Selling as a Process

Do you have a defined sales process? By working with a client on their sales process we were able to double their conversion rate and shorten their sales cycle from 22 days to 8 days. In working together we defined the steps in the sales process, measured the effectiveness of each step and purposefully included activities that built trust and credibility in advance of asking for the sale. We then trained the sales team, giving them the tools and support required for success. YOUR CHALLENGE:  Start by documenting your sales process.  Be sure to include what you expect to happen, who is responsible and the purpose for each step in the process. If you would like further information or you have any questions about this blog, you can email me at pjweiland@actioncoach.com or call 847-739-3079. Please visit www.workingonthebusiness.com to register for our complimentary workshop, 6 Steps to a Great Business, and let’s work together to help your business grow.

Attention in Advertising

There is tremendous pressure on today’s business owner to participate in email marketing.  Imagine knowing how to make it a successful lead generation tool for your business! I use a marketing technique known as A-I-D-A.  Using the right subject line to grab their attention, we double and triple their open rates.  Then we use copy that specifically increases interest and drives the behavior of the prospect to take action.  Remember A-I-D-A, Attention, Interest, Desire, Action. YOUR CHALLENGE:  Take a critical review of your marketing material to see if you are effective in using the A-I-D-A technique.  Be sure to find ways to measure the impact of any marketing program.   If you would like further information or you have any questions about this blog, you can email me at pjweiland@actioncoach.com or call 847-739-3079. Please visit www.workingonthebusiness.com to register for our complimentary workshop, 6 Steps to a Great Business, and let’s work together to help your business grow.

Extending Your Reach

Many businesses have jumped on the bandwagon of collecting client information. If you would like to use this information to drive client behavior, you must first define your specific goal.
  • Do you want them to visit or purchase more frequently?
  • Are you looking for them to refer your business?
  • Or do you want them to sample or purchase another product or service?
Once you have defined your specific goal, only then can you build a campaign calendar that identifies what works for your business. YOUR CHALLENGE:  Review your goals for connecting with your clients.  Then look for opportunities to connect with them that are mutually beneficial.   If you would like further information or you have any questions about this blog, you can email me at pjweiland@actioncoach.com or call 847-739-3079. Please visit www.workingonthebusiness.com to register for our complimentary workshop, 6 Steps to a Great Business, and let’s work together to help your business grow.  

Time, Energy and Money

I have never met a business owner that didn’t want to save themselves: Time, Energy and Money. If you are looking for the fastest way to become more efficient in your business, then you need to implement systems and processes.  As I tell my clients systematize the routine, humanize the exceptions. By implementing checklists, improved forms, defining roles and responsibilities, and mistake proofing the process – you will increase your capacity without adding headcount. YOUR CHALLENGE:  Start looking at the most common activities that you and your team are involved in – then build a checklist of those activities required to exceed customer expectations along with timelines and responsibility.   If you would like further information or you have any questions about this blog, you can email me at pjweiland@actioncoach.com or call 847-739-3079. Please visit www.workingonthebusiness.com to register for our complimentary workshop, 6 Steps to a Great Business, and let’s work together to help your business grow.

Counting Medals and Keeping Score

What is it about Americans, The Olympics and the Medal Count? The world is currently focusing its attention on Russia where we will watch as the winter Olympics unfold. We will watch athletes compete at the highest level for Gold, Silver and Bronze medals. Every time a match is won, a race is finished, an event is completed – the announcer will provide a tally of medals by country. The tally, or keeping score, is not just for the Olympics. In our businesses, we need to look for ways to track and measure and look to the numbers to provide us valuable insight into our progress. Forward thinking business owners are skilled at measuring the key indicators in their business. They understand the power of keeping score. We Americans will watch closely as we battle with Norway, Canada and Germany for the top spot in the medal count. Our pride is at stake. In each of our businesses, we should also be measuring daily and focus on leading indicators – those numbers that allow us to look forward and ultimately drive customers, revenues and profits. There are five key numbers that every business needs to measure: number of leads, conversion rate, number of transactions, transaction value and margin. Whether it is a medal count or key performance indicators in our business, they tell a story and allow us to track progress and ultimately measure our progress forward. YOUR CHALLENGE THIS WEEK: Look at the numbers you are tracking in your business and how you are using them to propel your business forward.   If you would like further information or have any questions about this blog, you can email me at pjweiland@actioncoach.com or call 847-739-3079. Please visit www.workingonthebusiness.com to register for an upcoming workshop and let’s work together to help your business grow.

Great Connections

Throughout our networking we are often focused on referrals, giving them and getting them.  Lets not forget about making great connections, for yourself and connecting others. When we focus on connections referrals and business will follow.
Here are some tips on making great connections.
  • When making great connections, look for the quality of the person, less about the industry or line of business.  If they are of quality then they will be a natural at connecting and expanding your sphere of influence.
  • Have great conversations, a high quality conversation can open doors, deepen the connection, or create natural alignments based on common interests.
  • Because people do business with people they like and trust, be yourself.  Be sincere, be real, and let your personality show, use your sense of humor and enjoy the moment.
  • Ask others who they have found to be great connectors, and then ask for an introduction.
  • Spend quality getting to know those people who seem to know everyone and are well connected.
As you look to make great connections, remember, compliments, courtesy, compassion and common ground – and get busy.
YOUR CHALLENGE:  Look to make one great connection with someone you have been putting off.

Commitment

We have made a promise.  We have agreed to do some-thing, for some-body or it could be a commitment we made to ourselves.   When we make commitments we become bound by an obligation, duty or responsibility.  Call it what you want, but it’s our word.  We have to decide how we act on our word. 
Most of us have made a commitment to do something, send something or followup on something and found ourselves slow to respond or in some cases even fail to respond.  Here are some ways to make sure that you are making good on your commitments.
  • Don’t take them lightly.  Only say what you will do and stop there.  You would rather under-commit and over-deliver.
  • Be judicious with your time and energy, if you really don’t intend to do something or truly don’t see the value in the follow through, then show some self-constraint and don’t make the commitment.
  • Write it down.  Putting it on paper and keeping front and center will lessen the chance that you can’t recall the details of what you were committed to followup on.
  • Be clear.  Don’t leave things to chance, be clear on who has the action and what the expectation are.  This will avoid the open ended – let’s meet, where neither party is making it happen, so the invitation hangs open until you meet again.
YOUR CHALLENGE:   Take notice of the promises you make and the promises others make to you, then prioritize and schedule the follow through that you have committed to.

Shiny New Objects!

New ideas are an essential part of growing your business.  Innovation is what many companies want and need.  We are constantly on the lookout for the newest technology, newest products, newest tools, and anything that might just keep us one step ahead of our competitors. New ideas will help drive sales. innovation will improve your market position.  You keep coming up with new ideas, new procedures, and new ways to do things to make your team more efficient and your customer even happier. Sounds like a great way to do business, right? Well, it is a double edged sword.  New ideas are great for business, but too many ideas, too fast, can actually consume your business and kill it from the inside out. Consider which ideas are truly game changers, which ideas can be implemented effectively, which ideas you will reap the most benefits….then pick the one you want to focus on and do it well.  Jot your ideas down, but don’t get distracted by the next shiny new object until you have done well with the task at hand. YOUR CHALLENGE….look at your list of ideas and shiny new objects, and evaluate what you can do to implement your top idea.

What is your Purpose?

Purpose is having clarity and mastery over the direction you are driving your life and your business. Are you clear on how you are delivering on your purpose? Do you know what you want? It may be the same thing you wanted at the onset of your business, it may have evolved as you explored what could be possible.  When you have a compelling purpose it penetrates who you do business with, how you do business, and why others do business with you. First, who you do business with? If your purpose involves providing peace of mind, managing risk, or helping others – get clarity on what types of individuals or businesses align to your purpose and are in your demographic.  Once you have clarity – be specific. Second, how you do business?  Does your purpose lend itself to very personal relationships, does it focus on convenience for your customer, is it about simplicity? Whatever your purpose it should align to how you interact with your prospects and customers. And finally, your purpose can serve as a magnet for why others do business with you.  When others are drawn to your approach, your philosophy, and your purpose, it penetrates your interactions – others want to be around you, human beings are naturally attracted to serving a great purpose. YOUR CHALLENGE: reconnect with your purpose and make it a noticeable part of how you do business.  

Hunting or Farming

As salespeople, as business owners we decide how we will source our prospective customers.  We look to others in our industry for clues on what works, we try a variety of approaches, sometimes we just do as much activity as possible and cross our fingers.  Sometimes that works and sometimes it doesn’t, in good times our strategy and marketing plan matters less, in tough times it matters even more. Regardless of where you are in your business consider what you are doing from two perspectives…. hunting and farming. As caveman can attest to, hunting is hard work – it is a daily activity where you are personally engaged in finding your next potential customer, and walking with them through the sales process.  You are actively hunting each and every day making one on one contact.  Things like cold calling, bold calling, most networking and direct mail are examples of hunting.  The upside to hunting is that there is very little mystery between the person you meet and the sale. The flip side to hunting is farming.  Farming is more about leverage, about planting the seeds in the most productive of places and then nurturing them along the way.  Farming often has a longer lead-time and can be more difficult but not impossible to link the activity to the specific sale. Things like speaking engagements, advertising, strategic alliances, or newsletters are a few examples. There is no magic formula. It’s about employing multiple marketing strategies that work for your business, some long term, some short term, some highly leveraged and others less so. Your challenge:  Look at the lead generation activities in your business, are your lead generation activities hunting or farming, is the mix working for you or is it time to adjust the mix.