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MAY
15
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Top 10 Communication Mistakes

How to avoid the Top 10 Communication Mistakes

Communication Mistakes

Your communications both in person and online have a big impact on how you are perceived by clients, customers and prospects. According to a new study of over 260 senior executives, you must be viewed as a leader in order to get promoted into top jobs. That takes “executive presence,” which is defined as having gravitas, excellent communication skills and a polished appearance. I extrapolate that many of the same principles apply to how we conduct our businesses and business communication skills.

Understanding and practicing these skills are essential.  In our modern culture that mandates “political correctness,” you get severally penalized for your mistakes, as potential customers and clients cross you off their good lists.

Here is a list of my personal top 10 worst communication mistakes that will instantly derail your hopes for business success:

  1. Typing Before Thinking:
    Online communications can oftentimes become problematic. 1st off it is not always simple to get an accurate understanding of context, emotion or intent from discussions we encounter in cyberspace. Not paying close attention to the details and responding without thinking can get your reputation into deep trouble. I recently sent out a group communication to a Meetup group that I manage. Several members of my group are actually part of another group that I am affiliated with. The Owner of that other group was on the receiving end of my group message. She assumed that I was sending messages trying to poach from her membership. Without thinking, she responded harshly and the entire group got to read her rantings. A simple phone call or private message would have saved her a bunch of embarrassment.

    This three-step drill will help avoid your own pitfalls:
    1. Stop: Pause before you open your mouth and ask yourself, "Is anything I am going to say worth it?"
    2. Challenge: Is the  message you are reading/hearing what the person is actually trying to convey -- do the facts really support a negative message? Conclude that it is or isn't worth the effort to pursue, then,
    3. Choose: Take the least destructive, most private way of dealing with the issue if necessary -- like a phone call or private message. Say, "Thank you." If you can stop yourself in this minor moment, with someone with whom you work closely and who knows you well, you're in good shape. If not, try this visual on for comparison. Your CEO walks into your office with the same urgent document that you already know about. Would you tell her in the same impatient tone that you did your assistant that "you already know about it"? Probably not. It's something to think about.
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MAY
15
0

The Power of Story

Here are some reflections I posted this afternoon on my way home from a great seminar -- Christians in Business -- Who Rock.

Connecting your personal story to your business journey can become a powerful tool!

 

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MAY
05
0

Top 10 Sales Mistakes

Top 10 Sales Mistakes

What Differentiates Winners from Losers?

Winners learn from their mistakes, pick themselves up and move on from failure to success. Most winners have failed more times than losers have even tried. In baseball, the home run king has struck out more times that most others have been at bat. If Thomas Edison had given up after his first 9,000 tries we would probably still be walking around in the dark. It took him a reported 10,000 attempts to create the light bulb.

Stephan Schiffman, in his book 25 Most Common Sales Mistakes and how to avoid them (available on Amazon) lists a good deal of important items that many sales professionals stumble over. The more you can learn to avoid some of these common pitfalls the more successful and higher your sales volume will become.

We all have our own areas of shortcomings when it comes to interacting with others. Few of us are schooled in the art and psychology of inter-personal relationships and how they relate to the sales process. More likely than not small business owners are more familiar with their own area of expertise than they are with the sales process. My professional background is being a chef, managing food budgets, food costs, menus, and staffing.

Sales and marketing were not part of my paradigm. I had to learn on the fly, so-to-speak, when starting my first catering business. Here is a list of my own top ten roadblocks to sales success. I highly recommend Mr. Schiffman’s book 25 Most Common Mistakes – for the rest of the story.

As you are reading through this list make note of the areas you struggle with. Think about how many sales you may be losing due to that particular point. Then add a dollar amount to those lost sales. You should then be able to extrapolate an estimate of potential lost sales dollars for a year. The good news is – if you’re a winner you’ll learn the lessons and move forward to sales success.

Top Ten Sales Mistakes

  1. Getting distracted:
    Focus is essential. I have somewhat of an attention deficit and require a bit of motivation to keep my focus. Two items have helped me in this area; having a powerful “why” and clearly defined goals. Your “why” is what gets you motivated and your goals help keep focus.
  2. Not planning the day efficiently:
    Having a plan will have positive impact on both your outlook and results. The reality is that we do all have the same amount of time each day. What are you doing with those hours? Here are five points to consider in planning your daily sales tasks:
    1. Remember that tomorrow begins today.
    2. Plan your day around accomplishing your major outcomes rather than tasks that keep you busy.
    3. Allocate time to spend with other high-performing people.
    4. Build into your plan a goal you know you will be able to accomplish early in the day.
    5. Ask yourself, “What did I learn today and how will I use it tomorrow?”
      Learn more about these day planning steps @ https://www.salesforce.com/blog/2014/08/5-fail-proof-steps-planning-your-day-gp.html
  3. Underestimating the importance of prospecting:
    Remember the 1989 Kevin Costner movie “Field of Dreams?” One of the main themes was “If you build it they will come.” This concept may work well in the movies, but in practice, not so much. Prospecting is an essential element, especially for small enterprises. There are many innovative ways to prospect in our modern era. Many these days rely solely on social media. Those who fall into this trap are missing out on the Lion’s Share of prospective business. Nothing will ever compare to the value of interpersonal communication when it comes to sales prospecting. No, don’t ignore social media. I build social media into my own sales funnel. However, once your social media audience has turned into a qualified prospect – more direct and personal contact is required.
  4. Not taking notes:
    Taking notes when talking to prospects, clients and customers is essential. When taking notes in person it shows that you have an interest in what they are saying. Taking notes allows you to better remember facts that are important to that prospect. Their priorities should be yours. Understanding their needs is an important part of being able to tailor your sales process to better meet their expectations.
  5. Failing to follow up: 
    The sales process rarely succeeds with a one-time contact. Consider the following sales statistics:
    1. 2% of sales are made on the 1st contact
    2. 3% of sales are made on the 2nd contact
    3. 5% of sales are made on the 3rd contact
    4. 10% of sales are made on the 4th contact
    5. 80% of sales are made on the 5th – 12th contact
  6. Not keeping in touch with past clients:
    Keeping in touch with both past and existing clients is probably more important than following up with prospects. The bread and butter of most businesses is returning customers. The power of the Lion’s Share Network can be realized through our top tier Customer Relationship Management (CRM) component. Modern tech tools can help you better manage both your existing customer base as well as track your prospects
  7. Trying to convince rather than convey:
    In sales it is our job to convey the value of our products and services. In our prospecting we need to be diligent in getting to know our client/customer needs rather than “rushing the sale.”
  8. Rushing the Sale:
    “Never let them see you sweat. Never take a "no" from someone who isn't qualified to tell you "yes." Never let the nay-sayers get you down.” 
    ~Mary Kennedy
    Rushing a sale does little more than make you look desperate, and you run the risk of pressuring yourself out of a sale.
  9. Being fooled by sure things
    How many sales have slipped through your fingers that you thought were a ‘done deal?’ In sales, like in sports you must keep your eye on the ball! Keeping yourself focused on the end-game will get you more closed sales than rushing to premature conclusions.
  10. Taking rejection personally: 
    No, it’s usually not personal. No matter how well prepared you may be, relatively few sales are a “sure thing.” Oftentimes a “no” just means that the prospect may just need more information. Sometimes you have to hear a number of NOs on the way to a “yes” answer. Also, refer back to points 7-9 above.

Bonus:
Not getting Started – Analysis Paralysis:
Nobody appreciates being wrong. When it comes to making a decision, we all want to be “right.” One thing is true for certain – if you never start you’ll never win.

Getting started is the key component to success. Here are some points to keep you on track and avoid the trap of Analysis Paralysis:

  • Set a “Drop Dead” start date for your new venture
  • Do a “Reality check.” After you’ve done your due diligence and have not found any red flags, ask a friend or two to look for red flags as well.
  • Curb your curiosity. 
    Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth. Arthur Conan Doyle
    If the information you have now answers the call, it’s time to move forward.

The Lion’s Share Network offers a proven business model designed to get your business off to a rapid start with minimal investment.  The return on your investment is only limited by your own efforts and dedication. Learning the above lessons will go a long way towards ensuring your success moving forward with your own business.

 

Lion's Share Merchant Network Lion's Share Network Business Opportunities Lion's Share Networking Opportunities
 
Contact the Lion's Share Network ASAP to learn more about this exciting opportunity.
 
Contacting Lion's Share Network

Do any of the above opportunities sound interesting? If so, you can contact us  during normal business hours by calling 510.421.2255 -- or via email @ This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. -- When contacting us via email please include the subject of the inquiry, the best way to reach you as well as the best time to contact you!

Rev: 5:1-10

 

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MAY
04
0

Build a Business Not a Job.

Build a Business Not a Job.

Are You Building a Business or Owning a Job.

 
It was back in the 80s when I started my 1st business. I had several years of graphic design experience. I had taught myself and mastered the  art of Desktop publishing, and I had reached the top of my pay scale. My expenses kept rising to be just beyond my income. I needed to do something different. 
 
It was 1987; I took my tax return, baught a new computer some software and was ready to go -- or so I thought. I had what I thought was a great idea, but I had no Idea what starting a buisness really entailed. Instead of the team that I was part of with my former employer, I was now on my own. Rather than having a single job, I was now wearing multiple hats! The bottom line was that I was working harder and more hours for much less money! Oh, speaking about money -- who knew that the startup expenses were just the tip of the iceberg. The bottom line is that I was not prepared in the least to start or run a successful business. Growing up in Southern California the mantra was 'finish high school and college, learn a skill, and get a job." No one ever told me to 'go to school and learn how to start your own business.'

Sound familiar?

 
With unemployment rates at unprecedented levels, more and more Americans are finding the best path to a new job is creating it themselves. As a result, we’re seeing an increase in the number of self-employed individuals. Whether you label them as consultants, independent contractors, or freelancers, they are in business for themselves and by themselves.
 
But I have to ask myself, “Have these people really started a business?” I would argue that they have not. There is a difference between creating a job for yourself and starting a business. When you create a job for yourself, once you stop doing what you are doing, the business — or income — stops too. By contrast, when you establish a business, the company eventually becomes bigger than you alone and can survive without your daily contributions.
 
The MYTOP theory.
 
MYTOP stands for Multiply Yourself Through Other People. In order to build a sustainable business, your service or product offering needs to be easily taught to and followed by others. Otherwise, you will always be “the business.”
 
At this point in my life, I own and operate two companies: Diabetes and Weight Loss Network and Lion's Share Network.  Diabetes and Weight Loss Network is a Health Coaching company where I assist people who have weight loss and health goals. It’s a business I launched because I have a passion for for helping others do what I did -- lose weight and reverse diabetes. This business will never be a sustainable business model because without me, there is no product.
 
However, Lion's Share Network is a company I've launched that has the operational processes in place to become a sustainable business with a clear exit strategy. My partners and I wanted to build something with value beyond the our individual efforts. So today, Lion's Share Network is growing organization supported by a team of talented individuals who know how to duplicate my efforts, expanding our efforts into our target market — with or without my day-to-day operational involvement.
 
Why is this distinction so critical? Because building a business is hard work. It’s a major commitment of your time, financial resources, and intellectual capital. If you are “the business,” when you want to retire or sell the company, it will have little if any value. Without you, there is no business.
 
Conversely, a business organization that’s functional without you has ongoing value. Your exit strategy may be to pass your company on to your heirs. I’m seeing many businesses continuing with second- and third-generation ownership. Another strategy is to develop your business around a product or service that offers long-term residual income. In this scenario you are able to develop and pass along not just a business, but, a legacy
 
Either way, it is your choice. You can choose to own your own job or take your efforts to a higher level. Some people are happy with a consistent income stream and don’t want to grow their business beyond that point. However, it’s important to recognize the limitations of that decision early in your business development. I’ve met many dissatisfied entrepreneurs who were unable to sell their businesses or practices because they allowed themselves to become the business.
 
 
Lion's Share Merchant Network Lion's Share Network Business Opportunities Lion's Share Networking Opportunities
 
Contact the Lion's Share Network ASAP to learn more about this exciting opportunity.
 
Contacting Lion's Share Network

Do any of the above opportunities sound interesting? If so, you can contact us  during normal business hours by calling 510.421.2255 -- or via email @ This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. -- When contacting us via email please include the subject of the inquiry, the best way to reach you as well as the best time to contact you!

Rev: 5:1-10

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