I have had a long-standing relationship with sales that, no matter what I do, somehow manages take on jobs that relate to sales… in some aspect.
Sometimes, it’s all love (when the buyer believe I descended from heaven and granted her wish).
Other times, it’s full of uncertainty.
It all started when my mother dragged me by the ears (maybe I am exaggerating a little) during one of her sales escapades. I use the term escapade because she loved doing it. But the truth was, that’s how we fed ourselves—selling stuff—so it was also a life and death matter for us. Unless you hustle, you starved. That was the norm. But she was so passionate about it, I never saw her struggle with it. She thrived on it, like a car needing gas to keep running. read more…
…and What You Can Do About It
One of the worst things that I’ve seen people do is to try to sell to everyone with a human head.
You see it often.
You are at an event and, just to be polite, you make small talk by asking people what they do for a living (by the way, this is sooo inauthentic)—then you regret that you’ve asked!
You regret asking because the person takes this as an “interest” cue and goes right into offence mode and begin to bombard you with a lonngggggg sales pitch that you start to feel like running away.
So you retreat (and curse yourself) for asking the question.
This is one of the primary reasons networking events stress people out; it’s the uncertainty of what to do.
The Best Approach
The more I am using hashtags in my social updates, the more I see the incredible power this tool has. It allows people who are mutually interested in a topic through a keyword, to gather, albeit online, and have conversations.
For small business owners, the hashtags (#) represents an important social media strategy.
Hashtags famously started on Twitter, but now it is used on a variety of social networks, especially on Instagram.
Hashtag: What is it and what can it do for your business?
In social media, a hashtag is a word or phrase proceeded by the hash (#) or pound sign. read more…
I know… I know! That’s what we’ve learned in sales school: to “sell the benefits, NOT the features”.
“Sell the benefits” is a phrase that’s been drilled into my brain ever since I’ve started in sales.
And it makes sense, right?
So what am I talking about?
Hear me out…
Years ago, I was pitching my website development service to a spa owner when I realized that the prospect didn’t know what she needed.
She didn’t know what a “fresh and easy-to-manage website” can do for her business. Selling her a “maintenance free” website was useless since she didn’t even have a website and thus really didn’t care about maintaining something she didn’t have. Telling her all the benefits of having a website was not REAL to her.
But easy-to-maintain websites was the key benefit of working with me. It was how I differentiated myself from other website designers.
Then I remembered this quote:
“Sell them what they want, not what they need.”
…and What You Can Do About It
As sales people and business owners, it’s easy to get so wrapped up or fall in love with our products (or services) that we don’t allow ourselves to see the sales conversation through the eyes of the prospect.
And I think this is a big mistake.
When we look at the sales process from the prospect’s point of view, we may discover the reason behind the “NO” and can take action. read more…
I was 19 when I landed my first Canadian sales job working at a bookstore. I was scared out of my wits, but I knew I had to get my foot in the job market door.
On my first day at work, I was told to stock up the shelves which I thought was perfect because I was nervous and wasn’t ready.
I was sweating profusely from lifting boxes when a customer approached me and asked, “Is this book good?” Like a deer caught in the headlights, I blurted something like: “Well…honestly, I don’t know… why don’t you buy it and find out?” Then I cursed myself for saying such a dumb thing.
The guy looked at me in disbelief, made an about face and headed for the cash register, where my boss was standing. I thought I was finished—fired and thrown out the door.
But he bought the book. read more…
I am not a relationship guru by any stretch of the imagination.
I am a married woman to a wonderful man for 26 years. Certainly, our relationship is not always a bed of roses. But we have learned a thing or two over the course of our 26-year relationship.
The following advice is for you—if you wish to turn or establish a lasting relationship. I originally wrote this for a girlfriend who had a hell of a time keeping a relationship, but, by the looks of it, the young generation could use it too.
ADVICE FOR MEN AND YOUNG MEN:
1. When a girl talks, pay attention. Give your full attention, then acknowledge her. Your objective by doing this? Letting her know that you’ve heard her.
2. Know this: Women’s (and girls’) no. 1 desire is to be listened to and desired. Your actions, gestures, and body language should re-assure her of this—ALWAYS.
3. NEVER EVER be silent. Silence sends the message that you don’t care, which makes her angry (or angrier). If you don’t know what to do or say, then just give her a hug. Or an acknowledgement. Sometimes, all you really need to say is: “I hear you and I don’t know what to do, but I am here for you.” If she is giving you the “silent treatment”, don’t do the same. Tell her you love her and let her know you are ready to talk when she is.
4. Re-enforce no. 2 above: your girl needs attention. Give it as much as you can, but you may need to draw the line sometimes. However, communicate it clearly (firm without anger)—such as: “I am busy but I am thinking of you.” Don’t just say, “I am busy!” That’s harsh and can come across like you don’t care.
5. Give your girl some space, time, and maybe some money once in a while to do whatever she wishes without judgement. And if you are married with kids, don’t make her find a babysitter before she can take off—take the load off of her.
ADVICE FOR WOMEN AND YOUNG LADIES:
1. Before you pour your drama or how you feel onto him (or whatever), let him know that you just want to vent and he doesn’t have to say or do anything about it. Often times, men feel they are obligated to DO something when all you really want him to do is listen, be there for you, and acknowledge you.
2. Men and boys react differently to drama and rants than your girlfriends. They are men; they have less patience (or capacity) for drama. So if you want their attention, cut the drama (and the whining) a little. Drama stresses them out—seriously.
3. You can’t change a man. If your desire is to change him—you will make a mess of the relationship. Either love him for who he is or find another one.
4. If you want a perfect man in your life—be a perfect woman for him. Let me spell it out: you can’t expect him to be perfect if you yourself are not perfect . Know his desires and dislikes, then work on them.
5. Give your man some space. They need their own space and time. They have parents, they have siblings, they have cousins, and they have buddies. They need to make time for them with or without you. Respect that and don’t be needy. Understand the “blood relationship” they share and know that you can’t break that no matter how special you are to him.
Lastly (and this is for both genders), whatever you do, avoid making each other wrong. There are ways to say what you need to say WITHOUT MAKING a big deal out of the situation and making the other person wrong. You have your point of view and so does he or she—respect that. You are both unique, self-determined individuals who posses different qualities. So when you decide to join forces, know each other really well so you can combine the qualities together and create a bombshell of a relationship.
P.S. When you have an argument, disengage and take a break; go for a walk in different directions. You’ll gain new perspectives and, sometimes, you’ll realize the stupidity of what you are arguing about.
P.P.S. It takes two to tango. What that means is that it takes two to make or break a relationship—always. I don’t believe you if you think he or she’s done you wrong. My question to you would be: “What have you done to contribute to this?”
P.P.P.S. Like flowers, always work on nurturing the relationship; it requires constant watering from both parties.
the therapeutic nature of walking
As I go to the salon, I am thinking of how silly it is to walk there for 20 minutes; I could instead take the car and drive. The travel would only be 5 minutes or less by car.
But as I think about this, I step on a bright red maple leaf that falls from the tree above me. Looking down, I see more red leaves scattered about forming a beautiful autumn tapestry.
Now I am thinking… I would have missed this experience had I taken the car. And considering that I am probably going to shed a few hundred calories by walking, I couldn’t imagine a better way to spend these 20 minutes of my life. read more…
Have you ever felt like you were unproductive the entire week?
Whenever I don’t set my weekly goals and targets at the beginning of my working week, I end up feeling depleted with nothing to show at the end of the week.
It happened to me last week. I don’t even know what I did, but I sure was busy! However, my income was lower than the week before and my goals weren’t met.
I don’t know what happened. It’s sort of vague—eeek!
As solopreneurs, this kind of week is not good. It’s depressing and it makes me feel like a failure.
Ordinarily, I write my goals and targets at the beginning of the year, and then break it down month by month.
Then every week, I take my monthly plan and write down what I need to do for that week with targets, goals and time-frame.
But I didn’t do that last week. I just kind of wandered from task to task, without any particular direction and goal in mind. Then I decided mid-week that my house needed some freshening up, so I took off and went shopping for a day.
As you can see, one of the toughest things for entrepreneurs is to have self-discipline. We have no boss barking to us the goals and sales targets for the week, so we are left to manage ourselves.
HOW TO MAKE SHIT HAPPEN:
- Have a plan—a yearly plan.
- Each month, review your previous month’s production and write what you want to accomplish for the upcoming month (based on your yearly plan).
- Each Sunday, review your previous week and write your goals, game plan, and to do list for the new week. Add time frames for each item on the list
- Before ending your day, review what you’ve accomplish and write your TO DO LIST for the next day.
- Celebrate small wins.
When you do this, your priorities become clearer and you end up accomplishing more.
What about you, do you have any tips? Comment below to share.
Smart business owners know this simple fact: the money is in the list
You need a list—the never ending source of clients.
It doesn’t matter if you run an online business or a brick-and-mortar business, or even if you are a real estate agent or a network marketer; you need a list.
How else will you grow your business?
However, if your list consists of names from business cards you’ve collected at networking events, or from people in general that did NOT give you permission to be added to your list, then you are violating the law.
Does this sound like what you’re doing?
Then it’s time to go pro and start building your e-mail marketing list correctly and effectively.
I am going to show you how to do this easily, even if you think you are not computer savvy.
What I am about to show you will require the use of an e-mail newsletter provider—don’t worry, some of them offer free options for you to test out.
Why I recommend you use an e-mail service provider
1. Outlook, Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail and other e-mail service providers do not give you the ability to capture e-mails on your website, which is the KEY to building your e-mail list; not to mention these are not made for business. Of course, you can still use them for correspondence purposes, but they are NOT suitable for marketing and generating leads, which is what you need to grow your business.
2. These e-mail services limit the number of e-mails you can send to your contact list and do not have an unsubscribe option, which could alienate your customers and cause them to mark your e-mail as spam.
3. They do not provide stats or insights to help you analyze your open-rate and test the effectiveness of your e-mails.
Your 5 simple steps to building your list:
1. Open an account with a reputable e-mail newsletter provider such as:
- Mad Mimi
Mailchimp is what I’ve been using for years, and I recommend them to my clients. But do your own due diligence and pick what’s best for your business.
If you are starting out building your list from zero, use Mailchimp’s free account to get started.
I’ve recently moved some of my list to ConvertKit which I am very happy about.
If you don’t have a website yet but want to get started building your list, I recommend ConvertKit. Their service allows you to create and host your opt-in within your account.
2. Your next step is to create your opt-in form
- Log-in to your account to create a list.
- Next is to create the corresponding sign-up form.
- Get the form code (HTML) and paste this code in your website’s coding. If this is too technical for you, have your web designer do it. You can also contact me. I may be able to help if your site is on WordPress.
The best way to capture more leads and subscribers is to have the opt-in (subscription) form on more than one place, such as your home page, at the end of your blog articles, on the top right column, and maybe in the footer.
Here are samples of my sign-up forms.
3. Create a free giveaway or host a webinar where people can sign-up to receive your giveaway or attend your webinar. Here’s an example of my free giveaway.
4. Add a subscription button on your Facebook page.
5. Add a pop-up sign-up form on your website. Although I hate this tactic, and therefore don’t use it, many people swear that it works. So it’s up to you.
Now it’s your turn…
Do you have any questions regarding these steps? Leave me a comment and I’ll answer them for you.