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Posts tagged ‘business’

How to Effectively Follow Up

Fortune is in the follow up, right? Who coined that phrase? We all use it, say it to our team, and sink our head in guilt when we know we didn’t follow up and lost that contact or business.
Why is following up with people so scary? Is it because you are afraid of no? Many of the times, people say they are NOT afraid of no. I know for myself, it can be just times where I don’t want to get on the phone. It requires a certain amount of high energy, conversation, and thought process that I’m guilty in just letting the cards land where they may.

Developing your system of sharing your business and following up with your contacts is critical in the growth of your success. Surely, you have seen many different systems to track these contacts. Many people use purchased systems, excel docs, notebooks, and even the index card file system. Whichever works for your brain, develop it and do it.
But how can you be better at actually following up with people without coming across like a stalker? We surely do not want to build that reputation where everyone scatters when they see us coming. Typically, you create this experience and reputation yourself.
Following up is expected. Think about a time you shopped around for a consultant or a contractor, and waited for them to follow back up with you on their proposal, and they never did. Typically, we don’t seek them out. We move on in our searches to find someone new who puts value in their business, their customer, and has a great professional demeanor about them. It’s just good business and practice to follow through and follow up.

You need to create the expectation and the appointment of when you will be following up with your contact following your conversation or sharing the details of your opportunity.
Throwing the ball in their court and never setting back up for the return is like throwing the ball down a dark endless well. It’s not coming back and you then become a stalker periodically sending messages on their facebook wall, texting them, trying to pass them in the hall so you can causally “bring it up”.

Set the appointment up at the end of your initial conversation. It’s just what we do, without thinking about it.
In our everyday practices, we do this without thinking it’s a scheme, a stalker, or a nuisance.

  • You get your hair done, you pay and set up your next appointment (cha-ching- future business for them)
  • You go to the chiropractor, and set up your next appointment or appointments (cha-ching- future business for them)
  • You get a babysitter, call it a night and pay her. On the way out, give her the next timeframe you will be scheduling her. (cha-ching- future business for them)
  • You have your housekeeper come, you send them on their way scheduling the next cleaning appointment. (cha-ching- future business for them)

I can go on, but it happens without you even thinking about it, and it is expected.
So carry this over in your business. Get in the habit with every business transaction, presentation, or direction you have with your contact, leave the conversation with a scheduled follow up appointment time.
It’s your follow up “massage” appointment. Don’t miss it! 😉

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WATCH YOUR MOUTH! How the words you choose can create a positive or negative response.

Building your business is scary, especially in the business. You want to make your investment a HUGE success immediately! YOU love the product, the people, the mission, the company, and you can’t wait to share it! But the problem starts to reveal itself quickly! You don’t understand why your business may not be growing. Why do people show interest then disappear? One of the biggest challenges in starting your business is building confidence. Having a strong self and level of confidence in what you do know will carry more weight in trying to learn everything about the company and trying to explain it all to your contact.

You don’t need to know everything about the company. Period.

Think of when you started a new job. The BIG one, the one you first got out of college, the one where it’s your “career”. That first day, that first week, that first month; were you required to be an expert? To have all the systems down? To know everyone’s name and their job title and description? To have all the products memorized, know the ingredients or how it was made? Obviously, the answer is, no! If your employer expected this of you, they surely are not doing a great job with being a leader in management position.
Wasn’t it funny when you finally discovered that bathroom that was just around the corner, super close to you, when you had been walking clear across the building as that was the only bathroom you knew? Or how easy it was when you figured out how to finally use the client database when it was like a foreign language to you at the start?

Why am I bringing this up? Because I’d like for you to feel what you should feel when you start something new. You can’t know it all, and you won’t know where all the bathrooms are I.e: shortcuts.
So stop trying to be an expert, success, know it all. Just be confident in what you do know and what you are passionate about. Now, this leads me to the REAL topic at hand.

When speaking with someone about the possible option of joining your business, working with you, or buying this product, the choice of words you use tell the story. Wouldn’t you love to have your next conversation hidden camera video taped? You could learn so much! How your body language is. What you say. If you are confident. If you puke all over them with details and more details. If you even ask them a question or let them talk. If you know what their primary need or interest is.

Keep it simple. Stay confident in what you do know and what you are passionate about. The choice of words you use will bring up the feeling for result in the conversation. If you tend to speak with negative words, (it’s not this….you aren’t….you don’t have to that…it isn’t going to be…) you will create a wall and a negative feeling for the person you are speaking to.
You help them feel what you want them to feel all by the words you are choosing.

Nothing feels worse than the feeling of defending yourself or your business in a conversation. If you have moved the conversation into this direction, pause, and nicely end the conversation. You won’t ever be able to convince a negative nelly as well as someone who just doesn’t believe in your mission.

Keep it simple, keep it positive, and keep the conversation about them. It’s not about you.

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Are you ADVERTISING or MARKETING your business?

For most small-business owners, typically, the selling process is anything but easy and sometimes frightful! In fact, when it comes to promoting your product or service, many entrepreneurs struggle with any number of issues, including lack of confidence in themselves or their product, fear of failure/rejection and fear of closing the deal. On average, most new business owners fall quick and deep into the habit of advertising because our brains and our outside influences are so conditioned in doing so. Oddly enough, it’s a turn off! Put the shoe on the other foot and you will clearly see how turned off or how quick you are to hit the delete key on that incoming promo email, doesn’t matter who it came from, right? We just don’t want to be sold. There is a difference between advertising and marketing. The good news is experts say these fears and processes can be overcome with the proper attitude, training and practice.

First things first lets showcase some of the typical areas that may be holding you back in your business.

1) Nervous about making a Negative First Impression? You have complete control over this! It’s been said that first impressions are 50% of the getting to know you/like you process. Depending on where you are working to build your business, do as the Roman’s do, to a degree. People are attracted to other’s who look like them, dress like them, and act like them. If your audience is young vibrant early twenties women, you may want to wear the hot color now out and well put together outfits with accessories. You do not need to “act as a twenty year old” especially if you are no where near that age range. If your audience is a group of business professionals, look the part!

2) Scared of Rejection? Rejection actually can work in your favor. You’ve heard the saying, “Go for No.” this will actually force you to practice! Practicing where you can continuing to present your services, craft, or products for your audience will only make you better. Understanding the reasons behind a rejection can help you refine your product and presentation. Sometimes, the only way to beat that fear is to confront it. The more you do it the better you become at it, and less fear will be the result. Additionally, what you have may not be suited for everyone. Work with the people it is best suited for.

3) Are you Coming Across as Too Pushy? Focus more on having a conversation with someone than simply selling. Not every conversation has to move into you selling them what you have. But if the conversation does lead this way, learn the prospect’s needs and ask yourself if what you’re offering is of real value to that person. When you care about your prospective customer and develop a sense of trust, you’re more likely to make the sale. Business is about relationships, not who you can sell something to.

What’s the difference between advertising and marketing then? Easy, think about advertising. Shouldn’t be too hard, you are getting slammed with it everyday!
Advertising is the direct promotion of products and services to you. Sometimes in can be screamed in a mass promotion over and over again and on the most common level new business owners take, they personally send off “form” letters and canned conversations without finding out what the other person may need.
This of course allows people to move you into the white noise category and easily into the deleted email folder.

The best way to build your business is by marketing. You are a business, so own it! You provide service, products, and an opportunity for people. Just because you offer something that requires an exchange of money or commitment, doesn’t mean you are a slimy bad guy. You just need to find the right people that are looking for what you need. Again, you are a business. This is the way of the world, business is all around us. Services are being bought. Products are being purchased. How do you fall into being a success then? The biggest difference will be your interest in who you are speaking with. It’s not what’s in it for you, but what’s in it for them. Discover their needs and how you may be able to help support that need for a solution. Specifically creating a bigger social network allows you to speak more and more to people without intention. Once you have learned this skill, it really opens the door for attraction marketing; that’s a whole other story!

5 TIPS on Achieving Your Goals This Year Without Making a Resolution

The New Year is approaching and you may be thinking of New Year’s resolutions. On average, the success rate on follow through it quite low. So instead, start thinking about where you are now and where you want to be. You still will be making a plan of action, but don’t call it a “resolution”. Set measurable and achievable goals to get on track and keep on track.

Plan – then take action to make it happen!

Don’t you find that it’s easy to sit down and make the plan of action, but then implementing and following through each day, you start to lose steam or have “make up task” days?

Written goals provide you clarity of direction that set you, your business, and your movement towards your goals up for success. But, it’s your commitment to take action and to keep following through to actually make things happen. One of the biggest areas where people de-rail their efforts they wrote down on paper, is setting to LARGE of a goal or task item to-do list each day. Best advice, is to break it up!! Big pie in the sky dream goals are good to have for the upcoming year, but break it down to week by week, and then day by day to-do list. General rule of thumb, is to create a TOP 3 list each day, and do that no matter what!! They all don’t have to be extensive and elaborate, but just a step in motion moving forward.

You may know where you want to go but realistically, without taking time out to make a written plan or map of how to get there, you are losing valuable time to actually reach it!

Below are my TOP tips on making a plan of action and to-do list that will actually have you feeling successful as opposed to as a guilty failure.

1) Make your plan something you want to do!
Too many times people make a list of what they SHOULD be doing because someone else says they should or they think that is the right thing to do. Define, what you are most passionate about, what you are most talented in, and set the plan to focus more on tasks that involve those things. You will be more likely to follow through.

2) Pick Something You Can Do Easily
Ask yourself if your plan is realistic and achievable for you right now. Evaluate realistically where your current obligations are in your life, and how your new action items can fit in for success. If you think it’s going to be too hard to stick to your plan, change it so that you’re likely to succeed.

3) Be Action-Specific
Specify exactly what is it that you’re going to do. Measurable action goals are a way for you to actively keep working on them in motion. You feel yourself doing and completing it as opposed to a wish list of “I’m gonna”. Set your action goals with measurable notches.

4) Set Measurable Goals
Defining a goal without a mark of deadline, quantity, or risk is still a wish list. There is no gage or mark of achievement. Be specific with your goals when you have them broken down in years, months, and days. For example, in business you may have a monthly goal to sign up 10 new customers. Breaking that down even further into the weeks will help you keep a measurable rate as the month nears it’s end. So your goal for the week may be to speak with 20 people. We all know the law of averages with success rates. If your goal is 10 new customers a month, you surely need to speak with almost 100 people to nail that goal as achieved.
If you have a goal each week of 20 people, then now break it down to your working days, and how many people will you be speaking with on those days to ensure you at least hit your 20 per week.
Weight loss works the same way. You may have 50 lbs you want to lose, but you can’t say at the start, I’m losing 50 lbs. You have to break it down into what will you achieve that month and that week etc.

5) Celebrate and Evaluate
Celebrate and recognize your achievements no matter how small they are! It’s forward progress in reaching your goals!
A strong tip I have suggested to many of my team through the years is to create a note book log. Record what action items, steps, programs etc.. you did during the measurable timeframe. Write down what you didn’t feel went well or was good effective use of your time as well as write down how you can really improve and do things differently or even better next time.

It’s easy to say you will be a huge success, you will lose 50 lbs, you will make the highest award level you can achieve. But, when it comes right down to it, your goal setting, you to-do lists, your action, your commitment and confidence, and your follow through will prove you got what it takes.

How to Get your Point Across In Business Conversations

IT’S NEVER ABOUT WHAT YOU SAY, IT’S ALWAYS HOW YOU COMMUNICATE IT.

Conversations occur constantly in every area of your day-to-day life. Sometimes we don’t even notice how many interactions or conversations we had by the days end, but they are happening. What may start out as workplace small talk could potentially become a huge step and growth in your career or even a new opportunity.
When promoting your services or business, a higher level of professionalism may be expected. So being authentic and genuine should be your number one skill but also having a balance of being forthright and directive.

While we can’ t have every possible interaction or conversation you may have or encounter, here are some key points as you look to polish your interpersonal and communication skills and, at the same time, become more authentic in your delivery.

1) Get more information before making a statement. Don’t jump in too fast with your “I know for a facts” and Statements to prove their point is incorrect. Careful not to jump to conclusions. Pause, and ask another question to either get more information for a full understanding of their position or to have them expand so you can gain more understanding.

2) Keep everyone focused on the point, goal and intention. Create common ground on which to share your perspective. This will help people maintain understanding, stay on point with the topic, and to not hit any “hot buttons” that may turn the conversation into a spiraling combustion!

3) Be sure to inquire more than advocate for your position or view!Many times conversations can steer into the wrong direction, or completely in a way you didn’t have planned. Many of the times this can happen if you take a strong stance advocating your position rather than taking the time to ask questions and to see their position or their needs. Stay humble. You may be right, but right in your own mind. There’s always two sides of the coin.

4) Lay it on the Line. Be REAL and authentic! Telling people that you are new, you don’t know all the details yet, you are a work in progress, etc..only shows your authenticity. Honesty shows you are humble, and the conversation will allow people to connect more with you when you come across “human”.

5) Develop a reputation of being a good listener. Be careful to not jump in with the “me too’s” or “you gotta hear when this happened to me”. People are interested in one major person when speaking, and it’s always themselves. To develop better relationships with your clients or soon to be clients, bite your tongue. No need to jump in and fill every pause. Really listen to what they say and respond with a question which will develop and stem off of their previous statements.

6) Be a problem solver. You don’t always need to get a result, sale, or a paid service in your conversations. Listening to your customers needs, and being a problem helper or solver will create a strong bond and relationship. Your solution may not even be one that you can provide for them. Just be that person who is genuine and will recommend or help even if it doesn’t directly benefit you.

7) Develop your Small Talk. “Nice weather we’re having” can get old real fast. Start to develop your initial small talk more than the obvious. You can use your surroundings, kids, something in common, or a compliment. Everyone likes to feel valued. Even if you know everything in the area, maybe ask for their opinion, or suggestions, or advice on the situation. I.e.: Have you eaten at this restaurant before? What is the number one item I should not miss?

Developing your conversational skills is just that, a skill. To some people, it comes a lot easier. Even chatty Kathy’s aren’t always successful at this, just because they are outgoing and chatty. Having a point, directing the conversation with leading questions, and having a genuine interest in helping them in their needs will help you develop stronger relationships and a new following.

Working Out Your WillPower

We are faced with battling our willpower everyday. As soon as the alarm goes off, you are faced with many choices of will. Do you hit the snooze alarm, do you skip choosing a quick sugar filled breakfast for something healthy, do you skip the double mocha latte with whip and go for the plain coffee, Do you finish following through this major task for work or jump on facebook, and Do you choose to get a chicken salad hold the dressing or get that Turkey club complete with bacon! The list goes on! All day we are battling our will just to make better choices, ones that should be moving us towards our goals, keep us healthy, as well as form to what should be the best decision according to society standards. Does it make you cranky? Sure can! It’s exhausting at times to constantly be fighting temptation. Over and over again, it surely can start to chip away at your willpower and before you know it, BOOM; you’ve given in by allowing your priorities to crash and good choices fly out the window!

 

But great news is that research as proven that willpower works just like a muscle! Overtrain/work your willpower just like a muscle, it falls into fatigue. But, on the opposite scope of it all, it can be strengthened making you more productive and happier with your choices and results. Below are some habits you can use to help create strength in your willpower and not allow yourself to hit that wall.

1) Write it Down!– Keep a journal that you can keep daily notes and tracking on how you perform or scheduled your day. Whether it’s for weight loss and keeping track of your daily meal plan and exercise to following through on business building techniques for your business. This is a way to track back. So if in times where you start to fall short or hit a wall, you can track back to when things were good and progressing.

2) Don’t Procrastinate! – When you procrastinate on a task or get anxious, research has shown we tend to give into an urge to improve our moods by doing something else. One suggested book to read is Eat That Frog, by Brian Tracy. Suck it up, and get the hardest most daunting task done first!

3) Be on the OFFENSE team! – Many people are successful at making good choices and not constantly battling their will because they put themselves in situations where temptation isn’t even a choice. If you can proactively arrange your day and your life to avoid problems or bad choices in temptation, you will have a much smoother day with sticking to your plan in action. If you are trying to lose weight, plan your meals for the day and don’t fall into the lunchtime crew heading out to the all you can eat buffet! If you are working on habitual for jumping back and forth between email, twitter, and facebook to avoid a work assignment, close those programs or shut the computer down if possible! People who are proactive avoid risk. Just like taking your car in for check up and maintenance.

4) Pick your Battles! – You can’t control every situation or every temptation in front of you. It’s easy to fall into a trap where everything just goes to “pot” because you are stressed out with too many situations, obligations, and tasks! Choose your timing! If you are just starting a new job, trying to lose weight, and trying to quit smoking, maybe lighten up on how strict your efforts are while you take on such a major change in your life. Keep that forward progress but maybe put the breaks or slow down on the pace.

5) Reward yourself often! – People love incentives. Your reward doesn’t always have to be like a kid in a candy store. Making good choices on your rewards can be as simple as doing something you normal don’t have the chance to do, like a massage or pedicure. Or even schedule a babysitter so you can go out for a couple hours and do anything you want. It can even be having a day or meal where you take in some of the most desired treats you have been cutting back.

Success in your goals and achievements is planned. It’s a plan laid out like a blue print. You can’t build a house, unless you have a blue print. Work on creating habits that won’t leave you agitated and fighting with yourself every day. Find a way where it’s reasonable, takes maybe a different pace than you initially wanted, but will lay out a plan for success.

DON’T FREAK OUT! Consistency for Small Business Growth

Why is consistency important in small business growth? Especially a small home business? It’s not only the important but the cornerstone! It also translates into all areas of your life!

Being in the health and wellness industry, I am guilty of the exact same feelings of discouragement and wanting to throw the towel in when I don’t see immediate results!  All that focused planning of my food, intake, and exercise, why can’t I be at a lean ripped up machine in just a matter of a couple days?  Honestly, I always notice that my body doesn’t change much, weigh different, or really “see” the efforts of my labor until the 14th day!  Weird, I wake up on the 14th day, and boom, I can see it!

Or how about the time where I started washing dishes in a my hometown restaurant when I REALLY wanted to be a “bus girl.” Even though I didn’t get tips being a bus girl, it just allowed me to have that feeling of success and not being the one trapped in a hot kitchen scraping uneaten food off of plates and throwing them in the wash. My time did finally come to graduate into the main dining where I could finally dress in a black skirt and white shirt, and the white shirt would actually stay white!  But I had to put a ton of effort, prove my skills, prove my work ethic, prove my determination for growth, prove I am the girl to move!

Why is your home business any different than any other venture of growth in your life?

There is no difference! Why would you decide to make a big change in your life, one that will improve the quality of your life, invest time, money, and stress in the efforts of getting started then do nothing or drop off because the growth of your business isn’t happening when you want it to?  Only you can answer that question for yourself, yet so many people do just this.

No business should be treated like a hobby and especially your own business you must take it seriously and be consistent on a daily basis.  Don’t think that things will happen overnight it takes time and committing yourself.

I hear many times from people working on developing their business say, “I tried that it didn’t work” or “I don’t have upline support.” Most often time it’s easier to put the blame on someone else or even put the blame on the business model itself.

But what it really boils down to is consistency. Doing the right activity over and over.  Now we have to be realistic!  You can’t expect to see life changing results in a matter of a couple months.  There is no possible way but you must be persistent and consistent. Because just like riding a bike, it’s tough to get the bike rolling as you start to pedal, but once you are rolling it’s rolling with less effort! But as soon as you hit the breaks and stop, to get rolling again is tough! Sometimes you may even be caught in the middle of a steep hill!

I run with the motto, “Things always work out in the end”. I’d be honest in saying I don’t stress out about meeting deadlines, meeting challenges, and even meeting the personal quota and goals I set each month. Even when the month starts to near it’s end, my stress level starts to rise and I start working even more on activity to produce the results I’d like.  But what I find happens, is that because I was consistent, never putting the breaks on for the months leading up to the end of this month, the breadcrumbs and efforts I was laying down the whole time turns around and pays off.

Here are some suggestions to ensuring your activity is productive and not just a matter of busy work that you keep fooling yourself with.

1) Set a 90 day activity journal.  Record your activity for 3 months, as well as the productivity.  If you are failing to see the fruition of the efforts you laid down in the beginning of the 90 days come around at the end of the 90 days, time to re-evaluate your activity.

2) Re-Evaluate your Daily/Weekly/Monthly Schedule – It’s easy to be busy. But being busy with activity that fills your time producing no results will only frustrate you.  Use a calendar to schedule out your appointments of work and activity on each day and follow it! Be sure to move on to the next scheduled task that is on your schedule.

3) Don’t be Scared to Ask for an Honest Opinion! – After being diligent in your efforts of work and activity, find your mentor, sponsor, or direct manager and ask for some constructive feedback.  As hard as that pill is to take, someone that you have in this position above you should be able to deliver just the news you need to hear while giving you that drive and determination to make those changes for a better result.

As more is learned about your efforts, schedule, and areas needed for improvement, more of the inefficiency is removed, exposing that still more can be learned — and so on — creating an ever increasing spiral of productivity and results. But that can’t happen without consistency.

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