Do This One Thing and You WILL Get More Sales Next Month

After reading hundreds of books.

Getting an MBA in Marketing

Working on a lot of Marketing Campaigns that have made millions and millions of dollars for both small and large companies.

After all of that, I realize that there is just ONE THING that you need to do to get more sales, whether you sell Real Estate or own a Restaurant.

Here it is:     SEE MORE PEOPLE

What, you say?  That’s so obvious, you say?

Then why don’t you have more sales?  And you cannot tell me it is because of the economy or that people “just aren’t buying.”  I would agree with you 100% if you were the only person in the world who had a company that sells your product.

But you are not, are you?

So here are 4 things you must do to SEE MORE PEOPLE

1.  Stop Advertising and start Marketing.  

What’s the difference?

– Advertising is the sporadic promotions that you throw out there hoping to catch anyone who might want your product.

– Marketing is having a plan to address a specific targeted market in the right place, with the right promotion, the right price; with time-based sales & profit objectives and a process for analysis and adjustment, if necessary.

Having a coordinated and targeted PLAN will absolutely help you SEE MORE PEOPLE

2.  Let your prospects speak for themselves.

How many salespeople and business owners consider a prospect and, instead of actually calling or approaching, think of all the reasons the prospect might say “No”?  So, they talk themselves out of making the actual approach.    Perhaps you even convince yourself that following up when they have not called you back is being “pushy.”

Or, you worry about “bothering” someone, so you give yourself the excuse that you need to get an introduction.  Meanwhile, the prospect uses another service provider, goes to another restaurant for their catering order, or just misses out on the benefits you could provide.

Do yourself a huge favor, and let the prospect tell you “no” if the answer is “no.”  But, you MAY find some of them will tell you “yes,” and you will SEE MORE PEOPLE.

3.  Give yourself annual, monthly, weekly, and daily goals IN WRITING.  Be specific not only about the numbers; but also about what it will MEAN to you when you accomplish those goals.

Everyone knows this, you say?  But how many people reading this are actually doing it?  Most are just running as fast as they can to get “more customers.”  The problem here is that, without defining how many is “More,” you will never get there.

Consider this:  If one day I tell you to run up a hill, you might run pretty fast.  If the next day I say that, if you get up the hill in 2/3 of yesterday’s time you and your family get to live for free in the mansion at the top and you can SEE the mansion; most of you will find it in you to run a lot faster today than yesterday.

Your mind is a great resource; but you waste it if you do not tell it specifically what you want it to help you do and why you want it to do it for you.  I can guarantee you that, if you have a specific goal tied to an emotional benefit, you will find a way to SEE MORE PEOPLE!

4.  Schedule your time and determine if you can hold yourself to it, or if you must get someone else to hold you to it. 

Some people are very good about being efficient with their time.  They do not waste the day watching “funny cat videos” on YouTube, or reading about their favorite sports team or actors, or reposting “motivational” quotes on Facebook for hours on end.  On the other hand, many people get distracted.  Yes, every morning they wake up with the DESIRE to be focused; but every night they realize how the day got away from them.

If you are one to get distracted; get your ego out of the way and have someone there to hold you accountable.  There is no shame in that.  It is much better to have the temporary annoyance of someone “calling you out” if you do not follow your plan; than the long-term struggle of not having customers.

Whether you can do it for yourself, or you need someone else to do it for you; become accountable so that you will SEE MORE PEOPLE.

You get my point: if you change nothing else in your business this month vs. last month;  you will sell more if you SEE MORE PEOPLE.  It’s as simple as that.

If you have any other ideas or suggestions; or just want to provide a little feedback, post your comment below.

4 Ways that you Block your Potential Customers from Buying

“Sales cures all ills.”

Most people have heard that saying before.   Now, it’s not ALWAYS true (since I have seen a lot of business owners who do not understand that they are selling at a loss  – many of my Restaurant clients sell a lot of things at a loss, until I help them see why their profit is almost zero).

That said, if you have SOME margin control, increasing Sales DOES help quite a bit, wouldn’t you agree?

So, here’s the strange part:  many business owners – Restaurants, retail, even B2B – put up giant obstacles to getting sales from eager prospects.

What are the Top 4 ways you Block your Customers from Buying?

1.  You make it hard for your best prospects to hear or see you:  When I was working on marketing campaigns for Joe’s Crab Shack; one time we were doing a coupon as part of a “Welcome to our Email Club” campaign.  When Tilman Fertitta, our CEO, was asked about the coupon, he responded with “Do you think I use coupons?”

Somewhat of a humorous note; but an excellent point for you:  unless you have actually defined SPECIFICALLY who your best prospects are, you will not be able to create marketing that actually talks directly to those prospects.   Your prospect WANTS your product; NEEDS your product; will PAY for your product; but you create such generic messages that they never can hear you above the 10,000 other messages they get every day.  Your message of how you “have the best product, service and prices” makes you just another black and white penguin on an icecap filled with penguins.

2.  You get your prospect excited, then Ignore him.   Many of you have prospects out there who have heard of you and actually like what you have to offer.  They are ready to buy,  But, you do not answer the phone when they call to find out your hours.  Or, they call and leave a message, but no one ever calls them back.  Or, worse, they call and you transfer them to another line that never answers.

Maybe you have called them when they are busy themselves; but you forget to call them back, so they buy your product from someone else.

Yes, you are busy.  Maybe your restaurant is having a busy lunch, or you have back-to-back sales appointments; but, without a strong SYSTEM to ensure prospect contacts get answered. your customer will feel ignored.  And, just to be clear, ignored prospects rarely buy.

3.   You speak German when your prospect speaks French – I am not really talking about languages in the literal sense.  I AM talking about all of the advertising out there that is based on the business owner’s perspective, instead of the customer’s perspective.  Your lunch menu says that you have $8 lunches; but your customer really wants 30 minute lunches.  Or, you talk about the beauty of your landscaping designs, when your customer wants to know if what you plant will last more than 6 months.

Do some research, talk to current customers as well as people who do not buy from you; and find out the language they want to hear.  You may be surprised to find out that just a few tweaks in HOW you talk to potential customers can have a massive impact on how MUCH they buy from you.

4.  You “bring him the check before he sees the Dessert Menu” – One of my rules when we go to a restaurant is that, if the server brings me the check before I see the Dessert Tray or Menu, we do not order dessert at the restaurant.  That’s a lost sale for the restaurant, and lower tip for the server.

But, even B2B businesses do this: you find something your customer wants and you are so excited to get a sale; that you do not ask follow-up questions to see if there are more ways for you to serve them.  In your mind, you are yelling “Hooray,” while your customer is thinking, “I sure wish they would do this also, because I wanted it.”  You DO have that extra product or service, but the prospects don’t find out until they have bought that from someone else (when it’s too late for you).

To wrap up, how many of you have said or thought that you wished you had more sales?   Before you just throw more money at marketing, or offer more discounts; see what you might be doing to block the sales that are already waiting to come to you.  You may find that just a few simple adjustments can make a massive difference in your sales growth!

I really would like your feedback on this.  Is there anything else that you have found “blocking” customers from buying from you?  

Comment below, or email me at Roger@CoachRogerBoneno.com.

Marketing Lessons from a Tried and True Hollywood Formula

How many of you have seen the Hollywood love story formula (even if it was just because your girlfriend or wife wanted to watch it):

       Boy feels lonely

       Boy meets girl of his dreams, but girl already has a “boyfriend”

       Boy starts “courting” girl by being her “friend”

       Girl starts to confide in boy, who is a great listener

       By being true to himself, Boy’s “authenticity”starts to attract girl

       Girl realizes her “boyfriend” is not so great after all (or a jerk)

       Girl falls in love with her “friend.”

Interestingly enough, this formula is filled with lessons for you as a business owner.

Lesson #1: There are PLENTY of great customers out there to grow your business, even in a bad economy. When I talk to Restaurant Owners, for example, who say that the “economy”has hurt their businesses; what they are REALLY saying is that their customers have just made other choices.  Maybe the customer decided to stay home; or perhaps they just decided to go elsewhere.  You may need to change how you look; but your first job is to find out where your customers are.

Lesson #2:  If the boy had just walked up to the girl and said, “I’m a great guy.  Do you want to be my boyfriend?” he would most likely have gotten an awkward silence and then,“I already have a boyfriend.”  At that point, his chances of winning her over are tiny. But that’s what many businesses try every day.  They put ads out there that say (for example), “I have great food.  Come and be my customer.”  And your customer thinks, “I already have a restaurant I like to go to.”

Instead of just telling everyone that you are great; learn to listen to what customers are saying. You have to be careful here, because it is the subtext that is most important.  For example, your customer says they will try you out if you give them a “deal,” so you run big discount coupons; but they really just want to know WHY they should try you and how they could justify paying the price you charge.    When you run “deals,” you basically tell your customer that your product was not worth what you were charging; so they were right all along to go elsewhere when they are willing to pay “full price.”  This is why the data shows how so few “deal”customers ever become loyal “full price” customers (no matter how hard you want to believe that you can “convert” them; the fact is, once you set a “reference price,”customers fixate upon it).

Lesson #3: The girl who dates the boy because of his “social status” or other superficial reason, is never really happy; instead, she is just trying to avoid the perceived “pain” of being unpopular. And, even though she really would be much happier with someone else (like her “friend”), she won’t easily “break-up”with the boyfriend she is with now.    In the same way, many of your potential customers are absolutely “settling” for your competitors:  they are not really “thrilled” with their current choices; but they would rather stay there than risk changing because they fear the unknown experience.  So, your job is to help them understand why, if they come to you, they will not experience what they fear. 

Offer them a guarantee. Show them testimonials.  Create an active program to create “Raving Fans” who praise you online.  (This is why I include both Marketing and Operations improvement in all of my packages; because you do not want to bring in MORE people who will give you poor online reviews.)

Lesson #4:  It may not happen overnight; but maintain focus on what the CUSTOMER needs and they WILL learn to “love you.”  Listen to your customers, provide an outstanding product, great service, and a differentiated reason to come back; and your profits will grow exponentially.
Let me know your thoughts by adding a comment below.

4 Reasons to Ask Before Listening to “Joe”

My oldest child is a 15-year-old boy who is about to enter 10th grade.  Of course, his school assigned him 2 books for “Summer Reading”:  Inherit the Wind & 1984.  He has read Inherit the Wind; however, even though school starts this Wednesday (yes, THAT early), he has not yet finished 1984.

When I suggested to him today that he needs to finish this book now, his comment to me was that, “Joe (not his real name) says that his Honors English teacher last year did not even quiz them on the Summer Reading” (my son is also in Honors English).  I was talking to a friend of mine this morning about this (his son is the same age as mine), and he suggested that this would be a great BLOG subject.   And he is absolutely right – because too many business owners are listening to “Joe.”  And “Joe’s” advice is often very risky.

For a business owner, “Joe” is that brother, cousin, nephew, parent, fortune-teller, or anyone else who gives you opinions about how to run your business.  Here are 4 questions to ask yourself before following “Joe’s” advice.

– Does the advice apply to what worked in the past, but may not be applicable NOW?  Just as my son’s friend was talking about what happened last year, to him individually, one time; many times the advice others give you is based on what happened to them one time, individually.   So, it might apply to your situation, but it most likely will not.

Does the advice come from an individual’s opinion, or is it based on FACTS?  “Joe” is making an assumption, but most likely has not talked to others about THEIR experiences.  Find out if the person can give you not just what they did, but how it specifically helped them.   Get numbers, percentages, and names of those involved.   Also, have others followed the same path, and what where their results?

What are the consequences to your “advisor” if the advice is wrong?  If my son decides not to read the book, and the teacher gives him a test this week, Joe does not lose points.  How many people are willing to give you advice, but will not be impacted if the advice is bad.  This is one reason why I have incorporated performance based investments in all of my programs: if what we do works, then we BOTH win.

Are you taking advice because it is good for you, or because it is self-serving?  Obviously, my son is not thrilled to be reading a book that he considers “boring.”  So, the advice to not read works for him; but only in the short run.   Is this you?  Are you spending time doing activities that you know are not highly profitable, but ARE easy?  Are you avoiding making an investment that requires a little risk, but has a big potential reward (like hiring a coach, or having a professionally designed website); because you have a fear of spending the money?

The reality is: we are constantly surrounded by people who want to give us great “advice.”   However, as I have heard it said, be sure you are getting COUNSEL and not OPINIONS.  So, before you listen to all of those people who want to tell you how to run your business, just ask yourself these few simple questions.

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Schedule a free 15 minute call with me today – Marketing Guru, Financial Wizard, and Team Motivation Expert – and we’ll talk about how to build a strong Brand targeting your Ideal Customers.     https://my.timedriver.com/191CR   We work together based on a performance program, so you your investment is based on RESULTS.

Why Your Marketing is like the Eagles’ Song Desperado (A Musical BLOG)

When I was in High School, it took me an hour via City Bus to get across New Orleans to school.  Pretty much every morning, I would put an album on the record player (some of my readers may remember those) when I woke up at 5am.   One of my favorite albums was The Eagles’ Greatest Hits.

This was truly a great album, chock full of songs that, sadly, describe the marketing done by most small business owners (although that MAY not have been intentional).  The most applicable was “Desperado.”  Read below and see why the Eagles had a lot to teach you (song lyrics are in BOLD, BLOG in parentheses).

Open a new tab and play this while reading, for maximum enjoyment:  DESPERADO

Desperado, why don’t you come to your senses?  

You been out ridin’ fences for so long now (You have no clearly defined target market, so you try to market to everyone.)

Oh, you’re a hard one (You insist on doing everything YOUR way.)
I know that you got your reasons (Although your marketing is not very clear;)
These things that are pleasin’ you (since you market with tools you LIKE, not what will work.)
(All of these things) Can hurt you somehow.

Don’t you draw the queen of diamonds, boy
She’ll beat you if she’s able (Too much of your Marketing is all about the money and Price;)
You know the queen of hearts is always your best bet  (when your marketing should be about CONNECTING to people.)

Now it seems to me, some fine things
Have been laid upon your table (Many of you have great God-given talents;)
But you only want the ones that you can’t get (but you market to the wrong people.)

Desperado, oh, you ain’t gettin’ no younger (You procrastinate while time passes;)
Your pain and your hunger, they’re drivin’ you home (while your desire to “get rich” keeps increasing.)
And freedom, oh freedom well, that’s just some people talkin’ (You cannot believe others make money with less effort;)
Your prison is walking through this world all alone (since you’re trapped in a “do it yourself” mentaility).

Don’t your feet get cold in the winter time? (Your cash flow is tight, so you get cold feet about spending anything on marketing.)
The sky won’t snow and the sun won’t shine (But, without any marketing, your business struggles more and more.)
It’s hard to tell the night time from the day (Eventually, your business stagnates)
You’re losin’ all your highs and lows (as you are going nowhere.)
Ain’t it funny how the feeling goes away? (Until, one day, that PASSION that you once had for having your own business and “being your own boss” fades away).

Desperado, why don’t you come to your senses? (It’s time to break free from the Fear that has been holding you back.)
Come down from your fences, open the gate (Get off the fence and find YOUR right target niche.)
It may be rainin’, but there’s a rainbow above you (When you find your niche, go for it; even if the times are tough.)
You better let somebody love you, before it’s too late (Make your marketing about creating a BOND with your prospects so that they LOVE you; before it IS too late to save your business).

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Yes, you can play it again and sing along.  But after that, schedule a 15 minute call with meMarketing Guru, Financial Wizard, and Team Motivation Expert – and we’ll talk about how to build a strong Brand targeting your Ideal Customers:    https://my.timedriver.com/191CR

5 Reasons why Groupon is a Losing Con-Game

Here you go, kid.  It’s free.  Just try it!

And so begins the addictive use of…….

Groupons and LivingSocial Deals.

Do consumers love them..yes.  Are they good for most businesses?  ABSOLUTELY NOT.  They are a Con-Game that appeals to business owners who do not know how to sell their products or services for what they are worth.

Why are they a Con-Game?   To quote the great Sales Trainer Tom Hopkins, “If you are selling someone something that is NOT good for THEM, then you should be locked-up; because, when you do that, you are nothing more than a Con-Man.”

So, let’s list the reasons Groupons and LivingSocial “deals” are very poor business-building strategies:

1.  They appeal to “deal-seekers,” and not your IDEAL customers.  Statistically, deal-seekers are not looking to become loyal customers of a product; rather, they are loyal to whoever offers them the best deal.

2,  By a focus on price, and not value; they tell your CURRENT customers that the full-price they have been paying was too much.   When people think they have paid too much, they feel “ripped-off” and you easily lose them.  So, even when you gain a few “tryers” who come back later; you risk losing regular customers who WERE paying full price.

3.  Because they reduce your margins, they encourage (or force) you to cut corners on value delivery.  In a Groupon, if you offer a coupon of $5 for $10 of product; you only get to keep $2.50 (Groupon gets $2.50 – sweet deal for them.  Why do you think they sold it for so much money?).    Think about it…you are getting $2.50 for $10 of product!  I have run into several business owners who tell me that, because they get so many Groupon customers; they had to reduce the quality of their product to stay afloat.  That is a death spiral.

4.  They create an addictive reliance on the “Groupon” check.    The fact is, Groupons bring in people; so the business owner begins to think that they “work.”  Never mind that these are not loyal customers, that your margins are taking a beating, and that you have traded out your IDEAL customers for deal-seekers; the initial transaction increase sure looks good.  However, the longer you do them, the more of your customer mix becomes the deal-seekers.  So, just like a drug addict; you cross a threshold where you CAN’T quit.  I know of a Steakhouse in which 90% of his customers are Groupon or LivingSocial Deals.  His annual revenues are $1m, but he is losing money hand over fist; so he does not pay himself anything and his waiters get paid salaries because the Groupon deal-seekers do not tip well.   Every month, the check he gets from Groupon pays for the next month’s expenses (like a mini Ponzi scheme); when, as most coupons do, the Groupons lose their effectiveness, he will be in desperate trouble.

5.  The money you “pay” Groupon could be spent far more effectively building you as a BRAND, and not as a DEAL.  Just like any Con-Game, Groupon looks low-risk.  After all, they collect the money and then pay you half of what they collect.  If you sell 100 $10 for $20 Groupons, for example; you collect $500.  But, Groupon keeps $500.  Because that looks like a good deal, you may do it for a few more months.  Unfortunately, for the reasons above, you are not BUILDING a business; you are becoming a “deal-house.”  If you just took that $500/month for 3 or 4 months and put it into a good BRAND-building marketing campaign; you would be MUCH better off in the long-term. Unfortunately, once you start crushing your margins; eventually you have no money to spend on a well-targeted marketing campaign.

Am I passionate about getting people to stop using these deeply discounted deals?  Absolutely!  Just like a Cardiologist might not want to watch some eat fried foods every day (even though it tastes good); I don’t like watching business owners get taken in by the Groupon and LivingSocial Con-Games!

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Build a BRAND, not a deal-house.   Schedule a 15 minute call with meMarketing Guru, Financial Wizard, and Team Motivation Expert – and we’ll talk about how to build a strong Brand targeting your Ideal Customers:    https://my.timedriver.com/191CR   (PS.  even if you have not done a Groupon, call me.  🙂 ) 

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 🙂 , watch here:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QwOU3bnuU0k)

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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 repeat..do 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).

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 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:    https://my.timedriver.com/191CR  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.” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D7JB68sLGY8  (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…

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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’ll 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 “leads” 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.  🙂  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.”  https://coachrogerb.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/summer-business-school.pdf

To learn more, schedule a call:   https://my.timedriver.com/191CR  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.

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If you HONESTLY feel like your business is ONE HUNDRED PERCENT where you want it to be, then no need to click here:    https://my.timedriver.com/191CR   On the other hand, if you have a desire for excellence; let’s talk.

Why You May Be Running Your Business like Captain Ahab

I love classical literature.  Not only is it well-written; but it also can give us great insights into our own lives.

Take Captain Ahab, from Herman Melville’s classic novel Moby Dick.

He is absolutely what many people would call a “tragic figure.”  That said, many business owners are incredibly similar to Captain Ahab in the way they run their businesses.   Melville says that Ahab is a “Monomaniac”: someone obsessed by something to the point of (or past) insanity; but whose insanity is confined to that one area.  A lot of business owners run their businesses the same way.  They are very smart people; but keep chasing the wrong thing in the wrong way.

Before you dismiss this thought, consider which of these are true of you:

1.  Have you ever caught yourself thinking about how hard you have worked and are still working; and feel puzzled by the fact that you have not achieved the dreams you had set for yourself?  Like Ahab early on with his whaling business,  is this because you have just been doing an activity, but have not had a specific, crystal clear understanding of what you REALLY want?

2.  Is the business you are “chasing” REALLY good for you, or even what will make you happy?  In the book, Captain Ahab gets chomped by Moby Dick; and then becomes obsessed with chasing his newfound nemesis.  Similarly, I see business owners who have a two-step decision-making process for deciding what they want to do:

Step 1:  They want to “control their own destiny” by not working for someone else;

Step 2: They start a business based on what they have done at their “jobs” and/or what they see other people doing to make a lot of money; instead of truly doing what they love to do.

Sadly, they never define specific goals and objectives (for either their business OR their personal lives), align those goals with their true passions, then define the most efficient way to get there.  Keep following this in the next point….

3.  Has your current business “bitten” you, and you have gotten “perseverance” confused with “obsession”?      Do you have a business that does not pay you, causes you stress, and eats up your time; but you believe that it will just take “perseverance” to succeed?    Unfortunately, you cross over into “obsession” when you keep using methods that are not working for you.   Doing the same thing again and again, and expecting better results is not perseverance, it is insanity.  To mix metaphors a little; Thomas Edison  persevered, but he was also smart enough to TEST, MEASURE, and try DIFFERENT tactics.

So, you have the same marketing message that has not worked; and you just put it in more places.  Or, you are not getting any leads from your networking; but you just attend more events.  None of your “Strategic Partners” are giving you referrals; yet, you have more coffees and lunches.

For those of you who have never read the book Moby Dick (or it has been a long time); Captain Ahab dies by the very tactic he is using to kill Moby Dick.  Ahab throws his harpoon at the whale, but the rope catches Ahab’s neck and pulls him into the water to strangle and drown.  If you are running a business that is not paying you, takes up all your time, and creates enormous levels of stress; then your business is that same rope.  You are throwing it at “freedom,” but all it is doing is strangling your happiness.

This weekend, sit down (preferably with a spouse, partner, or trusted friend) and ask yourself honestly if you are Ahab. 

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Let us take the stress out of your business; and work with you to achieve your goals BEFORE your business chokes off your happiness.  Use my online calendar to schedule a 15 minute call to learn more.   https://my.timedriver.com/191CR    If you have been “meaning to call,” but still have not done so; today is your day to take action.