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Name of author Rick Baker, P.Eng.

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Referrals bring huge value to small businesses

by Rick Baker
On Oct 24, 2016

15 or so years ago, Jay Abraham recommended telling your clients you will have more time to do a better job serving them if they provide referrals to you. The idea made some sense to me when I first heard it. On the other hand, I could not see how that sort of communication could be packaged so it would be well received by clients. 

Recently, I developed a different perspective. Most, if not all of us, would agree that people in general complain more about being busy now than they did 15 years ago. And as a result of that mindset of busyness, business leaders must be attentive to the limitations (realities) ‘lived’ by many people in the workforce. Many people feel so busy they must cut corners throughout all aspects of their lives, including cutting corners at work. To the extent business leaders could make these people’s lives easier at work, it would be in everyone's best interest to do so.  It would be in the employer’s best interest, it would be in the employee's best interest, and at the end of the day it would be in the best interest of clients and suppliers. 

In small businesses, the owners and leaders in the organization often wear multiple hats - including a sales/business development hat. To the extent these small-business leaders receive referrals they are in a position to spend more time serving their clients and suppliers. And that service would [or at least could] be at an ‘improved level’. An ‘improved level of work’ could mean more creative work, which could replace mundane work [such as plodding through CRM programs to determine the next required phone call and/or the next required email for development of new business]. 

So, with that thinking in mind, I strongly believe referrals bring huge value to small businesses. 

So, small-business leaders should spend the time figuring out how to package messages that help generate referrals.

[Of course, products and services must contain value and that value must be delivered with spirit - those are prerequisites.]

Tags:

I'm too busy! - I don't have time! | Marketing | Sales

Who sells Heinz ketchup?

by Rick Baker
On Jul 7, 2016

Today, I am thinking about the numerous pieces of advice we receive from 'the experts' on how people should do business and how to improve company practices. For example, years ago corporate branding was a popular topic. Now, both corporate branding and personal branding are popular topics.

It strikes me that some of 'the experts' are confusing or distracting more of us than they are helping us.

I had to slow down and think about the starting point...I mean, how to explain that last thought.

After considering options for starting points, I've concluded - "When we build companies, they reflect our thinking." I am hoping the majority of people can accept and agree with that statement. Whether or not we embrace concepts around 'personal branding', we buy our favourite products. We buy 'branded products',  products produced by the companies. When we buy products we prefer our actions confirm we prefer the companies that make those products. For example, many of us buy Heinz ketchup.

Even after the company closed its Leamington, Ontario production plant, many of us continue to buy this branded product - Heinz ketchup.

Does the company that makes Heinz ketchup, now called The Kraft Heinz Company, reflect the thinking of the people who built it and created the famous product?

Do the people who work at The Kraft Heinz Company reflect the the legacy of the thinking embedded in the company/organization and/or its famous product?

There's a company with a legacy, a product with a legacy, people now long gone, and people now working.

There's all these recommendations about branding.

And, there's this question...

Who sells Heinz ketchup?

 

 

Tags:

Marketing | Questions?: The Art of Asking Good Questions

Getting over the perplexities of business development

by Rick Baker
On Apr 1, 2016

Today, I am thinking about business development… How to find clients who would obtain value from our service… What, specifically, do they think they need and why do they need it?...And how should I go about connecting with them in a meaningful way so they understand what we can do to help them?

There's lots of advice - out there - to guide me: 

  •  People are too busy to meet 
  •  People do not return phone calls 
  •  People do not read email 
  •  This magazine advertising space is on sale
  •  Better build an amazing website 
  •  Better put lots of SEO stuff in that website 
  •  Make some cool videos, cool stuff works
  •  Add lots of content, keep it fresh and fun 
  •  Social media - that's essential

…and every day I get a couple of emails from folks who tell me they have a surefire way to provide some choice new clients. 

So, with all of this to help me, I'm pretty much set to go sign up some new clients. 

Wait a second. We do excellent work. Our clients are pleased with our work. Why not rely on word-of-mouth? 

OK - we're good - time to get back to work. 

Tags:

Marketing | Sales

If we build it better, they will come.

by Rick Baker
On Dec 10, 2015

The question is, Can we build it better

And, the answer must be, Yes, of course we can make improvements and build it better.

First, we must put on their shoes and walk a mile in them. Seeing things clearly, from their perspective, will ensure the changes we make will be improvements.

When we build improvements & better value, they will come.

Branding, marketing, hype, buzz, relationship calls, and sales arm-twists…sure these things have some push, pull, and magnetism. If we do these things they may come.

On the other hand…

If we build it better, they will come.

Tags:

Abundance | Marketing | Sales

Clients' Clients Philosophy

by Rick Baker
On Mar 19, 2015

Tags:

Clients' Clients Philosophy | Marketing | Sales | Spirited Leaders

Rather than loudly blaring and flashing your products and services, try simply explaining why you are building them.

by Rick Baker
On Aug 24, 2014

The Thinking Behind The Tweet

Inspired by a combination of Simon Sinek's "Discover Your Why" [The Golden Circle of Why-How-What] and Mark Weber's approach to conflict resolution [the Interests-Rights-Power Circle].

Tags:

Communication: Improving Communication | Marketing | Sales | Thought Tweets

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