Tag Archives: Sales & marketing

Is Your Fear of Raising Your Fees Stifling Your Growth?

What excuses are you using for not raising your fees?

  • The economy is too weak?
  • People aren’t buying anything but necessities these days?
  • I’ll lose more business than I’ll gain?

I’ve heard them all. I’ve even heard them come out of my own mouth in the past.

Watch this Michael Jordan video and then tell me what you think.

“Become Legendary”

What would it take for YOU to become legendary?

I can tell you one thing, it’s not waiting for the economy to recover.

I think there are five specific things that need to happen on the road to being legendary.

While being legendary isn’t my end goal, I believe that the discipline it takes to walk (or run) on that path is what being legendary is really about.

I had to grapple with one of them this week in order to develop the largest proposal I’ve ever written. I knew I could help this corporate client solve their problem, but it took more than a few deep breaths and a leap of faith on my part to put it all on paper and price it.

Here the five things I believe are critical to the pursuit of being legendary our lives and our businesses.

1. Recognize your gift(s)
So often we dismiss as ordinary the very things that make us unique.  Being legendary requires that we honor and treasure our gifts; that we hold them in special regard. We must nurture or they will whither away and die.

2. Be guided by a higher power
When we live ‘alone’, it’s easy to be frightened or swayed from our calling. Whether you believe in God or your internal guide, connecting with something beyond your worldly ego which will respond to stimuli from a place of defensiveness and fear or power (and not the productive kind).

3.  Do the work
Honoring your gifts means putting them to work.  Expressing them.  Doing what it takes to ensure that they fully unfold. This is a step beyond nurturing them.  Doing the work actually fortifies them. Do the bench presses. Study.  Take classes. Use discipline to get better at your craft.

4.  Stretch your limits
Human bodies & beings gravitate to the state of homeostasis (sameness).  Our brain and muscles tend to want to stay comfortable, in familiar surroundings. Step out. Do things you haven’t done before. Do more than you think you can do. Do it before you think you’re ready.

5.  Measure your impact
Another way we stay small is by ignoring the impact of our presence, words and actions.  Start to notice what happens for your clients when you work your magic.  Ask them to describe for you how your product or service has changed their lives.

Implement these 5 practices consistently and you will transform your experience of yourself. When your sense of self expands, so will your self-worth.

When you know your value, your clients will value you more. Find the courage, confidence and pathway to act on the ideas in your head and the dreams in your heart.

Be unstoppable.  Become legendary. Exceed your dreams.

How Strong Is YOUR Will to Survive?

While the economy is showing signs of recovery, many business owners are still being cautious about their investing and spending. Last year was a real challenge for many.

As a business yourself, you may be experiencing the results of this with reduced revenues for your own business.

DeadDandelionLast week, while I was gardening, I noticed how persistently the weeds were continuing to grow in spite of my efforts to spray the life out of them.  (On a spiritual level, it bothers me to kill anything but in the case of crickets in my house and weeds in my yard, I make an exception).

Anyway, I noticed that even after the poison had taken effect and the bulk of the plants were brown and decaying, the seeding process seemed to get stronger than ever.  Have you observed that?

It made me wonder if my business owner friends were being as tenacious about their marketing and sales efforts as these weeds were about their own survival and propagation.

Sales, after all are the most critical aspect of having a thriving enterprise.  And even in a slow economy, we can’t afford to just sit a back and wait for the storm to blow over.  Companies that choose that option likely won’t be around to enjoy the recovery when it’s in full swing.

So, last week as a reminder for the topic of this edition’s article, I snipped off some unopened buds from one of my victims.

Imagine my surprise when I walked in my office a few days later and found that these unopened …and detached…buds had continued their maturation process and produced seed ready to fall to the earth and begin life anew!

How persistent are you?

Are you acting like your life depends upon your ability to press forward even when you’ve been poisoned by the economy…crippled by being cut off from that which sustains you…denied the things you believe are most important to your success?

If this is true for you, even just a tad, WAKE UP!

You are in more control than you think.  The key is, you have to TAKE that control. Get on the phone. Connect with people. Add value to your community.  Invest in your business. Invest in yourself.  Do what you know works. Try something new.  Stay focused on your purpose. Take decisive action.

Not out of desperation, but out of a keen sense of survival and will.  Allow yourself to be guided to new opportunities and act on them when they arrive.

Here’s a quote I found helpful.

Success is almost totally dependent upon drive and persistence.” Denis Waitley

Take it to heart and plant your seed everywhere it belongs.

Create Passive Income: Stop Trading Time for Money

The IRS defines passive income as income from “trade or business activities in which you do not materially participate”.

Traditional sources are dividend/interest income from investments, rental income and royalties from books.

When you perform work and get paid for it, no matter how well you’re paid, that’s not passive income.  That is trading time for money.   I realized a few years ago that unless I charged a gazillion dollars for my services, that my income would be capped by the number of hours I worked. So I got busy creating income alternatives beyond coaching and training.

If you own a business but are not working in the business, the income you receive from that business is passive.  In the 4-Hour Work Week, Tim Ferris describes ways in which you can create income that require little or no effort on your part.  You may work in the beginning, but the key is to set up systems so the business works without your involvement.

Here are some of my online favorites.

1. Information products (books, CDs, home study programs) can be sources of passive income.  They do require work for their creation, but once done, fulfillment (delivery) of the products can be outsourced.  If you’re in business, you have some expertise that can be turned into a book, CD or DVD that people will purchase.  When you sell them online instead of ‘hawking’ them personally, you’re getting paid on-goingly for work you did perhaps years ago.

2. Affiliate programs (where you sell someone else’s products or services for a share of the revenue) are also opportunities for passive income.  Again, you may have to set up websites and traffic generation strategies to make those products & services visible to others, but once done, ka-ching!

3. Network marketing programs have made many people thousand-aires and even millionaires.  There remains a slight stigma in some people’s minds about pyramid schemes.  But most multi-level and network marketing programs these days present legitimate products and services that people are buying and consuming.

4. Licensing involves creating intellectual property (like books, systems, processes, etc.), protecting them with trademarks and patents and then selling rights to others to market the products for you.  If you have (which you do) expertise in your field, you can create information products and systems that you can license to others.

The key here is to get in early with an offer you believe in, particularly one that is ‘consumable’ where clients buy something every month without you having to sell it to them.  It could take a couple of years of dedicated effort to build up a clientele and train a ‘downline’ so that they’ll work the business without you.  But it’s possible to do.

Kim Kiyosaki shared some startling statistics in her talk at NAWBO.  She said “58% of Boomer women have less that $10K set aside for retirement.” Yikes!

It’s not too late.  But don’t wait.  Take action now.  Do a little research. Find something that you can get behind. Devote at least 10% of your time each week building passive income streams and stop trading your time for money before you run out of time.

Focus on the Next Best Thing & Rise Above the ‘Bad’ Times

I heard recently that one of the keys to surviving a downturn in the economy is to focus on the “next best thing”. You may be experiencing a slow down in your sales efforts and, consequently, your service delivery, so take advantage of the break from the mania of the past.

How do you know what that next hot thing will be?

1. You do research.
Read industry magazines. Surf the internet.  Create ‘Google alerts for topics you’re interested in and you’ll be notified any time an article appears on the internet about that topic.  Attend conferences, interview thought leaders. Follow them on Twitter. Scan the horizon for themes.  Study trends.  Then use your imagination.

2.  Train your staff
Once you’ve filtered through the noise and have focused on some up-and-coming ideas, train your staff on them.  (See last week’s article on Maximizing Training’s ROI.)  The more your employees know about the next best thing and the more you encourage innovation, the more likely you are to be able to take advantage of the rising tide by tailoring your existing products and services to meet the new opportunities being created.  You might even be able to create new products and services in the emerging field.

3.  Refine your sales & marketing efforts

I’m sure you’ve heard the expression, ‘The early bird catches the worm’.  Use your insight into the new trends to re-brand and re-position your company in the industry.  Tailor your messages, update your language to demonstrate that you and your company are learning and moving forward.  Position yourself as living on the cutting-edge.  Your prospects and clients will notice, will see you as the expert and a thought leader and want to learn (and buy) more from you.

What ever you do, don’t waste this opportunity.  Study, learn, create and implement.  Those are the keys to rising above the circumstances; creating and living your dreams.

How to Make Your Business Fly: 3 Secrets to Revenue Resilience

Why do ducks walk when they can fly? Indeed, why do we?

I’ve never asked one, but I would guess that flying, especially the lift off, is hard work.

Yolanda Adams so soulfully sang, I Believe I Can Fly. If you haven’t heard it or just need a boost right now, check this out. It’s spine-tinglingly incredible.

Over the weekend, I heard someone say ‘We were born to win but we’re conditioned to lose”.

That may not always be true for everyone, but most of us suffered some ‘incident’ (or series of incidents) as children that limited the limitless potential into which we were born. Someone said or did something that shut us down and because we were little, young, inexperienced and/or trusting, we thought what they said was true.

We took on those limiting beliefs and, because we’re human, today as adults, we’re still dealing with, working around or succumbing to their impact.  Even if things are going well, we’re still shaped  by conclusions we drew when we were young and had less perspective and understanding of the way the world works.

It’s easy to fall victim to the doom and gloom of the economy.  It’s harder to go against the drift of conventional ‘wisdom’.  But just like flying, once you get started, it isn’t so bad.

You’ve probably heard people say “under the circumstances…” and then use that to explain or justify their current condition.

Here’s the first secret…

Don’t live under the circumstances!  Yes, we all have circumstances, but we have full choice about how to respond to them!

I don’t mean to sound completely non empathetic. Certainly losing a loved one can be traumatic: grieving is a process that takes time to unfold.

Yet, still we choose.

So how does this apply to your business and what are those secrets?

1.  Keep your big goal in front of you.
2.  Ask people what they need.
3.  Stay out of your comfort zone.

Here’s what I mean

1.  Keep your big goal in front of you.

No matter if the economy is flourishing or stagnating, you must have at least one big goal and you must constantly remind yourself what it is and why it’s important.  You must talk about it to everyone around you who is supportive and not a nay-sayer.

By keeping it front of mind and talking about it constantly, you’ll put your subconscious mind to work.  It will begin devising ways to make the goal a reality.  Your conscious mind will start noticing opportunities it might have overlooked previously.

You’ll stay motivated and focussed.  A client of mine once shared that, in her marriage to her business partner husband, she was the big goal thinker.  He was more, shall we say, grounded.  She likened it to a river rafting trip through surging rapids.

She thought about the calm stream they would eventually reach; he focussed on all the boulders along the way.  You need to pay attention to both, but forgetting that there is a big goal out there and only noticing the boulders, will depress you.

2.  Ask people what they need.

No matter what, you should always be sensitive to what your target market, clients and prospects need.  And don’t rely on your own judgment.  Ask them.

Perhaps you could tailor something you’re already doing to more clearly solve one of their current gnawing problems.  The more you are aware of what’s missing in your industry, the more likely you’ll offer something it needs.

Also, the more clear you are about people’s concerns, the more targeted your marketing efforts will be making it easier for people to say ‘yes’ to you.

3.  Stay out of your comfort zone.

We get lulled into complacency when times are good.  Almost anything we do works out.  When times are tight, it’s critical to branch out.  Try new things.   Don’t rely on what’s always worked in the past.  Learn new skills.

Reach out and touch more people.  Pick up the phone.  Call people.  Build relationships.  See how they’re doing.  Let them know what you’re up to.

Force yourself to do things you’re frightened mind tells you to do later.  DO THEM NOW! Stretch the limits of who you think you are. You’ll discover your own resilience.  You’re discover  the depths of your own strength.

You’ll uncover opportunities that weren’t there until you spoke up.  You’ll remind people you’re around and they’ll remember you when someone asks them ‘Who do you know who…?

So, that’s it.  Think big, do research, stretch out.  Those keys will keep revenue ‘flying’ toward you and your business.