Journey of a Serial Entrepreneur

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How to get from where you are to where you want to be

Are you a good team player?

“Individual commitment to a group effort, that is what makes a team work, a company work, society work, a civilization work.” Vince Lombardi

Earlier, I have written about the creation of winning teams alongwith a couple of different aspects of team formation. The previous posts were written with a broad perspective of the team as a whole. This week I have chosen to zoom-in on the individual team player. I will talk about how an individual can make sure he is delivering his/her best when working in a team. Those of you who have worked with various teams realize that working cohesively as a team is a lot harder than it actually appears to be. I have had my share of difficult co-workers and teams, I am sure some may have thought the same of me. With so many intertwined dynamics, maintaining a state of equilibrium is not the easiest of thing to do.

This week I will discuss five steps you can take to become a better team player. However, there are a couple of ground rules which need to be established before going into that discussion. First andĀ foremost, working as a team requires a 100% commitment from those involved. A team will only function efficiently if, the team as a whole, makes a commitment to remain honest and flexible. These two building blocks are essential for every member on the team. The environment we operate in is in a constant state of change, sometimes, that change may make us uncomfortable. It is essential that you voice your concerns and opinions while maintaining an environment of constructive candor in your organization.

Working in a team gives each one the ability to shine, to showcase strengths, and bring value to the team. Having worked with several teams for startups, I have seen both the good and the bad. When you are working at a startup, most of the time your team will consist of individuals who are fiercely competitive, have strong personalities and expect nothing but the best from each other. It becomes each and every team members responsibility to bring their “A” game to work everyday. This requires fanatical dedication to what you are doing and a belief that it is going to succeed. I hope this series will provideĀ  insight into how to become a better team player.

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Advice on Sales

“Sales are contingent upon the attitude of the salesman, not the attitude of the prospect.” William Clement Stone

When I was starting my first business I was given quite a few tips from a couple of very established entrepreneurs to help me out in getting the sales that I needed. Outlined below are some of the key tips which have helped me.

1. Honesty: The first thing that crosses my mind when I am getting pitched an idea or a product/service is; “Is this for real?”, “Can he/she really deliver?”. This question probably goes through all customers mind at one point or the other. It is your responsibility to make sure that when you are pitching you are honest about what it is that you can and cannot do. Honesty is always the basis of long trusted clients who continue to come back to you and refer you to their own network. Reputation is the most important aspect for any entrepreneur and honesty and integrity should be the corner stone in developing that reputation.

2. Don’t over commit: When you know you have the capability of completing additional requests by your clients but have yet to gain authority in those area’s commit less and exceed your clients expectations. My first media copyrighting business was built on this one factor. Our mantra was “exceeding your every expectation” and by focusing on exceeding our clients expectations we enjoyed tremendous amounts of success.

3. Value: Your entire sales pitch should revolve around creating more value for your client than you are taking in payment. If you continuously strive to achieve this aspect you will see your business prosper and will most likely develop a very strong bond with your clients.

Simple as they may seem these pieces of advice have provided an enormous amount of return for my colleagues and I who have incorporated them into their sales pitches. I hope they will be as beneficial to you.

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Trust

“To be successful, you have to be able to relate to people; they have to be satisfied with your personality to be able to do business with you and to build a relationship with mutual trust.” George Ross

Trust is the foundation for any successful partnership. Whenever we begin a relationship with a vendor, client or network partner, establishing trust must always be kept at the fore front. At Innovo we operate in a relatively sensitive area of human capital management for our clients. We do not begin pitching our services and products from the word go, understanding our clients needs is our primary concern. Once we establish what those needs are we evaluate if we can successfully provide them.

Taking on work which you do not have the expertise for delivering is a guaranteed way of eliminating any trust which you may have worked hard in establishing. Being a trusted and reliable partner requires you to work in the best interest of your client. That could mean referring your clients to a competitor if you believe they can do a better job than you can. These are the things which will be remembered. Once trust has been established it becomes your largest and strongest competitive advantage. Trust can be leveraged to gain valuable insight into your clients needs and processes. This in turn will help you to serve them better and build an even stronger relationship.

If there are three words which sum up developing trust they would be; honesty, reliability and openness. When evaluating your relationship with your partners or clients use that as indicators to gauge just how strong your partnership actually is.

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