Career Advice for Business Owners (from NY Times Best Selling Author Christine Comaford)

Earlier this year, I interviewed Christine Comaford, author of Rules for Renegades on my radio show about building a mighty venture. Christine has consulted to the White House, 700 of the Fortune 1000, and over 100 small businesses. She has neither a high school diploma nor college degree but she has built and sold five of her own businesses and served as a board director or in-the-trenches advisor to 36 startups.

Here are her key tips on one business building killer: Lack of Reliable Revenue.

Not having reliable revenue systems spells death to more businesses than I could count in a lifetime. To begin with, it totally drains you of much-needed energy and kills your creativity day after day. When it comes to growing your business, CASH IS KING, and the best way to generate cash for your business FAST is by generating profitable SALES. To increase your sales, you need to learn to disqualify sales leads.

Here’s the 1-2-3 for creating healthier leads.

1. Set your objective for prospecting. Shifting your objective from getting the appointment to determining whether the prospect qualifies for an appointment is key. Next, eliminate your fear of rejection; it’s easier to do this when you aren’t begging for sales meetings. Instead of begging for meetings, identify your target prospects using specifics, such as price point, budgets, decision-making ability and schedules. Only make appointments with prospects who need, want, and can afford what you are selling and are willing to buy from you now.

2. Start separating real leads from unlikely ones. This type of prospecting is essentially a practice of sorting and identifying by talking to as many people as you can in the shortest amount of time. This involves learning how to disqualify a low probability prospect and maintain control of the interaction. Remember, whoever asks the questions is in control. Here are a few key reminders to keep in mind when you make calls: A) I work with high probability prospects only. I disqualify everyone else. B) “No” is just as good as “yes.” C) When in doubt, I disqualify.

3. Stay focused. Fear is what keeps most of us chasing sales leads that we know aren’t high probability. Here are three ways to stay on track and further cement this learning into your sales process. A) You are training prospects when you disqualify them. B) Deal with discomfort by acknowledging it and pushing through it anyway. C) Remind yourself often that this is the disqualification game.

Remember, you have no power to make a high probability prospect. You do have the power to disqualify – and THAT is the key to creating a healthier list of prospects, clients, and ultimately the future of your successful and well-financed business.

Thanks Christine!

Have a business you need to build revenue for? Share your challenges here and success stories too. Being your own boss is a dream for many, let’s make it a reality! Looking forward to your comments.

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