Time Out!

December 5, 2013

sales-presentationI received a text from my son Sam who is attending Syracuse University this past Thursday night…

“giving a marketing talk tomorrow in food class…need to close talk asking investors to give money…any thoughts”

I think for a moment…Hmm! That’s a loaded question; I wonder what I could possibly text back that would be remotely helpful in 128 characters or less.

My text back, “What is the context?”

Sam – “The prof. said in my notes the close and asking for the order is really important.”

Me – “good for him; he is right…what is the context”

Sam – “it’s just benefits of making money right…”

Me – “maybe, but on behalf of what and to whom…context please…smile”

Sam – “we have designed an assisted living food service program we want to roll out nationwide. We are presenting to potential investors.”

Me – “got it…investors want to hear about ROI”

Sam – “WHAT?”

Me – “sorry, ROI is Return on Investment…but to show ROI, you better talk about what your food service program does for your market. i.e., low cal, high energy food, great taste, etc… then ask”

Sam – “OK, but how much should we ask for?”

Me – “ Your offering needs to match what the market (people who are paying for your meals) are truly motivated to buy…your offering must be about keeping current customers, finding new customers and making money…then I am willing to invest”

Sam – “OK OK OK … enough, the big game is on.”

Me – “while I am on a roll, making money is about doing more; faster with fewer resources. This means controlling your costs by watching your labor and scrap costs.  Oh yea, table turns are important too, but maybe not so much in an assisted living facilities.  OK…smile, Go Louisville beat Rutgers!”

Sam – “yea Louisville has the momentum; I think they will win.”

Well, for the record, in case you are keeping score Louisville did win and Syracuse is now sharing the Big East Title with three other schools. As for the class presentation, it went really well according to Sam’s report on Saturday night.  I assure you his success was more about his presentation ability than my business coaching in the above text message exchange.

Coaching Questions:

What is your market motivated to buy from you in 2013?  How are you going to adjust what you are producing or selling to be in alignment with your customers?  You know, come to think, about it nothing else really matters.

Human Relations Principle of the Week:

“Try honestly to see things from the other persons (customers) point of view.”

–        Dale Carnegie (with a JR context remark)

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