Category

Follow-through

Stop depending on tactics, string them together for a better business strategy

Strategy

By | Follow-through, Marketing, Strategic Planning, Systems | No Comments

I taught my son several years ago the basics of chess. I love the game and can remember the countless hours I spent playing with my father. It was something I wanted to share with my son.

He did not take to the game like I had hoped, and so our games have been sporadic over the last several years. It wasn’t until recently that he has found a new fascination with the game. He engages with the game better because he now understands that the pieces should never move independently of each other – but in coordination. The power of each piece is multiplied by the pieces involved in any given gambit (for non-chess players that is a short sequence of moves that provides a specific result – usually involving the sacrifice of minor pieces to accomplish a better position).

He has discovered that playing a strategy is much more effective – and fun – than playing with unrelated tactics.

The same is true for business. Often business leaders become dis-interested in marketing or business strategy because they are trying to play with tactics and forgetting the overall strategy. They find themselves frustrated as everything they try is thwarted repeatedly.

So how do you know if you are using marketing tactics instead of strategy? Here’s a quick test:

  • You are not sure how your customer interacts with a tactic. What do you expect them to do? What grabs their attention best? What have engages them and keeps them coming back to it? A great example for this is social media. Most businesses spend months trying to conquer this medium without understanding how their customers interact with it and how to encourage those customers to leave the social media space to interact with them in a new way.

Which leads us to test question 2:

  • Your marketing does not coordinate with any other methods you plan to use in your marketing. How do you get someone from your page to your leads list? How do you follow up on that lead?
  • Finally, you know you are using a tactic if you are not sure how this will result in a sale or repeat sales.  Without a clear path from tactic to sale, you are throwing money into the wind and hoping some of it blows back to you. You will only get partial results.

If you find yourself doing any of the three above, you are only playing the game with pawns. You will find yourself disinterested in the game in the long run.

As a side note: I never beat my father at chess until I was in my 20s – and that was because I finally started using a deeper strategy than he did. Read More

Masterminds Are Not Networking

By | Accountability, Follow-through, Leadership, Motivation, Strategic Planning, Stress Management | No Comments

I seem to be getting popular these days. Last week, Jim Nemley interviewed me about how a business mastermind SHOULD work. We talked about accountability, openness, confidentiality and that a mastermind is not a networking group or a social outlet.

Check it out below:

 

Check Out Business Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with Jim Nemley on BlogTalkRadio

Read More

Marketing Strategy Defined

By | Follow-through, Marketing, Systems | No Comments

Marketing strategy should be thought more of as a system to produce the best results.One of the biggest challenges to most businesses is how to market themselves. There is a reason why many executives have climbed their way up from the Marketing ranks.

Over the years, I have looked at many strategies, methods and systems for marketing. The type of system that brings the most possible clients to you with the least amount of effort or expense always have the following five attributes:

  1. Marketing is a system – just like every other system in your business.
  2. There has to be an over-riding strategy for it. Just making sales is not sufficient.
  3. The system only works if you stay with it.
  4. Test, evaluate, adjust, repeat.
  5. There are only three methods of investment in your marketing: Cash, Time, and Effort. Of which do you have the most?

There is no silver bullet to marketing. If there was, there would not be so many marketing consultants,sales people, etc. We would all use the same bullet.

As you delve into the different types of strategy, remember that there are two kinds. The first is your Method Strategy. The Method Strategy is the step-by-step process that your customer takes from exposure to the sale. On the other hand, your overall strategy is how each method builds and interacts with your other marketing efforts. By having methods that integrate and work together, you create an exponential model for growth.
is a business coach and consultant that works with business owners and managers to create momentum in their business with strategies and tactics that they can implement today. These strategies are based on the five foundations of business: Marketing, Leadership, Operations, Finance and Systems.

The Achievement Cycle

By | Accountability, Follow-through, Motivation, Systems | No Comments

Most of us approach goals the wrong way. What we miss most is some very basic concepts that the Boy Scouts have been using for over 100 years and what video game developers have been adding into their games to make them addicting.

Find out how to use these “addicting” achievement methods for your goals.

is a business coach and consultant that works with business owners and managers to create momentum in their business with strategies and tactics that they can implement today. These strategies are based on the five foundations of business: Marketing, Leadership, Operations, Finance and Systems.

Communication suffering in your business?

Miscommunication

By | Follow-through, Leadership, Systems | No Comments

 "I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant." Robert McCloskey, the award winning children’s author once wrote: “I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I’m not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.”

I have had many conversations like that. What I thought the conversation was about turned out to be completely misunderstood by me or the other people involved. I have also had my words twisted into an indiscernible mess.

Business revolves around agreements between parties that find the arrangement mutually advantageous. Good communication builds trust and a stronger agreement and thus a greater advantage for everyone involved.

For the operations of your business, the most important system that connects all of your systems together is how information moves. From lead, to proposal, to planning, to completion, to invoice, to collections. How does information flow or not flow?

I have found that communication of several forms can help clarify and solidify our meaning. By first having the conversation and then providing a written follow-up, we can make our own point more clear.

Remember also that communication goes two ways. We need to be open to understanding what other people are telling us. If we repeat back what we think we heard to the other individual, it allows them an opportunity to clarify their message as well.

Volumes have been written on how to improve communication. Chances are because they are so difficult to manage.

 

 

is a business coach and consultant that works with business owners and managers to create momentum in their business with strategies and tactics that they can implement today. These strategies are based on the five building blocks of business: Marketing, Leadership, Operations, Finance and Systems.

Knowing more is not always what you are missing - sometimes you just have to implement what you already know.

Implement or Fail

By | Accountability, Follow-through, Motivation | No Comments

Originally posted at: http://www.readysetgrowmarketing.com

Knowing more is not always what you are missing - sometimes you just have to implement what you already know.

Chance are, you are not looking to sell your business to a large corporation. Chances are you are the independent doctor, contractor, specialty baker, landscaper or restaurateur. You want to create a business that allows you to get paid well and do what you love. People want and need what you offer. You have built a business around what you know best. You had hoped that by building a business you could take control of your own destiny, build a legacy and build wealth.

The trouble is: your talents, skills and artistry in providing your service or product do not always translate into the freedom and prosperity you had hoped.

Even with so many business books and now e-books, podcasts and “free reports”, businesses still suffer. You are still running a business on the seat of your pants, fighting for adequate revenue, can’t find good employees or keep them, and will probably sell your business for the salvage value of your equipment.

There is something in the business advice industry that many coaches, consultants, and gurus know. It’s a dirty little secret that keeps many clients and “followers” constantly on the hook for more:

1)    Most people feel that they have missed some key piece of information or skill instead of realizing that their biggest obstacle is their own failure to implement.

2)    Few people actually implement. Of those that implement, fewer implement well.

Here is the “catch 22” to this dirty little secret: education and developing your abilities as a business owner is one of the defining factors between those who succeed and those that don’t. There are many things that we just cannot know.

Few people start their business truly understanding how they will run it. You are not alone. Education in business is easier to get now than ever before thanks to Google and countless business advisors putting some of their best stuff out there in blogs and books.

So how do you become one of the few successful business owners out of the millions who read business books and attend countless seminars around the world?

Here are the biggest trip-ups I see and what business leaders tell themselves:

Silver Bullet – “There has to be a secret out there. If I can find the one trick that is going to transform my business, my life will improve dramatically.”

Strategy of the Week – “Hey! There’s something I haven’t tried yet. I think I will give it a shot. All the other things I have going on can wait.”

Failure to Launch – “I want it to be just right before I put it out there.”

Overwhelm – “I have so many ideas, I can’t seem to decide which one to do.”

Now that we have diagnosed the problem, here are the remedies:

No Silver Bullets – There are as many paths to success as there are definitions of success. The key is measured implementation of one sound strategy.

Follow Through – Constantly changing tactics and strategies is going to get us nowhere but with a shop full of half-completed projects. Pick one and stick with it until it is operating on auto-pilot

Just Put It Out There – A friend of mine told me recently that “version one is better than version none.”

Get Organized – Most people who talk about having too many ideas never write them down and therefore cannot prioritize them. Keep a notebook of ideas handy and write down anything you come up with. When putting together an annual plan, prioritize them and pick only the ones you can implement well.

As I work with clients, only about 40% of my time is spent in education. Most of what I do is help people get past the challenges they face. Usually business owners know what should be done and have more than enough ideas, but they have not figured out how to implement well.

Get out there and make it happen!

Method Strategy

Method Strategy

By | Follow-through, Marketing, Systems | One Comment

 

Don't lose the sale because of poor follow through.

A few weeks ago, I had in my hand a coupon for a free 30-minute massage and was planning on paying for another 30 minutes. I had also considered trying the chiropractor in the same office since I had never had an adjustment before. Here is how the phone call went:

Me: I have a free 30-minute massage coupon I would like to schedule.

Office Gal: Great! When would you like to schedule it?

Me: Actually, I have some neck pain that has been bothering me for a couple of days because I slept wrong. Is there any chance you can see me this afternoon?

Gal: I don’t see anything available right away, but we are open on Monday, would you like to see what we can do then?

Me: Actually, I am on my Bluetooth and driving right now, so I can’t see my schedule. Is there any way you can squeeze me in today?

Gal: No, I really can’t squeeze you in. Why don’t you call us back when you get to your location and we can set something up next week.

Me: (Disgruntled) Sure.

I didn’t call back.

So what was the problem here? There were several problems, actually. I am a potential customer trying to get an appointment. Did they have “Same-day” slots for people like me? Perhaps even refer me to someone who takes same-day appointments. But the biggest problem of all is that she left it to chance that I might not call back!

By getting my contact information, she could have followed up later that afternoon to get me on the schedule. Even if all she could do was call me back and get me scheduled for Monday, I would at least be more likely to visit them in the future. Since then, I think I lost the coupon.

Dean Jackson with the I Love Marketing Podcast best laid it out in a recent seminar with the following equation:

Use the Method Strategy to help walk your potential clients from attention grabbing to the sale.

 

 

 

Get their Attention + Get their Contact Information + Build a Relationship   =     $ales

 

This process I have dubbed the Method Strategy. A marketing method is a means of promoting your business through a single avenue. A radio commercial campaign is a great example of a method. Many times these radio campaigns have several different messages that build on each other or are targeted to specific markets based on the radio station and the playing time. Even though these ads build on each other, it is only one method. Networking, flyers, TV ads, public relations, referral groups, direct mail, and countless other methods exist and are being invented every day.

Any of the methods are for one purpose: discover who might be interested in learning more. All you really want to accomplish is to find out who might be interested and get their contact information. The method alone will rarely make the sale on its own.

If you have honed in on your target market, have created a great message with an awesome call to action, and are running some amazing content with a strong call to action, you have started getting phone calls, web traffic, people walking into your store, or emails from some great potential customers. As they respond, make sure you get their contact information.

Now its time to start developing a relationship with a measured sequence of contacts you make with them to slowly develop the trust they need to have in you. Here is a quick example of one that I helped a client set-up.

This processes can be simple or complex depending on what you are selling and the decision making process. So if you are selling high-end medical equipment, the process to pull build a relationship will be much longer than if you are selling monthly housekeeping services.

The key to this planned sequence of contacts is asking yourself “What’s next?” until they buy (repeatedly) or ask not to be contacted any longer.

Happy planning!

 

 

is a business coach and consultant that works with business owners and managers to create momentum in their business with strategies and tactics that they can implement today. These strategies are based on the five building blocks of business: Marketing, Leadership, Operations, Finance and Systems.

Most businesses never ask for the business. A good call to action can make all the difference.

Call To Action

By | Follow-through, Marketing, Sales | No Comments

Most businesses never ask for the business. A good call to action can make all the difference.My youth pastor once shared a story with me about a high school pal he had run into on a business trip. As they discussed where their life paths had taken them, my pastor was surprised to find that not only had his friend become a faithful church-goer, but his friend was now serving as pastor of a congregation.

The high school pal had accompanied my pastor as teenagers to many activities, camps, and services; but had never taken the next step to join – always a visitor. When my pastor asked his friend why he had not joined in high school, the response was simple: “No one ever asked.”

Often we assume the customer will buy when they are ready, but in reality they have never been asked. Just putting your phone number on an ad or letting them know you are available is not a strong call to action. Even if your marketing method is a follow up phone call, letting them know you can help is not enough. Give them something specific to act on. A free estimate only takes you so far.

A strong call to action is based on your customer getting something very specific for taking only one small step. If they call you, what do they get for their phone call besides a sales pitch? If you are calling on them, what advantage do they have in meeting with you?

Take a look at the last credit card offer you got in the mail. They are pointing you to one action. “Guaranteed Acceptance,” “Lowest Interest Rates,” “Bonus Air Miles,” and “No-Fee Balance Transfers” are strong incentives intended to get you to fill out that form at the bottom.

Anther common mistake is asking someone to take too many steps at one time. Remember that sales – especially large dollar sales – are a process. Your initial intention is not to get their money. Your initial intention is to get them to contact you and voice an interest.

Selling is teaching. If you take the student too fast down the path, you will not only create confusion and disinterest, but also resentment. Think of a child who may not be as fast as others in the class to pick up on math. If she has someone to help her along at her own pace, she is much more likely to succeed and even start to enjoy the challenge. However, pushing her to keep up when she is not ready for it will only cause her to decide that “math is not her thing.”

Most importantly: just ask the question. What’s the worst that could happen? Don’t allow someone to opt out of enjoying your product only because you never asked.

 

So here is my ask:

 

I am looking for one business that has a solid track record and good potential for growth. I would like to enter into a form of partnership with you to help you grow your business and your profits.

I have a proven system to help grow your sales and profits.

I am so confident that my system will work with any company that I am willing to provide a money back guarantee if you agree to participate in my growth program.

To find out more, let me know here:

 

 

is a business coach and consultant that works with business owners and managers to create momentum in their business with strategies and tactics that they can implement today. These strategies are based on the five building blocks of business: Marketing, Leadership, Operations, Finance and Systems.

If you want someone to keep coming back and to tell about how amazing you are, give them something that blows their mind. Even better, people will pay a premium for the experience over the commodity.

Product Before Marketing

By | Follow-through, Marketing, Operations, Systems | No Comments

If you want someone to keep coming back and to tell about how amazing you are, give them something that blows their mind. Even better, people will pay a premium for the experience over the commodity.Time to stop worrying about “satisfied customers:” customers that will pay for what you give them and be content with the transaction. If you are in a market where there is good demand and little competition, that’s all you need. However, add a couple competitors and your service becomes a commodity as customers feel they can get a “better deal.”

To avoid the race to the bottom, you have to create what Ken Blanchard calls “Raving Fans.”

If you want someone to keep coming back and to tell about how amazing you are, give them something that blows their mind. Even better, people will pay a premium for the experience over the commodity.

What additional “wow” are you giving your customer? If you’re a barber, give every client a beer. If you clean houses – leave a $2 flower in a vase with your logo. Realtors can have the clients’ favorite coffee or treat in the car before looking at their list of houses. The most simple way to keep a customer coming back is to treat them as an individual.

While you’re creating your amazing experience, also look at the things customers hate about your service or industry. I hate going to the cheap, quick, drive-up oil change businesses – sitting in a dirty waiting room with uninteresting and out-of-date magazines. Why not be able to listen to my radio and read my favorite newspaper, magazine or open my tablet and get some work done? That is exactly what one particular oil service does with their oil change service. Even though the service is more expensive than the other places – every dock is full when I pull up! I know I will get someone in their flat cap (once it was a woman) and an offer of my favorite newspaper or magazine to read. I don’t even have to leave the car. By the way, the newspaper is for sale if I want to take it with me – they will just add it to the bill.

Many of my clients fist come to me asking for marketing. They don’t realize that they don’t need more promotion. The reason they don’t have enough customers is because their business is a revolving door. Their customers leave as quickly as they come in. With a little effort, they could simply close the back door and keep the customers they worked so hard for in the first place!

You can get more ways to develop word of mouth by downloading the free ebook “3 Easy Ways to Get More Referrals” on the left-hand side of this page.
is a business coach and consultant that works with business owners and managers to create momentum in their business with strategies and tactics that they can implement today. These strategies are based on the five building blocks of business: Marketing, Leadership, Operations, Finance and Systems.