Are you running your business or is your business running you? If you answer with choice 2, this story is for you.
Here are 5 ways to level up your skills as a small business CEO, from Florida SBDC at FIU business consultant Yanyn San Luis, who specializes in marking, sales, branding and negotiation.
- You may be spending too much time and money on new customer acquisition vs spending the time with current clients. We all know there are costs to each new customer acquisition, but if you are losing clients, that should be priority one. Ask what does this client need next? Anticipate thire needs and follow up with them. It is called stewardship and work on developing a stronger relationship cycle, she said.
- In the sales cycle, you have to understand the no’s as well as the yeses. There are three types of yeses , and they are not all the same. Some are counterfeit yeses. Get to the “commitment yes” – agreeing then and there to a follow-up process.
- Finetune and own your sales process. San Luis suggests havige that “right fit” conversation – this is where your, share what it is like to work with you, your process, and talk money soon and often to determine if the relationship is a right fit. Then schedule the next conversation with the goal that it will be a needs discovery conversation with any stakeholders that will be involved with the decision, so you can co-create the contract.
- Once a contract is signed, have a kickoff meeting, to make sure they understand your process. Summarize the scope of contract, let them know that there might be work that is out of scope, and ask how should we address that? You are outlining once again the expectations for the client so it’s clear.
- Exceed expectations, but don’t overdeliver. Be sure to take a pulse check of how everything is going right in the middle of the client contract. Think of It as a strategic debrief. During the meeting, show them deliverables, and also where you have gone above and beyond. You might be able to upgrade them. Act fast when the scope creep happens.
San Luis recommends the book “Never Split the Difference” by Chris Voss. She also shares more tips and tricks in this webinar by FSBDC at FIU.