This is the second part of last month’s newsletter that continues with some critical learning points that we would like to share with you to hopefully add to your insights in managing and building your business. Aramini Management is celebrating its 10th year in business. It has been an interesting, and valued life journey. I say that because while I learned first hand what it means run a business, it was also an opportunity to expand my universe of experiences and relationships. Learning is life-long and the biggest thing I’ve learned is that staying static can result in failure as you are constantly moved out of your comfort zone to engage new people, industries, technological change and business trends.
- Know budget. Get to the pricing discussion early on by providing a fee range upfront once you have a framework of what the project entails. I would provide detailed proposals only to learn “it is not the cost we thought it would be” argument after spending the time scoping the project. While always be sure to convey your valued solutions to the client, getting a sense of budget early may save you time while also assist in assessing project viability.
- Perhaps they don’t like your proposal. Some times it is just that simple. They have heard a better idea or they have picked your brain and now will attempt it on their own. In some cases, I have often found that my passion and need to provide a solution – to be genuinely helpful – is not as strong as the prospect’s preference to maintain the status quo. That’s the easier decision for them than fighting the uphill battle to make changes in the organization.
- See roadblocks. Try to determine where the hidden roadblocks are to closing the deal. Ask them what would it take to move the relationship along and if there is anything that they anticipate based on their present situation and company knowledge. This is your chance to either know or not if you can address their concern.
- Old relationships, new relationships. When we started out 10 years ago, we did what most new businesses do- reached out to the contacts we knew, some long-term associates and friends. Your intent is to generate business and perhaps an introduction to the contacts in their network. Your old network may give you the time, talk about old times, wish you luck with the 80/20 rule in play – a few will open doors for you. I learned quickly that you need to move beyond that support network and develop a new network of relationships and be relentless in expanding on that since it is where the work will come from. What I found most gratifying, along with the work itself, were the new people and friendships that developed.
- Same fight for everyone. We have worked with clients in a variety of industries and helped them with what we see are three core management practices that they must do effectively: champion & lead their business, acquire new customers and then keep them. In a broad narrative: The Champion is the organization’s advocate and role model; Acquiring new customers means sales and marketing; Customer retention means effective customer service and relationships and the living the brand promise. That is our fight and yours as well.