Friday, February 26, 2016

Innovate for Growth

What do you do if you own a car dealership and want to grow? You could open another dealership. You could expand your fleet of cars. Or, you could do what Motorcars in Cleveland Heights did – innovate.

This company poses as a great example of a company looking at what they offer from a different perspective. A few years ago, the leadership of Motorcars realized there was a very underserved target market – physically disabled adults. For the longest time it has been challenging for this demographic to be able to drive a car, or suv, or minivan.

Motorcars launched a new division – Motorcars Mobility Sales and Service. Taking what they excel at with the sale and service of automobiles they expanded that talent to a new
market. This innovation and diversification has provided them with an entirely new revenue stream.

We can all learn from this example. Ask yourself if there are other markets that could benefit from the value you provide. And even if they currently do not seem like a fit, expand your thinking to see if there is a way you could add them as a target market and therefore, a revenue stream.

We can always go down the same road. There’s nothing wrong with that. However, if we want to grow our business by adding additional markets to our prospect pool, we need to think from an innovation standpoint. Thinking beyond where we currently are can bring us surprising opportunities and results.

What can you do to innovate in your business? 

Friday, January 22, 2016

The Cure For Call Reluctance

Okay, let’s admit it. Calling prospects is something many people don’t want to do. So, they find other things to do. They’ll say that they still have research to do. Or they have to button up their marketing before they reach out. Maybe they don’t think their website is quite ready for prime time.

Sound familiar?

Those sound like valid reasons to wait. I submit they are excuses we come up with because we just don’t want to pick up the phone. Understanding what is behind this hesitancy can help us move past it.

In addition to the why, let’s explore what to do about it so we can get past our call reluctance and move our businesses forward.

1.    No words
Sometimes we struggle with figuring out what to say. We think we have to come up with a compelling description of what we do so the prospect will want to work with us.

2.    Fear of rejection
If we never call we can never have someone say ‘no.’

Both of these issues point to a belief about the call. It says we think the call is where we convince the prospect that they need us. That is the wrong way of looking at it. The call is the beginning of a discovery process.

The way to approach the call is seeking information from the prospect. You want to ask them a couple of questions to learn more about their situation. Listening to what they tell you will give you the words you need. You will then know how to start sharing your solution. And when it comes to fear of rejection, if you truly have a solution for their problem you will be able to start telling them about it and seeking a follow up meeting to explore further.

Remember, the call is simply a first step. You aren’t going to sell them anything on the phone. You are seeking to begin a dialog with those prospects who appear to have a problem you can solve. The only way you know if you can is to ask the question. It isn’t to start telling them about your product or service and expect them to connect the dots.

Where I live we have something called the I-90 sign. It’s a sign on the side of Brennan’s Banquet Center. They share ideas and quotes on the sign for the drivers on I-90. As I was developing this article I drove by the sign and it said, ‘The way to get ahead is to start.’


Get over your call reluctance. Treat the call as a chance to learn, not to sell. Because the only way you can get ahead and sell in the long run is to start!


Tuesday, December 29, 2015

15 Time Saving Secrets To Improve Productivity

On November 23, 2015 I had the pleasure of having Kevin Kruse on my radio show, Accelerate Your Business Growth. He’s the best selling author of 15 Secrets Successful People Know About Time Management. He shared some really outstanding information about productivity and time management practices. So great that I immediately bought copies of his book for my clients.

Some of the ideas he garnered from interviewing billionaires, straight A students, Olympic Athletes, and entrepreneurs were:

  • Keep a day (or half day) free of meetings
  • Put action items on the calendar instead of a to-do list
  • Use time blocking (one of my personal favorites)
  • Seclude yourself away from distractions when doing critical work

And so much more! You can hear the whole conversation here. And then head over to to get your copy of the book. It’s worth the read if you want to improve your productivity and results.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Content Marketing Tips

We all know by now that marketing has changed. Content marketing is really where it's at. However, there are still rules of the road that have to be adhered to in order for your marketing to be effective.

In this article for PDH Contractor's Academy we talk about the 5 Content Marketing Laws every business should embrace. Take a look and see what you think.

Are there other laws that we should add to the list? I'd love to hear your ideas!

Monday, November 16, 2015

Unveiling These Top Business Secrets

Rodney Hughes shared some awesome insights with me on October x on
Accelerate YourBusiness Growth. Some of the things I took away from the conversation are:

1.       Smash Obscurity
People don’t know you exist, or they don’t know your value, or they know but don’t think about you constantly. So your job is to find a way to become and remain top of mind.

2.      Take the easy street
This is often disguised as the hard street.

3.     Lead with value and exceed with value
People buy because you have something that will help them solve a problem. That’s what you should be sharing. Period.

4.     Take time to figure out what you really want. This is my favorite! It is so very important to have a clear picture of what you want to accomplish, who you want to work with, what you want to do for clients. This is how you make sure you are doing what you love.

There is much more of value from my time with Rodney. Take a listen and then head on over to his website to discover more great ideas for increasing sales.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Know Just Enough

There are so many opportunities to network that we could be doing it day and night. And we can convince ourselves that we are supposed to meet as many people as possible. I’m not so sure that’s true.

I am launching one of my products in the Columbus Ohio area in early 2016. It requires a location with a conference room that can accommodate around 20 people. I decided to ask the people in my networking groups in Cleveland if they know any business people in Columbus. The response was amazing! I already have a couple of potential locations as well as people who I can invite to the introductory meeting.

Through this experience I realized that I don’t need to know everyone. I just need to know enough people. Because they know people! And that is really what building a business network is all about. When you are intentional about building relationships with the people it makes sense to engage with, those relationships serve you over time. And you are able to help them as well.

So, what do we do? How do we take this information and incorporate it into our business? First, take stock of where you are. Who do you know? How good are those relationships? Are there some that probably need to end and others that could use a little more attention?

When you’ve determined where you are take some action. Reengage with the people who you feel you should be more involved with. And just let the other relationships drift away.

As you move forward with your networking take it slow. Remember that it’s not a numbers game. It’s about quality. So, grow your contact base in an intentional way. The energy you put into those relationships is invaluable. You may not realize the benefit right away. As a matter of fact, you probably won’t. But one day, when you need something for your business, you’ll reach out to your network and they’ll deliver.

Copyright© 2015 Seize This Day

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Price vs Value

On October 22nd Robert Stephens of Geek Squad spoke at the COSE Small Business Convention. He shared a number of really valuable business lessons as he shared his journey with the small business owners in attendance. There were a couple of things he said that really resonated with me.

One of those was this - 'price is only an issue in the absence of value.'

This is so true! When a prospect talks about price they are really saying they don't see value commensurate with the price they are being charged. 

This reminded me of a sales presentation I gave to an association of answering service business owners a couple of weeks ago. One of the attendees said that if someone calls him to explore his services he asks them if they have used a call center before. If they say they are currently doing it he asks them what they are unhappy with. If they say price he believes he can't help them; that price is one of those areas that is hard to overcome.

My response was this - when someone says they are unhappy with the price they are paying they are really saying that they don't believe they are receiving value for the price they are paying. So, there is something to talk with them about. When they hired that vendor they believed they were going to get a certain level of value for the price they were going to pay. And that they must have believed they'd get a level of value equal to or greater than the price they were going to pay. If they become unhappy with that they believe something has changed. It probably indicates that they believed they were not receiving the level of value they expected.

So, you see, the issue isn't really price. It's the price they pay against the value they are or will receive. If you want to deal with value instead of price be sure to understand what they prospect is looking for, what they need. Then match your product or service to that need. When the prospect sees the value they'll pay the price.