In my work as a business coach I meet with people every day who have dreams of creating success in their business. Sadly, most of them are saying the same thing, “I hate marketing, I just want to do what I’m good at without having to market myself. “ The truth about getting more clients is that it’s not that difficult, it just requires following some simple steps. • FOCUS: How do you get to where you want to be unless you know where you are going? I always teach my clients a visualization in which they imagine where they want to be professionally in 1 year from today. How much money do you want to be earning? How many hours a week do you want to work? What kind of clients do you want to work with? • STRATEGIES: Once you’re clear about where you want to be, you need to create strategies to get there. I tell people, “if you already knew what strategies to use, you’d probably already be there.” Strategies help you to chunk big visions into tangible, bite size action steps • ACCOUNTABILITY: How accountable are you to yourself? Most people I meet in business for themselves, find it far too easy to slide in keeping their agreements with themselves. The magical thing about coaching is that when you have a witness to your accountability, you are much more likely to do what you said you’d do. Just knowing that someone cares and will ask you every week, “How did that action step go?”, is huge incentive to staying on track. • DISCOVERY: As a former psychologist, one of my passions is helping people discover how they block them themselves and get in their own way of success. What I find is that everyone needs to reprogram some self-limiting beliefs, like “I don’t have what it takes to succeed” or “I don’t deserve to have a lot of money”. Another block is that most people suffer from subconscious sabotaging strategies, like procrastination. These need to be reversed. Finally , everyone I’ve ever met has a monstrous , overly developed inner critic, which I call the Gremlin. In discovery you learn to identify the voice of you Gremlin and learn to tame it way down. • PERSPECTIVE: We all spin our wheels and get caught up in our narrow perspective. The best investment we can make in getting more clients is to have people around us that give us the option of another perspective • SUPPORT: If you are in business for yourself , you need all the support you can get. As you put yourself out there to get more clients, you are assuming the responsibility of helping these clients. Who helps you? Who do you lean on? It is invaluable to have a support team or a committed ally in your corner. • CELEBRATION: How often do you celebrate yourself? As a coach who teaches people how to get more clients I find that learning to celebrate not only your successes but also your efforts is the way to a long a healthy career. By learning to stop, pause and validate yourself for what you’ve done keeps this process light , fun and exciting. Also, think of how impossible it is for your gremlin to beat you up, if you are busy celebrating yourself! It is one of of the joys of my work that I get to help people truly celebrate themselves. About The Author: Maya Bailey, Ph.D., is a Master Business Coach and creator of the High Impact Accelerated Accountability Program for getting more clients in 90 days. She can be viewed and listened to on her website: http://www.90daystomoreclients.com Article services.
Thursday, May 25, 2006
Wednesday, May 10, 2006
Need more business? Who doesnt? Thankfully, new business is pretty easy to get, but you do have to do something to get it. Usually something you aren't currently doing. Here are 25 ways you can bring in more business, and if you do things right, more profits. These are not long term business strategies. These are short to medium term tactics designed to put cash in your bank account within the next 30 - 90 days.
- Hire a salesperson. Or, if you already have salespeople, hire another one. You may not be able to pay them a salary, so make it for 100% commission, and make the commission generous. And of course, pay their expenses. This will work best if you have a sales process in place, and some kind of systemized knowledge that will bring them up to speed quickly.
- Get some sales training. The Sandler Selling System is great for simple sales. Mike Bosworths Customer Centric Selling is great for complex sales. Of course there are many others, and any good sales training program will get your sales off whatever dime you are stuck on.
- Start a referral program. This doesnt mean simply ask for referrals, but do it routinely. Do it systematically. Have a method to ask, and have a method to reward people who do refer.
- Add products to your back end. The costliest part is getting new customers. Why not maximize your investment and sell those customers additional products and services.
- If you sell a service, consider adding products that compliment it.
- If you sell products, adding services is even easier.
- If you sell free-form consulting, consider bundling specific services into a "productized" form. Give it a name, make the price fixed. Typically the "productizing" and fixed price enables you to sell at higher prices than previously.
- Raise your prices. Most people undervalue what they do and charge way too little for it. And many others discount from their "list" at the drop of a hat. Stop discounting, but if you must, always get something in exchange. Think tradeoffs. And raise your rates for services and products both.
- Joint ventures. Find people who have something you need, like products, or customers and trade with them. Pool your resources. Pool your time. Create something larger than either of you. Make it a win-win.
- Strategic alliances. How does this differ from above? A strategic alliance partner is only involved in one aspect of your business - in other words, they may source leads or product. A joint venture partner is a deeper involvement. Youll work more closely on more aspects.
- Referral fees. You probably make these referrals anyway. Now get paid for them.
- Affiliate programs. This is simply the systemized approach to referral fees, and on the internet is THE way to do business.
- Take your white papers or articles and collect them into a special report which can be used for marketing purposes, or sold outright as its own revenue center.
- Sell a subscription to your service. Lock in the revenue and accelerate the payments. Then give them special bonuses or super-service for being subscribers, or members.
- Create bundles out of all your existing products. Put things together and offer special pricing. This may lower your "per unit" revenue, but it will increase average transaction size, as well as total revenue.
- The Rolodex routine. This means going through your Rolodex, name-by-name, and calling everyone who looks promising. For something. For selling, for networking, for referrals, even for "how do you do."
- Conduct a survey. Ask your client base questions. This process will get you great information about your market, and it will always bring you "unexpected" business.
- Offer your services or products at a silent or charity auction. While this wont bring in money immediately, it will almost always expand your client base.
- Offer to let key influencers give away some of your time, product.
- If you have a service, consider turning your hard-one expertise into an educational course. This could be an e-course, a tele-course, printed home study course, even a live seminar or bootcamp.
- Publish an ebook. Ebooks are a great way to promote your business and generate quick revenue.
- Speak, speak, speak. Especially if you are a master of your individual expertise, speaking is a sure-fire way to bring in additional business.
- Write articles. Articles and speaking compliment each other perfectly. Not only write those articles, but get them published. Anywhere you can.
- Focus your market. Many people try to cover too much ground. By becoming a noted expert in a tightly-defined market niche, you can increase the power of all your marketing efforts, bringing in more business for each marketing dollar you spend.
- Shift into an adjacent market. Sometimes your market niche is exhausted, and sometimes theyre just plain broke. A shift into an adjacent market niche can bring you all kinds of new business.
Thursday, April 06, 2006
RedHat with Intel, oh my! SUValleyNews has the big news, announced ... "The Red Hat and Intel Solution Acceleration Program will give customers real-time access to the critical information, tools and support they need to build and optimize high-value Linux solutions on Intel-based platforms," said Jon Bork, director of Intel's Open Source Program Office. "This program will help customers quickly and effectively take advantage of new Intel platforms and technologies as they come to market." more...
Tuesday, January 24, 2006
Friday, January 13, 2006
Sales Process � The Secret to Closing More Sales Copyright � 2005 Alan Rigg 80/20 Sales Performance http://www.8020salesperformance.com Most sales training programs that teach salespeople how to sell specific products or services do not mention business problems. This is an unfortunate oversight, as qualifying and quantifying business problems is the secret to closing more sales! What is a Business Problem? A business problem is any activity or outcome that negatively impacts a business. Examples of negative impacts include reductions in revenue, profits, customer satisfaction, employee productivity, job satisfaction, etc. Here is an example of a business problem description: "Many mission-critical software applications (e-business, manufacturing, point-of-sale, etc.) need to access relational databases in order to function. If a database has problems (goes down or suffers data loss or corruption), application downtime can cost companies tens of thousands of dollars per minute in lost sales, lost customers, and lost opportunities." In the above example, the business problem is a database that is not functioning properly. What is the relationship between this business problem and the features and benefits of a product or service? FEATURES are what actually SOLVE business problems. BENEFITS are what customers enjoy when the business problem has been solved. The only features prospects actually care about are the ones that will solve their own specific business problems. If we randomly spew long lists of features and benefits at prospects, in effect we are hoping they are already aware of their business problems, and they will somehow figure out which of our (product or service) features will solve their business problems. This is a very inefficient way to sell. Plus, we run the risk that our prospects will NOT figure out which features will solve their business problems. Or, they may become bored and "switch off" before we mention features that may actually be of interest to them! If you are going to talk about features and benefits, discuss ONLY those features that will solve your prospect's SPECIFIC business problems! Of course, you need to IDENTIFY your prospect's business problems if you want to have this kind of highly targeted discussion. If your employer's product or service training programs do not specifically address business problems, you will need to do some digging to uncover them. Ask the question, "What PROBLEMS does this product or service solve?" Another way to ask this question is, "What would motivate a prospect to make the investment required to buy this product/service?" Then, once you have made a list of the MOST IMPORTANT business problems, ask, "What questions can I ask that will help me figure out whether a prospect has any of these business problems?" When you become an expert in business problems and related qualifying questions, your education will not be complete. You also need to learn the questions you can ask to QUANTIFY the IMPACT of each business problem. What is a Quantified Impact? Quantified impacts are DOLLAR VALUES or PERCENTAGES with associated TIME FRAMES that can be assigned to specific business problems. In the earlier business problem description, the quantified impact was "tens of thousands of dollars per minute". Quantified impacts are an invaluable aid to closing sales. How? If the quantified impact of a business problem exceeds the investment required to fix the problem, a buying decision is easy to justify. The larger the difference between the quantified impact and the required investment, the easier it becomes to close the sale. If the quantified impact is a multiple of the required investment (for example, a quantified impact of MILLIONS of dollars versus a required investment of THOUSANDS of dollars), the buying decision becomes "a no-brainer". IMPORTANT NOTE: In order for a quantified impact to add value to the sales process, your PROSPECT must be the source of the numbers. Why? In general, prospects don't trust salespeople. Many have dealt with salespeople who were more interested in making sales than they were in providing value. Plus, prospects recognize that salespeople have a vested interest in creating a compelling business case that can be used to support a buying decision. This causes prospects to DISCOUNT any quantified impact information that salespeople provide. However, if the prospect is the source of the quantified impact information, they perceive it as unquestioned truth. This makes learning how to ask quantifying questions a valuable skill indeed! If you want to close more sales, invest some time and effort in identifying the BUSINESS PROBLEMS that can be solved by your products and services. If you become an expert in business problems and the questions you can ask to 1) determine whether a prospect has specific business problems, and 2) quantify the impact of those business problems, you will close MORE sales FASTER and with LESS EFFORT. --------------------------------------------------------------------- Sales performance expert Alan Rigg is the author of How to Beat the 80/20 Rule in Selling: Why Most Salespeople Don't Perform and What to Do About It. His company, 80/20 Sales Performance, helps business owners, executives, and managers DOUBLE sales by implementing The Right Formula� for building top-performing sales teams. For more information and more FREE sales and sales management tips, visit http://www.8020salesperformance.com.