Tools of Professional Management

.management tools

“…at some stage ‘entrepreneurship’ is not sufficient and the nature of the organization must change, together with the people who run it.” Eric Flamholtz “Growing Pains”

How well do you cope with the endless day to day problems in your business?  AND simultaneously keep an eye on it’s future direction? Both are critical.  However you will need the right tools to do both; the Tools of Professional Management.

In this case, I recommend that every entrepreneur use the following tools. My challenge to you is to review them. Then ask “How well is this being put to use in my organization?”  Commit to doing something about it if you are not satisfied with the answer.  In fact, that is the only way anything will change.

The Tools of Professional Management

Strategic Planning

This process is a critical resource for managing growth and development. It defines the company’s future direction and provides a focus for everyone’s efforts. At the very least, planning should include:

  1. Goals,
  2. Objectives, and
  3. Action steps to achieve goals.

Strategic planning helps employees start to understand the direction the company is taking.  Also their role in its development.

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What NOT to Say-The Importance of Human Relation Skills

effective communication

Excellent technical skills are a must for any business.  Outstanding verbal skills are also, as they influence customer service, sales, team effectiveness, efficiency, and turnover.  If you say the wrong thing, or say something the wrong way, you risk losing customers and prospect opportunities.  You jeopardize effective communication with everybody.

It doesn’t matter what type of business you are in, you are also in the business of interacting with people.  This requires developing and managing both new and ongoing relationships.  You must have a good understanding of persuasion and influence.  In other words, you need to know how to get the outcomes you really want by using the power of your words.

There is a very thin line in any dialogue between being tactful and persuasive and not being understood.  Or being confrontational.  Which do you think leads to better outcomes?

I have listed a few things to be aware of saying or not saying.  I have also explained the “why” for you.

With a few small changes you will find yourself getting much better results!   Continue reading

Why Effective Questioning Leads to Sales

effective questioning

I talk with clients a lot about effective questioning as part of the sales process.  (Notice I said “effective questioning.”)

In his book “To Sell is Human”,  Dan Pink gives the reason that questioning is so powerful.  The book is a study of the psychology of moving people aka: Sales.  (I do this type of studying so you don’t have to if you don’t want!)

The significance lies in the core of how questions operate.  Let’s contrast this first with a statement.

When you make a statement, it can be received passively. You know, in one ear and out the other. This is what happens when you “pitch.”  And why a pitch so often falls on deaf ears.  Telling is not selling.  It’s certainly not helping a prospect buy from you.

When you ask a question, the receiver is compelled to respond. Either aloud if the question is direct, or silently if it is rhetorical.

That requires at least a bit of effort on the part of your prospect. Or as researchers say ”more intensive processing of message content.”  That’s the key!  Make your prospect think. Continue reading

Small Business Success Requires a Full Sales Pipeline

sales pipeline

As a business owner, you wear many hats.  One of them is VP of Sales and Marketing. This role is responsible for lead generation and turning prospects into clients.  Sales are the fuel which keeps your business engine running.  For this reason, filling your sales pipeline needs to be a non-stop endeavor.

How well do you perform in the VP Sales and Marketing role?  Just ask yourself these questions:

  1. How are you doing with your sales plan for 2017?
  2. How good is your “sales system?”
  3. Do you have a “sales system?”
  4. Does your “sales system” help you and your team create the level of success you want?
  5. How well does it measure?

Are you 100% satisfied with the way you answered these questions?

The problem is that many entrepreneurs don’t have a sales process in place that creates success.  In particular, one that fills the funnel and the pipeline consistently, even when they are busy with current customers or clients.

Here are six things that will make your sales process work better in 2017.

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Become Extraordinary Through Your Vision Statement

vision statement

Vision is one of the least understood concepts of small business strategic planning.  It is a powerful tool for your business, yet is often overlooked.    Following is a summary of “Become Extraordinary Through Your Vision,” a video by Dewitt Jones.  This is one of the best descriptions of the importance of a Vision Statement you will find.

“A vision is a statement about where or who you want your company or yourself to be in the future as compared with where or who, you or it is today.

It sets direction clearly by pointing to something you or your company isn’t currently, yet fully intends to become.

Create an extraordinary vision.  With it you will create:

  • Attitude
  • Perspective
  • Pictures that show you the possibilities the world has to offer

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Top 10 Reasons to Get Better at Goal Setting

Get better at goal setting

If you can change your relationship with goal setting, you can change any area of your business or life for the better.

Here are 10 reasons, in no particular order, to be better at  goal setting both personally and professionally:

1) Goals help you establish direction, define actions, and measure progress.

Successful people use goals to be successful.  Goals help them know:

  •  Where they are going,
  • What they need to do, and
  • If they are on track.

2) Goals help build confidence.

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Improve Your Sales Process-Increase your Sales

Are your sales where you want them to be?

For most organizations, the answer is no.  Including if you are at a high level already.  Do you know why they are not where you want them to be?  As a matter of fact, for most people the answer is no, even though you may have an idea.

The question should be: “Where is the constraint in your sales process?”  This is what is holding you back.

It is with awareness that you can make productive changes.  Therefore, let’s heighten your awareness of your sales process.

An effective sales process can be looked at as an assembly line.  Inventory  is input at the start. It works its way through the process. Finally, out the other end comes the finished product.

Take an automotive assembly line.  It starts with the frame.  Next, other parts flow in and are attached; the wheels, engine, transmission, seats, interior, etc.   Everything happens in a certain order.  Certain events or series of events depend on the ones before it.  The car coming off of the assembly line is dependent on a whole series of events leading up to that outcome.

Your sale depends on a series of events as well.

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Your Brain Is Out To Get You

subconscious mind

Did you know your brain is out to get you?  Or more specifically, your subconscious mind?  Yes, it’s true.  We are hardwired. In fact, the most dominant function of our brain is to be reactive and protective.  Our subconscious mind reverts to this under any stress..  And research shows that unless you utilize the following areas, you lose them.

As a matter of fact, there are areas of the brain which are responsible for inspiration, vision, commitment, insight, awareness, and clarity.  In addition, there is a part that helps us be aware of choices, decisions, and how we act.

Have you ever said the following about an employee, a friend, or a family member: “They are just going through the motions.”   Or, “They are on auto pilot.” 

These are perfect examples.  Our brain has us working as a machine sometimes.

In truth, we used to be tremendous learners when we were young.  We learned at an amazing rate.  But then we get to a point when that stops.  We start to use phrases like “I’ve done that before” or “Been there, done that.” When we stop learning, that’s when the machine kicks in.  If we don’t utilize continuous learning, our brain begins to atrophy.

You need to maximize the brain processes listed above (vision, commitment, clarity, etc.) because if you don’t, they go away.  This is about choice.  It doesn’t have to be this way.  It is your choice of what you feed your mind.  Truly, by taking a few simple yet powerful actions the greatest asset you have been given can be maximized.

Here are 3.5 Ways to influence your subconscious mind to  accomplish what you want:

1) Take some time everyday and think of the future that you desire.

By keeping this focus, your subconscious will work towards making it a reality.  Using affirmations and visualization will help your subconscious align your feelings and emotions with your behaviors.  Our outcomes are a direct result of behaviors. Our behaviors are a result of how we think and feel.  So, better thinking will lead to better outcomes.

What are your daily affirmations?  What are the pictures that your mind is focused on?

2) Continue to learn.

“Knowledge has to be improved, challenged, and increased constantly or it vanishes,”  Peter Drucker.  For this reason, brain rejuvenation and fitness is crucial.

Take the time to identify what your strengths are.  They will become more valuable by developing them further.  No matter how much of a useful quality you already possess, you can always keep going.

What does your personal development process consist of?

3) Change the way you see everything.

Katherine Cramer’s work shows that there are two types of thinking: Deficit Based and Asset Based.

Deficit Based thinking is all of the negative stuff.  This is a defense mechanism to life’s problems.

Deficit Based thinking can easily dominate your mind but will lead to:

  • Insecurities,
  • Lower energy and,
  • Limiting your options.

Asset Based thinking is a different way of thinking which allows us to look at the positive.  It takes the focus off of what is wrong and puts it on what is right.  Asset Based thinking builds enthusiasm, energy, and productivity.

Asset Based thinkers focus more on:

  • Opportunities rather than problems,
  • Strengths more than weaknesses and,
  • What can be done as opposed to what can’t.

Here is the best thing:  This is a choice!  Look at the negative or look at the positive.

Now that you know you have this choice, what do you choose?!

3.5) How to apply Asset Based thinking:

You have heard of the 80/20 rule, right?  Look at the 80% as opportunity.  Remember, we control how we look at this.  This is managing direction and not motion.  Apply this to your day to day and you will be amazed what you will be able to accomplish.

Take action today to have your subconscious mind work for you and not against you.

Improve Sales Results-Think “Build a Sale”

improve sales results

Think “Build a Sale” not “Make a Sale” for better results

Of course, better thinking leads to better actions. For anybody who wants better results, particularly better sales results,  better and different actions are prerequisite.

Recently, I found a principle which would lead to a revolution for me.  I will share it with you…

Sales, in general, is turning suspects into prospects and prospects into clients.  The end result…a sale, revenue for the company, and maybe a commission.

Is this making a sale?  Many business owners and professional sellers look at it this way.  Here is another way of looking at it:  We need to BUILD A CASE FOR ACTION.  Not make a sale.  It’s about building a sale.

Building a sale is done by following a process which ends in a win-win.  A new client and a happy customer.

Here are 5 tips you can easily apply to your process to get you started on the path of building sales for yourself. Continue reading

The “Right Things” For Business Growth

Right thingsI would bet that you want growth for your business.  If so, then you need to do the “right things” and do “things right’.  I experienced this strategy first hand working with a Fortune 500 Company.  It shouldn’t come as a surprise that they are an industry leader and have achieved consistent steady growth over many years.

You might wonder: ‘What does it mean to do “things right?” ‘  And what are the “right things?” Verne Harnish discusses this in “Scaling Up.” (I highly recommend reading!)

With this in mind, here are the “right things” to do in order to:

  • Be an early industry innovator
  • Increase market share
  • Improve its culture
  • Drive up customer satisfaction both internally and externally and
  • Ensure business growth

The “Right Things” and ‘Things Right” for Business Growth

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