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Great advice often spans more than one situation, one purpose or use and is best when passed along.
04 June 2015

What’s the best piece of business advice you’ve ever received?

There is no shortage of advice on business – building it, running it, growing it {ah, ahem hence, our blog}. Much of the wisdom we hear doesn’t resonate with us right away – perhaps not until we’re in circumstances that give it context. But most everyone has those one or two pieces of life changing advice that come in to play.

Having spent most of my career in sales at some excellent companies, I’ve had some great advice from Sales Directors and Business Leaders. These nuggets apply to more than just sales – starting and growing business, sales, promotions or even weight loss. Yes, these particular even apply to weight loss.

Great advice often spans more than one situation, one purpose or use and is best when passed along.

Here are 3 pieces of my favorite advice:

Do the Math. – Whether it was building a deal and examining margins or working through my pipeline to see where I would end up in the quarter, my sales director, Tycho Rovers, always brought me back to the math. Work it forwards, work it backwards. Do the math for yourself and especially for your customers. Don’t guess about whether something is a good deal, a good investment or a good decision. Do the math.

Be Accountable to the Plan, not the results. – This is a gem for many purposes {even including weight loss} and has proven to be key in achieving sales goals, business goals and is also our mantra for executing strategy with clients. If you create a sharp strategy and actions that execute your strategy and stick to executing that strategy, the results will come. If you don’t get results, go back to executing strategy.

Solve the bigger problem. – Understanding what you’re really selling and how it impacts the customer is not usually what’s featured on your marketing brochures. When a purchasing agent at a bank asked me to give him a quote on a binder full of training materials, what was the real problem he needed me to solve? The real problem was bigger than a binder – the real problem to solve was a system to efficiently and cost effectively print and distribute ever changing time sensitive material so loan officers had the most current regulated and compliant information. Consequently, it’s not really the purchasing agent I want to talk to – but the trainer who owned that business segment responsibility. Solve the bigger problem to be of bigger value.

These wise words have served me well in sales and served our clients well in their business. What shrewd business advice has been particularly useful for you in your business?

Share with us in the comments below!

Until next time, keep kickin’ butt!

-sks

PS – Thanks to Tycho Rovers, Sean Deaton and Paul Hanlon for these great pieces of business advice!

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