Success Strategy & Tips

Grow Your People to Grow Your Business

Two big factors determine how much a business will grow. Don’t get me wrong, there are a hundred other factors to growing business and revenues, but these two lead the way in any business and any industry.

 

The two factors are:

  • The leader’s personal growth and knowledge level
  • The employees’ personal growth and knowledge levels

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Your mind may already be coming up with arguments. What about market share? Effective marketing? Supply and demand? Margin? Surely some things are more important than personal growth?

 

 

 

 

Let’s look at an example. Do you remember Blockbuster video? In 2004, they were the giants in their industry. They had 9000 stores, 60,000 employees, and millions of customers. Then the industry started to change, bringing Netflix and Redbox into the market. The founder of Netflix met with the CEO of Blockbuster and offered an affiliation that would serve both companies, but Blockbuster took their ball and went home.

 

Even though the CEO of Blockbuster, John Antioco, a man known for turning fledgling businesses around, saw the change coming and sought to adapt, he was voted out. A few years later, Blockbuster was bankrupt.

 

The flaw was relying on what they knew, what they were used to, rather than seeking to learn a new way—to grow and gain a new knowledge set. The leader of any company has to continue to grow and learn of course. That’s a responsibility well agreed upon. However, helping their people grow as well is an underrated necessity.

 

“Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.” – Jack Welch

 

Unless leaders plan to do everything themselves, forever, they need to develop competent team members. I believe finding the right people will always be the toughest part of any business. Keeping them is the second challenge.

 

These days, people leave jobs when they no longer feel they are progressing. They are much more likely to stay when they’re growing, even if it’s not financially. Not only does helping them grow work as a retention tool, it also serves the business. The better they get, the better they can serve the clients.

 

To grow a business, grow the people.

 

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3 Keys to Prepare for Driving Repeat Sales

 

The cost and time it takes to attain new clients are much greater than what it takes to satisfy and generate orders from your current customer base.

Here are three things to consider when you want to drive repeat sales. In fact, these are important keys to implement BEFORE you begin driving repeat business. These are keys to preparing to drive it.

Key 1: Organization of Data

Key 2: Communication with Your Clients

Key 3: Systems for Efficiency and Leverage

 

Treat your customers like they are valuable now, and they'll become even more valuable in the future. Treat them like they have future value, and they will.

Click here to download a PDF of my notes from this message that you can review for details or even print if you'd like. 

Have questions?
Feel free to contact us using the contact link at the top of the page.

 

 

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Systems for Business Growth

Elizabeth Hancock (Guide and mentor to financial and emotional freedom) interviews Amiee Mueller on how having systems in your business helps grow your results.

Listen to the audio to learn:

  • How to know when you need a system
  • What the characteristics are of a good system
  • Why a good system is necessary for growth

To download Amiee's handout, click here. (You only need to enter your name and email. She doesn't share your email or spam you)

 

 

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The Six Secrets to Success in Cutco (other than making calls)

 For a downloadable PDF version, CLICK HERE

Make everything as FUN as possible.

For customers, the more they enjoy their time with you, the more likely they are to be in a purchasing mood. Use jokes, even if they are corny. Give them high fives, especially when they get an answer right or do or say something cool. Get to know them! Take an interest in their lives and really listen to them. Express enthusiasm for your product and your work. Enthusiasm is infectious and people love to be excited and see people who are excited.

Always be learning.

Even the very top performing people are continually looking for ways to improve their results. You’ll never get to a place where you can’t improve. At the end of every appointment, ask yourself, “What could I have done better?” or “What did I learn from that one?”. Ask others those same questions.

Cross train with other reps; you’ll always learn at least one helpful thing. Go to meetings and events, which is where you tend to get your highest level of learning from top people. Use the resources online... videos and audios designed to help you improve. If you want to earn more, learn more.

Carry more Cutco.

The more you have to show, the more the customer can play with, feel, use, and experience Cutco. They’ll get excited about more pieces and your average order goes up. Don’t just use it on your appointments, though. Use it at home too. Get to know the products. Your enthusiasm for them will come through even more genuinely on demos when you do. Just make sure you keep them in excellent condition and always clean them so they look brand new before putting them back in your sample kit.

Use stories to teach people.

The way our brains work makes teaching through stories the most effective way to tell someone about something. People respond to stories, they’re entertained by them, and they remember the point you make for a longer time. If you need stories to share, get your family using Cutco consistently and then go back and ask them to share with you how it’s going. Get stories from other reps. Get testimonials from anyone you run into who has Cutco already. Listen to “More Than a Job” on VectorConnect’s media library to hear a handful of excellent Cutco customer stories.

Have confidence in the price.

 It’s easy to have confidence in the product’s quality. It’s undeniable; not subjective. However, each person develops their own subjective opinion on the price or value of the products. When you’re a newer rep, oftentimes, you haven’t been exposed yet to the hundreds or thousands of customers who will tell you how much Cutco is worth its price... how it’s worth more than its price. So it’s not as easy for you initially to understand the wonderful value of the products. If you don’t truly believe the products are well worth the price, then you’ll need to fake that confidence until you do. And you will believe it eventually. It’s up to you how quickly that will happen for you. It’s easy to believe 100% in the price when you clearly understand...

  1. The q u a l i t y of the materials and craftsmanship

  2. The unique guarantee and service provided to the customers

  3. The many customer reviews stating how it’s the best thing they’ve ever purchased and totally worth the investment

  4. The high number of people who upgrade their collection, because they didn’t buy everything the first time and once they’ve used it for a while, they see how their lives will be even easier with more tools. (which they realize after seeing how much easier it is with the ones they have already)

  5. Talk to people who had Cutco demos before and didn’t buy anything.. and went on to be frustrated for more years with their poor quality tools only to eventually decide they didn’t want to suffer anymore, and ended up buying Cutco.

The products are made by a great company, run by people with integrity, who care about more than just the bottom line and consistently give back to their communities and multiple charities.

Have systems in place for your business.

To truly impress your customers, after the demo and during any follow up for years to come, have systems to help you with the following.

  1. Organization. How will you organize your customer’s information? To keep track of their contact info, what they own, what they wish to add on in the future, when you last communicated with them and what the communication was about? And track your referrals?

  2. Communication. How will you communicate with them? Via phone, email, direct mail, etc.? How will you track it? What will the communications be? When it gets to a big enough number where it doesn’t make sense to do it all manually, how will you scale it while leveraging your own time?

  3. Calendar and Tasks. How will you keep track of any future follow up without letting anyone slip through the cracks?

  4. Segment your list. How will you keep track of different types of customers (business gift, realtor, residential)? How will you track status: prospect versus customer? How will you segment by area lived in, products wished for, people who need service, etc.?

The right systems help keep you organized, help make you more effective when you communicate with your leads or customers, help you generate repeat business from your current clientele, and save you time and energy while you do all of that.

To see more helpful information like this, please visit www.VastActionInc.com Where you can be redirected to the Vast Action sites that will help you and give you more free resources for your personal and professional development.

- Amiee Mueller

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Leaders Have a Growth Mindset

One of the most important aspects of leadership is being the change maker and the first to try.  But how do you know what to change and how to make it stick?  And how do you have a growth mindset without having to always be pushing for bigger numbers?

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Progress Starts with Vision

Great leaders are visionary.  They can see a future with positive changes and work toward helping create it, and usually get others tied in to working toward it also.

In this video, I discuss the components of vision and how to communicate it to others.

If you have any questions or comments, please leave them in the comments below or click on CONTACT in the top right corner.

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The 5 P’s to Setting Yourself Up For Success

If I can come from a kid who was in an out of jail 3 times in high school, total hippie, no sales experience, no business experience and basically very little education and build myself into a successful business owner, coach and trainer, then YOU can accomplish anything you want as well.  

Path across endless labyrinth

1)    What is the PROJECT that you're working on? What do you want to accomplish? 

 

Too many people let other people tell them what their goals should be.  Take ownership of your goal.  Go after something that YOU get excited about.  Be specific.  "I want to sell ______ by ______."

 

2)    What is the PURPOSE of this goal to you?  What does it mean to you? 

 

Too often we wander aimlessly toward something that we want to achieve without ever defining for ourselves why we're doing it in the first place.  What does accomplishing the goal mean to you long term?  What will it help bring more of into your life?  Meaning is the #1 thing most people are missing when there is a lack of excitement or motivation. 

 

3)    What is the PLAN for getting there? 

 

Once you know what you want and why you want it, then it's time to get to work.  Break down the goal to the ridiculous.  What is the ONE daily action that when done consistently, day in and day out, will make the difference between achieving the goal or missing it. 

 

In our business it's usually the # of calls that need to be made.  So, break it down.  Sales Goal / Average Order / Closing Ratio / # of Appointments / Cancelation Percentage / # of Calls / # of Days / # of Calls per Day. 

 

Once you have this info then you have to schedule the time to go after it.  What are your personal life priorities?  Put those into your calendar first.  A lot of people sacrifice their lifestyle for work.  When we lead with lifestyle in making our schedule, all of a sudden work becomes exciting, because it becomes the vehicle that makes the lifestyle possible.  So, personal first.  Then fit the business activities in around it. 

 

4)    Who will be your PARTNERS in the process? 

 

We all need to hold ourselves accountable first.  But no one accomplishes something great by them self.  So, who will you talk to every day to celebrate the wins?  Who will be there to support you and help pick you up and keep you going during the losses?  Who are you helping get to the next level?  Make sure you surround yourself with people who know the goal, know the plan, and agree to be there for you to talk to and support you every day throughout the push. 

 

5)    How often will you track your PROGRESS

 

One big mistake people make during a challenge is they never check in on their numbers.  They get to the last few days only to realize that they are behind and they don't have enough time left to catch up.  Sit down every day and review what the goal is, what the plan is, where you are so far, and see if you're on track or off track.  Then make adjustments to the future plan to compensate for either.  My rule is that if I'm ahead of where I need to be, I don't change anything.  If I'm behind, I either adjust my schedule OR I adjust my focus. 

 

 

Finally ... All of this only works if you also have a great mindset.  I maintain what I call the Shark Cage Mindset.  It protects me from all the evil distractions that are out there that are wanting to get in my way and pull me from my goal.  Things like self doubt, negativity, friends who don't get it and just want to play all the time, bad results, etc. 

 

It starts with a BELIEF that ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE.  It's true.  Look at the history of the world.  If you don't believe that anything is possible, pick up a book on someone great from history and read their story. 

And it ends with a COMMITMENT to DO YOUR BEST AND FORGET THE REST.  This commitment puts us in the position to simply do our best (Take Action) and forget the rest (Don't Worry About the Results).  Anytime we end up focusing on the results we usually are less productive and things are more stressful.  Anytime we simply focus on the actions and doing what we know to do and doing it to the best of our ability, the results are always better and the process is simply more enjoyable. 

 

Again ... this stuff only works if you have a great mindset AND you get out there and work.  Nothing worth doing is ever easy.  If you're not willing to get out and get some work done (on your business and on yourself) then this may not be the right place for you.  BUT, just the fact that you're reaching out and looking for help says that you care about improving and you want to do better.  That tells me that YOU have what it takes!!

 - Josh Mueller

If you found this information helpful, share it with someone else who you think might like it or share it on your social media page.

 

Also, we’d love to hear your comments and/or questions.  Leave them in the comment box below and we’ll respond as soon as we can.

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The Two Things That Impact Your Influence as a Leader

Leadership and influence go hand in hand.  The level of influence one has is determined by two key factors.  Josh explains those factors and how to increase your level of leadership influence.  It's important to note that it is also a leader's responsibility to make sure the influence is positive.

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How to Begin a Conversation with a Possible Mentor

Want to get a mentor but not sure how to begin?

 

The first step is to choose who could be your mentor.  Look for people who are getting results you’d like to get.  Mentors are helpful in any area of life, so the results you seek could apply to your career, income, wealth, relationships, spirituality, health, or something else.

 

Make a list of a number of people you can reach out to, because your first choice may not be available or interested in mentoring.

 

Here is an example of a conversation you can have with someone you’d like to consider as a mentor.  In it, you’ll be explaining what you are looking for and interviewing her for both her interest and her mentoring style.  After this conversation, the two of you should be able to come to a decision… move forward with the mentoring relationship or don’t.

 

Begin by scheduling a call with him or her.

Reach out and let her know you want to better understand her position and seek her advice.  Be empathetic to the fact that she is probably busy.  Make sure she understands you value her time.

 

 

Before the call, prepare a list of questions you have and a challenge or two you are facing.

 

 

Initiate the conversation.

Don’t beat around the bush.  Get straight to the point, let her know why you are calling, and ask for her permission to ask questions. Once you have permission, use the list you prepared.

 

Some good starting questions would be: 

 

“Do you currently mentor anyone?”

“Are you open to the idea of mentoring someone?” (or someone else – depending on the answer to the first question)

 

 

Be upfront.

Let her know that you called to discuss the possibility of her mentoring you.  It’s good to just be straight with her, because if it is not something she is willing to consider, then you can end the call quickly and not waste any more of her or your time.

 

If she is open to the idea, ask if you can ask a few more questions.  Once you have permission, move on to the mentor interviewing process.  The questions should help you determine if she’d be a good fit for you. 

 

 

Helpful questions for this process include:

“If I were to mentor with you, what would your expectations of me be?”  Once you have this answer, you can decide if the expectations are things you’d be willing to do.

 

“Is it okay if I share with you a challenge I am dealing with and get some advice from you?”  If she says yes, share a challenge of yours.  Once she has shared some advice regarding that challenge, you’ll be able to determine whether or not you resonate with what she had to say and if desire future conversations.

 

If you do want to pursue a mentoring relationship, ask, “Would you be willing to have a call or meet with me once or twice a month so I can pick your brain and seek advice?”

 

If yes, schedule the next call or meeting.  If she asks about a fee, share what you are willing to offer… monetary payment, time to assist her with her work similar to an intern or apprentice, or some other form of labor that she may find useful such as walking her dog, washing her car, etc.

 

 

Be confident and persistent

Sometimes someone you want to mentor you has others who want the same thing and it is impossible for him or her to say yes to everyone. So that person may test your determination in order to deem you worthy of his time.  Sometimes, he is just really busy and you are low on his priority list.  Sorry if that hurts your feelings, but it is a truth you must face.

 

The point is to be persistent. Have the confidence to pursue the mentoring relationship, and if it doesn’t pan out the first time you try, reach out again.  That doesn’t mean to stalk him or be a nuisance at inappropriate times.  For example, don’t show up at a lunch meeting he is having and interrupt. 

 

I suggest you politely reach out once in a while and ask for a call or invite him to have coffee.  Years ago, when Josh asked the most successful sales rep in his company for some time, he didn’t receive a call back.  He called again.  And again.  It was after about twenty messages over the course of six months that the man decided he was displaying a high commitment level and returned his call.  The two men have been friends and colleagues ever since. 

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Increase Prospect’s Comfort & Increase Your Sales Ratio

When I was 18 and left the trailer park for college, I took we me the 4 years of experience I had working as a waitress and in fast food.  I was practically an expert at scrubbing pots and pans, mopping floors, pulling fat off of raw chicken and changing out the grease in the deep fryers.  Being on my own to pay for school, I wasn’t sure how that type of work was going to cut it, and I didn’t love the work anyway, so when I stumbled across a sales job, it was the universe opening up a whole new world to me. 

 

Though I had never been in sales before, I took the position and worked that direct sales job around my college classes.  Not only did it pay for my college, including all personal bills, without taking any loans, it is what began my path of personal and professional development. 

 

I graduated college and opened up my own business where I recruited and trained sales people – most of whom had never sold anything before.  I did that for six years and was recruited to work in the region office of a sales and marketing company, coaching their top sales reps and training their new sales managers.  So I spent nearly 20 years of my life in sales in some way.  The business my husband and I own today is sales focused.

 

As a sales rep, my closing ratio was consistently above 75%.  So out of every 10 prospects I presented to, 7-8 were placing orders.  The funny thing is... though I know how to handle objections and drop down, those were never parts I enjoyed, so my philosophy has always been – get them to want it so much, you don’t have to handle many no’s.

 

So do a great job of making a connection with them, building trust and credibility in you and your offer, having a good product or service, good customer service, giving them value, understanding their needs, providing solutions.  You get them to like you and your offer, and they are more likely to just say yes!

 

The concept I’m going to cover here is in addition to all of those other things you do to make sales.  If you aren’t doing those things, it won’t matter if you are doing the concept I’m going to share  This is icing on the cake to take your sales ratio even higher.  It isn’t a stand-alone fix.

 

It’s not about how to manipulate people into doing something they normally wouldn’t.  Instead, it’s about taking someone who is on the fence (wondering… should they buy or shouldn’t they) and helping them make the decision.  The great thing about this concept is at its base, it’s really all about making your prospect feel more comfortable making the decision to take your offer.  If they feel good about it and you get the sale, it’s a Win-Win.

 

So the question I want you to ask yourself is… how would it affect my business if more of the people I talk to buy my offer?

 

The topic today is the Bandwagon Principle,

(Sometimes referred to as the Consensus Principle... The word consensus has Latin roots meaning to “feel together”; it’s modern definition is more about a group coming to a decision that they can all agree on even if it isn’t the individual group members’ first choice.  So really, the consensus principle isn’t a totally accurate title for this concept, but it still gets called that sometimes. FYI)

 

Really the concept is about getting your prospects on the bandwagon.

 

If you think about where your prospects come from, mentally, it’s easier to understand why this technique is helpful.  Many times, they are coming to you mostly not planning on spending money, right?  You start them off with a free program or a free consultation.  So up to the point where you ask them for money, they probably haven’t spent any yet, or have spent very little.  It’s likely that many have never paid for products or services of your kind before, so paying you for your service will be a new thing to wrap their brains around.  When you take someone who isn’t planning on spending money, but now they like you and want what you offer, and that shift may have occurred quickly – like after one call or after a few short videos – it makes sense they may be on the fence, not sure if they should dive in.

 

In the 1800’s a politician named Dan Rice would literally ride in a bandwagon during parades in order to gain attention for his political appearances.  As his success rose, other politicians wanted a seat on his bandwagon, hoping to be associated with his success.  That is where the phrase comes from of ‘getting on the bandwagon’.

 

Studies show that the probability of someone adopting a conduct or belief increases as the proportion of people who adopt it increases.  Meaning, the more people doing it, the more likely people will do it.  This is how fads and trends happen.

 

So to use this to your and your prospects benefit, you implement tactics to show them that other people are doing it.  When people know that others have done it and are doing it, they are more likely to do it too.  It makes them feel more comfortable to do what others are doing or have done.

 

If you've ever been unsure of what to wear to an event and you look at photos of past events or reach out to someone else attending to get an idea of what they will wear, you've used this concept.  If hearing of others' success stories helps you feel more comfortable going after the same thing they succeeded in, you're using this concept.  It's the same as when we read product reviews to get other people's opinions.  It makes us more comfortable to make our own decision.

 

Here are 4 tactics you can use to implement this idea.

·      Testimonials.  Have people who have used your p/s before write a testimonial and make sure you have them somewhere your prospects can see them.  They don’t have to have paying clients; they could be people you’ve helped for free and they got results.

 

·      Happy customer list.  Everyone who bought from me, when I was in sales, went on a list.  All it had was their name and city.  It can be as simple as their first name and their state or whatever you want to do while keeping their info private.  At a certain point in my presentation, we’d come across this list and I had it on one side and testimonials on the other.  People would often comment, “Wow, that many people have bought from you?”  It builds their confidence to know you have many happy customers.  The number of clients (10, 100, 1000) isn't as important as just having social proof that people use your services.

 

·      Real life examples.  It’s so much more powerful to use real examples than analogies.  How do these sound different to you?  “A mom who has put every effort into making her family happy sometimes forgets to take care of herself.”  Vs “I have a client named Sarah.  When Sarah came to me she felt good about how much she had helped her kids and her husband.  She had a happy family.  But there was something missing.  She hadn’t taken the time to take care of herself.  After we worked on some things, not only is she happier and healthier, but where she thought doing so would take away from her family, she found it actually added to their quality of experience also.”  Use names and real examples! They are easier to relate to and they show others are doing it.

 

·      My favorite technique of the bandwagon principle is in the way you phrase your answers.  When a prospect asks a question or gives a concern about buying, whenever possible, your answer should begin with something that puts the thought of others doing it in their minds.  Something like, “many of my clients” or “most of my clients”…

o   Example:  (listen to the difference) When a prospect says, "I'm not sure if I should spend the money."  A1 – “That’s a valid concern, Joe. What you may find is the value you’ll get will outweigh the expense to such a degree that you get to a point in which you can’t imaging having not taking this step.” 

o   VS…  A2 - “That’s a valid concern, Joe.  In fact, many of my clients had that same concern initially.  What they found was the value of what they received outweighed the expense to such a degree that they now tell me they couldn’t image having not taken that step.”  Then you follow it with another question.

o   You should use this technique but use it in total honesty.  When I was a direct sales rep with a 75%+ closing ratio, I often would say, “Most people decide to place an order” or similar things because it was true.  Do you know your ratios?  If some aren’t great, think about ratios you could use that are great.  Repeat buyers? Sales after a certain step in your program.  And if you can’t honestly say most, than use words like many or others.  The point is you put the idea of other people using your services in their minds so it’s not this vacuum of just you and them, which makes them feel the pressure of making the right decision with no extra guidance.   Knowing others do it gives them that little bit of extra guidance.

o   If you’ve ever heard of the Feel, Felt, Found method of handling concerns, it is directly related to this.   "I can totally understand how you feel. In fact many others have felt the same way.  What they found was…  they were so happy they did it."

o   It's very nonchalant; not obvious.  You aren't throwing it in their faces that people buy, you are just casually mentioning others use your product or service.  You can always use statements like “I’m so grateful to have the opportunity to help so many people”.  “My most prized possessions are the notes of thanks many of my clients have sent, because it makes me feel great to impact people positively.”

 

So that’s it:  The more social proof you can provide (through testimonials, a happy client list, real life examples, and the way you phrase things) to show prospects that others are doing it, the more likely your prospects will do it as well.

- Amiee Mueller

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