Monthly Archives: February 2012

Why Your Compassion is Bad For Your Business

As you probably know if you are a loyal reader, there is definitely a point behind the headline.  So keep reading…

One thing that I hear from client after client is that they are TIRED:

– Tired of working all day, every day for what seems like little reward (this may shock you, but some business owners are not even paying THEMSELVES);

– Tired of dealing with employees who seem “unmanageable,” as the employees do not do what they say they will do or follow instructions;

– And Tired of hiring what they THOUGHT were good employees, only to have these employees seem to be different people once they get hired.

Why does this happen?

Unfortunately, it often comes from what I call “misplaced compassion.”

Let me give you a simple example.

A client of mine had a Sales Manager whose performance was, to put it mildly, below expectations.    This person would often show up late, giving different excuses all of the time.  The Manager could not account for his time; and he had not sold anything on his own in months.  When we tried to put some accountability measures in place, the Manager would ignore deadlines and give incomplete reports.

When I pointed out the facts about this lack of production; the business owner said that he felt like he needed to be compassionate.  After all, this employee had a family, a lot of debt, and counted on the paycheck.

Here’s the problem:  the owner has others who depend on the business.  People like his family; other employees; some charities he supports.

So, by trying to be “compassionate” to this employee; he was actually being CALLOUS to so many others.  This is just one example of many similar stories we have handled (how many times have YOU had an employee or co-worker who seemed like it would be a common-sense move to fire; but kept working..often “poisoning” the environment of those who WERE trying to be a part of the team).

As a business leader, compassion is not you being “soft” and giving uncommitted employees chance after chance, even as they continue to ignore commitments.  REAL compassion is building a business that supports you and those who depend on you, while delivering to your prospects the product/service you have that they truly need.  To do this, you must:

– Put in place a structured process to make sure that you hire the RIGHT employees; a process which involves specific interviewing techniques AND behavioral/motivation profiling;

– Set and commit to performance standards and expectations from the beginning, and then pay people for meeting and exceeding those standards (not just for working);

– Be willing to make a change with employees who are not willing (or able) to contribute their fair share to the team’s performance.

Does this mean you never give people second chances?  Absolutely not.  Everyone makes mistakes.  But, when you find employees who are uncommitted, unmotivated, unwilling, or unable to be a part of your team; you must do at least one of the following SOONER rather than later:

1.  Retrain/mentor them, setting specific goals and deadlines to measure progress;

2.  Move them to a more suitable opportunity within the organization; which would more closely fit their skills and motivations;

3.  Request that they move to a more suitable opportunity OUTSIDE the organization.

THAT is how you show TRUE Compassion to people who depend on you.

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Besides helping business owners create a business that works on its own, without enormous time and stress from the owner; we work with clients to create unique strategies and tactics that help them profitably increase their share of their target market.

More Sales + More Profits + More Free Time = VERY HAPPY and RELAXED Business Owner.  Last year, for example, a client of mine was able to sell his house, move to his vacation home, and still increase his business by 40%+.

Be ready to have your business TRANSFORMED to True Greatness. Click here and schedule a free 15 minute Strategy Call; where you will get at least 2 new ideas for your business, and we will see if you are ready for the next step.

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Why It’s NEVER the Economy, ALWAYS YOUR Fault

THAT’S a pretty broad statement, isn’t it?  After all, don’t you read pretty much every day how the Economy is struggling?  Now, before you get yourself on the defensive, read on…

“People just aren’t _______ (buying, eating out, playing, advertising, insert your product here) these days.  The Economy is tough.”

How many business people (or YOU?)  have said this as one of the challenges they are facing with their businesses?

But, the fact is, in just about EVERY case, it’s not a matter of some external “Economy” causing individual businesses to not do as well they had hoped; it is because the strategy and tactics to handle the situation were not sound.

Whether you are in IT or Interior Design, you are rarely the only competitor out there.   So, even if the pie is shrinking, you can increase your share of the pie.

How Do You Increase Your Share of a Shrinking Pie?

1.  Change your Marketing Strategy & Tactics

– Do the research on why your customers buy from you; why they buy from your competitors, and then adjust your marketing to make your offering more attractive to more prospects (NOT WITH PRICE).

 – Stop targeting “anyone who breathes, eats, has a house, etc” and start targeting your “Bullseye” customer.  This is in perfect harmony with the point right above; because almost everyone has ideal customers who are doing business with a competitor.

2.   Become more systematic in your Sales Process

 – Either learn how to sell better yourself (NOT ideal); or hire better Salespeople by actually having a process to understand their behavioral styles and motivations, rather than hiring them because they are a “friend,” “a friend of a friend,” or “just a doggone nice person.” (by the way, if you own a restaurant, your servers are salespeople. That is NOT bad, because a good salesperson ALWAYS has their customers’ best interests at heart)

– Even if you DO hire a great Salesperson/Server, have a script and a presentation that they use with leads and prospects.  Having a consistent script has been proven to increase productivity by 200% to 300% (yes, that’s right).

3.   Close your doors so customers stay with you longer and buy more.

–  Have a customer loyalty program based on data and research, not what YOU think will work.

– TALK TO THEM more.  The minute your customer gives you money is the WORST time to move on to the next prospect.  Instead, it is the BEST time for you to communicate with them about the amazing choice they made and then what else you can offer.

– Offer a better warranty/guarantee.  One of my clients was constantly hearing from his returning customers that the reason for their loyalty was his willingness to stand behind his product AND his work years after their purchase.  Considering how much it costs to get a new customer; we just chalked his warranty work up as marketing and the Return on Investment was AMAZING!

So, the fact is, unless you are on a remote island, with only  you and a few prospects; there ARE buyers out there who will buy your product or service.  Your job is just to get better at getting more of them to come to YOU, instead of your competitors.

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Besides helping business owners create a business that works on its own, without enormous time and stress from the owner; my extensive marketing education AND experience help me work with clients to create unique strategies and tactics that help them profitably increase their share of their target market.

More Sales + More Profits + More Free Time = VERY HAPPY and RELAXED Business Owner.  Last year, for example, a client of mine was able to sell his house, move to his vacation home, and still increase his business by 40%+.

Be ready to have your business TRANSFORMED from OK to Greatness.  Click here and schedule a free 15 minute Strategy Call; where you will get at least 2 new ideas for your business, and we will see if you are ready for the next step.

Your Lack of Integrity is Holding You Back

Was that an inflammatory headline, or what?    Now, before you get upset, please read on…

When you finish reading this, think VERY HARD about whether any of these are the case for you.  If they are, then use the remedy prescribed.

1.  Do you discount when your prospect gets a little skittish?  This is a lack of Integrity with your belief in your Value.  And this not only costs you money from an individual sale; but it also will actually reduce your ability to close sales.

REMEDY:  Once you set your price; learn how to COMMUNICATE that value, rather than discounting it.

2.  Do you expect your customers to listen to YOUR presentation or buy YOUR offering; but never respond to people who have presented to YOU?    Do you meet with a potential vendor, and then continually ignore them when they call or email you?

When you do this, your lack of Integrity to that person is actually subconsciously transmitted to YOUR prospects; because you are saying that it is just fine to treat someone else poorly.

REMEDY:  Be honest and say “No” if the answer is “No.”  Do not leave people hanging.

3.  Do you have an organized PLAN for running your business; or are you just running 100mph every day hoping to “get more business” or “keep your head above water”?  This shows a lack of Integrity with your Mission to sell your product.    Having no plan means that you are not TRULY committed to helping others get your product; because everyone knows that when you fail to plan, you plan to fail.

REMEDY:  This one is obvious – have a PLAN.

4.  Do you have a performance based incentive compensation plan for your employees; or are you paying them the same amount whether they perform well or not?  This shows a lack of Integrity with your Team.   By not helping them earn more when the business advances, you are holding them back from sharing in success.  And, when they earn the same pay even if they and the business underperform; you are saying that there are no consequences for a lack of results.

REMEDY:  Restructure your pay plans to allow your team to share in the success of your business.  Do this right, and you will never again complain about “uncommitted” or “unmotivated” employees.

FINAL REMEDY:   Re-read this post and be truly honest with yourself where YOU lack integrity.  Then fix it.

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Helping you achieve more results in less time and with less stress and effort is what I do.  Schedule a brief call with me to see if You Are Ready for your business and your life to BE TRANSFORMED.   CHECK MY CALENDAR

Why Your Confidence Can Crush Your Business Dreams

OK, I admit it.  I put “Confidence” in the title because, if I said the REAL word, most of you would not even have read this far.  The fact is, the thing that crushes more businesses than any economic situation is EGO!  Please read on, even if (as I am sure) this does not apply to you.  Maybe you can help OTHER people.

4 Questions that tell you whether you have Confidence (WILL help you succeed) or if you are Egotistical (WILL hold you back);

1.  Do you try to do everything yourself?  The Egomaniacs say to themselves that no one can do things as well as THEY can.  Unfortunately, this crushes businesses because, while they are spending time doing $10/hour tasks like answering every email or phone-call; they neglect the $250/hour tasks like adding value to clients, or developing new strategies that build their businesses.

2.  Do you blame external factors when things go wrong?  The Egotistical mind does not like to fail.  This actually presents itself in how you frame failure.  If your business is struggling, is it because of “the economy,” or  “dumb prospects,” or some other external factor?  For example, as one of my favorite Sales Trainers, Tom Hopkins, says:  “if they have a need for your product, and don’t get it, it’s YOUR FAULT.”  I love this, because it is 100% true (even if the Egotistical person says it is not).

3.  Do you write down your daily goals EVERY day, or do you think you will just “remember to do everything”?  The high-ego personality will have so much trust in themselves; that they do not believe they need to write down everything that needs to be done.  Writing down and prioritizing does not mean you have a poor memory or weak mind; it really means that you want to make sure that you do what is necessary to succeed.  One of my clients, a super-smart and massively successful Real Estate developer and retail store owner, still writes down her goals and tasks every day.    You will never find her without a notepad.

4.  Are you only open to advice that is “FREE”?    Ego is shallow, and so it always make a calculation that says “my value is higher than that of others.”    Think about it:  only an irrational person would not trade their $50 ideas for a $250 idea from someone else.  No one is an expert at everything; so it always makes sense to continuously seek ways to improve.  So, not investing in educational materials, advice and mentoring from others means that someone is either: irrational; or they believe that their ideas are ALWAYS more valuable than those of others (sounds like Ego, doesn’t it?).    As Ben Franklin said: “Invest the coins in your purse in your mind; and your mind will fill your purse with coins.”

So, the title of this post should be:  Why your EGO can crush your business dreams.  If there is a GAP between where you want to be and where you currently are; be completely honest with yourself about these four questions.  Getting out of your own way may be just what you need.

Helping you achieve more results in less time and with less stress and effort is what I do.  Schedule a brief call with me to See if You Are Ready for your business and your life to BE TRANSFORMED.   CHECK MY CALENDAR