Category Archives: Sales and marketing

Turn the “Scorching Hot Sweet Spot™” in Your Business or Career into Cold Hard Cash

One of the biggest complaints I hear today is that people aren’t getting the recognition they deserve. Whether they are a corporate professional looking to move up the ranks in their career or a business owner looking to land more lucrative clients and contracts, they’re struggling to distinguish themselves in an authentic and profitable way.

Recently, I’ve honed in on what it takes to turn what I call “The Scorching Hot Sweet Spot™” in your career or business into cold, hard cash! Once you’ve mastered that process, you’ll attract better clients, gain more recognition in the office, feel way more confident, set yourself apart from the herd, stop worrying about the competition and earn more money.

It’s a simple model. Think back to your high school algebra or logic class to the phrase “Venn Diagram”. The Scorching Hot Sweet Spot is at the intersection of 3 concepts:

1) Your expertise and passions
2) Your customers needs
3) Your offer, well-timed

 

 

Your expertise and passions
It’s critical you know what you’re really good at and it’s likely that you don’t. If you’re like most people, you undervalue what you know. When something somes naturally to you, it’s easy to assume that everyone is good at it too. Nothing could be stronger from the truth.

Take a trip down memory lane and ask yourself what you loved to do as a child or teenager. Recall the kinds of things people have asked your advice on over the years. When you’re clear about your expertise and focus your business or career around the expression of that expertise, you’ll be effective and experience less struggle. Work will feel graceful and full of ease. If you aren’t aware of and don’t effectively market the value of your skills, you’ll sound like everyone else when competing for clients or jobs. You’ll seem like a commodity and be easily replaced by someone with a lower bid.

When you focus on what you’re passionate about, you’ll also experience a feeling of fulfillment and joy. Time will fly by because you’re doing what you love.

Your customers’ needs
People will pay good money to someone who is perceived as being someone who can help them solve their most urgent issues. You have to know what keeps them awake at night and how your ‘magic’ will let them rest more peacefully. If you aren’t aware of their problems, your marketing messages to them will sound like that Charlie Brown teacher “Wah, wah, wah, wah, wah, wah, wah”. They don’t care how cool your process is. They only care about their pain and getting rid of it.

Your offer, well-timed
You must have a specific methodology you use to help solve those problems. That’s your “offer”. Having a trademark system in place gives you more credibility and positions you as an expert. Even if you’re an employee, you probably have a certain way you go about solving problems. When you can describe and name your process, it’s value goes up. It’s one of the steps I take my clients through in my VIP “Monetize Your Niche” and “Be Dream Job Ready” private consulting days.

The second component of this is the ‘well-timed’ part. You could have the most compelling solution but if it fixes a problem they’re not having now, you likely won’t get the sale. You must learn to recognize the buying signals that foretell a prospect is ready to take action.

When you clarify these three concepts and implement new activities in your business, you’ll be on the way to pushing more cash in the bank!

3 Critical Elements for Generating More Sales

Have you been wondering what it takes to grow your business at a rate faster than the market?

Many business owners keep their head to the grindstone. They work hard at their craft and delight in serving their customers. Unfortunately, all that work takes time away from building the business in time-effective ways.

Sure, you go to networking events, make phone calls (you do make calls, don’t you?), maybe advertise in certain places or encourage people to make referrals on your behalf.

Still, not enough profit in the bank account leaves you feeling exhausted, confused and frustrated.

“What’s a body to do?”, you ask.

In my more-than-a-decade of helping business owners improve their situations, I’ve discovered that it takes 3 things to rise above the herd and outpace the market in terms of industry sales in your category.

1. A killer niche
Without a clear niche, you’ll likely never make any headway in your industry. People will struggle to understand what you do and won’t know why they should work with you versus any other provider of … (you fill in the blank).

You will likely struggle yourself positioning yourself against the competition. Your lack of clarity will keep your confidence level suppressed resulting in timidity.

Your message to the market will be muddled. No one will hear you. No money will flow to you. Sales will come through a lot of hard work.

2. Pricing that maximizes your profits
When you’re crystal clear about who you serve and how, your next challenge is packaging your products and services to garner the highest levels of profitability for your firm. You may struggle with this by doubting your ‘deservability’ factor hearing a little voice in your head shouting ‘Who do you think you are?!?!?”

That doubt will cause you to leave money on the table. Your niche clarity will make you appeal to people who are ready to work with you. When you understand their issues and have solutions for their problems, THEY will place a high value on your work and happily pay you for it.

3. A business plan to monetize the first two
Many a business owner, even those who know who they are and what they’re worth, have floundered because they lack insight on what it takes to take a product or service to market. Let’s face it, you have to do some sort of marketing in order to gain the visibility you need to land clients. They won’t just fall in your lap becuase you’re a good person. You must have a proactive plan that includes goals and action steps to achieve them. The Bamboo Approach to Lush Business Growth lays out a framework to making your mark on the world.

Once you have these three elements in place, the world becomes your oyster. Life and business success become attainable. For those of you who are ready to take a significant leap on any of these 3 elements, visit emeraldharvest.com/vipday.htm or apply for a Profit Proliferation strategy session with me at emeraldharvest.com/profitapplication.htm.

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Lush Business Growth Workshop


Uncover the secret motivations that drive your ideal client’s decisions so  your marketing results in more sales

Identify the weak links in your business that are robbing you of your revenue

Expose the criteria that people use to make purchase decisions about what you offer.  Ignore this and your marketing will fall on deaf ears. Master this and business will flock to you.

Distinguish specific opportunities your business is facing that could mean a dramatic increase in profits for your firm

Evaluate your current revenue streams and determine which ones are primed to produce even more in the future.

Brainstorm on potential NEW revenue streams you can create easily without doing a ton more work

Evaluate your current sales channels and marketing strategies to make sure you’re capitalizing on what’s right in front of you

Create concrete goals and strategies for their fulfillment to accelerate your success

Calendaring templates to make mapping out your marketing plan simple and easy

Get details emeraldharvest.com/lushbusinessgrowth-ws.htm

Skilled questioning, not pressuring, generates more sales

I attended a festival recently and visited a jewelry booth while I was there. (Jewelry, photography and pottery are my favs!)

The jewelry designer was a talented, but modest woman. Her sister, on the other hand, was quite the promoter.

She engaged me in conversation immediately. She asked me question after question while showing me different pieces of jewelry. I definitely knew she was aiming to make a sale but didn’t feel pressured by her activities and comments.

If you struggle to ‘close’ the deal too often, it’s likely you’re doing something in the process that is preventing the other person from stepping forward to take advantage of your offer.

What is it that has some people be great at sales while others struggle?

Here’s what I learned from this sister-promoter that could help you improve your close ratio.

One of the biggest mistakes people make in sales is talking too much. They are uncomfortable with silence and erroneously think they are ‘controlling the process’ by talking all of the time.

One of the biggest lessons I learned from my first sales coach is “People love to buy. They hate being sold.”

Armed with that info, here are some of the things the Sister-Promoter did that ended up with me buying a trinket from the designer plus a few more choice tips that should help you increase your sales.

1. Ask pointed questions
Your aim is to get the other person talking. You’ll learn more and they’ll be more invested in the conversation. People won’t walk away from you or hang up on you when they’re talking!

2. Ask open ended questions mixed with closed ended questions.
Open ended questions (How, What, Where) reveal info to guide your inquiry. They also get the other person thinking. Closed ended (Do/Have/Would) questions get people to some decision point and allow progress toward the end goal to get made.

3. Ask questions about the future
Get people to imagine a future with your or your product. Hypothetical questions suspend reality and allow your prospect to dream about the future they want and what it would be like to get their with your support. (Imagine/What if/Suppose)

I’ve learned another important sales lesson from Sharla Jacobs. She said “Your job is to ask great questions until your prospect convinces themselves, they have to work with you.”

When you can skillfully guide your prospects through that process so that they arrive at the conclusion, they have to have you, on their own, your sales will increase and both parties will leave the conversation happy and inspired.

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How to Attract Clients Who Will Pay You What You’re Worth

Many business owners scrape by serving clients who are struggling themselves.  In spite of the economy, there are many businesses and people who have been unaffected and are willing to pay for premium-level services and products.

When you’re trapped servicing the middle or low-price market (which, let’s face it) much of the country is these days, you encounter a ton of hairy-pulling, teeth-gnashing concerns like:

1.    People don’t buy from you because they can find what you offer at a lower price somewhere else
2.    People don’t buy at all because putting up with their problem is easier than forking over money to solve it
3.    Your bank account is scarily low leaving you worried, anxious and maybe even a tad desperate.

You get the picture.

So, well-heeled clients sound like the answer to your prayers, right?

The challenge to landing those clients however is  (at least) three-fold:

1.    You don’t know exactly who is looking for what you have to offer
2.    You don’t know how to find or attract them
3.    You don’t have anything to offer them that they’re truly interested in

So what’s a busy business owner to do?

There are several ways to overcome these problems.

In dire times businesses try to offer everything to everybody. That’s exactly the wrong strategy.  And here’s why.  When you market to everyone, your ‘target’ won’t feel special.  She won’t believe you have a solution that addresses her needs so she keeps looking until she finds it and it likely won’t be with you.

I recently went into a shoe repair shop (a dying breed, admittedly) but they were selling children’s toys and household tchotchkes that didn’t even look like they belonged in the shop.  Perhaps they were selling well, but frankly, I’d be surprised.

The solution is to focus on a small set of specific clients and do everything you can to understand them, their worries, pains, dreams, hopes and desires.

Once you know who they are, ask yourself, how are they spending their time? What do they read, listen to or go to?

Are they attending networking meetings? If so, which ones? Most networking events are populated with people hungry for business not necessarily looking to invest in solutions.

Think about it. When you need to buy something, do you go to an event to buy it? Probably not. You might go and ask people you trust for recommendations, but if you found exactly what you were looking for, I’ll bet you’d be a little bit surprised.

So you have to get visible where your market is looking. That could be online, on their smart phone, in industry-specific or niche publications (although that can be expensive).

If they’re suffering with a big problem, they may have complained to their friends and colleagues. So developing a referral strategy with the right people could be really productive.

Then, once you’ve found them (or they’ve found you), you must make sure your marketing message hits them directly between the eyes.  You have to be so clear about how what you’re offering is exactly what they need that they go “Duh! It would be a mistake NOT to invest in that.”

Again, this underscores the importance of knowing who really needs what you have so when they hear our message, they say “S/he’s talking to me!”

I remember participating in an event and one of the attendees remarked “I felt like the speaker was inside my head saying out loud what I had only thought in the privacy of my own brain!” That’s what you’re going for!

So, when you know who they are, what they’re gnashing their teeth over and have a solution aimed directly at pain (or dream) with a message that feels like it’s directly personally to them, the right people will refer you, find you and happily pay you for your expertise!