b2b Tribe — New Magazine Serving Business Owners in Mecklenburg County

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Business owners – we who own and operate – we are 90% of all licensed businesses. We are best served when we serve each other. This magazine is devoted to us. Here we can learn who we are and what we do. It is a brilliant resource for owner operators. Sign up and then meet up. What if, we collaborate more among ourselves?

Fabi Preslar, owner operator of Spark Publications, is inventor, publisher and editor.

First, we need subscribers. It’s free, sign up at b2btribe.com. And then, what if we collaborate more with each other? What if all our suppliers and vendors were our own neighbors? Can we raise the tide to float more boats?

There are many business resources within Mecklenburg county aimed to serve and assist small business owners and operators. If you have not already, you might reach out to these Charlotte resources;learn of their value; connect with them on Linkedin,

Ronnie Evans / SBA Network

Mike McGraw / GoSmallBiz

Bill Franklin / Mindset

Wanda Montano / TAB

David Cauble / Network Charlotte

Jeff Green / Collaborative Ventures

Richard Marcus / Vue Coaching & Sales TRaining

Jeff Wolfberg / CEO Focus

Don Minges / Fractional CFO

Gary Nowicki / Ace of Sales

Dick Timpone / Local Marketing Associates & . . .

Heather Johnson / The Creative Stack

They all bring value and support to Mecklenberg county business owners and they’re all members, I’m pleased to say, of Street Smart Sales Forum.

Business owners – we who own and operate – are 90% of all licensed businesses. What if we collaborated more often among ourselves?

I think this magazine can and will help. Subscribe. Meet each other. Collaborate.

YAKTIVIST OR ACTIVIST

DO IT

The “yaktivist” is one who talks more than they do.

It’s hard to know what or who a person is until they are seen in action. It’s activity that defines a person. Be careful of smooth talkers. And keep a reserved opinion of them until their actions are seen, heard or felt.

There is one particular American occupation that exemplifies this point – politician. Partly, this is due to the process by which they get hired. For until they get elected, we have no idea what their actions might be. Until they get elected, they are all words.

So too are we who sell. Until a prospect buys and uses and experiences our solution, we too are mostly words.

Sellers can and should learn from politicians. Their use of words is usually very smart. And if we can figure out a way to display some action within and during our sales process, perhaps we can enhance our influence.

What is Your Super Power?

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What do you do best?

What have you been officially trained to do?

Are you certified in something?

What degrees do you hold?

At what have you spent 1000 hours learning to do?

The next time someone describes what they do, dare to ask them the above questions.And of course, the next time you start squawking about what you do, be prepared for someone to ask, how so?

How have you acquired your power?

And you have. You’ve earned the right to be bold and brave. You do have the background, experience and training.

Stand tall and let’s do what we do best. Let’s be super-specific about that which we do. We may be good at several things and things closely related to what we do best. But that which we do truly best, that is our super-power.

And it solves a specific problem for a specific market segment.

Six LINKEDIN Tips

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[1] Think Quality not quantity

  • Choose your connections with purpose
  • Choose your posts and updates with purpose
  • More is not better. Better is better
[2] The highest and best use of Linkedin is as a prospecting tool. Used correctly it can result in your meeting 8 out of every 10 people you select.

[3] Use your full and preferred name, everywhere

  • It is your brand name
  • Be consistent
[4] A current professional photo is a must

  • This is NOT Facebook
  • Current means less than 1 year old
[5] Spelling and grammar are part of your profile and your brand image.

  • Hire a writer or an editor
[6] Have a reason for wanting to connect with someone and be personal when inviting them to connect.

  • Most all business relationships begin with a person to person interaction – P2P.

EXTRAORDINARY IS NOT ORDINARY

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Whom do you serve?

Who is your best customer?

Who is the one for whom you can do something extraordinary?

This idea was inspired by Seth Godin who wrote …

http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2014/03/compromise-design-and-the-literal-edges.html

Seth writes about making an improvement to a product. I’m suggesting we improve our customer selection. To whom exactly can we be of extraordinary help?

Think small. Think narrow. Be specific and for each prospect carefully craft a customer acquisition strategy. Plan several visits and be prepared for each. Speak about challenges and how they arose and how wonderful things might be if fixed.

Seth writes that there is safety in compromise and similarly there is safety in a large market. When we contact new prospects and they do not immediately buy, we take comfort in the next prospect. We know that there are many more we can contact. We do not make a customer-focused effort with each one because we are already moving towards the next one.

Extraordinary is not ordinary. If you want your prospects to think that you are extraordinary, you might begin by thinking that they are.

EVERYONE IS WRONG

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Everyone is the wrong answer.

When asked or when thinking about the question, Who are your customers? Everyone is wrong.

[1] Everyone means everybody, every breathing soul, everywhere. English translates the Spanish todo el mundo to everybody, but literally it means “all the world”. All the world is too big and too diverse.

[2] Everyone in your town is wrong. How many people between the ages of 1 and 100 are actually in your town? And if they all wanted your help tomorrow, how many could you serve? Not all. Every business has a capacity. There is only so much we can do and we cannot serve everyone in town.

But now we’re on the path towards a right answer. We just narrowed the answer by billions. And we can continue to add parameters to further simplify and better identify who are customers might be. Such as, gender, age, occupation, marital status, parental status, self-employed and many more.

But what if you started from the other perspective? Start with one: one of your most favorite customers. Who is this person? Can you find another like them? You can.

Have you ever seen these phrases?

“People similar to . . .”

“People also viewed”

They’re on Linkedin. They can lead you to another one, and one is better than everyone.