Archive for February 18th, 2009

And now for something completely different.

Amanda in battle
Image via Wikipedia

And now for something completely different.

I am about to head out on a two week holiday (Some call this a reading break,  others a respite before a fire hose of book reviews comes down the pipe)  My wife and I have been chatting about how busier I have become again.  She has indicated that the cutting back work gig has not really taken hold. In fact I am as much a workaholic as ever.  So  she has decided to work more since I am.

For those who do not know,  my spouse, Amanda is a senior Executive Assistant with loads of experience in many different  Western businesses (Oil sands through to Engineering companies  and judges) .  In order to do my bit I am asking a favor from my local readers over the next few weeks.

In your circle of friends if you hear of someone who wants or
needs a highly skilled, highly productive EA, keep Amanda in mind., and drop us a line.

For the last few jobs she has been called in to “clean up the mess”
e.g when someone retires after many years in a job – who did not throw anything away.
She also worked on Ballard’s split off of the R&D group after the sale
and organized all the admin stuff – what to keep, throw, archive, move.
She gets along with anybody, but also gets the work done.
(I can testify that she is really organized, confidential and thorough)

Her ideal job might be with a sales group . She enjoys sales oriented departments, being customer facing,  and all the material they need created quickly.  Busy is good. Not a fan of really bureaucratic places. (Especially if all the EA does is work Microsoft Outlook Calendaring!) By the way she has the benefit of a real English education.

Speaking for myself, if your business did not yet need a full time person (or you were scaling back)  that would work since I use her for some of my own EA needs, (She would say I am a cost not a benefit!)

I said it would be something completely different.  Talk to you again in two weeks.

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Precision Sales and Marketing is more than getting better at selling

Eastern Bluebird
Image via Wikipedia

I have been meeting with many folks over the last month, as Rocket Builders has been putting together several events (Ready to Rocket 25, 2009 It Outlook Executive briefings, and last night’s Vancouver Enterprise Forum on Social Networks for growing your business).  One thought keeps coming to me in my discussions.   Our industry ( and it is not alone) is stuck in a paradigm that to grow the business, you concentrate on getting better at selling.  Selling is important, but the single minded approach is so wrong (and outdated). Our research and that of many others indicates that today the no 1 problem with improving your sales revenues lies in getting quality leads in the door.

Yet leads in volume  are brought (or not brought)  in by the story that is being taken to the market. The hard marketing work that has not been done on clear  positioning, segmentation, messaging, value propositions and  nurturing is what is holding  companies back. Why? Because I have yet to meet a potential client who is able to generate the number of high quality leads they need for their sales numbers .

Of course if a high quality bluebird comes into the sales team, you  get the business. But you can not build a business on bluebirds.  And you can not get to where you want to be these days by having your sales force cold call lists.  That day is long gone.  As the market gets harder, companies need to get smarter about their marketing. They have to really do something effective!

In another post I will talk about how the complaint of very long sales cycles is also a symptom of an outdated marketing approach.

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