I've had the privilege of knowing Marijo McCarthy for 30+ years, so I was very pleased when I received an email from her following last week's blog.
A gifted lawyer at the firm of Widett and McCarthy, she and I and another 20 plus small business entrepreneurs breathed new life into SBANE, "The Smaller Business Association of New England", (now, rebranded to The New England Business Association" ) back-in-the-day. Led by Julie Scofield, the powerful Executive Director of the association, SBANE was placed squarely on the map in New England as "THE" place to be for small business.
Not tech or specific market focused, but just "meat-and-potatoes" small businesses run by rock solid women and men who came together to share best practices and consistent networking...on steroids.
Back-in-the-day, SBANE was all about the basics of business networking, education in what it takes to run a small business successfully, and superb connections from trusted referrals.
SBANE morphed, as all companies do, people changed, and I went on to run the MIT Enterprise Forum, the University Club and then the Association for Corporate Growth as "my side jobs" that filled in the valleys of "my day job" of running our then-fledgling consulting firm. And what did I learn through all of those years of volunteering in associations focused on small businesses and entrepreneurs?
Business success is all about the basics...
- As managers, we need to add real life financial value to our customers' businesses!
- As managers, we need to treat our customers with transparency and the utmost respect!
- As salespeople, we do not sell products or services, we ultimately sell trust and value!
I have the privilege of working with Roger Reiser, who with his brother, George, built a powerhouse company, Reiser, in Massachusetts. Whenever I get too full of myself (which is too often) and launch myself into consultant-speak, Roger, (just like Marijo's note to me last week), pulls me back to the basics of using simpler and more direct language.
At Reiser, true success at the company is measured on building value with and being trusted by its customers in simple, business-to-business terms.
- Simple language and the basics of business success of promoting of being trusted on both sides of the table between supplier and buyer.
- Not as adversaries trying to beat one another on prices, but as trusted partners in the basics of supply and demand...of course, at a respectable price and profit.
No wonder that the Reiser logo reflects the three simple words of... "Built on Trust". Every single employee not only knows the logo and the tagline, but they fully understand that those words translate into working double shifts when needed, getting on an airplane on Sundays and driving 300 miles deep into Nebraska to deliver a part on time for a processing machine that has been sidelined in a customer's plant.
After reading last week's blog, which was on the basics of listening and my 2018 resolution to listen much better, Marijo emailed me that perhaps I had lost my roots from the hills of Vermont, and that she missed my much simpler blog stories about "my other life" of...
-"the boys on the bench" down at the Winhall General Store"
-my family's ancestry of living in this tiny valley for 250 years
-the fact that "Winhall" is VT's name for our town, but the feds call it "Bondville".
-the reality that I live so off the grid, that Fairpoint will not even quote me a price for bringing cable to the house. Cell coverage is limited to how many squirrels and gerbils can power the system.
So, in the spirit of "a lot of change coming in 2018", one of my other 2018 resolutions is to turn my blogs this year into a purposeful and better balance of content about...
- ..."The science & math of Marketing" since it's one of my life passions.
- ..."The science & math of Sales" combined with deep processes and technologies since although "everything else" is very important in our businesses, when the rubber hits the road, the reality of business success is highly focused in that that... "We all must sell something to someone!"
- ...teaching and spreading the word about entrepreneurship to our Tufts students.
- ...my other life in the woods and down the dirt road a piece in Winhall, Vermont
In 2018, a year of significant change for me, successful selling is about...
- ...consistently honing our sales and management skills,
- ...focusing on explaining our value in simpler language, and...
- ...creating trust with our customers by being more transparent and using much more direct language.
Welcome to 2018, the year to crush our objectives, and a year of initializing change!
Have a great day selling!
Derby Management...for 25 years
-Sales & Marketing Productivity experts
-Business & Strategy Planning specialists
-Senior Management Coaches for CEOs & VPs