Monthly Archives: June 2012

How to Implement Stevie Wonder’s Best Business Building Tip

No April rain

No flowers bloom

No wedding Saturday within the month of June

(If you are feeling a little romantic, or WANT to feel that way ūüôā , watch here:¬†


I am probably revealing how old I am, but this was a very popular song when I was in High School.  So, why am I bringing this up in a Business Blog?

Because, while many business owners believe that “word of mouth” is a great way to build their businesses with less ¬†effort; very often they believe that just having a great product and service is how to get referrals.¬†¬†¬† But, realistically, how many of you have received great service from someone, and MEANT to tell everyone about it, but never did?¬†¬† You get busy, so you never do.¬†¬† Or, maybe there was just this one thing…

This is where Stevie Wonder comes in.¬† His advice?¬† “Just [Call] to say I love you…just [call] to say how much I care.”¬†¬† And Stevie says to do it not because of an occasion, but “just because.”¬†¬† Here are some ways for you to do that:

1.  Send physical (NOT email) Thank You notes;

2.¬† Send them a little gift (or, if it is a BIG contract, a BIG gift…assuming you are not in a regulated field);

3.  Actually CALL them, and say how much you appreciate their business;

4.  Actively seek out a referral for them, or make a strategic connection that might help THEM;

5.  Provide a little unexpected bonus service.

Again…don’t just do these right after they give you money or because of a holiday; but do it when they might not expect it.¬† Perhaps you send them something midway through the contract period.¬† Or maybe a month after they bought something.¬† You CAN schedule it on your calendar, but just do not do it around any specific event.

And do NOT..I NOT ask for more business or try to sell them something else at the same time that you do one of these.  Otherwise, it does not really feel like love.

The fact is, loving your customers and telling them (in words or unexpected actions) is a fantastic way to get more referrals AND more business.     Plus, when there is love, they will overlook minor faults,  forgive errors, and are loyal based on more than price.

PS.¬†¬† This assumes that you really DO love your customers.¬†¬†If you do not, then you are just a “Con Man” and need to be in a different business (or jail).


¬†Schedule a 15 minute call with me – Marketing Guru, Financial Wizard, and Team Motivation Expert –¬†and we’ll make you Love¬†what your business can do for you:¬† ¬†¬† The Call is free, unless you don’t schedule it…then, your opportunity cost is expensive!


4 Ways Most Business People are like Jack Nicholson in “The Shining”

“Here’s Johnny!”

So says Jack Nicholson’s character after he chops through a bathroom door with an ax in “The Shining.”¬† (If you have not seen the movie, spoiler alert!).

The short version of the movie (based on a book by Stephen King): Jack Torrance is a writer who, for a variety of reasons, goes insane and attempts to kill his family.  My experience with most business owners is that they are a LOT like Jack Torrance in they you run their businesses.

1.¬† You are trying to “go it alone,” but all that ends up happening is that you end up doing the same thing over and over and getting the same results.¬† In the movie, Jack wanted to have solitude so that he could write his book; but all he ended up writing over and over was “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.”¬† If this seems a little “crazy,” then ask yourself what you are doing differently now in your business than you were last month to:

– Get more customers

– Increase your customer loyalty

– Motivate your Team

– Manage your cash flow

If these are not ONE HUNDRED PERCENT where you want them to be; then take some time to evaluate what needs to change.     Sometimes, one little tweak will make a huge difference.  Last month, a client of mine was frustrated because he was trying for months to get a CEO to meet with him on a very large contract.  When I gave him a simple change in approach and wording, he was able to close the $55,000 opportunity within a week.

2.¬† When you seek advice, are you sure it is from the right people?¬† In the movie, Jack eventually DOES seek advice; but it is from a ghost bartender.¬† As you can imagine, the advice is not very beneficial. ¬†Is this you?¬† Are you¬†getting “opinions” from your brother, dad, or friend, etc; whose life is not 100% focused on how to grow YOUR business.¬†¬†¬† I am not saying that your relatives are trying to drive you crazy or are evil (:-) ).¬† However, before accepting advice, make sure it is based on DATA and is focused on a goal that is MEASURABLE.¬†¬†¬† Too many businesses struggle and fail because the “advice” they get lacks any real “success criteria” tied to what is best for you.

3.¬†¬† Do you automatically attack people who are seeking to help you?¬†¬† Jack’s wife, as well as the cook (Scatman¬†Crothers), both tried to help Jack; but his response was not friendly.¬†¬† Before you say “I never do that,” ask yourself what is your response when a Telemarketer calls you, or someone offers you a service for your business.¬† Do you hang up abruptly; unsubscribe from their newsletter; or (the most inconsiderate thing) ignore them?¬†¬† Maybe this comparison¬†seems like a stretch, but I would challenge you to be more open-minded the next time someone offers you help.¬† Give them 3 minutes; then, be POLITE if you do not feel like you want to learn more (just follow the Golden Rule).

4.¬† Are you “chasing footprints,” trying to force your solution onto your prospects?¬† In the final scenes of the movie (spoiler alert!), Jack was chasing down his family through a maze during a driving snowstorm.¬† In the end, by covering up his tracks, Jack’s son was able to fool Jack into going the wrong direction.¬† As a result, Jack became hopelessly lost, and froze to death.

How is that like you?

Do you REALLY know what your customer wants, or are you just “chasing tracks”?¬† Because Jack’s customer was filled with fear (wouldn’t you be?), his son kept running away and doing everything he could to avoid the confrontation.¬† After all, the boy did not see the result as a positive situation.¬†¬†¬† In his Insane mind, jack probably could not see why the boy did not want to stop.¬† But, interestingly enough, that’s just like many of you.

You have not created compelling marketing, or a customer-friendly sales process; so your prospect runs, hides his tracks, and does everything he can to avoid meeting with you.¬† You feel frustrated, and wonder why your customer seems so “afraid” to meet with you.¬† Most of the time, YOU have created that fear; and so need to change your approach.

OK, I will say that the comparison between you chasing business; and Jack hunting down his family to kill them seems extreme.¬† However, If your business is not where you want it to be, and you have ever said that it is “driving you crazy,” maybe you need to make some changes…


It is SUMMER and I am offering a very special opportunity to work with me for ONE YEAR for one investment.¬† For the first 5 Business Owners who engage with me in my “Summer Business School” program, we‚Äôll cover highly important topics like:

  1. Your Marketing message and strategies (especially how to differentiate in a competitive market)
  2. What to say to a prospect, in person or on the phone; and how to convert more ‚Äúleads‚ÄĚ into long-term customers
  3. How to hire the RIGHT people (or, if you should hire anyone at all)
  4. Cash Flow strategies for a growing business
  5. Anything you need to cover, since it includes unlimited email support!

If a business cannot offset this investment in the next YEAR; then they probably want to rethink even being in business.¬† ūüôā¬† So, fax in the Engagement Agreement today, and we will get started on making your business “Shine,” instead of you feeling like you are in “The Shining.”¬†

To learn more, schedule a call:  Do it today, since the offer is only for a select few.

5 Lies Businesspeople Tell Themselves (are you?)

Yes, I used the word LIES.¬† It’s a tough word, but there is no other way to say it.¬†¬† Read these over, and ask yourself, truthfully, how many have you told yourself.¬† If you think otherwise, keep reading to see why this may be true for you.

1.¬† I’m working as hard as I can – Start tracking your time, every day, for the next week.¬†¬†Be specific, and be honest, about every activity you are doing.¬†¬† Was¬†every activity truly moving your business forward (only count Facebook and Twitter if you have gotten REAL referrals from it)?

2.¬† My prospects believe me when I say that I have the best product and the best service – Go do a Google search on your product or service.¬† If you find NO OTHER business like yours saying it is “the best” in general terms, then you can ignore this one.

3.¬† Groupons are a good idea for my Restaurant or Retail business –¬†¬†The corollary fib is, “once they TRY my product, they will keep coming back.”¬† Unfortunately, most business owners see little to no benefit in reality.¬† So they do another one.¬† Then another one…

Here is my challenge:¬† if you can find ONE business owner who can show data that proves how they have benefitted from a highly discounted Groupon “deal,” please send me a note or comment on this post.¬†¬† What does NOT count – selling hundreds of coupons without showing a long-term lift in your business sales AND profits.

4.¬†¬† My prices¬†are what my customers expect¬†–¬†Why is this here?¬† Because most business owners have never done any research or testing of their pricing.¬†¬†¬† Just because people are paying the prices you have set, does not mean that you have set them well.¬†¬†Many of you are leaving thousands of dollars “on the table” every year because you lack¬†a pricing analysis¬†strategy.

5.¬†¬† I can wait until things “get better” to get help running my business ¬†¬†Or, its cousin, “My business is doing OK, so I do not need help.”¬† The issue with these untruths are that both of them assume that you are able to coach yourself.¬†¬†¬†¬† Unfortunately, when you are in the midst of challenges, you are often too busy dealing with the daily fires to see how to get out of the burning building.¬†¬† Or, in the second case, you think it is hot where you are because of your excellence; but it is eventually the fires you DON’T see that catch you by surprise.¬†¬† Then, after your cash flow has dwindled and the problems are overwhelming, you find you cannot AFFORD to get the help you need.

In the end, some might call these “denial.”¬† But, really they are Lies that people tell themselves to avoid the hard truths about why they have not developed the business they had once imagined.


If you HONESTLY feel like your business is ONE HUNDRED PERCENT where you want it to be, then no need to click here:¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† On the other hand,¬†if you¬†have a desire for excellence; let’s talk.