Business Strategy

Thought Leadership’s Journey to Brand Awareness

In the last two articles, ‘Importance of Thought Leadership for Corporate Growth’ and ‘Your Company’s Thought Leadership Has Eluded Business Development Success’, we focused on thought leadership. We talked about the importance of thought leadership for corporate growth, while also looking into factors in which a company might miss out on the benefits of thought leadership. In this article, we’ll discuss the connection between thought leadership and brand awareness.
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Market Assessment Series: Part 5 | Extraordinary Business

Question 5: What are the different market segments? Do we need to enter in all or just a few of these segments? Which segments are expanding and which are shrinking?

Market segmentation is a crucial part of a marketing strategy, especially one being utilized when entering a new market. In this fifth part of our market assessment series, we’ll discuss the importance of market segmentation.
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Execute! Review, Adjust, Execute! | Extraordinary Business

Signals of the best time to visit or revisit your company’s strategy.

Galaxy S III Commercial

Samsung Galaxy S III launched a new television commercial right at the time that Apple’s iPhone 5 came out.  This commercial could not be more strategic.  They recognized that Apple is a very powerful brand that would hurt the Galaxy III’s sales.  Their marketing team created an approach to address this head on. [···]

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Going Around the Mountain | Extraordinary Business

Taking the Indirect Route to Increase Business Development Performance

imageIf you can think differently about how to get your sales and can do it consistently, you will probably find that you can fill your sales funnel, consistently.

Business and consumers are constantly being bombarded by offers to purchase goods or services that they may or may not need.  Regardless, many business leaders focus on the direct sales approach – going directly to the end user and trying to pitch those goods or services and are often pleased with very low turnover rates.  This might be through direct emailing, advertising, networking or leveraging social media.

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Elevate Your Game | Extraordinary Business

Elevate Your Game Have you ever been to a store or worked with a business owner or a business that seemed to have a “think-small” or “scarcity” mentality.  What I mean by that is that there are certain business owners who spend so much energy simply trying to survive that they never get anywhere.  It is as though they have a boat with a hole in the bottom and instead of investing in repairing the hole, they focus all of their energies on bailing water out of the boat.  What they often miss out on is the fact that even if they don’t immediately have the resources to repair the hole, completely, if they are the only one bailing, there is no one sailing the ship.

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Business Development | Extraordinary Business

How to get and manage more customer relationships

One of the greatest challenge many business owners face is in business development.  Time and time again, business opportunities are simply lost as a result of having poor or no business development processes in place.  Those business that expect to have staying power in the marketplace must have those systems in place, and they must be updated and tweaked, continually.

The center of this process is typically around some method of customer relationship management.  A customer relationship management tool is one that allows you to keep track of people that you meet, some of whom may move through a series of steps that will look something like:Grancesco Marino graphic

  • Lead – A person that may or may not have the potential to do business with you.  They seem to fit into your target market and could potentially be someone with whom you could do business.  Leads often fall into two or three categories:
    • Cold lead – They’ve never heard of you, nor have you gotten an introduction to them
    • Warm lead – They’ve heard of you, possibly through an introduction, but don’t know enough about you to make a purchase decision
    • Hot lead – someone who knows you and or your business, and is open to purchasing from you.
  • Prospect
    • A prospect is a confirmed lead – someone who has a need you can fill, has taken an interest in filling that need, and has the resources to purchase from you.  The key, here, is that they understand what you and your company have to offer
    • There are a number of steps you’ll want to follow (and, perhaps customize, based on your industry and target market) in order to get them to the phase of client:
      • Interview them – learn more about their needs, concerns, challenges and/or interests
      • Analyze needs – determine how you can best fulfill their needs
      • Present – present your solution or solutions set
      • Negotiate – work around any objections
      • Close the Deal – get the contract and money in hand!
  • Client – you have fulfilled their needs in exchange for money or another medium of exchange
  • Repeat client & referral partner – getting them to purchase more from you and (not or) get them to refer other people to you.  This will be your least expensive form of marketing, since these people know you and your business and hopefully, enjoyed the experience.

The challenge many business owners find is that without having developed a strategy to manage all of this, money is left on the table and clients slip through the cracks.  Even those that put money into a CRM system, such as salesforce.com, Maximizer and Act! will quickly find that the software does not automate itself; you’ve got to invest the time and energy into learning it and making it work for you and your business.  Data entry and update is not a quick process.  However, it will pay off.

The best recommendation from industry professionals (CRM) is to work with an industry professional who can get a good understanding of your business, your sales processes, your current lead generation tactics and other nuances of the sales process and have assist you with choosing, implementing and training you on how to get the greatest return on your investment.  Like anything else in life, you are limited by what you know or have capacity to learn.  Working with an experienced professional will likely save you time and money and get your CRM solution running on the right foot.

Customer relationship management can be the difference between growing an extraordinary business and going out of business.

Grow extraordinary.  Try CRM.

Aepiphanni Business Consulting: The Business Strategy People is an Operations Management and Business Strategy Consulting Firm dedicated to serving the needs of small to medium sized business leaders. We specialize in helping leaders create extraordinary businesses.

We welcome clients in the personal and professional services industries, including Creative and Design Services, Software & IT Services, Professional Services and Specialty Consumer Services.  As always, we welcome your comments, thoughts, questions and suggestions.

If you are seeking a business assessment, or have further questions about creating your strategy or developing your vision, please give me, Rick Meekins, a call at 678-265-3908, or email us at [email protected].
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Business Development | Extraordinary Business

How to get and manage more customer relationships

One of the greatest challenge many business owners face is in business development.  Time and time again, business opportunities are simply lost as a result of having poor or no business development processes in place.  Those business that expect to have staying power in the marketplace must have those systems in place, and they must be updated and tweaked, continually.
The center of this process is typically around some method of customer relationship management.  A customer relationship management tool is one that allows you to keep track of people that you meet, some of whom may move through a series of steps that will look something like:Grancesco Marino graphic

  • Lead – A person that may or may not have the potential to do business with you.  They seem to fit into your target market and could potentially be someone with whom you could do business.  Leads often fall into two or three categories:
    • Cold lead – They’ve never heard of you, nor have you gotten an introduction to them
    • Warm lead – They’ve heard of you, possibly through an introduction, but don’t know enough about you to make a purchase decision
    • Hot lead – someone who knows you and or your business, and is open to purchasing from you.
  • Prospect
    • A prospect is a confirmed lead – someone who has a need you can fill, has taken an interest in filling that need, and has the resources to purchase from you.  The key, here, is that they understand what you and your company have to offer
    • There are a number of steps you’ll want to follow (and, perhaps customize, based on your industry and target market) in order to get them to the phase of client:
      • Interview them – learn more about their needs, concerns, challenges and/or interests
      • Analyze needs – determine how you can best fulfill their needs
      • Present – present your solution or solutions set
      • Negotiate – work around any objections
      • Close the Deal – get the contract and money in hand!
  • Client – you have fulfilled their needs in exchange for money or another medium of exchange
  • Repeat client & referral partner – getting them to purchase more from you and (not or) get them to refer other people to you.  This will be your least expensive form of marketing, since these people know you and your business and hopefully, enjoyed the experience.

The challenge many business owners find is that without having developed a strategy to manage all of this, money is left on the table and clients slip through the cracks.  Even those that put money into a CRM system, such as salesforce.com, Maximizer and Act! will quickly find that the software does not automate itself; you’ve got to invest the time and energy into learning it and making it work for you and your business.  Data entry and update is not a quick process.  However, it will pay off.
The best recommendation from industry professionals (CRM) is to work with an industry professional who can get a good understanding of your business, your sales processes, your current lead generation tactics and other nuances of the sales process and have assist you with choosing, implementing and training you on how to get the greatest return on your investment.  Like anything else in life, you are limited by what you know or have capacity to learn.  Working with an experienced professional will likely save you time and money and get your CRM solution running on the right foot.
Customer relationship management can be the difference between growing an extraordinary business and going out of business.
Grow extraordinary.  Try CRM.
Aepiphanni Business Consulting: The Business Strategy People is an Operations Management and Business Strategy Consulting Firm dedicated to serving the needs of small to medium sized business leaders. We specialize in helping leaders create extraordinary businesses.
We welcome clients in the personal and professional services industries, including Creative and Design Services, Software & IT Services, Professional Services and Specialty Consumer Services.  As always, we welcome your comments, thoughts, questions and suggestions.
If you are seeking a business assessment, or have further questions about creating your strategy or developing your vision, please give me, Rick Meekins, a call at 678-265-3908, or email us at [email protected].
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Born Running | Extraordinary Business

As a business leader, when you started your business, you were born running.  It was easy to get up every day and simply make things happen.  You had a vision for where you wanted your business to go, who you wanted to serve and what you expected to happen as a result of your business’s existence.

As reality hit, as the economy shifts, you’ve discovered that things aren’t as you had dreamed.  The work is a little harder and longer, the business consumes more and more of your life, the world is less friendly and getting people to do more than talk about your products or services is a bit more complicated than you anticipated.image

But you know that you cannot stop running.  Like an athlete, you know that if you don’t keep running, you cannot finish the race – even those in last place do finish.  That is not so for those who quit.

Consider, for a moment, what it takes to be a great athlete.  It takes clear focus, training, understanding of what it takes to win, clear goals on how to get there and people around you to help keep you on track.  You recognize the rules and guidelines and make a choice whether or not to obey them.  You get the proper resources and make sure that they are maintained in order for you to keep running.  You have a coach – someone to point out ways for you to do what it is you do a little better.

As a business leader, it is no different.  Clear direction, training, conditioning, people and a coach are not just nice to have, but requirements for you to be able to run the race for the long haul.  As you scan the environment – your industry and your marketplace, at least, you will see businesses that could not make it – that had to quit as a result of any number of effectors.  You must consider to yourself what will keep you out of that haphazard heap of corpses.

While it is no easy feat, you’ve got to keep running.  If you trip and fall, you’ve got to get up and do it, again.  As an extraordinary leader, quitting is not an option.  Though you may change your course or your perspective, you don’t quit.  Be extraordinary.  Keep running!

Aepiphanni Business Consulting: The Business Strategy People is a Strategy Consulting Firm dedicated to serving the needs of small to medium sized business leaders and executives. We specialize in helping leaders create extraordinary businesses.  We welcome clients in the personal and professional services industries, including Creative and Design Services, Software & IT Services, Professional Services and Healthcare Services.  As always, we welcome your comments, thoughts, questions and suggestions.  If you are seeking a business assessment, or have further questions about creating your strategy or developing your vision, please give me, Rick Meekins, a call at 678-265-3908, or email us at [email protected].


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Technorati Tags: Extraordinary Business,Extraordinary Leader,Focus,Determination,Vision,Goals,Coach
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Born Running | Extraordinary Business

As a business leader, when you started your business, you were born running.  It was easy to get up every day and simply make things happen.  You had a vision for where you wanted your business to go, who you wanted to serve and what you expected to happen as a result of your business’s existence.

As reality hit, as the economy shifts, you’ve discovered that things aren’t as you had dreamed.  The work is a little harder and longer, the business consumes more and more of your life, the world is less friendly and getting people to do more than talk about your products or services is a bit more complicated than you anticipated.image

But you know that you cannot stop running.  Like an athlete, you know that if you don’t keep running, you cannot finish the race – even those in last place do finish.  That is not so for those who quit.

Consider, for a moment, what it takes to be a great athlete.  It takes clear focus, training, understanding of what it takes to win, clear goals on how to get there and people around you to help keep you on track.  You recognize the rules and guidelines and make a choice whether or not to obey them.  You get the proper resources and make sure that they are maintained in order for you to keep running.  You have a coach – someone to point out ways for you to do what it is you do a little better.

As a business leader, it is no different.  Clear direction, training, conditioning, people and a coach are not just nice to have, but requirements for you to be able to run the race for the long haul.  As you scan the environment – your industry and your marketplace, at least, you will see businesses that could not make it – that had to quit as a result of any number of effectors.  You must consider to yourself what will keep you out of that haphazard heap of corpses.

While it is no easy feat, you’ve got to keep running.  If you trip and fall, you’ve got to get up and do it, again.  As an extraordinary leader, quitting is not an option.  Though you may change your course or your perspective, you don’t quit.  Be extraordinary.  Keep running!

Aepiphanni Business Consulting: The Business Strategy People is a Strategy Consulting Firm dedicated to serving the needs of small to medium sized business leaders and executives. We specialize in helping leaders create extraordinary businesses.  We welcome clients in the personal and professional services industries, including Creative and Design Services, Software & IT Services, Professional Services and Healthcare Services.  As always, we welcome your comments, thoughts, questions and suggestions.  If you are seeking a business assessment, or have further questions about creating your strategy or developing your vision, please give me, Rick Meekins, a call at 678-265-3908, or email us at [email protected].


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Technorati Tags: Extraordinary Business,Extraordinary Leader,Focus,Determination,Vision,Goals,Coach
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