What tips you should keep your eye on?

eye-on-the-right-thing

1. Ask Current Clients for Referrals

Is your business stagnant? Are you out of fresh ideas? Let’s explore… One of the first priorities – ask your current clients for referrals! It’s amazing how many business people miss that source of contacts. Some people feel it’s a bit pushy or not-so-nice to ask your current clients for referrals. Why not? Are you giving your current clients value? They must be happy with you or they would have taken their business elsewhere. Consider giving incentives for referrals. Perhaps a reduction in your rate, a book you believe would be of interest, or some promotional item. Always send a “thank you” note too. Send an email card on a birthday or a small gift to a special client.

  1. Testimonials

Ask your current clients to write testimonials on your behalf. If they have trouble articulating their thoughts in writing, or they don’t have time, ask them to share how they feel about your service and then write it up for their approval. Whenever possible, use the full name of the person but do get their written permission first. It is much more believable than putting two initials or aliases after a testimonial. It’s terrific if it can be videotaped. More people will watch it than read it.

3.  Short Satisfaction Survey

You can also ask them to fill out a short satisfaction survey after you’ve rendered your service, Make it simple, ask them to rate your service on a scale of one to five, with five being the highest. Leave room for additional comments they might want to add. This will not only help you understand your clients, but will also identify areas that might require improvements. Have them email it to you or provide a stamped self-addressed envelope.

4.  Give Presentations

If you give presentations, invite them to bring a guest. You might give the client free admission (or credit his/her account later) in exchange for referring a paying guest. The possibilities are out there. Grab one that feels right for you.

5. Networking

Personally, when I started networking I was a bit shy and awkward.  I felt it was selling (not my favorite thing to do and something we don’t do now).  Then I came from a different mind place.  I had value to give someone.  We would partner to help them make their business and professional life more successful..  So, I came from a place of joy.  Working with a coach could be life changing.  . I imagine you know by now you need to be a giver and good things will come back to you (power of attraction).  I now want to go to networking activities.  It’s a great opportunity to meet people you may have never touched before. So go to events in which you feel comfortable and enjoy.  Get involved – be part of a committee.  Remember six degrees of separation – even if the person you are speaking with doesn’t need your services, they know many people who would love to connect with you.  Go for it!  Let me know how it works for you.

There are many ways to grow your business. These are some basic ones. I certainly have more advanced strategies as well. What has worked for you? Please let me know below.

 

 

 

Do you know how to get your clients or prospects attention and go that extra mile?

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Most business owners send cards or gifts during Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa/or other religious holiday events. It’s a time where it can go unnoticed since they are being contacted by many.  I suggest you consider Thanksgiving or other holidays so you stand out and get noticed.

Make a plan and work your plan. Make a yearly calendar. Each month, write a holiday down or way to give your prospect or customer something special (article, newsletter, complimentary time with you-alternate who will get the time if your availability is limited and there are many to contact). Of course, the way you write up this offer to make it exciting and a must-have experience is vital. You want to get interest and make it a must-have experience with a limited time offer so they go into action soon.

I suggest putting a value on this consultation (worth $___), tell them what will be accomplished (within 15 minutes, you will ______, and expiration date. It’s good to test things. So send this out to about 10 people and see how many responses you get. Often, you need to follow-up by phone call or email since people are busy.

When a call goes well and you want to extend the conversation or deepen the relationship, how would you do it? You will want a budget for this strategy. For example, what do you do to make a good impression on a potential customer?  You can send flowers if appropriate, invite them to a meal (or a lunch and learn session where you provide a simple lunch and present a problem they are having in their business – not sell- and give valuable information about how to solve it. You mention your company at the end and first ask permission to present info about your company which might serve them.  Make that much shorter than the overall discussion.  This needs to be done expertly. I do this with my clients.

Let me know below how you would handle this opportunity. I will give you some pointers.

Do you want to increase revenue before year’s end?

 

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In The Referral of a Lifetime, Tim Templeton discusses thinking about who is your cheerleader. They are people who feel strongly about you and your products and can refer you at a moment’s notice.  Templeton believes there are about 10-20% of the people in your circle you can categorize in this way.  They are your “A list”.  Your “B list” needs some education about you but can easily move to the “A” category. He said it’s about 17-20% of people in your circle. The “C list” are those you are not are sure about but want to continue connecting with them.  Your “D list” are people you don’t want to work with and can delete from your circle.

I’ve fired clients – they either didn’t honor our agreed upon date/time to speak a couple of times and didn’t give 24 hours notification as instructed. Or, they didn’t do the work so I wouldn’t take their money.  It was not the place they should be. They needed a consultant to do the work for them. There are certainly a lot of benefits of using a consultant but you need to make sure they are reaching your audience in your voice and relay your message appropriately.

Divide your database into A’s, B’s, C’s and D’s.  How you will reach out to them would be different.  Develop a marketing plan for each category and either use a CRM if at all possible for automatic emails to be generated or if necessary, send them yourself or have a V.A. (virtual assistant) help you.

How do you reach out to people in your database? Don’t miss this important piece in your business.  It will increase revenue big time. In future blog posts, I will give you suggestions. Stay tuned and post your thoughts below please. I will respond.

 

 

Do you want to soar in the last quarter of the year?

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It’s time to develop systems!

What would happen if you became ill and needed to leave your business for a few months or longer? Would your business fold? Would revenue increase? For most small businesses, survival would probably be difficult without systems.

A system is a series of steps that produces an expected outcome. Anyone in your business can follow them. Even when you are fine, you have freedom to soar to new heights when others are helping you provide services that are excellent and consistent.  Have your employees work on daily issues. You concentrate on growing your business and enjoying some free time. There are actual monetary savings when using systems.  Do what only you can accomplish and delegate the rest.

It’s important to have a marketing system so your pipeline stays full and referrals flow to you (see my blog entry on getting referrals).  Think about such things are pre-paying your services for a discount should they enlist your services for an extended length of time. Put an expiration date on your offers to get them to go in to action.

A system for payment of your invoices could start out as follows:

-payment is made the first of each month.

-an invoice is generated the 15th of each month prior to when payment is due.

-they will be sent via email

Etc.

This way there is no ambiguity.  You should not be interrupted concerning questions in this area. How many systems can you develop in your business? How would it help? Please post your comments below. I will respond.

Would you rather get a tooth pulled than do public speaking?

tooth pulled public speaking

Many people prefer getting a tooth pulled in the dentists’ chair to the thought of public speaking.

Here are 10 short tips that could start you on the right path to enjoying your speaking engagement…

-First, do some quiet meditation or deep breathing.

-Have a raffle where they throw in their business card in a basket or complete a small piece of paper listing their first name/phone/email address (legibly) before you begin
so they are entered for a prize – often about 1/2-1 hour of your time to help them achieve what you are discussing, etc.

-Have your opening remarks memorized and get the audiences’ attention by asking a question or presenting a funny story.

-You must practice a lot – use your mirror, practice out loud with a tape recorder and video recorder, if possible, so you can listen and give yourself feedback as well as get suggestions from those you know.

-First try out your speech in a less threatening place, such as the Lions Club. They are very welcoming.

-Be aware that your audience wants to hear your message not criticize you. You will provide valuable information that will enhance their business and/or personal life.

-A half-hour speech should just focus on one salient point. If you have 60-90 minutes, give three points. Make it interactive. Your audience won’t remember the majority of what you say but know how you make them feel.

-If time allows, do address some questions/answers and perhaps do a role play.

-It’s often useful to provide a Power Point presentation or have some fun toys to lighten things up (throw a beach ball for people to answer questions and win a prize, if correct).

-Give a handout about a few points you made, how to contact you and information about other programs you provide and other organizations who might like you to speak.

 

What beginning public speaking tips have you found useful?  Please share them with this audience.

Is it OK to fail forward?

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Should you look at your staff’s shortcomings or assets?

Researchers found by focusing on the positive, talent and creativity as well as better relationships are fostered. The researchers’ book, “Positive Organizational Scholarships” explores ways a company and staff excel, per Kim Cameron from the research team and professor at the University of Michigan Business School. She felt these companies were more profitable, increased productivity and had better ideas as well as improved ability to keep customers and staff longer than most companies.

They talk about centering in on successes and positive things employees contributed. Make certain staff members are aware of your feelings as well as upper management.  Cameron stated “…the highest performing senior-level teams use five times as many positive comments as negative comments, whereas low-performing teams use three times as many critical or negative comments.”

Be certain to applaud a job well done.  Encourage the traits you are looking for, such as, integrity and trust.

Be fine with some errors as long as they “fail forward” – learn from this new experience.

What do you find helpful in growing your staff? I would appreciate hearing your thoughts below.

 

 

Are you having difficulty reaching prospects?

smiling phone call

Here are five ways to reach prospects easier

Do you want to reach a potential client more successfully?
1-Call immediately when interest is indicated. People “cool off” and your chance of getting them later and keeping their interest diminishes.

2-The average sales person calls a lead about twice before giving up. Research shows that is takes 6-7 contacts to make a conversation happen. Most reps stop much too soon. Afraid you will “bother” them? Not if you continue to develop their interest, curiosity and give value with each message left. A lot of money is left on the table when you don’t follow-up persistently.

3-Franklin Covey found calling between 3:30 and 4PM is helpful. I also learned the boss will often answer the phone if you call between 8-9AM (check their time zone) or after 5PM when office staff is not available and they pick up their own phone.

4- Calling on a Wednesday or Thursday is considered best. The beginning of the work week is too hectic and Friday people are in a weekend frame of mine.

5-Use a local number –people have caller ID and are more likely to pick up the phone when local numbers are used. There are many companies that offer this type of phone service.
As you move forward reaching more of your leads, it’s important to have sales scripts ready with the responses to FAQ’s. That is your next step. I help my clients develop powerful sales scripts that have been tested and are successful. Some ideas are noted on my blog entries.

Please write your comments/thoughts below on what you found helpful in reaching prospects. Try the ones above and let me know your results. I will respond.