The Negotiation Stage

Posted by michelep

In the last post we spoke about getting a feel for your prospects personality to best match it with your appropriate sales person. Today we will discuss how to prepare for the first meeting with your prospective client.

Here are a few things to consider for your first face to face meeting:

  • Make a list of what you want to accomplish during the meeting.
  • Anticipate potential concerns from the client.
  • Check to make sure you are completely prepared.
  • Listen more than you talk.
  • Bring support staff with you.
  • Use and respect the clients’ format.
  • Always follow through.
  • Ask for what you need and seal the deal.
  • Find ways to simplify your prospects life.
  • Find ways to boost your credibility.
  • Build and nurture relationships.
  • Learn from “no” – find out what didn’t work so you know how to change it for the next time.

Having the confidence behind your company and product will help to catch that big fish. The next step of the process is negotiation.

Here are some tips to help you negotiate successfully:

  1. Build a pricing strategy and stick with it.
  2. Prioritize what you plan to offer. This should include what really matters to you and what you are willing to give in on.
  3. Don’t give in too quickly.
  4. Negotiate with a person, not a “company”. Don’t let their answer be that they would like to, but can’t.
  5. Don’t sell yourself short.
  6. Mitigate your pricing. If you go to low you won’t be able to raise it back up and you need to make a profit.
  7. Don’t sacrifice quality for the deal.
  8. Your services should always count as costs.
  9. Boost margins with add-ons.
  10. Handle request for proposals with the utmost care.

These are some ways to ensure both parties are getting the best possible outcome from the partnership. Once you start meeting or working together, it’s important to continue to build on your relationship as they will be more likely to vouch for you and build on the partnership you have with their company.

If you need help with any of the negotiation or courting process, try our GUIDED TOUR to get access to a wealth of great tools and resources to help you be successful. 

Think Like a ‘Big’ Company

Posted by michelep

In the last post we chatted about catching and keeping big clients, or “big fish”, the ones that will sustain your business over the long run. Today we’re going to go a step further and discuss how to understand and think like a ‘big fish’ company and how that can help you plan your approach and find success.

Before you can start the process of landing big clients, it is important that your team is onboard with your approach and vision. Here are six tips to finding big client success:

  1. First Impression: This is your one shot to land that big client. Have your plan thought out, any mistakes and they may not consider you again. Don’t give them a reason to doubt your abilities.
  2. First Priority: Ensure that the client feels like they are your first priority. Returning calls and emails promptly and finding solutions to their problems as quickly as possible.
  3. Flexible: Be flexible in your negotiations. If the client needs a special service or for you to customize a product, say yes for the long term benefit. A little hassle now will pay off later.
  4. Long-term: Similar to the last point – as you are approaching and negotiating with big clients you need to think about the long term benefits for your business. If you go for a one-time big score you will lose their interest.
  5. Have Fun: Work should be fun, even when trying to land big clients. In fact, this should be the most fun. You are sharing your vision with new people and including them in your future success. If your passionate your clients will see this and want to work with you.
  6. Help Them: If you take a small amount of your time to offer your clients ways to save money or time by introducing them to potential business partners, this will show you really are invested and interested in their business. Strive to find balance between your business needs and your client’s needs.

​Here are a few tactics you can use to inspire a big-company vision to your team:

  • Post these six tips for your team to see.
  • Put together a performance based incentive program.
  • Conduct frequent team meetings.
  • Use a “right now” policy that dictates big fish calls be answered immediately.
  • Offer rewards/recognition for big-company ideas and executions.
  • Put together a training and certification program based on the six keys above.


These tips and tactics will help you instill a big-company mindset through your company which will help you be more prepared to land your ‘big fish’. Once your team is thinking this way, nothing will stop you!

If you need help putting together an incentive program or other way to push your team toward the big-company mindset, try our GUIDED TOUR to work with one of our coaches or check out our resources and tools.


The 1% Rule

Posted by michelep

Just like the effects of compounding interest, making small changes regularly can have a huge impact over the longer term.

Last week we discussed how consistency is key for great customer service. Going forward from last post, once you have the consistency of your customer service down pat you can then focus on adding value to your business.

The 1% rule simply means to add value to your customer service one percent at a time. You may think that 1% seems like a small amount, but if you approach the vision for your business with small, consistent steps you will find a huge increase over time. Afterall it is a marathon, not a sprint.

Although rules and standards are critical for business growth, it is important to be flexible with your loyal customers. As an example, most retailers only allow customers to take a certain amount of items into the dressing room in hopes to reduce the risk of shoplifting. Whilst this may help protect the business from shoplifters, it restricts sales from the large percentage of people who aren’t stealing from you.

Flexibility is the key to what you deliver to your customers and consistency is the key to how you deliver it. The bottom line is your customers are relying on you to deliver what you promise. Keep your vision in clear sight and keep taking those small consistent steps to turn your satisfied customers into Raving Fans.

If you need help with any of the steps we’ve gone through over the last four weeks try our GUIDED TOUR and get access to some of the best resources, tools and coaches available.

In upcoming posts we’re going to explore strategies of finding the big clients and how to keep them.

Awesome Service

Posted by michelep

Great customer experience is paramount and can make or break your business. These days we have little patience for lousy service, and easily get tired of waiting, trying to get a real person on the line, going through an interrogation to return something or attempting to communicate through a language barrier.

Providing a simple, efficient, pleasant experience will ensure repeat business and great referrals.

Having a clearly defined customer service strategy, as part of your overall business vision, will set you up for success, and defining what is important to you the business owner, can help you develop this strategy.

There are three main things you need to consider.

1. It needs to be easy for your customers to do business with you. Technology today makes it super easy for business to take place, make sure you don’t have unnecessary barriers that will let customers opt out during the buying process. Such as too many steps, no payment options or high-risk purchases.
2. Doing business with you needs to be a warm and pleasant experience. Your team should be knowledgeable, approachable, warm and patient. Perceived value goes beyond the price of the products and extends to your customers shopping experience, and they need to feel like they are getting good value for their time and money.
3. When reviewing the cost to implement things to make the buying process easier, look at it as an investment rather than an expense, and ask yourself how you can NOT afford to do it.

When deciding on the actual processes and strategies you’ll put into place.
• Share your customer service vision with your team
• Connect your team incentive programs and bonuses directly to customer service.
• Seek feedback from your customers on your service level.
• Know when you can ignore what your customers want.
• Continuously focus on your goals.

If you’re struggling to implement a customer service strategy, the tools and resources in our GUIDED TOUR can help you define the wants and needs of your company in relation to customer service.

Add Some Compost

Posted by michelep

In the last blog we talked about the first three of the 7 specific areas you need to consider in scaling your business. Here are all seven again:

• Primary Aim
• Strategic Objectives
• Organisational Strategy
• Management Strategy
• People Strategy
• Marketing Strategy
• Systems Strategy

These 7 areas will fine turn your plan for the ultimate level of success. This week we will address the last four.

Think of constructing your business model like planting a tree. At first, it’s so small and weak you wonder if it will even survive the night. But, you keep watering, fertilising and nurturing it. Your ideas will grow the trunk and each of these strategies will extend out as the branches of your now strong tree. Finding the perfect support team, customers/ suppliers and other relationships will make your tree flourish with leaves and flowers.

Management Strategy
Your management team is not only essential to your growth, but the happiness of your employees and, ultimately, your customers/clients. This strategy is results-oriented and doesn’t depend on the people, but the actual system that’s in place.
A management strategy is, in short, a set of standards that include goals, rules, a mission statement and other concrete things that tell your team how to act, management how to grow your business and your customers/clients what to expect.
Aligning perfectly with your business goals.
Your people strategy needs to show your team how you feel about their job performance and dedication to your business. They also need to understand “why” they are doing specific tasks. When people understand why they need to do a task it leads to a better personal connection which in turn leads to better production and a happier workplace.
Here are just a few ideas to keep it interesting 
• Performance Incentive Programs
• Contests that reward high performance
• Employee of the Month
• Performance/Holiday Bonuses

One of the best ways to appreciate your employees is by asking them how they would like to be rewarded. Think about it for awhile and put the best strategy into play. Keep it fresh and change up the strategy you use from time to time to keep your employees guessing. Once they get used to the prize, it’s time to change it up.
You need to build a community within your company. There needs to be support, appreciation and respect. The more “at home” an employee feels, the better they will perform and the higher their level of loyalty.

Marketing Strategy
Marketing is, of course, essential to the success of any business, but it also must work cohesively with the other strategies you’re using. You need to understand, the demographic and psychographic profiles of your customers.
The psychographic tells you what your customers are the most likely to buy and the demographic tells you who they are, which can help you learn why they buy specific items. Without this information it simply doesn’t matter how good your business model is.

Systems Strategy
There are three types of systems in every business:
• Hard Systems
• Soft Systems
• Information Systems

Hard systems refer to inanimate system or systems that have no “life”. Soft systems are those that could be living. Information systems which are, of course, everything else, including customer data, product information, financial…anything with data and numbers.
The most important of all three systems is the soft systems because it includes the sales systems your business uses. In your sales system the two keys to success are: structure and substance. Structure being what you sell and substance being how you sell it.
All three systems are essential to the success of your business and while they all have their own very specific roles, they all must work together to get the job done. This also goes for your entire business development program.
We can help you work through all of these areas and give your business a jumpstart that puts you ahead of your competition right from the start. Use our GUIDED TOUR and gain access to a wealth of tools and resources.