Monthly Archives: April 2015

Stop Blaming Time

STOP Blaiming time Time

How many times have you heard people say “I don’t have enough time to do …” or “If only I could find the time to do …” Or “I am too busy to do …” Perhaps the person you heard saying these or similar things is the same person who stares back at you every morning in the bathroom mirror. Well, it is time to stop blaming time! Time is an absolute-there are 24 hours (1440 minutes, 86,400 seconds) in a day and that will never change. We cannot “manage” time. What we can manage is what we do during the next 60 minutes.

How we use time is one of the great determinants of how successful we are both as business owners and as individuals. Everyone from Bill Gates to the small business owner is given the same amount of time each day, 24 hours. Think of it like the auto races where they make all the drivers drive identically built and tuned race cars. The winner is then determined not by who has the fastest car but who can drive that identical car the best. Similarly in life the “winners” are those who learn how to drive their use of time the best.

So how do you take control of your time?

1. Accept that there is no such thing as too much or too little time. There is enough time available for you to be successful-others have been successful and they had no more access to time than you do. Take ownership of your situation. Be accountable for your results and responsible for your actions.

2. Decide what you want to accomplish. What do you want to be “successful” at? To some it may mean making a million dollars, to others it may mean being healthier while others may be looking to have better relationships with their family and friends. This is your goal. You must also understand the benefits to you of achieving the goal -how will it make you feel when you achieve it. Both the goal and your “why” must be written down with a timeframe.

3. Once you have decided the goal and your “why”, you must now determine the activities that will be necessary for you to accomplish that goal. What do I have to do? What time commitment will I make? What will I need to adjust/sacrifice/reduce/delegate in order to have the time to do the activities identified? Remember if it was easy everyone, including you would have already done it. What separates the successful users of time from the unsuccessful ones is the discipline and determination to obtain their goals no matter what. Winners never give up and they never quit on themselves.

4. Understand that life and business are about choices. You choose how you will spend your time- on what activities and how much on each. This is a marathon, not a sprint. Being successful in many different areas takes effort and time. Success comes from laser-like focus on one or two goals. Once they are accomplished you move on to the next set of goals and focus on those.

5. Prepare your calendar each week by creating “appointments” to do the activities that you have identified. These are defaulted into your calendar before anything else. Treat these as if the appointment was with your most important customer. Would you easily change your Monday 2-3pm “meeting” just because someone asked for that time slot? No, you would negotiate- “I am booked at that time. I can see you at either 1pm or after 3pm, which would work for you?”

6. Be militant about your schedule. If you don’t care how your time is being spent, why should anyone else? Learn to say “No”. In Stephen Covey’s book “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” he breaks activities into 4 categories- Not Important/Not Urgent, Urgent/Not Important, Urgent/Important and Not Urgent/Important. The danger for most people is the Urgent/Not Important category. This is when we are responding to other people’s urgencies, however the activity does not move us toward OUR goal- by definition it is Not Important. Beware of the time and effort devoted to those tasks. Conduct your own time usage study. Every minute that you can divert from not important categories to the important categories will move you closer to your goal.

7. Review your successes/challenges in meeting your schedule each week and adjust where necessary. Be honest with yourself and continually reinforce your “Why” – what are you trying to accomplish and how important is that to you.

8. Find an accountability partner or mentor to help keep you on track. We can all use help every now and then- it is a strength to admit this, not a weakness.

In summary, stop blaming time, take ownership of your time and commit to the discipline necessary to win the race by being the best “driver” of time you can possibly be.

How To Close More Sales

AlwaysBeClosing

A critical success factor for all businesses is how good they are at selling.

Every business is selling something, a product and/or a service, but very few are actually trained in the art of selling.

Here are seven keys to selling to help you on the track to greater business success:

1. Ask More Questions:

Questions are the answers in sales. Too many sales people tell their customers the features and benefits of their product or service but never take the time to find out which of the benefits the customer is actually interested in. So, ask them to tell you what they want.

2. Set Daily Targets:

A common theme in sales- chase enough customers in the hope that one or more will buy. In reality this leads to sales people only selling to the early adopters or price shoppers who would probably buy from anyone. However by keeping track of how many customers buy on average from a given number of leads and then introducing strategies to convert a higher percentage will ensure your sales team learn how to improve their results. Set daily targets and assess your performance against these targets.

3. Use Sales Scripts:

No one likes to hear someone read from a script but customers do expect us to be consistent. So how do you ensure all your interactions with prospects are consistent and that you deal with objections in a professional way? By writing down what it is you say in any given situation and by training your team to use the same questions and language you can bring a lot more productivity to your sales process.

4. Offer / Guarantee:

Why should someone buy from you and not a competitor who can provide the same product or service at a lower price? What is it that you offer them or can guarantee them that will differentiate you from your competition? Your offer must generate excitement to get prospects to make a decision to buy now.

5. Ask For The Sale:

One of the biggest common failings in sales is not asking the prospect to buy. A fear of rejection, that the sale will be lost, prevents many sales people from actually asking the final question. Just do it and learn from those that say no so you can improve your conversion rate over time.

6. Learning:

To be successful in sales there absolutely must be a habit of learning. Learn from other sales experts, learn from books, learn from your best customers and learn from past experience. Both your good and bad experiences can be a huge help in improving your sales success. You must record these experiences and build your knowledge over time. Write it down so you do not keep repeating the same mistakes over and over again.

7. Testimonials:

We all need to be reminded of what we are doing right and why our best customers love dealing with us. Sometimes we focus too much on what is going wrong rather than what we are doing right. Focus on the good stuff and we will do more of it! Get your customers to write down their testimonials so you can use it in your marketing and attract even more great customers.

Here a example of a video testimonial we made at our last Business Planning Event.

 

If you would like to learn more about Sales and the How to close more sales then come along to our half day Sales Success workshop Thursday 30th April. Click here for more details and to register your place today.

ActionCLUB Email Signature Sales

5 Reasons To Improve Your Sales Process

ActionCOACH Business Coaching Ireland Sales ProcessWhen was the last time you reviewed the process by which you convert prospects to paying customers? If it’s been a while, here’s why it would be a good idea:

  1. Consistency – Your prospects expect it and you need it.

    ActionCOACH Business Coaching Ireland Consistency Does your sales team follow the same process with every prospect? Consistency builds confidence for your prospects and assures you of relevant results. Customers and prospects want to know what to expect. You need to test and measure your conversion rate. Consistency helps you manage expectations and lower resistance. On the other hand, if every sales person does it differently, it’s very difficult to tell what is working, what is not, and what needs to be changed. Execute your process the same way each time. Then, if improvements need to be made, this will be based on an informed decision.

  2. Make it easy to buy. 

    ActionCOACH Business Coaching Ireland Easy to BuyHow many times have you attempted to purchase something online and got frustrated with the complexity of the process? If you’re like me, you give up and go somewhere else. The same thing happens in person as well. Examine the process (time, paperwork, etc) to consummate the transaction once the purchase decision has been made. How many “hoops” does our customer have to jump through? What can be done to smooth the way? What lessons have we learned (and applied) from previous mistakes?

  3. Spice it up. 

    Questions_To_-AskI heard sales author/trainer Jeffrey Gitomer say: “If the prospect isn’t interested, it means you’re not interesting!” What is your conversion rate? Maybe it’s time to jazz things up a bit. Examine your presentation: script, charts, marketing materials, etc. Formulate some new provocative questions that will stimulate interest. There are bound to be some “hot button” issues relative to your product, service, or industry. Ideally, you want to hear your prospect say: “That’s a great question.” Or “Hmm. Nobody’s asked me that before.”

  4. Create attraction. 

    creating-value-and-driving-customer-satisfactionAre you tired of constantly chasing prospects, shaking the bushes, begging for appointments? When you create attraction for your product, service, knowledge, expertise, etc. you never have to chase them again! Remember that perception (for your prospect) is reality. What value do you bring and how obvious is that prior to the sales presentation? If you have (or develop) a strong value proposition AND effectively articulate that in advance, you heighten the perception of value. And real value trumps price every time.

  5. You probably can do better. 

    Unless you have all the business you can stand right now, either the volume of prospects and/or the conversion rate can be improved. Do you want more leads or more sales? Start by measuring your cost per lead and cost per new customer (acquisition cost). Look back a year or two. Is it lower, higher, about the same? Same thing with conversion rate. What you measure, you can change. Take action today!ActionCOACH Business Coaching Ireland Crossword

    If you would like to learn more about Sales and the Sales Process then come along to our half day Sales Success workshop Thursday 30th April. Click here for more details and to register your place today.

How To Get Award Winning Results In Business

how to get award winning results in your business

 

Congratulations to all the finalists in the SFA Awards 2015. It is a great         acknowledgment of all your hard work and a fantastic opportunity to celebrate your achievements as a Small Business in Ireland and to recognise the vital contribution of the Small Business sector to the Irish economy.

Check out these fabulous results from our clients and programme participants:

ClevaMama, Co.Dublin

Finalists in the following categories:

  • Innovator of the year (up to 50 employees)
  • Small Business Exporter of the year (up to 50 employees)

Awards:

  • Overall National Small Business of the year 2015
  • Innovator of the year 2015ClevaMama Overall National Small Business of the year 2015
Clubstohire, Co.Dublin

Finalists in the following categories:

  • Innovator of the year (up to 50 employees)
  • Small Business Exporter of the year (up to 50 employees)

Awards:

  • Highly Commended in Small business exporter of the year
Eight Degrees Brewing, Co.Cork

Finalists in the following categories:

  • Manufacturing Category (up to 50 employees)
  • Food & Drink Category (up to 50 employees)

Awards

  • Highly commended in the Food and Drink Category. Eight Degrees Brewing, Highly commended in the Food and Drink Category.
Kevin Egan Cars

Finalist in the following Category:

  • Outstanding Small Business (up to five employees)

So how do you become an Award Winning Business like these companies?

The answer is simple really – you need plenty of focus which in turn leads to results in your business. Here are some top tips to help you achieve the award winning results in business :

  • Have a Strategic Plan which outlines your businesses Purpose, Values, Goals and Envisioned Future. This allows you to identify and put in place the correct management structure to bring the company forward.
  • Make sure you allow time to work ON your business rather than IN your business, focusing on key areas to develop in such as innovation, strategic alliances and planning.
  • Communication with your team is vital to ensure everyone on the team has the same vision for where the company is going and how it is going to get there.
  • Always be learning and make time for education and training for your team. As your business is growing and evolving your team should be to.
  • Have Systems in place for all areas of the business.  This ensure your business an run efficiently and effectively without you! An example of such a system would be a Sales Pipeline with specific targets, sales process, scripts, KPI’s and incentives.This will help the focus in the business and will achieve better results.

Best of luck growing your business and achieving brilliant results, we hope to see you on an award stage soon!

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