Re-Purposing to Generate Leads

There are several ways to generate leads for your business.  Many entrepreneurs think it’s necessary to bring in suspects like everyone else does.  The truth is, there are many re-purposed ways to generate new leads.  Here are a few: 1.  Re-market:  Do you have a product or service you’ve marketed in the past?  If it’s been awhile since you’ve promoted or launched something, then create a new message and get it out there…again.  Think about updating a few things here and there and then get promoting!  You can promote on social media, on your website, in an email blast, or within your store. 2.  Re-blog:  Do you blog on a very consistent basis?  If you have an archive of hundreds of blog posts, then re-write them.  There’s no need to re-invent the wheel.  You have great content just waiting to be read…again.  You may want to make sure all information is still relevant and maybe change the titles, but that’s all you really need to do. 3.  Re-engage:  Don’t forget that you already have a HUGE database of clients and fans of your business.  Re-engage them!  Ask them to refer you to somebody who doesn’t know anything about your business.  Give them a special discount for sharing your business with others!  Use what’s already at your fingertips! Reaching out to your audience doesn’t have to seem like rocket science.  You have so many options within your reach, so why not use them to your advantage!  Re-purposing can save time and money.  And it’s all within your reach. PJ's New Pic (smaller) ActionCoach-logo
YOUR CHALLENGE:  Try one of these approaches during the last quarter of the year! How many new leads do you think you’ll generate? 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.
For your complimentary business coaching session visit, www.actioncoach.com/pjweiland. Build a Business image 3 (small title) To register for our complimentary workshop, How to Build a Business you can Sell, visit www.actioncoach.com/pjweiland. 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.

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.

Net-Working

The opportunities to meet others are endless, starting with BNI, and on to chamber events, power lunches, coffee, seminars, before hours, after hours, during hours, open houses and ribbon cuttings. We all look for ways to connect with people, we look for ways to help others either through our business or by making introductions to others. Through all the networking we do, we need to remember the words of Dr. Ivan Misner, “It’s not net-sit or net-eat; it’s net-work.” Because its work, we should look first at our goals.  It is important to have a goal of what you want to achieve.  It could be about meeting potential clients, building alliances, or establishing credibility.  Once you know your goal then you need   to work on a plan on how you will achieve it and what your time commitment is to this goal. Without a plan we can easily find that networking quickly turns into not-working. Another characteristic of net-working is to know the costs associated with networking, the cost of membership, but also the cost of your time – time is a finite resource – you can’t get more, so how you invest it matters. And finally we need to treat networking with the same energy we put into the other work we do. Focusing on the person we are with, attention to the details, look for ways to add value, great communication, and follow up. Your challenge:  whether here at BNI or another event, set your goals, have a plan, and stay focused when net-working.

How Can I Help You

This is perhaps the most powerful question we can ask in business, Lets take a look at why. Starting with the HOW, in the HOW can I help you?  We are looking for specifics, details, instructions on what we can do to be of service, to assist someone in their cause.  We want clarity on exactly how someone would like us to be of help to them, no guessing, no missing the mark – we want to know. Next comes CAN, in the How CAN I help you?  We want to put ourselves in a position where we are able to extend ourselves, where we are in the position to lend a hand, we want to know the circumstances that are a natural for extending ourselves to others. I, In the How can I help you?  This is about me, all about me, being in the right circumstance, in the right frame of mind, in a position of power that allows me to extend myself on your behalf and make a recommendation, provide some insight, make a connection.  It’s about me taking action. HELP, in the how can I HELP you.  We are looking for ways to lend a hand, we want to play a supporting role, to be truly helpful to you in moving your business forward.  Offering help is about making it easier for someone else, providing assistance. And finally YOU, how can I help YOU?  When we make this offer, when we ask this question, we are solely focused on the other person and what would benefit them.  The focus on you is about giving without expectation of receiving, or as we often refer to it as givers gain. Your challenge: the next time you are working with a power partner, dancing with a fellow BNI member, or working with a client – ask the powerful question How can I help you? And then sit back and listen carefully to the answer.

Consistently Consistent

Being consistent is critical to both short term and long term success.  If you want on-going success than doing something once just doesn’t cut it.
  • The word consistency means doing something the same thing time and time again.
  • To create a predictable routine, that generates the same results.
  • To do something in a systematic way on a regular basis.
  • The absence of contradictions.
When we create consistency in our work, we make it easy for our team, our suppliers and our clients to know what to expect from us.  They get used to knowing how things get done, what they can expect and when they can expect it.  Contrary to popular belief this doesn’t make us boring, but rather we become reliable and dependable, and someone that others can count on. Consistency has been hailed as the cornerstone of ethics.  It implies an inner integrity.  By being consistent with who we are, it shows up in our words and in our actions.  As we all are aware actions speak louder than words; therefore acting in a consistent manner will provide evidence to those around us that we have integrity and through this trust is built. Imagine what your life would look like if you were able to achieve true consistency.  What would your business look like, what would your relationships look like? YOUR CHALLENGE:  Look at consistency in your life, where does it show up and what can you do to get more of it.

Service Matters

During difficult economic times service matters more than ever.  Let me tell you why… When times are good, people make decisions quickly and sometimes don’t notice your efforts.  In tighter times, people move more cautiously, and notice every extra effort that you make. When people buy during an economic downturn they are extremely conscious of the “hard earned” money they spend. Customers want more attention, appreciation and recognition for their purchases, not less. In tough times, people talk more with each other about saving money and getting good value. “Positive word of mouth” is a powerful force at any time. In difficult times, even more ears will be listening. Be sure the words spoken about your business are good ones. Giving great service in tough times makes good business sense. So how do you actually achieve it? Here are a few simple ideas you can use…
  • Use quality service to differentiate your business from your competition. Make a real difference by providing personalized, responsive and “extra-mile service” that stands out in a unique way which customers will appreciate and remember.
  • Learn to manage your customer’s expectations. You can’t always give customers everything their hearts desire. Sometimes you need to bring their expectations into line with what you know you can deliver. Another way to manage customers’ expectations is with the tactic called “Under Promise and Over Deliver”.
  • Bounce back with effective service recovery. Sometimes things do go wrong. When it happens to your customers, do everything you can to make things right again, as soon as possible. Restoring customer goodwill is worth the price in future orders and new business.
  • Appreciate your complaining customers. Customers with complaints can be your best allies in building and improving your business. They point out where your system is faulty, and where procedures are weak or problematic. The complainer gives you a chance to reply and set things right.
  • Make time to stand on the other side of the desk or listen on the other end of the phone. Be a “mystery shopper” at your own place of business. Or be a customer for your competition. What you notice is what your customers experience every day!
Finally, remember that service is the currency that keeps our economy moving. “I serve you in one business, you serve me in another. YOUR CHALLENGE: Focus on becoming known as a stellar customer service organization that just happens to be in your line of business!

Are You Attractive?

There are two elements involved in becoming a magnet:  Your ability to attract people and your approachability – the extent to which others perceive you as being open.  Together, these two qualities create a positive attitude, one of the top traits of a master networker.  Together, they influence how magnetic you are for your business. Author and professional speaker Scott Ginsberg has done extensive research on approachability.  Here is a summary of Ginsberg’s tips on how to maximize your approachability. Be ready to engage.  When you arrive at a meeting, event, party or even your kids ball games – be ready with conversation topics, questions and stories in the back of your mind.  Focus on CPI or Common Points of Interest. Show enthusiasm.  Avoid the routine questions and answers, like “How’s it going?” “What’s up?” or “How are you?” “Fine” or “Good”, instead offer something like “Amazing!” “Everything is beautiful!”  The other person will instantly change his or her demeanor, smile and most likely match your enthusiasm. Don’t cross your arms at networking events.  It makes you seem defensive, nervous, judgmental, close-minded or skeptical.  People see crossed arms, and they drift away.  You don’t appear approachable. Give options for communication.  Your friends, colleagues, customers and co-workers communicate with you in different ways.  Some will choose face-to-face; some will e-mail; others will call; still others will do a little of everything. Accommodate them all. Always have business cards.  Simply said, you just never know who you might meet and where.  Tuck them away in multiple places, so you are never without, in your golf bag, in your glove box, even give a few to your spouse. Wear your name tag.  A person’s name is the single piece of personal information that is most often forgotten – and people are less likely to approach you if they don’t remember your name.  In addition it is also free advertising, and lastly name tags encourage people to be friendly and more approachable. So, if you want to be more attractive, work on your approachability. YOUR CHALLENGE:  Rate yourself and your team on approachability.  Get a name tag, replenish your stash of business cards and up your game.