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Persistence in Sales

There is an art to being persistent. You need to know when to back off, when to follow up and what to follow up with.

My client Cheryl who runs a company focused on lead generation and client loyalty, I believe is one of the best sales people on the planet. She tells the story of how she worked for 2 yrs before landing BP as her client. 2YRS!! How many of you are working for more than 3 months to land a client.
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Sales conversion and the common forgotten secret …

When it comes to growing your sales (and profit more importantly) one of the best and most often overlooked strategies is to work on conversion rate. Conversion rate is simply the ratio of customers that buy versus those that enquire. Any gain in conversion goes directly to the bottom line. i.e grow your conversion by 15% and your profit goes up by 15%. Well pretty much …
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The logic of Risk Taking

All business owners take risks.

You had to take a risk to start a business, and as you know; the opportunity to take risks is always present and often doesn’t get any easier.

The reality is, to move your business forward you will ALWAYS need to take risks. Right now it may be that one risk that turns into your biggest opportunity.

It’s easy to sit back and look at someone else’s situation and easily see a certain risk that makes sense to take. It’s a different story when you’re the one who has to bear the risk. Emotion; particularly the emotion of fear, becomes involved in the decision.

Looking back in my life, it is the biggest risks that I’ve taken that have provided the most reward emotionally, mentally and financially. And I’m sure it’s the same for many of you. To help you move forward and approach risks with some element of logic, I’ve outlined the key stages you’ll find yourself going through. I certainly find that when you can be objective about your emotion it helps to offset some of the fear. Fear is rarely rational. That certainly doesn’t mean we should ignore it. It is a very helpful emotion. Sometimes we just need to put it in perspective.

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The Big Questions

For a while I’ve been using the questions below to help clients form a vision of what they want, in a way that expands their thinking and tries to remove some of the restrictive beliefs we all have. The challenge with beliefs is they can severely limit the way we think and the results we achieve.

In recently talking with a friend who is doing a bit of soul searching, he gave me the idea of posting these for public reference. If you stumble upon this blog and it helps you out, let me know. I’d love to hear the outcomes.

Spend some reflective time in a quiet place to ponder these. Take notes and see what comes out. After committing some time to this, park it and let it simmer with you. A few days later revisit and see what your brain pops out. Remember …. there are not rules on what is right and what is not.

The Big Questions … 

  • What am I really good at?
  • What am I passionate about?
  • What do I enjoy doing the most?
  • If money and time were not limited, what would I do?
  • If success was guaranteed, what would I do?
  • How can I create the most value for people doing what I enjoy the most and are the best at?
  • How much impact can I have on the world? How would I do it?
  • What does a legacy look like by my definition?
  • What would I have to do to create a legacy?
  • If there was one global problem I would like to solve, what would it be?
  • If my mission was to impact a billion people, how would I do it?

It’s all about Revenue!

If you are a small business particularly just starting out, it is all about revenue. Your accountant will tell you (very wisely) to focus on profit and I’d agree. However when you are trying to grow and get some mass, revenue can be just as important. I’m not saying you should do business for a loss or just for the sake of getting revenue, but I am saying that growing your customer base and getting cash flow going is key.

Of course it also depends what the vision of your business is. If you plan to stay small then the importance of profit goes up. If you want to have a team and enjoy some leverage then the focus of your efforts should be on growth and acquiring revenue.

I make this point because I see many small business owners getting caught up in the day-to-day operations and not spending enough time and effort on sales and marketing.

Think of it this way, if you had enough revenue to hire people to do your operations, then you could spend your time in other areas. And this is the catch 22 for small business. How do you spend time on revenue generation when you also need to spend time on operations? This is not a simple answer and will depend greatly on the business and the owner’s skillsets. The short answer is to get the low skill activities off your plate and free up at least 30% of your time to invest in sales and marketing. Even if you take a short term hit in profits due to the extra expense of an admin person, the time gained will quickly generate far larger profits.

Does Diet affect Postive Mindset?

We hear so much about healthy eating and good food diet … how about our other diets? Like Mental and Spiritual. These are vital human systems that also need feeding. The problem is, most of the time we feed them by default. I.e. they just get whatever life throws at them.

I say be as intentional with your Mental and Spiritual Diets as you are with your Physical Diet. Here’s my shortlist of favourites for my Mental Diet. I’d love to hear yours.

  • The Art of Exceptional Living – Jim Rohn
  • Think and Grow Rich – Napolean Hill
  • How to be a Winner – Zig Ziglar
  • The Power of Positive Thinking – Normal Vincent Peal
  • YES Attitude – Jeffrey Gitomer
  • Success Principles – Jack Canfield
  • How to Win Friends and Influence People – Dale Carnegie

And my Spiritual Diet consists of:

  • clarity on my purpose
  • Making sure my activities are aligned with my purpose
  • Engaging regularly in activities I enjoy.
  • Meditation

What else do you do here?

The Top 5 requirements for Success

Necessary Elements for Business Growth

Reflecting on the past 10 years of coaching, if I had to pick my top 5 requirements to achieve success, here’s my list:

1. Time

Your ability to plan, prioritize, know your 80/20 (which 20% of your actions give you 80% of your results) and delegate will be key to your success. Only time spent doing valuable activities counts towards success. No-one achieved their goals by focusing on filing and bookkeeping (unless you are a bookkeeper 🙂 )

2. Energy

Physical, mental, emotional, spiritual. Hours worked is not the measure. It is the effectiveness of those hours. Are you alert, motivated, passionate and physically energized? Knowing your limits, how and when to recharge is a personal recipe. Know yours for best results from your hours invested.

3. Knowledge

You can only do what you know. And often what we ‘know’ is not always the right thing. Sometimes unlearning is the right first step. Keeping an open mind is crucial and avoid falling into the trap of thinking you know. You are more likely to do this the more successful you become. Continually invest time and money in growing your knowledge base. It is said that knowledge is power. Not quite. Knowledge is potential power. Maximize your potential power by growing your knowledge.

4. Confidence

To be gained through continuous small wins. Growing your knowledge; being very intentional in your self-talk; being selective who you hang around; these are all ways to grow your confidence. Growing confidence is a gradual process. Be consistent and intentional. The payoff – an increase in confidence has an exponential effect on your results.

5. Taking Action

You could excel in the first 4 points but if you don’t do anything then the results are zero. If you apply yourself in the base 4 then take massive action … results are guaranteed. Not always at first, but over the long run your path will be in the right direction. Remember the line to success is not straight. When things appear to be going sideways despite your work on all 5 points, remember to have faith in the principles shared here. They ALWAYS work in the long run.

What is your top 5?

Nature vs Nuture

Biology of Belief by Bruce Lipton

The age old question of which has the greater influence – nature (genetics) or nurture (how we are raised). It is common belief that while the nurture part of us is certainly real, you cannot argue that genetics “is what it is”. That is – your DNA determines what you are.

Well if your open to some new ideas (and concrete science) check out this video by Bruce Lipton. Bruce used to be a stem cell research scientist until he learned what really makes us tick. The video is an hour long and will leave you with a renewed belief in your ability to create your own outcomes … despite your genetic coding. Enjoy.

How do I bonus my team at year end?

Some Insights on an Effective Bonus System

It’s that time of year when business owners are thinking about ‘how do I reward my team’ or ‘they are expecting a bonus … what do I do?’

I am a believer in sharing the financial rewards with your team. AND I believe it is important that there is some structure and education in place or else it can and usually does lead to entitlement or a misunderstanding what the ‘bonus’ is for.

Here are the key points to ‘Bonusing’

  • Profit Share vs Bonus. Profit sharing should be based on how the company does financially. Bonusing can be more subjective and less effective. Lots of profit, lots of sharing. No profit, no sharing. We are all in this together.
  • Be sure people understand what has to happen in order for the company to have lots of profits. Education is key. And make it transparent so they have the power to impact the result.
  • Keep your formula simple. I like x% over a certain amount of profit (remember to keep enough profit in the company to finance growth and reward shareholders) goes into a pool. That pool is then divided up equally or divided up based on salary levels.

It may be too late this year to put a structured system in place and do the education necessary. If that is the case for you then certainly bonus but make sure you position that moving forward you will be developing a system so everyone can have an effect on how much they get at the end of next year. Managing expectations is very important.

The points I’ve outlined above really are just the high level things to consider. For a details understanding of what I believe to be the best, simplest and most effect system read Brad Hams “Ownership Thinking”