Posts Tagged ‘sales’

Hunting or Praying

Monday, January 14th, 2019

“Welcome, Mr Bond. I’ve been expecting you!”

In the new “normal”, where volatility and disruption pervade, almost every business manager and investor faces a stark choice. Pray for a return to “gentler” times of old that almost certainly will never happen or hunt for new opportunities? If you consider, rightly, the latter the lower risk option, are you consistently investing time with people, who you know or suspect have a need for your unique value in these times? Start with:

  • Client buyers
  • New buyers within existing clients
  • Buyers within new suppliers
  • Buyers within new distributors
  • Buyers within your clients’ competitors (domestic/international)
  • Buyers at your past clients
  • Buyers with new responsibilities (M&A, consolidation, new markets)
  • Buyers in new prospects and targets of opportunities
  • New referral sources from non-buyers to your ideal buyers
  • New business partner collaborations with your ideal buyers
  • New content ideas for hosted events appealing to your ideal buyers
  • New industry speaking or event hosts focused on your ideal buyers
  • New publishing ideas attractive to your ideal buyers immediate/relevant needs
  • New media and PR sources for promotion to your ideal buyers

If not, why not?

Opportunity abounds in this economy for those with the discipline, talent and work ethic to search for it. There is no “short cut”. After all, the alternative is pretty unpalatable.

The Twinkling Diamond

Friday, May 18th, 2018

What, precisely, are you doing to draw your ideal audience to you and to maximise their intellectual curiosity?  When you perfect those techniques, you have close to zero acquisition costs.

© James Berkeley 2018. All Rights Reserved.


Why Should They Care?

Thursday, January 19th, 2017

I hate being “pitched” ideas, it immediately feels like my interests (building a trusting relationship) are being subordinated to advance your interests (line your pockets). Yet we all need to attract ideal customers or investors with a memorable description of our impressive value. How else can they recall when they need your product, service or proposed investment? You need a clear crisp 1 or 2 sentence statement. It needs to embrace:

  • Legitimate immediate value
  • Impressive results from its’ application and use
  • Improved performance, not problem solving
  • Your target audience’s aspirations
  • It needs to be specific, not too general

It is not about your approach, technology or ideas. Nor is it a sales tag line.

“We have created a platform to resolve the shortcomings of wealth managers, who put their interests before their customers” is interesting but it tells me little about what is really in it for me.

Contrast this with “We dramatically improve HNW investors’ performance, security and peace of mind in complex and ambiguous situations”, which begs the immediate question “great, tell me what would you suggest in this situation?” You have given the other party a reason to care about you (their self-interest), to immediately delve into a pragmatic not conceptual discussion and to recommend you to others.

© James Berkeley 2017. All Rights Reserved.


Trusting Your Fundraising Technique

Tuesday, August 16th, 2016



The crucible of the Olympics separates those, who implicitly trust their technique honed over early mornings and thousands of hours of practice and those, who fear the headlines that will be writ large about their despair. The “mental toughness” commentators talk about is really a mindset issue. A “fear of failure” cripples talent. A “no fear” mindset allows talent to flow.

Owners and top managers in growth businesses don’t have to wait four years for their golden opportunity. Rarely is your failure final, nor are you likely to be written off publicly.

Why cannot you walk into that investor meeting knowing you have tremendous value to bring and do your absolute best without fear? Why cannot you exude implicit confidence in your recommendations and demonstrate absolute credibility? If you knew you couldn’t fail what would you say to the current or prospective investor and how would you direct the conversation to convert the opportunity?

Many entrepreneurs and executives tell me hundreds of reasons why the investor passed on the opportunity. Most have reasonable language techniques but they don’t trust themselves in the moment. They freeze, their mind becomes scrambled and they default to “selling” (proving their worth) rather providing value (showing their worth) to the other party. When their conversation is subordinated to a sales pitch, which is quickly rejected, it is game over.

Believe in your skills and expertise implicitly and maintain a mindset that failure is temporary at worst. Your audience want you to succeed. They are investing 60 minutes of time because they believe it will be time well spent building a formal or informal relationship with you.

© James Berkeley 2016. All Rights Reserved.






Publishing Path

Tuesday, September 8th, 2015

Walk in a hotel and the best concierges will not only point you towards where to go, they will lead the way to your destination and in so doing provide immediate value, sometimes in surprising ways (what to see, where to eat, how to get into the must-see show).

What does your publishing tell others (ideal customers, shareholders, employees, business partners) about “what”, “where”, “when”, “why” and “how” you want them to act with your help?

Telling me what you think is moderately valuable, showing me how you would act with my money and best interests at heart is impressive. Having others doing the telling (testimonials, hosted events, forums and so on) is even more impactful.

Every bank, insurer, asset and investment manager and advisory firm is weekly or daily self-publishing (published research, newsletters, online presence). The overwhelming majority of the effort is having little or no impact on their key constituents’ behaviour. That is a fact. It is bland, it is regurgitated ideas packaged as “new” or statements of the blindingly obvious. The intent is not clear or it acts as a “stop sign”.

They persist “because everyone else is doing it”.

Stop for a moment and ask this:

1. What would my ideal customer base look like in 12 months?

2. What aspects of my publishing would not only attract them to our brand (results, credibility, expertise) but cause them to act (emotional connection) in a positive manner? That is a huge difference.

3. What offerings do we have or we can create that our publishing can point existing or prospective clients towards at different price points offering increasing value?

4. How do we best curate our publishing within an existing client or a new client relationship?

Publishing is like a sequence of sign posts with different dimensions.

1. Are they pointing towards your future or past business?
2. Are they moving the customer faster towards your offerings and their desired improvement?
3. Are they offering immediate value that builds trust and enhances your credibility?
4. Is the frequency and quality of the publishing consistent with where you want your business, relationships, customer base, finances and productivity to be in 12 months?

A nice smile or an arm pointing out where to go is helpful but if it doesn’t visibly get me to my desired destination.

Focus on results (increased credibility, lower acquisition costs, stronger brand, larger pipeline) and work backwards with your publishing as the “sign posts”.

Copyright James Berkeley 2015. All Rights Reserved.