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.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Power your thinking with a bigger why

One thing all high achievers have in common is they are working for a "big why".  The big why is about having purpose, a mission or a need, that in turn gives you focus.  The big why is the fuel that powers your actions.  It’s your motivation!

Keep in mind a big why brings BIG focus and BIG energy the same way a little why brings little focus and little energy. 

Now imagine if you could live every day with such purpose.  How far could you really go?  Think about what motivates you.  Here's a quick exercise:  Grab a pad of sticky notes and ask yourself that question, What motivates me?   Then write down one motivating factor on a sticky note.  Only 1 thought per sticky note.  Think about all the aspects of your life and all of the reasons why you want to accomplish your goals.  Think about what your goals are and why they are your goals, why are they important to you?

Now take those notes and arrange them in front of you.  Move them around according to their level of importance to you.  What comes first, that would be your BIGGEST WHY.  What matters most?  Then list the others in their order of importance.  What is dependent on the other?  Really get in touch with what motivates you.  Is it connecting with people?  Is it the challenge of closing a deal?  Is it to empower someone to purchase their dream home?  To discover solutions?  To develop successful habits?  to make a difference in someone life? 

Now take the sticky note that says Money or Financial Stability or Independence and put it at the bottom of the list.  

At the bottom of the list?  

Yes, imagine just for a minute that money was at the end of the list.  Still important but at the end of the list.  That new order to things would take the emphasis off of making money and would put the emphasis to something else.  How would that change things?  How would that make you feel?

See, business goals should be part of a larger personal strategy designed to push you and help you to grow.   What would your business look like if you worked less for money and more for the pursuit of personal growth and the ability to be and do your absolute best?   The answer might actually surprise you.  Overtime, you might find yourself less stressed and probably wealthier! 

Now that’s not to say that money is not important.  But if you focus on just the amount of money you will earn each time you work with a client, you may just be holding yourself back.  You can achieve your financial goals faster than you think by putting every other WHY first on the list.

Working every day to be your best, means that you will automatically be making the most money you can make.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Make room for more clients

It is undeniably true that lead generation and prospecting should be your #1 priority.  The business that you are servicing right now should never take precedence over creating and finding new business.  And in your quest for new business, who do you want to work with?  Who do you want to attract?  

Do you have enough people to work with?  Do you create a compelling and genuine marketing message that helps you to attract the people you most want to work with?  Are you working with the people you want to work with most?

If you answered no to any of the above questions, it's time to ask yourself why?  Why don't you have enough of the business you want most?  If I had to guess, I would say:

  • You are not exactly sure who you want to do business with
  • Your message is not clear
  • You are not positioning yourself as the solution to their problem
  • You are not standing out enough
  • You are not asking for business enough
  • When speaking with prospects show conviction in your abilities, skills and talents
  • Be more compelling in your conversations to show your knowledge, experience and potential
  • Engage more in public opportunities for networking and relationship building.  
  • The more meaningful conversations you have the easier it will be for like minded individuals to find you and refer business to you.
  • Create a marketing system that is consistent, reliable and systematic
  • Create clear marketing messages that inform and inspire people to want to work with you

Be clear in your marketing efforts and keep it simple.  When you are feeling overwhelmed and confused you become inactive and that will show up in your marketing leading to inaction or confusion in your potential clients.  Confused clients never buy or agree to move ahead.  

All of this may not be your fault.  Most real estate agents are not taught how to market themselves effectively.  Now it may not be your fault but it is your problem or challenge.  Who can help you or coach you to be a more effective marketer?

Personally, I love marketing.  It has solved many problems for me as an entrepreneur over the years.  Marketing is a vehicle to design a business worth owning.  Powerful and effective marketing can absolutely change your life.  If you had enough leads that converted into enough clients to work with, how many would you have?  How would your business grow?  How much money would you earn?  How many dreams would you fulfill for yourself and others?   What's stopping you?