Sales is part of your everyday behavior

By on Oct 28, 2015 in behavior, Blog, Sales | 0 comments

In To Sell is Human by Daniel Pink, makes the point that people are engaged in sales everyday. What is being sold may not be a material good and money may not exchange hands, yet nonetheless sales are happening. In Influence by Robert Cialdini, the author points out that the right behavioral circumstances triggers programmed behavioral responses and that part of what makes a good salesperson is someone who is aware of those programmed responses and knows how to trigger them. For example if you offer a service or product at a certain price and then raise the price of it, you actually have a better chance of selling the service or product because the perceived values goes up and there is a behavioral response that occurs in seeing the price go up. I agree with Pink that sales doesn’t have to fit the stereotypical behavior that is usually associated with a sales person, but I also think Cialdini rightfully points out that certain behaviors influence other behaviors, which consequently makes it easier to influence people toward certain decisions. Many of us engage in these behaviors unknowingly, while others do so consciously, but all of us sell. Think about a conversation you’ve had with a friend or your partner, where you were trying to convince the person about where to eat or what activity to do. You didn’t think of it as sales, but what you were doing involved selling the purpose on your point of view. Why this is so important is because as business owners we necessarily have to recognize we are in sales. Your business cannot thrive without sales..Sales is what brings the money that keeps your business alive and provides you income. But part of how you can become comfortable with sales is recognizing how it shows up in your daily life. As you have conversations with people or listen to other people talk, pay attention to what is happening. Specifically pay attention to the sales that is occurring. What this will do is help you recognize how you are already selling people on something you want, and in turn this will make it more comfortable for you when you are in a situation where...

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What is the Point of View of your Business?

By on Oct 21, 2015 in Blog, marketing | 0 comments

I’ve lately been watching Food Network Star, which is a reality TV show where the contestants compete to become the next Food Network Star and have their own show on Food Network. One aspect of the show that stands out to me is the judges commentary on the Point of View (POV) of the contestant. What the judges want isn’t just someone who can cook, but also someone who can explain how to cook and just as importantly be able to market themselves as an expert. As I’ve watched the episodes, I’ve been thinking about my own POV (or lack thereof) as well as the POV of other people. Developing a POV seems to be partially based on personality, on how a person shows up. If you want to stand out you have to find a way to make yourself distinct enough and simultaneously do it in a manner that doesn’t alienate people (though I know of some people who have pulled that off as well). But a POV is more than that. It’s branding and identity around your business that explains how you are different from all the other businesses that offer similar services. A POV clearly communicates who you are and why someone should buy your products or services. So how do you determine if you have a Point of View? Is it found in your tagline or your logo or your web copy? It partially is, but a POV is more than just your marketing materials. It’s an expression of who you are and how you show up. It’s your identity and as such it has to be something natural to you, part of who you are, as opposed to something forced. Yet at the same time, you need to be willing to put yourself out there. I’ve recently begun exploring how I can change my POV. I find that being identified as a business coach doesn’t work very well because there are lots of business coaches and also because what I do is different from the majority of coaches I know of. I’ve talked with my clients about what I’ve offered them, but I’ve also spent some time around my personality and how that shows...

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Scarcity and the Bandwidth of your Attention

By on Oct 7, 2015 in behavior, Blog, business | 0 comments

As I’ve read Scarcity over the last few months, I’ve carefully examined my own behavior and observed the behavior of other people. I’ve come to the conclusion that scarcity is something pretty much every person experiences, but how we experience it differs from person to person. The scarcity of time isn’t the same as the scarcity of poverty. For the business owners I work with, scarcity primarily shows up in the amount of time they don’t have and just as importantly in what activities they do in their business and lives. What creates scarcity for them is the lack of bandwidth they have as a result of trying to do too much themselves, instead of finding the right people. Often the reason they don’t delegate is because they face a similar bandwidth in terms of money. They are putting a lot of money back into the business and every investment has to produce a return. The problem is that the lack of bandwidth produces tunneling. The business owner focuses on the immediate but loses the big picture perspective that is necessary to successfully run a business. When you don’t have the attention to look beyond the immediate problems you are unable to plan for where your business will be a few years down the line or work the plan you have because your business is solely defined by the problem right in front of you. The real solution isn’t to reactively solve problems as they come up, but rather to take your bandwidth back. Doing that however means dealing with scarcity on two fronts. The scarcity of time and money and when you add more than one scarcity the bandwidth tax increases exponentially. As a result it can be very hard to take your bandwidth back when it initially feels that you’re actually just increasing your level of scarcity. Here’s how I take my bandwidth back without creating a deeper sense of scarcity. I break all of my projects down into short term steps so that I can work the step as opposed to the entire project. I do the same thing with services I need to delegate to other people. If I need help with SEO for example,...

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The Evolution of your Business

By on Sep 30, 2015 in Blog, business | 0 comments

The other day I was meeting with a business connection and in the course of our meeting she suggested I explain my services in terms of strategy and advice. She felt that the title business coach was a bit vague, but that when I explained what I did in terms of strategy and advice it helped her understand what I offered better. I spent the rest of the day thinking about what she said and decided to start calling myself either a business strategist or Adviser. It’s not a huge change, but as I thought about it and reflected on my business in general, I recognized it had changed a few times since it was first started in both major and minor ways and each of those changes was an evolution. When I work with clients, they are going through a process of evolution with their businesses. they are ready for a change and have decided to create it, because they know the business needs something different than what it currently has. Any business, really, is in a process of evolution, a process of change and this change occurs either because they’ve planned for it (preferable) or they’ve reacted to something and realized they needed to change or let the business die. Your evolution can occur in just one part of your business or throughout the entirety of it. Maybe the evolution is in how you market and explain your business. Maybe the evolution is a complete change in your business. Regardless of what it is, the evolution of your business is something which should be handled carefully in order to help you make the most of it. When I transitioned from social media consulting to business strategy, it took me a year to move away from social media and understand what it was I could offer and obviously since then I’ve continued to change certain aspects of my business as I’ve recognized the need for changes in what I’m offering or how I’m presenting the business. The process of evolution in business isn’t something which can be forced. To some degree you simply have to recognize a need for a change in your business, prompted by a need...

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How to avoid spamming when you network

By on Sep 23, 2015 in Blog, networking | 0 comments

When you are at networking events, or on social media sites, you might think that just talking about your business is the purpose of networking. And it is an important part of networking, but there comes a point when it just becomes spam and if you don’t recognize that point, it can make it harder for you to network successfully. When you network you need to maintain a careful balance between self interest and interest in other people, if you want to actually get business. Consequently self-promotion needs to be done with some consideration for how it will actually effect the people you are trying to connect with. If you constantly self promote no one will want anything to do with you, because you’ll be spamming them. When you attend a networking event, I recommend that you keep self-promotion to a minimum. You are at the event to make connections and relationships occur, so while you want to tell people what you do, what you really want is to give people a reason for actually wanting to meet with you in person outside of the event. That won’t happen unless you show interest in the people you are meeting with. You want to ask questions and listen at least two times as much you talk. The reasons for doing that are several. First it actually helps you qualify a person as someone you wish to learn about and second it shows you genuinely care enough to learn more about the person. You also don’t want to show superficial interest in what a person is saying and then talk about yourself. Superficial interest is obvious because you are half-listening and can’t wait to hear the sound of your own voice. Or it shows up as sycophantic behavior where you compliment a person and then proceed to boast about yourself. This can occur both in person and on social media. For example, recently I posted an article to a group, and had a person comment, where they thanked me for writing the post and then promptly advertised their business. It was pretty clear they were just making the comment to promote themselves as opposed to substantively contributing to the conversation. Any...

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