Category: Education

9 Levels of Word of Mouth

9 Levels of Word of Mouth

Last time we talked about the second part of word-of-mouth tactics which help you put together a system to help shorten your customers’ purchasing decision time, which can increase your profits immensely.

Today is not so much of a blog but a tool to evaluate where your word of mouth stands and how it affects your business. We’re going to talk about the nine levels of word-of-mouth which gives you a scale to measure the word-of-mouth circulating around your company, products, and services. You can then see where you are getting negative or weak word of mouth and find ways to correct it.

So, launching into the nine levels of word-of-mouth, it should seem relatively obvious that the negative levels are, well, negative, and the positive levels are positive. 

Word of Mouth Scale

Minus 4-Death Blow

This is the worst of the worst and means your product or service is creating a scandal. Remember when the popular over-the-counter pain relievers, like Tylenol, were deemed unsafe? Yea, you won’t want that kind of word of mouth.

If this is where you are, it is most likely a death blow for your business and you have most likely done something very wrong. 

Minus 3-Karen is Out for Blood

Disgruntled customers are going out of their way to convince other consumers from purchasing your products and services. They are boycotting you. 

They are actively making a seen, leaving bad reviews, making their tik toks. In some respect, this can be the worst place to be. Karen does not allow you to have a minute to respond and fix the problem. 

Minus 2-Unacceptable and Unhappy

While not outwardly boycotting, when customers are asked about you, they will give a negative response. They will take the time to leave a Yelp or Google review and most likely leave it at that. 

Minus 1-Solvable 

At this level, people are mildly dissatisfied, and while not outwardly talking about it, they will have an opinion if asked. Now they may purchase from you despite their negative feelings; this can be a little confusing. 

These people may stick with you because it is easy or the pain is not enough to change. It is important to spend time giving them a better experience.

Level 0-Neutral 

This is sort of a neutral place to be. Customers are using your products, but don’t really talk about it. People rarely ask them about it, so they aren’t sharing their opinion with others. This can be a slippery slope because you don’t want to turn that neutral experience into a negative one. You should work to make it a positive one.

Plus 1-Satisfied 

At this level, we are finally starting to work our way into the positive word-of-mouth about your company, products, and services. Plus 1 signifies that people are generally pleased with your products, but unless asked, don’t really say anything about them.

Plus 2-Tip of the Tong Solution

When asked, your customers will talk about how much they love your products or service. They will be a person who says something like, “o I use …” or “consider trying …”. These people need to be prompted but once they have been you’re their go-to.

They may give a review but most likely need to be prompted before they will do it.

Plus 3-Have You Heard About

Customers will go out of their way to talk about your products, services, company, and shopping experience with you. This is most evident when you see how people recommend movies to their friends and family.

These people will leave an unprompted review and 5-star score. These tend to be your 7-9 net promoter scores.

Plus 4- Champion

Your product is the toast of the town. There is an obvious buzz going around, and your business is the place to be. People are not only talking about your great products and services, but they are talking about their shopping experience, your customer service, and how they perceive the company to help them in the future.

These are the people who do not only leave a review but also go out of their way to make a social media post. These are your 9-10 net promoter scores. 

Some great examples of Plus 4 companies are:

  • Lexus
  • Harley Davidson
  • Lululemon 
  • Tesla
  • Apple
  • Costco

 

We’re going to leave this lesson for you to mull over and take a look at what kind of word of mouth you are generating. If you need help with this process, try our FREE test drive to get help from our experienced business coaches.

Next ti, we will talk about the 30 ways to harness the power of word of mouth.

Are People Talking About You the Way You Want?

Are People Talking About You the Way You Want?

Take Control of Your Word of Mouth

It is time to start a new series, all about Word of Mouth and how it can make or break your business in an extremely short amount of time. In this first lesson, we’ll explore exactly what word of mouth is and give you a chance to know if you’re using it correctly. 

Word of Mouth is easily the most powerful form of marketing and is absolutely free. People talk about ads they see, experiences they have, and the products they purchase. So if you treat people right and spread the word about your new products/services in a positive way, you’ll attract the right customers and clients who will sustain your business for a long time. 

Now, as positive as word of mouth can be for your business, the other side of the coin is how negative it can be as well. Unfortunately, bad news seems invariable to travel faster than good news. If you have a less than high-quality product or weak customer service system, then your customers will tell everyone they know not to buy your products and services.

The age of technology has proved to be an amazing benefit in the world of word of mouth. With blogs, podcasts, online marketing, forums, social networking, and other online mediums available, it is easier and easier for consumers to share their experiences. And remember this is all free advertising for you. 

Shorten Customer Decision Cycle

The decision cycle or more commonly known as your sales cycle. This is your first opportunity to influence your client experience. There are three great ways to shorten & streamline your IAC decision cycle, plus they have the added benefit of impacting your revenue. They are:

  • Decision Speed
  • Friction & Stress Reduction
  • Operational Flexibility

Decision Speed

Let’s take a deeper look at decision speed. Offer simplicity, ease, and a fun purchasing atmosphere, and you’ll help your customers make their decisions quicker and more confidently. When this happens, your customers will buy more frequently, spend more money than usual, refer friends, and decided to purchase more quickly. This can raise your market share by over 100 times.

The time it takes your customer to decide and purchase far outweighs any other component of marketing. When you focus on customer decision speed it forces you to take a hard look at your company and brand image, positioning, value, customer service, guarantees, and product quality.

Friction & Stress Reduction 

The next area I want to talk about quickly is how to minimize the friction or stress involved with decision-making. No matter how easily people find decision-making there is a certain amount of anxiety we all experience when making a purchase, especially from a new source or for a large amount of money. When you help to minimize this emotional response, you will soothe your customers’ anxiety and they will make their decision quicker and more confidently.

There are a few secrets to accelerate the customer’s decision making progress:

  • Your benefits, features, claims, and promises must be obvious, clear, and concise.
  • The information you offer must be complete, easy to understand, credible, and balanced.
  • Use comparisons that show a marked difference.
  • Your guarantees must be rock solid and more than the customer expects.
  • Make trial periods easy.
  • You must have simple evaluations of your products or services.
  • Testimonials need to be relevant and positive.
  • Your support, delivery, and other operational systems must be perfect.

Your website can be as good as you make it. You can offer more than information; you can offer an experience that guides your customers gently through the decision-making process to make it easy for them to buy. Take it a step beyond by offering toll-free support numbers, software downloads to help with the process, or other classy and informative ways to reassure your customers that you are there with them every step of the way and have nothing to hide.

Operational Flexibility 

The final area to explore is the customer journey. This might be the most important piece of any marketing strategy. A customer journey is the ideal touchpoints and behaviors you want to see your customers exhibit. A great customer journey has the following components:

  • A mapped out experience from prospect to fulfilled happy customer
  • Clear explanation of business action (items you put out in the world) and response (the action you want your customers to exhibit
  • The expectation of employees and responsibilities at each stage 
  • Training on your staff should implement these experiences

Now here is where the flexibility comes in, a great liner plan like a customer journey is an ideal experience. This means you need to empower your employees to be able to make edits, changes, skip steps, expand steps, etc to get to the finished product which is a repeat customer singing your praises to everyone they meet.

This wraps up the first post in our series on word of mouth. If you need help identifying your target market and the issues they run into that lengthen their purchasing experience, complete our One Thing survey and get an implementable solution within 48 business hours. 

Next time we’ll move forward with word of mouth and talk about the power of word of mouth and what exactly this powerful tool is and can be used for.

10 x Your Resources to Maximize Your Resources Part 4

10 x Your Resources to Maximize Your Resources Part 4

If you have read this series so far, you have received nine great ways to get the most out of your resources. So far, we’ve covered:

  1. Call in the Troops
  2. Bring ‘Em Out of the Woodwork
  3. Black Sheep Clients
  4. Olympic-Size Sales Staff
  5. Open Water Fishing 
  6. Call for Back-Up
  7. Go Big Online
  8. Bartering with the Best
  9. Give Away the Farm

You have found ways to maximize your clients, staff, time, and more. Today we’ll finish up this series with the last three ways to multiply your maximized resources. We’ll cover:

  1. Finding Your Pot of Gold
  2. Put Yourself Out of Business Before Your Competition Does it For You
  3. Wealth from the Inside Out

These areas are all key to keeping up the momentum you’ve found to make what you have work harder for you.

Finding Your Pot of Gold

You must always have a goal you’re working toward to stay on course. Your plan needs to be something you can attain and utilize your full potential. Don’t be afraid to aim high; make sure you are clear on your goal and exactly what you need to do to get there. You need to continue to hold yourself accountable to your goal and raise the bar as you accomplish the steps to your goal.

A few goal setting techniques to consider are:

  • Exit planning: You can’t know how to get somewhere if you don’t know where you’re going.
  • Fear setting, this goal-setting technique allows you to address your anxiety and hesitation. Great if you need to make a significant investment.
  • SMART, great if you need to make short-term tactical goals.

No matter what you need to accomplish, excellent goal setting can make a difference in resource management.

Put Yourself Out of Business Before Your Competition Does it For You.

Once you’ve mastered these areas, you need to make sure you stay competitive and constantly come up with new ways to use your new tools. Don’t rest on one success when there are more on the horizon. To continue to be successful, your business must continue to learn and evolve.

When you get to this point, it is time to set aside 1 to 4 days a month where you, as the business owner, spend time working on your business. This means for that day; you do not answer emails, do daily tasks, etc. Instead, you spend the day thinking about opportunities and find new ways to grow your business.

Wealth from the Inside Out

Wealth and riches are defined within yourself, not by your profits or the world beyond. You can use all these strategies in both your business and life to find a greater level of success. When you naturally reflect on who you are and what you mean, you will automatically attract the right people to you. This will happen in life and business. 

You can reach your goals as long as they are well-defined and a solid road is built to them.

Throughout the last several lessons, we’ve talked about how to take a hard look at the resources you currently have right in front of you, how to take advantage of them, and leverage them to maximize your results. 

I hope this series has inspired you to look at your business and see the opportunities it provides. If you need help applying, please don’t hesitate to contact us for a free business evaluation. We will review your business in providing you with a road map to your companies success.

10 x Your resources to maximize your results part 3

10 x Your resources to maximize your results part 3

So far in our series, we have covered the following topics; make sure to go back and read parts 1 & 2 to catch up on anything you have missed. Call in the Troops

  1. Bring ‘Em Out of the Woodwork
  2. Black Sheep Clients
  3. Olympic-Size Sales Staff
  4. Open Water Fishing 
  5. Call for Back-Up

These topics have covered how to use your champion clients, reactivation, sales teams, and more.

Today we will make a huge step forward with the following three topics:

  1. Go Big Online
  2. Bartering with the Best
  3. Give Away the Farm

Go Big Online

Some businesses solely operate online; others only operate brick and mortar, and then there are the hybrids. The hybrids are by far more successful than the previous two. This is because a physical location allows having a space to give your clients an experience. At the same time, establishing an online presence opens your business up to the entire world through a few clicks of the mouse.

To successfully sell products online, you need to:

  1. Offer high-quality products/services that people want.
  2. Build an attractive, effective website that’s user-friendly.
  3. Generate high-quality traffic at a low cost.

With all of these things in place, you can find success with your online exposure.

Bartering with the Best

If you’ve ever gone to a yard sale and paid the sticker price, then you need to up your bartering game. Everything is negotiable, and you need to take the time to barter with your suppliers. Companies are always open to bartering, and when all is said and done, you could find yourself saving significantly on the things your business needs to operate smoothly.

Give Away the Farm

Ok, not literally, but you have to be willing to contact prospective clients and offer them products and services they will need. You don’t know what they need until you offer them everything you’ve got, then work with them to create the perfect package that fits their needs.

When you take the time to put yourself at the front of their minds, they are more likely to work with you going forward. You can do this by offering free newsletters, a free consulting session, or other valuable tools.

Are you taking action?

I hope through this series you have begun to rethink part of your business. If at this point your say to yourself all of this is so obvious, then good. Then I ask, are you currently doing implementing these practices in your business? If yes, can you do better? If no, why not?

If you answered yes or no to the above questions, then I have a special offer for you:

  • First Download My Book 8 Steps that change your business Forever
  • Once you download it, I will reach out to you with a complimentary business assessment guaranteed to find your business $10,000-$100,000 in additional revenue without you having to spend any more money on marketing or advertising.

Next time we’ll finish up this series with the last three ways to multiply your maximized resources. We’ll cover:

  1. Finding Your Pot of Gold
  2. Stay at the Top of Your Game
  3. Wealth from the Inside Out
10 x Your Resources to Maximize Your Results Part 2

10 x Your Resources to Maximize Your Results Part 2

Resources are tremendous, but results are better. Every business has resources, but very few can put them to the best use. Last week we spoke about the three strategies for maximizing your resource, and they were: 

  1. Call in the Troops; using your current customers.
  2. Bring ‘Em Out of the Woodwork; the power of a referral system
  3. Black Sheep Clients; reactivation of previous clients. 

Today we’ll talk about the following three:

  1. Olympic-Size Sales Staff
  2. Open Water Fishing 
  3. Call for Back-Up

Olympic-Size Sales Staff

Now we all know you can’t have a sales staff of 10,000 who work around the clock for free, but there is a tool that will do precisely that-direct mail marketing. Direct mail is one of the big three, social media, email, and direct mail. Now social media and email have higher open rates and lower costs, but direct mail has significant advantages. 

Direct mail campaigns generate purchases five times larger than email campaigns. In addition, they have the distinct advantage of standing out. In today’s, world people get inundated with social media aids and emails but rarely receive real mail. The last advantage is the life span of a social media ad lasts about 3 seconds in front of your customer compared to 17 days for direct mail. 

Direct mail is a written piece of sales and informative copy that offers information about your company and your products/services to potential customers/clients. For example, you have sales letters, brochures, or proposals that can be mailed out to a list of leads. 

This approach can not only open your door to thousands of new customers/clients, but it can also save you thousands of dollars in advertising. 

Open Water Fishing

You have to be careful not to waste your time on clients who are simply not interested. Instead, you must focus on bigger fish. Remember, the previous lessons talked about how you should always be targeting higher-quality prospects. 

To do this, you have to take the time to research and learn about your potential clients to make sure you are targeting the right companies to work with. In addition, make sure they are companies that will benefit from your products/services over a long time. 

If you’re not sure where to start finding big fish clients, go back over our previous lessons or look into purchasing a direct mailing list that targets the clients you need. You can buy or rent lists with name, title, job specs, and contact information. This gives you a jumping-off point in finding high-quality clients.

Call for Back-Up

Don’t be afraid of telemarketing. It’s a powerful tool that can be done tastefully and be highly effective. However, keep in mind, when not handled correctly can bring about adverse reactions. To be successful with telemarketing, you need to use these tips:

  1. Your first line of defense should be mail marketing. 
  2. Test before you start a telemarketing campaign.
  3. Set the price for your offer.
  4. Use a progressive approach with your campaign.

Progressive contact helps build trust and allows the potential customer/client to establish a positive relationship with you. These are the progressive steps you should take:

  1. Put your prospect at ease.
  2. Present your offer in a natural, conversational way.
  3. Avoid being argumentative or pushy.
  4. Always be honest.
  5. Perfect your 30-second elevator speech.
  6. Clearly state your name, business name, why you’re calling, and where you got their information.
  7. Offer the benefits of your products and services.
  8. Mention one of the features that back up the benefits.
  9. Ask preliminary questions that give you information about the prospect.

These step-by-step methods can help you succeed with a telemarketing campaign and avoid a negative response that could forever stigmatize your business. 

This wraps up these three areas of multiplying your resources. We’ll continue with this series for the next two posts to give you all the resources you need to get the most out of your current resources.

If you need help working through any of these processes or areas, download my book and I will give you one free month of access to my online marketing academy $97 value.

10x Your Resource to Maximize Your Results

10x Your Resource to Maximize Your Results

In the previous series, we discussed techniques and strategies to maximize your resources. This next series of posts will cover how to take maximizing resources and multiply them for even bigger results. 

In this first of the four-part series, we’ll cover: 

  1. Call in the Troops
  2. Bring ‘Em Out of the Woodwork
  3. Black Sheep Clients

Call in the Troops

Finding and securing new clients can be exhausting and expensive. So instead, work with other companies to help you find new clients. Find solid companies with secure, positive relationships with their customers/clients. Also, ensure that their products/services are not directly competitive with yours. 

Contact prospective partner companies and talk with them about helping promote your products/services to their clients. Always offer them a commission on the sales that come from their client lists.

Make sure to include these key points in your proposal:

  • First, ensure that your products/services don’t compete with theirs.
  • The partnership will not take away from their current or future sales.
  • The partnership will increase their profits.
  • They won’t have to do nor spend anything on the partnership.
  • You will produce all needed marketing materials.
  • You will offer an unconditional guarantee on all products/services.

Bring ‘Em Out of the Woodwork 

If you take the time to put together a solid referral system, you’ll draw new customers/clients out of the woodwork through everyone you already know. You can start doing this by first showing all your current clients how much you care about them.

Then show them how your products/services can significantly improve their lives or businesses. If you can do this consistently, they will naturally and comfortably bring new clients right to you.

Black Sheep Clients

One of the best ways to rejuvenate business is to find your stray clients and offer them something unique. But, first, you need to understand why they strayed and are no longer purchasing from you. There are generally three reasons why customers/clients leave. They are: 

  1. Unrelated causes that have nothing to do with you
  2. A problem with their last purchase
  3. No longer benefit from your products/services

The best way to bring these clients back is to contact them. If you don’t make the first move, they’ll never come back. You make an appointment to visit them or call them if it’s not possible to meet in person.

Talk openly with your stray clients. Let them know you noticed they were no longer working with you and that you’d like to talk with them about their experiences with you and how you can improve things to work together again. Take the time to make them feel special and work hard to make sure their experiences with you going forward are the best ever.

This wraps up the first three areas on how to multiply your maximized resources. If you need help working on any of these ideas or processes, try our FREE test drive to work with an experienced business coach.

Next time we’ll talk about the following three areas of multiplying your resources. They include Olympic-size Sales Staff, Open Sea Fishing, and Call for Back-Up.

Maximize Your Resources – Part 3

Maximize Your Resources – Part 3

With every series, it is time to wrap up. In the last post, we talked about three more ways to maximize your current resources. They included:

  • Reveal your business’s soul, bring your why/motivation to the front of what you do.
  • From breaking even to breaking the bank, the power of cost-cutting, not cutting people.
  • Stand up and stand out, having an efficient USP.

Today we’ll talk about the last three areas you can work on to maximize your current resources. They are:

  • Your people & Your Time
  • Eliminate before you delegate
  • Stay away from the edge of the cliff.

Your People & Your Time

The secret to any great business is maximizing your people because through your people; you gain the time to work on your business and not in your business. So You’re probably asking yourself, how do I get to the place where my people work as hard on my business as I do?

The answer is they never will. What is possible is creating how you use your time to get your people to do what you need them to do. This efficiency is achieved by dedicating your time to three major business systems.

  • Staff Development 
  • Instruction & Training 
  • Personal connection 

Staff Development refers to the time spent asking your employees about their professional goals and helping them to develop the resources to achieve them. The hard pill to swallow is sometimes this means that they won’t stay in your business forever.

Instruction & Training refers to the time developing their soft and hard skills pertaining to their position. 

Personal connection refers to the time you spend getting to know them as people. This is the time sadly that most employers fail to capitalize. However, this is also the best opportunity to turn an employee into a champion for your business regardless of whether they work there or not.

If you want to start making all-around business improvements, you need to ask yourself how much time I spend in these three areas? Then how much more time can I add to these opportunities?

Eliminate Before you Delegate

How you use time can be one of the enormous wastes in your businesses. It is the time spent doing repetitive or mundane tasks that you feel could easily be delegated or eliminated. These tasks include data entry, holding non-strategic meetings, etc.

Now, I am all for the power of delegating, but before you do it, ask yourself, does it even need to be done? If it needs to be done, is there a software option that does not take a human to do it?

The reason you follow this progression is if you hate the job or task, your employees will hate it too. So remember this valuable lesson before you delegate any task. Think about how we can eliminate or make it so no one has to spend time on it.

Avoid the Edge of the Cliff

Continuing to test and measure your systems, products, marketing methods, and all other aspects of your business allow you to see problems before they happen and therefore avoid falling off the edge of the cliff. 

Here are a few specific areas you can test for potential improvements:

  • Marketing 
  • Sales Copy
  • Customer Service
  • Sales Letters
  • Sales Presentations
  • Employee-Customer Interaction
  • Employee-happiness 
  • Employee-growth

Through creating a deliberate and regular testing procedure, you will find opportunities to utilize your resources better. For example, you might find products/services where you can raise the price, maybe others where you should lower the price or offer that product as an incentive item and discover many other areas for improvement that will better utilize your current resources. 

I hope this series has helped you to look at your business resources differently. If it has only created more questions then we are standing by ready to help try our FREE test drive to work with one of our unique business coaches.

Maximize Your Resources – Part 2

Maximize Your Resources – Part 2

 

Let recap last week’s blog, where we discussed the first three areas for maximizing your resources. For reference, they were:

  • Recognize the obvious, give yourself the space to see the apparent areas of waste.
  • Unconventional breakthroughs create a culture and method for maximizing new and creative ideas between you and your team.
  • Face the facts, start by analyzing your current systems and start by making a 1% change.

Today we’ll cover the next three, which are:

  • Reveal your business’ soul
  • From breaking even to breaking the bank
  • Stand up and stand out

Reveal Your Business’ Soul

Every business has a soul, and you likely felt it the strongest when your business was starting. It’s that passion, newness, and momentum you had at the very beginning. Unfortunately, sometimes that can get lost along the way as your business gets stagnant and set in its ways. You have to break out of that rut and get back to your business’ true soul.

The philosophy of putting your client’s needs above your own is the true key to success. You need to serve your clients, not sell to them. They want to build a relationship based on trust, not a used car. Add to these responsibilities your ability to solve problems, handle special situations, be a friend to your clients and focus on offering valuable, high-quality products/services. 

I challenge you to fill these affirmations daily or at least weekly the answer the following questions:

  • I started my business to solve this (insert the problem you solve)__________ for (insert the person or people solve the proble for)  ______________.
  • I started this business to have my customers and clients feel (insert how you want your prospect to feel after purchasing/working with you) _____________. 

Completing this short exercise will help you to be able to frame your purpose quickly and efficiently for yourself to keep you focused. Once focused, you can get back to the basics and solve the problems your business is facing.

From Breaking Even to Breaking the Bank

One of the easiest ways to instantly increase your profit is by cutting costs. Most people panic here and think I can’t afford to cut expenses. I am barely making it work as it is. Most of us, over the life of our business, accumulate costs that we forget about it. They can be $5 for this subscription or looking at your credit card processor. 

By taking the time monthly to review your expense, you can significantly reduce your cost. It is also a great way to start noticing the spending trends of both you and your staff. Along with this, make sure you set aside time to review your annual expenses.

  • Phone & Internet
  • Product Licenses
  • Payment process
  • Banking Fees
  • Insurance
  • Rent 
  • inventory suppliers

These are just a few of the areas to consider reviewing but taking the time to look at making small changes in any of these areas can mean $10,000 or more in additional profit for your business. Of course, taking steps to make changes should never be done without a team. Make sure your key staff and accountant are a part of these conversations. If you’re fortunate to have a business coach make, I would include them as well.

Good luck and start cutting costs.

Stand Up and Stand Out

You need to stand out from the pack among your competitors. The only way you can do this is through consistency and value. You do this by discovering what your USP (Unique Selling Proposition) is and perfecting it. Here are some tips to help you find and develop your USP:

  1. Look for unfilled needs in your industry.
  2. Use preemptive marketing.
  3. Use a technique that is clear and to the point.

This wraps up this post. However, if you need help with any of these areas and techniques, try our Finacial Training & E-Learning Market Place to access a wealth of resources and tools.

5 Killer Mistakes – Part 3: Up Cash Creek Without a Paddle

5 Killer Mistakes – Part 3: Up Cash Creek Without a Paddle

Now to conclude our killer mistakes series, we will talk about the worst mistake you can make that will not only cost your clients but might even cost you your company. Today we’re going to talk about the fifth killer mistake: Cash Flow.

Even when business is good, there’s still a chance of running out of cash flow. You have to always be prepared for a slow in sales or a surge in expenses. One of the keys to balancing your cash flow is to get your clients to pay on time. Managing your cash flow can seem like a nightmare but is essential to a successful business.

Here are some tips to speed up the payment process:

  • Always send invoices on time and adjust your records for potential audits.
  • Learn how the client processes payments on their side and find out precisely where to send invoices.
  • Find out who’s in charge of processing orders and payments so you know who to contact if needed.
  • Have a follow-up procedure in place, just in case.
  • As a last resort, call your contact to ask questions.
  • Always make sure your invoices are correct before sending them out.

You also need to make sure your cash flow is protected. You can do this by:

  • Always knowing which accounts need to be paid and when.
  • Negotiate with your suppliers for the lowest cost possible.
  • Have a bank contingency plan in place.
  • Build your investor network.
  • Having a weekly, not monthly, cash flow management system.

These are all great ways to protect the cash flow of your business and be able to serve your clients. However, these last few lessons are all about finding and maintaining your big fish clients. These clients are essential to your success, and you need to take the time to work through each of these steps carefully and correctly for the best success.

I am here to help with any of the processes we have discussed; feel free to ask me how to get access to a wealth of Free tools and resources and our business coaching staff.

Take the One Thing Challenge!

If you feel frustrated with sales and marketing, the reason may not be a lack of effort or investment. Instead, the problem may be inadequate or inefficient service delivery to your customers. 

Remember, the best time to make a change was yesterday, so you better get started today! What is the one thing you need to change or do differently that would make you more successful?

Complete this quick form, and I will respond within 48hr with one action you can take to make your one thing a reality?

 

5 Killer Mistakes – Part 2

5 Killer Mistakes – Part 2

In the last post, we covered the first two of the five biggest mistakes you can make in dealing with big fish clients. Today we’ll cover the third and fourth ones: Taking on More Than You Can Handle.

When you take on too much, your business can’t keep up, and therefore you can quickly lose control of everything and find yourself barely functioning. You want your business to be successful, no doubt, but you need to plan how you will handle the growth. Although your clients expect excellent customer service and high-quality products/services, they don’t know or care about your behind-the-scenes operations to get those things done.

Look for these signs that you are taking on more than you can handle:

  • Clients’ needs aren’t being met.
  • Employee morale is low, clients are upset, and you’re in a panic.
  • You have to react in emergency mode to save accounts.
  • Your current clients are suffering from trying to keep up with new business.
  • Profits are going down.
  • You are just trying to pick up the pieces of your business.
  • Your clients/customers leave.
  • Resources are being reallocated.

There is a trick called the Mock Fish Plan. This plan can help you react positively when facing some or all of these things and help you get your business back on track. This plan will:

  • Help increase sales in a short period of time.
  • Alter your products/services for the better.
  • Fulfill promises you made to your clients.

There are six steps to this plan:

  1. Bring in your best team and have them all help to meet the fish’s needs.
  2. Review your operational system.
  3. Anticipate future problems better.
  4. Communicate better.
  5. Include costs in your quotes.
  6. Always have a backup plan.

All Your Eggs in One Basket

You can allow your company to become dependent on anyone fish. Eventually, or for certain periods there is going to be a slowing down period with your fish. To stay in the game, you need to diversify. 

If you’ve ever mishandled a fish, you could drive away potential fish as well. However, to keep balance and prepare for a strong future, you can do a few things.

These things include:

  • Stay in the loop and try to know what’s going on inside your fish’s company.
  • Constantly reinvent yourself and stay at the top of your industry.
  • Stay exclusive.
  • Try to secure multi-year commitments and contracts.
  • Spread your contracts out.
  • Price your products/services correctly.

You also need to work to reduce your dependency on your fish. This can generally be measured in sales or profits. Take a look back at the process we’ve used thus far to snag more fish to keep this all in balance.

These are the ways you can help avoid the killer mistakes that can make you lose it all. If you need help with any of these tips or tricks, feel free to call at 412-397-7967.

Next time we’ll talk about the last of the killer mistakes and how to combat it from hitting your business hard.