Judy’s Comments

My Sales Pipeline is Constipated

The analysts are, in increasing numbers, starting to tout the end of the recession, but for most of us, it still seems quite slow out there. Even if you’re the most talented salesperson, you probably have noticed that an annoying number of your prospects are stuck in your pipeline. Ok, it’s not the most polite way to phrase this, but you could be suffering from a case of sales constipation. No, a swig of milk of magnesia isn’t going to do the job here, but there are strategies to get you moving along again. Here’s how:

Keep Filling and Replenishing Your Pipeline

You want to make sure that your pipeline is continuously being filled and replenished with qualified prospects. By always having individuals at different stages of the sales process, you’ll consistently have some that are coming through as new business.

Stay On Their Grid

The sales cycle has become much longer for almost everyone. It can be easy to drop off of a prospect’s radar if you’re not diligent about your touch-point management. Fine-tune a program that utilizes phone, email, snail mail, as well as the three I’s – invitations, introductions, and information.

Don’t Give Up

Patience is needed more than ever right now. Yes, you might feel like throwing in the towel with a prospect who seems to relish sitting on the fence and stringing you along. You might even feel like expressing your personal opinion to them about their inability to make a decision. However, keep this in mind. You will never reclaim any of your return on time if you give up. So, hang in there. You’ll be glad that you did.

Realize That It Might Not Be the Economy

The recession has become a great excuse for prospects who just don’t want to tell you that they didn’t see value in what you were offering. Find out if this is what’s causing the stall. If it is a cash flow issue, you might need to hang on a little longer. If it’s really a problem with how you presented your product or service, you might need to refine your own strategies and techniques. Don’t fall into the trap of blaming everything on the economy. There are salespeople who are successfully acquiring new business each and every day.

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Building & Tracking Your Digital Profile

Tweet – once such an innocent little word – is seeding anxiety among even the most buttoned-up business women. As a professional, you may be wondering if you should be Twittering, tweeting, following, friend-ing, You-Tubing, Facebook-ing or just lying low and hoping the new media frenzy dies down. That’s not likely to happen.

While the avalanche of news about social media can be overwhelming, there is no mistaking its power to potentially reinvigorate a company and its brand. Professional and personal service firms, consumer products companies, entrepreneurs and non-profits have experienced its unmatched ability to build loyal customer relationships, generate brand buzz, mobilize constituencies, expand prospects and generate leads.

Admittedly, social media is also time-consuming, distracting and, when done haphazardly, potentially damaging. Entering the social media environment requires careful planning and monitoring to make the most of its business-building power.

At our software development company, we work with mid-sized and larger corporations to create, implement, and monitor the effectiveness of social media strategies. This enhances word-of-mouth marketing capability, and the ability to identify, interact, and engage key brand and company influencers. But the same basic ground rules apply for small businesses and start-ups:

Smart Social Media Tactics

1) Increase your social media IQ: Even if you can barely stifle a yawn, you need to put aside your opinions about social media and get educated. Social media is no longer just for teens and college students. In fact, statistics show the sharpest increases in older adults, with social networking growing 60 percent last year in people between the ages of 35 and 64, who are using it primarily to connect with business and personal contacts. Only 11 percent of Twitter users and nine percent of Facebook users are between the ages of 12 and 17.

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FDU Venture Creation Teams Help Businesses

 
Fairleigh Dickinson University’s MBA candidates are specialists in seeking solutions.  Each semester, advanced MBA students form consulting teams to partner with New Jersey based ventures to tackle complex business situations and provide tailored entrepreneurial and innovative business strategies, creative business models, and effective business plans.
 
Are You…
  • An entrepreneurial start-up venture seeking help in developing a sustainable business strategy
  • A dynamic emerging small business seeking advice on how to best finance and capitalize your company in these turbulent times
  • An established mid-size firm targeting future success by breaking into uncharted markets seeking business and customer intelligence critical to creating new innovative business strategies
  • An entrepreneurial minded mature company, aware of the changing and uncertain environment, seeking fresh perspective to make strategic portfolio tradeoffs and decisions
  • A non-profit enterprise seeking assistance to formulate a new “business” strategy that strengthens, enhances and sustains the mission
Partnering with an FDU Venture Creation and Development student team can make a difference in your quest to take your business to the next level. For fifteen weeks, a student team will work with you and your management team to conduct industry and market research, disseminate information, and craft creative strategic proposals that will help you achieve the goals you have set for your business venture.
 
The “Venture Creation and Development Program” has provided services to over 185 organizations since its inception in 1992. In collaboration with the Silberman College of Business Department of Marketing and Entrepreneurship and the Rothman Institute of Entrepreneurial Studies, our MBA consulting teams work under the guidance and supervision of highly successful entrepreneurs, angel investors, professional experts and exceptional faculty members.
 
We are currently accepting applications for this coming semester. Interested companies should expect to spend a considerable amount of time working closely with their MBA consulting team as an extension of their company’s own management team. We empower our student teams to make their own decisions as to which company, from the many that apply, they would like to consult with. They will undertake extensive research, work closely with you and your team, and provide tailored “deliverables” and “recommendations” based on comprehensive business planning frameworks. 
 
Applications are due by January 21, 2010 for spring semester teams. All materials will be kept confidential, and if a student team chooses your company, each will sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement to protect your interests. While the consulting we provide is a free service, we request that you make a $250 donation to the program if your venture is chosen to help defray costs of market research, customer surveys, printing and related administrative expenses. To find out more information and to request an application, please contact either of the professors.
 
Professor Gina Tedesco                       Professor Lindsey Greene Barrett
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.                                 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
908-696-8884 or 973-216-6267          201-739-9254                                    

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