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Good habits can translate into great sales

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The longer you’re in business, the more you realize that the only constant is change. You may be enjoying strong sales across a broad customer base, but those conditions could be far different in just a matter of months. A competitor’s offer may tempt your customers to try something different. Organizational and operational changes may require you to build relationships with new people from scratch.

While there are many ways to approach these challenges, all share the same fundamental elements -- good selling habits. For example, it’s important for your business to approach selling with a positive, service-minded attitude that focuses on your customer’s needs, desires and expectations. How do you get these valuable insights. Ask them. Most people love to talk about themselves, and what you learn will help you adjust your sales and service tactics accordingly.

Keeping the attention on them, rather than you, will also help you tune in to why they buy, or why they don’t. Plus, if you take time to listen and ask questions, customers will start to think of you and your business as a valued resource, rather than just a selling machine. You can easily show that you are willing to help the customer by anticipating what they need and having answers to potential objections.

Train yourself and your employees to smile. It’s easy to get grumpy or cynical if sales go south. But that’s when a good attitude becomes most important. Don’t be afraid to take a risk or try out a new approach from time to time. It could be a new marketing pitch or advertising channel. When operating a business in today’s competitive world, the greater risk is in thinking that the status quo will suffice.

Remember too that today’s customers have higher expectations than ever before. You can’t accommodate everybody’s needs, but automatically declining an unusual request will get you nowhere. By adopting a positive, can-do attitude, your mind will instinctively be alert to ways for doing things that once might have seemed unreasonable. That will ensure your customers keep coming back and, just as important, keep recommending you to others.

To learn more about sales and marketing issues facing your small business, contact SCORE "Counselors to America's Small Business." SCORE is a nonprofit organization of more than 10,500 volunteer business counselors who provide free, confidential business counseling and training workshops to small business owners. Call 1-800/634-0245 for the SCORE chapter nearest you, or find a counselor online at www.score.org. San Diego and Imperial Counties call 619-557-7272, Email score@score-sandiego.org or visit www.score-sandiego.org for additional information.

Submitted by: U.S. Small Business Administration, Source: SCORE Counselors to America’s Small Business

SBA Success Story

Submitted by the San Diego District Office

CEO of RORE, Inc., Dr. Gita Murthy was recently selected as the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Region IX 2009 Minority Small Business Person of the Year. A three-person judging panel made the selection after reviewing submissions from district offices in Region IX, which includes California, Nevada, Arizona, Hawaii and Guam. This award is intended to recognize minority small business persons who best exemplify minority entrepreneurial success.

Dr. Murthy started RORE in 2003, the same year that she delivered twin children. RORE is derived from the names of her children ROshan & REkha. RORE, an SBA 8(a) certified company, offers a variety of services to public and private-sector markets under five primary business lines: Environmental; Engineering; Construction; LEED Design, Construction and Operations; and UXO. RORE has worked with several well known companies and government agencies including but not limited to SAIC, JP Morgan, the County of San Diego, the Cities of San Diego, Imperial Beach and National City, NAVFAC Southwest and several military facilities. They recently were awarded a contract with the Department of the Air Force to remove airfield obstructions at Patrick Air Force Base in Florida, a project utilizing funds generated by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which became effective in February of 2009.

In June of 2008, RORE entered into a Mentor-Protégé Agreement with Innovative Technical Solutions, Inc. (ITSI) of Walnut Creek, CA. Awarded under the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) sponsored Mentor-Protégé Program, the agreement is designed to enhance the development of the Protégé and to encourage the Mentor to provide various forms of assistance to ensure contracting opportunity experience and overall financial viability. In 2009, RORE - ITSI were awarded 2 joint venture multiple award contracts, one, an 8(a) Environmental set-aside, with Naval Facilities Engineering Service Center (NAVFAC ESC) for $75M and the other, a construction contract, with Naval Facilities Engineering Command Pacific (NAVFAC Pacific) for $400M.

Dr. Murthy believes in the importance of hiring and retaining employees that will support her as CEO of RORE. She has found it beneficial to foster a business culture where creativity, innovation, and technical knowledge are used to better the environment. She also believes that it is important to utilize and to empower employees who are genuine, intelligent and technically competent, motivated, have respect and regard for each other, and are willing to work hard and smart toward a common goal. Since its inception RORE has grown from one to 48 employees and now has 8 offices nationwide and anticipates providing services to the Navy at Marianas, Guam in 2009.

In addition to running and growing her business, Dr. Murthy regularly participates in a variety of community projects, makes annual donations to several local charitable organizations and is an active member of several professional associations and societies including the Association of Environmental Professionals, National Association of Women in Construction, the Procurement Technical Assistance Center, the San Diego Zoological Society, UCSD Chancellor’s Associates and many more. Dr. Murthy says, “At the end of this journey, if I can give back to society and watch my children do the same, then perhaps my life’s goals will be fulfilled.”

Dr. Murthy has big dreams and goals with respect to her career and company. She knows that it will be a long haul with many obstacles along the way, but she is prepared to adapt, diversify as necessary, partner with other businesses, grow the work force, serve as a role model for other professionals and provide outstanding services to her clients and to the community. Her commitment to these concepts is what keeps RORE growing and improving year after year.

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