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 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.

 

 

Do you know powerful ways to keep in touch with your prospects or customers?

speaking on phone

Certainly, the phone is one way to keep in touch. The old-fashioned way often gets more attention. Make a plan, work the plan.

Tim Templeton in “The Referral of a Lifetime” discusses sending a card, letter or personalized newsletter (alternating which one you use) during each month of the year.  For example: For January, send a New Year’s card rather than being one of many sending holiday cards. In February, you might send some information of value given only to a select few (let them know that).  In March, you might forward a newsletter. Make it about them & their needs, not about you. Certainly, it should have your contact information on the bottom. People don’t need to be sold. They want to know you are there to solve a pressing problem for them. You might have heard, people buy more from pain than pleasure. So think about your ideal clients’ pressing initial problem. Then what is the next problem stemming from solving the first one, etc.?

If you have employees, give them an appreciation budget for small gifts or when possible, meetings during a meal. Let them know you are here to help and to let you know when they are having a problem that stumps them. Even if you are not in that field, you can probably refer them to others.  Be sure to give superior service once they are your customer. Then you could keep them for life!

This is just the tip of the iceberg. Staying in touch with prospects or customers can be enjoyable (automate it whenever possible).  You want to serve them in a specific way. Isn’t that the reason you went into the field? Yes, you deserve to make a profit as well. You are in business. Make certain your contacts are well-served. They deserve it.

Please let me know what you have found helpful. I will respond.

 

 

 

 

 

Traditional marketing doesn’t work

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Traditional clothing can be beautiful. Traditional marketing doesn’t work any more. So what’s your key to business success? Ah, if only you knew which strategy would help you reach your goals. I suggest one now –  educational based marketing.

What makes this strategy different? You get the attention of potential prospects, keep their interest, and then lead them to the benefits of your product or service with the need to buy from you…and…now…is the difference.

Chet Holmes, discusses this in his best-selling book, The Ultimate Sales Machine. He correctly states “you will attract way more buyers if you are offering to teach them something of value than you will ever attract by simply trying to sell them your product or service”.

You say, I already educate my clients! I’m sure you do. The internet is full of articles discussing content marketing and providing an education. However, you need to know given the large amount of advertising people are exposed to each day, they will tune out your message! Oh, no – a message you spent a lot of money and effort on? Say it’s not so? Well, do it correctly and you have a tremendous advantage over your competitors. Where do you begin?

Start with a powerful title. Do you think people buy faster because of pain or pleasure? It’s pain. People will want to avoid pain. Pleasure is wonderful but often can be put off. There is a place for a pleasure title – when they are purchasing your program later.

At this point, your title should:
-make them feel you are talking directly to them by using the name of a specific group they are part of (example: young mothers)
-you need to discuss the problem you are going to solve (it’s related to them –not your business-eventually you need to learn how to sell down to you though).
-give the number of points you will cover (example: 3 of the biggest mistakes ____make that _____).

Yes, it is certainly helpful to get additional insights when you are putting this together. Feel free to write some questions/comments below to get this conversation started.

What’s next to grow my business?

 

biz success

I keep getting asked what do I do next?  It can be difficult to know what business strategy to utilize next unless you get guidance from a coach and listen to your prospects for cues.

When you have an initial discussion, hear what is said/not said. How do you do the latter? Hear hesitations, pauses and vocal changes. They are clues to what lies beneath what is verbalized.

Step in to their world. See things from their perspective. More importantly, ask insightful questions which show you are listening. Once rapport is established, ask what is their biggest business challenge? Find out what was done to solve this challenge? See if it is something you can address. If you are not the appropriate person to work on the challenge, refer them to a trusted source and/or ask what other challenges are holding them back from getting where they want to go?

When you have a good understanding, find out what it is costing them professionally and personally to not address this issue. Keep checking on your understanding of what was said to make certain you are on the same page.

Discover what it will take to solve the problem. Ask if you can offer a few ideas (don’t spell it out too much just label it – for example, need a referral program). Put a dollar amount on what the resolution of this business challenge will realize monetarily (and personally) for them.

This is the outline for a discussion. More in-depth questions are needed. Contact me to see if what you need and my capabilities would be helpful for you. Fill out the contact form at my website –http://www.leapsandboundscoaching.com . It could be the most important note you write this year.

Until then, please leave your thoughts/comments here. I will respond.