Closing opportunitiesIf you have difficulty recognising closing opportunities and using them to good advantage, the chances are you’re not listening properly to what the prospect or customer is saying (or not asking the right questions in the first place – but that’s a separate issue).It’s easy to be distracted into thinking about the next point you want to make and fail to concentrate and actively listen, so you actually miss any buying signal that you’re given. This may seem a bit blunt, but try remembering that you have two ears and one mouth, and that it’s a good idea to use them in that ratio!Buying signalsOne of the skills you need to hone in any sales situation is your ability to pick up on buying signals that could be anything from a seemingly innocuous comment to a great big bell clanging (figuratively) in your head. And they will often be offered up at various stages as a result of the conversational questioning techniques you use.When you hear what you believe to be one, investigate it,womens north face jackets sale, question it and find out for certain:Try to get committal To do that you can use:A straightforward assumptive statement followed immediately with a tie down
Question,north face jacket for men, need, benefit sequence (works well where there’s room for confusion, the problem is particularly complex or you’re really not certain in your own mind that you’ve understood it and need to clarify it)
An alternative question (good when you’re fairly certain that there are two different needs emerging and it’s not clear which is the most important or has the highest priority) You’ll either get agreement or the prospect will contradict you and tell you what he really means and needs. Either way you have your committal.You should be closing the prospect or customer all the way along the line,womens spyder ski jackets, not just right at the end when you believe you have an opportunity to close the deal.Let’s put this into perspective:If your prospects’ (or customers’) needs are at all complex or technical, or have far reaching ramifications throughout the company, then the buying process will reflect that. You will probably need to develop or refine your product, service or solution along the way to meet the specific needs of each company you do business with.If this is the case you must commit and ‘close’ your prospects or customers to each phase of the sale otherwise you’ll find that you’re constantly going back over previous issues that you thought had been adequately addressed and solved.On the other hand, if yours is a more straightforward, simpler product, service or solution it’s equally important that you know how to recognise opportunities to close each sale in a timely, cost efficient way, rather than allowing it to drag on.The final close – Don’t fail now,kids spyder ski suits sale!Either way, by this stage of the sale, whether on the telephone or face-to-face, you will have accomplished most of the hard parts, so it’s not far short of criminal to lose the business because you fail to close the sale properly.You’ll soon find out how well you have gathered information, qualified the prospect/customer, identified and committed him to his need, and presented your solution tailored to that need.If you’re continually ‘getting on great’ with your prospects and customers yet failing to win profitable business you can’t blame them! You need to take responsibility and do something about it.Happy sales and customers, and lots of them,mens moncler jacket!
Believing it’s extremely difficult to come up with money in the first place to fund your venture and live your dream exists among the biggest objections to starting a business and living one’s purpose and dreams. But I want you to reframe this seemingly HUGE obstacle: If your idea is a genuine opportunity that has a great chance of paying off in a few years, both monetarily and in terms of your own satisfaction and happiness, are you really willing to look back to the past a few years from now and realize that you settled because uncomfortable obstacles stood in your path?If you’re still reading, you must believe there’s a path over this financial obstacle-that’s good. I want to show you a way that you can gather the resources that you need without “blood money” (borrowing from friends and family which can cause a lot of unneeded tension) or your own money (which you may not have, or doing so would put a strain on your own life). But before we get into this, it requires understanding one fundamental thing:”You can’t get something from nothing.”If you want to get value,cheap moncler jackets for men, you have to give that value first. Even grants don’t come because you have a good idea alone. You have to put in the work to demonstrate quite concretely how your idea is going to bring value to society. If you want to get money for your business, you’re going to have to contribute your mental capital, your talent capital, items of value that you can exchange for capital, and your social capital,kids spyder ski outerwear online. Below is a list of 19 ways you can start to contribute value to gain capital to start your business NOW:Hold a fundraiser. “A fundraiser that’s not for charities? Yes.” If you have a powerful cause and let people know that you’re a first time entrepreneur but your idea is going to benefit peoples’ lives and will create jobs, but you don’t have money, people with sympathize. They will want to help. A friend and mentor of mine organized a “bowl-a-thon” where people came and paid a little extra to bowl for the fundraiser. His optimism and honesty was so contagious that he walked away with several thousands of dollars at the end of the day.
Sell stuff around your house on eBay. I recently moved from New York to SF and really didn’t want to move all of my stuff, so I decided to humor myself and list books, old manuals, and cheap souvenirs on eBay and made nearly $2,000 within a week on stuff that I thought was junk.
Get cash back on credit card payments and transfer that money to your “business fund.” If you’re using your credit card for everyday purchases anyway, why not recover some of that money and use it to fund your business?
Create knowledge or services and sell it. Remember, your talent is capital and can be converted to money. What knowledge do you have that other people would pay for? I knew how to trade the financial markets and get a respectable return, so I started blogging about it, then I put together a course just by recording screencasts of my trading activities and people paid $997 for it. If you have a service you can offer, start letting people know about it. In fact, you can go to Elance.com and list it there so someone can hire and pay you.
Start small and trade up. People attribute different amounts of value to different things. If you can trade something you have for something of more value and keep doing that until what you have is valuable enough to exchange for a sizeable sum of cash, you have another source of startup funding.Kyle McDonald did exactly that with in his “One Red Paper Clip” true story.
SBA loans. You can apply for SBA loans from your local bank or credit union. The Small Business Association (SBA) guarantees 50-85% of the loan (basically acting like a cosigner) so that you have a higher chance of obtaining the loan when it would otherwise be much more difficult. Amounts vary from tens of thousands of dollars to six figures.
Grants. Grants are the closest thing to free money that you’ll get. Usually a government or private organization wants to provide an incentive for business or development activity in a certain area and gives out money to make it happen. All it takes is coming up with a good plan and applying. A more extensive guide to approaching grants is provided here. If you’re doing a tech startup, a great place to start is SBIR (Small Business Innovation and Research) grants. The money comes in phases, or stages, in which you must demonstrate tangible progress before receiving more money. Lastly, you may want to consider some state level grants. Michigan, for example, is providing heavy incentives for startups to start in Michigan due to the collapse of the auto industry there.
Start in a business incubator. Business incubators, such as the Y Combinator and startup programs in many business schools provide the resources and contacts for entrepreneurs who are serious about turning their idea into a reality.
Call upon angels. “Angel” investors are often previous entrepreneurs who made it big and are retired but want to stay in the game by funding other startups. They will ideally have industry expertise in what you’re doing and typically provide investments in the six figures.
Go to the “Dragon’s Den.” Top tier venture capitalists invest tens to hundreds of millions per startup into only a few ideas that they think are going to pay off substantially ($1 billion +), realizing that not all of their investments will be successful. If you start at a lower tier, it’s possible that you can compete for smaller pools (if your business is more of a $10 million one). Just keep in mind that although they will gather the resources, including people and companies, venture capitalists will own you, both in terms of time and money. Take a look to see what kind of firms cover your niche. A good resource on angel and VC funding can be found here.
Become a distributor in the supply chain of your niche without holding inventory. Suppose you have a new headphone design for runners who listen to music while exercising. It may cost you a lot to start manufacturing and selling your headphones, but what if you started an eBay store and sold already-made headphones and reinvested the profits into starting your own business? If you use a “drop-shipping” service you don’t even need to invest in inventory-you start completely for free! Getting into the industry as a distributor before becoming a producer can often lower your barrier to entry.
Be a JV broker and network, network, network. A “joint venture broker” puts two people together who need each other to do business and receives a commission for doing so. You can do a search on this for more information, but essentially you go to conferences or any other place where you meet people, get to know them and ask how you can help them. They’ll usually explain that they need X type of customer or Y type of supplier. Sooner or later you’ll find a match and you tell them you can connect them in exchange for a commission.
Work with your company to create an employer intrapreneurship program. This is creating the best of both worlds. You have your day job which is producing income, and you get to work on starting a spin-off company while you’re there. Your employer would likely be up for it because the innovation would benefit the company.
Create a content website and sell advertising. These days it’s easy to start a blog on WordPress or a video blog on YouTube and share information or creativity that others would enjoy. Meanwhile, with Google AdSense or banner advertising networks, you can get paid for the value you create by allowing visitors to click on advertising alongside your content.
Build a social network surrounding your cause and accept donations. If you center your business upon a cause and get people really excited through regular, high energy updates and activities, people will become your advocates and send in donations when you request them. It’s getting easier to do this with Facebook Pages, Twitter feeds,mens moncler vests sale, blogs, and forums. Think “building communities,womens spyder ski jackets.” Once you do that, people will support you,mens moncler ski jackets online.
Partner with non-profit organizations and get sponsorships. Just because you are “for profit” doesn’t mean you can’t partner with non-profits. If your cause is aligned with theirs you can help fulfill their mission, from their perspective. Brendon Burchard, author of “Life’s Golden Ticket,” coaches entrepreneurs on how to facilitate these partnerships to eliminate the need for applying for funding and launching expensive marketing campaigns.
Enter a business plan competition. Not only do you have a decent chance of scoring a nice five figures or more at these if you have a well thought out, unique idea, but the networking opportunities and flow of ideas here are incredible.
Apply for microloans. No longer are microloans reserved for young women in Africa to start local shops. You can apply for hundreds to tens of thousands of dollars of microloan funding for your own business. The SBA resource on micro loans explains the process of obtaining them in more detail.
Utilize social arbitrage. Find something non-monetary that you can offer to somebody in exchange for a service that you can sell to another person for. For example, you could find a college intern who wants business experience or a place to stay and is good at writing computer programs. If you know people who need programming help you could have her work on it for them and you would receive cash. Everybody wins.
Barely a day goes by that you are not overloaded by TV news of the current recession and high job loss stats. With this kind of economic climate, it’s no surprise that many people are looking forward to building their own small business rather than competing for the handful of jobs available. So, how can you aggressively compete when starting your own small business and branding it? Debra Pierce, Director of Career Services from Miami International University of Art & Design, offers some strategies for doing just that,womens spyder ski jackets.Just how do I even determine what business to start?Self-assess and research. It is critical that as an individual, you are honest with yourself and truly understand what you are good at and what you love doing. Doing a SWOT analysis – analyzing Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats – is the best way of assessing that. Having a good understanding of yourself will help you identify areas that are in need of some work. After assessing yourself, it is important to determine the type of business and research the viability of that business in the area you want to live in. A business plan is strongly suggested as it will include a marketing plan and SWOT analysis, which can help pinpoint those sectors that have a genuine need and those that already are being served. This exercise will also help identify if there is a smaller, but significant niche market that your business can focus on and be profitable. The business plan also helps determine the goals and objectives of the business, which will be a guide when decision making.Do I need to incorporate?Incorporate or not. It is especially imperative you formalize your freelance business by deciding what legal structure would suit your business needs best. It is a good time to make use of some professional advice from a lawyer or certified public accountant to help you make this determination, since there are benefits and drawbacks to each type of structure that need to be taken into consideration.How fast can I expect to generate a profit?Always be realistic. People often envision succeeding in a short period of time. Developing and building a business from scratch takes time, vitality and plenty of hard work, but can be very rewarding. It is important to have honest business and financial goals. The industry research you did early on for the business plan will come in very handy in figuring out what “realistic” means for your niche and area.How do I get business? How do I get started?Marketing – Come up with a company logo. This will be significant since your logo can become a very important part of your branding. In many instances, business leads will see your logo before they know anything about you. Take your time and ensure that you create a logo that not only fits you now, but can grow with your business as it expands. One word on marketing – the majority of brand-new businesses start off with a shoestring budget and decide that they don’t have a big enough to promote themselves. Even if it’s a small budget, if you don’t market yourself, how will potential clients find you? You won’t need thousands of dollars, but it’s imperative you reach your target market. And, if you did your research for your business plan,womens spyder ski pants cheap, you will have a good understanding of who your customers are and where you will find them.Network, network, network. The importance of networking can’t be stressed enough. As a small business owner, networking may be your only means of marketing and advertising for quite some time. It is important to get in front of as many people as possible and give them your elevator pitch (a quick story about your business that you can say in 90 seconds or less),spyder ski outerwear for women. When meeting each person, remember to ask for their card; this comes in handy when writing a “nice to meet you” note the following day. Yes, you should write a quick note to each person you meet. In this note,cheap mens spyder ski outerwear, you should mention where you met them, refer to your conversation, and remind them what your business does and how it can be helpful to them.It will take a whole lot of hard work to be an entrepreneur. This is the case in almost all instances regardless of whether you start your own business or work for someone else,cheap spyder ski suits for men. There are not any shortcuts, so put in the time and you will reap the rewards.
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We’ve all experienced it: the elation of having the prospective client request a proposal as quickly as possible only to have it languish in the land of unreturned follow-up phone calls.What is really going on with these prospects anyway? How do we as professionals avoid the dilemma of the dangling proposal, and increase our proposal approval ratios?To get to the solution we have to look behind the curtain, and see what the driving forces are around the requests for proposal.For the purposes of this piece, we will focus primarily on one company’s specific request for a proposal from your firm or company vs. the cattle-call RFP (I’d recommend staying away from those as much as possible anyway).What is prompting the prospect to request a proposal in the first place? The usual assumption is they are moving one step closer to doing business with you and will buy once they see your offer,cheap north face ski jackets, both in terms of service content and fees. The first error here is that this is only an assumption.It takes zero effort for a company to request a proposal of anyone. Companies know that in almost 100% of the cases, if they request a proposal, they will receive one. What is their liability in this request? Zero. They have everything to gain (information) and nothing to lose.We, on the other hand, have a moderate potential gain (50-50) and a lot to lose. According to the professionals I’ve surveyed, the minimum amount of time invested in a decently crafted proposal is 2-3 hours. Multiply that by the hourly rate of the professional composing this document and you can see how costly this document really is. But that is a minimum investment. In many cases, developing a well-honed proposal is an important marketing tool that requires careful consideration and maybe several people’s participation. The cost multiplies quickly.All of this investment could be well worth it – if the prospective client is ready, willing, and able to engage or buy now and your offer will be a profitable engagement for you.But what if the prospect is just kicking tires, information gathering, using your proposal to improve his fees with his current professional or vendor,north face jackets for kid? What if the prospective client thinks he’s ready, but can’t pull the trigger because change is too uncomfortable? What if you’ve drafted a proposal and didn’t realize you didn’t address the prospect’s REAL desires?All of this could lead to the dreaded dangling proposal,cheap moncler vests for women.What to do?The real solution lies in what happens BEFORE you ever submit the proposal.The real solution lies in you controlling if,when, and how you submit a proposal.The real solution lies in you asking all the right questions BEFORE you agree to submit a proposal.What are the right questions to ask?Here are 10 essential (although not necessarily easy) questions to ask that will certainly illuminate the seriousness, the readiness, and intent behind your prospect’s interest in working with you. Will asking all of them eliminate the dangling proposal? Unlikely; but you will most certainly decrease your danglers by a hefty percentage.You can control your business instead of allowing prospects to leave you feeling like you are a hamster on a wheel,womens spyder ski outerwear, running after that piece of fruit you can never quite reach.10 Essential Questions To Ask Before You Start Writing That Proposal1.What is prompting you to request a proposal at this time?2.What elements do you expect and need to see in the proposal in order to make the right decision for your company?3.What don’t you want to see in the proposal?4.If all of the elements in our proposal meet your needs, will you be ready to sign off on it immediately? What is your urgency level?5.Are there any obstacles to our working together that we should know about before we prepare our proposal?6.If all obstacles are addressed, will you be ready to move forward with us at this time? What other decisions would you need to make first?7.To whom should we submit the proposal? Who should be copied on the proposal? Who will need to sign off on the proposal? Is there anyone else who will need to approve this? (This is a key question. You need to drill as deeply as possible here because very often the requester of the proposal is not the decision maker, and doesn’t want to be transparent about this)8.Are you requesting proposals from any other candidates at this time? (I know – you don’t want to ask this question, but it is a frequent source of the dangling proposal dilemma)9.How will you make your final decision,womens spyder ski jackets?10. Are there any remaining concerns on your mind that we should know about? (If you were in the prospect’s shoes, wouldn’t you appreciate a professional asking you about addressing your concerns?)Listen carefully to the answers to these questions and don’t attempt to convince or sell the prospect. Then, if they really appear to be ready, proceed with proposal development.If you get a sense there is hesitation or uncertainty or lack of true commitment to working together, you may need another meeting to deepen the trust and the relationship.You have the power to decide if and when you want to invest in developing a proposal and go to the next level with your prospect.
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