Being a leader takes courage and fortitude. You must have the necessary abilities that will show people you are to be trusted and worth following. Leadership is not a skill that can be drilled into you. Margaret Thatcher said “Don’t follow the crowd, let the crowd follow you.” If you sense that you have the distinctive traits to be a leader, here are some tips to keep you on track.
Stir the Team
How do you provide employees with coherent, concise and correct information so they know what is expected of them? Communication! Be clear about what their tasks are, where to get assistance and what the timeframe is. It is also critical that you listen to your team. Capturing the big picture around the mission is an important strategic driver to keep the group inspired and provide a boost to productivity.
Ethics and Integrity
You must consistently demonstrate high values and responsibilities. This will build trust and respect with your team. Being a professional means doing the right thing while also knowing that people will not discern that you did it or not. A leader also must impart a safe and relaxing environment for employees to allow for innovation, engagement and creativity.
Determine the Complex Problems
Be the one to set aside time for your staff to assess pressing problems. Provide them the supporting data and background information necessary to complete the tasks. It is very important to be part of the team and partake in the resolution of the challenging issues. A leader must also never quit on a problem. They embrace the challenges and find the best means to overcome the obstacles.
Identify the goals that are demanding, quantifiable and attainable. Furnish an atmosphere that allows for staff involvement with processes for setting goals and a rewarding, focused and supportive setting. Review the measurables with the team and congratulate on the successes while also staying positive on the negatives, keeping in mind a quick turnaround plan.
You’re Invited – Best Meeting Practices By Chris Jordan
Ding! A meeting invite pops up on your desktop calendar. Some employees dread this as an unnecessary waste of time, while others view it as an opportunity to contribute to the growth of the company. It is up to the meeting organizer to ensure that the time they have requested from everyone’s busy schedule is necessary, focused, includes the correct audience and ends with the proper goals in mind. Here are a few tips to keep your meetings creative and worthwhile:
A Beginning and an End
We’ve all been there. Sitting around the conference table staring out the window watching the day march on wondering when the last invitee will finally step in. Don’t let the energy drain from your meeting before it even begins. Companies must have discipline and mutual respect for each other. If a meeting is set for 8:00 AM and you accept, be there before the start time. Leaders must act as leaders and set the example. The coordinator should have a set end time as well. Be sure to keep a watchful eye on the clock and stick to it.
Have a Set Agenda
There is nothing worse than going into a conference not knowing why you are there. Everyone attending the meeting needs to know why they have been invited. Provide a handout with the agenda or write it on a whiteboard. If necessary, break down a timeline of specific topics to be discussed and adhere to it. Even better, send the outline in advance so people can be prepared for the meeting.
Who’s In, Who’s Out
The host of the meeting needs to determine who must attend and who may not be necessary, to match the agenda. Keep control of the size of your meeting and be sure to have key decision makers in attendance. Keep in mind, some people may come with their own goals. It is the steward’s responsibility to keep the correct balance of ideas coming and inspiring everyone to say what’s on their mind.
Stay on the Rails
Now that all the important people are assembled, make sure to keep your meeting on the tracks. If some people are logging in via video conference, be certain that you know how to use the necessary software tools to sign them in. If you don’t, ask for assistance from an associate that does. Don’t allow yourself to be embarrassed by wasting time trying to figure out what cord goes to what port or why you can’t hear the person on the other end of the call.
Meeting Over – Now What The end of any meeting needs to have defined next steps, responsibilities and specific deadlines. Near the conclusion, appoint someone to keep track of who is accountable for what items and when they need to be accomplished. Any other uncovered items can be investigated further and the group can reconvene for follow up discussions.
Sales Tips to Stay Ahead of the Competition By Chris Jordan
No doubt about it, the sales game is a tough arena. There is no room for slouchers or slow-pokes. You must continuously keep yourself motivated to stay involved, remain competitive and always be selling. All of this must be done in an environment that is quick to seek out the newest, cheapest and most versatile products on the market. Any minute you are staving off your competitors, while also having to deal with an unpredictable consumer that shows no loyalty to a brand. Here are a few sales reminders to stay ahead of the game:
Focus on Opportunities
There is always going to be a lot of chatter in your market. Don’t get bogged down on roads to nowhere. Stay cognizant of your surroundings. Take advantage of leads by simply talking to people around you. This way you get to find the best prospects yourself. The top performing salespeople have garnered their top clients when simply conversing at informal gatherings. Remember to always be on the lookout for positive opportunities.
You must be resilient to be successful in sales. Never stop trying to close a deal with a customer. I have been rejected for nearly a year by certain clients but I stayed the course, convinced them that what I was offering added value to their bottom line and eventually won them over. This should not happen with every opportunity. Trust your instincts and run with them when it feels right.
Know Your Product
Many customers will already be on guard when they see a sales pitch coming their way. Nothing is more troublesome than a salesperson who doesn’t have knowledge of their merchandise. You must avoid this by understanding your products better than anyone. Doing this will not only help your client to gain confidence in you but will show that you or your employer takes great care in staffing exceptionally trained associates.
Ears Open Mouth Shut
The best people in sales let the customer tell the story of what their needs are. The key is to listen to what their problems are. Once you have allowed them the time to explain their concerns you can focus your sale on how you and your team can help alleviate their obstacles. You will have a much greater success rate in sales by simply listening and being a problem solver.
You can use these straightforward but sometimes forgotten tips to stay focused on sales. Never again allow opportunities slip past your guard. There is no magic formula, just continue to master your techniques and be prepared to have an outstanding year.
Like most budding business entrepreneurs, you will wear many hats as your company develops. This not only allows you to understand what it takes to design products, manufacture them and market to customers, but helps to extend your limited funding. You will have to work lean, trade services, and possibly provide consulting to stretch your budget to the limit. Ultimately, this will not be sustainable over the long term. In order to grow, you will need to focus on the big picture by increasing your timeline for production and determining when is the best time to find associates to assist with your growth. This will allow you to work smarter and be more efficient. Here are four tips to help keep your costs in-line: