Guest Contributor: David Colomb David's Posts - David's Blog O.K., I know it's hokey, but I've always been a believer in New Year's resolutions. It's a new year, a new start and what the heck; sometimes we need to reinvent ourselves. Sit down, put your assets and liabilities on a sheet, and decide how to capitalize on the positive and change or at least downplay the negatives.
First I have to set goals, where do I want to be next New Year's? I need to be realistic in my goals, but I also need to challenge myself. Too low, or too high and the goals do nothing to help me. I also need to break the goal down in to bite size pieces, so I can stop at each goalpost and adjust my direction. Once I've set the goals, I need to decide what I need to use from my current toolbox, and also what new tools I need to find and put in the box to succeed.
In my case, I always feel that I need to work on organization; my enthusiasm overcomes my sense of organization. My files need work, my reports need to be kept up better, and even my vehicle needs to be organized. I need to sit down and decide what stays, what goes and what devices and strategies I'll use to get my act together. It's important to my sales, because when I'm organized, I'm more confident, and my presentations are more polished, and my sales improve.
Every year I choose a facet of my sales that I'll read and study to improve. It may be sales techniques from books or off the Internet, but I search out things that'll help me and I make a plan to do the research I need. I also pick out sources for information on my industry and make plans to improve my knowledge base. It may be journals, magazines or books; again I subscribe to the sources, or buy the books or go to the library and get what I need.
Part of success is being part of a team; I sit down and analyze how I can improve my team. Do I need to build new or better relationships? Do I need to improve communications with the organization, or do I need to open a totally different channel, and work around a problem?
The next step is how do I change my style of doing business, what do I do in a call that's successful, and what needs work. After my study, what can I take from my research and meld in to my approach to sales. I don't feel you can just plug things in; you need to figure out how to make them your own. Early in my career I'd pick up something that someone said or did, and I'd try to wedge it in to my sales approach, and it always felt and look forced or uncomfortable. Once I sat down and analyzed why something worked, not just do what they did, I was much more successful.
I know it sounds like a lot to do, but the first step is commitment, decide you're going to do it, and you'll make it happen. I often feel that in the time I waste making up excuses why something can't happen, I probably could have gotten it done. Let's face it, it's your career and your future, you owe yourself the time and effort to be the best you can be.
This seems to be the biggest challenge for many people in this economy. I totally understand the issues around this and totally get it. The only thing that I don't get is that this has NOT been issue for me in my business. In fact, this has been my best year yet! Well how can than be you ask? Well, let me share with you in this season of thanks, two things that will help you make a difference and get more clients in any economy:
1) Do you really know the business you're in? You might say that you're a coach, a marketer, a musician, or whatever your business focus is. The reality is you're that's not really the business you're in. The business you're in is connecting with your clients, creating relationships and marketing to them. That's THE business you're in, you're the problem solver, the person that will come to their rescue and help that. The more you can get this and figure this out, the easier it will be for you to get new clients. The more you can reach your prospects on a more emotional level, the more you will connect and they'll want to work with you. The best way to do this is to speak like your prospects in your marketing copy. Use their language, speak to their issues. This is what separates successful entrepreneurs from unsuccessful ones, knowing that you're a marketer 1st, and marketing your business will lead to your great success.
2) The best marketing that you can do that will lead to your success is called Direct Response marketing. It's different from image marketing. Image marketing is what big companies like Sony, IBM, and Starbucks do. They spend tons of money using image/brand marketing. This is what I don't want you to do. For you as an entrepreneur or a small business, I don't want you to spend a ton of money on your marketing, and the money you do spend, I want you to get the most value out of it. Hence, I want you to use direct response marketing when you start to market yourself. What this means is that everything you put out to advertise yourself has a way for your prospects to respond to you. The focus of your business is to get new clients and keep these clients for a long time. It's not to simply sell your services. Also, you want your potential clients/prospects to raise their hand and let you know that they're interested in your services. So how we do this is whatever you create, you're going to ask for your prospects info in exchange for something for free. What I call this is creating your incredible free offer.
You want to create something so compelling that they'd be willing to exchange their information to get it. It has to be something that they'd feel like a fool if they didn't get this free thing. This thing could be a free report, free audio, free video. The real key here is you need to really know your client so you can create something that they'd be willing to have. An example of a title would be- The 7 Horrible mistakes people make when they're hiring a career coach and what you can do to avoid them.
- For example if you want to do this online- When creating your website, to advertise your new business and services, you need to put your incredible free offer to give to prospects. You need to have an email auto responder like 1 shopping cart or like aweber which you will put on your website that will take these names and automate this whole feature of giving them your free report.
I hope you can take these two tips and run with them all the way to the bank. I use both of these strategies and many more. This is what's helped me grow my business to much success in any economy.