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How to Present Like a Pro

How to Present Like a Pro by Dave Bresler

We’ve all attended numerous presentations at functions such as trade shows. We’ve seen the good, the bad, and the ugly.

But what makes good presentations good? Remember that speaking engagements often lead to connections, providing you with a wellspring of prospects or lead sources. This was the discussion at a recent Around the Horn forum session. A financial advisor in attendance pointed out that he has never spoken in a meeting where he has not gotten at least one lead. Don’t underestimate the potential returns from a good presentation!

So how do you make a good presentation?

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What Happens When a Client Sees You as an Employee?

What Happens When a Client Sees You as an Employee by Dave Bresler

As an independent contractor, what happens if a client treats you like an employee? This question was asked of attendees at a recent Around the Horn session.

There were many great suggestions on how to handle this issue

  • Stop giving free advice! Billing clients is one way of calling their attention to the fact that maybe their behavior is not appropriate. 
  • Don’t give clients the actual solution — keep them interested. 
  • Point them in the direction of the solution (if your business is not solution-oriented). 
  • Have a contract. A contract states the terms of engagement and the client either signs it or you, as the business owner, don’t engage. Many creatives tend not to have contracts. 
  • Have an agenda with goals for every meeting. Without an agenda, meetings tend to be directionless. 
  • Write a tight spec so when clients ask you for extras, you can point out that their request is not in the original spec and then provide them an estimate of how much that extra work will cost. 
  • Be candid, respectful and specific: define what’s billable (in the spec) and what isn’t (not in the spec). 

How have you handled the issue of a client treating you like an employee? Let us know! Visit Network!Network!

Dave Bresler
President of Network!Network!
Phone: 914-924-1297
Contact us using this online form.

Knowing When to Walk Away

Knowing When to Walk Away by Dave Bresler

When should you walk away from potential business?

This was the question posed during a recent Around the Horn session. The answers were as varied as the members of the group:

  • A sales trainer believed that time is critical. If you believe a potential customer is not ready, be upfront with them, then walk away. 
  • A consultant said an account is only an account when it pays. Ask the prospect and believe them when they say they’re bad customers. If your culture and style don’t fit with the client, don’t do business together. Be transparent – don’t let secrets get in the way. The way you do anything is the way you do everything
  • An investment advisor said not to do business with people who won’t comply, which makes perfect sense. 
  • A graphic and web designer said to identify your ideal client, stay near that ideal, then understand the warning signs that show they’re not ideal. 

Look for a qualifier – ask what the prospect’s decision criteria is. If they don’t have any criteria, even if they have a budget, you don’t know if you’ll be paid because you don’t know what you have to do to satisfy their needs. 

To qualify a prospect, you want to find out if

    • They have a budget and the money is actually allocated.
    • They have a timeline.
    • You are dealing with a decision maker, not just someone who’s going to recommend you.
    • They have an approved project.

People will tell you who they are. During an interview with a prospect, follow your gut – if you think someone’s the wrong number, 99 times out of 100, they are.

Dave Bresler
President of Network!Network!
Phone: 914-924-1297
Contact us using this online form.

When Approaching a Potential Customer, Always Go for No!

When Approaching a Potential Customer, Always Go for No! by Dave Bresler

What do you do as a business professional when a prospect won’t follow up? This was one of the concerns from a member during a recent Around the Horn session. There were many suggestions for how to handle this challenge:

  • Always go for no. You don’t want to deal with wishy-washy people. You want to make sure you’re not wasting time with somebody who’s not going do business with you—it will save you energy because you won’t have to deal with somebody who’s not a real prospect, irrespective of any of the other qualifying questions.
  • Call the potential customer—if you can get them on the phone, you can have a conversation with them. Remind them where and when you met and ask if they have any questions.
  • Send an email and ask if the prospect has any questions—if you don’t hear back, it’s no. Make a telephone call or re-forward the email with the subject line “Did you get my email?” If they do not seem to be following up, use your judgement. You could ask if you can call them in 6 months, and if they’re real, this will provoke a response.
  • Perhaps the prospect needs to be at a crisis point—they need to feel the pain. They may not be ready to make a decision, or maybe they’re not getting back to you because they have nothing to add to the conversation. You need to ascertain whether or not they have a sufficient level of pain to be in a position to make a decision.
  • Don’t feel bad if a prospect doesn’t return your calls—it’s not personal. You may have found somebody who seemed very enthusiastic about doing business in the beginning, and then after a while, they changed their mind.
  • Put them on a business newsletter email list and include helpful tips that keep you top of mind—always a good marketing tool.

The expertise shared during this Around the Horn session came from various professionals with years of experience, including an IT consultant, the owner of a trade show marketing service company, and a woman who once owned a company with her husband but is now entrenched in corporate America.

Dave Bresler
President of Network!Network!
Phone: 914-924-1297
Contact us using this online form.

How Can You Deal with a Bumpy Market?

How Can You Deal with a Bumpy Market by Dave Bresler

When markets move, how can any negative effects it may have on your enterprise be reduced? This was the question posed from a business owner during a recent Around the Horn session.

One of the group members commented that it’s a matter of critical mass. Anticipate the bump and bring on interns (typically for low pay). Have these interns complete other duties when demand is low. Someone else pointed out that students make good interns, especially students in your field.

Another member suggested that the business owner makes their team more efficient so more work gets done in less time. This is not always possible, of course, but making processes more efficient would help. Another suggestion was for the entrepreneur to be the champion for a new plan or process.

How have you made your business more stable during a bumpy period?

Dave Bresler
President of Network!Network!
Phone: 914-924-1297
Contact us using this online form.