Category: Education

5 Killer Mistakes – Part 1

There are 5 big mistakes that will kill a deal with a big fish. They are:

  1. Not meeting the client’s expectations
  2. Mishandling a client crisis
  3. Taking on more than you can handle
  4. Putting all your eggs in one basket
  5. Up cash creek without a paddle

Anyone or a combination of these can not only kill the partnership but have the ability to take down your company as well. We’re going to take a bit of time to talk about each one of these, in this lesson we’ll cover the first two.

Not Meeting Client’s Expectations

It’s essential you give your clients exactly what you promised during the negotiation portion of your relationship. If an event does happen where there is no way to meet the client’s expectations, not only do you have to find a way to fix the situation, but you also have to find out where it all went wrong.

A couple of things could have contributed to this problem:

  1. Bad salesmanship. This could mean the salesperson was trying too hard to seal the deal and didn’t listen to the client’s needs.
  2. Lack of communication. This breakdown occurs between the salesperson and your operations department.

In order to avoid these mistakes, you need to put a clear plan of action into place that all of your sales staff needs to follow:

  • Think before you speak.
  • Give yourself a break.
  • Perfect your process.
  • Pre-format over-deliverables.
  • Stay hands-on throughout the entire process.
  • Define success.

Mishandling a Client Crisis

Crises will happen, but how you respond and fix them will define your company and interaction with your clients. You need to respond quickly and effectively. This will help you gain even more trust and confidence from your client.

Some simple tips can help you deal with any client crisis:

  • Take responsibility and apologize for no matter who is at fault.
  • Act swiftly and effectively.
  • Step in and take control of the situation.
  • Never point fingers or place blame.
  • Stay in constant communication with your client.
  • Stay calm throughout the situation.
  • Keep your eye on the ball.

 

Now, that you know the top two mistakes you can make to kill a big fish deal, you’ll know better how to avoid making these mistakes in the first place and know how to put a plan of action into place in case of a crisis.

If you need help with any of this, try our FREE test drive to get all the help you could ever need.

Next time we’ll talk about the 3rd and 4th killer mistakes you can make in working with big fish clients.

Untangle the Red Tape

In the last post we discussed how to introduce the big-company mindset into your business and get your team onboard. Doing this will help you overcome the mental obstacles that might keep you from being successful. The next step we’ll discuss is which big fish to focus on. Before you put a plan together, it’s important that you understand how your potential big client operates. We’re also going to take a moment to talk about the potential “red tape” you may encounter along the way.

 

The most important information to collect about your big fish are their purchasing habits and procedures. There are four main elements to focus on in order to be successful:

  1. Responsibilities: You need to know who has influence over purchasing, who does the actual buying and who could kill a deal if they wanted to.
  2. Get on Their List: You need to know how to get on their list of preferred vendors. Your name needs to not only be on the list, it needs to be at the top of the list and in as many categories as possible for more interaction. Ask about a procurement program and what you need to do to go through the application process.
  3. Lingo: You need to learn the company’s unique language and communications methods. These could include report names, buzzwords and even the nicknames they have for their employees.
  4. Fiscal Budgets: It’s essential you know the fish’s fiscal calendar, so you know exactly when they are planning their budgets for the next year.

Now that we’ve talked about what you need to know about your fish, let’s take a quick look at the potential hurdles. Bureaucracy might as well be a “four-letter” word with the emotions it stirs in all of us. “Red tape” is a necessary evil, but you can learn how to work around it.

Here are two ways to do this:

  1. Analyze their activity.
  2. Review their correspondence.

Being an outsider looking in can have its advantages too. If you hate dealing with the “red tape”, imagine how their employees feel dealing with it. If they need to crunch some numbers, offer to do it. If they need more information, make sure you are giving it to them in a user-friendly way.

 

The topics we discussed in this Blog will help you prepare for the big approach. If you need help with any of this, try our FREE test drive to find the right tools to get the job done. We are there to help and support you! And remember , we work on the basis of ” No-result-No-fee”.

 

And when you want to read a great book about this subject : ” Bag The Elephant” , written by Steve Kaplan

Image result for Bag the Elephant. Size: 137 x 170. Source: www.barnesandnoble.com

Shhh… I Have a Secret

Customer service is a hot topic and can make or break your business. Consumers have little patience for lousy customer service and quickly get tired of waiting in long lines, trying to get a live person on the line, going through an interrogation to return something or trying to communicate through a language barrier. 

If you provide them with a simple, efficient, pleasant experience, they will revisit your business repeatedly. More importantly, they will tell everyone they know! 

There are three secrets to good customer service; we will first conquer knowing exactly what YOU want.

You are the captain of the ship and the visionary for the future of your business, so you need to have a clearly defined plan for your business, which includes customer service. There are three main goals you need to consider:

  1. It needs to be easy for your customers to do business with you. You can do this with advertised discounts, kiosks, your website, and other technology-based programs to help them shop.
  2. Doing business with you needs to be a warm and pleasant experience. Your staff has to be knowledgeable, approachable, warm and patient. Your customers need to feel like they are getting good value for their time and money. Perceived value goes beyond the price of the products and extends to their shopping experience.
  3. Change your mindset and ask yourself, “How can I NOT afford to do these things?” This shouldn’t be a question of expenses but making and keeping happy customers.

With these thoughts in mind, you also need to consider a few things when deciding on the actual programs and standards you’ll put into place.

  • Share your customer service vision with the rest of your staff. 
  • Connect your incentive programs and bonuses directly to customer service.
  • Monitor the level of customer service your staff is putting out.
  • Know when you can ignore what your customers want.
  • Continuously focus on your goals.

You now know what you can start thinking about to meet those needs and create a positive customer service experience.

If you’re having a hard time deciding on what you want, the tools, resources and coaches in our FREE test drive will help you define the wants and needs of your company in relation to customer service.

Gather the Troops

 

Today I’d like to chat about the different types of support staff you need and what makes them so important.

There are essentially three key roles that need to be filled to set your business up for success:

  • The Technician
  • The Manager
  • The Entrepreneur

 

All three of these roles need to be filled by different people with the right kind of talent. It’s all about balance.

 

The Technician

This person represents the present and all that needs to be done for the physical aspects of the business building process. They are the “doer”. This is usually the most visible person of the entire operation.

 

The Manager

This person represents the past and works to fix problems through learning from past mistakes. They are the practical side of the business and are in charge of putting together the business and overseeing the planning.

 

The Entrepreneur

This person represents the future and the vision for the business. They are responsible for the creative side of the business and are always considering ways to enhance products/service, business image, branding and more.

 

All three of these characters are essential in the success of any business and to build a solid foundation from the start, you need to work harder to find the right people to put in these roles. Obviously, you need to be one of these key people, but ensure you find the role that fits your skills and talents, not necessarily what you THINK you should be doing.

 

This may be a hard process for you as you will need to relinquish some control over the business and instill trust in people to allow them to do their jobs.

 

Remember, I can help you through this entire process and teach you how to avoid minefields or falling victim to e-myths. Try my FREE test drive and see the true power of combining experience and knowledge.

 

Entrepreneurial Myths?

We will embark upon a journey through the world of Entrepreneurial Myths and debunk them to help you avoid falling into its traps.

 First, let’s take a minute to talk about what an Entrepreneurial Myth is. An Entrepreneurial Myth, or e-myth, is the assumption that anyone can be successful in business if they have: 

  • Desire 
  • Some capital 
  • A goal for success

 This concept sounds fabulous, but it is just not realistic. Compare starting a business to running a marathon. Sure, everyone gets out of the gate at a fast pace, but after a few miles people start to slow down, and some even drop out entirely. Building a successful business takes stamina and agility. The reality is that there are many different facets to a successful business, and if you want to be successful you can’t ignore any of them.

 Now, let’s talk about entrepreneurial breakdowns. These breakdowns are caused by the roller coaster of emotions that comes with starting your business, nurturing it, and the business potentially failing. 

The emotional journey tends to look like this:

  • Exhilaration
  • Exhaustion
  • Despair 
  • Sense of Loss 

 This emotional roller coaster is fueled by the e-myths and assumptions we discussed above. You have set such high expectations for instant success that even the slightest delay or set-back will send you into an emotional tailspin. 

 This also gets emphasized by the stark realization that you can’t do it all and will need help in areas where you lack expertise. Now, faced with limited choices, you may feel like giving up, that’s not necessary! Sign up for our FREE test drive to get the business coaching you need to avoid feeling overwhelmed and defeated.

  

Harm B Stratman , MBA

Business Accelerator

Turn Prospects into Customers Overnight!

Today I’d like to talk about how to turn prospects into customers and retain them for future marketing. While your marketing is doing its job, you need to be working on turning those prospects into customers. There are a few key ways to draw them in and seal the deal. You need to be:
  • Inviting
  • Informative
  • Enjoyable
The biggest fear of most new customers is the dread buyer’s remorse. You want to avoid this at all costs and this should be mitigated if you’ve provided a quality product/service that delivers on the marketing claims you’ve made. However, this can still occur. There are two ways to deal with this:
  • Offer to refund money-no questions asked
  • Offer a bonus they can keep even if they return the product
These offers alone will also mitigate buyer’s remorse because the customer will trust you more, just for offering these things. There are a number of other ways to turn a prospect into a customer:
  1. Offer a special price as an opportunity for you to test the market.
  2. Offer a lower price with the reason of pushing inventory to pay a tax bill, for your kid’s braces, or another tangible reason. Customers love that this makes you feel so much more human.
  3. Offer a referral incentive.
  4. Offer a smaller, more inexpensive product first to build trust.
  5. Offer package deals.
  6. Offer to charge less for their first purchase if they become a repeat customer.
  7. Offer extra incentives-longer warranties, free bonuses if ordered by a set date.
  8. Offer financing options, if applicable.
  9. Offer a bonus if they pay in full.
  10. Offer special packaging or delivery.
  11. Offer “name your own price” incentives.
  12. Offer comparative data or other comparison tools.
  13. Offer a trade-up or upgrade to something they already have.
  14. Offer additional, educational information to help them make the decision.
The options really are as limitless as you make them. You can use these or other ideas to find what works the best for your business, products/service, and target market. Remember this… “By making it inviting, easy, informative, non-threatening, educational, inspiring and fun to do business with you, you’ll loft your company above the competition.” Jay Abraham Need help with figuring out the best strategy for converting prospects into customers? Our FREE test drive gives you exclusive access to the mountain of resources and tools, along with information from some of the greatest marketing minds on Earth.

Educate Your Customers

Educate them about what, you may be thinking. Well, consider this, many businesses focus solely on attracting new customers, but you NEED to spend a good chunk of your time retaining current and former customers. These are people you already know to be a good sales potential…they’ve already bought from you!

Take the time to market and sell new products to your old customers and less time trying to sell old products to new customers and you will see a drastic change in your sales, customer quality and branding position.

Here are a couple of key elements to use to retain your current customers:

  1. Stay in contact: This means by phone, email, e-newsletter, in person-by pigeon if you have too!
  2. Post-Purchase Assurance: This means you need to follow up with customers. Your customers need to feel like they are being supported for their purchase and with the item they purchased. How many times have you purchased a product, then felt completely abandoned? Something as simple as a Thank You note with your contact or customer service information can go along way in retaining a great customer.
  3. Deals & Guarantees: Always offer your current customers the best deals and guarantees you have. Show them you appreciate their business or even come up with a club specifically to reward loyal customers. You can also do this with a preferred pricing option.
  4. Integrity: Using good business practices and simply upholding integrity, dignity and honesty go along way with customers. Let’s face it, there’s a lot of swindling and crap out there and the safer and more confident you make your customers feel, the more they will trust you and that makes for an amazingly supportive and loyal customer.

There are three cornerstone ideas to a successful business:

  • Quality product/service
  • Offering useful products/services that solve a problem for or enhance the life of a customer
  • Offer subjects your customers find interesting

Use this approach of educating your customers and offering them real information and insight and you will be rewarded with loyalty and success.

Stop wasting all your time on new prospects while your current customers fall by the wayside!

As Jay Abraham says, “Your best prospects are your existing customers. If you’ve been putting all your marketing efforts into acquiring new customers, stop and diverts some of your resources into reselling, upselling, cross-selling to those same customers. In every ways possible – through package inserts, regular mailings, special offers – stay in touch with those customers and get them used to buying from you.”

So, there it is! Remember, we can help you put together the resources and tools to do exactly that. We can help you educate your customers and you can watch the benefits pay offer many-fold.