Why Strategic Planning Is Important for Small Businesses

When a person starts a business whether it is a restaurant, bakery, small manufacturing plant, etc they do not want to always remain a “small fish in a big pond.” They want to become one of the “big fish” and in order to do that requires strategic planning. To increase their businesses revenue the owner needs to not only plan intelligent strategies but they also need to implement them wisely. If not implemented wisely the business is not going to see a profit and they may even be forced to go out of business.

Strategic planning involves formulating business growth strategies and policies over a specific period of time. If your business involves mobile or internet technology the trends in these fields change quite often so you would have to do it more often so formulating a six month to one year business strategy plan would make more sense than doing a five year plan. When doing business strategies or strategic planning you or the management team can concentrate on the entire business or just one aspect of the business.

How to Have a Dynamic Sales Presentation – 7 Essential Elements of Successful Sales Presentations

If you have ever made a sales presentation you probably have experienced the sinking feeling in your stomach when one is not being well received. Certainly listening skills and doing your research on your client is critical. Keeping this presentation between 10 and 15 minutes in length is optimal. However, beyond these considerations there is a winning structure to great sales presentations, what we refer to as your core story. Here are a few tips to help you create core stories for closing more deals.

1. Aid your clients understanding by providing a diagram or some form of visual presentation. The brain is wired to go from the concrete to the conceptual. Here’s what I mean. When teaching a young child the number three we don’t begin with showing the image “3″ and repeating the word. We begin by showing the child three apples and then displaying “3″. “3″ is the conceptual representation of three concrete objects.

A sales presentation is more effective when some form of visual representation of the process, company, product or demo is used. Keep these as brief and simple as possible.

2. Gain your clients attention at the beginning by talking about their pain. What difficulties is the client facing without your product or service; high overhead, low productivity, small margins, etc.? Create pain centered statements, (value propositions), and use them liberally. They make especially great openers.

3. Solve your clients problem by highlighting the benefits, results and solutions your product or service provides. Too often sales professionals get bogged down with features such as size, color, attachments. Focus rather on the end game, higher productivity, larger margins, greater profit, increased employee morale, etc.

4. Once you have established the pain and your solution for this pain it’s time to talk about how your company will deliver it, e.g. your product/service. Notice this is not the first element of successful sales presentations. One of my mentors used to say “You can’t save a man who does not know he is drowning.” Talk about your product/service once the need for it has been established.

5. Ask your client which of your products/services they think would be best for their particular situation. This is the area where you want to listen intently and ask questions.

6. Ask for the sale. There are studies that show as many as 9 out of 10 sales professionals never ask for the sale.

7. Establish a timeline. Ask the client when they would like to begin – and put in one of your value propositions. For instance, “When would you like to see an decrease in your overhead?”

Spend quality time creating your core story around these seven elements and then go and practice on everyone with whom you have established a trust relationship.