Thursday, December 29, 2016

Do you impress me? 50+ Things about You That Will

You do not need to impress me, and you do not need to impress anyone else.  Yet, it (almost) always feels good when we impress others, but do we always know what it will take?

This is probably a good exercise for all of to do, but honestly, it occurred to me that this would make for an interesting discussion topic…and exercise.  Imagine asking other people what about others impress them.

In no particular order, here are some of the things about you that impress me:

You do an exceptional job of listening.
You took time to get to know some things about me in advance.
You are quick on your feet.
You think things through thoroughly.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

7 Top Reasons You’re Not Getting Sales

Are you getting enough sales?

If you’re like most business owners and managers, you’re always looking to find ways to get more sales.

Lately, I’ve been trying to help different contractors get appointments to try getting work, and some of them seem to be better than others.  So, of course, I try to figure different reasons for sales doing well…and reasons they do not.

I definitely get more frustrated by lost opportunities, and I spends my time (maybe too much?) figuring out potential ways me and my team can improve.

From my (limited) experience, here are the most common reasons I see sales opportunities slip through the cracks.

1. You’re too expensive
2. You’re too slow
3. Your timing isn’t good enough
4. You’re not special enough
5. You’re not trustworthy enough
6. You don’t understand what they want
7. It’s too hard to buy from you

Let’s take a look at some of these a little more closely.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Someone wants you to join their business? Some Questions I (Want to) Ask

If you’re in business long enough, people will eventually approach you and ask you to join their business…either an established business or a new business idea or concept.

Some proposals will be better than others, and what they are proposing MIGHT be good.  However, there are plenty of bogus deals out there.  There are also some bogus people, whether they intend to be that way or not.

Ultimately, I need to figure whether this is a business venture that I want to pursue (a) at all, (b) with this person, and (c) at this time.

Here are several questions that are important to me, no matter the business proposal:

1. Why are you so excited about this opportunity?
2. What do you see me bringing to the table for you?
3. What keeps you from doing all of this yourself?
4. What makes you think there is a demand for this?

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

6 Quick Tips to Make People Enjoy Reading Your Stuff

Growing up, I was not a good writer.  I really wasn’t!  Some people today might read my stuff and ask why I put that last statement in the past tense, but…

Assuming that you’ve gotten this far, you’re already proving that I’m a better writer today than when I was a kid.  (You would have stopped reading somewhere around the middle of the first sentence…from self-preservation.  I really wasn’t very good.)

To this day, writing does not come easily for me, but I’ve done a lot during my adult life to improve.  It’s definitely been a conscious effort, opposed to some people who were just “born to write.”  So it’s probably easier for me to explain (to you) specific things I do that seem to work for me.

Here are a few writing tips that I’ve taught myself over my adult years.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Blogging Ideas for Non-Writers or Non-Experts

Most people think that you have to be a writer to have a blog.  (I’m teaching a class that will address some of this; so I figured I’d write something about it…and maybe organize some of my thoughts around it.)

See Event Link: Blogging Like It’s Easy

The other misconception is that you have to be an expert to write a good blog.

Of course, each of these things helps, but neither is necessary to publish a blog that people want to see or read.

Key Question: So what if I don’t know how to write or know what to write?

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Usually motivate or lead others but sometimes feel empty?

One of my most awesome friends is really motivating.  He’s always chock full of ideas and delivers them with incredible, charismatic energy.

Often, in the middle of giving me or someone else advice, he asks rhetorically, “Who motivates the motivator?”

“Who motivates the motivator?”

It’s a really good question, because no matter how much energy you might have, you only have a limited supply of it.  It’s awesome to help people.  Frankly, it’s one of my favorite things to do, but most people cannot (completely) return the favor.  They need your help, and even if they would like to help; often they don’t have the capacity to help.  Plus, many people are outright selfish and only want your time when you’re helping them.
Teaching and leading are often among the greatest things we can ever do for someone else…and ourselves.

The problem is, sometimes, as people who usually lead, we might need that leadership, too!

Thursday, March 31, 2016

4 Ways Branding MAKES You Money

Here are a few ideas that will help put money in your pocket.

Many people go into business, because they want to work for themselves.  They want the flexibility in their schedule, the type of work they take, and even for whom they that work.

Most employees do not get all of this.  So it makes sense.  However, I notice where a many people starting up businesses overlook things.

One of them is branding.

KEY POINT: In most cases, branding…done correctly…will make you money!

A branding expert might be able to provide more insight, but here are some things that occur to me:

1. Creates another Opportunity to be Found/Known
2. Generates Structure for Higher Prices
3. Boosts Your Commodity Business
4. Provides a Viable Business Exit Plan

Now, I’m not trying to pass that “branding” for one day is really going to bring about these things.

These things apply ONLY when you brand yourself (and your company) correctly.  Branding strongly enough to accomplish these things likely requires a branding expert.

Let’s take a closer look at each of these.  They’re really important to understand.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

14 Things I’m Checking When I Meet You at a Business or Networking Event

Have you ever gone to a business get-together or a networking event and felt like it was sort of useless?

I know that I have, and I’ve heard many people complain that they are a waste of time.

Many people go to networking events without having a solid game plan. If they do, they are thinking sales only, which usually is not realistic. Obviously, I don’t know what you would like to get from them, but here is a list of things I’m checking when I meet you at a networking event (or any other business type of environment).

1. Are you a potential business partner?

Sometimes, I have specific businesses in mind. Other times, I trust that I’ll get better ideas later.

I’m always looking for people who are talented, intelligent, hard working, have good integrity, are eager to learn, etc. I do my best to see whether you will fit into anything I’m doing today, but mostly I’m paying attention to see whether I see potential in us working together.

Monday, February 29, 2016

2 Times SEO is NOT a Smart Strategy!

SEO is great, but it’s not always the right thing for every business.

For the most part, SEO is great.  People use search engines (especially Google), and many of us would be insane, at this point, not to look for ways to have our company show at the top of search results.

Anything we do to “trick” Google (or Bing, Yahoo, etc.) to select our site over our competitors’ sites is called search engine optimization (more commonly known as SEO).  While there are plenty of ways to “game” the system, overall, it pushes most of us to do the best job we can describing what we do…so that Google knows when to match us with the right people seeking for the things we can do for them.

However, there are a couple of situations where SEO is not where I suggest you should be spending the majority (if any) of your marketing effort.

1. You're in an industry where nobody trusts you--the stranger.
2. You are more expensive than almost every one of your competitors.

Let's take a closer look at each...  

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

How Being Willing to be Rotten at Something Leads to Greatness

Are you any good at that?

Growing up, that's all we pretty much heard...or if we didn't hear it, that question was, without any doubt, implied.

None of us enjoy looking foolish, no matter how well-adjusted we are about "not caring what others think of us."  All of us wants to look good.

The problem is that, while not all of us start from the same spot, almost nobody starts from a point of unconditional greatness.  Even if we do, someone out there has worked hard enough to be better than us.

Essentially, if we want to grow, we need to be willing to start at some point lower than our final destination.  What this means is that we need to spend some time eating humble pie...being sub-par at something...maybe even being LOUSY at it...before we can become great at that same thing.

When you were first born, were you great at walking?