Monthly Archives: July 2021

Resources for Small Businesses

If you’re a small business owner in Massachusetts looking for resources to help you move forward, here are a few organizations you might want to learn more about.

Massachusetts Score

Score’s volunteer business professionals and expert “mentors” give counsel and guidance to entrepreneurs looking to start or expand their businesses. The services are entirely free and volunteer-driven. Here are some of the chapters in Massachusetts.

  • Northeast Massachusetts Score
  • Boston Score
  • Worcester Score
  • Southeast Massachusetts Score
  • Merrimack Valley NH Score
  • Providence RI Score

Massachusetts Association of Business Incubators

If you’re looking to apply to an incubation program, or you are an incubator looking to join a network of others, the MABI is an extremely useful resource. The association lists dozens of incubators throughout the state, along with links to their websites and a short description of their focus. Massachusetts Association of Business Incubators

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U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) District Offices

The U.S. SBA offers financing and grants, as well as consultations and counseling services. There are also opportunities to apply for federal government contracts through the SBA and avenues for obtaining assistance in the wake of natural disasters. U.S. SBA District Offices for Massachusetts

Massachusetts Office of Business Development

The state’s Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development maintains a website replete with resources for businesses in the state. You can find the appropriate contact numbers for any departments or agencies you might need to deal with, as well as explore some of the programs and incentives that the state makes available to entrepreneurs. Massachusetts Office of Business Development

Maine Small Business Development Centers

Massachusetts hosts scores of development centers for small business. Each is dedicated to supporting the development and retention of small business, helping entrepreneurs do everything from crafting business plans to navigating the state’s tax code. You can find your region’s small business development center at the link below.

How to Develop This Stage of The Sales Pipeline

This step will be especially important if you have many leads that were generated before you knew who you were talking to. However, it’s important to ensure your pipeline has a step in place that checks qualified leads to determine if they are cold or hot leads.

A hot lead is someone who:

Has the budget for your product and service
Can make the purchasing decision
Wants what you’re offering
Is eager to buy what you’re offering

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How you determine whether a lead is hot or cold depends entirely on what you’re selling. For example, if you’re selling a luxury car or an expensive service such as private coaching, you may need to have sales reps initiate the conversation with a phone call. This initiation can become a consultation, in which your rep finds out what the potential client needs are and determines if your products and services can meet their needs.

Consultation
During the consultation stage of the sales pipeline, the sales rep speaks directly with the prospect in person, on the phone or via video conference. The rep asks about the prospect’s needs and discusses solutions that can be offered by the company.

A purchase may or may not happen at this stage. For B2C businesses, this might be a browsing customer who is still comparing their options. For B2B companies, it could be an exploratory call to discuss services. Either way, if the consultation doesn’t result in a sale, follow-up is essential. The final decision will come during the proposal stage of the sales pipeline.

Improve Communication by Overcoming Fear

Our fears are born of our perception of reality. Whether our fears are based in reality or not is irrelevant because they are real to us. After all, our timidity or our fears give rise to the feelings we experience that serve to reinforce the fears we possess.

In the realm of holding difficult conversations, we allow our assessment of what the consequences might be to dictate whether we will speak up or not. In trying to decide whether we will speak up, we project onto others what they will think, feel and do in the future with no evidence — other than the evidence that we make up in the moment agen judi slot.

Nevertheless, our thoughts deliver real feelings that drive us to act in certain ways. Once we act, we ground our thinking into a material reality that reinforces what we originally thought. For example, years ago I knew of a junior executive who discovered information that would have been quite damaging to his company. Not wanting to be the bearer of bad news, he chose to say nothing. A number of months later when the “bad news” was discovered, he was terminated for not speaking up. Ironically, his thinking ended up creating the very thing that he originally dreaded — being fired.

What makes our thinking so pervasive is that we support our projection of a future state by creating a story that serves as the justification for our inaction. For example, in the story above, the junior executive might have said to himself, “I can’t say that to my boss! He’ll fire me.” Notice that this statement is a projection of a future negative consequence. Usually such projections are negative. The possibility of speaking up in this case was perceived as a walk off the plank into the shark tank.

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If the potential payoff far exceeds the benefits of keeping silent and there is no evidence to support your fears, then you should venture talking about that which will improve the situation. We should avoid losing an opportunity to improve a professional or personal situation simply because we think things won’t work out. We need to admit when we don’t know and remember that nothing ventured is nothing gained.

Overcoming our fear of speaking up in what we perceive to be a potentially difficult situation is not easy. Much of the challenge arises from the feelings we generate that supports our original assumptions. Being able to recognize your thinking and the incomplete assumptions that you hold should help you make a conscious and informed choice about whether you should share your thoughts or not.