I started out in business back in 1990 doing computer training from my home. Eventually that evolved into training business personnel, to consulting, to database development to Web development to writing books about what I’d learned. Throughout my years in business, I’ve had to learn things the hard way – by trial and error. Most of us who’ve started our own businesses fly by the seat of our pants. We go on hunches and feelings and sow a lot of seeds in hopes that something will grow. Many times we can’t directly track from where our successes come. They just appear, and because of this, we have no means or knowledge to duplicate what we’ve done. I thought this was what all entrepreneurs did, that this was the best I could do. Boy, was I wrong! By implementing 7 simple strategies, you really can work smarter in business, be more productive, and ultimately more prosperous. You can track, react and be in control of your business destiny.
In March of this year, a friend introduced me to a company called MomsWIN. I’m a big believer in having multiple income streams – especially when the economy is the way it is. It’s best not to put all your eggs into one basket, but rather have several things bringing regular income so that if any one thing disappears, you have others to fall back on. So when my friend started telling me about MomsWIN and that it could offer me another residual income stream, I invested about 30 minutes to listen to a presentation on the company. It made sense to me immediately and I jumped in with both feet.
As I immersed myself in this amazing support group that helps you build a successful online business, I’ve learned some valuable tools, techniques and principles that I wish I’d implemented for the last 13 years. I would have been a lot more successful had I done so. Here are just a few of the things I’ve learned so far:
1. Implement a Set System of Policies and Procedures
When a prospective client or customer comes to you, do you know exactly how to take them through the sales process? Can you look at any prospect’s name and quickly know what you’ve talked with him about and what you need to do next? Do you have a defined presentation you give them? Do you have standard emails and scripts you use to talk with people at each stage of the prospecting process? Is there any doubt in your mind how you are going to move this person from a looker to a buyer? With the MomsWIN system, you get a handy free Web site that gathers your leads, sends them autoresponder follow ups, and notifies you by email. The system makes it easy for you to track your prospects. You can keep notes and within seconds you can find someone and see exactly where s/he is in the prospecting process.
I can’t tell you how many consulting leads I’ve thrown away over the years in my business because I was clueless as to what to do next. I had no set presentation, and no defined way of dealing with their requests. It was all hit and miss. Take advantage of technology like autoresponders that actually save you time and effort, yet also make you look professional, responsive, and bigger as a business. Taking a little time in planning, especially with tasks that are repetitive, means that you make more money with less effort and time.
2. Educate Your Prospect
Make your presentation – whether it’s a phone, in-person or Web presentation – informative and something useful to those who contact you. Leave them with the feeling that even if they aren’t interested in what you have to offer that the time spent with you was time well spent. Give them information that they will find useful. They will appreciate your expertise, and may seek you out in the future.
3. Follow Through, Follow Through, Follow Through
Never give up. If someone comes to your Web site and requests information on a particular product or service, set up a smart autoresponder that sends them a series of emails about it. Get their phone number, call them and for heavens sake know what you’re going to say to them when you do! Have that all laid out. Leave nothing to chance. If you can’t make contact with the person the first time, keep calling her UNTIL you get her. Don’t give up until the person either becomes a customer or tells you to go away.
4. “No” Isn’t Permanent
Just because someone has an objection to your product or service, doesn’t mean they’re saying “No.” It just means they need more information. Give them the information they need, and then ask for the sale again. If they say they’re just not interested right now, then don’t throw away their name. Ask them if you can contact them again in a couple weeks or months. Most likely, they’re just saying “not now.”
5. Eliminate the Risk
Take all the risk out of the purchase for the buyer. Give them their money back for 60, 90, or 120 days should they not be satisfied. If you have a top-notch product, you should back it up with a good guarantee. Show your product in its best light with honest, ethical advertising and marketing. If you are fulfilling a need with a great product/service, then having a better-than-average return policy will alleviate their initial concerns about ordering online.
6. Ask for the Sale
Don’t forget to ask for the sale. This doesn’t have to be a hard sales approach. It could be something as simple as, “I’d love to work with you on this, let’s get you started.” Remind them they’ve got nothing to lose, and ask for what you want. I’ve learned from the talented coaches at MomsWIN that most of us make closing a sale harder than it has to be. It’s really quite simple. I’m certainly no sales person, but that hasn’t stopped me from being successful by using the skills I’m learning. Don’t ignore your phone/online posture. How you say something can make or break the sale for you. Act confident that you will get the sale.
7. Make It Easy for People to Earn Money for You
If your business requires you to be a daily part of it to operate, then you’ll never take your business to a level that yields intense profits. Your business should be so well-oiled and duplicatable that you can teach it to others who can then go forward, do what you’ve done and compound your profits. A successful business frees the owner from working in the business. Think about it, does the guy who came up with McDonalds cook all the fries for the hundreds of thousands of McDonalds across the world? If he was, would McDonalds be a household name today? No way!
BONUS: Leave Competition to the Jungle Cats
Now, this is a principle I learned before going into MomsWIN, but I’d never seen it in such well-oiled action in a real organization before now. When you help others, you help yourself. MomsWIN is structured in such a way that you won’t go anywhere if you don’t help other people. For example, I lead a team of individuals and the only way I can grow further in MomsWIN is if I help my team succeed. I’m rewarded when I do. Being a person who enjoys helping others build businesses, this is a wonderful environment in which I can thrive.
I could rattle off dozens of other things I’ve learned from MomsWIN, but there’s not the space here to go on. If you’d like to learn more, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://www.momswin.com© Copyright 2005 Marnie L Pehrson