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Which comes first: the answer or the question?

Jelena Franco, July 28 2021

Written By Graham Birkenhead I have been thinking about the subject of ‘asking questions’ quite a bit lately. As a consultant, it is a significantly important part of how I operate. It is also a key skill for anyone in a leadership position; while it is straight forward to ask a question that generates an answer, some questions can generate deep un...

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Watch Out For That Guy In Latvia With Big Ideas

Jelena Franco, July 22 2021

By Andrew Penny What are you really, really good at? You may own a services company, a manufacturing company, or you may sell to other business or sell to consumers. You may be a distributer or a value-added reseller. No matter what you do, someone else, somewhere else in the world, is doing the same thing.

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Market Strategy

Is there a D2C Distribution Model in your Future?

Andrew Penny, July 6 2021

As we continue to work with more and more manufacturers coming into North America, we are seeing a sharp increase in the number of companies that are exploring a Direct-to-Customer (D2C) model. The advantages of this are many, including: In the manufacturing segment, markups are typically 100% on the wholesale cost before it goes to retail. Innova...

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Leadership & Management

Context IS Everything

Graham Birkenhead, June 29 2021

Whenever the name Thomas Edison is mentioned, people often think about ‘the man that invented the light-bulb’, and most are aware of the many variations of his famous quote about trying to make the lightbulb work: “I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work”.

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Communication

Think twice before saying “Good job!”

Jelena Franco, June 22 2021

In my first job as a Key Account Manager in the Fast-Moving Consumer Goods industry, I was trying to sell a couple of pallets of Carpaccio to my client in Riga. The client kept ignoring my calls and I was starting to feel very frustrated. I had only been on the job for about a month and was starting to feel that I would never succeed at this. I cal...

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Communication

Connection Decay

Andrew Penny, June 15 2021

A few weeks ago, I tried to connect with the national sales manager of a North American appliance manufacturer. I went through a fairly torturous auto-attendant reception tree to try and find the individual. I eventually spoke to a live person who offered to transfer me – and I was put on hold, indefinitely.  I dialed back in and then went throug...

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Leadership & Management

Risk Joining the Lemmings

Andrew Penny, June 8 2021

Success in business is a rare thing, in fact 70% of businesses fail within their first 10 years. And that number holds true for all types of business. Of those that don’t fail, only a few really soar. Why am I saying this? Simply to suggest that you be careful when you think about emulating your peers or you may well be joining a pack of lemmings h...

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Market Strategy

Get Better Clients

Jelena Franco, June 1 2021

For many companies, the idea of just having clients sounds good, and the more the merrier. However, the quality of your clients could have a considerable bearing on the success not only of the individual relationships, but on your company too. But what does a ‘quality’ look like and how do you find ‘better’ clients? Well, ultimately, they will ch...

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Market Strategy

What Did SaaS Companies Ever do for Manufacturers?

Jelena Franco, May 25 2021

Twenty years ago, Salesforce invented the phrase “Software-as-a-Service” or ‘SaaS”. Since then, the growth of this concept has been phenomenal. A few years ago, I was collating Latvian SaaS companies into a single database to facilitate investors. Now, categorizing SaaS enterprises is not a straightforward activity as they fall into so many differe...

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Intrails and Extrails

Graham Birkenhead, May 18 2021

One of my favourite movies is A Knight’s Tale. It’s its 20th anniversary, so I watched it once again to mark the occasion. Without giving too much of the plot away, there is a point in the story where Geoffrey Chaucer (yes, THE Geoffrey Chaucer) is invited to join the small protagonist group; this group had grown to know each other very well, wi...

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