Jennifer’s Top Time Management Tips

  1. Build in Margin – Be sure to leave some time in between appointments and other items on your calendar for the unexpected.
  2. Use your calendar – Whenever you think of something that you need to do, immediately place it on your calendar. Once it’s there, you can let it go until the day you need to take action.
  3.  Time blocking – Set aside chunks of time to take care of things you do daily. For example, I work on non-urgent emails first thing in the morning and at the end of each day.
  4. Take the lead – When setting appointments with someone, give him or her a specific day and a couple of times that will work best for you. This puts you and your calendar in control and cuts down on several back-and-forth emails to chose a time that works for both of you.
  5. Project Binder – This is one of my favorites! I have a separate binder for every client and large projects. For smaller and short-term projects, I use one binder (appropriately titled Project Binder) and write-on dividers to separate each item.

Sales Confidence & Attitude

Through my study, I came across a great truth:  sales failure can be directly tied in to our ego.  A particular writer expounded that those with too much ego (personal pride) take rejection personally – as does the person with a fragile ego (lack of confidence).  The person who has a healthy ego that accepts rejection as part of the sales process and does not take it personally – realizing that HE/SHE is not being rejected the product is – will always “win” at sales.

What is your sales attitude right now?  Take the short quiz below and assess yourself:

  1. 1. How do you feel about selling your product – right now – today
  2. 2. What makes you feel this way?
  3. 3. Do you compare yourself to others who sell?
    1. a. What do they have (or do not have) that you do?
    2. 4. Gauge your confidence level from 1-10  (1 = poor, 10 = outstanding) in the following areas:
      1. a. Personal appearance and image _______
      2. b. Your handshake ______
      3. c. Ability to get people to notice you ________
      4. d. Speaking and presentation ability ________
      5. e. People like me ________
      6. f. I get along with most anyone ________
      7. g. I can cold call ________
      8. h. I am good at developing relationships ________
      9. i. When I am doing my job, I feel good about myself ________
      10. 5. Do you 100% understand the product you are selling?
      11. 6. Why should someone buy it?
      12. 7. Do you 100% believe in the product you are selling?  Why?
      13. 8. Do you have a true passion for selling your product?  Why?
      14. 9. Do you sell out of necessity, challenge or both?  Explain
      15. 10. What do you like best about selling?
      16. 11. What do you like least (or is your greatest challenge) in selling?

Take a long moment and look over your answers.  If you honestly believe that you are a great salesperson and love what you do – you are in a small minority. If, though, you are selling more out of a need and do not have a supercharged-passion for sales, ask yourself if you have an interest into looking for ways to “grow” that passion.  Most great salespeople are “made” – not born.

Your sales attitude is one of the most important aspects of the sales process as it is what drives your sales confidence.  You can learn to love (or at least like) sales and be an exceptionally effective sales person.

Qualified Referrals

When someone tells you that such and such a business needs your services that tip is NOT a referral, let alone a qualified one.  A person who passes this type of information to you may think they are doing you a favor, but they are actually creating MORE work for you.

Why?  Because if you make a connection at that business, you will feel compelled to explain it was your friend who said that his/her business needs your services.  Let us play that out:

“Hi, my name is Jennifer Howard and I am a business coach.  My friend and yours, Susan Smith, said that you really stink at running your business and could use a business coach.  So here I am!”

OK – I would not really walk into a business and say that.  However – I get that kind of “referral” all the time.  Actually, what I am being passed is a tip.  It is truly less work for me to build a networking relationship with someone and gain one qualified referral than 10 tips!

Therefore, what is a referral?

A referral is a solid recommendation of your product

or service to someone else.

The result of a referral is an opportunity to present

your product or service to the person whom you were referred

A qualified referral is one in which the person referring you

has “certified” that the person they are referring you to:

  1. 1. Has a need for your product or service
  2. 2. Is the decision maker
  3. 3. Has the money to pay for your merchandise or service

Would you rather have one qualified referral than 10 tips?  Why?

Be a Giver, First

There is a chance that you are not receiving all the referrals and recommendations you want because you do not give first.  One of the most, personally, irritating things a person can say to me is, “Thanks, I owe you one.”  When I hear this, I quickly remark, “You do not owe me because I do not keep score.”

Almost from the beginning of time, people have kept score of what favor is owed them and how many favors they owe others.  I believe this is a harmful way to do business.  I do not have time to keep a score sheet on referrals I give and I do not ever want to be in someone’s “debt” for a referral.

With the above in mind, the solution that works for me is to give without keeping score.  In fact, giving to someone else without the weight of keeping count is extremely freeing and feels great!  When you give freely, it opens the door for someone to give back to you with an unburdened conscience.  So my motto is give, give, give.

In the Long Run…

When you give without needing a “get”, you will always gain.  In the long run, your unaccounted giving of referrals may lead to incredible business referral gain for yourself.

Strategic Business Partners

Do you and your business have Strategic Business Partners (SBP’s)?  SBP’s are different from Business Alliances.  A Business Alliance is a person with whom you may or may not do business, but have some sort of connection to in your business community.  A Strategic Business Partner is someone with whom you do business, whom you would heartily recommend and refer to others and who would recommend or refer to you with the same enthusiasm.

You may have hundreds of Business Alliances, but only a handful of Strategic Business Partners (SBP’s).  For example, as a business coach, my SBP’s consist of the following business types:

  • Business Attorney
  • Business Accountant
  • Sales Training Consultant
  • Web Design company owner
  • Commercial Cleaning Business owner
  • Workshop Trainer and Coach
  • Advertising Design Firm owner
  • Marketing Firm owner
  • Insurance agents
  • IT Company
  • Etc.

My SBP’s are other business owners to whom I can refer my business clients who are in need of their service.  In turn, my SBP’s are some of my best sources of referrals and recommendations.  I am very knowledgeable about their services and they are about mine.  I trust my SBP’s and they trust me.  In the past, I have had to fire a couple of SBP’s because they did not treat right someone I sent to them for assistance.  My SBP’s are very important to me and to the health and well-being of my business.  Think of creating a great team of Strategic Business Partners for your own business – and don’t delay!

Market It!

Marketing Tip For TodaySend Thank-You notes and hand-written cards

This is a very personal and memorable way to stay in front of someone.  Send notes to people you meet who made a strong impression on you, could be a potential business alliance or strategic business partner or even someone who you would like to help grow their business.  You may also consider belonging to a service like Send Out Cards, or the like.  The key here is to do it within a few days of meeting/meeting with someone to have the greatest impact.

Marketing Tip For the Next DayOffer to speak to groups for free

This is a terrific way to gain exposure while giving an audience a taste of what your business is about or in what area you specialize.

  • Make sure that the groups that you speak to (unless it is purely public service) contain potential clients and/or decision makers.
  • Offer to moderate a panel or event.
  • Lead discussion groups or a committee to get exposure to speaking to smaller groups before you speak to larger ones.

More tips to come.  Now get out there and Market yourself!

Market It!

While advertising is a great way to “get your name out there”, it is generally a more impersonal way to connect with your potential clients.  Marketing, on the other hand, is personal and generally involves some form of personal contact.  I am going to share many different ways to market your business that cost virtually nothing (but time!)

Great Marketing Tip for today – Always, always, always, carry business cards

About 40% of the professionals I run into either do not have a business card with them, have run out, etc.  Business cards are necessary for effective marketing.  Depending on the type of business you are in, you may consider putting your photograph on your business card.  People will be able to “put the face with the name” when they look at your card several weeks or months after meeting you.  Additionally, people are less likely to throw away something with someone’s face on it.

Understanding Your Audience (Part 4)

Okay, it’s been a month since my last post – so let’s get caught up.  We have been talking about marketing to the right audience especially when it comes to the generation in which they belong.  Ask yourself the following questions:

1.       Which generation(s) is your target market?

2.       Why are they your target market?

3.       How does your generation “find” you?

4.       How do you find them?

Never assume that “everyone” is your audience and never assume that you can reach everyone in the same way.  There are many, many ways to market and we will have fun exploring them over the next several weeks!

Understanding Your Audience (Part 3)

Last week, we looked at the Traditionalist and Baby Boomer Generations and what was important to them.  Keep these differences in mind when marketing to each group. For example, Youthfulness is important to Baby Boomers.  With this in mind, think of all the commercials you see that target the 50+ age group with health and beauty products, surgical and non-surgical procedures and diets…

And now, the next two groups of the consumer buying population:

Generation X (born 1964-1978)

This generation’s core values are:

A.  Independence

B.  Competence

C.  Results-driven

D.  Work/life balance

E.  Wants someone to “get to the point!”

F.  Can also be flexible and adaptive

In addition:

1.  They are deadline and goal oriented

2.  Appreciates feedback

3.  They like to have fun at their job and other activities

4.  They like up-to-date tools

5.  They choose a career for personal interest

6.  They want to be trusted

7.  They want to be shown respect

Millennial’s (born 1978-2000)

This generation’s core values are:

A.  Confidence

B.  Collaboration

C.  Talent

D.  Optimism

E.  Civic-mindedness

F.  Innovation

G.  Learning new skills

In addition:

1.   They place great emphasis on new skills

2.   They love diversity (lots of different perspectives)

3.   Likes to be mentored and coached

4.   Their work needs to have meaning

5.   Wants expectations made clear

6.   They need immediate feedback and ask for input

7.   They want others to be flexible

8.   They must have up-to-date tools (technology)

9.   They like situations that are more informal

10. They want information on demand

11. They love a challenge

12. They want to be shown respect

I hope you noticed that one of the things that is important to each generation is that, “They want to be shown respect.”  More later…

Understanding Your Audience (Part 2)

One of the most important things to consider when marketing your merchandise or service is your target audience’s age group.  For example, if you have a business that converts a standard bathtub into one that is a walk-in, your audience will not be 20 or 30-somethings.  However, you may market directly to an audience that is more mature or their children (possibly in their 40’s and 50’s) who may share this information with an elderly parent.

Below you will find two generations that are more mature in age:

Traditionalist (Born prior to 1946)

This generation’s core values are:

A.  Loyalty

B.  Dedication

C.  Sacrifice

D.  Respecter of Authority

E.  Compliance

F.  Hard-working

G.  Thriftiness and savings

In addition:

1.  Likes “that personal touch”

2.  They place an emphasis on security

3.  Gentle change is best for them

4.  Age = Authority

5.  Approaches new ideas with caution

6.  They want to be shown respect

Baby Boomer Generation (Born 1946-1964)

This generation’s core values are:

A.  Personal growth

B.  Youthfulness

C.  Equality

D.  Competition

E.  Reform

F.  Status

G.  Accomplishment

H.  Political correctness

I.  Ambition

In addition:

1.  Wants to know what you think

2.  Likes to follow the crowd

3.  Began the “politically correct” movement

4.  Within a marriage, both spouses generally work(ed)

5.  They like recognition

6.  They want to be shown respect

In my next posting, we will look at the core value of Generation X and the Millennial’s (or Gen. Y).  Stay tuned!