It’s 5:11AM. Do You Know Where Your Car Is?

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It’s 5:11 AM and I’m about to make a left hand turn onto I-270 and head to the airport. I have a 6:35 flight (yes, I know I’m cutting it a little close) to Phoenix. There is a car facing me at the light, and I wait for it to pass before I make my turn. It is a golden yellow Ferrari F430. This car is sleek and beautiful. It is flying down the road even when it is sitting at a red light. Forget about practicality. This car is a true car lovers dream. We’re talking about a $175,000 car! You don’t even test drive this car unless you’ve achieved serious success.

As the car went by and disappeared into the darkness I made my left turn and realized a couple of things.

1. You don’t acquire a car like this by sleeping in. The sun was not up and this person was on their way to work. Obviously they knew what it took to create success.

Many times we want to achieve greatness but we have three false ideals about how that should happen.

We want to achieve success quickly. Success doesn’t happen quickly. It takes time. Success is the result of planning and patience. We see people who seemingly came out of nowhere. They are an “overnight success” we think. In reality they probably spend years working in obscurity before all of a sudden showing up on some list of the most successful people or the fastest growing companies.

We want success to be easy. Well it isn’t. Sometimes you have to fail over and over and over again before coming up with the right idea or right formula to achieve personal and professional success. Even the simplest of concepts usually isn’t easy to implement successfully.

We want success on “our terms.” In other words, we want the system to work around us, our hours, our schedules. If you want to achieve success faster, then sometimes you have to mold your terms to what is happening in the real world. Be willing to put in the long hours, make the phone calls, have the uncomfortable conversations. Learn something new if that’s what it takes, but figure how you need to adapt and then do it.

2. When you achieve the success you are seeking don’t forget what got you there. Keep doing what works.

It is so easy to create a mindset of entitlement. Just because you can afford to do something doesn’t mean you should. If you change your philosophy about what effort you are willing to put into your success then others around you might do so as well. You should continue to do what you need to keep moving forward and also to set an example for those around you.
Yes, you can enjoy the fruits of your labor. Just don’t lose the ideals and values that helped you achieve what you have.

And, it’s not just about buying an expensive car. Your financial success can help you pay off your home, max out your retirement plans, or allow you to pick up the tab for that college education you want for your four children!

But if it is an incredible car you desire, then by having a better understanding of what it takes to create success, I’m sure I’ll see you out on the road the next time I’m headed out of town on that early flight because — you will be on the road to building a better biz.

Three Secrets to Increase the Productivity of Your Team

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We depend on those around us to produce at a higher level. If you manage a
sales team, your success is the cumulative success of your team. If you are in
an office setting, then the productivity of others in your office will support
your goals and eventual success.

If you can effectively help those around you to produce at a higher level, then
you will enjoy a greater success also. Here are three secrets to boosting the
performance of those on your team.

1. Forget Their Weakness

All too often I see sales managers and business owners try to eliminate a team
member’s weaknesses. The manager literally itemizes all of a persons weak
spots and then sets out to exorcise them like they were demons. The truth is
that we all have strengths and weaknesses. A person’s weak points are slow to
change. Many times someone is deficient at something because they don’t enjoy
doing it. Either way you are sure to push a good team member away when you
only focus on the areas that they don’t enjoy and are weak at.

Here’s the secret. Focus on someone’s strengths. Whatever someone does well
will make a positive impact on your business. Reinforce those skills. Let
that person do more in the areas they are great at. They will have more fun,
produce better results, and be a happier and more committed team member.

Another tip is to find another qualified person to handle that part of the
workload that someone else is weak at. Now both people are happy.

2. Help Them See the Vision

We all have good and bad days. That is a part of life. It is easy to work
hard on a good day. We feel great and we want to get lots done. On the tough
days, when things aren’t going well, we tend to want to mope around. We are
not focused, and our productivity plummets.

If we are focused on the emotion of the moment it is very easy to get caught up
in it, and let the negative issues affect our performance.

As an entrepreneur or business manager, we should have a clear grasp of our
vision, or, of our organizations vision. We use that knowledge and information
to drive our actions and therefore produce our results.

Here’s the secret. Make sure that everyone on your team clearly sees and
understands your vision. Use it as a driving force. Keep your team members
focused on the vision, not on the emotion of the day. Success should be
measured as small steps toward the realization of your vision.

3. Catch and Reward Their Successes

Your workload today is greater then it has ever been. You have deadlines to
meet, goals to achieve, and bills to pay. It is so easy to get overwhelmed in
your workload that you don’t take the time to participate in your team member’s
daily activities.

Employees are most loyal to an organization when they feel appreciated by that
organization and the people who comprise it. Team members look for a new
environment (read: your competitor) when they feel that their efforts are going
unnoticed and unappreciated.

Here’s the secret.: take the time to observe what is going on around you. Know
what your team member’s goals are. Know their trials and tribulations. Know
what gets them excited. Learn about what is happening in their personal lives.
Any time someone makes a positive step forward, let them know that you’ve
noticed, and that you appreciate what they are doing. Reward results, and
reward effort.

Use these three productivity secrets to increase the results your team is
achieving, and you will be on the road to Building a Better Biz!

Three Steps To Overcome Price Objections

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I had barely turned the lights on and sat down the other day when my phone rang. It was Ray. Ray had been in my mentoring program for about thirty days and was facing a perplexing problem.

He said, “I made three sales calls yesterday but didn’t make a single sale. This is starting to look like a trend.” I asked him what was the reason his prospects gave him for not purchasing. He said, “They all say my price is too high. Do you think if I lower my price that I would sell more?”

I can’t begin to tell you how many times I’ve heard that comment. “Your price is too high” is the most common sales objection used. To build your business you must be able to master the skills necessary to overcome price objections. Here are three techniques that will allow you to not only deal with price objections, but they will enable you to use your client’s price objection to help you close the sale.

1. Amortize the Price

“It cost too much.” Yes, we have all heard this statement by a prospect. Sometimes they say it because it is like salmon swimming upstream. The phrase just comes out like it’s instinct. Other times prospects say it because we didn’t build enough value in the product. Other times we haven’t illustrated enough need or shown that our solution was clearly the best way to satisfy that need.

When a prospect tells you it costs too much try asking them the following question: “About how much to much do you feel it is?” After asking this question sit quietly and wait for their response. Once they give you a number you have something to deal with.

You can deal with the amount they give you in several ways. One way is to reduce the amount by amortizing it out over the life of the investment. Let’s say you are selling a piece of equipment and they say it costs $600.00 too much. You could say, “Based on this piece of equipment serving your needs for at least three years that would be $200.00 per year, and then that of course would be the same as $4.00 per week. So, are you willing to give up the extended warranty, higher production rates, compact design, etc. (and here you list all of the features and benefits that you know the prospects like and need) over 80 cents a day?” When they say, “no” they just bought. Start writing.

2. What Exactly Do You Like

Here you respond to the comment that the price is too high by reviewing all of the features and benefits of your offering. Remember, you client doesn’t really care about the features. It is the benefit that they will receive from your products and services that these features deliver that they really care about.

List all of the benefits one-by-one. Confirm their importance. Then, politely ask your prospect if there are any benefits they would like removed. They should respond with a “no.” Then you will need a closing statement. I like the following: “It seems like we both agree that this product really fits your needs and that all of the benefits I’ve covered are important to you. It looks like this decision really makes sense doesn’t it?” You must pause here and not say a word! This is a closing question. If you talk you will lose the sale.

3. “Me” Close

This technique is only for professionals. Do not attempt this unless:

You dress and look like an expert.
You have sent thank you notes on every possible occasion (thank you for meeting, thank you for talking on the phone, thank you for reviewing my proposal, etc)
You have presented the product in a manner that is considered superior to others in the industry.

In other words, you must look and act like a supreme professional. Your service and attention to detail must be second to none. You must treat each prospect and client like they are your only ones.

If all of this is in place then, and only then, may you attempt the following:

“Bill, we have reviewed all of the features and benefits of our product, (list them again here). You’ve stated that you like the resources and financial stability of my company. Here’s the bottom line. When you invest in our product not only do you get a product that will satisfy all of your needs and give you a great return on investment over time, and not only are you dealing with a company that will be there if you ever need them, but you are getting me. My customers know what a difference I can make for them in saving time, money, and aggravation. (Here you could add a story, if you have one, about a time you bought a car or some other product and how the person you dealt with took care of you, loaned you a demo, always made sure your service was expedited, and how doing business with that sales professional made your life so much better.) Quite frankly, and I don’t want to sound braggadocios, but when you invest in this product you are also getting me as part of the transaction. Now, you can’t take me home with you but I will always be available to share new technology and ideas with you, run interference with the service department for you, and look out for your best interest. Now that makes sense doesn’t it?”

Again, this is where you shut up and wait for them to reply. If they say “yes” that means start writing. Don’t ask them if they want to buy!

These techniques work by themselves or together. Great sales professionals have enthusiasm and persistence. It is the buyer’s job to buy. They should try to get the best possible price. It is your job to sell. If you explain the value that the prospect will be receiving they will be able to justify the price and you will get the sale. Now you’re on the road to Building a Better Biz!

Success On and Off the Court

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In his 37 years as a head basketball coach at the University of North Carolina Dean Smith won more games then any other coach (879). He also won two national championships and had the coliseum on campus named after him. He was able to enjoy overwhelming success at a very competitive level because he had a philosophy that employed every step of the way.

In Dean Smith’s book, “The Carolina Way: Leadership Lessons From a Life in Coaching,” written with Gerald Bell and John Kligo Dean outlines his strategies and why he was so successful.

Five of his core beliefs are so powerful that they can make an immediate difference in your business and in your life.

1. Embracing Change

As successful as Dean Smith was, he realized that change was a powerful force. “Even if you’re successful, you can’t keep doing the same things all the time,” he said. “You have different personnel, and there are always rule changes. You must be able to embrace change.”

Many times in business and in life we resist change. It is natural to want to do things the way you have done them in the past. After all, you probably have mastered that system. But, as elements around you change, you must change to stay competitive.

Think about technology for a minute. When the fax machine was first made available to the public I bought one for $3,500.00. My partner thought I was crazy. We acquired a new account that purchased over two million dollars a year because we could reduce production turn-around time due to being able to instantly receive orders over the fax.

Think back before email. Today most of us couldn’t be in the game without the ability of immediately communicating and transferring files through the Internet.

What changes are you fighting or resisting that if embraced could help you move forward? Make a list of three and then begin working on the first one.

2. Plan for the Future

Dean Smith liked to plan for the future. Instead of waiting for things to happen, he anticipated them and made sure he was ready. This forward sightedness was as very powerful trait.

When Smith knew that the rules were going to change, he would start recruiting the types of players who would excel under the new rules. He was ready while the other coaches were always playing catch-up.

Taking the time to look to the future and strategically plan will be the difference between a mediocre organization and one that explodes as new opportunities present themselves moving forward.

3. History is a Great Teacher

As a basketball player long before he became a coach, Smith accumulated many experiences. Some were positive. Others were not. His college coach used to pull a player off of the court whenever he made a mistake. Smith decided that he would rather applaud the player for trying something that was a good idea even if the execution wasn’t perfect. By rewarding the intent and effort, Smith’s players were more apt to keep trying to do the right things until they could perfect the needed skills. Playing it safe over time would not develop high-level players.

Looking back in your business, what has worked? What hasn’t worked? Are you still doing things that have not worked in the past? Are there sales, marketing, or business management ideas that have worked in the past that you should think about revisiting?

4. The Power of Positive Reinforcement

“You praise action you wish to see repeated, ” Smith said. “I don’t believe in phony praise. I believe hard work equals success equals confidence.”

When others on your team do well, let them know how you feel. But, here’s the key. Don’t limit “your team” to those employed by your company. The UPS delivery person is a part of your team. So is your bank teller, the associate at the office supply store, and your mail person.

You have many people in your day that can impact your performance. They can make your life easier and help make you look great. Let them know you appreciate their performance and that they are a valued part of your team!

5. Practice

Dean Smith feels that is crucial to success. Smith would break a game down into its components and then have his team practice each minor component until perfected. When a critical situation in a game came up Smith wanted to be able to huddle his players and say, “We’ve done this before in practice. Let’s go out and repeat it now.”

Do you practice your sales presentations? Have you isolated each objection you could possibly hear and then write a logical response for that objection? Do you map out how you will handle specific person-to-person situations so when they occur you’re prepared?

Work on these five potent concepts. Bring them into your business and into your life, and you will be on the road to Building a Better Biz!

Four Steps To Close Your Next Sale

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How many times have you heard, “Oh he’s a born salesman,” or, “Her dad was in sales. She’s a natural?” My father is the greatest salesperson I’ve had the privilege to see in action and to learn from. When he was a young man he was so shy it was painful. I guarantee you that when he was born the doctor didn’t slap him on the rear and say, “Now here’s a born salesman.” It just doesn’t work that way.

We learn how to be great doctors. We learn how to be great architects. Ultimately, we learn how to be great sales professionals.

There are four steps critical in every successful sales endeavor. If you master these four steps you will close more sales more often.

1. Build rapport

One October morning I was waiting outside a store for the owner to arrive and open up. There was a newspaper by the front door. I picked up the newspaper and waited patiently. Within a few minutes the owner arrived, looked at me inquisitively, and asked, “Who are you?” I replied, “I’m from the collections department at the newspaper. Your bill hasn’t been paid, so I brought today’s issue down and thought I’d pick up a check at the same time.” She paused, thought for a second, and then broke into laughter. “Who are you really?” she asked. She was laughing, I was laughing, and that was the start of a wonderful relationship.

Do your clients trust you and like you? This is a critical first step to closing any sale. We do business with people we like. A client is much more likely to buy from you if they want you to succeed. The first thing you must do is to build a solid rapport with your clients. Of course time can help this along.

Look for ways to show your clients you care. Find opportunities to reveal your human side. Make sure your clients feel like you are there for more then just the sale. As you “become friends” and build rapport you will find it easier to close the sale, and your clients will want to provide you with referrals as well.

2. Solve your client’s problems

Ultimately the reason your clients invest in your products and services is because they have problems or needs that the benefits of owning your products will solve or fill. Some times prospective clients know what their needs are. Many times they do not know their real needs.

Become an expert at understanding your client’s specific situations and uncovering their pressing needs. Then, show them how your product or service will make their life easier, grow their business, or provide peace of mind. If your clients have enough “pain” associated with their needs then they will do almost anything to take care of that pain. Make sure you have illustrated their needs with gusto!

3. Effectively transfer enthusiasm

Selling is based on time proven tactics and skills. Buying is an emotional experience. If you have a great attitude and are filled with enthusiasm, your clients will pick up on that energy. Even if you fail to show all the need necessary to normally close the sale, an infectious amount of enthusiasm will put you over the top.

Clients detect your sincerity and how much you believe in what you do and sell. If you waver, they know it. If you are excited and thrilled to be able to solve their problems, they love it. Let your clients know you sincerely believe what you offer is best for their needs. As they feel your enthusiasm they will want to invest in your products so they can feel even more of that positive energy.

4. Ask for the order

This sounds so simple, and it really is, but I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been in the field with a salesperson and watched as they butchered a fantastic process by either not asking for the order or not acting appropriately when they did ask for the order.

Asking for the order doesn’t mean necessarily asking, “Do you want to buy?” You can use many creative closing questions such as:

“This home would be perfect for your family. Would you like to put together an offer right here or should we step outside and enjoy the fresh air as we pencil in the details?”

“As you can see Ajax Insurance offers the lowest investment of the four companies we researched for your policy. If I can get the paperwork to them today, they will be able to schedule your physical by Friday. What is your birthday?”

“Did you want a belt to go with your new suit?”

There are so many creative ways to ask for the order. Many times I like to use some form of assumptive question. When they answer the question they are saying that they will buy.

Here is the key: when you ask your closing question, be sure and not say anything or ask any questions until the prospective client responds. This is critical! If you speak even a word, you will probably not close the sale and all will be in vain. Your job is to close the sale. Ask the question, and then let the client respond. Period!

Use these four steps, and I know I’ll be receiving emails filled with your success stories, and you will be on the road to Building a Better Biz.

Your Happiness Hierarchy

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Creating a strong competitive advantage in the marketplace requires you to focus on what’s happening today that can be improved. But you should also take time to look into the future. Many times people look back on their professional and personal lives and think, “I wish I had done this,” or, “If only I had implemented that idea sooner.” In fact, making good decisions is easy when you look back on the situation and have all the facts. But you can apply that same philosophy to the decisions you make now and in the future. You can project into the future of your business so that when you arrive there you won’t have to look back with regret or wish you’d made better decisions. In other words, mentally position yourself in the successful future of your business.

Pull out a clean sheet of paper or your personal journal and consider what must happen in the future for you to be happy with the results you’re achieving. In the next year, what has to happen in your business? What will excite you about your organization? What about the next three years, and the next ten years? For each interval of time what will have to transpire? What actions will you have to take? Write these things, whatever they are, in your journal and consider them on a regular basis.

Next, take it a step further. Break your organization down into manageable parts and consider each one individually. For example, you could break your business into sales and marketing, products and services you deliver, the reputation you have in your industry, personnel, and administration. What has to happen over the next year for you to be happy with each of these areas? Think about each part of your business for the next three years and ten years as well. By looking at your business in this way, you will discover specific ideas and actions to work into your strategic plan.

The events and actions you identify for this exercise will tell you where you need to focus your time and your energy to maintain a competitive advantage in the future. This list can serve as your motivator. In other words, if this is what it will take for you to be happy, then you better take action and make it happen.

Spend time on this exercise, and you will be on the road to Building a Better Biz!

Strategic Thinking

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Many times someone goes into business so they can “control their own life.” In reality, unless you understand how to build a strategic business, you usually end up with less control than you started with. Instead of having all of the headaches of ownership on top of getting your “job” done you might as well stay and work for someone else. At least then you can go home at the end of the day with a paycheck in hand and not have to worry about clients, getting new business, paperwork, paying the taxes and filling out the city, state, and federal forms that pile up. If you are going to be in business for yourself you might as well do it right and build an organization that allows you to achieve what you want and live life the way you desire. Building a strategic business will allow you to create the value you desire for your clients and for you and your family as well.

Being successful means balancing short-term projects with a long-term strategy. In the short-term you need to make sales, deliver results, and earn the money necessary to keep your doors open. At the same time you must put on your strategic thinking hat and think long term about your business, the true value of what you deliver, who you really want and should be marketing to, and how to go about building your organization.

The strategic business is based on a thought process that is more concerned with looking ahead, looking at where you are going, and how to get there. Even if you already know what services you are taking to which markets, you will still need a strategy to get there. Many times when the effort is put forth people discover that in fact they do not know the right services and products and they may be off on the best fit of possible markets. Only through a comprehensive strategic effort can you prove that what you are doing is right or make the course corrections that you may need to make.

Strategic thinking is based on three distinct disciplines: analysis, planning, and implementation. It is critical to devote time and energy to both analysis and planning so that you can maintain positive momentum in the implementation phase.

It is common to want to jump right into implementation. We see someone do something successfully and so we decide to adopt the same strategy and “go to it.” If you jump right in without the proper analysis and planning, you are probably in for a few surprises. What works for someone else may not work for you. Based on your value system, likes and dislikes, and long-term goals you may be better served with a different approach to business then your competitor or friend.

A sound strategic business does not take shortcuts. Rely on the fact that you must do the proper analysis and spend time planning if you are going to successfully implement your strategic mission.

Building a strategic business is a process. It is not an event. It happens over time. It is a journey to build a strategic business–your strategic business. You will need to decide that you’re tired of the old way and that you want to make changes. If you put forth the energy and work at it, you will be able to build your business and have the type of successful organization you’ve always desired. And, somewhere along the way you will gain control over your personal time as well.

Exercise:

Take a blank sheet of paper and on it list three people whom you admire. They can be alive or deceased. They can be real of fictional. For instance three people whom I really admire are my grandfather, President Lincoln, and the original astronauts.

Once you have your three people, list after each person all of their personal traits that you admire. For example, for the original astronauts I have listed that they were brave, mentally tough, creative, smart, visionary, adventurous, and motivated by challenges.

Now here is the tough part. Next to each of these characteristics I want you to put a number from one to ten with ten being the highest. This number should represent how you see yourself with regards to this trait.

All buildings are built on a foundation. The stronger the foundation, the better the building is equipped to last a long time. Your personal and business foundation is based on your values. This exercise will help you think about what you admire, seek, and desire. Once you have this information you will be ready to look at issues we’ll be discussing in future issues of this ezine.

The Strategic Business balances the necessities of the present with the vision of the future and creates a roadmap of how to close the gap between the two. Now you’re on the road to Building A Better Biz!

Stay Connected to Those You Serve

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I drove into the Budget car rental lot at 8:35 a.m. last Sunday. A very pleasant young lady scanned the barcode on the rented car, entered the mileage and told me that I could get my receipt inside the office. I pulled my suitcase along with me into the office where there were five other people who were waiting with their suitcases for the van to take them over to the airport. I knew the van would be arriving at any moment, and I too, wanted to be on that van. I was running short on time and I didn’t want to miss my flight.

There was a long “L” shaped counter with several workstations in the rental car office. The only problem was that no one was working behind the counter. I assumed that someone had stepped into the back office or maybe they had gone to use the restroom.. I waited several minutes. I knew that if I didn’t get help soon, I would surely miss the next shuttle to the airport.

Finally I asked someone else who was waiting in the lobby for the shuttle if there was a bell or buzzer or if they had seen any workers. He pointed back at the counter and said, “They’re back there sleeping.”

“In the back office sleeping?” I thought. Then I looked over the counter and there were three women with their heads down on their desk fast asleep. Only when I said “Hello” did one of them raise their head. She looked like a mess, like I had woken her up from a deep sleep. And, I felt like my presence was an imposition.

Gee, I wonder if the manager ever came in on a Sunday morning to see how things were running? Oh, that’s right… The manager doesn’t have to work the bad hours or shifts. The manager is the manger and has risen above everyone else. The manager is King!

The fact that these three women were sound asleep behind the counter was ridiculous. But I blame management for the problem. Ultimately, it’s management’s responsibility to make sure things run properly. If they don’t come by from time to time to see what is actually going on, they will never be able to insure a high level of quality customer service.

Management is the front line and not the back office! They must be in the trenches. They must live through what level of service their customers are exposed to in order to determine if the way they treat people is really the best level of service that they can effectively deliver.

So often someone rises up through an organization and then feels they are now “above” having to do certain tasks. If you lose your contact with your clients and what they are experiencing, then you will ultimately be passed up by another person or organization that is hungrier than you are, and wants desperately to serve and deliver great customer service.

Stay connected to those people you serve both inside and outside your organization — you will be on the road to Building a Better Biz.

Tell It And You Will Sell It

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A few months back my brother and his wife went to look at a house that was for sale. It was just what they wanted; the perfect size, the right number of rooms, and in a subdivision that they loved.

They recently completed some major remodeling on their home and had no plans to move. When they saw this particular house that was for sale, they just didn’t know what to do! The realtor told them they shouldn’t wait long as this house would sell fast.

They next afternoon my brother made an offer to buy the home at the asking price. It was too late. Someone else had made an offer that morning, and it was accepted. Not only did my brother not get the house he wanted, but his real estate agent also missed out on a hefty commission.

What should have happened? The real estate agent should have painted a clearer picture of the situation. He should have told a story that my brother and his wife could relate to. It would be a story that would have helped them to make a better decision, and faster.

Imagine if the realtor had told them this story instead:

This house is just what you said you were looking for with all of the amenities that you wanted; a great subdivision, a perfect back yard for your girls, a little more space for a great playroom, and a larger master bedroom. It’s really your dream house then, isn’t it?

I’d be remiss if I didn’t tell you about another client of mine. A few of months ago a couple with two children were looking at a home. The house was just the right size, with the exact number of bedrooms they wanted. The lot was perfect for playing in, and the school district was wonderful. The couple wanted to think it over.

They knew what they were looking for, and the home was within their budget. They had trouble however, making a decision. It is an important decision, and all of us deliberate about that sometimes.

The next day when the couple decided to put an offer on the house it had already sold. They missed out. Sure, they eventually found another house, but it took another two months, plus a lot of time and mental anguish was needlessly spent.

They missed their perfect house, but you don’t have to. Take a few minutes to think about what you really want in a home, and if this house has that, then let’s put an offer together before someone else does.

If my brother and his wife had heard that version of the story and had been given that advice, they would have been better able to make a quick decision and would have had the house. Don’t just state the facts in a selling situation. People like stories. We learn by listening to stories and relating to them. It starts
when we are children, and is carried with us throughout our lives.

So, when is a story called for? Anytime you are trying to make a point, get a message across, help someone make a decision, or provide advice.

Here are the steps to creating great stories.

1. Think about different areas of interests or concerns for the people you interact with.

2. Look for similar situations in your life, the life of a relative, someone of notoriety, or a friend.

3. Construct a story about what happened. Be sure to include the emotions of the people involved.

4. Include these important issues:

* What was lost?
* What wasn’t gained?
* What opportunity was missed?
* What was the pain of the situation?
* How could the pain have been avoided?
* How will your client benefit by not making the same choice?

5. Make the story concise and to the point.

All of us have many real life situations that we face. It’s just a matter of thinking about and recalling them.

Think through all of the sales situations you encounter. Make a list of the objections you receive. You should have a story that deals with these situations.

Work with others in your industry or in your Mastermind Group. If you don’t have a Mastermind Group, then check out my eBook: “Monday’s At Nine: Creating A Powerful Mastermind Group.” It will get you started today!

If you don’t have a story for each situation, then get one from a friend. It’s okay to share them. When you tell someone else’s story (with their permission of course), you start by saying, “A friend of mine had an interesting thing happen to their client.”

When you are faced with a selling situation, and you want to make a powerful point, don’t just give them the facts. Tell a story and watch your customers as they grasp the idea that you are creating for them. This will help your customers make better decisions by telling them a story that they can easily relate to.

You will become an even more compelling sales professional by being a story-teller. Remember, we’re always making a sale. Whether or not it is to a client, a co-worker, a spouse, or a child, we are always selling products, services, ideas, beliefs, and desires. Stories will attract others to you. They will want to listen to what you have to say. Your customers will find you much more interesting and engaging in your beliefs.

Go tell a story, and you’ll be on the road to Building a Better Biz!

The Four Secret Characteristics of Successful People

Sam Articles 2 Comments

Why do some people succeed and others fail? Are there genetic differences between those who fail and those who succeed? Is success a result of luck or traits that are learned and developed?

These are just some of the questions we continually ask ourselves as we seek our own success. Does the grass eternally look greener on the other side of the fence? Well, here are the four secret characteristics of all successful people.

1. Vision

All successful people have vision. They see what they want. They have a picture in their mind’s eye of what life or business will be like when they achieve what it is they are seeking. This vision provides energy and direction that will impact your daily thoughts and actions. And, since your daily actions determine where you end up tomorrow, it is critical that you have a vivid vision to strive for.

But a strong vision will do more than inspire and drive your actions. If your vision is powerful enough it will draw others in. If the umbrella of your vision is wide enough, other people will want to be a part of what it is that you are seeking.

Apple computer has legions of loyal customers that advocate for them and help drive their brand. Causes are formed that people are drawn to because they want to be a part of those historical changes and their impact on society.

What is your vision? Do you have a vision of how you want your life to be in one, three, or ten years? What about your business? Do you have a vision of how your business will look in one, three, or ten years? If not, get to work creating that vision. Spread the word, and others will want to be a part of what you are doing as well.

2. Charisma

Do you attract or repel people? That may be a rough question, but the truth is that some people naturally attract others. These “other” people will be the solution to the problems and challenges that you will naturally face as you work toward achieving your vision.

I always felt that the key to the lock of my next challenge was on someone else’s key ring. It is so important to build relationships, to have friends in and out of business, and to have others that want to see you succeed as much as you want to succeed.

One great way to build these relationships and help others at the same time is participating in a Master Mind Group. A Master Mind Group is a formal group of five to seven people that meet on a regular basis to share experiences and help to solve each other’s challenges.

Being a part of professional associations is a great way to meet others that face your same issues. Building relationships within an association will be a great asset for you.

3. Quality Work

If a job is worth doing it is worth doing well. It’s that simple. Do great work. Give great service. Be ultra reliable. Anyone can just show up. You must stand out in your level of performance. Don’t settle for anything less than your best. Don’t make or accept excuses for a level of performance that doesn’t meet the high standard set by your vision.

Have others you trust give you feedback on your performance. Then, make the necessary adjustments so that you are always improving and always exceeding the expectations of your clients, friends, and relatives.

4. Time

Be patient. We tend to look at others and wonder, “How did they become an overnight success?” The truth is, they didn’t. Most overnight successes were 10 years in the making. Some make it sooner. Others take longer.

It takes time to sow the seeds. It takes time to gain the knowledge. It takes time to build the relationships. It takes time to have enough opportunities come your way that you can leverage into the results you desire.

Greed kills patience. Don’t fall prey to it. Don’t settle for less then you can achieve, but at the same time have the patience to consistently do the right thing and make progress on your vision. Continually learn and expand your tool kit. Know that in the long run you will achieve your vision and more!

Adopt these four success characteristics, and you will be on the road to Building A Better Biz!