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Peeling Away the Insulation

By Peter Radizeski, RAD-INFO

PHONE+ and xchange magazines have a variety of eBooks and Webinars available to industry for no charge. One sponsored by Verio, A Telco Survival Guide for the Web 2.0 World, is an interesting read. We live in an age where there is TOO much information. Information overload can happen. But there is the flip side of the coin that I see in many small businesses insulation.

Insulation is when you only read opinions that match yours and material that fits in with your notions. We live in a rapid changing business environment. Things are happening at the state and federal regulators weekly that will re-shape not just the telecom industry but the media world as well. (In case you haven’t been following the Media Ownership debate, read http://freepress.net). I spoke with a CTO and chairman at the recent Channel Partners Expo. It is staggering to find that a C-Level executive doesn’t follow what the FCC is up to. (Remember UNE-P? It wiped out quite a few CLEC’s when the FCC released TRRO nullifying it).

The positive side to this information age is that ideas are everywhere. Recently, Jack Brandt of Register.com and I presented at ISPCON on 50 Ideas in 50 Minutes. There were more than 50 ideas delivered to our packed room, but the key for the audience ¬ any audience is to find one idea that you can and will implement. We have less than 50 days left in 2007. The message to my clients has been it is time for reflection and planning.

As an agent, review your goals and sales activity. Did you quote a lot but close a little? How can you improve the quote-to-close ratio? Maybe you need some sales training or coaching. Make that a goal for 2008.

In examining your client base, do you have some verticals or niches to be exploited? It is easier to sell deep into a vertical than it is to sell to everybody. If so, get a video testimonial from one client to use for that vertical market and make plans to attend a conference for that vertical. (Take your client with you and you both can get more out of it).

Maybe you worked more hours this year than you wanted to. Perhaps reading GTD or The 4 Hour Work Week can help you cut some time. Or look on AssistU for a virtual assistant to handle some of your admin tasks.

For channel managers or master agents, do you need to find more agents or do you need to find ways to advance or educate your current group of agents? (Let me know, because several of us are working on this.) It is probably easier to help the current group or at least the top 20 percent of your current group. (Pareto was right with his 80/20 Rule.) And it might be that the agent isn’t capable or interested in selling a new product set. Management should be identifying who can sell what.

All in all, there are many ideas, thoughts, processes available to improve your lifestyle and your business. You have to recognize what you need improvement on, then implement that adjustment, idea or habit. (No one said it was easy. Execution is where the rubber meets the road. And most executives fail at execution. But help is available.)

Peter Radizeski is president of

RAD-INFO

. He can be reached at

peter@rad-info.net

.


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