Bad Manners Can Blow the Business Deal

Dear Ken Keller,

At a recent trade show in Las Vegas , I took a prospect and two of my sales team out for an expensive dinner to close a deal. As we dined, I became increasingly embarrassed by the poor table manners displayed by my employees. We did get the business but I’d like to improve the professionalism of my team. Please share your thoughts on how to proceed.

—Larry P.

Dear Larry:

I once hosted a workshop for clients on meal etiquette. ...

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What’s the best way to grow my business?

Dear Ken Keller,

I’ve been struggling to grow my business and would like some input as to how to go about it. I’m in a service business, and my customers are residential owners, commercial building owners and those who lease office, warehouse and manufacturing space.
—Cheryl Z.

Dear Cheryl:

I am going to assume that when you use the word ‘growth’ you are interested in increasing sales (top line revenue) and in adding clients to your base of business. The most important thing ...

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Do I share financial information?

Dear Ken Keller,

I was recently was able to provide raises for employees. I heard grumbling that the raises weren’t enough. Sometimes I have to hold my paycheck so my employees are able to cash theirs. Just how much financial information should I share with my employees? I’m feeling a bit resentful.
–Rick J.

Dear Rick:

You are not obligated to share any financial information, but when you don’t say anything about how your company is doing, the rumor mill will run wild ...

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We’ve outgrown you

Dear Ken Keller,

I own a company that markets employee benefits, property and casualty insurance and also services the personal needs of business clients with car, life insurance and homeowner policies.

We pride ourselves on service and in going out of our way to make sure clients get everything they need from us, when they need it.

Recently I scheduled an appointment with a long term client, the owner of a manufacturing company.

When I arrived, I was told the owner was not available ...

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