Selling Services – What Do Customers Get Again?

How do certain business development professionals seem to demonstrate excellence and to enjoy superior rewards with relatively basic skills? Insurance agents, enterprise software sellers, professional speakers, and life coaches all make amazing livings when they perform their skills at reasonably competent levels. Clearly, off-the-chart excellence in a given profession provides opportunities to enjoy significant rewards through their efforts. Yet, why do professionals with seemingly basic skill sets find ways to prosper beyond apparently more brilliant peers?

Efficiency

The old saying goes, “It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog.” In the business development arena, this fight has a time clock and it is relentless. Every minute that a sales professional is not prospecting, selling, or closing, equates to a minute that is not directly impacting their progress toward their revenue targets. In the sales field, achieving revenue targets ultimately takes precedence over everything. This priority toward closing transactions clearly does not eliminate the need to sharpen the saw, or re-energize personal energy sources. However, time that is not re-energizing, prospecting, selling, nor closing represents time that is not contributing toward explicit, quantitative results. Ultimately, investing in these results are the difference between success and failure!

Highest Value Contribution sounds like another nerdy concept, yet it makes a big difference on the commission report. Unsurprisingly, wasted time is extremely hard to recoup. Specifically, inefficient time usage is detrimental to achieving time-based goals. Highest Value Contribution plainly comes down to spending time that results in reaching a desired level of accomplishment. Specifically, if selling a $100,000 policy takes the same amount of time and energy as selling a $25,000 policy, then for goodness sakes sell the $100,000 policy! Of course, other factors play into the calculations of how allocated time, future sales value, or potential for referrals equates to the likelihood or urgency of closing the deal. Still, without overthinking the matter, invest highly valued sales hours to opportunities that will yield larger tangible, financial results.

Good Feelings

On the buying side of the transaction, besides the quality of the service, or product, another key differentiator is good feelings. In many cases, the buyer does not simply want the best deal. Many buyers want the best experience! Of course, money matters. Yet, as comparable competing deals converge, a key differentiator emerges in the form of like and trust. Beyond the good or service delivering to expectation, will the buyer want to tell the story of the purchase? Did the sales professional over-deliver in such a way that the buyer is eager to tell others about the incredible experience?

While these positive experiences seem marginally consequential to the deal’s closure, the experienced sales professionals realize that these positive experiences are exactly where their value differentiation resides! Overly satisfied customers are willing to refer other prospects. Those customers actually minimize prospecting time, because the first customer has now gladly provided that function. Having warm leads delivered to effective sales representatives results in a seasoned professional now needing to invest less time to keep the sales funnel equally full. In fact, referrals are much more efficient since they arrive with a sense of confidence in the receiving sales professional. The preceding customer has already taken care of that part of the deal. Ultimately, developing positive emotions in the sales funnel is great for business because establishing credibility takes time, unless the prospect shows up fully equipped with good feelings toward the sales representative.

Conclusion

Fidelity to successful processes is essential for exceptional results! In the aggregate, more calls typically mean more yeses. Furthemore, releasing weak prospects quickly leaves more time for identifying strong clients. Realize that the amount of time selling in a specific niche is relatively consistent. Securing a whale may take more time than getting a trout to buy. Nevertheless, this metaphor definitely does not reflect a linear relationship. Expend energy on bigger payoffs, as long as your product or service mathematically supports that logic. Finally, practice, practice, practice. Know your product, your delivery and your prospect! Those ordinary sales professionals that smear their competition simply do the mundane, busy work to understand their target market and prospective customers much, much better. Late nights yucking it up at the bar may be more memorable. But, spending those exact same hours planning your calls and studying the nuances of the industry pays better. It pays much better!

By Glenn W Hunter

Managing Director, Hunter And Beyond, LLC

Available through Amazon: The Must Read New Release by Glenn W Hunter!!

https://www.amazon.com/Storytelling-Wins-Engagements-Glenn-Hunter/dp/B094SZRYZ5

Posted in Business Coaching, Business Development, Client Relationships | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Growth Now! Then Connect!

This is a big deal! You have completed the preparation. You have gone through the checklist. You have adrenaline rushing through your body. You realize that you are about to jump out of the plane. After every bit of planning and precaution, it is now time to grow! Success is not recognized by boarding the plane and putting on the gear. Success is jumping out of the plane and landing safely. Feel the fear and do it anyway! If success is the goal, then connect with others after accomplishing the process to achieve success. Then, return to the plane in order to embrace the thrill again!

Focus on Action

Every sales professional recognizes the fluttering in the belly when engaging a prospect. Seasoned pros recall the old advice,”It is OK to have butterflies in your stomach. The trick is to get them to fly in formation.” When the butterflies are incapable of getting into formation, a default reaction is to remember the training. Nearly every sales professional has participated in some level of training. However, whether the training program was intense, or consisted of checking the necessary boxes, the marketplace is much more difficult than practice. Yet, still someone is actually selling goods and services! Why in the world should it be a competitor?

Natural aptitude, fearless attitudes, superior products, better opening lines are all possibile reasons for business development success. But, the truth before exploring all these tactics is simply ACTION! Success resides in the details. Product knowledge, passion for success, belief in the employer, a superior product portfolio, old-fashioned personal tenacity are unquestionably contributors. But, action makes a difference because the individual can directly influence that input. Furthermore, many intangible outcomes emerge from positive inputs because of action. Action includes proactively studying products, rehearsing winning scripts, performing intelligence on competitors, and connecting directly with prospects. All these are examples of tactics that a sales professional can do! At the end of the day, week, or month, the goods and services are not going to sell themselves.

Focus on Iteration

After action takes priority in the professionals’ activities, the desired outcomes are not automatic. Sales success leaves clues, but does not have a foolproof formula. If such a formula existed, then plenty of fools would enjoy success because many approached their sales careers with the expectation that it was foolproof. Nevertheless, persistently applying established fundamentals have proven to be successful. Assuming that the goods and services in the professional’s portfolio are competitive, the ability to connect with more prospects tends to improve the desired outcomes regarding more sales to customers.

No magic incantations nor wishful expectations will substitute for persistence on a consistent basis. Success results from connecting with lots of buyers who have a likelihood of purchasing the salesperson’s goods and services. The desired outcomes require more than returning to the same prospect expecting them to buy on some schedule. Customers may come and go. However, the consistency that drives excellent results fundamentally builds upon high performance habits. And, those habits require repetition with adaptation to specific shifts in taste and requirements. Essentially, intentional, proven behaviors from preparation to follow-up are the keys to consistent success. Professionals who thoroughly understand foundational similarities and individualized nuance are the winners that adapt to very specific requests for profitable excellence!

Conclusion

Ultimately, business growth generated by specific, high performance is a direct result of passion for the craft, as well as service for the specific prospect. Recognize that the specific individual may ultimately represent an entire department, region, or company. Yet, the personal interaction drives the exchange. Support systems definitely are involved in preparation and delivery. But, the voice and face that represents the selling entity drives the decision to establish the transaction. Regardless of technology, the ability to connect a person to a solution is the core of business development success. When exceptional sales professionals are ready to grow and soar, they will commit to repeatedly connecting to prospects and opportunities.

By Glenn W Hunter

Managing Director of Hunter and Beyond, LLC

Click for New Release by Glenn W Hunter! Storytelling Wins The Best Enagaments

Posted in Business Coaching, Business Development, Client Relationships | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What’s At The Top?

Why did you want to climb Mount Everest?”, a local commentator asked legendary climber George Mallory decades ago. Mallory allegedly answered, “Because it’s there.” While the interview produced a memorable quote, actually climbing the world’s largest mountain is undeniably more complex. Even from an attitude perspective, the reasons vary why anyone would attack that task. Pure desire to defeat a unique challenge is an important motivator. Being the individual who defies death in this pursuit furthermore provides a unique rush. Ultimately, a common motivator for any singular accomplishment is the ego-driven desire to be recognized as the leader of their category. The specific drivers vary regarding their insatiable motivation. Yet, what’s at the top? Only the individual champion’s ego can accurately answer that question.

Viewpoint

Validation can be one essential driver to achieve legendary accomplishments. Prevailing conquerors can easily own the point of view that “I worked hard for it and I achieved it.” This hero can now confidently propose to accomplish the next superhuman task. “Faint heart never won fair maidens.”, according to the romantic poet, further confirms that fearless perspective to obtain glory just beyond one’s reach. While that viewpoint is easily accused of being self-centered, rarely does an exceptional, never-done-before, feat occur in a vacuum. A clear viewpoint reveals that other individuals and ideas competitively contributed to achieving subsequent, superhuman accomplishment. Fundamental items like tools, training, and inspiration are essential to perpetuating mindsets and foundations to secure epic accomplishments.

At the core of the ego-fueled drive for superiority, an individual must possess supreme confidence. Core competence regarding necessary skills runs a close second! Perspective completes the triangle because achieving singular feats require more than nerves and talent. An intelligence requirement provides a necessary level of respect for the achievement, as well as vision regarding the risks. That balance allows fearless conquerors to avoid destructively reckless behaviors while sustaining supreme confidence. That viewpoint empowers the drive for greatness to align with respect for the victory.

Camaraderie

Although accomplishing legendary feats is a straightforward way for an individual to enjoy individual accolades, an unexpected benefit emerges. Realize that world-class performers are unique by definition. The individual efforts and competence that superior performers require, make them singular, even in a team sport or endeavor. That unity reinforces aligned efforts toward singular achievement. Consequently, even group efforts that result in singular achievement still form a unique team accomplishment.

Specifically, champions are unique because they reach the pinnacle of their particular arena. Whether the conqueror emerges as a Nobel laureate or a Super Bowl champion, additional team members contribute to the ultimate win. Consequently, champions rely on teammates, trainers, coaches, strategists, nutritionists and multiple other supporters to prepare winners for their ultimate victories. At nearly every level, elite victories require several contributors, who are part of the team, that eventually unveils individual success. 

Conclusion

Ultimately, the champion does not achieve the accolades associated with reaching the top alone. Anyone who arrives at their particular mountaintop, benefitted from extraordinary drive, as well as detailed attention to teamwork. As any honest champion will admit, the crowning victory was not a singular success. The event that revealed their conquest undoubtedly provided a stage for recognizing communal greatness.

Champions realize that they do not perform in isolation. Consequently, they all have a unique camaraderie among the supporters that contributed to the conquest. At the literal mountaintop, one individual places the flag declaring the victory. Yet, even at that point, the individual is not alone. The people patting the conqueror on the back are contributors, not cheerleaders. At the mountain top is a group that cooperates for victory. Still, another mountain awaits. Get a team together to conquer the next desired mountain top!

By Glenn W Hunter

Managing Director of Hunter and Beyond, LLC

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Grow Big or Grow Home

“It’s Alive! It’s Alive!!” according to Dr. Frankenstein, in the movie Young Frankenstein when the monster came to life. Now it is time to feed the beast.  Living organisms must eat to grow, thrive and mature. In many ways, a business acts like a living organism with expectations to mature and perform. It needs to be nourished and cultivated in its own way. However, instead of meats and veggies, businesses run on sales, profits and cash flow. Because these elements are quantified, they need to grow and thrive in a measurable way. Big, strong, healthy, vibrant, growing businesses in essence have one objective: Grow Big or Go Home!

Growth Tactics

Businesses have many tactics to drive success, yet they all basically focus on deploying resources to generate revenue. Growth in itself does not result in success. Fundamentally, any business who sells large quantities at a loss is not performing profitably. So, what tactics drive profitable activities? The answer is not in the good or service. It actually resides inside strategic marketing. Curiously, an emphasis on strategic marketing often does not exist outside of large organizations. The reason often seems to be the inability for scrappier businesses to unite the two functions. While strategy and marketing exists in profitable businesses, their operational separation often limits the growth capacity of many businesses. 

Strategy and marketing are fairly common business terms for people who lead businesses. However, when the two concepts collide in the business environment, murkiness results. For this blog’s purpose, “Strategic Marketing” is defined as a process of business planning activity where “ultimately it is around creating a sustainable competitive advantage which enable future profitable growth for the business.” Consequently, the outcomes from these exercises create measurable and aspirational forecasting. Business decisions, and eventually performance, heavily rely on maximizing execution of superior ideas and plans. No enterprise will grow successfully, nor significantly large if the foundation is not established between superior internal collaboration and external delivery on communicated tactics! “Build it and they will come” only happens if the plan is great and the execution is better!

Elite Performance

A cold hard fact about business is that the marketplace has options! If a customer cannot find satisfaction where they expect it, they will pursue other avenues to find their solution or a reasonable proxy. Furthermore, the strategically prepared business will already have insight into the market’s upcoming desires and demands. Knowing is part of their process. With regards to “Grow Big”, this means that resources and research need to be in place anticipating potential opportunities. While these operations may seem expensive to study and execute, the alternative is that the competitor who decides against this level of investigation will have their capital tied up in outdated inventory and underperforming headcount.

Approaching the marketplace with a “Grow Big” attitude means that resources are not just for performance, but also for projected success. For example, the auto industry introduces new models of cars annually. That type of innovation epitomizes the “Grow Big” mindset. Every new model will not be a hit. But, every old model eventually phases out! Creating an environment of constantly seeking growth in ideas, customers, and trends, is the best tactic to keep a business and its leadership from the “Go Home” option. Ultimately, market influences prioritize and reward innovation. Typically, premium products have better margins. A business that has the courage to embrace innovation, still needs the fortitude to iterate and to execute through assorted problems and secure profitable solutions. Use market data to understand. Execute marketing plans boldly to secure customers. That is the path to “Grow Big!”

Conclusion

In business growth is inevitable, but not universal. Hungry new competitors and alternatives consistently chomp at the heels of market leaders. Consider the expanding marketplace for organic produce. “What makes one set of fruits and vegetables so much more attractive than another?” is a huge question for this specific segment of the marketplace. However, another market segment cannot wait for their premium priced organic produce to be delivered. That customer even has a generous gratuity for the delivery person. Ultimately, recognizing marketable innovation across products and services continues to drive economies. Niche providers will continue to exist, but they are always looking around the corner for bigger competitors lurking to conquer their market share. Even in a niche, and especially among larger conglomerates, “Grow Big or Go Home” is not just a rallying cry. It is the oxygen that sustains life in businesses of all sizes. As for more modest competitors, niches can be dominated, too. Businesses of all industries and sizes that claim this mindset get to prepare to own their destiny.

Glenn W Hunter

Managing Director of Hunter And Beyond, LLC

Posted in Business Development, Client Relationships, Creating Culture | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Business Planning, Then Pivot

“Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.”, according to Mike Tyson, former heavyweight boxing champion. The challenge with current business environments is that it continues to hit entrepreneurs in the mouth. Actually, business owners and leaders of all stripes are taking a few blows in the current environment. Likewise, the business environment seems to fight back in several ways. Realize as small and large businesses both constrict and close their doors, the result is fewer employees with paychecks, as well as fewer businesses spending less or not at all in the current economy. Consequently, customers and service providers are unexpectedly participating less in the economy, resulting in pivots happening more often and the results having less room for error. How does business prosper and not get punched in the mouth, or worse yet get knocked out?

Plans

Business planning is clearly important to positioning any business to launch and sustain progress. Old sayings like, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.”, get to be old sayings because they continue to be true. What else is true? Putting products and services into the marketplace and selling them generates revenue! Literally, connect with a prospect who is willing to buy. Yes, many available business plan templates and entrepreneurial guides are available. But, which business plan works best? Simply, the answer is the plan that is produced, executed, and then pivots. To be clear, pivot means that the plan is documented, and then changes in the heat of execution. Plans do not make successful businesses. Business leaders that execute plans at least have a shot at successful businesses! The plan is the launching point. Business is action. It is a full contact endeavor!

However, without preparing and starting how does anything finish? Obviously, starting gets the whole operation going. In entrepreneurs’ case, plan, then start fast. Plans are designed to map the process. Nothing truly happens until revenue happens. In that spirit, the young business requires action. Engage prospects. Get feedback. Polish your pitch. Revisit the marketability of goods and services. All these activities point directly to addressing prospects who will offer feedback, yet they also offer money resulting in sales. Success depends on the boldness of customer-facing resources communicating value to generate customers. And, they are only customers once they pay!

Execution

The execution is simply repeating the activities that created revenue. While the process seems that the marketing and planning activites should generate several customer-facing opportunities, the idea is to get customers. Customers that pay! That means a fair amount of business features jumping out the window and securing the parachute on the way down. If that mindset seems too risky, then entrepreneurship is too risky. In this case, execution involves acting with enough information that you will figure out the details as they present themselves.

Why is this professional mindset even desireable? Simply, it is exhilaration; maybe a little greed! The entrepreneur, the start-up employee, the investor, all knowingly accept risk and the premium return that comes with it. That premium comes in returns, salaries, equity, and psychic benefit. The successful start-ups provide these benefits because when mixed with success they inspire stakeholders in a singular way. Business leaders that willingly take on the risk, yearn for the exhilaration of success. Execution based on an individual’s boldness presents opportunities to experience emotional exhilaration and a jolt in individual financial results. Ultimately, successful execution and the coinciding rewards kills any other type of business conquest!

Profits As Endgame

“Success leaves clues”, according to entrepreneurial giant, Jim Rohn. Every situation is different. Consequently, the business talent that embraces the risk and seeks the tools situate themselves for unique expertises. Regardless of the quantity of information concerning entrepreneurial conquests, each one is singular. But, the most gratifying undoubtedly involves the most rewards. In summary, business keeps score! A good plan is a good start. However, it does not put points on the board. In the case where the enterprise starts to score, there is not enough, fast enough! But upon pivoting, now new opportunities begin to reveal themselves. Own the opportunity to acquire more. Still, embrace the plan. Yet, start executing before the ink is dry. Then pivot and hold on! Good luck! Enjoy the ride!

Glenn W Hunter

Managing Director, Hunter And Beyond, LLC

Posted in Business Development, Client Relationships, Creating Culture | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Retail Stories Drive Dollars & Senses

Amazingly the American wheels of commerce continue to turn despite health scares and community unrest! International innovation has developed the ability to energize sales and maintain safe practices. Retailers have created systems and consumers have evolved technology so that both sides of sales tractions more efficiently have their needs met! Oberlo, a leading retail industry analyst, projects international retail to grow 4.5% over the next couple of years! How does that happen?

Large retailers have changed practices to more effectively sell products; driven by buying preferences that shifted toward boutique and virtual retail. More knowledgeable customers know what they like and return policies are more convenient. An important driver to retail progress exists with social and commercial pivots enabling sellers and buyers to communicate effectively before, during, and after purchasing. Retailers compete by being flexible in managing customer service demands. Meanwhile customers buy aggressively because of the service safety net. So, what changes drove this behavioral shift on both sides of the cash register?

Feedback

Surprise! Technology has made sales more efficient! Notice how consumers even in their teen years now evaluate purchases in real-time while walking through a store. A consumer with an iPhone strolls through Macy’s communicating through the internet and learns that her next pair of Wonder Woman Vans are three miles away for four dollars less; plus a coupon is included with an additional purchase. Always accessible information drives better price offerings, as well as a sense of retail adventure that previous generations could not fathom. 

Of course, the product matters. The price matters. Certainly the story matters, too. Very little says “power shopper” quite like a wirelessly connected young professional with cooler apps and better deals via the web. Of course, the technology directs the soon-to-be-purchaser, toward submitting a rating, plus comments about the buying experience. Now the next customer knows exactly where the updated coolness threshold exists. The ability to communicate with other customers and retailers creates unprecedented buyers’ strength. Through assorted forums and instant discounts, a savvy retailer has all the necessary information to sell competitively and stylishly. All it took was an electronic dialogue between retail options and determined shoppers. 

Emotional Connection

To be clear, the emotion that drives retail has existed at least for the last century. However, today’s hyper-connected world, with too many choices and even more competition for consumers’ time and attention, creates elevated stress when buying the old way. Consequently, customers now pay more attention to brands and what they communicate. Listening to the marketplace has come a long way from buying whatever was advertised on a favorite radio station or sitcom. Sellers are much more pointed. Now the dialogue means listening to how favorite brands are portrayed in media outlets ranging from movies to web-based personalities. The latest internet sensation, podcaster, and blogger disseminate multi-media stories concerning current fashion. Now young consumers select a media personality, steal their look, and represent them until the audience ignores their message. Listening now represents every multi- sensory channel where influencers communicate with followers.

As a result of increasing communication channels, marketing messages are rapidly expanding among retailers in quantity and by type. Who has not epically failed walking or driving past a Krispy Kreme outlet despite the best intentions? What clearly matters is the inner dialogue that the retailer has imposed! Everyone knows that warm, sugary goodness is on the other side of the red light! Clearly, retailers who win are best at creating communication among customers and sellers. Regardless what sense is targeted, it is external stimuli and human socialization processes that accelerate retail momentum. The ability to interact emotionally with the desired good, then with any combination of prospects’ five senses, manifest successful sales. Include the ability to share information and experiences with live people, or through social media, then validation is done. The story has been told! The sale is ready to be transacted.

Conclusion

Ultimately interaction creates value. Circulating art, publishing literature, delivering music into the marketplace is how the masses now learn to appreciate artistic superiority across the senses. Of course constantly evolving fashion and gadgets helps, too. Merchandise and sensory images must be available for style and creativity to circulate. “Create value” has to resonate emotionally! Consequently, creating value keeps creativity and its creator alive! The entire retail system demands stories that grab the senses, emotions and mind! Then, popular products monetize the most dominant emotions to reward overstimulated senses! Then retailers will extend thanks, and ultimately receive their financial rewards!

By Glenn W Hunter

Managing Director, Hunter and Beyond, LLC

Posted in Business Coaching, Client Relationships, Creating Culture | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Growth And The New Factor

A long time small business owner once again closes her office door at exactly 8:30 AM. She accesses today’s prospects call list. She recites her daily mantra, “These bills ain’t gonna pay themselves.” Then she starts pushing buttons on her phone. This routine has kept the lights on in the business that she founded. Furthermore, the routine has facilitated occasional growth spikes. Enduring the industry average for customer churn has become a routine. Unfortunately, too many entrepreneurs struggle with growth even through good times. Then, they hold on with white knuckles to whatever business they can conjure in tough times. In this particular case growth remains pedestrian, because the owner and her sales support walk meekly through their revenue generating process. What they need is a New Factor!

What is Your Factor?
The New Factor is important because it can influence the top line on any business. Simply, the New Factor is the percentage increase on the price of products. A factor of 5% means that a $100 product is now a $105 product. No new features, nor clever marketing gimmicks drive the change. The new price is 5% more, period. Nervous about the increase? Consider what vendor has recently raised prices 5% in the local marketplace. They got over it. You can, too! The number is less important than the mindset. Some consultant will undoubtedly appear and talk about how elasticity will adversely affect your profits with your higher price point because of the type of good or service that you provide. The rare consultant will concede that aggregately the customers’ pain by changing providers is at best a nuisance. In reality, customers value consistency in routines just like vendors do.

Change can be painful. Nevertheless, many customers do not really want to change, nor endure the pain either. Customers that leave over a mild increase were probably going to leave anyway. A convenient excuse simply presented itself. Do not discount them to get them back! Go take someone else’s customer! Consequently, the owner makes daily sales calls. Growth is intentional. A moody customer will only escape over minimal price hikes, if the vendor was already on a slippery slope; or the vendor refused to let the individual customer win by not recognizing them as a superior negotiator.

Earn Your Next Increase
Business leaders must be able to reverse engineer their worth. In the event that a price hike is met with legitimate resistance, new value still has to be recognized in the strategic decision. An old saying proclaims, “Pride is a foolish man’s burden”. Beware of the Pride Tax! If a customer decides not to absorb the revenue increase, explore the possibility of selling a greater quantity. Packaging often presents an option to save. Is the unique packaging really worth the extra cost? Ultimately, the business leader is responsible for profits. Feel free to humble one’s ego, if ultimately the increase is not a cost effective decision. Above all concerning an individual, final decision, “If it doesn’t make dollars, then it doesn’t make sense (cents).”

Regardless, the New Factor permits the economics to work in favor of the business’ growth. Too many entrepreneurs treat economics as an academic exercise. In reality, it focuses on allocating scarce resources for maximum benefit. Consequently, if prices can be increased with no loss of sales volume, the economics declare that the business wins! Of course, none of this exists in a vacuum. Still, by increasing revenue more than an increase in expenses, the result is larger profits. The New Factor provides a modest way to communicate more value with a slight numerical increase that allegedly disrupts the provider as well. To the savvy entrepreneur, everyone shares in the New Factor’s pain, the customer happens to endure a little bit more.

Conclusion
Entrepreneurs are resourceful by design. Ask someone smarter to endorse the decision to deploy the New Factor. Mentors, gurus, subject matter experts, are titles that help to justify and articulate the tough decisions to increase prices. Most importantly, assure every customer that must now endure the New Factor, that pain is shared by multiple parties. From a business perspective prices do increase. Business economics are tricky. Nevertheless, savvy entrepreneurs who truly understand their business fundamentals will undoubtedly endure price increases at some point. Inflationary pressure promises that result. The New Factor is just a tool to get ahead of that curve.

By Glenn W Hunter
Managing Director, Hunter And Beyond LLC

Posted in Business Coaching, Business Development, Client Relationships | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Networking Growth In A New Virtual World

With a nod to Mark Twain, “The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.” Likewise, the laws of interpersonal networking have not been repealed! Evidently, the fundamentals to interact with other human beings remain intact. Yes, social norms evolve and viruses re-write proper behaviors regarding personal space. Nevertheless, human interaction, clear communications, and their business impact is still essential to our quality of life. No number of endless virtual meetings, texts, or voice messages will change the fact that people connect with people. Furthemore, business is transacted, relationships are honored, and virtual currency is spent. To help people who are slow to accept the new normal, realize that adaptability and networking are the social skills that now carry disproportionate weight.

Referrals
Consider the case of referrals. Referrals remain an amazing example of facilitating social capital and business interactions. A referral consists of one business professional transferring their credibility to another individual for the benefit of facilitating a transaction. Simply put, one person tells a second person, that a third person will take care of the second person. The second person believes him, the third person in turn delivers. Everyone is happy and new relationships potentially emerge. This fundamental of exchanging like and trust is essential to ongoing business success among individuals.

Nevertheless, in virtual environments, the steely look into a counterpart’s eye and a firm handshake is still somewhat missing in the transaction. What is important is that the transaction does not lose any value in the revised interaction. A heart-felt text can be a credible substitute. What remains important is the resource sharing and trustful recognition among professionals. With new capable and grateful professionals participating in current and future growth interactions, the quantity of people with whom to connect grows. Additional resources emerge. The network increases!

Meetings
While business transactions are clear economic drivers, the ability to exchange information carries significant value, as well. The virtual world has created many interactive inconsistencies in communicating. The economic savings of less airfare and travel time to execute certain meetings has been a pleasant financial benefit. On the other hand, the longstanding prominence of jumping on an airplane to connect with a distant colleague eye-to-eye has become less practical. In this environment, cost savings typically override bruised egos. Nevertheless, this trade-off still has shortcomings to navigate that impact both business transactions and networking.

For example, can you truly trust someone who has a fake background on their video screen in their virtual office, and you are secretly questioning if they are really wearing pants? Nevertheless, despite who is on the virtual call, where they are located, and what is their personal agenda, the process of grabbing a coffee and planting in front of a screen is convenient. Still, non-verbal cues are still essential to maximize communication; yet bad odors and clammy hands are non-existent in the virtual world. Fundamentally, the connections from a virtual meeting are real. The results create real opportunities. The professionals who convey trust and confidence tend to have a tangible advantage.

Conclusion
Ultimately, networking remains an essential business skill. Communicating with other professionals regardless of their physical environment, their cultural background, or their emotional distance remains a valuable skill. Conveying like and trust, while pursuing a reciprocal exchange in information or value, represents the foundation of successful networking and business growth. In larger virtual meetings people can get lost with whom they are connecting. Nonverbal cues become more valuable if someone watches a counterpart’s behavior through a panel where the target may or may not be looking in return. Uncertainty abounds. Checking for understanding becomes more critical. “Was that delayed smile really for me after my insightful comment? Am I sure?” Nevertheless, maximizing all tools and techniques in virtual meetings will yield significant advantages. If the virtual communication channels do eventually become overwhelming, remember the chatbox! If the matter continues to escalate, then text! Be sure to get the message right.

By Glenn W Hunter
Managing Director, Hunter And Beyond, LLC

Posted in Business Development, Client Relationships, Creating Culture | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Maximum Reach, Coordinated Content

Max Reach sounds like an action hero! Actually, from a thought leadership and content creation perspective, maximizing an influencer’s reach should perform exactly like an action hero! Influencers should be strong, clever, and trustworthy. To share a secret: “Content does not have to be good. It has to be experienced!” To understand fully, once it is experienced, read, or heard, then the desire kicks in that it should be really good! Bad content, over the long run, hurts credibility and the ability to attract fans. Regardless of the niche, followers have options. Ultimately, bad content will be exposed and displaced out of competitive marketplaces!

Content

Yet, exciting content keeps good creators in the game! Content is a proven way for entrepreneurs, professionals and personalities to attract attention to themselves, their products, and their services. With that attention, the content leads to engagement. Then, increase in engagement leads to activating the brand’s power. Fundamentally, successful branding engages specific audiences, prospects, and customers even in the absence of the personality or organization. Consequently, getting content right is a significant boost to communicating a product’s or service’s superiority! Essentially, good content manifests fresh opportunities for incredible growth!

Next, coordinated content means the created content can now be used across different channels and categories. If social media is important to the operation’s growth, then posting coordinated messages across YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram leverages additional visibility from the same source. Likewise, the operation now leverages followers, influencers, friends, and advocates to help spread messaging that in turn generates greater influence and reach. Beyond the quantity of influencers, fans and evangelists, quality truly makes a big difference. Having the right popular, niche personality that aligns with the brand is much better than a lot of minor characters screaming to be heard. 

Reach

When the right personality or image connects with the previously mentioned brand, then exposure materially expands. In order to benefit from this development, the business or personality must intentionally connect with targeted, desired influencers. What you know matters. Who you know matters more. Consequently, the successful enterprise is intentional to connect with personalities and organizations that can facilitate more growth. This level of progress requires networking, introductions, and targeted campaigns. Visibility in front of the right audiences requires intentionality and effort. Good branding helps connecting directly, virtually, or through networking, in order to deliver much more powerful results.

As successful reach matures, power relationships become less “who you know” and become more “who knows you”! This level of accomplishment requires engagement, reach, and imposing an impressive personality into the marketplace. Not only does this tactic require intentionality, it requires coordination and boldness. Posting, tagging, hyping, or simply buying with regards to the targeted connection makes a difference. Strategy and perseverance plays a part, as well. Marketing success and growth are not easy, but for coordinated and tenacious winners, it is worthwhile.

Conclusion

Ultimately, beauty is in the eyes (ears, nose, hands) of the beholder. Content creation has to be good by those who experience it. Desired target markets need to be clear, even as they continue to evolve. Someone may love the output but without sharing it nor buying it, they are not really contributing to the goal. Be intentional where images, messages, and content must appear. Then, work hard to deliver them there. Finally, be aware of exactly where the content and brand goes, and where it is loved. Unexpected markets gravitate toward products, services, and outputs all the time. Converse All-Stars (the canvas ones) would absolutely suck as basketball shoes today after dominating the market 50 years ago. However, for quirky formal wear, cool casual wear, or coordinating colors with your look, the same product is now nearly unparalleled. Fundamentally, content must serve a specific purpose. It can also have sub-purposes. Better content communicates a specific, maximized message to a targeted audience; it is just fine if others want to eavesdrop! Still, the best content leads to massive sales!

By Glenn W Hunter

Managing Director, Hunter And Beyond, LLC

Posted in Business Development, Client Relationships, Content Creation | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Power Partners, Profiles And People

Super-successful business professionals continuously brag about their networks. “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know” is an oldie but goodie among business people. However, in the trenches of commerce, it is actually less who you know, but who knows you! Regardless of how great an opening line draws prospects into conversation, the technique is inferior to a professional seeing you across a real, or virtual room, then summon the courage to connect with, “Do you remember when we met that time…?” A positive reputation that precedes any professional creates a more valuable connection, every time! After that type of warm lead, the next most effective options are Power Partners. So, who are these professionals who utilize their power to transfer their superior credibility instantly to a trusted colleague? 

Profiles 

Power Partners independently rely on specific skills so that they can credibly facilitate revenue-producing introductions with their connections. The big boss who knows everyone in town within a certain industry may have incredible professional resources. For example, that individual may belong to the right clubs, or may regularly present before industry groups, or has been published in business periodicals and blogs. However, that notoriety does not guarantee transfering to new revenue. Unless that leader intentionally introduces and connects their team members to specific influencers, opportunities and resources, that leader fails the Power Partner test. 

Power Partners earn their title by consistently sharing skills, access, and influence! In identifying the profile for a successful Power Partner, the seeker must know exactly what problem that he or she wants to solve. A sales professional that seeks help with new prospects needs to connect with a Power Partner that has significant reach to contacts in that industry with buying authority. If the power seeker needs a relationship with someone of influence and reputation, the best connection is not necessarily with a rainmaker. The successful connection for that profile can be a leader, or subject matter expert. Productivity does not automatically equate with recognition. Significant influencers can often be valuable because their strength is in knowledge, and not necessarily people. 

People 

The other type of Power Partner involves strong relationships with people. Regardless of the organization’s function, identify the responsible individual for ensuring that the entity operates. For example, in heavy sales-oriented environments, a sensational sales professional can enjoy greater pay than their manager, and sometimes the manager’s manager. Such organizations often reward excessive growth and consequently compensate those biggest contributors. In that case a Power Partner may be a contributor with a free agent mindset. As long as that professional is recognized for producing, then she accepts the rewards of continued productivity. That individual’s contribution depends on satisfied recurring customers. Consequently, they need to be compensated as such. This Power Partner’s contribution is primarily connecting solutions to buyers. 

For this Power Partner, closing the transaction is key. Professionals that resonate well with this type of Power Partner knows where opportunities reside either inside an organization or among competitors. They emphasize positioning themselves to deal in information, so that they can be valuable to trusting colleagues and superiors. In short, the Power Partner that emphasizes people is typically a great contributor because the marketplace rewards their teambuilding skills to solve specific industry problems. Any referrals in those circles encourages another’s ability similarly to emphasize teambuilding. Their strongest attribute involve dazzling individuals more than the organization.

Conclusion 

Ultimately personalities dictate success. Furthermore, successful personalities must be in environments where their skills are maximally valued. In determining Power Partners, the individual professional must determine whether their personal interests are best served upon dominating a specific customer profile, or by connecting with certain organizational leaders. For the professional accessing Power Partners, the eventual solution must be clear. The high performance routines of Power Partners cannot afford to dampen their brand and productivity operating outside of their strength. On the other hand, for the professional that aligns with certain business profiles, success requires staying in that lane. Ultimately, upon correctly discerning between profile or people, Power Partners must position other business professionals to achieve satisfying and professionally successful results so that they will reciprocate. 

By Glenn W Hunter 

Managing Director, Hunter And Beyond, LLC 

Posted in Business Development, Client Relationships, Creating Culture, Leadership Development | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment