Have you ever tried to convince somebody that what they’re doing is wrong? I’m pretty sure you have, so you know how difficult it is. It’s pretty much the same thing when you try to sell something to somebody, you know it’s something that they need but unless you can convince them it’s something they want they’re not going to make a purchase.
That’s why so many people spend thousands a year on video games, but won’t spend half of that learning how to develop themselves or start a business. People associate the things they need like going to the dentist and associate things they want with fun things like candy. So if you’re selling something people want it’s not going to be that complicated. Case in point drug dealers, they really don’t have a hard sell they just have to offer their product.
If you’re selling something people need you can’t approach the issue from the position of this will help. You need to show exactly how it’s going to help them, and you need to be as visual as possible. People tend to run towards things they want and run away from things they don’t. So show them how your product is going to help them avoid the things they don’t want. That’s one of the reasons you need to ask so many questions. You need to get to know your client and understand exactly what his problems are so you can associate the solution with your products.
You need to use his words and expressions to make him feel comfortable with you and your products. If he explains that his smartphone is too slow don’t tell him about the octa-core processor your phone has explain how quickly it loads facebook. The more you practice this the better you will get, and the better you get the more products you will sell.
People fear criticism like the plague, why would you allow anyone to have so much power over you? Why would you take what someone else says personally? It’s their opinion, not yours. But there is power in criticism if you allow yourself to detach your feelings and listen to the advice you’re getting.
If a client doesn’t care about your brand or product he would just leave. If he’s criticized it he’s telling you what’s the aspect of your product he doesn’t like and implying that he likes the rest of it. Imagine that you’re at a bus top and there’s a guy there looking at you. He gets close to you and tells you you’re ugly then just waits there. Why doesn’t he leave? He’s waiting for a response.
People don’t complain when it’s something really big, they just assume that it’s not going to get fixed or that the company is incompetent. But when everything is generally ok and there’s something bothering them they will raise hell.
Listening to your clients and fixing whatever is bothering them will have a domino effect. If it’s bothering someone it’s most likely bothering a few more clients. Having fixed the problem before they even bring it up will show your clients that you are aware of their needs and are working hard to take care of them, and they don’t even have to say anything.
Next time someone criticizes you listen to what they have to say. After that break the criticism down to what is just a rant, what you can fix and what is not worth fixing.
I have a friend who wants to start a pizzeria. He came to me a few days ago to structure a business plan. We took everything into account including the food cost, advertising and taxes. His plan was to open the shop with a friend so that he wouldn’t have to do all the work himself. And wouldn’t have to hire too many employees. After running the math we found out that it’s not profitable to have more than one owner. In this post I’ll explain exactly why.
his biggest issue is time
Even if he was to sell 100 pies a night after paying all his expenses off, taxes and salaries. He’s only going to make around $3,000 a month. He has a point when he says that people are also going to be buying drinks, desserts and toppings on their pizzas. All those things will end up in earning bigger profit. But you can’t count on them, the advertising campaign is focused on selling as many Pizza pies as he possibly can. And I would rather plan small and make it big then plan big and fail.
when you create your business plan
Always go for the worst case scenario. In his case our worst case scenario was one pizza per order. That means that we’re taking into account that each delivery person only takes one pizza to one location and comes back. And we’re taking into account that takes him about 20 to 25 minutes to do so. So that means that in order to sell 100 pies a night he needs about five delivery people.
When you plan for the worst case scenario you’re ready for pretty much anything. I mean what’s the worst that can happen you make more profit than you thought? I’m sure you can deal with that.
where most people fail
It’s exciting to start a new business and more times than not the new business owners are over-optimistic when they structure their business plan. When it comes down to it, the plan doesn’t deliver half as much is they thought causing them to struggle and make stupid mistakes. Ultimately close their business.
Whether you’re planning for brick and mortar store or an online business. Always take into account the worst case scenario. Make sure that no matter what you’re covering your basic expenses, so that when your business fluctuates and it will. Even the bad months will allow you to live with a basic degree of self respect. Allowing you to pay your rent, buy groceries etc.
Remember nobody’s ever going to take care of you as well as you’re going to take care of yourself. So make sure you have all your bases covered and if your plan for some reason doesn’t make sense on paper, don’t dare implement it. Because if it doesn’t make sense on paper it sure as hell not going to make sense in real life.
You would think that as a self-employed professional you would be excited to get new leads, as excited as a child on Christmas morning. But that doesn’t seem to be the case, too many professionals are putting off calling their leads and but the time they do the leads have cooled off.
An uncomfortable conversation
Understandably calling someone you don’t know is uncomfortable. But if someone left you his information he’s expecting a callback, and if you don’t do it your competition will. You don’t really think he’s only leaving you his information, do you? People only get things done when their back is against the wall so if a prospect is leaving his info he’s in pain. And that pain has to stop now, he doesn’t care who will help him. He only cares that someone will help him fast.
How to start the conversation
A common mistake is that professionals call the client like their calling their wife after a fight. Yeah, what do you need? That’s not the way to do it. Take your time ask questions, start with “is this a good time to talk?” Your prospect might be busy and ask you to call back another time, don’t assume he’s rejecting you. The first contact is more a customer service call than a sales call. When you’re done send an email with contact info so that he can get back to you if needed.
Track your progress
The most important thing you can do after a call is to track how many conversions you have (prospects that ended up as sales). This will allow you to understand what to expect, not everyone is going to buy from you so you should know what your percentages should be in the future.
So the next time you get a lead remember, this person needs help now call him as soon as you can.
New business owners like to copy the competition, but there has to be a limit. Here in Israel, it’s become so bad that if you open a bakery focusing on cookies and make money, next month you will have 10 more bakeries doing the same inches from you. And all 11 of you will go out of business.
The smart thing to do is compliment each other. If you have a few shops selling sweets close to each other you can open a dentist’s clinic. Ah, you’re not a doctor? that fine, open a shop that sells disposable cups and plates for parties. Don’t like that idea? no problem, find out what kind of clients come to those stores. And what else they need.
My point is never get so greedy that you hurt yourself just to cause someone else to go out of business. Instead, think of how you two can build on each other’s businesses so that you both earn more money.
Do you see dollar signs when a new client enters your place of business? If so you’re not alone. We all have bills to pay, and it would be so easy if people just bought the most expensive products we have. But if we want them to come back we have to think long term. How annoying is it when you take your car to the shop and they offer you a part that costs 10 times what an alternative would cost?
I worked with a phone distributor once. An old lady came to the store, she wanted to buy a new phone. One of the Reps offered her one of the newer Flagship models. This is exactly my point, We’re talking about an old lady here. She’s not going to use that phone to do anything else but make phone calls. So why would you sell her such an expensive phone?
This old woman Returned to us several times complaining about issues with her phone. She doesn’t understand how to use a smartphone, she should have been sold an old type phone with buttons. But instead, that representative just wanted to make as much money as he possibly could. And in the process tarnished the Distributor’s name.
Your business is meant to be here for a long time. There’s no point in working short-term, in every interaction think what is the best thing you can do for the client not for yourself. Because at the end of the day your client is your business, and the day you forget that is it that your business is done.
Have you noticed that the word entrepreneur is being overused lately? And when you ask someone what they do they come up with the most complicated way to say I don’t make any money? Don’t get me wrong it’s awesome that people aspire to become self-employed professionals, but you’re only an entrepreneur when you make money.
If you want to be an entrepreneur that great, but you can’t hide behind it as an excuse for being lazy. You still have to make money and if that means being an employee for a while so be it. People have used popular terms in the past to mask their laziness and in the process put a negative spin on the term. Just as they put a negative spin on startup or coaching now they are tarnishing the term entrepreneur.
It seems like yesterday when people used to use coaching as their way out. You used to ask someone what he or she does and they would say something along the lines of “I’m shoveling elephant shit in the circus and I’m a life coach”. Yeah? What have you done with your life by age 20 that makes you think you can call yourself a life coach?
I like to follow Tim Ferriss, Gary V, Patt Flynn and so much more and I have made money from my businesses and I still don’t consider myself an entrepreneur. Just to be clear, the fact that you might be misusing the term doesn’t mean you can’t actually be an entrepreneur, but you have to learn the skills first. You have to get some experience using them and then you have to actually make money.
That’s what I’m here for, to show you want’s missing and how to get it. If you have a business plan please feel free to leave it in the comments and I will be happy to go over it with you.