Friday, October 31, 2014

Are you working your business like the way you play Monopoly?

Most people, when they sit down to play Monopoly let's say, are just looking to have some fun.  While others play the game focused on only one thing -winning.

Two different people, playing the same game, with a different perspective and a very different goal in mind.  The person who is there to win, will play that game very strategically, where the person who is looking to have some fun is just there to pass the time.

Same is true in business isn't it?  Some of us are determined to win and use a winning strategy while others seem to just want to have fun and pass some time.   So ask yourself, "Am I here to win or just pass the time?"

If you are building your business to "win the game" then strategy is how you will do it,  You will need to assess every situation and think competitively.  You will need to out think your opponent or competitor and outplay them as well.  Good sportsmanship is a must and winning is the only option.  Top performers are competitive people and they love what they do AND they think strategically.  As a result, their business and its results take on a whole new level of achievement.

Now keep in mind, rules and strategy are two different things.  Rules are (how you play) and strategy is (how you win).  Rules are to be lived by but they are not necessarily going to show you how to make money. They are about conduct.  But strategy is your game plan.  It is the way to develop the winning outcome.

So what is your business strategy?
How will you stand apart from your competitors?
What are the numbers you need to hit in order to meet your goals?
And do you have a coach to help you get there?

If you are here to win, don't apologize for it or make excuses about it either.  Play hard and press on.   Don't let anyone convince you to play any differently.  Winning teams expect that every player is there to play, bringing their best so the team can score and ultimately win the game.

When you go to work every day to build your business your focus should be to give and gain the most you can.  And your attitude should be no different than when you sit down to play that game.  If it is important for you to want to win at Monopoly then you should not play your business any other

Monday, October 20, 2014

Conquer your fears, otherwise your fears will conquer you.

I was inspired to write this blog because of my lunch special the other day.  It was chicken and broccoli with brown rice.  My usual.  However, this time I decided to eat the fortune cookie, something I don't usually do.  And in this fortune cookie I found the following message.

What a great message and so profound (like most fortunes are in most cookies, right?)  I thought it was a very appropriate message for a coach and the universe must have chosen it especially for me.

And when I came into the office this morning, there was that little slip of paper right by my phone telling me again to conquer my fears.  (I think it was also telling me to call that one person I have been wanting to get an appointment with but was too afraid to call! Until now)

As a business coach, I talk about fear all the time and how it limits us.  It is so intriguing to me that most of us allow this emotion to take such control over our lives and we let it determine our outcomes.  We create reasons and conditions for why we can't do something rather than creating winning outcomes in our mind and allowing that to inspire us.

Are you letting fear rule some part of your life?  
What are these fears that hold you back?  
Why do we allow those fears to stop us from being who we were created to be?

One thing I know for sure, we become what we believe.  Our beliefs become the rules we live by and our thoughts and actions are shaped by those beliefs.  Therefore, the stories we tell ourselves are literally shaping our life and our world around us.  

I also know, those stories will make or break you.  They will push you forward or hold you back. These stories we tell ourselves can create paralyzing fear, and we all know what fear really is don't we?  


So,if we know on some conscious level that most of our fears are unfounded why do we entertain them as thoughts and emotions?  I mean, if we know that most of the things we fear are not real, why do we still hold ourselves back from doing the very things that will push us forward?  

Another thing I know for sure, is that we can overcome our fears and actually embrace and face them anytime we decide to do it.  And it all starts with a decision.  A decision to no longer live feeling oppressed by our own thoughts. 

It is time to live the life of your dreams rather than the life of your fears.  It begins by creating a different story, by telling yourself a different story.  Replace the thoughts that dis-empower you with unlimited thinking.  And in order to do that you will have to step outside of those limiting beliefs.  That new story will paint a different picture for you.  That new story will allow you to tell yourself something very different than what has been holding you back.  

And I am not talking about analyzing the fear or where it comes from.  This might take too long and often times the more time you spend analyzing the fear and why you have it -  the more power you are giving to the fears themselves.  Because what we focus on expands.  

Rather, spend your time working on overcoming the fear.  And this might not be something you can do alone.  You might need to talk about it with your coach, mentor or accountability partner because overcoming your fear(s) will require some new strategy.  And in order to have that breakthrough you will need a plan and a better story so you can accept the better plan and the ability to develop a more positive belief system.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Does coaching really work?

This afternoon I took a call from one of my coachees and was delighted to get the following feedback ..."I just wanted to call you and thank you for the great coaching session we had yesterday.  I feel completely different today and I am having a very productive day.  It is amazing how much perspective I gain through talking to you and it has added incredible value to my business.  Truthfully I think coaching has changed my life."

To know that the work you do as a business coach makes such an impact in the lives of the people you work with is the most gratifying feeling.  It is extremely validating to know that what you have chosen as a career path is the right one for you.  Helping others see the possibilities within themselves personally drives me to be a better coach.  Helping business owners play a bigger game and pursue success at a higher level gives me a profound sense of accomplishment and purpose.

And what is really exciting to see, is the growth that occurs in the lives and businesses of the people I have the privilege to coach and work with.  Coaching is a catalyst for this growth.  It is an empowering, collaborative process that allows the individual to set and achieve goals that might normally be out of reach or would take much longer for them to achieve if they were to go it alone.

Coaching is inspiring, exciting and a smart investment in one's future.  Success is simple (believe it or not) but never easy.  People who succeed are set apart by their behaviors and their mindset.  They have clear goals, determination, drive and most important purpose.  The other thing that most successful people have is a coach.  Someone who can help them achieve and sustain greater levels of success and results.

Coaching can unlock a person's potential.  It is a partnership between the coach and the coachee in a thought provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize on their personal and professional potential.  This is so important, especially in today's ever shifting, complex and competitive market place.  As a coach, I always honor my client as the expert of their own life, the captain of their ship, the boss in their own business.

I believe we all have the answers we seek, the problem is we don't always trust or believe that what we know or think to be the answer, truly is the answer.  Therefore, coaching and the relationship that develops with a coach can be what helps you to self actualize and develop game winning strategy.

Honestly, would you expect an Olympic gold medalist to win without the help of a coach?  Could you imagine a soccer team hitting the field without any coaching?  Would you expect the winning team of the next Super Bowl to achieve such an accomplishment without the help of numerous coaches?

Coaching works because it enables the individual to focus on their goals.  It empowers you to achieve results while giving you the support and the accountability to stay the course and not get distracted or loose sight of what it is that you are working for.  Coaching is also about identifying solutions and generating opportunity for growth.  The right coach with the right experience can also become an invaluable resource when developing your personal and professional skills.

The coaching process can dramatically improve your outlook on work and life while improving your leadership and business development, just ask anyone who has ever worked with a coach about the results they have achieved.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Five Myths That Are Holding You Back from Lead Generation

Lead generation is the engine of your business and focus is the fuel.  Without a solid, consistent lead generation plan your business will not create the income you want.  Without a steady stream of leads coming from a well worked lead generation plan you will never build a business worth owning.  The only way to get a steady stream of leads coming into your business is to make lead generation your daily focus.

Lead generation is the one career-building, business-growing, life-changing activity that matters most.  And what gets in the way of making this a daily habit are the things we think when we think about lead generation.

Here are the 5 myths that are holding you back from lead generation:

Myth #1 - Leads are not always good leads
Not true, all leads can be good, they're just not all the same.  Some leads will bring you small pieces of business others may come with bigger opportunities.  Some leads might be more motivated or ready than others therefore a relationship needs to be built and follow up scheduled.  So some leads will generate business in ways you can not predict at the time they show up.  It is important to understand that the only way to get to qualified leads is to talk to a lot of people.  And each new encounter can connect you to additional business opportunities and don't underestimate the power of meeting new people and who those people can connect you to.

Myth #2 - Lead generation is difficult  
Lead generation is simple, it just takes time and effort.  Don't confuse your feelings for lead generation with the ability to get it done.  If you don't like something, you will not make the time to do it and many people create an aversion to a task they don't like by convincing themselves that it is too hard to do.  You might not like all that is involved in lead generation, however you can understand how the leads you generate can lead to new business and how that can impact your bottom line.  Let's face it, when it comes to any professional sport, I doubt many of the players really love or enjoy practice.  But they know if they plan to win when they get on the field then they have to do the things they don't always like in order to reap the benefits and rewards later.  The truth is, the more we do something the better we get at it.  The better we are at something the more natural it becomes and the more we look forward to doing it.

Myth #3 - I don't have time to lead generate, I am too busy working
Lead generation is part of your work or job.  It's really not about having the time, it is about making the time commitment.  We all face struggles with time management.  Usually, most people who struggle with time are not really having a time issue, it is a prioritization issue.  To be successful in business it is not always about getting a lot done in a day.  It is about getting the most important thing(s) done in a day.  And what could be more important than lead generating for new business opportunities?  Lead generation is the engine of your business and what will drive you to have the things you want most.

"Your lead generation plan must always be more ambitious than your income goals." as written by Gary Keller, co-founder and chairman of the board of Keller Williams Realty International in his national bestseller The Millionaire Real Estate Agent 

Myth #4 - I don't need to lead generate - I have enough business. 
Really?  Can we really have too much business?  You may have a lot of business right now, but what about later?  What happens when the business you have changes or gets wrapped up?  Where will your future business come from?  We always need to lead generate, regardless of how busy we are.  Lead generation is not for the business you have now, it is to set the ground work for future business.  And if we spend our time consistently on lead generation than we will have consistent leads and consistent income.  Continual lead generation is the foundational ongoing activity of all successful businesses.

Myth #5 - I don't have a lot of financial resources for lead generation
Never let the amount of money you have or don't have stop you from growing your business and attracting new clients.  It doesn't always take money to make money.  While it is true that some lead generation or marketing opportunities may require money and can be a good investment, there are plenty of ways you can generate new business opportunities with no or little money.  Most of your prospecting will require investing time rather than money.  Networking and connecting with people in your area to build relationships can produce just as effective results and leads as anything else.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Turn Up the Heat on Your Marketing ...

It's time to turn up the heat on your marketing because there are people who need you and what you do right now.  There are people putting their hands up all the time saying, "I am ready to work with you!"  The question is - Do they see you?  

You can increase your client base and your profits with a simple shift in your business that starts with your mindset.  Basically, you can make more money by helping more people when you are not afraid to talk about your best product ...YOU!  

You have what it takes to be successful; you just need to let more people know who you are and what you do.  And what you do, you do really well and no one can ever duplicate you!

We all posses incredible talent and skills and our abilities to succeed are unique.  We just have to put those unique abilities and skills to good use with more people.  I believe we all have a message and we all have amazing talents that will make us successful and others happy.  There are clients right now who need to work with you, but do they know you?  Do they know how to find you?

In order to truly be successful you must be ready to share who you are with the world.  Don't hold back from sharing what you do and have with others because if you are being selfish!  

That's right, I said you are being selfish!  People need you.  You have the solution to a problem they are facing right now.  And if you do not get confident about sharing who you are and prospecting for more clients, the ones who need you won't be able to work with because they just don't know who you are.

I believe it is our obligation to let people know you exist.  Marketing yourself and your product or service is the means in which we attract the clients who need us most.  Make yourself available to more people through your marketing.  

Sales is just a conversation and marketing is just the ability to attract the right people to you.  Never feel "funny" about it!  You are not asking for a thing, you are offering to help someone and the help you offer them in the way of your product or professional service will provide a solution for them.  And in some cases that solution may have a profound affect on their lives.  

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Six Skills to Sharpen

As a small business owner you are faced with numerous challenges every day.   This roller coaster economy of the past few years has presented a variety of challenges for many of us.  Markets, buying habits and demands have changed, but amid these changes there are numerous opportunities …and learning how to focus on those opportunities rather than the obstacles will make all the difference in the world.  

What are some of your biggest opportunities today?  How can you see explosive results in your business this coming year?  How can you attract more clients and more importantly the clients you want to do business with the most?  How will you maintain your productivity and more importantly how will you manage all this new and exciting business?  

So let’s take a look at 6 skills to sharpen to help you do just that and take things to a whole new level, regardless of the business or industry you are in:

1  Build RelationshipsNothing will have a greater impact on your ability to accomplish your goals then your ability to create and sustain lasting relationships.  The relationships you are looking to create should be with potential clients as well as creating a network for referrals from outside sources or “centers of influence”.  This requires more than exchanging business cards.   Networking, in my opinion is a skill and an art but most importantly it is a mindset.   It is a philosophy, a lifestyle and a discipline.  Your financial success is in direct proportion to your own ability to generate leads and convert those leads into new business.  Therefore, their needs to be equal time spent working ON your business as well as working in your business.  
2.     Standing Out from the CrowdIn an overcrowded, hyper competitive world, the only way to make an impression on your prospective client is to break through the noise somehow – show them why doing business with you is the answer!   And you have to offer more than what others offer.  Go beyond the basics like professionalism, quality and good customer service.  That’s what everyone offers. 

BONUS: Here are few tips on standing out:

a.     Do different things – It’s easy to stand out when you do something no one else is doing.  Most of us look for ways to be a little better than the competition, but how can you be different than the competition?

b.     Do things differently - The “how” is often more important than the what.  How can you add more value to what you offer?  How can you add a touch of class or elegance, humor, spice etc that will make the potential client’s experience memorable.

c.     Stir emotions; spread happiness – Remember you are part of someone else’s experience; their experience of a lifetime.  So how can you add to that experience?  How can you create emotions of joy and happiness through the services you offer?  When you create that emotional attachment you will send a message and that is what will keep them coming back for more.  You make yourself, your company, your service truly memorable.

d.     Be consistent – These methods for standing out will work only if they are consistent.  Then you will have developed an identity that people can count on and will talk about.  

3.     Leverage Social Media - In a recent study 66% of Facebook fans and 82% of Twitter followers said they were more likely to buy the brands they like on Facebook or follow on Twitter, strengthening the argument that social media is one of the most important emerging channels for lead generation.   

4.     Manage Your TimeCrucial to running a profitable business.  How do you handle all of that new business when it arrives?  How do you manage the follow up needed after a business expo or networking event?  Time management is a hot topic.  And it is easier than you think.  The best thinking in the area of time management can be captured in a single phrase: Organize and execute around priorities.  

5.     Take 100% Responsibility – If you want to be successful, you have to take 100% responsibility for everything you experience in your life.  We cannot look outside of ourselves for the answers as to why you haven’t created the life or business we want.  It is not the economy’s fault or the time of year or the fickle bride …you have the ability to take control and have ownership to the business and the results you seek.  

6.     Build by Design, not by Default-   Create and design a plan for your business rather than waiting to see how business goes this year.  The most important part of the process to design the blueprint for your business is your ability to see what you want.  Your vision is a detailed description of what you want and where you want to go.  It describes in detail what you want.  Without vision we cannot create specific goals for our vision.  Without those goals we really cannot develop an action plan.  Without the action plan we cannot get the results we seek. 


Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Sales Success with Scripts

Why do powerful sales scripts work?  Because human beings respond in predictable ways and scripts provide predictable results.  Scripts are also powerful and are free of our emotion.  They allow us to say things that will make sense to the other party.  And when we have the right words, we express ourselves better and we can move people forward to a making a decision.

Scripts can not only give you the right words to say and keep you on point, but they also provide the desired responses you seek.  Remember, a powerful script will move your buyer or seller forward.  Words affect the brain.  

Great sales people are great by choice, because they choose to develop mastery by studying and implementing great things.  When you are seeking different results in your business, you must be willing to change and improve your skills. 

Here are 5 tips on using scripts:

1.  Get your scripts from a trusted source like another top producer, your sales leader or coach.  Not all scripts are created equal!  Just because it's someone's "favorite script" doesn't mean it will be effective.  Look for evidence that the script works.
2.  Transform your language from telling and talking to asking questions.   The most successful sales people ask the best questions.  Selling is not telling, it's asking!  Your sales success will be based on your ability to ask a series of questions to get a desired response.  Get in the habit of asking powerful questions because it will give you control of the conversation.  Control of the conversation gives you your ultimate outcome - the appointment and the close.  

3.  Listen ...with good intention.  That means actively and patiently listening to their answers in order to understand the reasons behind their response.  Don't just ask another question for asking sake; ask questions that allow you to build a conversation.

4.  Mimic, mirror and match the prospect.  Listen to their tone of voice, speed up or slow down when necessary based on how fast or slow they're talking.  93% of communication is non-verbal, it's body language and tonality.  That means that only 7% of our communication are the words we use or the questions we ask. 

5.  Practice daily for mastery.  Time block every day to practice your scripts.  All top performers know the importance of practice.  NFL teams practice 50-60 hours for a 1 hour game.

Scripts are powerful and they work.  We are programmed to use scripts and we operate from them all day long.  The question is, is your script effective?  Are the words you’re using providing you with the desired outcomes you want?  The language we use will directly impact your success rate.