Posts Tagged ‘small business’
Soon, I will again be in the throes of my twice yearly “serving hours”… This is where I coach people from all over the world on business success. It’s my way of both giving back AND staying at the top of my game, so I charge nothing. (P.S. If you ARE a coach or consultant, this is a great way to grow your own practice, but you can contact me directly about that. It is FAR different than those thinly veiled sales sessions most coaches call “complimentary coaching sessions”… UGGG!!!)
Anyway, I always start with finding out (before our call) what this person’s top challenge is in business… in other words – why do they think their business income isn’t where they think it should – or could- be. Often, there isn’t a really direct answer to this question. I mean, if we KNEW why we were underperforming, we’d just fix it, right? (P.S. We do know why…and this blog post – and the free call I am promoting with it WILL help you fix it, so please keep reading!)
But, far too often, the responses I hear can be described as business cliche’s (I just need to get my name out there… or I don’t have enough money to get my name out there.) or a diversion from the real issue. (This usually includes listing some certifications, or “awards”, or number of Twitter followers, or other reasons they feel they SHOULD be doing well financially but aren’t.)
What I quickly discover is that while their expertise may be (and usually is) superb… and their product may be better than the alternatives out there, and that a LOT of time, attention and investment has gone into crafting or “tweaking” WHAT they will sell, very little thought has gone into HOW they will sell.
So, they HOPE. Many will POST…. tweet, blog, facebook, and email. And they will HOPE. They are hoping that they will get sales, gain momentum, and see an increase in their personal income. What they need to do is to transform their HOPE into HOW.
First, let’s get really, really clear about what you’re hoping for. If you want more sales, how many more? How many sales of each product or service do you want to see? PLEASE don’t laugh this off with an “I’ll take all I can get” response. Business is really simple because it is NUMBERS IN, NUMBERS OUT. So, I want to get a NUMBER from you… Either a dollar amount or a finite number of new customers or clients you need to acquire.
Next, let’s get specific about WHAT you will DO to get more sales…. and drill down the HOW. First, your sales are up to you. You must DO something DIFFERENT than you are doing now to get more sales than you are currently getting. Start with where you have had success before. What did you DO to cultivate that sale? Let’s repeat whatever that was.
Then, we must take a look at how you are spending your time. If you are really committed to making MORE MONEY in your business, I will see that your time is spent evaluating, tweaking, and boldly increasing your marketing and sales efforts. Is there any other way???? Hoping that your clients don’t need to be “sold” because you or your product are sooooooooo good is a bit like hoping you win the lottery. More money comes down to Mastering the Marketing and Sales process of your business. But only every time.
So, evaluating what you are currently doing is a great step. As an example, how much time are you spending on twitter? Or how much money did you spend on that print or radio ad? Or how much time (and money) are you spending in networking meetings? Now… how effective are each of these activities? How did they contribute to your bottom- line?
Next, how can you TWEAK what you are doing? Maybe you see that you’ve gotten three new clients who found you via your blog or email newsletter. If so, it makes sense to invest MORE in that blog or newsletter. Maybe you could learn from social media gurus who can teach you how to get more “mileage” out of each post or article. (Jennifer Abernathy will be rocking the house at www.sparkandhustle.com and I have a super deep discount code you can have if you NEED to be there!!) Maybe you see that your BEST clients have come from speaking engagements. If so, stop reading now and get on the horn lining up some great new speaking gigs!
Finally, you must increase your sales efforts. There is no money made in business without making the sale…. Yet, there are many business owners who shun sales… hate them… and resist the idea that they ARE sales people.
Just Saturday, I was approached – while in the chair getting a pedicure, mind you – by a woman with a colorful binder and business cards. She wanted to do a makeover on me…. with Mary Kay Cosmetics. Of course, she was quick to point out that she doesn’t “Sssseeeellllll” (enunciated slowly as a creepy, dirty, distasteful word) the products. She just “loves them”. Mmmhmmm.
With my daughters looking on in horror – knowing I wasn’t going to let this one go, I said, “Oh.. great. Well, if I wanted to buy the products because I too loved them, who would you send me to?” Her response, “Oh – well I sell them. You can get them from me.” My response: “So you do sell them?” Sheepishly, she says, “well, you know… I mean – you know what I mean… I mean I dont Ssseeellllll them, you know? Like a lot of pressure type of sales?” Yes, I do know what you mean… and P.S. approaching a complete stranger while she is paying for a relaxing spa treatment to pitch the products you “don’t sell” is super smooth…I mean, totally natural and authentic and NO PRESSURE whatsoever. (And, in case you are wondering, YES… I did give her my business card and encouraged her to read my blog on Monday afternoon… )
Anyway, as an entrepreneur, you are CHIEF salesman and CHIEF marketer of your business. Period. So, you can either be GOOD at sales and make money … or you can suck at it… complain (or in some cases, BRAG) about how you are just NOT GOOD at sales and then, NOT make money. Bottom line: If you are in business for yourself, you don’t get to choose whether or not you are now IN SALES. But you do get to choose how you’ll perform as a sales person.
On that note, I want to invite you to join me and Tory Johnson on a totally free call – that will give you the the specific strategies you MUST master if you are committed to making more money in your business. If you are GREAT at what you do, but having a hard time converting leads and contacts into clients or sales, this call is for you!
And, you might even learn to love sales along the way…. =) On this call, we’ll cover:
$ The TOP Sales “Secret” Shared by EVERY truly profitable Business Owner – and the exact steps you need to take to be in THEIR shoes.
$ What you can do to NEVER Compete for Business Again – by essentially creating a Category of ONE.
$ Exactly How to BEST position yourself to make infinitely MORE sales happen
$ How to reduce, prepare for and overcome SALES objections!
To register, send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with SALES CALL in the subject line.
I can hear the gavel slam down on the defense attorney’s table as I type. OBJECTION!! On Ally McBeal, the stars would dramatically argue every point… stating objections, arguing them, proving their point. Most of the time, they would win. But in sales, we also encounter objections and the outcome is (many times) much more important to us – to our family – to our business – than any pretend case on prime time TV.
So, how do YOU handle them? Do you have a plan? Have you invested in becoming an expert sales person? (P.S. Your business depends on you mastering this skill / art / strategy!!)
This afternoon at 1 PM, I am hosting a tele-seminar on OBJECTIONS in sales. Included in this “meaty” seminar will be FIVE (simple) STRATEGIES you can use to sell more effectively and authentically. We’ll cover:
- How to USE sales objections to get closer to a YES….
- How to employ CURIOSITY to get you closer to the CASH…
- The “C” word you need to AVOID at all costs if you want to SELL…
- The strategies leading UP to a profitable sales conversation…
- Sales Savvy Solutions that are AUTHENTIC, SERVICE – ORIENTED, and PROFITABLE in every industry.
I am doing this call for FREE for my friend and partner, Tory Johnson of Women For Hire. It is taking place TODAY at 1 PM – virtually. To reserve your spot, send an email to email@example.com with OBJECTION in the subject line. That way, you’ll get your call in information, and we know you’re on the call so we can also send you the audio if you miss it live!
“See” you this afternoon!!!
Here lies the rotting corpse of Mass Media Advertising. He passed away recently after a prolonged and difficult illness. Thanks to the valiant efforts of advertising salespeople everywhere, and the foolish attempts of big business seeking to win “creative awards” (think: Superbowl) rather than new customers, he was able to live on far past his prime.
He is survived by thousands of media outlets (tv, radio, newspaper) who are now searching for alternative funding sources and countless businesses breathing their last breath due to the cash hemorage imposed by him.
Due to his complete and total impotence and inability to perform in the last days, there will be no service to remember him. Instead, all former advertisers are encouraged to post this obituary somewhere they can see it…. as a reminder that business is about measurable results and “getting your name out there” is not a noble cause. (Hint: Getting YOUR customers IN here is a much more profitable goal.) His memory will live on, of course, in the bitter hearts of the many entreprenuers, small businesses, organizations and corporations who paid him BILLIONS of dollars in the last years of his life, and in return, got nothing.
May he rest in peace.
Yep…. Gap is closing 85 stores. But 2009′s first quarter economic “bloodbath” certainly doesnt end there. Ann Taylor…. 117 stores. Sprint – Nextel… closing 125 stores. Wilson’s Leather, 158 stores. Foot Locker, 140 stores. Bombay, 384 stores. Home Depot, 15 stores. Lane Bryant and Fashion Bug, 150 stores.
In his book, The Innovative Mind, Dr. Gene Landrum addresses why big corporations and large companies will fail in this economy. Essentially, today’s economy demands INNOVATION, he says, which is defined as being willing to destroy what IS, to create what is NOT. He goes on to say that this “creative destruction will be too ungovernable for modern [companies] to tolerate”.
It is HERE we find HOPE. While the “big names” are worshiping tradition and resisting change, we can embrace change and become agile. While they remain steeped in bureaucracy and commit to protecting the status-quo, we can be BOLD, CREATIVE, and PRO-ACTIVE. While they analyze and seek approval, small companies – LIKE OURS- can take action and seek a profit.
THIS is why Henry Ford, Walt Disney, and Estee Lauder outperformed their “bigger” competitors. THIS is why we have just cause to be optimistic and allow our actions to follow suit. Because in the end, optimism (or pessimism) will – ultimately – guide our actions.
“When you are short on ACTION,
You will likely be short on CASH” – B. Michelle Pippin
“Get out there and sell something. America needs the business.” – Zig Ziglar
One of Obama’s stated goals is to add 5-million new jobs over ten years. His plan? A combo of creating jobs through infrastructure, green technology, and also some “restructuring” of private enterprise that will allow the numbers to show “transferred” jobs as “new”. Anyhow, creating 5 million new jobs is a worthy and lofty goal. But, Obama… I have such a simplistic plan for you. So, if you are listening, here it goes:
BTW, this idea came from Dan Kennedy’s NO BS Marketing Letter. If you aren’t getting your copy, shame on you! =)
There are only 1700 large businesses in America. If each of these large companies (instead of downsizing) added 10 new employees, we would have only created 170,000 new jobs. However, there are (roughly) 24 – million small businesses in the U.S. If ONLY the TOP 20%… most forward thinking, most growth-minded, most committed entrepreneurs… added just ONE NEW employee, well… that would instantly create 4.8 million jobs. Mission accomplished! =) I am wondering if any of his “expert economic advisors” will show him this little snippet of truth before enacting any higher tax penalties for this top 20%.
The following, I will quote directly from one of the most brilliant economic minds of our time: Dan Kennedy.
“…Just get out of small business’ way….. [the only] endangered species we need to worry about is the guy or gal running a small business… beleagued at every turn… You know this song. You don’t need the sheet music. Incredibly the spirit of the entrepreneur is so resilient, we stubbornly get up each morning, polish our swords, and head out the door, no matter how the fire-breathing dragon population may have multiplied overnight. Now thats the REAL audacity of hope. Hi Ho, Hi Ho, its off to slay the dragons we go. And it’s a damned good thing we do, because if those 24-million small businesses all elminiated just one job each, that’ll be 24-million folks added to the unemployment rolls overnight. Ooops. So we can all be grateful for each other and our shared insanity…. So, if nobody else has said thanks to you this month for being Atlas and carrying the economy on your shoulders, I have. Please don’t shrug.” Love it, Mr. Kennedy. And thank YOU… for ruthlessly leading the charge of ambitious entrepreneurs worldwide.