Submission #1: Turning Customers & Partners into Sales Channels

No matter how amazing the results you achieve for your customer, and how much your customers acknowledge and appreciate your level of customer service, you will lose some customers.  No business has 100% retention.  So, you constantly need to:

  • Fill the sales pipeline; and,
  • Make sure your value proposition is as strong and innovative as possible.

The challenge becomes: How do you do both if your core team is technical subject matter experts (SMEs), not sales professionals?  In today’s economy many cannot afford to add headcount/overhead by bringing on professional sales staff.  But, can you afford not to have both?

When faced with this fork in the road, we found a new path.  We looked to our business partners and customers. First, we inventoried their strengths.  Second, we identified potential synergies.  What we discovered was enlightening!

Turns out, our employee benefit brokerage/consulting services not only complemented the suite of services IBM’s Human Resources Outsourcing team already offered; but, their HRO team was actively searching for new ways to add value and innovation for their customers.  With a proven track record serving IBM’s own employee benefit plans and having received a stellar endorsement from IBM’s Disability Program Office, it only made sense for IBM’s HRO project executives to become our “sales force” in marketing the benefit aggregation programs we negotiate for their clients, programs which leverage IBM’s own carrier/vendor selections and spend volumes.

Next, it became a matter of clearly articulating the value that IBM’s HRO clients will realize by participating in the exclusive benefit aggregation programs:

  • Access to core benefit offerings that represent the aggregated purchasing power of IBM and its clients…more than can be achieved by an individual employer group;
  • Significant savings, program enhancements and potential for greater administrative efficiencies due to the sheer volume created by this model;
  • Customized solutions for each company, to ensure each aligns with the company’s philosophy, goals, and objectives; and,
  • Flexibility to select individual lines of coverage today and select additional lines of coverage at any point in the future.

The bottom line is you’re not out there alone – don’t hesitate to leverage your networks, including Supplier Connection, to help you develop new sales channels and opportunities while you focus on delivering top-notch products and/or services.

Lynne Noel
VP, Underwriting and Technical Services
Havens & Company, Inc.
3 Front St., Lower Mill, Ste. 321
PO Box 566
Rollinsford, NH 03869
(C):   (207) 252-5738
(O):   (603) 749-6100
lnoel@havensandcompany.com

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About Dan Gallo

I'm a small business lifer, starting/running businesses since I sold seeds door-to-door as a kid in The Bronx. I've played guitar and enjoyed baseball since I was 5 (born a NY Yankees fan). Just prior to marrying Kim in 1983 I became a Christian. We have two sons; Daniel's a musician & social media expert with a smart, insightful sense of humor, and Adam who recently graduated from Brooklyn College double majoring in Creative Writing/Literature and Anthropology. Adam now works in the non-profit sector. Since 2002 one thing we love to do together is go on service/missions trips to Belize. We've collectively spent 60+ weeks in Belize with this missions organization http://twaw.org. I started my 1st company in January 1985, and been self-employed ever since. I sold my last company, Mentor Communications Group, in '04. After 2 years w/ the acquiring company I started The Allasso Group, LLC doing Small Business Consulting, Fund Raising/Capital Raise-up Campaigns, Sales Strategy, Outsourced Sales Agency work, & Digital Marketing Programs (Social Media, SEM, etc.) since April 2006. Notable projects: Hired as Small Business Advocate and Social Media Director for IBM's "Supplier-Connection" - Feb '11-Dec '13. Hired as COO to help turn-around late stage start-up software company myVRM. Jul12-Dec '13 Hired as CEO of CoupleWise.com, a Digital Health2.0 app, to write business plan, raise seed capital, & completely redesign and relaunch the app. Aug '16 I won a Finalist spot for MassChallenge UK's 2016 fall cohort in London from Sept thru Nov. Started Oct15 - Current. I enjoy helping turn-around struggling small businesses, and launching new business ventures. Feel free to contact me with opportunities.
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