Have you ever told yourself you’re “definitely going to do it”, and then you end up not even getting that thing done?
You have all the best intentions in the world, and you have the willingness to do the work, but for some reason you keep putting of for tomorrow what you had committed to doing today.
It affects us all.
We all have it, we all use it, and we all could probably benefit from creating some more of it.
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Today I stumbled upon a cool new music speaker system – it worked so well, it was so easy and intuitive – it simply delivered. In fact it was quite remarkable.
Take a look at that word – remarkable! Remark-able.
Yes, I was able to make voluntary, un-coerced positive remarks to my friends. They also liked it and may just tell their friends.
What makes one website/product so remarkable? Well simply put, when a website solves a problem, meets a need or satisfies a want, it’s likely to be a good site. However a remarkable site does all that so well that it literally over-delivers, surpasses all expectations and makes its visitors feel good just for finding it.
In what way is your site, your product remarkable?
Why do you care? Because you want traffic, traffic, traffic. A good site may only convert 2- 5% of its traffic, so the higher your traffic, the more you sell. But other than positive, pervasive word of mouth you will have to work or pay for that traffic. I say work because there are some ways of generating traffic that don’t cost much money – rather they demand time and effort.
One of the best ways to draw people to your site is through original content, articles specifically.
There are hundreds of sites dedicated to article postings and within your ‘author bio’ you can post the link back to your site. People go online primarily for content. They are looking for answers, looking for ideas and solutions – sure some people are just bored and browsing, but your potential clients will only exchange their hard earned money for the promise that your product will get them closer to their goal.
If you can write articles that show you understand them and that you have a special insight into their interests, they may in return believe in your product enough to give it a try.
You can also write some press releases. A press release is nothing more than a written announcement that discusses something exciting and hopefully newsworthy about your business.
Typically it will have contact information so that any member of the press can easily reach you in case they have questions. There are many press release sites that can educate and help you spread your news. These ideas are just the tip of the marketing strategy iceberg.
You ought to find a mentor who can help you do all the above and more.
Remember – be remarkable.
Let’s give them something to talk about!
Building a strong business requires leverage.
You may be able to do it all yourself now, but as you grow you’ll need a sales team to help bring in the contracts and money. Sales teams prioritize and drive your company’s development.
You need them because the more success they have, the more success you’ll experience. Here’s some insight into building a strong sales team.
Tip 1: Hiring the Right Salespeople is Key
Your salespeople aren’t simply responsible for bringing in the case.
They’re the front line of your business, and the first impression clients see of your brand.
Before you hire just anyone, you must clarify the specific sales needs for your business.
Do you need someone who is experienced and skilled at closing and converting?
Or are you better tasked with someone who is an awesome lead generator?
Knowing exactly where your strengths and weaknesses are in the sales process is one of the best ways to determine your business needs.
Tip 2: Develop Your Team with Mentorship Experiences
Your team is only as strong as its weakest link, collectively.
Take time to regularly mentor members of your team, individually and as a group.
Even small, monthly trainings focused on improving skills can help your sales team drive stronger results.
As I’m writing this, I’m thinking of some really corny times in my career where the boss’ idea of training was bringing us donuts and talking about his glory days in sales.
Needless to say, this is not what I’m talking about.
Have open discussions with your people about the kind of support they need, and structure your resources to provide that – even if they need help determining what kind of outfit or pitch best helps them close.
Tip 3: Compensate Properly and Accordingly
No matter how altruistic and humanitarian he or she is, your sales members will value your business to the extent that you pay them.
Seriously, you get what you pay for.
Make sure you compensate your salespeople, and provide a sliding scale of bonuses and incentives to increase sales motivation.
Some companies are commission-only; others are base plus commission.
Some are provide a generous salary and benefits package with bonuses.
Compare compensation packages in the market and structure yours accordingly.
So you’ve set some goals, you’re feeling ambitious, and you’ve promised yourself that you’re going to follow through.
You’re determined to make this year better than the last. And hopefully, it works out that way. But you’ve seen the reality, too. In spite of a sensible plan and good intentions, most people find themselves off course by March. Imagine if you could uncover the cause, stay the course, and get what you really want.
The answer lies in having a solid starting point a strategic plan that really works.
Every year, I meet thousand of decision makers around the country in our consulting and speaking work.
Like you, they’re smart, ambitious, and they’re doing a decent job. But, they’re also often frustrated that they aren’t doing better. When we break down the element for them, I find that few if any of them have a good strategic plan they can work from.
In fact, most of them don’t even know how to create one.
The following is a mini lesson in strategic planning. Here are some important things to know when creating a basic plan.
1. Know the difference between a strategy and a tactic.
Strategy is the plan that defines where you’re going. Tactics are the things you do and use to get to the destination. Sounds simple, right? You probably already know this, right? Take a closer look at any list of goals; you will find that many of those goals are tactics. This is the reason most New Year’s resolutions and company goals are off track by March.
2. Be specific.
A few words can make all the difference in the direction you take your firm, and the tactics you use to implement a strategy.
Vague statement: We will improve customer service response time.
Specific statement: We will improve customer service response time will drop 29%.
Can you see how a few words change the way you might approach a challenge or opportunity?
3. Engage the aging process.
Like great wine, the making of a strategic plan takes time.
A strategic plan is NOT built during a weekend retreat! It evolves out of thoughts, research, information, and experiences.
Spend some real time developing a strategy so that it’s the right one for your organization.
Not having a strategy is hard on a firm. But having the wrong strategy, because you just threw one together, can be disastrous.
On the flip side, don’t let the time frame hinder you from doing something, at least. It’s better to have some type of plan to follow, even if it isn’t exactly what you want it to be today.
4. Keep it simple.
You can still be thorough without running yourself through the mill. Use the A-B-C approach:
A. Establish what you want to achieve: STRATEGY.
B. List available, realistic ways to make it happen: TACTICS
C. Select options that give the highest rewards for the lowest output: IMPLEMENTATION.
5. Follow the plan.
Most plans are developed, and then put on a shelf. When (or if) they’re finally taken off the shelf for referral, you usually have to blow the dust off them. Not good. Senior management is guiltiest of not following the plan.
A CEO should be able to clear everything off his desk and follow the plan daily if the plan is complete. He shouldn’t think it is meant for everyone but himself.
Think of the strategic plan as the road map you and your organization use to follow your intended path.
If you were to drive from California to New York, you would use a map of some sort. You’d refer to it to make sure you took all the turns and exits you need to follow the right roads, prevent getting lost, and get where you want to be.
The same with the corporate map.
If, during the course of the year, you find that the plan needs some tweaking, you can certainly modify it.
Be careful not to switch directions too often, as this will discredit you and your plan in the eyes of its followers.
But, make sure that the plan is working in the best interests of the organization, even if that requires a sensible, justifiable change here and there.
Using these tips alone, you should be able to develop a stronger strategic plan one that will endure through the unexpected trials that arise through the year, also. We hope this year is one full of growth and success for you.
Good luck! 🙂
Sales people are frequently confronted by this question on sales calls, along with some others like
“why should I buy from you/your company?” or
“what makes you different?”.
In fact, they have probably spent a lot of time at learning exactly how to answer these questions.
In reality, answering questions like these usually end up putting you on the defensive and will not give you the advantage you are hoping for.
Think about it for a minute…
if you answer that question you immediately sound like all of the sales people that have come before you, as well as those who will follow you.
By answering the question you create “sameness” and a belief in the mind of the prospect that you are just like everyone else.
You must also consider that everything you say will be considered as “sales fodder” and is often listened to with skepticism and from an “oh sure” perspective.
Obviously, there are many different situations in which this questions can be asked.
Are they currently buying this product from someone else?
Is this a product they have bought in the past, or is it a product they have never bought?
Knowing which situation you are in will help you determine how best to proceed.
Rather than answer the question, you might want to say “I’d be happy to tell you but I’m curious, is this a product that you have used in the past or are currently buying?”.
Their answer will be a valuable piece of information from which we can plan our next question.
If they are currently using or have had past experience, it would make a lot more sense to find out what they have used in the past.
If they are looking to make a change “what would they like to see different?”
This is a questions that would get us information that would begin to form our offer, or identify that we don’t have what they want.
Remember too, if they are not buying or have not used before, giving away your information can now become a shopping list that will allow them to compare you to the competition and “commoditize” your offer.
Not always, but often times the best answer to a question is another question.
By not answering the question but rather asking:
“Was there something that you were hoping would be better?“, or
“If we could offer something different or better what were you hoping for?”
With these questions you end up with the chance of finding out exactly what they are looking for and can craft your response based on the feedback you get.
It takes some courage and emotional control to respond this way but you’ll find it will put you in an entirely different light with your prospect.
Stop answering “what makes you better?” and you’ll get better information that will help you make more sales!
When it’s time to brand your business, or infuse vibrance in your design, there’s nothing like the power of color psychology.
Color psychology is the study of colors and the visual cues they communicate.
Proper understanding of color psychology can positively affect the results of your choices for brand design, particularly on your website, business cards, brochures and even your prototypes.
Here are three colors you should consider somehow for your branding.
You’ll recognize these colors and feel they’re cliché, but once you’ve ready their psychological profiles, you’ll see why they’re so popular.
Tried and true, blue is a color associated with friendliness and loyalty. Seen as sincere, blue is a reserved, responsible, and quiet color that commands respect through tradition and trustworthiness.
You can witness the power of blue in the corporate world, especially in financial institutions.
Banks, investment companies, and other financial services brands employ conservative tones of blue to denote reliability and security.
Red stimulates the senses and excites people – literally!
Studies have shown that red pumps up your blood pressure and heart rate. Red has powerful and positive attributes for branding. It’s lustful, energetic, fast, confident, warm, and passionate.
Because red is such a fervent, motivating color, it’s best used in businesses that want to encourage impulsive behavior.
Restaurants love to use red, and are encouraged to, because it’s known to boost your appetite. (Ironically, shades of blue are said to calm and dull the appetite.)
White is a color of cleanliness and purity. Luxury designs love white because it’s a clean palette that reflects color well, and opens space.
Light, goodness, brilliance, and simplicity are just some of the keywords associated with this shade.
White invokes feelings of fresh beginnings and safety.
Its lightness infuses innocence in design, allowing it contrast beautiful with thick, heavy colors, including black.
White is cool and fresh, but it can also be seen as delicate.
Black means Business
Black is said to be the absence or negation of color.
When it comes to brands, black is a color that goes with nearly everything. It provides a clean, formal energy that places focus on the design and content.
Black imparts class and elegance in products, making it a favorable color for luxury brands, which tend to favor simplicity in design.
Black is an excellent choice for sales professionals because it’s clean, basic, and slimming.
Black can be perceived as unfriendly, but in business it denotes power and authority.
When you wear it in the right outfits, it imparts sophistication, grace, and confidence.