Too many business owners are challenged by flatlining revenue and the stress that goes with that. David Shriner-Cahn is on the podcast today to help hard-working solo entrepreneurs attack and solve these types of problems.
David founded his firm, TEND Strategic Partners, in 2006. Through his unique approach to consulting, David creates strategies to solve small business problems and drive growth. By the way, unlike most business consultants he doesn’t just hand off recommendations, he personally implements the necessary changes with his clients.
David is also the host of Smashing The Plateau, a podcast for business owners who are determined to break through their current limitations. No matter how successful you might be today, there’s probably at least one area where external or internal roadblocks are keeping you from fully achieving your goals.
Beyond his many years of experience helping business owners to break through roadblocks, David’s background includes eight years in the corporate world as a chemical engineer, and over 20 years as a CEO, COO, CFO in the non-profit world. His C-level experience and executive maturity makes him a rare find among small business consultants.
Are you looking to break out of a plateau or achieve sales and marketing goals that seem unattainable? If so, then you don’t want to miss the wisdom that David shares in today’s interview. Scroll down to the Podcast Player and listen now!
(Prefer to read instead? Click on the “Transcript” link at the bottom of the player.)
Experienced solo professionals know that seeing themselves through the eyes of their clients is difficult. They also realize that it’s important to try. After all is said and done – it’s how each client experiences working with us that defines our brand.
Not long ago, I decided to explore this idea with a brief, anonymous client survey. I sent an email to about half of my clients. It said, in part: “I want to better understand your experience as my client. Would you be willing to take a minute or two now and answer one question for me?”
When recipients clicked the client survey link (Survey Monkey), a single question appeared with a blank field below it: “When you think of me and our working relationship, what are the five adjectives that first come to mind?”
The feedback I received was consistent and encouraging. But it wasn’t exactly what I expected and it challenged my assumptions. Valuable? Yes, indeed.
I’ve now incorporated what those clients told me they experience when working with me into my sales and marketing communications. For example, my new website is focused on the benefits of highly personalized business mentoring based on many years of direct experience as a self-employed solo.
My point? If you want to understand the reality of your brand, then don’t assume anything. Ask your clients for their feedback. I think you’ll find it’s an eye opening experience.
As a Star Trek fan from way back, I have always enjoyed Leonard Nimoy’s iconic character, Mr. Spock. Perhaps this is because deep down I wish that we humans were more logical creatures.
Over the years, I’ve observed that even our business decisions are driven as much by emotion as logic. On a personal level, think back to the last time you purchased a product or service for your business. Was the decision you made completely logical? I’d say no. In fact, I believe that all of us process our decisions through our emotions – it’s unavoidable.
If you’re skeptical, here’s some thought-provoking research to consider. At an annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America, Dr. Dean Shibata presented his research findings based on an exhaustive study of the patterns of human brain activity during decision-making. Dr. Shibata’s study demonstrated that human decision-making processes are directly dependent upon emotions when the implications of a decision are perceived to have even the slightest personal impact.
According to Shibata, the findings of his imaging research support the idea that when people make choices, they need to feel the projected emotional outcome of each choice. If they can’t, they often become paralyzed and simply default to the status quo.
What about your clients? If they’re fellow business owners or executives, then few things impact them as much on a personal level as the health of their business or career. So, please know this, the decision to buy from you or your competition is an emotional one.
Is your sales process set up to guide clients as they think and feel their way through decisions? If you’re not sure, then I encourage you to develop a deeper and more personal appreciation of your clients’ journey during their buying process. By consistently cultivating this kind of understanding, you’ll be far better positioned to win the hearts and minds of the people you’re selling to.
Would you like some advice on how to create a sales process that gets better results? Reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 518-439-4439 and let’s begin the conversation.