Explore the best way to grow your business with Ansoff’s Matrix

Ansoff’s Matrix was first published in the Harvard Business Review in 1957.  Since its publication, it has given generations of marketers and business strategists a quick and simple way of thinking about growth.

In essence, this is the grid.

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Are you an effective networker?

In order to be truly successful at networking it is absolutely critical that you keep your promises – be sure to do what you say you will do. Few things can be more damaging to your credibility as a reliable networker than failing to keep your word.  Make 2016 your best year yet!  Continue reading

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Do you sometimes look at larger projects and decide not to go for them because you don’t have the capacity to deliver, even though the project is right up your street?

If so, consider collaboration.  The two types of collaboration I will cover in this post are working with non-competitive suppliers who could enhance the services you bring to the table and working with your competitors, delivering the same work but in a higher volume.

Collaboration can be worthwhile

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Common Sales Mistakes – Part 6 of 6

Not developing a new business mindset

Not developing a new business mindset may make an already difficult task nearly impossible. If you and your colleagues are not thinking in terms of identifying opportunities and displaying a willingness to commit the time, resources and effort to win new business than you will struggle from the outset. Continue reading

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Common Sales Mistakes – Part 5 of 6

Don’t fail to follow-up

One of the worst things anyone can do to impede the sales process is to fail to follow-up. Whether you are acknowledging an email, returning a call or summarising points from a meeting that follow-up is a demonstration of your professionalism and your commitment to winning prospective business by taking an active role. Continue reading

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Common Sales Mistakes – Part 4 of 6

Be sure to take notes so you can refer back to important information

Probably one of the simplest things, yet one which many people fail to do. You should be taking notes during any conversation with a prospect; noting down things like date and time of call, who you spoke with, when you have agreed to call back and who you need to speak with. Collecting information and being able to refer back to it will help make your job easier, keep you organised and provide evidence of your professionalism. Continue reading

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Common Sales Mistakes – Part 3 of 6

Not showing prospects the investment you’ve made in winning their business

Before you can expect a prospect to make an investment in buying your products or services you must show them that you have made a similar (if not greater) investment in winning their business. A salesperson who fails to show how much they value that prospect’s business can’t expect much success. Continue reading

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Common Sales Mistakes – Part 2 of 6

Not properly understanding your customers’ needs

Not understanding the actual needs of your customers or prospects is a fundamental mistake. This usually results when people make assumptions about what their customers need or value most. The best way to prevent these sorts of assumptions from occurring is to speak with your customers frequently – and remember to listen to what they say. Continue reading

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Common Sales Mistakes – Part 1 of 6

Failure to appreciate the need to actively look for new business

One of the first mistakes people can make regarding sales is failing to appreciate the need to prospect for new business. Many people adopt the position ‘we don’t need more customers, we have all the work we can handle’ or ‘I’m not comfortable cold-calling and it’s never successful anyway.’ These are not sufficient excuses to neglect developing your customer base. Continue reading

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Four strategies for cutting your to-do list in half (article by Michael Hyatt)

Michael Hyatt’s revelations below about time management are very easy to appreciate, and the ‘Two Minute Rule’ from David Allen is a real gem – and so simple I kick myself for not doing this sooner. But I suppose when we’re all ‘so busy’ and caught up in ‘doing’ things, we forget to wonder about the ‘why’ or ‘how’ of what we’re doing.

I think the two most important pieces from Michael’s article is making a decision and acting on it – immediately – and setting time limits. The statement that actions will expand into the time we have allotted for them is so true. And if we fail to consciously limit the time we allow certain things to take, we run the risk that those things will expand to fill all of our available time.

Read Michael Hyatt’s article below and see if his suggestions for improving how you manage your time might have a positive impact on your own productivity. Enjoy.

Four strategies for cutting your to-do list in half

Whenever I ask a friend how they are doing, they inevitably respond, “Busy. Crazy busy.” It seems like all of us have more to do that we can possibly get done.

One of the most helpful time management principles I’ve ever found is David Allen’s Two-Minute Rule. The basic concept is that you take immediate action on anything that can be done in two minutes or less. This is the key to becoming more productive.

To implement this, you should do these kinds of actions NOW. Why? Because it will take longer than two minutes to add the action to your to-do list, organize it, get back up to speed later, and complete the task.

Instead of going through that whole rigmarole, you just do it and move on to the next task. It is a huge productivity booster. And it will keep your to-do lists much shorter.

In addition to the two-minute rule, here are four strategies for cutting your to-do list in half:

  1. Understand the five basic decisions. With any given input (email message, physical inbox item, etc.), there are only five actions you can take:
    • You can DO it by taking action now yourself.
    • You can DELEGATE it to someone else who is better qualified or has the bandwidth.
    • You can DEFER (or schedule) it to do later.
    • You can FILE it for later reference.
    • You can DELETE it and forget about it.
  2. Make a decision and then act. This is the most important part—make a decision. Most of the decisions you and I make are not that consequential. You can afford to be wrong occasionally. It is better to make a decision and move on than waste precious time trying to get it right. (Obviously, I am not talking about big decisions that require significant risk or investment.)
  3. Don’t second-guess yourself. This is unproductive. You can spend an inordinate amount of time questioning your decisions. What is past is past. Let it go. Don’t get bogged down in “the paralysis of analysis.” Learn what you can and keeping moving. Like someone once observed, “It is easier to steer a moving car than one that is parked.”
  4. Set a time-limit. Parkinson’s Law states: “work expands to the time allotted for it.” For example, I may go online right before lunch, say 11:00 a.m. I then give myself 30 minutes to process the emails that have accumulated since I checked earlier that morning. On average, I can go through 70 emails in this amount of time. The deadline helps me be more productive.

You will get better with practice. Consciously try to implement this principle. Nike got it right with their slogan: “Just do it!” This applies to task management as well. Ready, set, go!

Question: How many items are currently on your to-do list? How many could you have eliminated if you had just taken the action when it first appeared?

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