We May Be Undercharging

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Profit pressure may come from burgeoning costs or poor planning. But often it comes from not charging enough. Many of us feel we need to compete on price because that’s what the market demands.

Really, though, it’s because we still have to do the work of focusing on our ideal clients, listening to how they explain their challenges, building our products and services to address those challenges, then demonstrating how we help, why us, and why now.

Let’s serve our clients well and compete on value.

 

In your corner,

Mike

 

Today’s photo credit: Korona Lacasse 20160331-3543-E2 via photopin (license)

How to Be Well Rewarded

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Leading, Sales and Influence, We=All Who Matter
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Most people don’t know what they want. And if they do, they probably don’t know how to get it. That’s how we can help them. We, the noble leaders, sellers, and influencers are committed to win-win. We know the process. And we are good at running the process: connecting, listening, & exploring, suggesting & negotiating alternatives, and finalizing & following up.

That’s why we get rewarded very well, tangibly and intangibly.

 

In your corner,

Mike

 

Today’s photo credit: Cat Burton cc

Sharpen Your Market for Fun and Profit

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Uncategorized
Reading time: 2 min.

There is a huge temptation to say, “Our target market is everybody.” After all, the bigger our market, the more opportunity, and the more likely we can continue to grow and provide our products and services, right?

No. A large target market is difficult if not impossible to engage and serve. It’s tough to be useful and relevant to too many different groups of people. It’s hard to differentiate ourselves in a large market. It’s also really hard to be seen, trusted, and selected by so many different people.

Even if our ultimate goal is to be useful and the choice of all sorts of people, our best approach is to start with a single, very focused niche.  Though it can appear to be limiting our prospects, selecting a niche helps us learn their language and address their particular needs, wants, and desires. And they come to trust us and refer others to us.

If you are having trouble getting traction, try shrinking your market: select a more sharply defined niche.

 

In your corner,

Mike

PS: Having succeeding in helping one niche, we can always expand to another and another. This is how many now-huge companies like Uber began.

PPS: Niches can include people with similar demographics (including location) and/or psychographics (such as life dreams or business goals).

PPPS: Select a niche that is not too small, dispersed, or hard to identify.

 

Today’s photo credit: Joseph Francis cc

A Mini Rant About Sales

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Sales and Influence
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I recently read someone’s description of a salesperson. Salespeople, they said, “have the ability to position a product or service in a way that makes customers want to buy it.”

No, no, nope, no.

This is not the kind of sales or salespeople any of us wants or needs. Good salespeople (including people who sell but who would never call themselves salespeople) don’t make anyone do anything.  They see their job as exploring whether it would benefit us and them to work together now. Their talents are not positioning and convincing but being trustworthy and guiding conversations toward win-win-or-let’s-not-play-right-now.

 

In your corner,

Mike

PS: For a service business, working together looks like a project that might go from tiny (clean and press the customer’s shirts) to gargantuan (rework their global production and distribution chain). For a product business, working together means providing a tangible something (also from tiny to huge) and related services.

 

Today’s photo credit: Found Animals Foundation cc

Determining How Well Sales People Will Sell

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Sales and Influence
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How can we tell whether a sales person will do well? Every sales person has seven sets of assets that determine how well they will sell. These are:

  1. Business knowledge: How well do they understand our specific business: who we help, why we help them, how we make revenue and profit, and what are our business goals?
  2. Sales knowledge: How well do they know what to do and what not to do at each stage of our sales cycle?
  3. Market knowledge: How well do they understand our clients, clients’ needs, trends, competition, etc.?
  4. Sales ability: Do they have the skills to sell effectively in our market?
  5. Collaboration ability: How well do they work with others on the sales team and in the rest of the company to make sales and support clients?
  6. Sales approach: Do they have and use the appropriate sales approach for our market?
  7. Willingness to sell: How motivated are they to put their knowledge, ability, and approach to work to regularly make sales?

The assets our sales people need will depend greatly on our company’s business model, sales cycle, culture, market, clients, products, and services. We must hire, coach, and train sales people for those assets that make sense for our business.

And if we can’t adequately describe these things to our sales people, we can’t expect them to be successful.

 

In your corner,

Mike

 

Today’s photo credit: Martin Abegglen cc

Leadership, Sales, Collaboration and Picking a Place for Dinner

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Leading, Sales and Influence
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Leading, selling, collaborating, and choosing a place to go to dinner with your partner tonight are essentially the same. They all require understanding what the other person ultimately wants, having them understand what we want, and creatively finding a way to satisfy both sides.

When we take this particularly helpful perspective, we can easily master all four activities.

 

In your corner,

Mike

 

Today’s photo credit: IMG_0011-1-3 via photopin (license)

stress

Stress Is…

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Will=Our inner game
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Stress is the difference between the way things are and the way we think they should be.

This means that we can reduce stress by either changing the outside world or changing our perceptions. Both are valid approaches.

We may think that changing our perceptions is hard to do. But it is waaaaaaaay easier to flip our perceptions than to change the outside world or the people in it.

 

In your corner,

Mike

PS: Sometimes we think that changing our perceptions is an admission of error or defeat. Nope. It’s simply raising our buzz. It’s the fastest path out of stress and into joy.

 

Today’s photo credit: bottled_void cc

secret

The Secret Ingredient

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Leading, Sales and Influence, We=All Who Matter
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Before we direct, correct, encourage, sell to, influence, plead with, or praise people, let’s take a moment to quietly love them. If we can’t love them, let’s appreciate them. We can find even some small aspect about who they are that we honestly appreciate. It takes a minute or two before a meeting. With practice, we can do it in a second or two.

It’s as if we are opening a small, safe, and completely appropriate channel between our heart and theirs. It reminds us both about our shared humanity. It encourages mutual respect and trust. And it fortifies the foundation upon which we can do great work together.

The secret ingredient we have been seeking is love.

 

In your corner,

Mike

 

Today’s photo credit: Thai Jasmine (Smile..smile…Smile..) cc

To Succeed Wildly

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Success
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We succeed because we believe we will. We succeed wildly when we truly believe we will succeed despite having little or no evidence, reason, or precedent for it.

Spend less time trying to answer the question, “Yes, but, how will/could/would/might it happen?” Instead, increase your time imagining how wonderful it will be when you have succeeded. The “hows” then tend to take care of themselves, basically.

In your corner,

Mike

PS: Some may confuse the, “truly believe we will succeed” idea with cockiness, faking it until you’re making it, or hope. These are all attempts to cover up bad feelings and low expectations. Instead, feel good, imagine, then act as inspired.

The Uncertainty Principle

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Success
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In physics, the Uncertainly Principle says we can never know both the position and momentum of a particle. We can only ever know one or the other.

The Uncertainty Principle for success at work and home says that we cannot focus on both desired outcomes and on any specific how, when, and who that we imagine might deliver those outcomes. We can only ever have one or the other.

If we can set aside any concern about how, who, and when, we open up so many more possibilities for the results we ultimately desire.

In your corner,

Mike