It’s all about making money, or is it? Sure, sales is the cornerstone of any thriving, flourishing business but it’s not the end all and be all. There are other key elements that need to come into play. One is to understand the language of business and that is the aspect of finance. I know a lot of people who tend to shy away from this topic thinking how complicated it may seem. But it’s not, really. Once you ease your way into the world of finance then you will understand the critical part it plays in your goal of making profits.
In this episode, let’s tap into the minds of finance experts Brian Califano and the co-founders of AcceleratingCFO. They have spent the last 20 years providing finance leadership at large entertainment Fortune 500 companies until they’ve finally decided to start their own company and lend their expertise to smaller businesses to help them grow as well as understand the power of finance and how budgeting and finance can really make a difference in steering their business towards success.
Here are the highlights of my conversation with Brian & Scott:
What you need to understand about the power of finance before going into a transaction with a buyer:
Start with sales. Sales is the nerve center of a company – market intelligence; connecting customers back to the business
- Get sales and finance on the same page.
Keep the company’s financial performance in mind when in front of clients and prospects. Make sure you don’t over promise and under deliver.
How to understand the finance of your prospect:
- Go out of your comfort zone.
Make that phone call above a C-level executive or ask him/her to bring the CEO or CFO or set up a simple introduction.
- Demonstrate the ROIs through data.
CFO is the best place to prove out but you have to prove the value and how it translates to dollars from your company. Present data.
- Figure out the decision maker and the language that each level has.
Go through several tiers to find out and better understand their specific challenges and pain points before even going to the CEO.
- Know your internal CFO.
Know what your boundaries are in terms of the minimum level of threshold in making money.
Financial documents you need to look into about a company:
- Company disclosure
- Press releases
- Financial information and non-financial information
- 10-K (annual reports) and 10-Q (quarterly reports)
What to look into specifically:
- How is the company doing?
- What are they talking about?
- Look at their earnings call script.
- Cash flow statement (particularly the change in their Accounts Payable and Accounts Receivable)
Brian’s Major Takeaway:
If you need internal approvals, don’t be afraid of it and don’t duck it. Understand that the CFO you’re speaking to may be trying to protect and maintain their risk profiles. Call a presentation internally to make sure it’s about the company instead of yourself.
Scott’s Major Takeaway:
Do your research and come correct with your data. Make sure you bring the data with you and do your homework on the company and the folks that can evangelize your service or product.
Get in touch with Brian and Scott through their website at Accelerating CFO.com or on Twitter @acceleratingCFO and respective LinkedIn Profiles Scott Margolin and Brian Califano.
Listen to Brian and Scott’s Prophets of Profit podcast
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