Sales and Activity Plans

January 12th, 2006 by Rolf Erikson

* Most business owners and salespeople focus on sales and the necessity of having a sales plan. However, it’s activity that drives sales, yet hardly anyone has an activity plan.

* Most people fear rejection – yet they don’t know how much rejection they need. In other words, they have to get enough “no” responses to also get enough “yes” responses.

* Warren says: “The middle is dead: you can no longer be pretty good. In order to compete in today’s business world you have to be the cheapest or the best.” He elaborates on what this means for small businesses.

Warren Greshes says this in an interview by Anita Campbell in Small Business Trends Radio broadcast.

Warren Greshes is an experienced and highly successful sales motivational speaker who is sure to leave you enthusiastic and ready to go out and get more business. In the interview he describes a super simple, easy and dirt cheap method for organizing and tracking your own sales activity and/or the sales activity of your salespeople.

Steve Rucinski and Anita Campbell are the small business management entrepreneurs behind SMB TrendWire. You can download the Anita Campbell interview here. It´s one hour but it´s worth listening to if you are serious about sales.

Presentation Tips

January 12th, 2006 by Rolf Erikson

When I read Guy Kawasaki´s post from Steve’s Keynote I learned that Kawasaki used a technique called Filmloop to present pictures he had taken. I got interested so I downloaded the program and really it´s working.

At Filmloop´s site you can read:
Welcome to FilmLoop™. Free software to broadcast, find, and share photos.
Share photo Loops with all your friends. Link a Loop on your Blog or Web
site. Drag and drop photos directly to the desktops of your entire social network
in a live, continually updating Loop.

I found a review at PCMAG.:
Just when you think there couldn’t possibly be another way of sharing digital photos, up pops a tool that breaks new ground. Look no further than FilmLoop, a free downloadable app that acts like a kind of photo “ticker,” scrolling picture after picture across your Windows desktop.

It´s worth trying. Give a comment what you think.

Knowing your Boss

January 11th, 2006 by Rolf Erikson

Beezee at Gottagettablog believes that not knowing your boss can be a career-limiting approach to your work because if you don’t have the active -and consistent – support of your boss, chances are good that you won’t get that plum assignment you were hoping for, you won’t get those extra bonus dollars you were counting on, and you won’t get that added respect and regard that’s needed to make doing your job that much easier.

You get some advice what you should do. Examples: What does s/he listen for?,How does s/he like to be updated?

There are six advice in all. You should read them. There are really good.

Cash flow is the lifeblood of a business

January 11th, 2006 by Rolf Erikson

Norman G. Grill Jr. has written an article in the Fairfield County Business Journal about cash-flow. Grill writes “Essentially, good cash management boils down to answering a few simple-to-ask but tricky-to-solve questions: How can you get paid faster? How can you pay others under more favorable terms? And, how can you do more with the money you have?

It sounds easy and he gives some more details of what to do like:

  • Establish payment expectations from the start
  • Set favorable payment terms and methods
  • Stay on top of accounts receivable
  • Negotiate more favorable terms
  • Put technology on your side
  • Hire a watchful eye

You can read the whole story and get the details but remember that every situation is different. So consult your financial advisor about your particular cash-flow situation.

Entrepreneurs and Venture Capitalists

January 10th, 2006 by Rolf Erikson

Guy Kawasaki follows up with Top Ten Lies of Entrepreneurs. He had some problems he says to narrow down these lies to ten. I find these three very interesting:

  • “Our projections are conservative.” An entrepreneur’s projections are never conservative. If they were, they would be $0.
  • “No one is doing what we’re doing.” This is a bummer of a lie because there are only two logical conclusions. First, no one else is doing this because there is no market for it. Second, the entrepreneur is so clueless that he can’t even use Google to figure out he has competition.
  • “No one can do what we’re doing.” If there’s anything worse than the lack of a market and cluelessness, it’s arrogance.
  • “All we have to do is get 1% of the market.” No venture capitalist is interested in a company that is looking to get 1% or so of a market.

Pay yourself first

January 9th, 2006 by Rolf Erikson

Most people pay everyone else first — taxman, landlord, credit-card company, and so on. They try and budget every week, month, and year hoping that if they’re careful they’ll have some money left over.

David Bach says this in his post the other day. “Pay yourself first” means just what it says: When you earn a dollar, the first person you pay is you. Sounds simple, but most people don’t do it., he continues.

But he is right, isn´t he? We always say that the business will be better off later on, or?

David Bach Also says that before paying tax we should use the possibility with a retirement account. $14 a Day Could Grow Into a Cool Million as he says. It works different in different countries but in US there are many different types, including 401(k) and 403(b) plans, IRAs and SEP IRAs.

He also set up an interesting goal: Your goal should be to save one hour a day of your income.

David Bach has authored six consecutive bestselling books, including “The Automatic Millionaire,”

To be patient

January 9th, 2006 by Rolf Erikson

Patience is one of the most important qualities to develop if you care about personal growth. It’s also one of the most difficult.

Wouldn’t it be nice if after you identified a change you’d like to make, you could just snap your fingers, and the change would occur instantly? Unfortunately, it’s rarely so easy as that, despite what marketers tell you.

Steve Pavlina wrote this. I can just go back to my self. My patience could be better even if I have learnt to listen. Pavlina says what I say that changes takes months not days but don´t give up he says. Pavlina has written an interesting post on the subject. Read it!

Achieving A+ in 2006

January 7th, 2006 by Rolf Erikson

I reckon that you have set your goal now for 2006? Anyhow read a recently post by Doug Hirschhorn. He says: My purpose in this post is to challenge you to begin (if you have not already) your journey to achieving A+ in 2006.

Achieving A+ ins not so bad so what do you have to do? Well according to Doug Hirschhorn here is the list:

* Carefully assess what your strengths and weaknesses are as a person and a trader

* Reflect on what you have accomplished in the past, what typically gets in your way, and what you have done to deal with these barriers when they appeared

* Provide yourself with a clear-cut structure and game plan

* Solicit regular feedback, from those you work with or respect, on what you are doing right and wrong

* Regularly “check in” with yourself to measure accuracy, clarity, and progress

* And most importantly, gain self-awareness and accountability by writing everything down in your journal

I find this very interesting. Hopefully we are already doing this. I always say that we must have a living business plan.

Goal or Goalfree?

January 5th, 2006 by Rolf Erikson

I have often said that you must have a goal. The acronym SMART; Specific. Measurable. Achievable. Results-oriented. Time-based. is often used. It means basically that you know where you’re going and you’ll know when you get there. So if something’s SMART, you know if you’ve succeeded or you’ve failed.

But the other day I read an interview of Stephen Shapiro, who has written a book about being goalfree; Goal-Free Living: How to Have the Life You Want NOW!

The interview is made by Tom Peters. It´s very fascinating to read. Shapiro sees a difference between being goal-free and goal-less. “I’m definitely not an advocate of being goal-less, which is being lost and directionless, and sitting on your butt eating bon-bons, watching Jerry Springer. To me, goal-free is moving forward through life with purpose and passion, but not knowing how it’s going to turn out. And not caring how it turns out, I guess, is probably even more important.”

Being goalfree means that you are aware of what´s happening around you. And as you know being aware is the first step in defining what to do.

Read the interview; it´s worth it.

Your business isn’t a rehearsal

January 4th, 2006 by Rolf Erikson

I read an excellent interview on the Brand Autopsy blog with Patricia Ryan Madson, the author of Improv Wisdom:

The subtitle of your book is “Don’t Prepare, Just Show Up.” What do you mean by that and how can business professionals apply that thinking into their job performance?

I want the reader to know that his entire life has been the preparation for this moment. I want him to trust his mind and experience. I’m not really against any kind of preparation or analysis. It is simply that time and again I see people, business professionals in particular, who substitute preparation for action. They plan when they should be executing, or trying things out. Fear of failure invites inertia or at worst, paralysis.

In her book “Improv Wisdom: Don’t Prepare, Just Show Up”Patricia Ryan Madson devotes a chapter to paying attention. Here’s part of what she says:

“Life is attention, and what we are attending to determines to a great extent how we experience the world. We are usually focused on ourselves – our problems, desires, fears. We move through life half awake and ruminating, living in our heads – thinking, planning, worrying, imagining. The detail of each day takes place in front of us, moment by precious moment. How much are we missing? Almost everything.”

Well there is a lot of very useful things in her book. Patricia´s first Maxim is: Say Yes. Say yes to everything and wonderful things will happen. She means that saying no is blocking further conversation.

I have earlier said that we must focus in order to survive. Multitasking is bad for your business. So saying no is important when you had to focus yourself or your business. But that does not mean that you cannot say yes. Saying Yes means that you are giving others attention and that is important.

Saying No is important

January 3rd, 2006 by Rolf Erikson

At a dinner conversation there were complaints over all these meetings. As I had written a post earlier about meeting I said that one can say no to a meeting. Also that you can structure a meeting differently.

Saying No is an important part of all business. Sam Decker has elaborated over the art of saying No. In his post Decker gives 12 areas to “Just Say No” to in 2005, one for each month, like:

What strategies, initiatives and activities will you say “no” to?
What measurements will you ignore?
What customers will you not target?

Slides a venture capitalist would like

January 3rd, 2006 by Rolf Erikson

When I go to a meeting everyone seems to like presenting a lot of PowerPoints. Guy Kawasaki, a venture capitalist, has the same thought.

He says that PowerPoint presentation should have ten slides, last no more than twenty minutes, and contain no font smaller than thirty points. He calls it the 10/20/30 Rule of PowerPoint.

In Kawasaki´s post he gives an example what ten slides a ventures capitalist would like to see:
The ten topics that a venture capitalist cares about are:

1. Problem
2. Your solution
3. Business model
4. Underlying magisterial
5. Marketing and sales
6. Competition
7. Team
8. Projections and milestones
9. Status and timeline
10. Summary and call to action

Tom Peters, the management guru, thinks about slides that every slide should be different in style. That´s the only way to get attention, he says. Go to his blog and download one of Peter´s presentations and see for yourself. And I think he is right. If every slide looks so similar to each other we almost fall asleep after the third slide!

Maybe the best is to mix the two ideas; the 10/20/30 Rule with different colour in background and text on every slide.