7 Habits of People With Great Reputations…

  1. They get things done.
  2. They take ownership of mistakes.
  3. They are generous.
  4. They listen to other points of view.
  5. They’re decisive.
  6. They don’t sacrifice principles.
  7. They’re resilient.
See full post at Fast Company.

Quality PLUS Exposure…

Quality PLUS Exposure – Your ideas are relevant and helpful. When people engage your “real deal” thinking, it makes a positive difference in their businesses. You’ve connected with the market, broadened your sphere of recognition and reputation, and marketed your packaged ideas in a way that allows your ideas and contributions to disperse among the people in your market. You win. See more.

Find And Communicate The Differences Within Your Professional Service Organization…

By Harry Beckwith, Selling The Invisible

Every service firm is different, and creating and communicating differences is central to effective marketing. History shows that everything can be made different. For years, catsups, flour, pickles, and sugar – to name only four products – came in large tubs and were sold as commodities in corner stores. Then Heinz, Gold Medal, and C&H came along, turned these apparently indistinguishable commodities into distinctive brands, and made billions.

If buyers can perceive differences in different catsups, flour, pickles and sugar – all of which are almost identical biologically and chemically – then buyers certainly will perceive major differences in services. Service, after all, comprise unique components: people, no two of whom are the same.

Two services cannot be virtually identical in the people they attract, the work they inspire, the information and training they pass on, the rate at which they learn, or the efficiency with which they work. It is not unlikely; it is impossible. Human beings are too different, and their interactions in different environments only magnify those differences.

What’s more, prospects perceive services as different. All of us have walked into a company and immediately detected the forces at work. Passion, energy, optimism – in a dynamic service company, all these qualities are palpable within the first fifteen seconds of entering the lobby. You can read the DNA of a company from the receptionist and discover it replicated throughout the company.

Every service is different. Identifying and communicating those differences and creating new ones are central to successful service marketing.

If you cannot see the differences in your service, look harder.

Approach Your Prospective Clients As Your Equal When Selling Your Professional Services…

I see this time and time again. Most architects or others who are selling professional services, approach a prospective client from a servile perspective, as if their future is in the hands of the prospect. This positions them as “yes-men” rather than the expert professionals they truly are. To be successful in selling your professional services, you need to gain your prospective client’s trust and respect. In order to achieve this, you need to position yourself as your prospective client’s equal, and as a professional expert who can help your prospective client with the current challenges s/he is facing with regards to your particular area of expertise.  Of course, you’re there to serve your prospective client; your best chance to accomplish this goal is to be his equal, not his minion.

Nurturing Prospects In A Longer Sales Cycle…

I’m not one to advocate for spending all of ones time on chasing opportunistic leads, as I believe a more sustainable enduring way to develop business is to target potential clients for the long-term. However, those instances arise when you hear of a lead that seems to be the perfect fit for your firm, right!? And so, of course, you chase those – at a minimum, call and inquire.

I recently read that on average, less than one-fourth of prospects are ready to immediately buy your services. This could be considered good, because you are afforded the time to cultivate the prospect. One of the top challenges in B2B business development, however, is converting qualified leads into customers. How do you nurture these prospects in the early stages of the sales cycle? Hopefully your business development efforts have produced enough of an understanding of what your prospects key issues are and you can work to position yourself as a thought leader and experienced professional, rather than a “me-too” type firm. Share helpful information, offer a free or low cost broad evaluation, be authentic, and sparingly share case studies that show your past experience.

Go Grow!

 

Positioning Thought Leadership Requires Quality Plus Exposure…

By Mike Shultz & John Doerr

Exposure MINUS Quality – You want to be known in your market, and you have fabulous market exposure and reach…but something’s missing, and your audience knows it. Most empty speeches, empty books, and empty suits get judged correctly and are set aside.

Quality MINUS Exposure – If a great white paper falls in the woods and nobody is there to hear it, does it make a sound? You may be the real deal when it comes to your quality ideas and relevance within your market. But if you’re known by no one, you’ll influence no one. The “leadership” part of thought leadership implies that there are people who follow your action. Without the followers, you’re out of luck.

Quality PLUS Exposure – Your ideas are relevant and helpful. When people engage your “real deal” thinking, it makes a positive difference in their businesses. You’ve connected with the market, broadened your sphere of recognition and reputation, and marketed your packaged ideas in a way that allows your ideas and contributions to disperse among the people in your market. You win.

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