In the last post we talked about the first secret to building a solid customer service plan and how to decide what your vision is.
Today we’ll talk about the second secret in taking your satisfied customers to raving fans. You must know what your customers want. Know who your customers are and you will know better how to serve them. Demographics are really important here. An upper-class woman in her 30’s is going to have completely different expectations than a working class man in his 50’s.
There are four main areas you need to consider and plan when figuring out what your customers want:
Listen to Your Customers
Ask Your Customers Sincerely
Offer More than Just a Product/Service
Know When to Ignore Them
These are all important when deciding what your customers want out of their shopping experience.
Listen to Your Customers
You need to listen to both what they say and what they don’t say. Customers may say they want one thing and really mean something else. For example, if you customers are begging for lower prices, you may find out their real priority is quick delivery.
Also, listen to your “silent” customers. These are the customers don’t bother to complain because the service is so bad they’ve just given up and don’t feel like their voice matters. They feel unwanted and when a competitor shows up, they’ll be gone.
Lastly, you need to listen to customers who only reply with “fine”. These customers are similar to the “silent” customers in that they are so used to bad customer service they only give a monotone response.
Ask Your Customers Sincerely
If you aren’t sincere when you ask their opinion, they are going to see right through you. You may be thinking, “What about the customers who aren’t saying anything?” You need to ask them sincere questions that get them thinking about their experiences. Make them feel like you really care, and you should!
Offer More than Just a Product/Service
Your customers are looking for much more than a simple product or service, they are looking for an experience that makes them feel good. They gauge every step of the process with a value. When you take this into consideration and treat them like people, they will feel like they belong.
Know When to Ignore Them
You may think this goes beyond providing good customer service, but in reality you can’t give them everything and someone people you will never make happy. You have to set limits and stick to them. If your vision and company don’t meet the needs of the customer, they will be best suited somewhere else.
These are the steps and tricks to figuring out what your customers want and how you can use them to work on your customer service vision and plan.
If you get stuck, try ourGUIDED TOURand let us help you through the process.
Customer service is a pretty hot topic and can make or break your business. Consumers have little patience for lousy customer service and easily 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 over and over. More importantly, they will tell everyone they know!
There are three secrets to good customer service, the first one we’re going to conquer is 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 and that includes customer service. There are three main goals you need to consider:
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.
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 a good value for their time and money. Perceived value goes beyond the price of the products and extends to their shopping experience.
Change your mind set and ask yourself “How can I NOT afford to do these things?” This shouldn’t be a question of expenses, but making and keep happy customers.
With these thoughts in mind you also need to take a few things into consideration 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.
Now that you know what you want you can starting thinking about how to meet those wants 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 GUIDED TOUR can help you define the wants and needs of your company in relation to customer service.
In the last post we talked about the first three of the 7 specific areas you need to consider in your franchise prototype process. Here are all seven again:
These 7 areas will fine turn your plan for the ultimate level of success. Today we are going to cover the last four.
Think of constructing your business model like planting a tree. At first, it’s so small and weak you wonder if it will even make it through the night. But you keep watering, fertilizing and nurturing it. Your ideas will grow the trunk and each of these strategies will extend out as the branches of your now strong tree. Finding the perfect support staff, employees, vendors/suppliers and other relationships will make your tree flourish with leaves and flowers.
The way you structure your management team is not only essential to your growth, but the happiness of your employees and, ultimately, your customers/clients. This strategy is results-oriented and doesn’t depend on the people, but the actual system that’s in place.
A management strategy is, in short, a set of standards that include goals, rules, a mission statement and other concrete things that tell your employees how to act, your management how to grow your business and your customers/clients what to expect.
These should all be in perfect alignment with your business goals.
You need to put together a people strategy that shows your employees how you feel about their job performance and dedication to your business. They also need to understand “why” they are doing specific tasks. This helps them to personally connect to their job which in turn leads to better production and a happier workplace.
There are a number of strategies you can use to keep it interested at “the office”:
Performance Incentive Programs
Contests that reward high performance
Employee of the Month
These are just a few of the ideas you can use. One of the best ways to appreciate your employees is by calling a meeting and asking them how they would like to be rewarded. Think about it for a while and put the best strategy into play. Keep it fresh and change up the strategy you use from time to time to keep your employees guessing. Once they get used to the prize, it’s time for a whole new approach.
You need to build a community within your company. There needs to be support, appreciation, and respect. The more “at home” an employee feels, the better they will perform and the higher their level of loyalty.
Marketing is, of course, essential to the success of any business, but it also must work cohesively with the other strategies you’re using. There are two major pillars of a successful marketing strategy-the demographic and psychographic profiles of your customers.
The psychographic tells you what your customers are the most likely to buy and the demographic tells you who they are, which can help you learn why they buy specific items. Without this information it simply doesn’t matter how good your business prototype is.
There are three types of systems in every business:
Hard systems refer to inanimate system or systems that have no “life”. Soft systems are those that could be living. Information systems which are, of course, everything else, including customer data, product information, financial…anything with data and numbers.
The most important of all three systems is the soft systems because it includes the sales systems your business uses. In your sales system, the two keys to success are: structure and substance. Structure being what you sell and substance being how you sell it.
All three systems are essential to the success of your business and while they all have their own very specific roles, they all must work together to get the job done. This also goes for your entire business development program.
I want to take a moment to recap on the ideas we went over through the business develop lessons.
An entrepreneurial myth, or e-myth, is an assumption that anyone can succeed at business with:
Projected a targeted profit
There are essentially three key roles that need to be filled to set your business up for success:
The four different stages of a business life cycle are:
There are a few things we are going to talk about:
Business Format Franchise
The Franchise Prototype
Franchise Prototype Standards
There are three main areas of business development:
7 specific areas you need to consider in your franchise prototype process. Here are all seven again:
We can help you work through all of these areas and give your business a jumpstart that puts you ahead of your competition right from the start. Use ourGUIDED TOUR and work with one of our coaches, plus gain access to a wealth of tools and resources.
The 7 specific areas you need to consider in your franchise prototype process:
These 7 areas will fine turn your plan for the ultimate level of success. In this lesson, we are going to cover the first three.
It’s essential in business development to set goals and see a vision for the future. This needs to go beyond the business and you need to think about what you want out of life. What do you dream about? How do you see your success unfolding? Knowing and understanding these things will give you the momentum to get started and the stamina to see it through. Even take a minute to write them down and tape to your desk for a constant reminder of what you’re aiming for.
These are essential in taking your business from surviving to thriving. All of these objectives should offer solutions for how to get to your primary aim. There are many things you can use to set strategic objectives, but here are a couple of the most popular:
Money: Setting monetary goals is a great, simple way to see how you are doing at any point in the game. It’s easy to measure and easy to find adjustments to help meet this goal.
Worthy Opportunities: When considering partnerships and other business opportunities you need to think about whether or not they will help you reach your primary aim. Those that will are the best opportunities to seriously consider.
The key in setting standards and goals is not to limit you or stress yourself out. You need to find some quantifiable things you can use to measure your progress toward your primary aim. These are just two suggestions, but make sure no matter what standards you set you are paying attention to the details, as these are one of the biggest keys to your success.
The strength of your organizational structure can make or break your business, so it’s important to take the time to put together a solid structure for your business to grow from. Generally, a company is organized around the roles and responsibilities that need to be taken care of on a daily basis and the personalities that need to fulfill those roles.
No matter what roles and responsibilities you’ve defined for your employees, you must always keep your personal primary aim separate from your company’s primary aim or mission statement. Once you’ve identified the primary aim for your company it will be easy to set up a position structure that will work.
Don’t forget to put together position contracts. Your employees should sign a statement of their roles and responsibilities. This helps keep them clear for you, the employee and other employees/vendors or other individuals.
You can see how these areas all work together to build a solid structure on which to build your business. If you need help defining any of these areas, you can check out the resources, tools and speak with one of our fantastic coaches during your GUIDED TOUR.
Chapter One from my book, “45 Minute Business Breakthroughs,” to download a copy of the entire book you can do that HERE
Let’s face it. The major hot button for most small businesses these days is the ability to generate leads. All small businesses want more leads, but few of them know how to successfully attract customers to their business.
As a coach, I have in-depth knowledge and skill when it comes to generating leads. So here’s the process I use to do this.
If you’re like 99% of the business owners I speak with, you may often feel lost or overwhelmed as you try to navigate through all the various options available these days. Websites, social media, SEO, email marketing, Facebook, pay-per-click and so on.
Let me do you a favor right now and completely remove that overwhelm from your life forever. Are you familiar with the 80/20 rule?
For business owners, it means 20% of what you do every day is generating 80% of your total annual revenue.
In other words, you’re only doing a few things daily that makes you most of your money. I can tell you specifically what makes up that 20%, and that’s all you really need to focus on after today.
There are 5 areas that make up that 20% – leads, conversions, transactions, pricing and profits.
I’m going to be focusing on just 2 or 3 of these 5 areas, so you can imagine what you could actually generate revenue-wise if you implemented all 5 areas.
In fact, let me show you what’s possible, and why these 5 areas are so critical.
I use a tool called a Profit Growth Calculator. Do you by chance know the exact number of leads and sales you’ve made over the past 12 months?
No! That’s OK… let’s plug in numbers for a make believe business. Let’s say your business generated 1000 leads in the past year… and your average conversion rate was 25%.
Let’s also say your customers bought what you sell 10 times throughout the year… and they typically paid on average around $100 per purchase.
Finally, let’s say your profit margin per sale is only 25%.
Notice at the bottom that you’re earning $62,500 annually. But, look what happens if we simply increase each of these 5 areas by a meager 10%.
You would see your annual revenue almost double from $62,500 to over 6 figures. By the way, that’s the ballpark most business coaches play in… the 10% increase range. Nothing wrong with that either, believe me.
Most business owners would KILL to almost double their revenue, wouldn’t you agree? Now, watch what happens if you could increase each of the 5 areas by 50%.
Your business would skyrocket from $62,500 to almost half a million dollars annually. Now, you may be thinking 50% gains in each of these 5 areas would be next to impossible. Let me assure you, a 50% increase is child’s play, and I’m going to prove it to you right now.
When asked, most business owners tell me “word of mouth”, or more often than not “referrals”, are how they generate leads. Referrals are obviously an excellent lead source. In fact, it may be the best one by far, but the problem is you never know when you will get them. They’re not reliable and you certainly can’t generate them whenever you want.
99% of businesses today do have a website. Do you know for sure how many leads your website generates every month? Do you know for sure how many sales your website produces every month?
Can I show you why your website isn’t generating leads or closing sales for you? In fact, would you like for me to give you the deeply hidden secrets that the marketing gurus DON’T want you to know?
Here’s the key to successful marketing. You MUST be able to enter the conversation taking place in the head of your prospects. Or, another way to look at it is to be able to address the number one question on your prospect’s mind at just the right time. So how do you do this? It’s actually quite simple when you know and understand the fundamentals of marketing.
The conversation that’s taking place in EVERY prospect’s mind revolves around two major points. There’s a problem they have, and they don’t want… and there’s a result they want but don’t have.
Now believe it or not, there is actually a marketing formula we follow that takes these two points into account and spits out a message so compelling it practically forces your prospects to buy what you sell.
It’s called the Conversion Equation, and it looks like this – Interrupt, Engage, Educate and Offer. The Interrupt is your headline – which means it’s the first thing someone sees when they visit your website, read any of your marketing collateral, or hear you speak. When someone asks you what you do, it’s the first words out of your mouth. That’s your headline… and it MUST address the problem your prospects have that they don’t want.
The Engage is your sub-headline – which is the second thing your prospects see or hear. It MUST address the result your prospect wants but doesn’t have. The Educate is the information you provide… either verbally or in writing… that presents evidence to your prospects that you and your product or service are superior in every way to your competition.
Unfortunately, MOST businesses aren’t different from their competitors, and that’s why you MUST innovate your business to create what we refer to as a market-dominating position.
You MUST make your business unique… it MUST stand out from the crowd. It MUST make your prospects say to themselves that they would be absolute idiots to buy from anyone else but you – regardless of price. And finally, the Offer. You MUST create a compelling offer that makes it so irresistible your prospects can’t turn it down.
But, here’s another critical fundamental of marketing. Because of the saturation of marketing messages these days, most prospects have become numb to most marketing.
Following our Conversion Equation can dramatically overcome this, but even with this powerful tool in play, it will still take multiple “touch” points before your prospects will buy what you sell.
For most businesses today, it takes anywhere from 20 to more than 100 touch points before a prospect makes their buying decision. Following the Conversion Equation reduces the touch points to somewhere between 5 to 12 points of contact.
But here’s the key… most businesses don’t follow up with their prospects at all, and this provides a HUGE window of opportunity for ANY business that does follow up… to position themselves as the dominant force in their industry.
But, in order to have the opportunity to get your message in front of your prospects 5 to 12 times, you MUST find a way to collect their contact information, and that’s the purpose of your Offer.
Most businesses offer something that only appeals to prospects we call NOW buyers – prospects ready to make an immediate purchase. Unfortunately, NOW buyers make up less than 1% of the total number of prospects that are in the market to buy what you sell.
These businesses typically offer prospects a free consultation, a discount, a coupon, a free assessment, a complimentary quote, or the biggest mistake of all… CALL US!
For most businesses, all of their marketing material… their website… their business card… all list their phone number as their sole offer… and that ONLY appeals to that 1% of NOW buyers. The remaining 99% of viable prospects are “investigating” and gathering information about what you sell.
They’re searching for information because they want to determine who is offering the best value. You see, prospects DON’T shop price – they shop VALUE!
The only reason prospects consider price is that most businesses don’t give them any other value proposition to consider except price.
Remember what I said a moment ago about making your business unique – creating a market-dominating position?
Most businesses don’t do that, and since they… and all of their competitors… look exactly the same, prospects are FORCED to shop price. So, with these fundamentals in mind, let’s see how your website stacks up to them.
Let me show you a website we just revised for a child psychologist so you can see what I mean… and then let’s take a look at your website as a comparison. Here is the child psychologist’s original website.
This is typical for this profession, and 99% of his colleagues’ websites look EXACTLY like this. Notice the generic headline – Parenting Advice and Resources from Dr. John Smith.
He has to have a headline like that because he’s attempting to be all things to all prospects. Basically, this doctor helps parents deal with adolescent problems. Look at the 9 areas he services – emotionally disturbed kids, behavioral problems, teen pregnancy, peer pressure and so on.
So, let’s compare this site with the fundamentals we just discussed. First, you MUST create a market-dominating position. This doctor could actually create 9 of them by simply positioning his specialty in each of his 9 individual areas of treatment.
For example, let’s say he decides to start with the top condition on his list… emotionally disturbed kids. These are kids that yell, scream and constantly have a highly belligerent attitude toward their parents. They scream at them and are known in some cases to threaten the parents. These kids can’t be reasoned with and these poor parents have NO clue how to deal with this situation.
So, here’s what this doctor needs to do. Forget the website completely – this doctor needs what we call a squeeze page. This is a single page that’s online and specifically addresses ONLY this one condition. So, what should this page look like… and what should it say?
Remember the second fundamental – you MUST enter the conversation taking place in the head of your prospect. There’s a problem they have they don’t want… and there’s a result they want but they don’t have. This is where we implement the first two components of the Conversion Equation… Interrupt and Engage. The headline is the Interrupt and it must address the problem they have and don’t want.
Here’s the squeeze page we created for this doctor that did that.
Notice the headline – Are You Sick and Tired of the Yelling, Screaming and Belligerent Attitude of Your Child? Does that address the problem these parents have and don’t want? Would you say that’s a 100% bullseye?
Now, for the Engage which is the sub-headline. It MUST address the result they want but they don’t have. Notice it says – Now You Can Discover the Secrets to Controlling Your Child and Instantly Restore Peace and Quiet in Your Home. Would you say that’s bullseye number two?
Now, let’s look at the third Conversion Equation component… Educate. In the doctor’s original website, because he’s trying to appeal to all prospects, his video said this – “Greeting parents. I want to welcome you to remarkable parenting. You will find tons of great information here with hundreds of pages of articles.”
Think how ridiculous this sounds if I’m one of these parents with a kid that has a belligerent attitude. Do I want to read hundreds of pages of articles? Or, am I searching for a specific solution to a specific problem? Do you see why most websites these days are basically a total and complete waste of money? They don’t address the things your prospects are truly looking for. Here’s the new script we created for this doctor.
“As a parent, are you struggling to gain control of your child’s attitude and emotions? Is your child yelling and screaming at you, while often displaying a belligerent and sometimes threatening tone that no matter what you do or try… you just can’t seem to get under control?
My name is Dr. John Smith, and I help parents like you every day learn the techniques that will solve these frustrating and destructive behavioral patterns once and for all. In fact, let me prove it to you. Enter your first name and email in the box to the right, and I’ll send you a series of 60-second techniques that will immediately restore peace and quiet in your home.”
Think that just might get more prospects to respond to this message? And that brings us to the final component of the Conversion Equation… the Offer. Look at the doctor’s original offer. It was for a free consultation. The only prospects that will accept that type of offer are those NOW buyers. Remember, they’re less than 1% of the total number of prospects looking for this type of help.
When your offer is to “call me,” that basically says “let me sell you” to your prospects. We are so used to getting non-stop sales pitches these days that we resist calling anyone with every fiber of our being. Most people won’t answer their phone unless they recognize the caller ID. This type of offer is called an incentive offer, and incentive offers only work for common purchases, emergency situations and impulse purchases.
And remember, most prospects don’t buy until they have been exposed to your messaging somewhere between 5 to 12 times. If you tell prospects to “call you,” and most won’t, how do you keep marketing to them? Obviously, you can’t. The secret to effective marketing is to offer what most prospects truly want… INFORMATION!
Look at the last sentence in the child psychologist’s video script… “enter your first name and email in the box to the right, and I’ll send you a series of 60 second techniques that will immediately restore peace and quiet in your home.” That offer is ZERO risk to a prospect, and it offers them something they truly want… a solution to their problem.
They can receive it by simply providing their name and email address… WITHOUT having to speak to anyone… or be subjected to any type of sales pitch. That’s why the offer on this doctor’s squeeze page says, “Learn the Secrets to Gaining and Maintaining Complete Control of Your Child in Less than 60 Seconds.” Is that a highly compelling offer that would appeal to a majority of the prospects directed to this page?
And do you now see why we call this a squeeze page? There are NO navigation buttons on this page to distract the prospect. In fact, there is only ONE action they can take… enter their contact information. Otherwise, they have to close the page completely… and if they do, THAT is when we can redirect them to the doctor’s main website to see if there is something else that might grab their attention.
That informational offer provides them with proof that this doctor can actually get them the results they’re looking for, and then within that information is an offer for them to schedule a consultation with the doctor, which they are now more likely to do.
But consider these numbers for this doctor’s original website. He could easily generate 300 or more leads per month using a pay-per-click campaign on Facebook. Those leads are then sent to his original website. He will then average around 10% of those leads… or 30 prospects… will see his offer for the free consultation and will call to inquire about it.
Notice I said INQUIRE about it, NOT request it. Out of that 10% that will call… only 10% of them will actually consent to the consultation… which equals 3 prospects.
Fortunately, for most professionals like this doctor, they typically convert 100% of the prospects they get in front of… so those 3 prospects will more than likely become patients. Note that out of 300 leads, the doctor winds up with 3 new clients. That is the national average today – 1% of all leads generated will typically convert into a new client. That’s pathetic!
But, now let’s look at the doctor’s new squeeze page. First of all, let’s leave his number of leads at 300 per month. That squeeze page won’t impact that number whatsoever. But let me ask you this and give me your open and honest opinion.
Do you think this new page will increase the number of prospects that will request this doctor’s secrets to gaining and maintaining complete control of their child? The doctor was getting 10% with his old site. What percent do you think would request this new, more compelling offer?
Most responses I get average somewhere between 50% to 70%. Well, suppose we stay really conservative and say that just 20% request the new offer.
That would mean 60 prospects would receive those secrets and actually see for themselves that this doctor’s methods really work.
And once they do, what percent of those do you think might request the consultation with the doctor? Remember, that originally it was just 10%.
Again, most responses I get average between 50% to 70%. I would tend to agree with those numbers, but we know he originally converted 10%, so to be really conservative, let’s just leave that conversion rate the same… 10%.
So, out of the 60 prospects requesting the doctor’s secrets, 6 of them now request the consultation. And let’s assume like we did originally the doctor converts all 6 of them into patients. That’s an additional 3 patients per month, isn’t it?
Now, let’s say this doctor only charges $800 for his services, even though in reality it’s typically 3 times that amount. $800 times 3 new patients is an additional $2,400 per month… which is an annual increase of $28,800. That’s obviously a dramatic increase in revenue considering we’re being ridiculously conservative… and all we did was make some slight changes to this doctor’s site.
So, let me ask you this. Do you think we could get similar results for your business? How many leads have you generated in the last 12 months?
How many leads would you estimate you’ve generated this month? How many of those leads requested your offer? If we could create a similar process for your business… and offer compelling information to your prospects just like we did for the child psychologist… do you think more prospects would respond? By what percent?
Could we conservatively agree that a 10% opt-in rate is easily a no-brainer? Do you realize just that one change alone would double your current sales revenue?
And that’s assuming we don’t increase your number of leads or your final conversion rate… which we will. If you said your last month’s revenue was $25,000… then just this one change alone adds an additional $25,000 to your bottom line.
In a recent case study I conducted, I found $58,000 in additional annual revenue just using this one simple strategy.
But consider this!
That additional revenue is NOT just a one-time increase. That’s revenue the business will generate year after year after year.
And… $58,000 in additional annual revenue increases the valuation of that business somewhere in the range of $150,000 – $200,000.
This article was taken from my book, “45 Minute Business Breakthroughs,” to download a FREE copy of the entire book you can do that HERE.
If you would like to explore other options of how I can help you take your business and your life to the next level, find out more about my one-on-one coaching programs by clicking HERE
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Have you ever met someone that is an honest, hard worker but they never seem to be able to get ahead in life or achieve anything of significance? Yet you watch others who don’t seem to work as hard and everything just seems to fall in their lap? Have you ever seen someone that has been extremely successful lose it all and end up with absolutely nothing, but they soon turn things around and climb back up to the top while others just can’t seem to catch a break?
As I was pondering this topic I had a voice come into my head that told me a story that I’ve heard many, many times. One of the very first personal development audio books I ever listened to was Earl Nightingale’s 1957 book,The Strangest Secret.
This is his story that kept coming to mind:
“The difference is goals. People with goals succeed because they know where they’re going. It’s that simple. Failures, on the other hand, believe that their lives are shaped by circumstances… by things that happen to them… be exterior forces.
Think of a ship with a complete voyage mapped out and planned. The captain and crew know exactly where the ship is going and how long it will take – it has a definite foal. And 9,999 times out of 10,000, it will get there.
Now let’s take another ship – just like the first – only let’s not put a crew on it, or a captain at the helm. Let’s give it no aiming point, no goal, and no destination. We just start the engines and let it go. I think you’ll agree that if it gets out of the harbor at all, it will either sink or wind up on some deserted beach – a derelict. It can’t go any place because it has no destination and no guidance.”
So many people are going through life like the ship without a crew. They have no goals or clear direction. They just react to life as it happens.
If this is you, it needs to change. If you don’t get clear about where you’re headed, you won’t get out of the harbor.
Where Are You Now?
The first thing that you need to do is be completely honest with yourself and look at where you are now. What is your current status? We are going to work to find your destination. This is your starting point
As you look at the truth of your situation, what are your pain points? Why are you here?
Do you want to make more money? Do you want more time for yourself or your family? Do you want to work on your health? Do you want to fix your marriage or relationship? Scale your business? Write a book? Complete your first real estate deal? Get specific.
Stop ignoring your truth. Stop avoiding it. This is for you, tell the truth!
If it’s, “I want to make more money.” Go deeper, don’t stop there. Maybe it’s, “I want to make more money because I’m behind on all my payments. I can’t get ahead and I’m scared.” Uncover the truth.
Where Do You Want To Go?
You need clarity to create the future you want. You need to know where you are going to point the ship to get out of the harbor and end up at your destination.
In our busy, crazy lives it can be hard to set your goals and figure out where you want to go. But I learned a method from Dean Graziosi that allows you to extract yourself from all the craziness and figure out where you want to go by looking at life from a different perspective.
Imagine that it is one year from today and you are looking back. It has been the best year of your life! What does that look like? What happened that made it the best year of your life? It wasn’t just a really good year, it was the Best Year!
You lost the weight? You made the money? You got the guy? You got the girl? You completed your first real estate deal? You sold your company?
What happened that made it the best year of your life? Think big! In The Power of Focus, Jack Canfield says, “Think big. Create goals that get you so excited you can hardly sleep at night. Life has a lot to offer – why shouldn’t you enjoy your fair share?”
You’ve identified the things that would have happened to make it the best year of your life. Now step back to today, those are your goals.
Why Are These Goals Important?
You have your goals now, but why are they so important to you?
Maybe your goal make a certain amount of money. But why? Why do you really want that?
Is it to prove something? Is it for significance? Is it so you can buy something?
Whatever it is, there’s something deeper to your reason. What’s your WHY?
Start with the goal you’ve identified and ask why you want to achieve this goal. Put your heart into the answer. Once you’ve identified that answer, ask why you want that answer. This takes time, it takes thought and it takes effort. But every single time you find your answer, ask ‘why’ until you’ve don’t it seven times. If you are open and honest, you will uncover the real reason these goals are important to you. Your ‘WHY’!
Your ‘why’ is going to be what drives you day in and day out to stay focused on achieving these goals. There will be days where, “I want to lose weight,” or “I want more money” won’t motivate you and keep you going. But when you’ve identified the ‘why’ behind each of these goals, that’s what will get you out of bed in the morning.
What Capabilities Are Needed To Achieve These Goals?
You know where you are. You know where you want to go. You know ‘why’ you want to go there.
How are you going to get there? Your current capabilities have got you to where you are now. What capabilities do you need to get to the next level? What capabilities do you need to achieve your goals?
Do you need a trainer? Do you need someone that understands how to market on social media? Do you need a CFO? Identify what it is you need and document it.
Once you’ve identified what you need, you have to figure out where it will come from.
Talk to a coach or a mentor. Join a mastermind group or a networking group. Whatever capabilities that you need and you are lacking, someone else already has them. As you serve others and as you network, keep this topic as a part of your discussion until you discover how you can get what you need.
If you really want to expand your network and have an opportunity to grow through the collective genius of a mastermind group, get your FREE trial membership to our Inner Circle Mastermind weekly video call.
If you would like to find out what a coach can help you to achieve, submit your name HERE.
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Fear and confidence is a topic that seems to continue coming up as I speak with clients. It came up a number of times last week at our mastermind event in Arizona, so I talked about it more on my weekly mastermind video call. Since then, I’ve continued to have a number of people bring it up so I want to continue the conversation here.
“One of the best ways to overcome fear of any kind is to habituate yourself to it.”
What Darren Hardy’s suggesting is that you face your fear head-on and bombard yourself with it until you don’t fear it any longer.
When the average person fears speaking in public more than death, how does the military take young teenage kids and create brave soldiers out of them? How do they take soldiers into SEAL training and make ultimate warriors out of them?
When bullets start flying, what is it that makes these men and women run towards the battle rather than run away?
During bootcamp or SEAL BUD/S training they are put through endless fear, pressure and stress at extreme levels until their fear turns into confidence.
It was night three into the infamous Hell Week of SEAL training. The students, in camouflage fatigues, were soaked to the bone and covered in gritty sand that chafed them until they were raw and bleeding They shivered from the cold ocean water and cool wind of the Southern California night. The students moved with the aches and pains as only those who have suffered through seventy-two hours straight of nearly nonstop physical exertion can. Exhausted, over the previous three days they had slept for less than one hour total. Since Hell Week had begun, dozens of them had quit. Others had become sick or injured and were pulled from training. When this class had started Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL Training (known as BUD/S) – the SEAL basic training course – several weeks before, nearly two hundred determined young men had eagerly begun. All dreamed of becoming a U.S. Navy SEAL, prepared for years, and came to BUD/S with every intention of graduating. And yet within the first forty-eight hours of Hell Week, most of those young men had surrendered to the brutal challenge, rung the bell three times – the signal for DOR, or drop on request – and walked away from their dream of becoming a SEAL. They quit.
I’m told that about 80% of those who start BUD/S do not finish. But those who do know that they are the elite. They’ve been through hell and back and survived. There’s nothing they can’t handle.
If you can train your brain to run towards bullets and bombs in battle, think how easy it can be to train yourself to run towards the stage to speak, or to make a prospect call, or to approach a group of strangers that you want to introduce yourself to.
As I reflected on my own life and thought about fears that I’ve had that I was able to turn into confidence, I thought back to my senior year in high school. I seemed to have followed in my older brothers footsteps in a lot of things as I was growing up. When he was in Rexburg ID going to college he started to rodeo. He started as a bareback rider and then took up roping and later steer wrestling. Soon, I was into the rodeo scene as well and was traveling the high school rodeo circuit as a calf roper and team roper. But as I watched him in the steer wrestling (bulldogging), I knew that was something I wanted to do someday.
If you’re not familiar with steer wrestling, I’ll explain what it is. I’ve heard a number of rodeo announcers compare it to getting into the back up a truck, having someone drive it down the road at 30mph and then you jump out of the back onto a passing mailbox. Maybe it’s not quite the same, but it gives you an idea.
In steer wrestling you have a steer in a chute that you let out and give a head start. You also have another cowboy (called the hazer) on a horse that is on the right side of the steer and his job is just to make the steer run straight. The steer wrestler is on his horse on the left side of the steer. After giving the steer a head start the steer wrestler chases the steer down going as fast as the horse can run. As the horse runs past the steer, the steer wrestler jumps off of the horse, grabbing the horns of the steer. He then digs his feet into the ground to slow the steer down and without getting into the techniques, he wrestles the steer to the ground.
At least that is how it’s supposed to happen. I’ve seen steers outrun the cowboys. I’ve seen the cowboys miss and land on their butts at 30mph and all sorts of other wrecks. I’ve seen the cowboy hit the ground as his horse stumbled and then as the horse fell it landed on his head. Well, I didn’t actually see that but that’s what they told me happened once I regained consciousness. But really, the scary part is the fact that you are riding a horse which is running as fast as it can and you jump off of it onto the horns of a steer.
I remember calling my brother and telling him that I’d like him to teach me how to steer wrestle. He said he would love to and the next time they were doing it he would let me know and I could come and watch.
“Well, it’s a little more complicated than that,” I told him. “I actually entered the steer wrestling in a rodeo next weekend. So I need you to teach me before Friday!”
“Do the thing you fear over and over again, until you train your brain that it’s no longer something to be feared.“
To make a long story short, the next day we were at the practice pen and I was ready to learn. As my brother was talking me through the process he told me something that I was well aware of. He told me that when you first start out, the actual process of jumping off of the horse onto the steer was the scariest part. But he also told me that from all the people he had watch learn to steer wrestle, those that took multiple attempts but never actually jumped struggled the most. Every time they tried but did not jump, it was twice as scary the next time. Some of them ended up riding past the steer multiple times and finally decided they were done and never tried it again.
But he had a solution for this, he told me. He said that if my nerves got to me and I rode by the first steer, it was ok. Nothing to worry about. But that meant that no matter what I had to jump off on my second attempt to prevent the fear from building up. He also told me that it wouldn’t be a problem because they had a way to make sure I jumped.
If I rode past the first steer without jumping, on my second attempt the hazer, riding on the opposite side, would have a rope which would be tied around my waste. If I made the jump, great! But if I didn’t make the jump and was going to ride by, he would pull me off the horse.
With my heart pounding out of my chest and enough adrenaline to stop a freight train, I started chasing down my first steer. As scary as it was, there was no way my brother was going to put a rope around my waste and pull me off of my horse. I jumped my very first steer, plus a number of others that night.
It wasn’t after that one night that I began to feel confident in the process. But the more I did it, the more confident I became. But the fear part never disappeared 100%, but it changed to excitement and energy. Even once I was steer wrestling at the professional level, there were many times I had my heart pounding out of my chest. But every time I jumped, the fear became less and less and my confidence grew.
Oh, and by the way, I won second place at that first rodeo!
“My confidence comes from my vision… I am a big believer that if you have a clear vision of where you want to go, then the rest of it is much easier.“
So, if you have a fear of speaking, what should you do? Speak! Wherever you can. Find opportunities to speak and in spite of your fears, do it. If you have fears of calling prospects. Call them. Whatever your fears are, face them and do them so much that you become confident doing them.
“Even when everything is going terrible, andI have no reason to be confident, I just decide to be“
I know that you can have fears that are much different than the fear of speaking or the fear of jumping off of a horse at full speed. The fear of hurting your family financially if you fail would be an example. But that is when finding a coach, a mentor or a mastermind comes in useful. Through these resources you can strategize, plan, role-play, etc. until you know how to proceed with a much lower level of risk and a higher level of confidence.
Overcome the fears that are holding you back from achieving your dreams!
Leave a comment below about something that you once feared but overcame it with action and it’s no longer a fear.
I was recently working through some marketing strategies with one of my coaching clients and we got onto the topic of pricing. She really wanted to make a push to increase her sales in the short term and wanted to decrease her prices and have a sale as a promotion.
I told her that I didn’t think that it was a good idea. There are better ways in which you can offer your customers more value with different strategies such as bundling. But first I wanted to walk her through the numbers to show her why I didn’t think a sale was her best option.
Unfortunately I haven’t always seen it this way and have made similar mistakes with my own companies in the past. But now that I’ve worked through the numbers and see the math, I definitely focus on other marketing strategies.
I’ll spend some time in other articles to talk about different strategies, but for now I’m going to walk through the steps I showed her that explain why I don’t like the idea of using a sale to add value to your customers.
The real key to success in marketing is to offer more value than your competition. Prospects will pay twice the price if they believe they’re receiving four times more value. Unfortunately, most businesses in a vain attempt to increase their value begin to offer discounts, and that often destroys their margins.
Would you believe me that in some businesses if they discount their price by a mere 10%, they now have to sell 50% more just to break even?
Let’s look at an example:
If you sell a widget for $100, and you have a 30% profit margin, you make $30 for every widget you sell. That means your cost basis for that widget is $70. If you discount that widget by 10% and sell it for $90 instead of $100, your cost basis is still $70. Now you are only making $20 in profit instead of $30.
For this business to make $1,000 in profit selling their widgets at $100 each, they would need to sell 33.3 widgets ($30 X 33.3 widgets = $1,000). But by discounting their price 10%, now they need to sell 50 widgets ($20 X 50 widgets = $1,000). They now have to sell 50% more widgets just to get back to their original profit margin. (33.3 X 1.5 = 50).
But consider this… when was the last time you saw a business offer a measly 10% discount? Most of the time they offer 20% to 40% discounts… and wonder why they are going broke. And to add even more bad news on top of this already bleak scenario, did you know that the latest research shows that discounting doesn’t actually impact a prospect’s buying decision unless that discount is for 40% or more?
So what about increasing prices?
Most small businesses have NEVER raised their prices. That’s because they don’t know the facts when it comes to increasing their pricing. They’re scared to death that ANY price increase, no matter how small, will lead to a mass exodus of all their customers. But is that really true?
Let’s use the same scenario as before. You are selling your widget for $100 and decide to increase that price by 10% to $110. Will that small increase REALLY lead to a loss of customers? Honestly, I believe a few will leave, but they are most likely your biggest price shoppers that show NO loyalty or patronage to your business anyway. They are the ones that beat you down on price every chance they get, and the moment you begin to make a decent profit, they will leave you in a heartbeat for the next business willing to accept a financial beat down. But even though there will be some customer attrition… to what extent? Let’s look at the numbers.
Their business is now making an additional $10 per widget… All of which is pure profit. Right there, that’s a 33% profit increase. For their business to make $1,000 in profit selling the widgets at $100 each, they needed to sell 33.3 widgets. But now, by increasing the price 10%, they only need to sell 25 widgets.
That means just to BREAK EVEN, they would need to LOSE 25% of your customers over a measly 10% price increase… and that simply ISN’T going to happen!
Want to know the closely guarded secret that successful businesses don’t want you to know?
STOP Discounting!!! Instead, innovate your business so you offer more value than your competition and increase your prices.
Of course, if we were working together we would need to perform a thorough price analysis on your business and determine the most lucrative price increase for you, but this is definitely a strategy I strongly recommend to all of my small business clients to help them increase their revenue. There simply is no FASTER or EASIER way to generate additional revenue.
After working through these numbers my client made the decision to increase her prices rather than have a sale and decrease them. So far, along with some other marketing strategies we applied, it is proving to be the exact thing she needed to do for her business.
Once you know and understand these and the other marketing strategies I teach, it’s just a matter of getting it all implemented in a timely and efficient manner to watch your business explode!
Making a 22 hour drive from Southern Alberta to Arizona gives me plenty of time to think, and listen to audio books. Fortunately, this time I’m not alone on the trip so my wife has shared the driving, which gives me time to work and write.
While I was in Canada we were spending time with family and I had a chance to visit with a nephew who had asked me to suggest some good books for him to read. We were talking about the different books and he shared a few with me that he had enjoyed that I hadn’t read yet. One of them was Smarter Faster Betterby Charles Duhigg. So this is one of the books I have been listening to on my trip home.
There are many intriguing thoughts and stories in this book, but something that really caught my attention was in his chapter on Innovation when he talked about Innovation Brokers or Idea Brokers. The reason this was so interesting to me is because I have been spending a lot of time recently preparing for an upcoming Mastermind Group, and the ideas he shared help to explain how and why a mastermind group works so well.
In his book, Duhigg refers to the work of Ronald Burt in a 2004 study he conducted. Burt conducted a study with a large number of managers in a company and found that ideas that were classified as creative came from people who were particularly talented at taking concepts from one division of the company and explaining them to employees in other departments. Burt explained that people connected across groups are more familiar with alternative ways of thinking and behaving. “This is not creativity born of genius, it’s creativity as an import, export business.”
As I listened to this and the rest of the book I decided to do a little more research on Burt’s ideas. On this topic, when people seek out insights from people in different fields, different organizations or of different mindsets, Burt refers to it as “brokerage.” He explains how this can lead to better ideas, improving processes and more. He says, “if you’re charged with innovation, you need to branch out and build brokerage.” “It’s essential. The new ideas we come up with come from the places where we vary. A person who only knows about the variations in what they do will get better at what they’re doing, but will always come to the same place.”
This is exactly where the power of a mastermind group comes from. I recently wrote a post High Performance Mastermind Group, and explained a challenge I had dealt with for some time which I had not found a solution to. But when I had an opportunity to sit with a group of entrepreneurs who were all in very different industries than me, we quickly found a solution to my problem as a group because the others in the group looked at my situation differently and had been through their own challenges in their industries.
Joining a mastermind group allows you to look at each other’s problems and challenges from different perspectives, industries and life experiences. But it also gives you an opportunity to discover things that are holding you back that you were not even aware of. It allows you to be more innovative in your business, your life and your thinking in general.
Join ourElite Performance Mastermind and prepare yourself to take your life and your business to the next level! You will be with an elite group of individuals, from different industries, backgrounds and different areas of the country that will be able to share their brilliance and knowledge with the group while you do the same for them. I’ll also be sharing some powerful tools you can use to give yourself the power to create the future you’ve been dreaming about.
If you don’t own or run your own business, don’t count yourself out. Whatever it is you do, you will do it better after joining this mastermind. You’ll think different. You’ll network. You’ll have the tools to be successful.
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Have you ever looked in the mirror and said to yourself, “I thought I’d be further along by now.” I have! In life and in business I’ve had that conversation with myself before. But it’s ok. Life doesn’t always go as planned. But that doesn’t mean you have to accept it.
The problem is that if you look in the mirror again in a year from now and you’re no further ahead.
Often times when we are not as far along in life or in business as we had hoped we would be, it’s because we don’t know how to get things to the next level. We don’t know how to overcome the current challenges we are facing.
Or it’s been going on for so long we’ve just settled into things and this is just the way it is.
But there is a way for you to amplify the performance of your life and business while you’re tearing down the barriers that are holding you back from that next level! When you have an opportunity to sit and mastermind with smart, successful, like-minded people who are wanting to take their lives and businesses to the next level as well, you WILL find your answers. You WILL discover the things that will make the difference.
If you don’t want to be looking in the mirror in 6 months or 12 months from now wondering why you’re not any further ahead, you need to join us for our ELITE PERFORMANCE MASTERMIND in Gilbert AZ.
There are only a limited number of spots available for this event, so act soon. Click on the button below to find our more details!
This is going to be an amazing event that you don’t want to miss!