Tag Archives: Sales & marketing

Survival of the Fittest: 3 Keys for Having Your Business Stay Alive

This morning as I stepped out to do my walk, I noticed a pile of feathers by the door.  It was the largest pile of feathers I’d ever seen and my immediate thought was “Ooo. That’s not good! Somebody was in a big fight here.”

So I glanced around and, sure enough, just inches away were a pair of upside down wings and a probably-not-juicy-enough skull. Poor baby.

Then I thought, “Well, sad as it is, survival of the fittest is one of nature’s theories.”

So what are YOU doing to ensure you survive?  What steps are you taking to ensure you’re not ‘eaten alive’?

Don’t end up like this poor bird.  Take these three lessons from nature.

Be nimble
How fast to you have to be to catch a bird?  You have to see opportunities and then strike while the iron is hot.  You can’t wait for leads and referrals to turn cold.  You must constantly be on the lookout…on the hunt. Or if not, you must at least build a better mousetrap and become a magnet for your ideal clients.

Constantly assess the market place.  Listen to what your clients are complaining about and then offer to solve those problems.

Take shelter
As I was walking back home from my excursion this morning, I passed a small gully filled with various desert bushes.  Underneath were several wildlife species – bunnies, quail and ground squirrels – hiding safely from prying eyes and sheltered from the hot sun.

In human terms, this means you must be as vigilant about maintaining your health and safety.  Avoid the temptation to work all day, every day.  Make sure you spend time with your families AND by yourself. Exercise.  Eat the right foods.

(Join in on the free teleclass I’m hosting this week to refocus you on the importance of rejuvenation and balance in reducing the stressors in life.  Sign up here.)

Create a unique ‘bird call’

As I was walking, I heard a beautiful bird call I swear I’d never heard before – or at least, never paid attention to.  The more you can distinguish yourself from all of the people/companies around you who do what you do, the more likely prospects will seek YOU out when they’re ready to do business. Decide what’s special about you, what you deliver, the way you deliver it and the results people get working with you.

Be heard about the noise.

If you implement those three ideas, you’ll be better prepared to survive…and thrive.

Social Networking: Mystery, Madness or Money

Do you tweet?  Are you on Facebook, LinkedIn, Plaxo?  Does the thought of having yet another networking venue send shivers up your spine?

Are your tweeting and linking the hours away, but not seeing any results?

Here are some things to keep in mind that will help you remove the mystery, reduce the madness and ultimately make money from your social networking efforts.

1.  Remove the mystery

Starting a profile on most platforms is relatively easy.  Four of the ones I use the most are shown right under my Greeting message above.  I also use Plaxo. So if you’re just getting started, connect with me.  Just click on the Plaxo link above or any of the icons below my greeting.

Start simply.  Enter both business and personal information.  The key to social networking is leveraging the ‘social’ aspect.  People want to know you, not just your business.  Once you’re in, look for people you know who are already on that platform.  Most sites make it easy for you to do that.  Once you’re connected to others, you can connect with their friends and associates.  (You’ll probably know some of them. If you can customize your introduction, a personal note will help ‘grease the slide’.

2.  Reduce the madness

As in real F2F (face-to-face) life, you could spend hours every day networking online.  Don’t let yourself get consumed.  Don’t feel compelled to join every site that people invite you to.  I have profiles on 16 sites, but don’t use them all. Set aside 15 minutes a day to tweet or update your profiles.  Just pick a few to start with.
What to say in your updates?  Share a great idea you heard, your plans for the day, a success you had, a success someone else had, an inspiring quote, a triumph for your child.  Make comments on other people’s profiles.  Again, use a good mix of business and personal.

Also consider automating the process.  There are tons of tools & resources like tweetlater.com to make the whole social networking thing less labor-intensive.

3. Monetize your efforts

Ultimately, that’s what it’s all about for us business owners, isn’t it?  Don’t expect to put dollars in your pocket immediately though.  Social networking is about building relationships with people, getting connected on a deeper level.  It is through building solid relationships with people first, that you’ll be able to later on, introduce items or services that you think might help them…but only after you’ve gotten to know them.

Consider it a little like dating – you probably wouldn’t ‘pop the question’ on the first date would you?  Don’t do it on the social networking sites either.

That’s just a primer (or reminder) for those of you who are relatively new to this arena.  Stay tuned.  As I mentioned in the video and the welcome greeting above, I’ve got tons more resources on this topic to share with you, so pay attention and don’t miss out, ok?

Being successful means never having to ‘close’ a sale

That heading must sound like heresy.

But those people who are truly successful at sales get the job done much earlier in the ‘sales’ cycle than at the end when most people are trying to convince their prospect to buy what they have to offer.

You see, sales really is a process and the best sales people do all of their work as early in the process as possible.

Here are the keys to successful selling:
1. Be crystal clear about the VALUE derived by your clients from whatever it is that you’re offering

2. Make sure you also know:
– the goals they have
– what needs they are yearning to fill
– what desires are unmet in their hearts and minds
– the major problems they’re suffering from

3. Understand what their buying process is
emotionally – do they have to shop around or will they make a decision on the spot
‘physically’ – who else is involved in the decision, how the purchasing process works in their organization

4. Appeal to their preferred thinking style (relational, analytical, cautious, controlling)

5. Share stories of similar clients you’ve helped. Talk about the benefits they gained. Have your prospects describe for you what an ideal outcome would be of working with you

6. Anticipate why they might not buy from you and address those issues before they even come up

7. Give them a choice. “Based on what I’ve heard, here are the 2 – 3 options that I believe will help… Which one are you thinking is best for you? What would you like to do now?”

If you cover all of these steps, by the time you ‘offer’ your options, they’ll be salivating to work with you!