As a small business owner or entrepreneur, you may be like me, and you have searched high and low for the secret sauce to “Success”. The magic bullet that will attract customers. The one that will inspire your people and that will turn all the work you do into profit. I have come to the same conclusion (AGAIN).
It seems I need reminding.
That Success is about Consistency.
Do you want more customers? Be consistent in your lead generation activities. Whether it is cold calls, Instagram posts or SEO (Or any of the other 5,000 ways to market your business).
What I observe with so many of my clients is they start something and gain traction and then another shiny object comes along. Then they dump the activity that was generating results and start all over.
When I got out of college, I took up the Martial Arts for years. Tae Kwon Do, Chinese Kempo, Escrima, Tu Kong Mu Sool. And the secret to advancement in each of them was practice. Consistent Practice. Showing up for class, doing the work, and then practicing on my own. I used to go into the gym for 2 -3 hours every Saturday to practice my forms. And forms was where I won tournaments. And it was only in two of these that I advanced very far.
George Leonard was a sportswriter who took up Aikido late in life. He ended up writing a book called Mastery. The premise is, “It’s all about the practice”. You will learn something and put it into practice. As time goes on, you will hit a plateau where it will seem like progress has stalled and you will look for the next shiny thing. Keep practicing. And, all of a sudden, you will break through to the next level.
In my first sales job, my success was dependent upon my success in setting appointments by phone (COLD CALLS). My goal was 25 appointments every other week. And there would be days where I made no appointments in my calling time. But if I stuck with the script and the habit of dialing and smiling, I would get five appointments the next day.
And here is the contrarian in me. So Many Gurus tell you to take MASSIVE action. Most of you won’t sustain that. But you have a better chance of achieving tiny habits. When you work tiny incremental habits consistently you will get to your goal. #Commit to your habits not the goals. Taking consistent action over time compounds, and you achieve massive results.
If you would like to learn more about the power of consistency in your business, check out the resources at https://ras-squared.com
Are you thinking about selling your business? If not, you might want to start. I mean, even if you are young and having fun, at some point you will want to exit. When you exit, you will want to maximize your returns.
Here are some things to consider:
It might seem obvious, but you want to improve your profitability. Whoever looks to purchase your business is going to want to see a history of profitability. As one of my mentors likes to say, “Revenue is an Ego number, Profitability is the Real number”. Can you show a trend of increasing profits? That adds a bit more value. This is why you need to understand your finances. There are three levers in your P &L for profit. They are Revenue, Cost of Goods, and Overhead.
One key to profit is driving revenue and to do that you must look, sound, and feel different than your competition. One mistake I see many owners make is they discount their services to “capture” the business. They see everyone else doing it so they assume… In reality, your potential client is looking for value and when you can differentiate based on the value that you offer, you can charge more for your services. There is a formula for this.
Your processes add tremendous value if they are well-defined and clear. A buyer wants to walk in and be able to follow a process for success. This is why so many owners go into a franchise. The franchisor has built a model that if you follow it, you will be successful. Document your systems to success. Your bank account will thank you.
The more of your revenue that is recurring, the larger the revenue stream your buyer can pay for. This is why you see more and more service firms moving to a subscription model. It evens out the peaks and valleys and it is recurring.
Develop a workforce that delivers. When you have a stable workforce that delivers high-quality results to your clients, that adds yet more value to the purchase price. Particularly today, we see the challenge employers are having trouble with recruiting and keeping good employees. This is culture, skills, and mindset development and opportunities. No longer are people an asset, they need to become partners.
Finally, spruce up the business. Make sure your records (financial, SOP’s, systems) are easy to access and easy to understand. If you have a showroom, make sure it is clean and presentable. I was recently in a garage where you literally did not want to touch the walls (even in in the waiting room,) because there was grease and grime on the walls.
In case you haven’t noticed, keeping these points in mind from the start of your business will help you grow your business as well. Check out the resources at https://ras-squared.com if you would like more information
For many people, going to a networking event is painful. In part because it sometimes feels like people are just handing out cards, looking for a deal. Although I have to say that many of the events I have attended recently I have not seen that.
Another reason that people don’t like networking events is that they are uncomfortable with networking. That is, connecting at a genuine level with someone else to see if there might be a relationship. They don’t know what to say or what to do.
I get it. When I started in my career, I would get my drink and hunker right up to the wall to see what was what. After a career in sales and many years in Toastmasters, I now can have a conversation with almost any willing participant. Here are some ideas that may help you at your next networking event.
First, what is the event and who are the people that will be there? (If you can get their names great, if not, ask yourself what industries are they in, what is the common interest?) Then think through your introduction and practice, yes practice. Trust me when I tell you the naturals were not natural when they started.
“Hi, my name is John Gies with RAS-Squared, what brings you to this gathering of conscious business leaders?”
So, what happens after they have answered that question? There are a few areas of conversation that are always safe to explore at a networking event.
- How did you get involved in… (the industry, their company, this gathering)?
- What kinds of clients are you looking to meet?
- Have you done any interesting travel lately? (If they have they will enjoy telling you)
- Where do you want to go next in your career?
- What books, or movies have captured your interest lately?
- Where do you like to go here in town for dinner, lunch, coffee? (As a coffee lover, I love discovering new coffee shops)
Dale Carnegie said it over 80 years ago, “show sincere interest in others and be a good listener.” This is the way to win friends and influence people.
Once you have made a connection and feel like there is potential, it is time to move on. You can say something like, “I really enjoyed meeting you, do you think we should schedule a call to see if there is a way we can help each other?” Then it is time to move on and make another connection.
I never recommend making a pitch. That is what turns off so many people from these networking events. I once saw a mature sales executive block a potential buyer literally in a corner until he could score an appointment. He got the appointment and I will wager he never got the deal.
Patience… if you make a real and genuine connection and nurture it, there will come a time where they will want to know how they can help you.
So, to recap:
- Know your audience (what is the common interest of the group)
- Prepare and practice an introduction (Your names and a question for them)
- Open a conversation and connect
- Ask and answer the question, “Should we connect further”?
- Don’t make a pitch make a connection.
If you would like to learn how you or your team can benefit from better communication skills for accountability, engagement and performance, schedule a call with John to explore the possibilities. CALENDAR
In a previous post, we talked about making first contact with your ideal clients and how to make a great first impression. Today we’re going to talk about feeling out the personality of your ideal clients to match the right salesperson to the client or prospect.
You need to do this in two steps:
- Profile your salespeople’s personalities.
- Match the right salesperson to your target prospect/client.
There are essentially three different selling personalities:
The Guide brings knowledge, experience, comfort, and trust. They can make a concerned conservative client feel at ease. For them to be successful, they want plenty of information, a demo of the product/service, references, and case studies, if possible.
Just like it sounds, The Buddy shines at building relationships. They instantly relate to the prospective client and make them seem like old friends almost immediately. They deliver the best results with clients who are looking for friendship, information, and in a similar peer group as the salesperson. This can include anything from age and culture to hobbies and nightlife. This sharing experiences can be beneficial to creating a new relationship, but The Buddy must always keep it professional. The resource’s this personality type needs is help in pairing with the right client, entertainment budget, and the right information to meet the client’s needs.
I had a Buddy working for me. He knew everyone. He made very few direct sales calls. They were mostly entertainment calls where business was discussed. He could get meetings no one else could and he made it rain.
Obviously, The Determined is a little more assertive than the others. They are concerned about business and the bottom line. While this may seem a little direct, there are owners and prospects out there that want the same thing and respect someone who can get down to business and the benefits of a partnership. The Determined will need to be trusted with a little authority as they will likely be closing deals on the spot. You will want to provide them with plenty of resources and access to products and services. They work best in environments where they can work independently, exercise their independent discretion, and seal deals quickly.
All of these types can deliver the results you need when each is used in the right environment. You can see how matching the right salesperson for the client can secure more ideal clients and for a longer period of time.
If you need help figuring out how to drive more sales for New Clients, New Revenue, and New Profits, check out the resources at RAS-Squared.com.
When you and I turn our thermostat up or down the equipment kicks in and the temperature adjusts to a nice comfortable temperature. You and I call this our comfort zone. HVAC professionals call this the Dead Zone!
As I graduated from college, I completed my first Five-year plan. Then life happened. I got promoted and if I wanted the job, I was going to have to move to St. Louis MO. (This was not in my plan). I was 24 years old and had been out of college about eighteen (18). I had a core group of friends, and I was comfortable. However, I wanted the experience, And I wanted to be an executive, so I moved 700 miles away to St. Louis, Missouri.
I got there, went to work the next day and …said OH MY Cuss WORDS WHAT HAVE I DONE. You see, I wasn’t very good at my first job in selling, I was lonely, I was uncomfortable and well just miserable…Then I remembered that I liked Tae Kwon DO when I was in school, so I found a club and began to experience some success. I changed jobs into a new industry. I was just starting to get comfortable in the new role when my new company said… “John, we’d like you to move to Denver,” This was in my Plan. I moved to Denver and 5 years and two (2) months after I wrote out that five-year plan, I achieved it. I was living in Denver as a professional, earning more than I had even planned on and I had earned my black belt in Tae Kwon Do. If I had been unwilling to step out of my comfort zone this would not have happened.
What is this Comfort Zone that everyone talks about? Wikipedia the online Encyclopedia says it is an artificial set of mental boundaries we’ve set up. While we operate within those boundaries, we are comfortable and secure. The result can be that we become rigid, and rule bound by these boundaries. Then, there will come a day when we know we need to change but we will be afraid to leave the comfort of our Comfort Zone and it will become our Dead Zone.
The law of Entropy that says it is the natural order of things to degenerate into chaos or disorder. That’s what happens when we fall into our comfort zones and become satisfied with life. When we don’t continuously push our limits and stretch, we start to move towards disorder.
Here are some thoughts on how you can avoid the Dead zone while enjoying the comfort zone:
1. Recognize it when you are in the comfort zone. When there are things you will do and others you will not and then only in a certain way…it might be the dead zone.
2. Continuously review your progress and decide what area of growth will enhance your life. Right now, for me it is building relationships with business owners in a variety of industries that I have not worked in to help them grow their business. The imposter shows up. And yet I have helped Auto Shops, CPA’s, Attorney’s, Tech Companies and more, significantly enhance their business. And it is still Very Uncomfortable. Studies at the University of Chicago concluded that the highest achievers are those who consistently push themselves out of their comfort zones.
3. When you get comfortable in your new level of performance savor it. Then Start all over again.
When you make the commitment grow and move from one achievement to the next from one comfort zone to the next, you never have time to enter the Dead Zone.
Check out the resources @www.ras-squared.com