Article of the Month
by Tom Shay
'Build it and they will come'. This is a line from a movie with Kevin Cosner. Too many people think the same when starting a business.
If they create the business, there is the expectation there will be plenty of customers. However, what is to happen when 'they do not come'?
The article for September gives ideas about making the effort to find your customers instead of waiting for them to come to you.
The examples are given from the perspective of how you should contact existing customers to earn more of their business.
Click on Article of the Month to read this article.
Book of the Month
The Carrot Principle
by Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton
One 'atta-boy'. Giving recognition to your staff is the best way to gain positive actions from them according to authors Gostick and Elton. It can help with employee retention, problem solving, improving effectiveness and just selling more of your products and services.
Click on Book Referral to see the complete list of small business books we have found that can be helpful to your business.
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Ready, set, go and other 'three-isms'
This past week of travels provided multiple opportunities in observing sales people, and the wide variety of how they went about their work of completing a sale.
While the experiences were varied, and with the majority of salespeople demonstrating a minimum of sales skills (if any skills at all), there were several whose abilities made it a pleasure to spend money.
And shopping should be a pleasure since the majority of spending is with discretionary income.
What comes to mind were several individuals who understood the science of how people interact with their customers.
The best salespeople understood the 'principle of three' of selling. When people are making decisions about making a purchase, their nature is to revert back to what was learned at an early age.
Small - medium - large
On your mark - get set - go
Ready - set - go
These three are our initial examples of things we have all heard and learned. It is a natural extension that in making decisions that the 'three-ism' can continue to assist in making a sale.
Whether you are selling a product or service, you should give your customer choices. Even if you are selling something like a shirt or blouse, in addition to offering three colors, you should have some variety in the price.
While you should be asking questions to help you determine the price point to offer to your customer, offering a variety at this point allows the customer the opportunity to 'reconsider'. Perhaps by pointing out the differences in each of the items, there is the opportunity for upselling.
Whether you are offering a product or service, using the 'three-ism' increases your chances of making a sale. And in line with the choices, to you we say, 'ready - set - go!'
Thursday, September 25 will bring another expert to share with you for an hour beginning at 8:00 pm eastern.
Don Schwerzler of Family Business Network joins us as we discuss the dynamics of a family business. As Don and I visited within the past month, we exchanged observations of conversations we each had with multi-generational business owners.
In some situations it has been the older generation who has not wanted to let go of the ownership and management even though they had long lost the drive to navigate the business for the future.
In other scenarios it is a younger generation that has grown weary of being in second place and wanting to take their turn at being in charge. They have seen others in their age group that are growing their business and they want to demonstrate they have that same ability.
Don, Bill Kendy and I will discuss the transition process for a business; be it from family member to family member, selling the business to an outsider, or perhaps even closing the business.
Here's the link to our previous e-retailer conversations. You can listen to them online or download them for your mp-3 player; all for free.
Join us Thursday, September 25 at 8:00 pm eastern. Send us your questions now. We will be sure to get them to Don in advance of the call.
|Internet Tip of The Month
Small business knowledge test
The idea of all the calculators on the Profits plus website goes back some 15 years. During presentations I would ask people questions about business management and found that many did not want to be embarrassed with their lack of knowledge.
We needed a way to share the information initially in a manner that would be interesting as well as challenging. Hence, the first of the calculators.
From there, we went to where people wanted to be able to apply the information learned in the various sessions. It has been my belief that decisions should be made based on knowledge instead of making assumptions.
The calculator we share with you this month is one of the original two. This one is titled, the
Small Business Knowledge Test
| The Incentive Idea of the Month
This is what I want
Sometimes timing is everything. While the book suggestion for this month was scheduled well in advance, this past week during a trip to Chicago I had the pleasure of finding my way to After-Words Bookstore. What a neat store to spend some time in!
Wandering through the business section, I found a book that peaked my interest. It is titled, 'A Carrot A Day' and is written by the same two authors who wrote the book suggestion for September.
As we have been giving the power promoting idea each month for the past 15 years, we have decided it is time for a change. Starting with this month, we are going to offer an incentive idea for each month.
Whether you sell products or services, we trust the ideas will be of value to you as you engage your employees to achieve your business goals.
It starts with your telling them what you expect of them. More than just telling, it should be in writing; not because you need to cover yourself, but it shows to your employees that it means enough to you that you will write out your expectations.
Don't let some attorney or piece of software do this for you and say it is a statement from your business plan. Instead, it should be your words in terms that you use everyday - no need for being too fancy or complicated with the message.
You can start with how you expect your staff to treat your customers. State your wants with full expectation of them be provided to your customers; with no apology because you want the best for your customers.
The first carrot is being able to have your employees read and hear what is expected of them.
Profits Plus Resource Center