, markets, services and employees. Time to do a reality check on what we stand for. Any suggestions on do’s and don’ts?
Thoughts of the Day: Make it clear what your company stands for in order to pull in the right customers, employees and market opportunities. Make the look of the brand reflect the tone of your company. Appeal to emotion – which means taking into account colors that reflect the tone. Include all brand components.