Articles

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By Pat Hammond

Last week I shared my three recent SCORE experiences as an explanation for why I was dropping SCORE Merrimack Valley from my suggested list of business resources. This week, I'm talking about a few easy fixes that could help alleviate some of the frustration felt by SCORE Merrimack Valley's mentors and clients. 

Here are my simple, low-cost, low effort suggestions to address the most pressing issues I've seen with the local SCORE chapter's mentoring program. 

1. Vet clients before they get in the door

One of the mentors complained that it felt like they were wasting a lot of time with clients who either had no idea how a business operates or simply didn't have a business yet. 

The easiest way to separate the people who are still in the idea phase or just starting out would be to ask them to complete a one-page business canvas snapshot as part of the application process.

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By Pat Hammond

I regret to say that I am no longer recommending SCORE as a resource for people looking for one-on-one mentoring to start or grow their business.

Between my own bad experiences, yes that is plural, and reports from many other people, I've come to the conclusion our local chapter, SCORE Merrimack Valley, is not a good fit as a business resource for most people. 

I don't know what the problem is. 

The national SCORE organization provides a large variety of useful information in the form of webinars, online classes, and downloads through their website, but somehow, the mentoring services offered through the local SCORE chapter are singularly lacking in usefulness. 

I know several individuals who work/volunteer with SCORE Merrimack Valley and they are friendly, knowledgeable people who genuinely want to help. But in spite of the available tools and their collective experience, the mentoring program continues to fall short.

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By Pat Hammond

In case you can't tell, I've been in a sales frame of mind lately. Two weeks ago I went to Sandler's awesome introductory sales training and last week, I attended a free SCORE webinar presented by Steve Gordon, Founder of The Unstoppable CEO, called Land More Referrals (Without Asking for Them).

It was kind of last-minute, I didn't hear about the webinar until about five minutes before it started, but since every business owner needs to know how to generate leads and I've been looking for an excuse to try a SCORE webinar I filled out the form and followed the link. An hour later I walked away with a few useful downloads and three tips for getting all the quality referrals you want.

In a perfect world, all of your clients would love you and automatically introduce all of their friends and business connections to you, but that's not the real world.

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