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Eight Questions to Know Your Customer’s Financial Health

There are eight questions that you -as a salesperson- should know the answers about your customer. An added benefit is to learn the answers regarding your own company. Then and only then, will you be in a position of strength. Where does this strength come from – understanding the financial health of your customer.

Let’s exam the eight questions that hold the answer to your customer’s financial health. The eight are as follows:

  1. What were your customer’s sales during the past year? Did they grow, have a record year, or hold their own even in the economic downturn. You should learn about the quality of sales and where do they sell – domestic or international? Which brands or markets are strong for your customer. Do you sell into the growth or declining arenas for this customer?

Five Value-Adding Opportunities during the Declining Phrase

Today, I’m looking at value adding opportunities for the Declining phases of a company life cycle. This could also be applied to a company’s product or service life cycle. This information is provided to assist sales people deal with their customer’s situations and internal managers looking for ways to improve the performance of their company.

The Declining Phrase of product life cycles is one of the most difficult phrases for companies and the individuals within these companies to handle. Usually there are emotional links to these products and decisions are influenced by this emotional attachment. Emotional issues need to be overcome and some business logic applied to the solutions needed. Yet, companies that have only declining products are usually in survival mode and their choices are limited at best. The best companies have launched new products during the growth and maturity phrases and have new products becoming maturity products at this time.

So what can you do if the company or products for your company or the customer’s company to add significant value during this declining phrase? Here are five things we have found to provide the value added opportunities:

Six Value-Adding Opportunities in the Maturity Phrase of Lifecycles

Today, I’m looking at value adding opportunities for the Maturity Phases of a company life cycle. This could also be applied to a company’s product or service life cycle. This information is provided to assist sales people deal with their customer’s situations and internal managers looking for ways to improve the performance of their company.

The Maturity Phrase is an interesting period and seems to have a large number of companies in this category. However, most of these companies are in commodity industries and are working hard to stay out of the declining phrase – which I will discuss on Thursday.

There are six opportunities for you to consider when you have identified a company or product in the maturity phrase. The six that we have assisted our clients with include:

Four Value-Adding Opportunities for the Growth Phrase

This week I’m looking at value adding opportunities for the growth phase of a company life cycle. This could also be applied to a company’s product or service life cycle. This information is provided to assist sales people deal with their customer’s situations and internal managers looking for ways to improve the performance of their company.

So today, we are looking at the Growth Phrase for a company or product. This is exciting times for any company to experience. Things are moving fast, sales are increasing, accounts receivables are growing and cash is once again in short supply. So here are four specific value adding opportunities for sales people and managers to use during the growth phrase.

4 Value Adding Opportunities for the start-up phase

This week I’m looking at value adding opportunities for all phases of a company life cycle. This could also be applied to a company’s product or service life cycle. This information is provided to assist sales people deal with their customer’s situations and internal managers looking for ways to improve the performance of their company.

So the first cycle is the start-up or entry phrase. The company is starting from nothing and has a boat load of high priority areas that must be dealt with everyday. Usually there are changing priorities and crisis management rules the day. Even with the daily changes – there are four areas that I believe you can focus upon to increase the performance and opportunities. Here are the four opportunities:

12 Ways to Manage Working Capital – Business Acumen 101

Today we look at 12 ways to manage working capital. These methods can be used internally by managers looking to improve their productivity or unit performance. Externally, B2B sales people can look for ways their products or services can produce these advantages for their customers. The key is to review the lists and find one that makes sense for you. Then take that one method – launch and measure your results.

Working Capital is one of the key factors in financial management and is one of the things that managers and sales people need to understand. The dozen methods I’m sharing with you today represent both basic and high level methods or decisions to be made for a company to improve their working capital position.

Remember that Working Capital is  about cash and near cash that is available for the company to use during their normal operations. Think about the net cash available to use over the cash needed for basic operations and capital investments.

So here are the 12 ways to manage working capital:

Managing Freight Costs – Business Acumen 101

For several days we have been looking for ways to cut costs. These methods can be used internally by managers looking to improve their productivity or unit performance. Externally, B2B sales people can look for ways their products or services can produce these advantages for their customers. The key is to review the lists and find one that makes sense for you. Then take that one method – launch and measure your results.

Today we look at managing or controlling the costs associated with freight expenses. This is a major line item for many companies and therefore we have an opportunity to manage or control these costs. So we will look at ten ways to reduce or manage your freight expenses:

Cutting Purchasing Costs – Business Acumen 101

Today,we continue to look for ways to cut costs. These methods can be used internally by managers looking to improve their productivity or unit performance. Externally, B2B sales people can look for ways their products or services can produce these advantages for their customers. The key is to review the lists and find one that makes sense for you. Then take that one method – launch and measure your results.

Purchasing of raw materials and other inventory items can be very effective or very wasteful – depending upon the methods and standards used. I’m including twelve methods to lower your purchasing costs. Here are the 12 ways to lower your purchasing expenses:

Cutting Production Costs – Business Acumen 101

Today is the start of several days of looking for ways to cut costs. These methods can be used internally by managers looking to improve their productivity or unit performance. Externally, B2B sales people can look for ways their products or services can produce these advantages for their customers. The key is to review the lists and find one that makes sense for you. Then take that one method – launch and measure your results.

So, we will begin the cost reduction segments looking at overall production cost and what we can do to reduce or optimize our production results. There are sixteen unique methods for cutting production costs:

15 Revenue Expansion Opportunities – Business Acumen 101

Today we are going to explore methods that revenue can be increased. This information is valuable to both sales people – who need to show growth opportunities to a customer; and company executives – who need to find a way to increase their own revenue during this difficult economic period. So, I am listing 15 ways to expanse revenues: