Published Jan. 11, 2012
Having a keen eye for when a sale is going sour takes savvy. Here are five red flags and strategies for saving the sale.
by Jane Porter, www.entrepreneur.com
Marla Kaye could not afford to lose this deal. She had watched sales at You Name It Promotions, her Oakland, Calif.-based promotional products company, drop by more than half since the start of the recession--from $3.5 million in 2007 to $1.5 million last year. When a six-figure sale to a new client seemed about to fall through this spring, she had to act fast.
Published Jan. 11, 2012
Did you think through the possible sales techniques and make an informed choice about what would work most effectively for your product and market?
By Lee Ann Obringer
Before developing your online customer service plan, it helps to understand the differences between online and offline customer support, the advantages and disadvantages of an online customer service program, the importance of keeping up with customer expectations, and the elements that every online customer service plan should include.
Know the Differences Between Online Customer Support and Traditional Methods
It's a finely honed skill to locate that group of people who are your real buyers. This is the time to put away the manners mom so fretfully ingrained and get down right nosy. The more you know about your buyers the better your bottom line will be. You know, that line that either reads red or black? That says spend or worry. Grow or groan. So pick up your marketing bow and let's do a little target practice.
Buyers remember customer service: The more attention you pay to customer service, the more likely it is that you’ll see return business. If your customer service is lacking, it doesn't matter how slick your Web site is, or that your prices are a bit better than your competitors': You’ve put your repeat business at risk.
Remember that it’s less expensive to market and sell to an existing customer than to find a new one. Here are four customer service opportunities and how to handle them:
Drive customers to your doors.
1. Determine who your customers are, and what their wants or needs are. Know how your product or service satisfies their wants or needs.
2. Instill and practice the concept of continuous quality improvement and quality customer service as a way of life in your business.
3. Make sure you select the proper medium to carry out your message, and choose the proper location within that medium.
4. Direct your message to where your prospects are listening, viewing or reading.
Published Nov. 15, 2011
An advisory board is an informal group. This is not a board of directors. It is a group of mentors. The group has no financial interest in your firm. This is a group of outside advisors who share their knowledge to help you be more competitive, think strategically and offer specific advice in key skill areas.
The benefits of an advisory board include: setting aside time to think strategically, obtain feedback and insights from outside the company, and gather information and expertise from peers who have knowledge in different areas than your own. In general, a three to five person board will likely meet your needs.