Category: Startups

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.

Get People to Talk About You The Way You Want

Get People to Talk About You The Way You Want

In the last post, we started our series on word of mouth and talked about making your customers purchasing experience a short, easy one. We are going to continue with that theme a bit today. We will talk about the power of word of mouth and how to mold it to your advantage.

The reality is everyone needs an advisor to guide them to make a decision. We rely on the expertise of others to make the right decisions as they are explained to us. When you take the time to understand exactly what and how word of mouth works, you’ll see all the great advantages it has to offer you. Remember this path when working to understand word of mouth:

  • Accelerate the decision-making process for increased profits.
  • You can accelerate product-making decisions by making the process easier. For example, try delivering on your word-of-mouth promises instead of low-ball advertising and the used car salesman approach.

Traditional advertising draws about one response for every thousand ads, and most of those are to ask for more information before the customer even considers purchasing. When you get information from a friend, you are more likely to take their word for it and act. On average, customers purchase two out of every five recommendations their friends make. That’s a HUGE difference.

So, what exactly is word of mouth? We know how powerful it can be, but to define it: Word of mouth is a communication between a customer and a potential customer. There is usually a relationship of some kind between these two people with an established level of trust. 

Now, compare this to advertising where you are providing a message to a potential customer who has not established a relationship with you or level of trust. Who are they more likely to take advice from? The answer is clear!
We talked above about the benefits of word of mouth now; let’s take a look at some reasons why it works. Some of these are:

  • The information is custom-tailored to the potential customer because of the friendly relationship of the referrer.
  • It’s more personal, relevant, and believable.
  • It’s customer-driven.
  • It’s self-generating and can take on a life of its own, especially with the information age of the Internet.
  • It becomes part of the product’s description.
  • The source of word of mouth can be meaningful and more effective when coming from an expert.
  • Word of mouth saves you time and money. 

To fully utilize word of mouth, you need to understand:

  1. Where is your word of mouth coming from?
  2. What products or services are being affected by word of mouth?
  3. How is your word of mouth traveling?

Once you know these things, you can work out a plan to trigger more word of mouth. This wraps up this lesson on word of mouth. If you need help understanding word of mouth and how it can impact your business, try our FREE test drive to access our wealth of resources and tools.

Next time we’re going to dive into the nine levels of word of mouth. These levels help you understand which word of mouth is positive and which is not.

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
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 1

Maximize Your Resources – Part 1

Title Photo

Over the next few posts, we’re going to talk about how to take a hard look at your current resources and get the most out of them. Your resources can help your capital go further and increase your profit margin.

Today we’ll cover three different ways to maximize what you already have. These include:

  • Recognize the obvious
  • Unconventional breakthroughs
  • Face the facts

Recognize the Obvious

Sometimes when you are too close to something, you can’t make out the big picture. You need to step back and take a hard look at the resources you currently have in front of you. You are surrounded by opportunities that can boost your career and help your business become more successful.

To identify your resources, I suggest starting with setting aside 1 hr a week to look at an aspect of your business. Make sure you select a location that is not your place of work or your home. Go to an area, that it will be challenging for someone to interrupt you. Then ask yourself any of the following questions:

  • What is the one thing you need to change or do differently that would make you more successful?
  • What is the one thing I could teach my employees to make them better at the tasks I’ve asked them to do?
  • What is one thing about my business that I need to know more about?
  • What is one thing I could do to bring additional value to my customers/clients?

This process is scalable; as you become comfortable with 1 hr a week, you can add, setting aside an entire day a month. Then, when you get to the Bill Gates level, you can take a whole week-long retreat to just focus on yourself and your business. 

If the lesson of “seeing the obvious” is not clear, it is as simple as setting aside time to identify the problem, plan a new course of action, and go back with energy to make a change.

Unconventional Breakthroughs

Don’t sit around waiting for breakthroughs; you need to create them yourself. A breakthrough is merely a new way of doing things or finding a new process or system for the same or better results. You should be having regular brainstorming sessions and encouraging your team to come forward with breakthroughs or ideas any time they have them.

Some great examples of breakthroughs are:

  • A health and beauty company discovers a side effect of a product that can be re-marketed and sold.
  • A company creates a roll-on deodorant inspired by the shape and size of a ballpoint pen.
  • The founder of Nike poured rubber onto waffle iron and created the most innovative and successful running shoe ever.

When attracting or strategizing for a breakthrough, there are some key objectives you need to keep in mind. They are:

  1. Looking for the hidden opportunity in every situation.
  2. Looking for at least one cash windfall for your business every three months.
  3. The more value for your client, the better your breakthrough.
  4. Creating multiple streams of ideas to find the best breakthroughs.
  5. Effective breakthroughs remove all risk or resistance.

Face the Facts

Before you can put your breakthroughs to work, you need to face the facts of the processes and systems that are not working for you and work to correct or get rid of them. System analysis is an excellent way to do this. Once you have a listing of your strengths and weaknesses, you need to compare those to the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors. 

You can present some great questions to you and your team to get a handle on where your business is right now. They are:

  1. Why did I first start this business? Why am I in this industry?
  2. What products/services did I offer then? Which were the most popular?
  3. Why are my customers/clients buying from me right now?
  4. How did I generate new customers/clients then?
  5. Which of my marketing efforts were bringing in the best results?

Once you’ve got some answers to these questions, you’ll know better how to approach your weaknesses. 

These three areas we’ve gone over give you a jumping-off point for how to utilize your current resources to their fullest potential. If you need any help with your strategic or systems analysis, please don’t hesitate to reach out. I look forward to offering what advice I can. 

I appreciate you taking the time to read this article. If you have enjoyed it, please share it with someone you feel could benefit from it and leave a like.

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.

5 Killer Mistakes – Part 1

5 Killer Mistakes – Part 1

5 big mistakes that will kill a deal are:

  1. Not meeting the client’s expectations
  2. Mishandling a client crisis
  3. Taking on more than you can handle
  4. Putting all your eggs in one basket
  5. Up cash creek without a paddle

Any one or a combination of these can not only kill the partnership but can take down your company as well. We’re going to take a bit of time to talk about each of these; in this lesson, we’ll cover the first two.

Not Meeting Client’s Expectations

You must give your clients exactly what you promised during the negotiation portion of your relationship. If an event does happen where there is no way to meet the client’s expectations, not only do you have to find a way to fix the situation, but you also have to find out where it all went wrong. 

A couple of things could have contributed to this problem:

  1. Bad salesmanship. This could mean the salesperson was trying too hard to seal the deal and didn’t listen to the client’s needs.
  2. Lack of communication. This breakdown occurs between the salesperson and your operations department.

To avoid these mistakes, you need to put a clear plan of action into place that all of your sales staff needs to follow:

  • Think before you speak.
  • Give yourself a break.
  • Perfect your process.
  • Pre-format over-deliverables.
  • Stay hands-on throughout the entire process.
  • Define success.

 

Mishandling a Client Crisis

Crises will happen, but how you respond and fix them will define your company and interaction with your clients. You need to react quickly and effectively. This will help you gain even more trust and confidence from your client.

Some simple tips can help you deal with any client crisis:

  • Take responsibility and apologize, no matter who is at fault.
  • Act swiftly and effectively.
  • Step in and take control of the situation.
  • Never point fingers or place blame.
  • Stay in constant communication with your client.
  • Stay calm throughout the situation.
  • Keep your eye on the ball.

Now that you know the top two mistakes you can make to kill a big fish deal, you’ll know better how to avoid making these mistakes in the first place and learn how to put a plan of action into place in case of a crisis.

If you need help with any of this, don’t wait, email me at doogie@ideasactionsuccess.com

Next time we’ll talk about the 3rd and 4th killer mistakes you can make in working with big fish clients.

Food for Fish: Getting Your Head Right

Food for Fish: Getting Your Head Right

Congrats, if you are reading this article, it is because you booked your first “Big Fish” meeting. If you have not, I suggest you start with the article “Let’s go fishing with Dynamite” it will take you to the beginning of this series. 

Now that you have your meeting scheduled, there are a few things you need to do and consider to prepare for your first face to face meeting:

  • Preparation 
    • Write down one primary goal for your meeting.
    • Make a list of potential concerns from the client and prepare solutions.
    • Loop in support staff and bring in as needed with you.
    • Use and respect the clients’ format.
    • How is your solution the best solution to solve their problem?
    • Find ways to boost your credibility.
    • Build and nurture relationships.
  • Mindset Preparation
    • Listen more than you talk.
    • Learn from “no.” Find out what didn’t work, so you know how to change it for the next time.
    • Be a doctor, not a lawyer.
    • Think small to achieve big.
    • Bend don’t break.

These tips are all essential things to do both before and during your presentation. However, it always important that no plan survives contact with the enemy. Be prepared to adapt and trust that you are the best person to solve their problem. Maintaining confidence in your company and product/service, you will catch that big fish. 

The next step of the process is negotiation. This can seem a little intimidating, but a few tips and tricks can become natural to you.

Here are some tips to help you negotiated successfully:

  1. Build a pricing strategy and stick with it.
  2. Prioritize what you plan to offer. This should include what matters to you and what you are willing to give in on.
  3. Don’t give in too quickly.
  4. We negotiated with a person, not a “company.” Don’t let their answer be that they would like to but can’t.
  5. Don’t sell yourself short.
  6. Mitigate your pricing. If you go too low, you won’t be able to raise it back up, and you need to make a profit.
  7. Don’t sacrifice quality for the deal.
  8. Your services should always count as costs.
  9. Boost margins with add-ons.
  10. Handle requests for proposals with the utmost care.

These are the ways you make sure that both parties are getting the best possible situation from the partnership. Once you start meeting or working together, it’s important to continue to build your relationship so that that representative becomes a big of an ally for you. They are more likely to vouch for you and build on the partnership you have with their company.

We like to call this person a champion. They are champions for your company and can bring a more robust, brighter future to your company. Here are the characteristics of a grand champion:

  • They are respected by supervisors.
  • They are socially networked.
  • They think in the best interest of their company’s long run.
  • They can quickly navigate through the company to get things done.
  • They are willing to give credit to another person.
  • They share the same business philosophy, values, and vision as you.

Now that you know how to negotiate for what is best for both parties and build on relationships, we’re going to talk about how to use your fish’ power to the best of your benefit.

If you need help with any negotiation or courting processes, I am always available to help.