Tag Archives: Marketing

Do You Relate to Your Business Like It’s a Slot Machine? 5 Steps for Increased Sales, Revenue & Profits

Having spent the weekend in Las Vegas, I had a chance to engage in one of my favorite forms of Las Vegas entertainment, playing the penny and quarter slot machines.

I just about doubled my modest $25 ‘investment’ and kept myself thoroughly entertained for a couple of hours. By Las Vegas standards, that was a good ROI.

It got me wondering about the allure of slot machines.  I think it has to do with the suspense of the ‘hunt’ and the thrill of the win. It’s a similar dynamic.

“How do I find my best prospects?”


“What does it take to win them over?”

If you treat your business like it’s a slot machine though, you could be suffering from some serious problems.slotmachine6

1. Feeling like you’re not in control
2. Trying lots of strategies but unsure which ones will really work
3. Worried about if and when your big payout is going to happen

Here are 5 ways to win at business and improve your sales, revenue and profitability.

1. Focus on your core strengths

Many people suffer from the I-have-lots-of-strengths-interests-and-abilities syndrome.  I grapple with this one sometimes myself.  You may find that you’re afraid to focus because you’re worried you’ll be leaving dollars on the table.

Actually, the opposite is true.  The more you focus, the easier it is for people who need you to find you.  So define what you do best and organize your business around that.

2. Know who you best serve

Similarly, many of my clients are reluctant to select a target market thinking that they’ll make less money if they don’t do everything all of the prospects in the world need.  Again, not true. Trying to serve to many people will keep you scattered, spreading your efforts too thin.

It’s easier to find specific groups of people and it’s easier to market and sell to them because you can say all of the right things that will grab their attention.

3. Listen to your clients & prospects

In order to grab their attention, you have to be speaking their language and this requires that you know what they’re talking about.  A lot of business owners make the mistake of creating products and services JUST because they’re good at it without knowing if the market is at all interested.

4. Understand their pain

When you listen deeply to your prospects and clients, you can learn what keeps them up at night.

You’ll get a visceral experience of how they’re suffering and where you can help.  You can better empathize with them and show your concern for their situation in a more authentic way.

5. Offer solutions to conquer their pain

Once you know the things you excel in, who most needs you and what their problems are, you’ll be able to offer them the perfect antidote to their dilemma and they will thank you for it while eagerly snapping up your products and services.

When you follow these 5 steps, you’ll be more strategic about your business, you’ll stop dropping coins in any random slot machine and your payout of more and bigger sales will just happen naturally.

Are You an Ostrich Or an Eagle in Your Marketing?

ostrich-head-in-sandThe ostrich is the world’s largest bird.  It can run at speeds up to 43 mph.

Contrary to popular belief (and apparently contrary to this photo), ostriches do not hide their heads in the sand at the first sign of trouble. According to the National Geographic, ostriches lie low and press their long necks to the ground in an attempt to become less visible.

soaring_eagleEagles on the other hand, tend to cause trouble for others.  They get many of their meals from fishing, scavenging or even stealing their meals from other predators.

Are you striving to lie low and wait for the economic rebound to take hold? Or are you on the hunt for opportunities?  I’m not suggesting you steal from others, but do recommend you become more proactive at seeking out your next client.

Here are some simple actions you can take to create more revenue opportunities for your business:

1. Stay in touch with prospects and clients. Even though they may not be buying from you right now, they are more likely to reach out to you when they do start spending if they remember that you exist.  People are bombarded with messages all day long through the media, email and face-to-face interactions.   If your name, face or logo aren’t in the mix, it will disappear into the background and you’ll lose out on potential future business.

2. Create partnerships with kindred spirits. Find people/businesses that sell to the same market that you serve and package your services in unique ways that others can’t match.

3. Upgrade/update your offer. F ind out what specific problems your market is suffering from right now that you can help with.  Design something new to meet the current trends and issues of the day.

Simple targeted acts can make a big difference.  It’s action that matters.  Jay Conrad Levinson, Guerrilla Marketing, said “Consistency and persistence will pay off better than occasional brilliance“.

Take consistent action even if it’s not the perfectly though-out mega plan in your head.

Beating Out the Competition & Becoming a Client Magnet

Believe it or not, there’s a bird over there, cleverly disguised against the desert terrain.

The photo is a little fuzzy because I was zooming fast to capture this quail (I think). He beat out his competition for the female that is nearby but off screen.

Right before I snapped this picture, there were two male birds challenging each other and trying to win the attention of the nearby female bird.

She walked away while they ‘duked’ it out. When the ‘hero’ emerged and I captured him on digital film, he was following her up the hill for a little fun and merriment and family making.

So what does this have to do with you?

Few of us are in businesses that are so unique that we don’t have any competition.  So as a result, we’re constantly having to distinguish ourselves as different, better than, smarter than, more prestigious than, cheaper than…You get the picture.  It’s a primitive battle where only the strongest survive. And it’s really hard getting deals done like that.

The key is to position yourself as the go-to expert so that your reputation raises your above the herd.  When you do that, you get people seeking you out.  When they seek you out, they’re already pre-sold on you.  They’ve already decided they want YOU so there is less need for you to ‘convince’ them that you’re the best choice. You become a client magnet!

So how do you become that expert & client magnet?  There are 3 ways to do that.

  1. Speaking – Most people are literally scared to death of speaking in public.  You’ve probably heard that when surveyed, people rate speaking in public ahead of dying as their top fear.  So if you have the guts to stand up in front of a crowd (even a small one) and have your voice be heard, automatically, you’re a rock star in the eyes of the audience.  Even if you’re quaking in your boots on the inside, you’ve still accomplished a mighty feat from their perspective.
  2. Writing – Whether writing articles for a national publication or your local neighborhood periodical, having your name in print makes you look smart!  Clearly the national publication will get you seen by WAY more people, but you’ll get credibility none-the-less with the readers of your work
  3. Publicity – Being written about is even more compelling. That third party endorsement goes a long way toward building credibility.  When someone with familiarity, name recognition and credibility (like a report) writes about you, their importance and credibility transfers over to you.  It’s like having someone make a referral introduction for you.

I’ve been using all three of these strategies for years and now I get to reap the benefits of them.  Whereever I go, people tell me “I see you everywhere!”

Can you imagine how great (and humbled) that makes me feel?  Can you imagine if people were saying that about you, that you wouldn’t have to work so hard to dredge up new clients? You betcha!  So start using these three magic strategies to raise your visibility, credibility and client-magnet quotient.

Making Your Business Feel So Good

A couple of weeks ago, my husband and I went to see Chuck Mangione who was appearing at one of the local casinos. He put on a great show and ended his performance with one of his most popular tunes, “Feels So Good”.

I started thinking about what it meant to have one’s business ‘feel so good’. Many business owners I know are working hard and yet, not quite feeling as satisfied as they’d like.

I believe there are five keys to happiness and success as it pertains to creating the business of your dreams.

1. Doing work you love
2. Working with clients you love
3. Having clients who love you
4. Making the amount of money you love
5. Having an impact you love

That may sound easier said that done. I’ve elaborated on these tips on to make your business feel so good.

1. Doing work you love

Most business owners go into business because there is something they are gifted at or love doing.  They then get consumed with running their business and it takes  over their life.  In the beginning, they wear many hats: service provider, sales person, bookkeeper, marketing strategist, administrative support.  They wear themselves ragged. If things go well, eventually they think about hiring someone to help.  But many people think they aren’t able to hire someone or fear that they’ll lose control or quality if they delegate and let go.

I’ve spoken about this before, but it bears repeating.  Stick with what you love.  Just this week, I made a list of things I found myself doing that drain my energy and brain power.  Yes, I CAN do those things, but doing so wears me out.  I’ll be searching for people to add to my team even if they only work a few hours each week.  Each of us have a gift and it’s better for us and for our business when we stick with spending our time exercising those gifts.  That will make us feel good!

2. Working with clients you love

In the beginning, we tend to work with ANYONE who is willing to pay us.  But the most successful people have taken the time to articulate who their ideal client is.  They know demographic information about their ideal client (gender, age, education, income, etc.).  They also know psychographic information (personality, likes, hobbies, temperament, etc.).

When you work with clients you don’t like, they rob your energy and make you dread ‘going to work’.   If you have clients that are draining you, fire them!  Identify your favorite clients then resolve to fine more just like them.

3. Having clients who love you

When you work with clients you love, you’ll be at your best.  You’ll understand them, serve them.  Dote on them even.  You’ll provide an extraordinary level of service and delight them with your efforts.

As a result, they will love working with you.  The relationship will continue to blossom and grow.  It will be easy to be happy around them.   They will treat you well.  They will tell their friends.

4. Making the amount of money you love

Clearly, having sufficient business revenue and profit levels to enable you to pay yourself consistent with the lifestyle you envision is the key.  When you focus on doing work you love, you’ll excel at it and will become a client magnet.  When you work with clients you love, they’ll love you back and recommend their friends to you.  When those things combine, voila! Revenue goes up.

Make sure you’re investing money in products and services that will help you grow your business and run it more efficiently.  If cash flow is an issue, barter for services with others who are willing to do the same.  Get the help you need.

Ramp up your perception of yourself.  Don’t undervalue what you provide your clients.  If you have doubts about your value – get over it.  Ask you clients what they love about working with you.  Listen to what they say and incorporate their feedback in your marketing and sales efforts.  Offer new products and services that highlight your gifts.  Then look for clients who can afford to pay you what you’re now coming to realize that you’re worth.

5.  Having an impact you love

Nothing does more for your confidence than delivering your gift to your target market (or anyone for that matter) and receiving feedback that it helped transform someone’s life.  But first, you must know what your legacy is: what impact you want to leave on the world.

When you’re clear about that legacy, it will shape the conversations you have.  It will guide your actions.  It will lead you to populations that need your gift.  You will be fulfilled.

When you accomplish these 5 things: doing work you love, working with clients you love and who love you back, making the kind of money and impact you love, your business will “Feel So Good” and so will you!

Peacocks, Power & Prosperity

It’s critical in this economy to find attractive ways to communicate the value you bring to your organization and what your organization brings to its clients (internal and external). We should always be in marketing mode and this is especially true when times are tough.

Prosperity arises when people find what we have to offer attractive enough to either part with their money or give us resources we need.

This beautiful peacock sculpture from the lobby of the Encore at Wynn Las Vegas symbolizes the importance of packaging.  During mating season, the male peacock struts in front of his target female, fanning shaking his beautifully colored tail plume.  If you’ve ever seen this courtship dance, you’ll know how dramatic it can be.

Some of you might be loathe to be so shameless in your self-promotion, but it’s a big mistake to assume that if you just do good work, that you’ll get the promotion, contract  or deal you’re hungering for.

You must communicate your value and make it attractive to your audience.  Here are some ways you can (not so obnoxiously) do that.

1.  At the end of a successful project, write a synopsis of what was accomplished, what was learned and how the project benefitted your department, company or client.
Quantify it if possible articulating cost/time savings or revenue dollars earned.

2.  Ask your clients (internal or external) what they most value about your service or product and use what they say the next time you need to ask for more budget or headcount.

3.  Similarly, ask your clients for testimonials that you can use. If nothing else, you can have them ‘recommend’ you on LinkedIn or other social networking sites.

4. Buddy up with someone and make a pact to promote each other whenever you’re not together. Getting good press from someone else will add more credibility than you patting yourself on the back.

5.  Make sure you know what other people value, are concerned about and are motivated by. When you talk about what you do, couch it in terms that they are already thinking about.  Your message will be more easily heard and received.

By taking on a peacock mentality and implementing these tips, you’ll build confidence, get out of your head and into the worlds of the people you’re attempting to influence.  They’ll respond more favorably and you’ll enjoy more power and prosperity.