Mind Stretching…

ENJOY this article and insight by Madyson Taylor:

Having a flexible mind makes navigating life much easier as you are not thrown off course easily.

Flexibility is the capacity to bend without breaking, as well as a continual willingness to change or be changed in order to accommodate new circumstances. People with flexible minds are open to shifting their course when necessary or useful; they are not overly attached to things going the way they had planned. This enables them to take advantage of opportunities that a more rigid person would miss out on. It can also make life a lot more fun. When we are flexible, we allow for situations we could not have planned, and so the world continues to surprise and delight us.

Since reality is in a constant state of flux, it doesn’t make sense to be rigid or to cling to any one idea of what is happening or what is going to happen. We are more in tune with reality when we are flexible. Being in tune enables us to adjust to the external environment and other people as they change and grow. When we are rigid or stuck in our ways, instead of adjusting to the world around us we hunker down, clinging to a concept of reality rather than reality itself. When we do this, we cut ourselves off from life, and we miss out on valuable opportunities, as well as a lot of joy.

Just as we create flexibility in our bodies by stretching physically, we can create limberness in our minds by stretching mentally. Every day we have the opportunity to exercise our flexibility. We can do this in small ways such as taking a different route home from work or changing our exercise routine. On a larger scale, we can rearrange the furniture or redo a room in our house. If these are things we already do regularly, we can stretch our minds by imagining several different possibilities for how the next year will unfold. As we do this, our minds become more supple and open, and when changes come our way, we are able to accommodate and flow with the new reality.

Madisyn is the co-founder and editor-in-chief of the popular inspirational website and daily email, DailyOM and is responsible for all of its content. A recognized leader in self-help and new thought spirituality, Madisyn has more than 25 years experience in personal development and alternative healing methodologies. She has contributed to national publications and is a popular guest on many radio shows. Hay House published her international bestselling books, DailyOM: Inspirational Thoughts For A Happy, Healthy & Fulfilling Day, and DailyOM: Learning To Live.

Longer Term Business Development…

Professional service firms often emphasize creating leads now.  Short-term leads aren’t always the best leads. These short-terms prospects have typically been working with another firm for many months, and are ready to buy their services. If you call these prospects, you may be brought into the process, and you may get lucky…but the other firm has dedicated the time and effort to position themselves to win the work. You may appear opportunistic-centric rather than relationship-centric. You may end up simply being a price check.

Most professional services are not bought on impulse. Place a higher priority on generating and nurturing long-term leads. Long-term lead generation takes a “long” time – often 2-4 years. Create a strong list of prospective clients, and use a variety of marketing and business development tactics to progressively show your genuine interest in these people and their business. Simultaneously, build trust and rapport so that your prospects begin to understand your skills, capabilities, and experience.

Incorporate long-term lead generation and nurturing into your business development process, and realize, albeit over a period of time, dramatic growth within your company.

Adaptive Innovation…

Adaptive innovation increases growth – sales growth, operating income growth, market growth, profit growth – etc. Adaptive innovation is about doing things differently and requires a relationship-centric culture with the courage to fail and learn from those failures. It’s often fueled by those at the edge of the business, often closest to the voice of the customer – sales, client-relationship management. It is not about imitating the strategies of others or through traditional value add….but shaping your organization’s own destiny. Innovation is a process with multiple enablers, contributors, and positive components. For example, a single ad never works. Advertising (especially in B2B) just contributes to the noise. When you innovate, the market seeks you out.

Adaptively innovate…go grow!

Shifting the Vetting – To Your Prospect…

David Baker consults with ad agencies and graphic designers – and his message is easily relatable to architectural and those in the A/E/C world.

 

http://www.recourses.com/shifting-the-vetting-to-your-prospect

Most of you would like a prospect–in the early stages–to assume that working with you will be a fit. Then you want the opportunity to move them along during the sales process until the check clears. You don’t want them making any early decisions on their own, deciding that it’s not a good fit, possibly, and looking for a different firm to work with.

We know this is true by looking at your website, which is welcoming, friendly, and sometimes full of those faux tests that help a prospect determine the fit. “Here, take this four question test and see if we should work together: First, do you want a true partnership. Second, do you want good value for your money. Third, do you want quick results. Fourth, do you want lasting results.” And then, after a drum roll, they learn that it’s a good fit! Surprise, surprise.

 

Why You Should Help Prospects Vet Themselves

Your website should help a prospect make an honest decision about whether it’s a good fit to work with you, and they should do this on their own, before they ever talk to you, for these two reasons:

  1. They will be more honest than you will. You cannot be trusted to not compromise when you smell opportunity. This is why you might encourage your teenager to describe an ideal mate before they meet that person; otherwise the list looks suspiciously like the person they just met.
  2. It will save you time. One of the biggest dangers in business development is wasting time chasing prospective clients who are just kicking the tires, and in the new business process there’s one thing that you are always seeking at all costs, and that’s the truth. In this context, data is always your friend. So if the new relationship is not meant to be, the sooner you find that out the better.

 

How Your Prospects Can Vet Themselves

If you agree with these two reasons and want to help your prospects determine a fit on their own, it’s going to take some courage on your part. If the process is going to be meaningful, some prospects are never going to contact you and you’ll have to be okay with that. This aligns with the notion that sales isn’t about convincing or manipulating a prospect, and it assumes that you are offering something valuable and worthy and for which there are few viable substitutes.

There are many things you can talk about to help prospects do this, but some are difficult to express well. In the end, you probably should stick with just a few, and here are the most useful ones.

  • Explain what size the first project would be, ideally, and how that number fits into the larger relationship you want with the client. Your reasoning is because relationships of this scale allow you to be effective and profitable.
  • Describe the typical mix between strategy and implementation in your work. Must you do strategy at the outset or would you go straight to implementation to get a foot in the door and then swim upstream later.
  • What payment terms work well for you. If you require a significant portion of the fee at the outset, explain why you’ve come to that policy.
  • You’d word these in your own, friendly way and then relax instead of thinking that selling is a fragile process. You’re in the expertise business and not the service business.

Sales Strategy – Pursue The Business…

This is one of the 4 sales strategies Michelle Davidson, editor of Rain Today, recently wrote:

Pursue the Business

One of the things salespeople don’t do that they know they should is follow up on quotes and proposals. For those who don’t follow up, not knowing is better than being rejected, says Alex Goldfayn in his podcast interview 3 Tactics to Grow Revenue and Not Sound Like a Pushy Salesperson.

The thing is, if you follow up on those who don’t respond, you will close on average 15% to 20% of them, he says.

“The simple act of following up on quotes and proposals is one of your lowest hanging fruits for revenue growth,” Goldfayn says.

It works because you are showing interest. When people are considering multiple providers, the business goes to the person who acts interested in getting the business—even if it isn’t the lowest price.

“So, be interested in the business,” he says. “Again we’re not imposing, we’re not stepping on toes, we’re not taking up time. We are expressing to them that we want this business.”

See her full post here.

Be Proactive In Your Marketing & Business Development…

What are your objectives and goals for 2016?

discipline02Top organizations and teams are proactive in their marketing and business development efforts: They don’t wait for RFPs. They identify the clients they want to work for and develop effective strategies to capture them. Once they have clients, they don’t let them go. Principals/Partners stay very close to their clients and endeavors to know their business better than the clients themselves. Their goal is to establish such a strong relationship with clients that they get 100 percent of their clients’ work wherever in the world it occurs. (Source PSMJ)

Happy Healthy Peaceful Purposeful 2016! I hope this message inspires you to hit the ground running, both personally and professionally. Let me know if there’s a way to be of service to you – I’m an incredible coach – business development or personal development (private yoga).

Go Grow!

The Heart of Professional Services Strategy…

professional services strategy

Kick-Start Your 2014 Business Development Efforts With Cold-Calling…

I often hear from architects and engineers and other b2b business owners that cold calling doesn”t work for them. I sometimes hear it is a dead tactic or an old-school tactic. Those are true statements if you don”t develop a strategy and stick with your efforts. Cold calling works – ask any of my clients who have worked with me to develop and execute their efforts.

Effective cold calling takes:

  • Building the right list, with multiple key contacts.
  • Developing positioning credit report free annual does have a termination date, right? credit report free annual is just the promise to deliver money at a later date. statements.
  • Building a “series” campaign that builds credibility and awareness about your firm.
  • Using a touch schedule to keep you on track.
  • And using both calling and emailing as part of your overall efforts.

Cold calling generates meetings with prospects, aids in your fact-finding, research, and lead generation efforts. It can help you “connect dots” and add significant value to your company”s business development efforts.  Cold calling can become a major factor in your firm”s growth and success. Take time to develop a straightforward cold calling strategy and implement your strategy using a team member with the right skill set and personality. Develop a process to streamline and organize your efforts and simultaneously keep track of information. Salesforce is a great tool, and if you are on a budget Outlook can be extremely effective.

If you need help, reach out – I do this type of work for clients all the time.

Go Grow!

What It Means To Be Client-Focused…

It”s amazing how little, simple things can help you stand apart and above your competition – generally it boils down to being more client-focused. Eight points to consider…

  1. Listen: Understand your client and your client”s business so you can come up with appropriate solutions for them.
  2. Teach: Help them understand what you”re doing so they can apply that knowledge within their business.
  3. Fit: Be a good fit for the specific needs that your client has. If you”re not a good fit, let your client know, and suggest a few people who may be better suited to their needs.
  4. Impact: Help your client understand the services you offer that are most appropriate for them and their business, and help them incorporate those services successfully within their business.
  5. Reliability: Do what you say you are going to do.
  6. Accessibility:  Be there when your client needs you.
  7. Diligence: Be attentive to details, and research and think before you suggest a course of action for your client.
  8. Relationship Management: Develop a relationship with your client, communicate and collaborate effectively, and treat your client like a person.

Let Go of the Results…

This is a difficult concept. But, focusing on the results only serves as a distraction for us all. The result of the work doesn’t really belong to us – but the quality of attention that we pay during the process of executing our work does belong to us. No matter your job, your title, your tasks: let go of the results in everything you do. Yes, of course, allow the end result to serve as a goal, but refocus your attention on the quality of the tasks leading you to the end goal and place greater emphasis on the process. When we…

  • focus on the present moment
  • do our best in everything we do
  • we will always be happy, and
  • the results will take care of themselves

I’ve noticed when I can focus on the present moment and put quality effort into my daily tasks, I often surpass the goal I had originally set. When I focus on the goal or results, I tend to become anxious and “me focused” rather than “client-focused”.

Letting go of the results is one of the hardest principles we can put into practice because we are trained to focus on the results. In business, it is about the numbers, the growth, and the final sale. In business development, we get consumed by landing that next big corporate account and we forget to stay in the present moment. But, when we stay present, put focused clear attention into the process of execution, our prospective clients actually enjoy us as salespeople. When we are focused on the present and our clients’ immediate needs, and stop worrying so much on the end result or potential future results, we provide real solutions to our clients.

Go Grow!

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