The best way to cut ties with a business partner is to have an in-person meeting and be honest, entrepreneurs say. Acknowledge the other person's contributions, but don't shy away from the truth. "Most people dislike confrontation," says Alexandra Levit of Inspiration at Work. "But as a business owner, you need to get over it."
Sales representatives can make better sales calls simply by doing their research on the prospect ahead of time and asking open-ended questions during the conversation, writes Al Davidson. Finally, it's important to have an objective in mind, such as setting an appointment for a demo or consultation, that will be addressed before the conversation ends.
Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen downplayed talk of an economic crisis Wednesday, telling Congress members that "the economy is in many ways close to normal." The unemployment rate is 4.9%, while wages were up 2.5% year over year in January.
Photographer Mike Anderson has made Facebook a key piece of his company, and he estimates that it brings in 80% to 85% of his business. Anderson says that he spent about $3,000 to promote his posts on the social network last year and that he uses Messenger to talk to his customers.
Sales strategies can often be improved simply by pinpointing the company's efforts and building relationships with leads, writes Fred Schonenberg. Ask good questions to learn more about a buyer's needs, and send thoughtful thank you notes to those who support you. Finally, streamline your efforts through the use of intuitive technology that helps you sell instead of distracting you from your other duties.
Call tracking is helpful for sales departments because it provides detailed caller metadata and keyword tracking without requiring a change in the activities of sales representatives, writes Katherine Buchholz. Call tracking can also be used to "accurately optimize your marketing for what works -- and eliminate what doesn’t," Buchholz writes.
By enabling better sales prospecting and more insightful interactions with customers, engagement analytics can provide vital assistance to sales efforts, writes Suresh Balasubramanian. Engagement analytics also allow firms to determine who their stakeholders are and understand the sales pipeline with better clarity.
Consumer spending has improved at a slower rate during the current economic recovery than in previous periods, making the economic expansion "the weakest of the eight" since 1960, writes John Schoen. Furthermore, "the latest cycle has produced relatively weak stock market gains -- outpacing only the mid-'70s expansion, when rampant inflation eroded stock market gains when measured in real terms," Schoen writes.
Baby boomers own two-thirds of companies with employees, by one estimate, but many of them are unsure of how to handle the succession process. In this interview, Kristin Nelson of Bank of the West offers pointers on using buy-sell agreements, getting the right insurance and discussing succession issues with your family.
Both bottom-up and top-down leadership have their benefits, and you don't need to pick just one approach, writes Mark Lukens, founding partner at Method3. A top-down style may be best for making strategic decisions, while a bottom-up approach may be better for execution, he notes.
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