Archive for March, 2013

The Four Seasons in Business: What Season is Your Business In?

Posted on March 8, 2013. Filed under: Business, Business Development, Business Planning | Tags: , , , , , , |

As most of us know there tends to be times in our business when we are super busy, and times in our business when we are not as busy.  I feel business goes in seasons.  Much like the quarterly weather seasons we experience, the business seasons are necessary for us to go through and appreciate.
  • Season 1 (Winter)-  This is the time when business is kind of “cold”.  We are not getting a lot of business, but we have enough business to keep us a float. We can use this time to make plans and work on building up our network.  Business plans are at the heart of our business and when things are slow we should review our plans, update our results, and plan on ways to improve.  Our networks also tend to be the source of our new business, so building our networks in the “cold” season will help us to get more business for our other seasons.
  • Season 2 (Spring)–  This is when we start to see the fruits of our labor.  We start to get phone calls from people who are interested in our business.  More people are interested in joining our team or partnering with us.  During this season we can say “Business is good”  because we are seeing results.  The goal in this season is to provide excellent customer service and exceed your customer’s expectation.  When we exceed our customer’s expectations and keep our customers happy, it will lead to referral business, which is one of the main ways to help grow your business.
  • Season 3 (Summer)–  This is the time when things are more relaxed and comfortable for your business.  You are getting a steady stream of business, but you are not overwhelmed.  This season is the ideal time to think about creating new products and services that you can offer your clients to enhance your business.  People always like new things, so it is important to consistently offer new products and services in your business.  This season is a great time to offer new products and services because you are able to manage your work load.
  • Season 4 (Autumn)-   During this season your business may experience a slight decrease as you are getting close to the “cold” season.  Don’t be alarmed, now is a great time to amp up the advertising and promotion of your business.  More advertising and promotion of your business during this season will help increase your sales volume due to the natural decline in sales volume you  may be in experiencing.  This season is also a great time to be sure to plant your seeds (follow-up phone calls, presentations, networking, etc.) so you can have a fruitful Spring!

Each season my vary in length and time, but most businesses experience all 4 seasons at some point in the life of their business.  The key is to stay focused and realize nothing lasts forever.

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Top 5 Mistakes People Make With Business Follow-up

Posted on March 6, 2013. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , |

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I recently hosted a tele-seminar for Independent Ladies Club called 12 Simple Follow-up Steps To Get More Business.  The speaker for the tele-seminar, Nancy Matthews, pointed out that  people are doing follow-up all wrong.  We have all heard the saying the Fortune is in the Follow-up, but how do we really capture the “fortune” or the “business” by following up? 

Here are 5 Mistakes most people make when following up to get business:

  1. Not concentrating on building a relationship.  I always mention that common saying that people do business with people they know, like and trust, because it is very true.  When you meet someone at a networking event your goal should not be to “sell” them your product or service, but to learn about them and build a relationship so they can also learn about you and what you do.  Once you have establish this relationship and build on this relationship, you are planting the seed that if the person is ever in need of your product or service, or knows someone in need of your product or service, you will be the first person that they think about because they “know” you.
  2. Not listening to people. It seems like a simple task, but most people don’t truly listen and show a genuine interest in what other people do.  When you listen you get to know a lot about a person and you can learn how your product or service can possibly be a solution for them.  The key however is listening and subtly telling them how your product or service can help them allowing you to plant a seed of how your product or service can be a solution without hammer your product or service benefits and features over their head.
  3. Selling and Not Sharing.  Every product or service is offering a solution to some type of problem, issue or concern.  Your goal as a business person should be to find out the needs of individuals and share how your product or service can help them.  People don’t want to be sold to, but they like when someone shares a solution to a problem they may have. 
  4. Not being consistent.  Most of the time you may meet someone at a networking event, you may even have an one-on-one with the individual to learn more about each others businesses, but then what?  Are you consistently following up with them to see how business is going and to continue building the business relationship?  Most business is actually made after the 5th to 12th contact, so just talking once or twice or meeting once or twice, really is not sufficient for your follow-up efforts in order to truly get the business.
  5. Not Connecting with People Both Online and Offline.  If you meet someone at a networking event, keep the conversation going by connecting with them online.  When you connect with people on some of the popular social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, you can learn a lot more about the person and if they are connected to you, they will learn a lot more about you, helping you to build that “know” element that goes with the saying, “people do business with people they know, like and trust”.  It also works in reverse.  If you meet someone on a business networking site, invite them to connect offline, people like to meet people in person to know that they are real and to get a better feeling about a person, so reach out to some of your online connections, and offer to meet offline.

Want to learn how to follow-up effectively so you can get more business?  Check out the 12-Step Follow-up Program by Nancy Matthews and get $100 off the program cost!

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