Aug 202012
 

leads, sales, customers, delivery of service, referrals, cold calling, build a business organically

 

 

 

 

Exceptional Delivery.

Most business owners assume that they must invest big dollar amounts in new marketing campaigns in order to increase their lead generation. However, there are some very easy, cost-effective ways to exponentially increase your leads.

Contact your existing customers: It is six times easier to sell to an existing customer than to sell a new customer. If you concentrate on and stay in contact with your existing customers, they are more likely to do more business with you. Think about new or complementary products that they may be interested in. Give them a call just to say hello and ask them how it is going. They will greatly appreciate your interest and will become your advocates.

1. Ask for referrals:

Your satisfied customers, happy employees and devoted friends/family will want you to succeed in your business endeavors. Ask them if they know of other like-minded customers who may be interested in your services. If you ask most people for help, they are usually willing to work with you. When asking for referrals, be specific with your associates.

  • Identify a number of potential referral sources for the next year.
  • Schedule a lunch/breakfast with each referral, each month.
  • That will result in 12+ meetings and exponentially more new business contacts.

2. Cold Calling:

Want to know a quick and low-cost strategy that can generate massive results in your business, if practiced regularly? Simple techniques, like old-fashioned phone calls to suspects, warm leads or referrals, are usually used. The chief excuse of business owners for not using cold calling is lack of time. If you can’t (or won’t) do it, identify a resource within your team to handle this important task.

Discipline yourself to stop what you’re doing for five minutes a day, and make calls. Just two calls per hour, every business day, will yield hundreds of calls over a year. If you have a target list, you could place a call to each, once every quarter to let them know you’re there and you care! Remember, even if today they are buying what you’re selling from someone else, you can position yourself to be the second choice for when things change!

Focus on results, and set a daily goal; make calls until you reach the goal. This may be to get an appointment, sale or new referral (as appropriate.) In no time, this will become an effective habit/tool for growing your business. Once you’ve achieved your goal for the day, congratulate yourself and then go about doing the other tasks that confront you.

3. Deliver exceptional service every time:

This one is my personal favorite. I feel that if you are building a great service business, this should be your number one priority.  Delivering exceptional service does 2 things for your business.  The first thing it does is it guarantees that your current customer will be more than satisfied with their experience using your service. Exceeding the customers expectation will give you the confidence that your customer will be interested in continuing to work with you and your business. This is otherwise known as, the lifetime value of your customer.

Secondly, providing exceptional service will turn your current customer into a referral machine. Your customer will become an advocate for you and your business. So, if you have 200 satisfied customers that are advocates for your business, you now have 200 FREE sales reps.  This is a very powerful strategy, especially for the small business owner who has a limited budget to grow his/her service business.  I see this as a very organic way to grow your business.  Executing this strategy will help your business grow at a pace that is healthy. Not to fast and not to slow.  See Wednesdays post for more on growing your business organically.

If you enjoyed this post, I would be grateful if you helped spread the word by emailing it to a friend or sharing it on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook. Thank you!

 August 20, 2012  Posted by at 6:00 AM Growth Tagged with: , ,  No Responses »
Aug 062012
 

 

sales, sales people, conversion rate, follow-up, sales tips, sales scripts, sales testimonials, sales goals

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1. Ask More Questions:

Questions are the answers in sales. Too many sales people tell their customers the features and benefits of their product or service but never take the time to find out which of the benefits the customer is actually interested in. So, ask them to tell you what they want.

2. Set Daily Targets:

A common theme in sales- chase enough customers in the hope that one or more will buy. In reality this leads to sales people only selling to the early adopters or price shoppers who would probably buy from anyone. However by keeping track of how many customers buy on average from a given number of leads and then introducing strategies to convert a higher percentage will ensure your sales team learn how to improve their results. Set daily targets and assess your performance against these targets.

3. Use Sales Scripts:

No one likes to hear someone read from a script, but customers do expect us to be consistent. So how do you ensure all your interactions with prospects are consistent and that you deal with objections in a professional way? By writing down what it is you say in any given situation and by training your team to use the same questions and language you can bring a lot more productivity to your sales process.

4. Offer / Guarantee:

Why should someone buy from you and not a competitor who can provide the same product or service at a lower price? What is it that you offer them or can guarantee them that will differentiate you from your competition? Your offer must generate excitement to get prospects to make a decision to buy now.

5. Ask For The Sale:

One of the biggest common failings in sales is not asking the prospect to buy. A fear of rejection, that the sale will be lost, prevents many sales people from actually asking the final question. Just do it and learn from those that say no so you can improve your conversion rate over time.

6. Learning:

To be successful in sales there absolutely must be a habit of learning. Learn from other sales experts, learn from books, learn from your best customers and learn from past experience. Both your good and bad experiences can be a huge help in improving your sales success. You must record these experiences and build your knowledge over time. Write it down so you do not keep repeating the same mistakes over and over again.

7. Testimonials:

We all need to be reminded of what we are doing right and why our best customers love dealing with us. Sometimes we focus too much on what is going wrong rather than what we are doing right. Focus on the good stuff and we will do more of it! Get your customers to write down their testimonials so you can use it in your marketing and attract even more great customers.

Question: When is the best time to make a sale?

Answer: Just after you made your last one. Ever hear stories of football players who stop scoring touch downs and it seems they will never score again? Well generally they change something about themselves; their attitude or a superstition or a habit; and then suddenly they are back in scoring form again and they keep scoring.

If you enjoyed this post, I would be grateful if you helped spread the word by emailing it to a friend or sharing it on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook. Thank you!

 August 6, 2012  Posted by at 6:00 AM Growth Tagged with: , , , ,  No Responses »
Jul 302012
 

Reading this book made will help you realize how much you enjoy growing your service business. This book did a great job at reminding me of some of the core elements to marketing a service business along with great insight on how to continue to build and grow a service business.

My 3 take aways for reading this book.

1. Yes, build the quality into your service, but make it less risky too.

The best thing you can do for a prospect is eliminate their fear. Offer a trial period of a test project. People typically are not looking for the service that they want the most, instead they are looking for the one they fear the least. People do not choose a good experience, they tend to choose  to minimize the risk of a bad experience.  We see this all around us. The success of franchise’s are proof of people making choices to minimize the risk of a bad experience.

2. The warranty of a Brand. What is a brand?

A brand is more than a symbol. In the public’s eye, a brand is a warranty. It is a promise that the service carrying that brand will live up to its name, and perform. A service is a promise, and building a brand builds your promise. Building a brand makes selling faster, easier, and cheaper. The amount of  time people have in America today is shrinking. Companies have down-sized their staffs and upsized the workloads of all the survivors. These people need short cuts every waking minute. They turn to service and product brands.

3. Today’s good idea will almost always beat tomorrow’s better one.

Do it now. The business obituary pages are filled with planners who waited. Moving organizations tend to keep moving. Dormant ones tend to run out of air and die. Not-moving creates more not-moving. By the time the delayed consequences of all this not-moving occur-one of which is that action-oriented people in the company flee the company, making the company even more waiting-orientated- it often is too late to correct them. Act like a shark. Keep moving.

If you enjoyed this post, I would be grateful if you helped spread the word by emailing it to a friend or sharing it on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook. Thank you!

 

 July 30, 2012  Posted by at 6:00 AM Growth Tagged with: , , , , ,  3 Responses »
Jun 062012
 

facts, opinions, beliefs, self limiting beliefs, passive income, goals, killer questions, who's responsible, open ended questions, powerful words, powerful phrases, controlling the conversation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are three types of communication questions:

  1. Open-ended questions- these are questions that cannot be answered simply by “yes” or “no”. They encourage the other party or parties to open up and provide information from their perspective that will allow you to more fully understand their position.
  2. Reflective questions- these allow the other party or parties to elaborate on a statement after you repeat a particular word or phrase that the other party used.
  3. Directive questions- these guide the other party toward a desired, specific piece of information to allow you to quickly move to the response you want. Avoid using directive questions in a manipulative manner as this can backfire by creating mistrust and turning people against the desired communication.

In considering these three types of questions, always consciously see how many closed-ended questions can be converted to open-ended questions by using : What, Why, When, Where, Who, How. However, a word of caution using the “Why” question. It tends to be to directive and usually puts the other person involved on the defense. Essentially it is hard to use a “Why” question and not sound like you are accusing someone of something.

 

Below you will see a few examples of specific questions that help to keep you in control.

  • Is that a fact or opinion? To learn more about the difference between facts and opinions, click here.
  • What are we going to do next time so this doesn’t happen again?
  • How does that make you feel?
  • What do you think we should do?
  • If you feel it’s not your fault, then who’s do you think should take responsiblity?

To learn more about powerful words and phrases that keep you in control click here.

If you enjoyed this post, I would be grateful if you helped spread the word by emailing it to a friend or sharing it on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook. Thank you!

 June 6, 2012  Posted by at 6:00 AM Leadership, Team Tagged with: ,  1 Response »
May 302012
 

make the sale, networking tips, communication tips, confidence in communication, building relationships, body language

 

Communication is more than words.   The tone of your voice and your body language are even more important than the words you use.   If a person you meet is outgoing, upbeat, and full of life, then you need to be friendly and animated.   If they speak loudly and use a lot of gestures, you need to be loud and demonstrative also.   On the contrary, if they are gentle and soft-spoken, they will feel comfortable with you if you are also a bit reserved.

  • Did you know that you are either create a feeling of security or a feeling of suspicion by your body language?   You should always smile when appropriate, and maintain a comfortable level of eye contact.   Looking at a person in the eye communicates honesty.   When a person refuses to look at you, it sends the message that they have something to hide.   You should also respect personal space.   Stand or sit close enough to communicate effectively, but not so close that they start to back away.   The point is that communication   includes your facial expression, your gestures, and the tone and inflection of your voice.   If you match and mirror the person you are meeting, they will feel comfortable and connect with you because you are like them. Do you do networking to help build your business? These are great points that will help you at any networking event.
  • You set others at ease if you have a degree of self-confidence.   You can increase your confidence by a little planning.   Have you developed a short, personal story that tells others who you are?   It may help you to write out a two-minute version of your personal story.   When you are confident, others will feel at ease. Everyone likes to be with people who make them feel good.
  • Finally, one of the best ways to make a great first impression is to focus on the other person.   People love themselves!   Asking great questions followed by positive affirmations is one of the best ways to connect with another person.

 

Whether in business, personal life, or other social situations, it really is good to know how to leave a great first impression, and it’s all about making others feel comfortable.

If you enjoyed this post, I would be grateful if you helped spread the word by emailing it to a friend or sharing it on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook. Thank you!

 May 30, 2012  Posted by at 6:00 AM Growth Tagged with: ,  1 Response »
Apr 252012
 
leadership, clear expectations, trust, communication, Vision, Mission, Culture, role model, leader, coach, delegation, systems,
Below you will see 4 leadership tips to remember. As me move through our busy days we often lose sight of  our primary role in our business. These tips will help you to remember what that role is. Leader, mentor, and coach.

  • Challenge the process– First, find a process that you believe needs to be improved the most. Constant never-ending improvement needs to be a point in your culture that you and your team live by.  There is always a better way of doing something. Challenging the process will help initiate the learning process. What your EARN is equal to what you LEARN, and no one can do the learning for you. Hint: No need to re-invent the wheel, there are plenty of business owners who have created and recreated systems for service businesses just like yours. Get in touch with them and leverage their knowledge today.
  • Enable others to act – Give them the tools, authority and methods to solve problems themselves. It’s not just delegation, enabling others to act is more than just delegation.  Successful delegation starts with clear expectations, an understanding of the end result desired, the tools and the training to successfully solve the problem or complete the task.
  • Model the way – When the process gets tough, get your hands dirty. A boss tells others what to do; a leader shows it can be done. Earn your team members respect and lead by example. Show them that you have a full understanding of the work or task that you are managing. This will go a long way in helping to get results through others. The best managers are the ones that have had direct experience completing the task they are managing.
  • Share the glory– Share the glory with your followers’ heart, keep the pains in your heart. Give credit where credit is due. Make sure to praise your team every time you have a chance. Amplify the results of the praise by giving the  praise in public and around their peers. This will create a positive and competitive culture that makes an environment that is fun to be in. Remember, a FUN culture equals a PROFITABLE culture.

If you enjoyed this post, I would be grateful if you helped spread the word by emailing it to a friend or sharing it on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook. Thank you!

 April 25, 2012  Posted by at 6:00 AM Leadership Tagged with: , , ,  No Responses »
Feb 272012
 

Business planning, Business coaching, Branding, small business strategies, clear expections

 

Below you will see a list of words or phrases that “WE” use at my SERVICE business to help communicate. Read it, print it out, post them in your office, and use them. They work.

 

 Powerful Phrases:

 

Powerful Words:

  • The six most important words: ” I admit I made a mistake.”
  • The five most important words: ” You did a good job.”
  • The four most important words: ” What is your opinion?”
  • The three most important words: “If you please.”
  • The two most important words: “Thank you,”
  • The one most important word: “We”
  • The least important word: “I”

 

How many of these are you already using? Do you have anymore that use in your business or in your daily life? If so, please share below in the comments section. Help everyone learn to communicate better in their lives.

If you enjoyed this post, I would be grateful if you helped spread the word by emailing it to a friend or sharing it on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook. Thank you!

 February 27, 2012  Posted by at 6:00 AM Leadership, Team Tagged with: , , ,  5 Responses »
Feb 012012
 

Business planning, Business coaching, Branding, small business strategies, clear expections

One of the common reasons Business Owners have so many “employee headaches” is a result of not setting clear expectations.

Setting clear expectations is one of the most important skills any leader needs to learn. Whether your leading a large cleaning company or you are the leader of your church group. Setting clear expectations is critical to maintaining relationships with team members. This is sometimes easier said than done.  If you consider yourself a natural leader you are most likely full of great ideas. Sound familiar? The key is building a team around you that can help you to implement those ideas.

6 steps on setting clear expectations

1. Document all your ideas. Get them out of your head and on paper.

2. Organize those ideas into a plan, job description, or proposal.

3. Communicate your expectations clearly step by step using the plan as your guide.

4. Trust that your employee can perform the tasks required.

5. Verify that those tasks were completed accurately and in a timely manner.

6. Hold them accountable for the results every step of the way.

 

Do you have a crazy story about a past employee? Feel free to vent your frustrations here by commenting below. I know it sounds weird, but I would love to hear them.

If you enjoyed this post, I would be grateful if you helped spread the word by emailing it to a friend or sharing it on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook. Thank you!

 February 1, 2012  Posted by at 6:00 AM Leadership, Team Tagged with: , , ,  2 Responses »
Jan 262012
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5 simple tips for building trust in your team.

1. Trust and Verification.

If there is only one rule that you learn in management, it should be trust and verification.  Our role as managers is to first trust our team and employees with the responsibilities that we delegate to them. The second part is to verify that they are doing what we asked them to do. A lot of managers today get this wrong. They feel that when they tell someone to do something their they’re job is done. Unfortunately this type of delegation is just setting your team up for failure. Anytime you have a “trust” issue in your organization look at your verification first. Most likely the hole in your system is here.

2. Choose your words carefully.

Example: “I know you can” instead of “You better or else”. As a manager, when you are having important conversations with your team, make sure you think through the conversation and choose your words carefully. I have a follow-up post coming soon on more examples of phrases to use to communicate your concerns about employee performance in a positive manner.

3.Start with small responsibility and build on it.

Be interested in the behavior you SEE and be less interested  in what your team members say. This is very powerful. Everyday you are going to have team members tell you what you want to hear. Early on the relationship, make sure it is clear to them that you hear what they are saying.  However, you are more concerned with what type of behavior you see on a regular basis.

4. Obsessively document their behavior.

This ties very close to #3.   When talking about a employee’s behavior state the facts, there is nothing more powerful. When the issue happened, what the issue was in detail, what customer or employee it effected, ect… This works well for both positive and negative behavioral issues.

5. More one on one’s.

Build rapport. Praise them for positive behavior and hold them accountable for negative behavior. Do this face to face as much as possible. If you run a service business and your technicians are on the job the majority of the day, it can be difficult to get some face time with them. Make a point to schedule your office time around the time of day that they are going to be at the office. For me, it is either first thing in the morning or later on in the afternoon. These little “power conversations” go a long way in building rapport with my team.

Want more information on this subject? I highly recommend this book.

If you have any tips for building rapport with team members message me or comment below.

If you enjoyed this post, I would be grateful if you helped spread the word by emailing it to a friend or sharing it on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook. Thank you!

 January 26, 2012  Posted by at 6:00 AM Leadership, Team Tagged with: , ,  2 Responses »
Jan 252012
 

I decided to do a review on this book because this book has helped me tremendously in my service business. There came a time when I had built a business that wasn’t performing. I had all the employee “issues” you could imagine. Even though you won’t find this book on any best sellers list, it is one of the reasons that I have the profitable business that I have today. I recommend it for the business owner who is better at being a visionary than a manager. It is for the owner that knows management is important, but finds the day-to-day task of management draining.

3 Important takeaways.

1. Make Accountability a real process.

Setting clear expectations is the first step in making accountability a real process. Tell people clearly what to do and how to do it. After the expectations have been clearly defined, then simply Trust your team and Verify that they are completing the tasks according to your expectations. If people know that someone is watching them, they tend to watch what they say and do a lot more carefully. Monitor, measure, and document performances every step of the way.

2. Rewarding positive behavior

Again set clear expectations for each team member and their personal goals. My employee conversations usually go something like this: When you want something, I’m going to help you find it. When you need something I’m going to help you EARN it. At the window brothers the only thing that is given is an opportunity, everything else is EARNED. Reward with lots of little 1-time bonuses. Stay away from long-term bonuses. Reward “spot bonuses” immediately. Tie rewards and consequences to employee performance.

3. More one on one’s.

Build rapport by praising them for positive behavior and hold them accountable for negative behavior. Do this face to face as much as possible. If you run a service business and your technicians are on the job the majority of the day, it can be difficult to get some face time with them. Make a point to schedule your office time around the time of day that they are going to be at the office. For me, it is either first thing in the morning or later on in the afternoon. These little “power conversations” go a long way in building rapport with my team.

Get in the habit of managing everyday. Make a habit of talking with supervisors and team leaders everyday and focus intensely on helping them play the role you need them to play. The best managers are people who learn proven techniques, practice those techniques diligently until they become skills, and continue practicing them until they become habits.

Read it, learn it, live it. Grab a copy today.

 January 25, 2012  Posted by at 6:00 AM Leadership, Team Tagged with: , ,  No Responses »