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Category: Best Practices

Sales – A Wake Up Call: Part 4b

Coffee break
Here's my final instalment of Sales – A Wake Up Call series. In the previous instalment, I talked about  avoiding "Black Dot" days and making sure you have a reliable, trackable sales system.

Here are my final tips for the sales folks out there:

10. Call at least two current customers each and every day.

  • I have always contact all my customers at least once every three
    months. Whether I am doing active business with them or not. A note, an
    email a phone call (the best) just to say hi.
  • The best thing is to sort by industry and in your reading, find two
    or three items per sector that you can start off the conversation with:

    Sally! How’s tricks? Great – Listen, I read that just
    purchased www.Ihavenoclue,.com? Does that impact you? What did you
    think about that?
    " (Oh and then let em talk.) You have two ears and one
    mouth. Listen twice as much as you speak!

11. As above, have a communication process for contacting all of
your prospects – a note, an email, a letter … have something.

  • Do it so your customers are contacted at least twice a year. Better
    still get them something of value. No, not logo’s golf balls! A report,
    some research, an interesting find.
  • You have to keep in front of folks. Squeaky wheel and all that. It is important to stay in touch. Out of sight – out of mind.

12. Further to the above – Get your best customers some "New
Customers". Introduce them to someone they want to do business with.

  • One solid strategy I have always found: find out who your
    customer’s best customer could be. Set up a lunch or dinner with that
    “potential customer” and invite your "current" customer. Talk about
    fertile ground. I like to be a fly on the wall and not manipulate the
  • Better still, for my personal preference, I use a golf game. Golf
    is a “contact sport”. In all my years I have NEVER come off a golf
    course with a group like this without a solid appointment, a sale or at
    the very least, a plan to move forward on something we – the three of
    us – had just discussed.
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From the Ground Up – Recognizing and Retaining Creative Talent

Graffiti artists
It is a busy time in the online space – competition for top talent has never been as fierce as it is now, with many studios vying for the best and most creative minds.

This is not surprising, as there is a great deal of revenue at stake. More and more it is becoming recognized that creativity is a chief contributing factor in the success (or lack thereof) of not just studios, but entire metro economies. (For an interesting discussion of the economic impact of fostering creativity, see Rise of the Creative Class by Richard Florida.)

Here in Toronto, the results of an extensive investigation into fostering creativity have been released ( and support the notion that cities, and by extension companies, can live or die on their ability to seek out, and retain, top creative talent. So how is it done?

1. Grow your own.
A company that does not have a viable continued learning program will die. Unfortunately, too many companies see this as a problem they must throw money at to solve. It is, rather, an opportunity that often requires a small amount of time investment over money. Smart companies recognize mentors in their midst, and use their own people’s natural talent for teaching to great effect.

Learning programs should be extended to anyone in the company, including contractors. Contractors represent the most viable source of talent for companies in either a growth period or when trimming – why not develop continued good relationships with them?

Continued learning is often an all-or-nothing proposition because it thrives on group spirit. It is hard to have half of a company involved in continued learning.

2. Recognize the leaders in the local community.
There are always those who take an active role in organizing user-groups, discussion forums, student-programs and such. These are the influencers of the creative body, and the most sought after network resources for creatives. Word-of-mouth association far outweighs all other means of getting to top creative talent. It is lightening-fast compared to other means.

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