Category Archives: Mistakes

Is your CRM screwing up your business?

We are all humans and can’t possibly remember all our clients and tasks, that’s what CRM programs are for. The problem is that programmers are more times than not like the rest of us. They have flawed logic and think like machines. A CRM is not just meant to keep data, but to display it in a manner that allows the user to get the information he needs when he needs it.

So here’s a list of unacceptable flaws a CRM can have that are causing you to lose money.

An unorganized CRM

Sounds stupid I know. But sadly there are a lot of CRM’s out there that have no way to organize. By that, I mean that you can’t mark an action on the list of contacts indicating that you have completed a task. Either marking or removing them from the list is crucial to work quickly and efficiently.

CRM’s that don’t allow you to mark your tasks cause you to go over and over the same contacts. This is the main reason CRM’s were invented, providers that don’t get this simple concept should not be allowed to slow your business down.

A CRM that is too slow

The employees get paid for their time but you don’t. The more actions you can take in a day will determine how much money you can make (I’m talking about your whole team here). Thank god we’re not in the dial up era, we shouldn’t have to work as if we are. CRM software sends and receives text from the server, so there’s no excuse for slowness. I’ve seen CRM’s with up to 5 second response times. Can you grasp how much money you would lose in a 20 man call center if every action is delayed 5 seconds?

As little as it sounds, you would lose up to two-thirds of your effectiveness. That means that for every dollar you pay your team you’re flushing two more down the toilet.

Goals

I have seen only a handful of CRM’s that incorporate goals, you would think there would be more. Your workers don’t care about your business, they care about their paychecks. Instead of having to remind them what is expected of them, wouldn’t it be easier to show them? Having a gauge showing them what actions they have to take today. And how close they are to completing them will do wonders for your business. It doesn’t have to be something graphical just some indication of how many actions they still need to take today.

I have been working with a CRM for the past few weeks that fails miserably in all of the above. And my clients don’t see why this is important. I can’t help someone who doesn’t want my help, but hopefully, I can save you some money.

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Why my first business failed and how you can avoid my mistakes

When I was discharged from the army I started my first business. At age 20 I had no idea how to run a business but that wasn’t the reason it failed. I found out very quickly that when you ask questions people will tell you exactly what you want to know. That includes other business owners and potential clients. I was able to grow hundreds of percents each month. And the growth continues till I closed my business. So what made me close it?

I took on a partner

Besides disagreements and in my case lack of work ethic that my partner had, that wasn’t the reason I failed. And notice I don’t say that we failed, but I did. The partner I chose was a friend of the family, so I didn’t make him sign any agreement. He was also older than me and owned a business before, so I trusted his experience. Hey, I was 20 years old I didn’t know any better.

At some point, my partner decided what we are working too hard and he can’t take it anymore. In his defense, we were working 15 to 18 hour days. One night he called me up telling me that he’s not going to come to work anymore and that he wishes me luck.

At that point, we (we means me) were obligated to too many customers and too many expenses that the business crashed. Just to be clear this was all my fault. I should have not let anyone become my partner without signing the needed documents if I had done so I’m sure he wouldn’t have bailed on me like that. He would have tried a legal way to get out of his obligation, giving me some time to adapt.

You should never take on a partner unless absolutely necessary

For instance, if you both came up with the idea for your business. Or each of you has a different part of the needed skills. Money should not be a consideration because you can always grow your business and get the money yourself.

And no matter what you do make sure to cover your ass. If you do let someone join you, make sure to lock them so tight in legal contracts that they can’t hurt you without hurting themselves.

Look before you leap

I have a friend that was working as a security guard and was tired of it. He decided that he was going to take the leap and become a business owner. He contacted one of the largest burger chains in Israel to open one of their branches. And proceeded to loan 500,000 NIS. He was sure that opening a known burger joint will give him an advantage, and he was right. But all his other decisions were wrong.

Mistake 1

He took a failed branch that buried the previous owner in debt. No need to explain that if you’re buying a business from someone who is bailing on a working model, ask a lot of questions. The first being why should I even consider this place. And make sure to look at the books.

Mistake 2

He had no experience what so ever with working in a restaurant. So he didn’t understand how to calculate food cost, didn’t know how much inventory to order and worst of all didn’t know how to sell his products. The location he chose was so bad that he wasn’t breaking even for six months and he closed shop.

Mistake 3

He put his girlfriend as kitchen manager (she didn’t have any experience in the kitchen either). But the power tip of being the owner’s booty call gave her way too much freedom. Freedom she used to treat her employees like shit. I keep saying this over and over, your employees are the ones who inject life into your business, you can’t do it all alone. So you need to show them some respect, or they will just leave.

Now my friend is working as a security guard again, only difference is that now he owes half a million shekels.

Qualifying leads

One of the biggest mistakes you can make when talking to a prospective customer is not getting to the point fast. I understand that for some of your sales it seems like a dirty thing to do, but it doesn’t have to be.

When you’re talking to the right client, and you’re offering something that can actually help it’s just the opposite. Your customers Will eventually come back and thank you for selling them your products. The Thing is, you need to make sure that you’re talking to the right person. Otherwise, you’re wasting your time and his.

How to qualify a lead?

First, let’s explain what qualifying is. You want to make sure the person you’re talking to is looking for a solution you can provide. The second thing is, you want to make sure he’s in a position to make a decision.

How do you know if you can provide a solution?

Simply ask questions. Find out exactly what your prospect is looking for. Find out what he tried in the past. What worked and what didn’t work. And most importantly, what brought him to you?

Asking these questions well allow your client to focus on what he’s really looking for. The reason you need him to focus is for him to make a decision when it’s time to close. Most people just walk around the world looking around and not making up their minds. You can’t have that when you’re trying to close a sale.

How do you know if your prospect is In the position to make a decision?

You ask direct closing questions. For instance, if you’re an insurance salesman and your client has other offers. Just ask, if I can provide you with better coverage for a lower price, will we do business?

There’s only one answer to this question, yes. If you offer somebody more than he’s getting for a lower price, there’s no reason in the world for him to say no. The only person who would not give you a direct answer of yes is a person that cannot make a decision.

There could be many reasons why he can’t make a decision. He might need to talk to his wife, he might need to check his finances. Bottom line, that doesn’t matter when you’re making a sale.

If a client can’t make up his mind. Or is not in a position to make up his mind. Closing him will take too much time, and he will inevitably ask for a refund.

I hope you found this post helpful, if so like it and share it with your friends. And while you’re at it, check out my ebook ‘level up your business’ a guide to starting your own business the right way.

Paying for your mistakes

When I was discharged from the army (something we all have to do in Israel) I started my first business. I was working as a cook at the time and making 1900 ILS, shockingly it was considered a good paycheck in 1995.

I was convinced that I could make more money on my own. So I started a small flyer distribution company. The first month was weak, I only made 200 ILS. Working with one customer and doing everything by myself. By the end of the first year, I had 15 people working for me and was making over 40k a month gross. But I didn’t know how to manage my money.

The result was twelve years of debt. It was harder than I can explain. Having my bank account frozen, having my home broken into and my stuff repossessed. And just not having any stability. Not knowing if this month’s pay would allow me to pay my bills or if some lawyer would take it.

I finished paying off all my debt, and it does feel like I just got out of jail. A jail that was in my own mind. My point is that having gone through that I feel more confident in myself. I don’t recommend you try it. But I do recommend you pay for the small mistakes you make. Hoping that doing so will teach you just how much it sucks. Hopefully, that will keep you out of trouble.

I hope you found this post helpful, if so like it and share it with your friends. And while you’re at it, check out my ebook ‘level up your business’ a guide to starting your own business the right way.

There’s no such thing as a done deal

A common mistake people make is that they think that getting something means they will have it forever. Even if they don’t take care of it. Your car won’t survive it, your marriage won’t survive it, so why do you think you customers will?

Getting a new customer costs you a lot of money, time and effort. And giving good service is awesome but it’s not enough. You have to give your customer a reason to come back. Shay Carl said one on the Tim Ferriss show, that you have to keep up the courtship long after you get married. You do so much for your girl, you take her out, buy her flowers. All that work so she will have sex with you, why stop after you get married?

Start having special promotions for your returning customers. It could be special products or sales for customers who have been with you for a certain amount of time or that spend a certain amount on your services annually. If new people like to join in they can become customers too, they will get something similar but get them used to the fact that you value you returning customers. Soon they will become returning customers too.