Archive for Tip of the week

What Is A Strategic Partner In Business?

If we are talking about new business development I define a strategic partner as one of who can, on regular basis and ongoing, provide you with pre-qualified referrals.

Not everyone is a good strategic partner for you. As much as you may develop a deep and caring relationship with someone, as much as you may teach them about what you do and how they can refer someone to you, if they don’t have the regular opportunity to engage with your potential clients about what you do the number of times they will be able to help you is limited.

Identify your target clients and seek out people that are already having conversations with your target clients about something close enough to what you are doing or offering that they will be able to easily bring you into that conversation.

Just as so many are asking for referrals from people who rarely have the opportunity, they are also not completing the steps completely build the strategic partnerships. Being introduced to a good strategic partner is the first step in what can be many. In essence, each of you needs to train the other to be salespeople for each other. The more and better your strategic understands what you are offering the better they can qualify and prepare the client before they pass them along.

Can you imagine having people coming to pre-qualified and ready to buy? Can you imagine this happening regularly without having to constantly seek out new clients?

This will be our training focus for the month of March. I hope you will be able to participate in some our meetings and contribute to some great conversations and they we may help you too.  

Creating Successful Habits

How long does it take to create a habit? There are a few different writings out there with numbers but I think it just depends on the individual and the particular habit. I have been able to create some almost instantly by simply scheduling them and some have taken months to accomplish. Of course those that I enjoy are easier, those that I don’t require more work. I suggest not focusing on the time it takes but more on the steps to take it until its officially a habit. Breaking things down to the simplest of tasks, tasks that you can control and putting in place a way to track it are the most effective.

Along with this, focus on the positive outcomes and not the negatives. This is really important if you are trying to rid yourself of bad habits. Don’t focus on getting rid of the old habit, focus on the new habit.

If your goal is to use your cellphone less than start by creating new habits that will occupy more of this time. Maybe you could simply make it habit to keep your cell phone in your pocket and off the table during meetings, share this with your friends and family and ask them to remind you when you are not doing it and then schedule a simple 15 minute follow up with yourself each week to think back and report to yourself how you did. Another idea would be to schedule a time each week to look at your phone usage report each week and to write the results in a spread sheet so you can see and track those results. I have one client who has changed their voicemail to a nice message that discloses the time each day that they will be returning calls. With this new habit, this person doesn’t have to answer calls anymore.

If you need help creating some new habits to help you achieve your goals or just need an accountability partner to help you, share this during one of our general mastermind meetings and let our members help you.  

The Benefits Of Building Relationships

Have you heard the quote from Theodore Roosevelt, “No one cares how much you know, until they know how much you care”? Guess what, no one is going to do business with you, or at least not the kind of business that you want just to make you successful, until they know, like and trust you.

Slow down, stop selling and turn off your radar. By radar I mean that bad habit of only listening for the buying signals. How can you do this? I remember a sales training course I took almost 30 years ago in which they taught us to work every time we meet someone to ask questions until we can find things we like about them. Talk less about work and more about what they do when they are not working, who is important in their lives and what their goals and dreams are. How do you feel when someone takes the time to get to know you like this?

This plays into two other conversations I have often with coaching clients. First the belief that price is the most important buying decision for their clients. Getting to know people on a deeper level like this is one way to overcome this. If you stop and reflect in all of your own purchases you will probably find several examples in which you yourself will pay more or accept less because of your relationship with the provider. The second area is the whole teaching around “closing the deal”. Oh man, when I was in automotive sales I heard every horrible sneaky twisted way you could imagine of how to close the deal. Many salespeople have earned their bad reputation. I have learned that when you really get to know the person you are talking with the sales process becomes more of a conversation. This can move you into a position of simply being a form of a partner with them and things like price become less important and the need to push them is drastically reduced.

Make it a habit. How can you do that? One way might be to write out your sales process and creates steps like first just connecting with them, second getting to know them, third meet at their place and then on the fourth of fifth contact finally allowing yourself to talk to them about what you do.  Even easier, make yourself a cheat sheet of 5 questions that have nothing to do with business that you are going to ask each new person you meet.

If you have other ways that work for you, please share them with me.

First Priority Is To Prioritize

Do you ever complete your things to do list? I know I don’t. If anything it just continues to grow.

Do you know how to decide what to do first? Well last week I wrote about breaking your goals down into tasks that you could actually control. So part of deciding on how to prioritize your tasks at hand is to look at your goals and the tasks necessary to achieve your goals.

For most people that I am working with their priority is normally to make money now. While I am sympathetic to this and understand the choices we normally make in order to help us make money now, these most often, not choices that help us long term. Of course, not paying our bills is not going to help us long term either! There is definitely some balance required.

When you are planning out your day take a moment and for each task, appointment, etc. ask yourself how this action is going to help you now or in the future and to what degree and then schedule accordingly. Don’t procrastinate or put off the things that are most important and don’t fret over the things that ended up at the bottom of the priority list, they aren’t as important. They are not priorities.

If you are stressed about time, keep trying to implement one more item a time, developing just one more habit at a time and I assure that you will eventually hit a point in which you will have more control over your calendar and your time and even though you will probably never have enough time to accomplish everything you want to, you will stress much less by understanding why.