Episode 130 - The one thing every proposal must have

 

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Kristin and I have both created many proposals in our 30 years of experience.  We have seen a growing trend in proposals. Listen to today's episode as we discuss this trend and why, if you use it, this tactic it is hurting your business and different ways to change it to your advantage.

What we talk about in this episode

  • Kristin's Trade show blues
  • The problem tactic that needs to be fixed: Proposals without end dates
  • Why is it used?
  • Other times we have seen it
  • Problems with the tactic
    • Either risk future margins or unduly raises the price you can offer today
    • A customer accepts your offer 5 years down the road
    • Focuses time and energy on inquiries that might never be hot leads
    • lose scarcity advantage
    • Might cause 
  • Counterpoint: Should you use it?
    • You have anchored the price in their head (Sticky prices)
    • Really need...
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Episode 119 - How to improve your customer communication

Listen to the show on iTunes, Stitcher, YouTube, Google Play Music, iHeart Radio, or with the player above.


The key to sales is effectively communicating your message. In this episode, Kristin and Jeff discuss tips for improving your communication online and in-person.

Tips for improving general communication

  • When speaking to a crowd (social media, email, sales pages, speaking engagements, video, etc.), always speak to your avatar. 
  • Target your messaging for the platform. Your message will be slightly different depending on the medium you are using, whether it is Facebook, email, in-person, or a sales page. Know the best practices for each platform.
  • Speak their language, not yours. Do research on the terms your customers use when discussing your products and services. Avoid industry jargon. 
  • Use analogies to convey complex concepts.
  • Always use low noise environments and avoid interruptions on live video, webinars, and phone calls.
  • Always phrase questions...
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Episode 97 - How to deal with unhappy customers

None of us want to deal with unhappy customers but it is inevitable as a small business owner. In this episode, we discuss how to save your sanity and your reputation next time you must deal with one. 

Before you respond

Many of us get a negative email, message, or review and want to instantly respond while we are seething mad. Probably not the best way to respond. Before you reply:

  • Breathe
  • Empathize
  • Do not take it as a personal attack
  • Think of solutions

How to respond

  • Listen objectively and get to the root of the problem
  • Come up with a quick resolution
  • Implement the resolution quickly
  • Don't be a pushover
  • Sometimes you cannot make them happy, no matter what you do

Sometimes you must fire customers

If a customer is too demanding or gets out of line, you can fire customers. Make sure you have disengagement language in client contracts where applicable. 

Listen to the show on iTunes, Stitcher, YouTube, Google Play Music, iHeart Radio, or with the player below.

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Episode 93 - How to automate your appointment scheduling

Scheduling client meetings, interviews, and other appointments can be time-consuming. In this episode, we discuss appointment scheduling apps that can help you save time and get paid faster.

Why should you consider an appointment scheduling app?

There are many reasons to use one of these apps. Here are some of the most important ones:

  1. Allows clients to schedule appointments with you without the back and forth of email scheduling.
  2. Allows clients to pay for appointments before the meeting.
  3. Automatically sends appointment reminders.
  4. Allows clients to reschedule if needed.
  5. Allows you to set up classes or workshops with multiple attendees.

You can also use these systems to book other types of appointments like discovery calls and podcast interviews. Really any situation where you need to meet with someone else, you can use one of these systems. 

Key features

There are a lot of apps out there. In this episode, we only discuss a few of them. When looking at different systems, you...

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Episode 80 – How to listen to your customers online

Why is listening to customers still valuable online?

A business online is moving the way of the dinosaurs.  Even in the smallest companies, 73% are expected to have websites by the end of 2017. As the move to online happens, it becomes harder to perform the essential task of a business owner. We do not know how to listen to people we never meet.

Why is it difficult?

Even if we interact with some people in social media.  How many of those move to the website? How many of those buy from us or ever purchase one of our products?

 We completely understand the problems of feeling lost when you interact with only a small portion of your online traffic.  Across out platforms, we served people a little more than 990,000 times, and from that, we had under 10,000 interactions with people in social media.

 So, we looked to better listen to the people we educate online. We knew we needed to up our listening skills.  We knew we need to find a new way to listen.

We...

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Episode 67 - Thriving through peak season

Every business has a peak season, whether it is a natural part of your industry or because you are doing a launch. In this episode, we discuss strategies for having a more productive and profitable peak season.

There are three major parts of peak season: planning, peak season, and post-peak wrap-up. We discuss each of these areas in this episode.

Don't think you have a peak season? Every business does. Sometimes, your business has a natural peak season, like retailers. In other businesses, it might be a bit more subtle. If you aren't trying to identify your natural peak season, you might be missing out on sales. Each new launch your business has should also be treated like a peak season. Do you have questions about this episode? Ask in the Facebook group.

Related Episodes

Episode 4 - Who is your ideal customer?

Episode 11 - 5 tips for better cash management

Episode 20 - Increasing your energy levels

Episode 63 - Gratitude

Listen to the show on iTunes, Stitcher, YouTube, Google Play...

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Episode 64 - Is your attitude hurting your business?

We have a simple choice to make each morning: do I want to live my life full of negativity or do I want to be a positive person? In this episode, we discuss how to change your attitude to allow more joy and prosperity in your life.   

How is your attitude affecting your business?

People are naturally drawn to positive people because there is so much negativity in the world. Having an optimistic attitude also gives you more energy. If you have ever had a stressful day where most of your thoughts were negative, you know how that can drain your energy. Having a positive attitude also leaves you open to be able to experience new things and allows you to build your business.

Beginning to change your attitude

Here are a few steps to begin changing your attitude for the better. All of these are discussed in detail in the episode.

  1. Admit there is something in your life you are not happy about.
  2. Accept the things in your life that you cannot change and identify the things you...
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Episode 52 - Developing products and services

As we get into the final stretch of the year but before the holidays begin, Jeff and Kristin are starting to work on planning products and services for 2017. This is a great time to discuss developing new offerings for your business. We discuss how to begin the process of developing new products and services.

What products and services do you currently offer?

Do you have a menu of your current products and services? If not, this is where you need to start. If you can't clearly define what you currently sell, how do you expect your clients to understand what you do? Don't be cryptic about what you do. Clearly define your business for your customers. Don't use industry speak; use your customers' language. Take a look at your website or ask someone to do it for you to make sure your message is clear. This is also the starting point because this will give you an idea if there are gaps in your offerings. Do you need to offer supplemental products? Are there services that are outside...

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Episode 51 - How does back-to-school affect small businesses?

Many small business owners and customers are sending their kids back to school. As fall approaches, what effect does this have on your small business? 

Time

As kids go back to school, parents and teachers will be adjusting their schedules. What does that mean for your small business?

  • More traffic on the roads especially before and after school. Make sure to allow more travel time getting to client meetings.
  • More parents are available during school hours. If your ideal customer is a parent, consider offering webinars during the day. Also consider earlier bed times when scheduling webinars.
  • While days are less hectic, afternoons and evenings are becoming more hectic as kids get involved with after-school sports and activities. Again, make sure to plan for that as you offer live events in your business.

Money

According to the Montley Fool, consumers are spending more this year and expressing less pessimism about the economy. While slightly more parents with kids in K-12 are...

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Episode 50 - YouTube Basics

YouTube is a very powerful platform for small business owners, however very few actually utilize it for growing their business. In this episode, we discuss why you should be on YouTube and some of our top YouTube tips. 

Why your business should be on YouTube

Most people don't realize that YouTube is one of the largest social media networks. The site has 1.3 billion users (Facebook has 1.44 billion users) and 5 billion videos are viewed each day. However, only 9% of small businesses are putting videos up on the platform. There is a huge opportunity for small businesses to get onto YouTube before most of your competition arrives.

YouTube also allows you to easily share your content on websites and across social media platforms, including Facebook and Twitter. Facebook wants to keep people within the Facebook app which limits the ability for your customers to find you. YouTube is backed by Google, which means that your videos can show up in Google search results.

YouTube is also...

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