My Writings. My Thoughts.
If you ask some entrepreneurs and would-be business owners who their ideal client is, they will say, “Everyone.” Of course, that can’t be true. Not everyone needs everything or anything. (Truth be told, women are the worst at this. Why? Our nature is to want to help everyone rather than define a niche group of people we can help. We just don’t want anyone left out!)
People always ask me if I’ve ever changed my niche from when I started and I simply let them know that my niche adjusted a bit but my message never changed. My message has always been about communication. How women communicate, how men communicate and how everyone communicates with each other. I talk about how different men and women are and I never say one gender is better than the other or one is right and one is wrong. I talk about the differences and that’s what they are differences and how to use them as assets rather than liabilities. I just needed to add this into the sales process. So my message remained solid. In other words, I redefined my niche to focus on gender communications in sales training. So, yes, I did start to color outside the original box, but I stayed on the same page.
Everyone you talk to tells you the way to build your business has to do a lot with networking. Some people say you need to meet hundreds of people, others say it’s just those around you that are important. No matter what school of thought you subscribe to, networking can be and should be a component of your marketing plan.
Consider these factors:
Let’s go one step further….
How do you get them to remember you?
Time management is one of the hardest concepts entrepreneurs have to grasp, especially when it means working from home. Many people find the transition from an office routine to the self-employed lifestyle confusing, because there are no rules. The only person holding you accountable to putting in a full day’s work is you, and the desire to procrastinate is ever-present.
I have been working from home for almost 30 years, so it is second nature to me. The key is to establish structure in both your day and your environment, so you can focus on work without distraction. By developing a few new habits, you will quickly get into a groove to run your business successfully, whether from the spare bedroom down the hall or the coffee shop down the street.
Act As If
First things first: You should get up every morning as if you had an office to go to outside your home. The key phrase here is as if. Live your life as if, and soon it will be. Be prepared and be professional. Now, I’m not saying you need to wear a suit or put on heels and stylish accessories before taking on the day’s projects. I’m saying you have to be ready to get in a professional mode.
Even though you may not physically see your clients and prospects, they can tell when you are play working. (What is play working? It’s when you pretend you are working—you play like you have a job—but you’re just doing busy work and nothing productive is happening.) With the introduction of Skype, Zoom and Google Plus, you never know when a client will ask you to get on a video call. Wouldn’t that be great if you look like you rolled out of bed?
I will be the first to admit that I love my “sweats” days. Although my brand is Selling in a Skirt, when I have a big work project I need to get done, I stay in my sweats all day, throw on a baseball cap, and hunker down in my home office for hours at a time. Those are the most productive days for me. Writing my books took place on many of those days. But, there is a difference between “sweats” days during the week and those on the weekend. During the week, I still don’t have to leave the house, but at least I’ve put on some light makeup and run a brush through my hair. I may have no intention of being seen in public, but that doesn’t mean a client or prospect won’t decide to ring me up for a Google Hangout. Always be prepared to put your best face forward, even on the fly.
Isn’t it funny that when you make the decision to be an entrepreneur your rationalization for situations is not always “smart”?
Let’s take me for instance,the first thing everyone tells you to do is to have a business plan….but, why would I need a business plan?
- I was in business for myself.
- I was never going to have anyone else in the business.
- I had an idea of what my business would look like.
- I knew how much money I wanted to make.
- Writing a business plan was a waste of time.
Doesn’t each one of these reasons make perfect sense to you? They did for me, and later I will share just how easy it is to get off course if you don’t have a roadmap to which you can refer. In short, take the time to put together a business plan. You may hate me now, but you’ll thank me later. If you’re not sure where to start, the Small Business Administration offers an excellent article series to guide you through the process at www.sba.gov.
How many times have we talked about what motivates people? Is it money? Is it prizes? Is it a trip? Is it recognition?
Throughout my career, I have won so many contests and I was the proud recipient of fishing poles, tackle boxes, golf clubs, tickets to The Masters, tickets to Nascar and the list goes on.
Think about it, as a woman, would those “prizes” motivate you to work harder? Would they have any affect on you at all? In my case, being one of a handful of women in the industry, I was constantly competing against successful men. In most instances, they thought when I won, and they knew I would, I probably wouldn’t take the prize anyway so it would be up for grabs for them. Unfortunately for them, I didn’t work that way. I won fair and square and did what I was supposed to do and I won and kept the prize.
Last month, we had the honor and privilege of having one of the Colonel’s AF friends, also a Colonel, stay at our home with his beautiful daughter.
She was in a major dance competition and this was not just go in dance and be done. No this had all the makings of an entire weekend of bonding, team playing, dancing, nervousness, competition and excitement. Now, there was a trophy to be had by the winning team but, do you know why these young girls and boys wanted to win? You do know you can’t wear a trophy right? And you also know that none of the participants will have the trophy in their homes right? Well, these young adults were competing for, wait for it…
an amazing jacket.
It’s like the letter jackets that HS Athletes wear or better yet, their girlfriends do.
Tensions were high. Could they take the coveted first place? Even though they danced early in the morning, they would need to wait until the afternoon to find out who the winners were and even then, if they didn’t perform up to their fullest potential, the jackets may not be within their reach.
But, they did win, and they did put everything they had into the routine, and they did get the jacket, and it’s pretty special. Check out the picture. Congratulations Victoria Pinard and the entire team for an amazing job and kudos to all the parents for making the commitment to pick up, drive, drop off, travel, hug, cry, laugh and support these young adults on their journey through life.
Here’s a tip for all of you managing a team…if you don’t know what motivates your team, ask them. It truly might be a jacket!
So the saying goes about the month of March. In my case it was exactly the opposite. It seems that everything is on top of each other in March. I started out the month, really on the 28th of February, speaking at the AIMS Pro-To-Pro Retreat, an Insurance Industry event in the DFW area. The audience was great and I met a lot of interesting people and relationships began.
Next I was interviewed on radio and TV for different programs and ended the first week of March at the Ambit-ious Women Event, also in the DFW area, where some of the most amazing women collaborated about business. The presentation there, again afforded me the opportunity to make even more relationships and some new clients.
That evening I flew across the country San Diego to LAMP, one of the largest Insurance conferences. Last year I was a Main Platform speaker so this year I attended as an exhibitor. Guess what, relationship building at an all time high.
Back to Dallas and now a speaker at NetVU….guess Insurance is a common thread. Great group of people and connections and yes you got it, relationships being made and continued.
We are heading into the home stretch and what a great way to almost end the month than with one of my favorite conferences held in VA, The Get Radical Conference. This is a life changing event whether you are an attendee or a speaker. I was fortunate to have been a speaker and again, well you can fill in the blanks….
Finally the last week I was interviewed on a dozen Fox News Radio Shows talking about wives earning more than their husbands. Lots of great conversations and when I finished the last one, I was the Keynote Speaker at The Texas Tire Dealers event. Lots of questions, lots of answers and lots of relationships to follow up and continue with.
In between, I hosted my weekly radio show on Cosmic Broadcasting. Great way to get information out and bring some fabulous guests on to share their knowledge.
It was a busy month and yes, I was a bit tired, but it was a great month and I look forward to more months like this.
Bottom line as always, be open to opportunities, say yes and figure it out and be open to building relationships and once you have, your job is to continue the conversation.
There was a recent study about wives earning more than their husbands. If you are a husband, are you ok with this? If you are a wife, are you ok with this? What about the role reversal? I was interviewed on Michigan’s Morning News about this topic by Steve Gruber and Jo Anne Paul. Click on the link below to hear the 5 minute interview.
I would bet that at some point in your life, someone told you a secret and told you not to tell anyone. Would you tell? Even your best friend? Or your spouse? Or perhaps a total stranger just to say it out loud? Maybe your pet, or stuffed animal or even your pillow…. Really, would you?
So I know something that I’ve known for a few weeks and I can’t tell anyone….really no one and all I want to do is tell someone…anyone! It’s going to be great and it will happen in a few weeks but I promised to keep it confidential until it was time to tell. A study was done that showed women can keep a secret for 32 minutes.
In that same study, it stated that men talk more than women. And I should let you know that in a study done just a few years prior, that time was 47 hours…that’s quite a slide in a few years! Check out the study! http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/14/women-keep-secrets-32-minutes_n_1092512.html Well I’m way beyond 32 minutes….So what would you do?
Building relationships requires time, effort and patience. People do business with those they trust and that begins with the RELATIONSHIP. Here is what that means:
Relax and be authentic.
Excitement-Be excited about what you do
Look everyone in the eye and thank them for the opportunity to serve them
Ask questions that begins a discussion
Talent-your talent will show what you are offering will make their life easier
Invite them to experience what you are offering-paint a picture
Objections are really a request for more information
Now-you are expected to ask for the sale
Solve any unresolved problems by asking more questions
Help them to make a decision
Inspire them to feel good about their buying decision
Partner-become their parent and trusted advisor
Remember businesses don’t do business; people do business.
Sent from my iPad
How in the world does anyone expect you to get anything done when there are so many interesting distractions around? For instance, I made a major goal for myself to complete my 2nd book and have it printed and shipped to CA for an event by March 1st. And, that would probably not be too difficult if I just sat down and started writing. But there are so many other things that come into play like speaking engagements, radio interviews, writing programs, checking email, reading Facebook updates and the list goes downhill from there.
So what can you do? I’m thinking I should just lock myself in a hotel room with some water and some food and just… write. But, that doesn’t sound appealing especially since there would be new distractions for me. Maybe I should rent a cabin in the woods and write, but again, new distractions would set in. What is going on with the ordinarily organized and get it done person?
Hmm well let’s see, in the past 3 months,I just got married, I started a radio show, started working on a new product release and that list can keep going as well. But those are all excuses and those are all great ones at that, but they are excuses.
So here is what I know I need to do…..walk away from the computer that has a dozen or more windows open, turn the sound off so I can’t here when an email pops in, and take my laptop into my nice cushy chair and think about how great it will feel to have some chapters behind me rather than thinking I can write the book in one sitting.
Off I go, for the next 3 hours, and I will write until my time is up. So if you noticed, I gave myself some short term goals that I can reach and celebrate and motivate myself to do it again.
Stay tuned for the updates.