Obsessed With Your Success

Empty asphalt road towards cloud and signs symbolizing success a

I recently saw a local business van around town that caught my attention, so I took a picture of it.  Later that evening I tweeted the picture and had this unbelievable reply from the company:

I smiled as I thought to myself, “Now there’s a business owner who gets it!”

How would you feel if you walked into a business and without anyone saying a word YOU KNEW that business was obsessed with your success? How would that culture cause employees to behave toward customers? How would that culture motivate bosses to treat their employees? At every level of the business, people obsessed about the success of others.

From what I’ve heard from employees at Specialty Business Supplies  and from what I’ve personally experienced from owners Steve Maclin and Dave Pyne, I believe they’re building a culture day by day that says to their employees and their customers, “We are obsessed with your success.”  In this environment, the employees feel safe to ask questions, they are empowered to make decisions, their ideas are valued, and as one employee whom I randomly met said, “They are great bosses to work for…they really seem to care!”

I think that says it all!  Keep up the great work guys, you are tapping into something that few people take the time to discover and fewer yet take the time to nurture.

What are you doing to obsess about the success of others? What difference has your obsession made?  Wealth Builders Connect is building a team of passionate leaders who share this same mantra. We’d love to have you join us as we build a tribe of leaders, “Obsessed about your success”!

The Key To Success

Success ahead sign

When I find myself feeling less than motivated, a quote like this comes across my screen as a reminder that there’s one important key to my success…ME!

The question I’m asking myself is, “What have I done today to directly contribute to my success?”  Rather than wait for someone else to make the first move, I’m taking action.  I’m…

  • Closing My Door And Taking Action
  • Sending The Emails I Need To Send
  • Making The Asks I Need To Make    

And guess what happened?  I increased my motivation, I renewed my energy and I moved to a new level of success….I closed a new deal!  Action begets momentum and momentum begets success!  No one, but not one, will determine my success better than me.

Erica recently emailed me a picture of her “Vision Board”.  Her board visually reminds her of the course she is intentionally charting.  This is what it means to determine your own success.

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Aren’t you glad that the one significant key to your success is in your control?  What are you doing to intentionally determine your success today?  Go create your success today…you deserve it!!

 

Are You Selling What People Really Want To Buy?

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When it comes to the products you sell, it’s easy to get caught up in a flurry of activity about features, packaging, words, colors, and minute details thinking those things are what will bring the dollars rolling in. But what is it that people really want to buy?

I believe the answer is YOU!  People want to buy from people they know, like and trust.  And they buy from those people before they buy products with fancy packaging, ornate words, and eye-catching colors. People buy people first, then they buy products and services.

If I had an opportunity to set up a booth and market my products or services, I would spend time preparing to sell the one thing people want to buy, ME. I would do my best to prepare myself to be the most engaging, authentic, welcoming person people have ever met. The only real factor that I can control in the sales process are my perceptions of people, my actions toward people, and my engagements with people.   So I would focus there first!

When I arrived at my vendor space, I would stand to the side of my vendor booth and intentionally extend my hand confidently to people. I would smile and welcome people to the event as if the event were my very own. I would look people in the eyes when I talked to them, and I would intentionally make every person feel like a honored and distinguished guest in my living room

Why? Because people really want to know that they matter and when they do, they’re more likely to want to get to engage with me. And when they engage with me, they’re more likely to get to know me. And when people realize that I care about their needs, they’ll more quickly begin to like me. And when I approach people from a place of authenticity, they will more likely begin to trust me. And these, my friends, may be the very keys that open the doors to many great sales today and in the future.

I suggest the following three things before you “Sell your products or services”:

1.  Approach people as you would want to be approached.  Be genuine, friendly, and focused on others.

2.  Engage people in conversations about themselves.  Ask them open ended questions that help you discover needs that you can possibly meet.

Questions like:

  • What are you hoping to get out of this event today?
  • What are some of the best opportunities facing you today?
  • What are some of the greatest challenges that if met, would move you or your business to a more satisfying place?

The answer to these questions may open doors of opportunity and reveal real needs that you can meet. Meeting real needs will leave a more lasting impression on people…listen and learn. You might be surprised what you discover.

3.  Make every person you meet feel like they’re an honored guest in your living room…and really believe that they really are!  Take the initiative to welcome people and to invite them in.  Make them feel at home. This vendor space is your home for the day! Own it and own the results that you create.

People like to buy from people they know, like and trust. Before you sell your products, sell YOURSELF! That’s what people really want to buy. And if you don’t believe me, push your products onto people and spend time talking about yourself and your products before you listen. Go ahead, try it and let me know how that works out for you. (I mean it, I really want to hear from you).

Leave me your comments, ideas, and suggestions below.  I look forward to hearing how these ideas affect your sales and your interactions with people.

 

When One Door Closes

From my earliest childhood memory, I’ve always enjoyed a new opportunity because it was fresh, exciting, and something to be anticipated.  As an adult, I continue looking forward to new events, new opportunities, new sales, new acquaintances, new travel destinations, new foods, and new ideas because my life is richer with each new person or thing I experience.  Have you ever stopped to think that when one door closes, it’s an opportunity for a new door to open?  Wasn’t it the “new” opportunity that filled our lives with excitement and anticipation as a child?  So why loose so much sleep over a door that closes?  Isn’t a closed door an opportunity to find a door that’s opening to something better?   Grieve your closed door appropriately then with the excitement and anticipation you knew as a child, leap into your future because it’s just a matter of time till your “new” door will open and when it does, life will be better again!

How have new doors of opportunity made your life better?

A Happy and Fulfilled Life


I recently read a great book entitled, “The Four Agreements” by Don Miguel Ruiz and as I read, I realized that as simple as the principles may sound, when practiced, they have the potential to alter the quality of my life and relationships.  And when I began to think seriously about the ways I think, talk and relate with others, I realized that these simple principles are far from easy to live consistently.  Agreement number three got my attention and caused me to think about how my happiness is affected by this one concept.

Agreement number three simply says, “Don’t make assumptions”.   From experience, I’ve learned that when I assume that others know what I’m feeling and what I need, I end up being disappointed.  This law teaches that we are to have the courage to ask questions, engage in healthy dialogue, and express clearly what we need and want.  And when we do, we’ll avoid frustrations, disappointment, and drama.  Wouldn’t that make life more happy and fulfilled?

To live this agreement more intentionally, let’s find the courage to engage in healthy conversations.  In healthy conversations, we ask for what we want and for what we most need.  Ask in confidence, knowing that the person you are asking is both willing and able to give you what you want and need.  Ask only the person who can give you what you want.  Avoid asking the wrong person and “assuming” you’ll get what you want.  Ask open ended questions to ensure that you are talking with the person who can meet your needs in this conversation.  When you ask for what you want, be concise, clear and specific in your request.  If at first you do not succeed in getting what you need, ask yourself these questions…

Am I clearly asking for what I want?

Am I asking the right person? 

Am I asking at the right time? 

If you’ve been clear with your request, you’ve asked the right person to meet your need, and you still get resistance, then it may be that your catching the right person at the wrong time.  If so, plan a better time to ask.  Wait until the person is in a better mood,  has a change in circumstances, or has a greater level of rapport with you.   With these conditions met, consider it a better time to ask this person to help meet your specific needs.

In his book, “The Success Principles”,  Jack Canfield quotes Actor and Author Ben Stein when he says, “The indispensable first step to getting the things you want out of life is this: decide what you want”.  And once you decide, it’s time to muster up the courage to confidently ask the people in your sphere of influence to play a part in turning your wants into a reality.

Take the time to build high levels of trust in your relationships, have the courage to engage in healthy conversations that honestly express what you most want and need, then be sensitive to the person who considers your request.  Remembering that if your request is denied, it may be because the timing is off or the person’s circumstances may keep them from meeting your needs.  Ask open-ended questions, listen attentively and watch as the quality of your life and relationships improves.  A happy and fulfilled life is marked by the courage to ask the right person at the right time for what you really want.  Take the guess-work out of your relationships, know what you really want then courageously ask for what you want and need!

How does this idea make you feel?  Post your comments so we can learn together.

 

 

 

Creating A Winning Sales System

Creating a winning sales system turns the dreaded work of cold calling into a process that teachable and effective.  Without a system, we’re left to the task of making more calls,  knocking on more doors, and hoping for better results.  If this was an effective method for growing your business, why hasn’t your boss offered to pay you for each new call you make or each new door you knock on?  May it be that they realize that more cold calling without a wining sales system isn’t really the most effective way to go about sales?

“Over 80% of decision makers absolutely will not buy from a cold call.”                                                                                                                                                 -Kenan Flagler Business School, University of North Carolina

How do we create a winning sales system?

1.  Define

Describe the individuals, businesses and industries who most benefit from the products, services, and ideas you are selling?  Define and describe your ideal client?  Who are the people and businesses you’ve had success working with in the past?  Why did these customers do business with you in the past?  Did they share a common need that you were able to meet?  Did they have certain level of relationship with you prior to doing business with you?  What is it about you, your approach or your previous customers that caused them to do business with you?

Once you clearly define your ideal customer, make a list of the ideal people, businesses, and industries you want to connect with and keep that list updated and with you at all times.  Be prepared to answer the question, “Who are you looking to meet?  Who can I introduce you too?”

Once you have a clear understanding of your ideal customer, show up at the places where those customers frequent.

2.  Connect

See yourself as a resource to others and connect with them by showing up at the places and events where your ideal customers will be.  Proactively position yourself as a resource to others,  and listen for opportunities to meet the needs of those you want to do business with.  If I were moving to a new community where I knew no one and where I had no previous connections, I’d find the most active Chamber of Commerce I could and I’d attend every networking event they offer.   Rather than waiting for your phone to ring, actively position yourself to become a valuable resource to the people and businesses with whom you want to connect.

3.  Nurture

Ask yourself how you’d like to be approached, treated and engaged by a sale person you’ve just met.  Make it your goal to treat each person you meet with respect and gentleness.  You’re there to be a valuable resource, not to be a sales machine that can’t be stopped!

When you meet a person who gives you their business card, this is your opportunity to engage the person in conversation that focuses on the interests, needs, and preferences of the other person.  You do this by asking open ended questions that you may want to anticipate in advance.  Questions like, “How long have you worked in that industry?”  “How did you first get involved in XYZ industry?”  “What do you see as your greatest opportunities and your great challenges in this industry?”  “As I’m meeting people each day, how will I know when I’ve met the ideal person to refer to you?”  Questions like these create conversation that enable you to identify possible areas of need that you can help meet.

After the meeting is over, this is your opportunity to nurture the potential clients you met.  Create a follow up process that is both personal and doesn’t smell of a disguised sales pitch.  This is not the time to sell, this is your time to nurture the relationship, to build trust and to connect with the person in such a way that they when they’re ready to buy, they’ll want to buy from you!

The follow up process that I’ve found helpful consists of a personal handwritten note card that is two-three sentences in length, it ties back into the conversation we had in person, and in it I re-iterate my willingness to be a resource to the person when I can.  In addition, I communicate with the person via articles, like the one you’re reading now.  I forward these articles to potential clients letting them know that the article made me think of them and I hope they find the article helpful.  I then contact the potential client and I ask for their permission to plan a 20 minute “exploratory” visit with them.  During that visit I focus on their needs that I’ve learned about during the meeting and other conversations that may have occurred, then I show them how my products and services may be a solution to their needs.

People today want to be nurtured, cared for, and involved in the process whenever possible.  Anything less and you may be marginalizing people and missing great opportunities.

What are you doing to nurture the potential clients you meet?  What systems do you have in place that work well for you?  What are you doing to grow your database?  How have you effectively nurtured the people in your database so that they want to buy from you?   I’d love to hear your thoughts and your ideas.  By creating a winning sales system, we’ll learn how to more effectively reach potential clients, nurture a relationship with them, and turn them into clients who want to buy from us.

I look forward to hearing your ideas and your experiences.  Share them with us so that we can learn together!

Becoming A Connecting Resource

 

Have you ever been in a social setting, a networking event or a volunteer function when you were suddenly overtaken by well-meaning, straight forward people with agendas that did not seem to include you or your interest?  Have you ever been asked by a virtual stranger to either buy their products and services on the spot or have you ever had a sales person make you feel like you were being treated as a means to an end rather than as a person to be valued?  Not only have I been in these situations, way too often, I’ve watched as well meaning people treat potential clients like this.

Becoming a connecting resource for people and businesses is not something that comes naturally for most of us.   As a matter of fact, it appears to me that in order for most sales people to truly become a connecting resource for others,  a paradigm shift will need to occur.  For those of us who choose to change ourselves and our approach, connecting people and businesses to the resources they most need will lead to a rewarding life and career!

In the last couple of weeks I have personally been approached by well-meaning men and women who appeared to care more about their agendas than about connecting personally with me.  In each case, I felt like I was being used for information or as a conduit to get to the people in my sphere of influence.  Whatever the case, I did not feel valued.  I was taken back when the first words I read or heard was obviously motivated by an end result that would benefit the person approaching me rather than an end result that would benefit us both.  I found myself becoming very guarded about what I said and about what information I gave to the person inquiring of me.  Then I wondered why?

Later I found myself in conversation with a person whom I know, like and trust and as I listened to things going on in her life, I realized I had someone in my circle of influence that could help with her situation.  Because of the trust that has been built between us over the years, I was more than happy to pick up the phone and make a personal introduction to someone in business who could meet this person’s need.  I made the connection without being asked, without being pushed, and without feeling obligated.  The connection was easily made because I saw an opportunity to be a resource to this person in need and I was motivated to help them because I know them, I like them, and I trust them.  Together, we build positively into each others lives.  That’s what it means to become a connecting resource to others.

So how does a person become a connecting resource to others?

1.  Care Enough to First Understand

Let others know how much you care by first seeking to understand them, their current situation and their needs.  If this is someone you’ve just met at a social, business event, or networking event refrain from being over zealous with information about your product and services.  Make it a priority to ask great questions, listen attentively, and discover the challenges that your product or services can help this person overcome.  Take time to get to know the person before you sell to them.   

2.  Actively Listen and Identify The Needs That You Can Meet

As you’re asking great, open ended questions you’ll discover opportunities to meet specific needs that the person has.  This may mean that you and your services are a match for this person or it may mean that you have a person that they really need to meet in order to have their needs met.  Either way, ask great questions, actively listen and identify real needs that you or someone in your sphere of influence can meet.

3.  Establish a Process To Meet The Needs

Most of us would agree that we do not appreciate when a total stranger approaches us in person, via email or phone and immediately begins to force their sales pitch on us.  Rather than forcing people into listening to your sales pitch, create a process that allows people to get to know you, like you, and trust you over time.  Create a system that allows you to begin adding value to the person you’ve met and through a series of steps, build a trust relationship that opens the door for you to share about how your product or service may be a great resource to be considered.

Where can we begin?  Begin by making attendance at networking and social events a priority.  Go into the events with well prepared, open ended questions that encourage great dialogue with the people you meet.  As you listen, discover opportunities to be a connecting resource to others.  Follow the process you’ve created to build trust, add value, and develop a connection with the person you want to work with.  As the process unfolds, you’ll find yourself making a positive difference in people’s lives and you’ll soon realize that getting others to buy into your ideas isn’t such a bad process after all. It’s rewarding to know that we’re helping individuals and businesses succeed.

    3 Tips For Effective Presentations

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    Effective presentations can help you and your business grow but more often than not, presentations are something we dread.  For many  of us, effective presentations do not come easily because of our reservations about public speaking. The truth is that presentations are opportunities to help others  know us, like us and trust us.  And that is the building block that moves people to buy into our ideas, our products and our services.   So how do we turn a potentially dreadful presentation into a positive one that benefits both the audience and the presenter?

    1. Be clear about why you’re giving the presentation:  When given the opportunity to give a presentation to one person or to a room of people, first consider the one single purpose you want to accomplish in the presentation.  Many people view a presentation as an opportunity to sell others on some idea, product, or service but we’ll  feel more satisfaction if we approach the presentation as an opportunity to build greater levels of trust with those listening to our presentation.  Make it a priority to gain and build trust with your audience during your presentation.  You can do this by helping your audience realize that you are a down-to-earth person, passionate about what you do, knowledgeable about what you do, and doing what you do because you genuinely care about the welfare of others.  During your presentation, help your audience see how much you care about others.  This may done through illustrations of people you’ve helped and the difference that has been made in their lives.  Use stories that let your audience know that people are now better off because of the connection they made with you!  See your presentation as an opportunity to build new levels of trust.
    2. Allow people to catch your passion for what you do:  Passion comes from a heart that is convinced that what you are doing really matters and that the audience you are speaking too will genuinely benefit from a friendship, partnership, or working relationship with you.  Allow your passionate commitment to your audience to be seen, heard, and felt.  Speak to your audience with the conviction that says, “Your life will be made better when you take some action to connect with me”.  Members of your audience may find that their lives will be better if they take action and connect with you after your talk. Or it may be that a member of your audience knows someone who will benefit personally from your product, service or ideas and you will welcome that conversation because that can turn into a qualified referral.  Whatever the case, help your audience realize that there is someone in their sphere of influence who needs you today!
    3. Present with confidence:  When you step in front of the person or group of people that you’re presenting too, step up to the presentation with a confidence that stems from your conviction that what you’re about to share is needed, will benefit your listeners, and will in some way make the life of your listeners better!  When you approach your personal conversations or your public presentations with confident conviction, everyone will win.  If you have any doubt that what you’re about to say about yourself, your product or your service is not beneficial for the people you’re speaking too, re-think your presentation and become very clear about how you, your product and services are going make life better for your audience or better for the people they are going to refer to you!

    Presentations are opportunities for your audience to better know you, to find things that they actually like about you and your services, and they are opportunities for you to build greater levels of trust.  When people know you, like you, and trust you they are more likely to want to do business with you!

    Now step up to the presentation plate and whether there’s one person in attendance or a full room, knock it out of the park by being clear, passionate and confident about yourself, your product and your services!

     

    3 ProActive Ways To Win Potential Customers

     

    Having a well written vision and mission statement tucked away in a file in the office, boxes of shiny new business cards, or even a building in a great location may be another disappointment waiting to happen.  The problem is that while these things may be important and in many cases necessary, they are not a promise for business or personal success.

    The problem is that we can easily busy ourselves with these helpful tools to the point that we begin to hunker down and hope that someone who needs our products and services will one soon, find us and approach us with a readiness to buy.  The reality is that we can easily be overlooked and even bypassed if we fail to position ourselves to win.  Many people will choose to hide behind good and necessary business practices while relegating success to those who choose to differentiate themselves among the masses.  If you are determined to win the trust and eventual business of new customers, then here are some ways to actively position yourself for success today.

    1. Get More Personal.  There are plenty of companies large and small who appear more self-serving rather than caring enough to make other people and businesses great.  They take a hands off approach that communicates a lack of customer service that genuinely cares about people and their needs.  If you want to position yourself to win potential customers, look for ways to engage potential customers in conversation about their needs, their concerns, and ideas that will most benefit them.  Win potential customers by setting yourself a part as a person or business that cares enough to ask great questions and listen for the real needs that your products or services will then be able to address.
    2. Engage New People.  Identify networking groups, business associations, leaders groups where you can invest the best of your time and energies meeting and engaging new contacts in conversation that sets you a part from the masses.  Show up at the events with great energy and positive attitude that communicates to others that you’re here to add value, you’re here to be a resource to those you meet, you’re here to connect people with the people they most need to know and meet.  When you attend an event and approach people with an, “I’m here to learn about you so that I can be the best resource to you that I can be” attitude, you will create opportunities for others to seek you out to learn from you and ultimately to become your new customer or to your refer you to your next customer.  Go where the people are and engage them in conversations that most interest them!
    3. Making Your Follow Up Personal.  Plan how you will follow up in advance of the meetings where you meet potential customers then execute your follow up plan in a timely manner after the event.  Just as you were uniquely personal and engaging in the event, make sure your follow up continues to position you as personal and engaging.  Some ways to make yourself personal to those you’ve met might be a handwritten note that reminds the person of some detail of the personal conversation you had with them at the event.  Do not follow up with standard sales letters, we all know where those letters get filed.

    In initial meetings with potential customers, set yourself up as a valuable resource who enjoys engaging people in meaningful conversations about their business, their wants and their needs and continue that engaging conversation in the follow up plan that you implement after the event.  Rather than hiding  in the comforts of your office and files, get yourself out of the office and into the events where other business people go to network and learn.  Train yourself to engage people in ways that are personal and beneficial both during the event and afterward.  Ultimately, your success depends on you and the people you engage, so engage them intentionally, often and in personal ways!

    Marketing Your Business On A Small Budget

    As business owners, we recognize the need to get the word out but we often wonder how to market strategically for the best results.   For many, we simply avoid marekting because we fear we don’t have the budget necessary to make it work.  Our greatest misconception is that marketing must be massive and therefore marketing will be expensive.  The truth is that we can effectively market our business on a small budget, but in order to do so effectively, there are few key questions to ask.

    What goals do you want to accomplish in this marketing campaign?

    Take the time to seriously consider how you will measure the success of your marketing campaign.  Do you want to brand your business and get the word out that you exist or are you hoping to bring in new clients and potential new business?  And if so, what are your expectations before you begin your markeitng campaign.  Being crystal clear about your goals will help you to focus on the advertising mediums that can best help you achieve your goals.

    What one item or service brings the majority of people into your place of business?

    This is where you want to take an honest look at your products and services and understand why people really come to your business for the first time.  When they arrive, what product or service do they most often come in to research or purchase?  Do not overlook this detail, because this may become your unique marketing proposition.  And remember, this may not be obvious at first, so take a serious and honest look at the patterns of people who visit your business.

    What is your competition doing now that’s different from you?

    Understand what your competition is currently doing well, what product or service are they currently marketing, and what product or service are they most known for in your community.  Once you understand what your competition is most known for then you can focus on the product or service that is the entry point for people who visit your business rather than attempting to win customers from your competitor.

    With this knowledge, you’re well on your way to discovery a marketing plan that is right for you today.