Lori Williams

36 posts
Sales Pitch
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Sales Strategies for Small Companies

Successful sales people are often described as having been born that way. This is not necessarily true as the ability to charm does not guarantee a successful sales career. Many charismatic individuals have failed to produce favorable results when placed in a sales position. This is good news for entrepreneurs who find themselves having to...
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Success and Failure

It has been over two decades since I started my first company at age 25. My early years in business were emotionally draining. I wrestled with every decision, second guessing whether it was the right move. I had personified my company; if the business failed then I was a failure. Unfortunately, I was more motivated...
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Doing Whatever it Takes can be a Bad Thing

Business failure is not the direct result of a few behemoth mistakes made without warning or insight but rather the culmination of mismanaged business practices and bad decisions made overtime. That is not to say that all successful companies made every decision correctly. In fact, often they made many wrong decisions along the way, costing...
Sales
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Sales is the Lifeblood of a Company

Argumentatively sales is the lifeblood of a company. However, if not properly staffed and managed the sales department can also be a liability. A salesperson’s behavior can influence the market’s perception of the company. They interact frequently with clients and are the first to come into contact with a prospect. To achieve optimal results, companies...
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Are you a Victim of Entrepreneurial Mis-Thinking?

During my consulting career, I have met with thousands of entrepreneurs. As a professor in the USC entrepreneurial department, I teach students how to determine if their concept is feasible. As a business advisor at the Small Business Develop Center, I work with entrepreneurs who are in the start-up phase. In my consulting practice, I...
Core Competencies
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Core Competencies: Why Do They Matter?

Simply put, core competencies are the unique capabilities that allow an organization to develop and sustain a competitive advantage. The capabilities of core competencies can be tangible, intangible or a combination of both. The organization's ability to create a sustainable and defendable position directly relates to the degree that the core competencies are unique, can...
ecommerce
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Your Bank Balance Is Not Your Cash Flow

Unearned Revenue is revenue that the company has received in advance of providing the goods or services. Some companies require customer deposits and/or advanced progress payments prior to beginning or completing the sale. Accounting dictates that revenue is only recognized once the sale is complete; therefore, the money collected through deposits and/or advance payments is...
Sales Pitch
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A Sales Managers Checklist

If the company has the internal structure to provide formalized sales training (or the money to invest in outside consultants), the company can afford to hire inexperienced sales people. One advantage to this approach is the ability to train “fresh” employees to adapt to the company’s unique culture and processes. However, if the owners and/or...
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Five Reasons Companies Fail on Execution

Most organizations fail on strategy execution, not formation. Setting unrealistic expectations, including initiatives, measurements and milestones is one of the major causes of failure. The remaining most common reasons for failure are: lack of discipline and planning, rigidity- not allotting for situational shifts, lack of understanding and lack of buy-in or company-wide implementation. Lack of...
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Wrong Thinking Leads to Bad Results

In order to survive long-term, companies must develop a unique and sustainable competitive advantage—what will set your company apart from your competitors. Additionally, independent of size or time in business, companies have limited resources for deployment and must determine how best to invest scarce resources. The main resources are human capital (the people and their...
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An Interview with a Chinese Business Owner

In the United States, the liquidity of our markets promotes entrepreneurship, innovation and corporate growth. Most entrepreneurs, steadfast in their efforts, can usually access the financing they need. However, in other countries accessing capital can be a long and arduous process with limited options.I gained a greater appreciation for the structure of our banking system...
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What Every Company Leader Should Consider

A company leader must make sure the right people are doing the right things. This requires both leadership skills and knowledge about the numerous business functions that exist within a company. Given their level of influence, they can build or destroy the company. Leaders have to respect the impact that their words and directions have...
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Success: A Goal or Unhealthy Obsession?

Entrepreneurs are high-energy people driven by the need to succeed. I have experienced this in myself, my colleagues and the students who attend my entrepreneurship class at USC. Respectfully, the term successful by its very nature is a subjective and personal term. However, in the business world it is usually defined by the amount of...
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Why You Should Fire Some Customers

This week I spoke to a new client who contacted me through the eAdvice service on my website. In her written correspondence she expressed concern about the overall profitability of her company. Of course, those were not the specific words she used in her email. Rather she wrote the words I hear many business owners...
Strategy
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Is that a Marketing or Strategy Question?

Many marketing challenges are often strategic dilemmas. When company executives meet to discuss missed sales targets, unknowingly they are often trying to solve strategic issues with marketing solutions. Since they are not addressing the core problem, the marketing efforts are often misdirected. Common questions discussed during sales and marketing meetings are: (1) How do we...
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Company of One

At one time landing a large corporate client was the golden goose. Today, that may not be the case. Working with smaller companies is often more profitable, not to mention enjoyable. More importantly, given the trends it may offer the best opportunity for growth. According to the latest data released by the SBA, “In 2011,...
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Small Company Marketing Plan

Small companies usually operate on a shoestring marketing budget. They do not have the luxury of hiring professional expertise or purchasing big ads in popular magazines. For this reason, their marketing efforts must be very focused and disciplined to gain the greatest benefit. The importance of branding cannot be underestimated. A distinctive brand strategy builds...
Business Model
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False Perceptions – A Destructive Force

Strategic plans built on faulty beliefs are sure to fail. Change can occur quickly and the average lifespan of a business model may only be a few years before modifications or a complete restructuring is required. With that said, change does not occur unnoticed overnight -- subtle clues (that are easily recognizable in hindsight) can...
Fund
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Processes = Efficiency. That’s the Bottom Line!

A company’s success is based upon the company’s ability to sell, produce and control cost. Business growth occurs when the company successfully markets and sells products and/or services, at a price that exceeds the cost to produce, with enough surplus profits to cover overhead and allow for reinvestment. Companies are dynamic organizations comprised of numerous...
Sales Pitch
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What if you are NOT a Born Salesperson?

When speaking about a person who has built a successful career in sales it is often said, "They are a born salesperson," but what does that actually mean? While it is true that some salespeople possess excellent people skills, it is not true of all. Moreover the ability to charm is not a given for...