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If you don’t want to lose customers, don’t force them to stay

Some habits are harder to kick then others. Like when we where children and had to go to sleep. We never want to have schedule forced on us. And when it comes to our money, telling us what to do will never get the desired result.

 My point is, your customer will not like it if you force them to stay with you against their will. Nobody likes to lose customers, but there’s a way to keep them with us without having to impose terms and conditions on them.

 One of my mentors used to say, that clients are like butterflies. If they like it here they will stay, if you try to keep them here against their will you might kill them. I had this happen to me a few days ago, I wanted to cancel a subscription for a service I used, and the process was so hard. I had to google the cancellation method. Do you think I will ever go back there?

 Keep that in mind, your customers are like butterflies.

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There’s no need to explain yourself

We all want to be understood. We want to make sure our message gets across. And we do that by going over things we already said. The problem is, the more we talk the bigger the chance we will say something stupid.

 When I learned NLP, I learned about Dr. Milton Erickson. Dr. Erickson had a different approach. He spoke in generalities, allowing his patients to fill in the blanks themselves. That’s how our brains work, if we have a missing piece we complete the story ourselves.

 When you talk in generalities the person you talk to thinks that you understand them better. After all you understood exactly what he was thinking about. But you really didn’t, even though he filled in the blanks himself he remembers the conversation in a different way.

Remember the less you say the more your clients will fill in the blanks.

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You have to be able to contain it

What would you do if your business starts earning you $400,000 a month? You think you can handle it but the truth is, you probably can’t. The reason for that is that you don’t have a big enough mental container for it.

 This is the same reason that lottery winners lose all their money a few short years after winning the jackpot.

 expanding your mental container

 The only way to expand your mental container is to educate yourself. Learn how to invest the money you will make, in a way that will secure your future. You will always encounter hard times no matter how much money you have. And you have to be prepared.

 This is one of the reasons I challenge your mindset. When you grow out of understanding your stable, when you accidentally hit the jackpot you’re in trouble.

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How a promotion can hold you back?

We would all like to believe that we can do any job, but that’s not always the case. Everyone has a different reason to go after a promotion. But are they the right reasons? And what would happen to you if you got it? How would you adapt to the new position?

 How can a promotion set you back?

 Let’s say your a salesman, you doing well shattering you record every single month. And with that every month you make more money. Your boss calls you to his office and decides to promote you to sales manager. He wants you to teach the other salesmen how to be more like you. Easier said then done.

 Your first problem is that you’re going to make less money. Even with the bigger base, The percentage you make on the sales team does not cover your old commissions. And the harder you push them the lower the sales figures. In addition to that your out of your comfort zone. You’re used to being in front of the customer, now you’re dealing with sales reports and you so board you want to quit.

 What can you do instead?

 When offered the position ask to try it out on a smaller scale. Ask to be responsible for two to three salesmen. Go out to the field with then and start training them. Make sure to keep getting you commissions and get a percentage on their sales.

 Grow from there slowly. Don’t be in a rush the you can’t pay your bills with your ego.

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M.B.W.A management by wandering around

The biggest problem business owners have is lack of knowledge. Especially when it comes to what happens in real time. They are constantly in meetings, thinking up tactics, not even noticing if what they implemented works. The numbers can give you some information but not all of it. The only way to truly understand your business is to be there and see everything.

 In his book “in search of excellence” Tom Peters describes this as M.B.W.A, management by wandering around. As he describes it, this is the manager who are on the sales floor. In the factory, and making sure the product and service his business offers are the best he can offer.

 Seeing in real time what works and what doesn’t. Getting a feel for what would improve the process. Understanding if new equipment is needed, more work power or just better advertising. Too many companies are managed by numbers, at the end of the day your workers are people with needs. And when they feel that you are looking out for them they will work harder.

 In fact it has been proven over and over again that an employee will work harder for someone he respects, then for someone who pays him more. Don’t be one of those managers who look at your business from a distance, hit the ground running with you men. Start managing your business from the front line.

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Don’t believe everything you think

Your mind is constantly playing games with you. It loves a challenge, and if it can’t find one it creates it. When you try something new you self confidence is never 100%. You always worry about what can go wrong.

 I heard a ted talk recently about the way the mind works. Our best guess at the moment is that the mind tries to predict future events and deal with them as they come up. For example: you see stairs, you mind thinks if I don’t do this just right I might fall and hurt myself.

 You don’t notice this because you have been doing it your whole life. What you do notice is the bigger goals. You want to increase your income, and for that you need to create a new stream of cash flow. You mind will instantly find all the things that can go wrong.

 It’s your job to tell the difference between the software running in the background to protect you (your self doubt). And the steps you have to take to make sure everything works out just right. Not planning out the details will keep you in the loop of things that can go wrong, and once you get sucked into it breaking free will be very hard.

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Change the game

New businesses usually look to their competitors not only to prices their products. They also what to know what level of service they provide their customers. The reason copying somebody else might be a bad idea is, they might be idiots.

 It’s amazing to see how many businesses don’t calculate their prices correctly. Then have their price structure copied. And then like a house of card the whole industry falls apart. This is true for service as well.

 What is the game?

 When you have a whole industry copying each other, the game is the price. To win business everyone tries to be cheaper then their competition (not knowing what their limits are). And eventually losing profits or worse, going into debt.

 How can you change the game?

 It’s so simple is funny so many businesses miss it. Just do something for your customers that the competition won’t. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel, do something simple that any business can do. They simply won’t take the time to do it.

 Look for things that are missing, some service you would have liked to get as a customer. Does your industry give warranty (even a short one)? Do they follow up with their clients after they buy? And it doesn’t have to be something to do with your field.

 I heard of a car mechanic that loves to cook. So he would make a big pot of food every day, giving it out for free to his clients while they wait for their cars to be ready. Think out of the box, and you will win the game your competition doesn’t even know is on.