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Boosting your Confidence with Daily Productivity Tips

Boosting your Confidence with Daily Productivity Tips

Boosting your Confidence with Daily Productivity Tips

Are you a slave to your inbox? Do you find yourself procrastinating and working on tasks that really don’t need your attention right now?

Don’t worry, you’re not alone! In fact there are entrepreneurs out there, if they’re honest with themselves, where this happens to them on a weekly basis. It really does happen to the best of us!

And we know what it’s like. We allow ourselves to become inundated with everyday life, and we tend to do the little things thinking that if we get them out of the way first then the rest will receive our full attention.

Let me share with you a quote that I’ve been repeating daily to myself and other entrepreneurs including my team since I learned of it:

“Eat the frog first thing in the morning!”

What does this expression really mean?

Do the task that you dread the most first thing every day. You are the most energised and motivated first thing in the morning. The longer you put off this dreaded task, the more you end up procrastinating with all tasks, and then you end up not getting anything done.

This “most dreaded task” if you want to call it that, could be to do sales calls (I know how some of you feel about this!), or respond to emails, or to type up that list of snags that the web dev team needs to sort out on your website.

Whatever it may be, get it done, right away! Procrastination tends to have a snowball effect and you’re going to become despondent over time, the more you put off certain tasks. Or, if you’re great at delegating, hire an assistant, do what you need to in order to check that task off your list!

Right, so now that we’ve dealt with that little devil called procrastination let’s see how we can help you become more productive. Because you know, that if you see tangible results from your productivity, your confidence in yourself and your business will be boosted!

Your daily productivity tips:

1.    Get on top of your inbox

You do realise that your inbox is someone else’s to do list for you right? Don’t become a slave to your emails! Prioritise your emails into folders, such as urgent, done and FMI (for my information). Check emails 3 times a day. Move the emails into the relevant folder and perhaps take 2 hours at night to respond to emails. Your system may look something like this, however, you can obviously tweak it to suit you best. The idea though is get on top of your inbox, allocate only so much time per day to it and focus on other things. I bet if you had a system in place and you used it for a solid week, you would start noticing where you spend your time and realise that you could be far more productive.

2.    Exercise exercise exercise

I know, this may sound silly, because how is exercise related to productivity? Quite simply, if you start your day off right, with some form of exercise, you will release endorphins that assists you in feeling energised and therefore more prone to tackling that “frog” first thing in the morning. You’re welcome J

3.    Be cognizant of time spent on each task

There’s a great app I like to use called Tomato that has a 25minute timer. There are other apps, I’m sure you’ll find your match through some research. The idea behind this is to start the timer and focus on one task only with the aim of completing that task within the allotted time period. Now you’ll probably discover how easily distracted you are with everything but the task at hand. This nifty app holds you accountable and your conscience will also play a part on keeping you on track. One task at a time ladies! Do it fully present, do it well, and don’t do it over.

4.    Keep it fun

My greatest value is to have fun. And there’s no reason not to have fun while working in your own business. If you’re not having fun, then it’s time to change things up! In order to be productive it is a good idea to enjoy what you’re doing and have fun whilst doing it!

This is a tough journey at the best of times. Continue to surround yourself with amazing people that inspire you, motivate you and help to keep you accountable. Keep reading great business books and blogs, and apply what you’ve read in your business.

Here’s to a productive week and year!

Why you are failing at sales

Why you are failing at sales

Oh the dreaded word for most people. That lingering bad aftertaste associated with this noun is as bad as asking most people to speak in public. They quiver at the thought!

I love sales, dearly. It’s been a close companion of mine over the years, and even though we’ve had a love hate relationship we do have conversations on a daily basis. Sales has been good to me. Sales has taught me to be tenacious, to be persistent, to grow resilience and best of all, how to engage with others.

Sales should be seen as a great communication tool above all else.

How can improved sales skills make your business better?

Communication tool

Well for one, having sales skills means that you enjoy people and you are great at communicating. Wait! Surely that isn’t the definition of sales?

To be honest, over the years sales has been given a bad rep. Now’s the time to improve its reputation and perhaps even place it on a pedestal.

There are too many businesses, particularly start-ups that fail and my belief is that one of the reasons this tends to happen is that they don’t hunt sales. They don’t have a sales plan or budget in place. Yes it’s great to have a marketing plan, but what’s the point of getting all these great leads, creating brand awareness and a digital footprint if you don’t close the deal?

It’s time to start using sales as a great communication tool.

Perception

We need to actively start viewing sales in a better light. Our perception of what sales is and how it works needs to change. We need to embrace the power of this little noun. Without sales your business is dead. I know that sounds harsh, however, don’t fool yourself. Your lovely business that you’ve been focussing on for the last 5 years is not going to grow if you don’t have a sales plan in place. Start changing your perception of sales and see your bottom line grow.

Risk taking

Sales does involve taking certain risks. You need to be comfortable putting yourself out there, presenting on a daily basis, possibly even facing rejection at every turn.

But isn’t this what makes us stronger? Get comfortable being uncomfortable. Learn to take risks. Place yourself in “danger”, in the sales zone. Growth only happens outside of your comfort zone.

Now turn off those voices in your head and go out & sell! You’ll thank me for the constant adrenaline rush!

 

Why Outsourcing Is The Hottest Trend For Business Success

Why Outsourcing Is The Hottest Trend For Business Success

Thanks to the increase in technology, apps, devices and innovative thinking, the way we run business now is streets away from how it was done just a decade ago.

Outsourcing is fast becoming the norm and stats indicate that by 2020 more than 65% of work will be outsourced to remote workers.

I know that there are still business owners who struggle with the idea of outsourcing work to anyone who is not physically located at their office.

And then there are those who run an entire business on an outsourced model.

The idea behind this article is to show you what you can outsource, so let’s get you comfortable with the idea of what you can outsource and to whom.

1.  All things admin

Whether you are a solopreneur, or run a medium sized business, you can take advantage of outsourcing admin tasks. This can be anything from a full-time PA to a client liaison who responds to online inquiries on your behalf.

Who can do this for you? An experienced Virtual Assistant. Scour the internet to understand the business behind a Virtual Assistant and soon you’ll discover that there is a world of possibilities waiting for you.

Finding a reputable Virtual Assistant is pretty easy and I would recommend starting your search on LinkedIn. If you’re not sure of the calibre of the VA or her capacity, ask to do an hour trial run for instance. Trust me, you’re going to thank me for this! Do more of what you love and outsource the rest of the admin tasks to your trusted Virtual Assistant.

2.  Marketing campaigns

What is the one thing that is usually cut when a business owner starts feeling the pinch? Marketing of course! And yet, without marketing you cannot fill a decent sales pipeline. Granted, there are quite a few marketing activities you can do on your own. With a reputable marketing agency not only will you save time, but you also get to hire a team who understands how to leverage marketing to convert website visitors and the like into quality leads.

Interview a few marketing agencies, ask for sample work and client testimonials. Look beyond the pretty marketing collateral and listen to your gut on this one.

3.  Certain Sales functions

Do you love sales? If not, then you need a sales team! And if you aren’t particularly keen on hiring a sales division, outsource this function. But know this, the best way for your business to grow is to have sales. Referrals and walk-ins will only last so long, and then? If you’re not particularly comfortable with selling or it’s a task that you just don’t enjoy, outsource this sales function to a lead generation company.

Again, do a lot of research, as there are a ton of lead generation companies out there. Ask the following questions:

  1. Do they specialise in my industry or are they generalists?
  2. How long have they been around? (In other words, what kind of experience do they have?)
  3. What kind of results have they achieved for their other clients?
  4. Can you find your shortlist on the internet? (If they have an amazing web presence, then you can rest assured they have created a great web presence for their clients).

The list of what you can outsource is pretty much endless, from graphic design work to tech support and everything in between. The trick is to find an agency that aligns with your vision and has a culture that you can work with and enjoy.

Happy hunting for great outsourced companies and enjoy the freedom that comes with outsourcing certain business functions!

 

Why Marketing is so essential to the success of your Sales goals

Why Marketing is so essential to the success of your Sales goals

We’ve all heard it before, how the marketing department just cannot see eye-to-eye with the sales department. And how the sales department thinks the campaigns designed by the marketing department is never going to work.

It’s 2017 – time to set aside those differences and truly understand how these two departments are quintessential to the growth of any business.

Yes it can be done. It is absolutely possible for these two divisions to work together harmoniously. And this is the year to do it.

Why? If we can better understand how important a great marketing campaign is, we can better utilise it in growing our sales, month-on-month.

The best way to do this is to get these two silos’ to speak with each other. It doesn’t matter if you’re a corporate or a solopreneur, the bottom line is, marketing complements sales. Simple.

7 Steps to understanding Marketing

  1. Business Vision– What is your business vision? That is, do you know your business? Why did you build your business? Does your vision align with your strategy? First and foremost, by having a clear vision of what you want, then how you’re going to achieve it will follow automatically.
  2. Determine Target Market– In order to design a great marketing strategy you truly need to understand who you are speaking to. What does your ideal customer look like? Where are they located? What are their interests? Where do they hang out in the social media realm? By understanding the buying persona (or client avatar), you’ve just made your strategy building so much easier.
  3. Look At Your Competitors– Chances are there is already a business doing what you’re doing. But never fear! Now is the time to understand what differentiates you from your competitors and make that your slogan, your driving force. Look at what they are doing and do it better.
  4. Act Like A Media Company– You absolutely need to commit in creating as much great content as possible. There are numerous articles available on the web describing where buyer attention is focussed. Find out where in your niche they are and cater to them. In other words, if you’re selling beauty products then it makes sense to share gorgeous editorial pics on Instagram, to do how to videos on YouTube and to share daily cleansing tips for instance with live feed on Facebook. Get creative and keep churning out quality content.
  5. Set Out Marketing Goals– Take the needed time to set out your marketing goals for the year to come and break them down into achievable monthly milestones. The better your goals are outlined and adhered to, the easier the sales process becomes.
  6. Create A Marketing Calendar– Create a workable marketing calendar for the rest of the year. Look at ways to launch new products or services, create monthly themes and weekly action steps. Become creative with your posts, however, do cater to your target market and keep in mind the medium that you’re sharing on. Look at the time of day and the day of the week that you’re sharing content to ensure that you maximise engagement and convert those leads into sales.
  7. Put A Budget In Place– There are times that you’re going to spend money to make money and marketing is one of those places. The beauty of social media and blogging is that you can grow your audience organically and create a loyal following without spending a cent. Other times it is essential to throw a bit of budget behind your marketing campaigns to ensure that your conversion rate is high and attainable. You want to see tangible results from your marketing campaign, so make sure that the right people are seeing your content at the right time.

 

Why a Virtual Assistant is an entrepreneur’s best friend

Why a Virtual Assistant is an entrepreneur’s best friend

“Grow your business without growing your staff” – now wouldn’t that be the ideal way to build and grow your amazing start-up.

And the best part? With the help of a Virtual Assistant or as we are more fondly known as, VA’s, it is now completely possible and within reach.

Your VA should be your next best friend! Here is someone who doesn’t need to be micromanaged, will get tasks done to your exact requirements and treat your business as if it were her own. A Virtual Assistant is a gift that each and every entrepreneur should have.

Fill gaps where start-ups fall short

Just because you started this business and have been running it for a year or two doesn’t mean that you have all the skills to fulfil each role. In fact, you more than likely excel in a specific field and try to make up the short fall. With a professional VA by your side you can now focus on what you are good at, namely growing the business, and she can take care of the other areas that you’re not so brilliant at. You know like paying the accounts, or taking care of the admin, filtering emails or organising your diary.

Get more time

Your focus should be working on your business, growing your client base and ensuring that your service offering is perfected. For this to take place you need time. How do you find more time? By outsourcing all the tasks that don’t require your specialist skill to your new best friend, your VA!

One point of contact with access to a pool of skills

By working with a VA agency for instance you have access to a myriad of skills with a single point of contact. You delegate your tasks to your VA and she will take care of the rest by assigning tasks to a Virtual Assistant who has those specific skill sets within her team. You can now carry on with your creative projects safe in the knowledge that your business is being run smoothly and professionally by a team of experts.

Extension of your team

A VA really is a team member and even though she works from a remote location, she forms an extension of your business and is therefore a valuable asset. With her dedication to getting things done she will align with your start-up’s vision and ensure that you are able to keep driving your business forward.

We as entrepreneurs are so fortunate to have access to a lot of amazing people and skills. Take action and grow your business with your new best friend!

 

Why a Sales Strategy Workshop can help your Business

Why a Sales Strategy Workshop can help your Business

Over the course of the last few years I’ve had the honour and privilege of hosting several Sales Masterclasses and Sales Strategy Workshops.

Why are they so effective?

As entrepreneurs, founders, businesspeople, we are always looking for new ways to grow and develop. We are knowledge seekers looking for new and amazing ways to do business, improved ways to increase our skillsets and to better our service offering.

So the best place to have access to information like this is at networking events, workshops, masterclasses and the like. Here you get the opportunity to rub shoulders with likeminded people and to learn from the best.

It’s effective because the course material has been tailored to you. You walk away feeling that you have gained so much benefit and you are now armed with an actionable sales strategy for your business.

Why should you host a sales strategy workshop?

What better way than to get an expert to teach and train you and your staff on better ways of doing business? You can get the trainer to completely tailor the workshop to accommodate the industry you work in, your sales cycles, the needs and objections faced by your clients, your staff capabilities in terms of delivering services in time, etc.

By hosting your own sales strategy workshop you determine exactly the quality and quantity of information your staff receives, the duration and whether this will be an ongoing exercise.

If you are looking at ways to develop your sales and service teams, a workshop can do the following:

Ø Understanding the business vision and mission, and how to align this with the staff’s vision and input

Ø Getting to grips with the pains your clients experience and how to marry your solution to their pain

Ø Building confidence within the team so that everyone becomes your Brand Ambassador

Ø How to stand out from your competitors

Ø Objection handling, presentation planning and development, closing the deal

These are just a few ideas of topics to be discussed in your Sales Strategy Workshop.

Get the ball rolling today, develop your team and they will help you grow your business.

 

The power of a Virtual Meeting and how to make it part of your Business

The power of a Virtual Meeting and how to make it part of your Business

We have come such a long way from those notorious hour long boardroom meetings and booking physical meeting rooms. Nowadays we have the luxury of hosting a meeting anywhere in the world at any time, as long as we have our laptop or mobile phone with us, we’re good to go!

And this is what I absolutely love about running remote teams. Wherever I find my laptop and mobile phone, that’s where my office is for the day.

I want to show you some platforms that you can use to host a Virtual meeting on and then take you through the benefits of conducting meetings this way.

Here’s a list of virtual meeting room apps

Some of the virtual meeting rooms you’ll be familiar with.

1.     Skype :

This is hands down the best known app for virtual chats and meetings. It easy to use and is free.

2.     Zoom :

My favourite virtual meeting app to date. We use this for all our virtual meetings. It’s reliable, stable, can host multiple users, record your meetings and you can screen share. You can also use this app on both mobile phone and laptop.

3.     Webex :

WebEx is a Cisco service and allows you to have unlimited online meetings with up to three people absolutely free. You can record meetings and use the app on your mobile phone and laptop.

4.     JoinMe :

You can use this app for both online meetings, screen sharing and it allows you to switch control of the screen among meeting participants.

5.     Google Hangouts :

In order to activate a Google Hangouts meeting all you need is a Gmail address. You can do a video call and at the same time view and collaborate on Google docs.

The benefits of meeting virtually?

  • You have the flexibility to meet at any time, no matter where you are, as long as you can access either your mobile phone or laptop.
  • It saves time. Now you don’t have to sit in traffic and drive to a meeting.
  • You can host 15min meetings one after the other and in this way fit more in your day.
  • You can record the meeting and start building a client meeting audio library for you and your team to refer back to.
  • If you’re running a remote team, it’s an easy way for everyone to join the meeting.

I do understand that in South Africa our culture is a bit different and we want to meet in person, especially for the first meeting. We love the human touch and granted virtual meetings don’t always offer that.

So why not compromise and meet with your prospective client for the first time in person and arrange to meet virtually thereafter?

Make virtual meetings a part of your business and watch your productivity soar!

 

Networking – the easy way to grow your business

Networking – the easy way to grow your business

How do we go about attracting, converting and retaining a prospect into a valued long-term client?

When you first start your business (and we’re all guilty of this) you’re not too concerned about who your clients are, what they do or the kind of support they need.

As your business grows, your client base increases and things start stabilising, you’ll start to realise the type of client you prefer working with. The tasks you enjoy doing and those that you would rather outsource.

Now that you’re established and found your feet, it’s time to get out there and seriously start networking!

One Way to Grow Your Business

Networking you may ask? Well, yes, what better place than to have a captured audience to “pitch” your business to in just 40 seconds?

Most networking events give the guests a slot to introduce themselves and add value to the group. Until you’ve done it a couple of times, it can be rather daunting to speak in front of a room full of people.

Make sure you choose the right networking event that is a great match for you and your business.

Perfect your Pitch

This is the ideal time to perfect your elevator pitch. An elevator pitch typically has an introduction, a short splurb on what you do (identify the “pain” experienced by others) and most importantly how you can be of service to the person you’re speaking to (that is, solve the “pain” you’ve identified).

In your introduction remember to give your name, as well as your company name!

Basics, yet small things that we tend to forget. During your pitch you want the audience to sit up, take note and think, hey I can relate to that. You want a call-to-action, so you definitely want to be remembered and more importantly for prospective clients to speak to you after the formalities of the networking session has taken place.

At the end of the pitch you should always repeat your name and your company name. And make sure you have enough business cards at hand!

What’s next?

Prepare your 40-second presentation, and practice it as often as you can. In the mornings when you’re showering, on your way to work in the car, every moment you get, practice, practice, practice until it flows.

Your confidence will ooze as you speak about your passion and in this way you’ll create an excellent first impression.

Good luck!

Mastering the art of Listening can lead to improved Sales

Mastering the art of Listening can lead to improved Sales

“Learn to listen, opportunity sometimes knocks very softly.”

There is a major difference between listening to answer and actively listening. When you are actively listening it means you’re putting in the effort to really understand what your client is telling you. This activity also involves reading and listening to non-verbal communication like body language.

To be a highly successful salesperson you need to learn the art of actively listening. So how do you do this?

Avoid wanting to hog the conversation : Try not to dominate the conversation especially when it’s a topic you know a lot about. Remain open minded and be willing to be receptive to new ideas or a different perspective. Allow your client to finish speaking before you give your input. Let them make their point and follow the conversation from there.

Don’t feign attention : You may think that what your client is saying is boring or you’ve heard this a million times before, however, be an attentive listener at all times and keep eye contact. Convey interest with simple gestures like nodding or leaning forward or interject with “That sounds interesting, please tell me more”. This shows genuine interest, that you truly are involved in the conversation and reassures your client that you are actively listening.

Pay attention to non-verbal language : Not only should you be listening to what your client is saying but also understand the gestures and motivation behind their words. Understand the tone of voice, posture, conviction of verbalised words. Often a whole lot is being said without it actually being said and if you are an active listener not only will you pick up on this but you can also use it to help swing the deal.

Be quick witted : There are times that you may get frustrated or impatient with your client’s way of speaking, you may find it to be too slow for your liking. Why not use the time to silently review their main points so that when he is finished speaking you re-iterate these points and ask them whether you understood correctly what was said. This is a great way to avoid any possible misunderstandings going forward.

Being an active listener in a sales meeting means that you can hear the client’s objections and questions, you won’t miss it when they say yes and finally, you won’t have the opportunity of speaking yourself out of the sale. Listen and listen well.

How to Develop Your 2018 Sales and Marketing Strategy

How to Develop Your 2018 Sales and Marketing Strategy

In this post I’ll take you through 5 steps that you can implement right now to help you get your sales and marketing strategy on track for 2017.

1) Analyze Your 2017 Sales Trends

Take a look at where your sales and revenue come from in 2017. Did your company revenue come mostly from new or existing customers? How long is your average sales cycle? What were your best sources for new leads? Did you closing rate improve over time? Did you lose customers and do you know why?

Document the lessons learned and start strategizing on how you can improve them this year.

2) Analyze Your 2017 Marketing Trends

Do you know how much traffic your website received in 2017 on a daily and monthly basis? How many leads were converted, both online and offline? Did you notice whether certain blogs performed better than others?

These insights will help you define your “client avator”. This also indicates who your target market is and what appeals to them so that you can start sharing more of that kind of content.

3) Define Your Business Vision for the next year

What is your vision for your business for the next year? Where do you want to be financially? Write a one-pager of what things will look like 12months from now, be very specific and then reverse engineer how you’re going to achieve those results.

4) Set Your Business Priorities and Goals for 2018

Is there anything standing in your way of achieving your business goals? Were there projects outstanding from last year that are still lingering? If so, then you need to look at what setbacks you experienced and why. Look at how you will measure key metrics this year and what goals you want to achieve in the first quarter of 2017. Then put an action plan together to start achieving this!

5) Review and Update Your Ideal Customer Profile and Personas

Look back at your best customers and make sure you identify the characteristics that make them profitable and enjoyable to work with. Make sure your ideal customer profile and buyer personas are accurate and reflect the kinds of customers who will help you reach your growth goals.

These are just a few steps that you can start actioning now to ensure great sales and marketing success for 2018!

How to be more productive with Dan Martell

How to be more productive with Dan Martell

Have you heard of Dan Martell, the highly successful serial entrepreneur that has built and sold 3 multi-million dollar startups?

If not, be sure to visit his website and his weekly vlogs – he has the most amazing tips.

This brings me to this week’s blog. I was watching a video by Dan on how to be more productive and his 4 tips really struck me.

These are tips that all of us know, yet most of us aren’t implementing in our daily lives. Typical of most entrepreneurs we want to do everything ourselves as we believe we’ll do it better and faster.

Yet this kind of mindset is holding us back. In another vlog Dan speaks of delegating your inbox to your assistant. He maintains that you shouldn’t be dealing with your inbox at all. Your assistant should filter all your emails and have a process in place where you only deal with critical emails.

Obviously this will help with being more productive. In his productivity vlog, Dan speaks of the following 4 tips to help improve your productivity.

  1.  Have a mission. The moment you know where you’re going it is easier to reach your destination. Make sure you have a mission and vision for both your business and personal life, this will certainly give you more direction.
  2. Plan.Yip, you need to plan every moment of every day. Plan your day, your week, your year. Dan maintains he can immediately tell if you’re successful or not when he takes a look at your calendar to see how planned you are. This planning includes play, family time and spiritual time, not only business planning.
  3. Schedule everything.If you’re working on a project it needs to be in your calendar. Why? It holds you accountable and will force you to work with intention throughout the day so that you can accomplish so much more.
  4. Share your mission.Speak to absolutely anyone and everyone about your life and business mission. The more you speak about it the more it is a top of mind activity and helps give you clarity on the direction you’re taking.

We all want to be more productive and we all dream of having more hours in the day, so why not apply these “Dan rules” and literally watch your productivity soar?

At the end of the day only you can action this and make this happen. Take ownership of your time, your day and value where you spend your energy. To be successful you need to start thinking like a successful person.

Read more about Dan Martell, his successes and great business tips here : http://www.danmartell.com/

Future plans – a blueprint for a successful future

Future plans – a blueprint for a successful future

There’s a wonderful saying ‘Where there’s life, there’s hope’. It also works this way: ‘Where there’s hope, there’s life.’
Planning for the future does just that: it gives one hope and hope enables one to endure during the tough times in life.

Plans can sometimes change due to unforeseen events therefore we need to be flexible and resilient.
Plans are simply the tools one uses to implement one’s purpose in life. So the vital questions to ask yourself are: What gives your life meaning; what is your passion or calling; what is it you would do if you were never paid for doing it?

There’s a spiritual element to asking these serious questions. Your life is valuable and worthwhile and deserving of self-respect. I know I would like to look back at my life and know that it was a full, abundant, glorious life, lived to the best of my ability.

So give it the time it needs. Ask friends, family, colleagues, ex-teachers what they think your gifts, talents or strengths are.

Find a life coach or a counselling psychologist and do personality and interests’ tests. Get to know yourself. Go to a retreat centre or a place you can be alone, with no distractions. Take a notebook and pen with you and write down what you feel about yourself, including your limitations and what you’d really hate to do or be in the future. Look at your past and the choices you made that got you to your present. Ask yourself ‘Who do I want to be and what do I want to be in my future?’ ‘What do I want to say about my life when I’m really old?’

Once you’ve figured out what your life’s purpose is, set your plan in motion as incremental goals with specific deadlines.

Encourage yourself with notes and inspirational sayings. Perhaps copy them and set them as diary reminders at random times during the week?

Save your money towards your plans as, not only will it be useful to achieve your goals, but it will give you a sense of accomplishment right now.

Prepare to sacrifice immediate gratification for later rewards. This takes self-discipline.

Be mindful – pay attention to the small things in your life; a bird, a tree, the clouds. You may come to some realisations through them that continue to give you hope.

Live in reality but keep the dreams for your future and your plans alive by not allowing anyone to criticize, dismiss or invalidate you.

Your inner voice is far more important to you than others’ negativity. Your inner intuitive feelings usually know what’s best for you. Follow your heart!

What I’ve written about here can easily be applied as a blueprint for your business. Sit down, think about what you would like to achieve with your business, where you are headed and how you plan on getting there.

There are a myriad of helpful tools on the internet today. Or you can simply ask someone in the know. If it is a specific business you’ve been thinking about starting, take the leap, contact someone you know who is in a similar field, and ask for advice and handy tips!

It’s a new year – time for a new future, time to assess your life.
‘Til next time!

Did you know that Sales is for you, you and you?

Did you know that Sales is for you, you and you?

Are you faint of heart? Then sales is for you!

Say what?! Are you the kind of person that wants to hide under a rock when you hear the word ‘sales’? Then this article is just for you!

If you had to summarise sales in a tweet (a whole 140 characters) what would you say? You probably would include the words ‘pushy’, ‘obnoxious’, ‘forceful’, ‘too salesy’ in there.

I want you to take a step back and look at sales from a different angle. What if I said to you that sales is first and foremost about communication, about negotiating, building relationships?

Negotiation skills

Let’s start training our brains to see sales in a far more receptive and positive light. I always reference a portion of sales to that of being a parent. If you have children you more than likely spend a lot of your time negotiating with them – when to bath, to finish their homework, to put down that mobile phone. You have become a master at negotiating! And isn’t negotiating the crux of sales?

A master at communication

When you write an email to a client, answer queries from your website, respond to LinkedIn requests, you are communicating. Wouldn’t you say that is the next vital part of sales? Being able to communicate succinctly is key to sales success. Being able to bring your point across in a sales conversation, a powerful presentation, a one-on-one meeting makes for a great communicator.

Understanding that sales is made up of different parts makes it easier for our brains to digest. Sales shouldn’t be considered this daunting thing that strikes fear in your heart.

Instead we should see it as an art form to embrace, a skill to hone and share with others. As a business owner you need sales to grow the business. If you’re just starting out sales is dependent on you, therefore this is something that we need to embrace and become really good at.

Practice makes perfect

So how do we become good at something we fear? Practice. Practice. Practice.
Get comfortable stepping out of your comfort zone. How did you learn to use a computer when it just came out? How did you learn to drive a car? By practicing of course!

We strive for perfection but settle for excellence. The only way you’re going to become great at sales is to keep doing it. Keep in mind the different aspects of sales. It is a sum of different parts. Learn to write great converting emails, become comfortable speaking with confidence on the phone, be assertive when asking for the deal.

I know you’ve got this! You can absolutely do it and I am your greatest sales ambassador. I know you have it in you, it just needs to be discovered and finely tuned like a beautiful musical instrument.
Now go out and conquer the sales world!

Accelerate the Growth of your Business with a winning Sales Process

Accelerate the Growth of your Business with a winning Sales Process

You may run a highly successful sales division for a corporate company or you could be an early stage start up, wearing multiple hats. Either way, you are fully aware that sales is core to the success of your business.

Here are a few tips on how to put together a basic yet winning sales process.

Begin client outreach right now

Gather all your wits about you and start calling. Yes, pick up the phone! I promise you, the phone will not bite you. Don’t feel alone though as most people dread speaking with complete strangers on the phone. What I can tell you is that the more you do it the more confidence you’ll gain. This method is the best way to field objections, understand business challenges and even get feedback on your offering, all in real time.

Start Role playing

Walk through the sales process right until close of sale with a colleague or business partner. Once you start feeling more comfortable with going through the whole sales pitch start role playing with someone out of your organisation. These scenarios can give you better insight on how to identify possible gaps, whether it’s in your approach or your product / service.

Establish your qualifying criteria

By establishing a list of sorts to pre-qualify your clients you will better understand what pain your product / service solves, whether you are a good match or not for a potential client, if they can afford you and so forth. This is vital information to have as it could prevent your sales cycle from being lengthened unnecessarily or possibly mismatching your offering with a prospective client.

Build a sales conversion funnel

You need to learn to reverse engineer, not only in business, but also within your sales process. So begin with the end in mind and then reverse the process until you get to where you currently are in order to better understand where you want to go and how you are going to get there.

For example, when we speak of a sales conversion funnel, we typically refer to a sequence of events, like first do a cold call, then send a follow up email, do another outreach activity, then pre-qualify the prospect and close the deal.

Ask yourself how many deals you would like to close in one month, then break that down to how many prospects you should have in your pipeline, the number of quotes you should have out, your daily number of cold calls and include your marketing strategy into the mix. This will help with understanding your desired conversion rate and what your sales pipeline should look like on a monthly basis in order to achieve the close rate you’re looking for.

Keep going, keep growing

If it this process is showing results work hard on developing it. It may be working now however it is imperative to keep testing your process to find better ways of doing things. As the founder of the business or sales leader it is important that you are actively involved in developing the company’s sales process.

There’s a great quote from Steli Efti :

“Lack of iteration is what prevents companies from making a good sales process great!”

Keep moving forward and looking for a winning repeatable process.

 

 

What will the top 5 sales trends of 2018 be?

What will the top 5 sales trends of 2018 be?

What will the top 5 sales trends of 2018 be?

The times have changed and we need to keep up with the times.

With this in mind and the fact that there has been boundless advancement of digital marketing, it’s good to know that the face of your typical sales department has drastically changed. Gone are the days of only cold calling, now we make use of email marketing, WhatsApp messaging and several social media platforms. These are effective ways of attracting clients to either buy your product, or at the very least, to encourage them to try it out.

In this digital age a great way to attract clients is through video marketing and believe it or not, is also quite a handy way to fill your sales funnel! Stats show that from this year going forward video marketing will be the most powerful way to market your business.

Top Sales Trends in 2018

Market analysis shows that in 2018 sales trends will have changed drastically from using only a sales force (salespeople) to sell. As tech develops so does automation, meaning, more and more you’ll notice a lot of the sales conversation starting online before anything happens at a physical location.

If you think about it, this actually makes your selling job easier. It is easier to start the sales process in a digital manner and then to take it offline to further the business relationship. (I’m a huge advocate of building relationships and this for me is the cornerstone to any successful and sustainable sales transaction).

Video Prospecting

You can bet your bottom dollar that one of the most effective methods of selling products (and services) will be via video. Read this as digital or online meetings as well as actual sales videos. This is one of the key trends for 2018 and you’ll see the greats like GaryVee speak of this as well. (It doesn’t hurt that he endorses this method, so naturally it’s included in my trends list :-))

Video prospecting will help you stand out from the crowd, and make the right kind of impact on your prospective clients.

Front-line Training

One of the major drawbacks which are faced by current sales force is lack of training to attract potential clients. Due to this lack of training you’ll notice that there are sales teams who haven’t learned to move with the times. Our usual way of doing sales has changed, and with it means being more caring and compassionate, developing relationships first and selling last. Sounds strange, I know, but with the right kind of training sales teams can implement more “modern ways” of selling. The result? More effective sales techniques and better client retention.

Messaging

Messaging has become quite common now. If anyone had said to you 3 years ago that you would use WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger to sell, well, you would have laughed in their face. Now, instead of sending an email or a link to a promotional video, it is rapidly becoming the norm to use platforms like these as part of the sales process. Yip, the times sure have changed!

Personalised Selling

Sales people will have a much better understanding of their buyer persona this year, which means that targeting will be improved and closing the deal will be that much easier. Take the time to define and understand your buyer persona (target market) so that you can hone your selling skills to suit your potential client base better.

Automation in Sales

There is talk in the industry that by December 2018 rolls around huge chunks of the sales process will move towards automation. This means that more and more bots will be handling your sales activities. A great example are the chat bots you see pop up when you visit certain websites. A chat block will appear and the bot will ask whether they can assist you in any way. Keep in mind that we live in times of instant gratification, so even though you may feel adversely to these bots, keep in mind who you are selling to.

Bringing it together

If you are willing to embrace change, then you’re going to have a great 2018! This is the year for great change when it comes to sales and the fundamentals of how we do business. Be willing to adapt and move with the times. The better your input the greater your output.

 

Happy selling!

Building sales confidence with a winning mindset

Building sales confidence with a winning mindset

Being an entrepreneur automatically means that you keep learning. You keep developing your skillsets, understanding new ways of doing business and applying new methods to make your business better.
The same principles are applied to sales. If you want to be a better salesperson, with the understanding that all entrepreneurs are salespeople, then you need to keep honing your skills and developing your mindset to have a winning attitude in sales.

How do you do this?

Well, I want to share some surprising ways that you can boost your sales confidence to achieve in business what you’ve always dreamed of achieving.
1. Exercise – generally a great way to unclutter the mind
2. Have fun – remember that from your childhood? Don’t ever lose it.
3. Smile – it automatically gives you a mental boost and makes everyone around you feel good
4. Take a walk – taking a walk changes the chemicals in your brain and encourages more creative ways to deal with problems
5. Compliment – they say you should give 5 genuine compliments a day. When last did you compliment someone on their shoes or the way they handled a certain situation?

Then there are other ways to create a superstar sales mindset :

· Stay hungry. Every entrepreneur I know is driven. They have a high work ethic and high energy levels. In the face of rejection or economic downturn, these are the people who keep going, no matter what.
· Be prepared. With every sales call that you make or sales meeting you attend, make sure you’ve done your research on the prospective client, understand what they do and how your service or product will benefit them.
· Be your authentic self. People buy from people, and people buy from people they like. In sales likability does matter for a sustainable business relationship. Bottom line, be yourself!
· Believe in your product. Your passion should always shine through, whether you have a product or service based business, let your clients see your passion, let them experience it. The confidence you have in your products and services is a motivation for your clients to continue buying from you and ultimately become your Brand Ambassador who will shout from the rooftops about your amazing business.

Telling is not selling. Develop your mindset to really understand the problems your clients are experiencing in their business and how best your product or service will solve that particular problem. At the end of the day, a great sales transaction is the collaboration between two businesses that mutually benefit each other.

People love authenticity and passion, so let that shine through with every sales interaction. Be yourself, be confident and have a great mindset about everything in life!

How Sales People can sell better to CEO’s

How Sales People can sell better to CEO’s

There may come a time that you’ll need to sell to the C-Suite, the high-ranking executives of a business. These are the likes of CEO’s, CFO’s and CIO’s. Or perhaps, like Salesforce your entire sales strategy is based around selling only to CEO’s. Whatever the case may be, let’s help you get more prepared for that sales meeting. How to win over executive buyers? You need to enter their mind set and be absolutely prepared at all times. In order to get this right you need to:

Do your homework on the prospect

Scan the prospect’s website, scour the internet to find what you can on that particular CEO. Really understand the kind of content the CEO likes to share on social media and know where they hang out digitally.

How well do you know the prospective company?

Do you as a highly effective and successful salesperson take the time to go to LinkedIn and Facebook and do in-depth analysis on this company that you want to pitch to? Take the time to understand how well their business is doing, the pain their business is solving. Do as much research as possible.

Have an agenda

As we all know time is money and C-levels are exceptionally busy. So don’t go into a sales meeting wasting their time. Come prepared with an agenda, account for every minute in that boardroom. Arm yourself with relevant case studies and testimonials. Try to think of any objections the CEO may throw your way and come up with solutions prior to the meeting. Be agile on your feet as you will be thrown a curveball. Be an active listener and really understand how your solution will fit into the prospective company’s vision.

The magic of sales lies in the follow up

What happens after the meeting is just as important as what transpired during the sales meeting. Remember to follow up, this responsibility lies with you. Make sure you have a game plan in place for your follow up. Remember that more than likely these CEO’s are hounded on a daily basis by other salespeople vying for their attention. You need to do your homework, show up and definitely ensure that you stand out from the crowd. And above all else, listen to what is being said and also to what is not being said. The most successful salespeople have learned the art of listening.

Accelerate the Growth of your Business with a winning Sales Process

Accelerate the Growth of your Business with a winning Sales Process

You may run a highly successful sales division for a corporate company or you could be an early stage start up, wearing multiple hats. Either way, you are fully aware that sales is core to the success of your business. Here are a few tips on how to put together a basic yet winning sales process.

1.     Begin client outreach right now

Gather all your wits about you and start calling. Yes, pick up the phone! I promise you, the phone will not bite you. Don’t feel alone though as most people dread speaking with complete strangers on the phone. What I can tell you is that the more you do it the more confidence you’ll gain. This method is the best way to field objections, understand business challenges and even get feedback on your offering, all in real time.

2.     Start Role playing

Walk through the sales process right until close of sale with a colleague or business partner. Once you start feeling more comfortable with going through the whole sales pitch start role playing with someone out of your organisation. These scenarios can give you better insight on how to identify possible gaps, whether it’s in your approach or your product / service.

3.     Establish your qualifying criteria

By establishing a list of sorts to pre-qualify your clients you will better understand what pain your product / service solves, whether you are a good match or not for a potential client, if they can afford you and so forth. This is vital information to have as it could prevent your sales cycle from being lengthened unnecessarily or possibly mismatching your offering with a prospective client.

4.     Build a sales conversion funnel

You need to learn to reverse engineer, not only in business, but also within your sales process. So begin with the end in mind and then reverse the process until you get to where you currently are in order to better understand where you want to go and how you are going to get there. For example, when we speak of a sales conversion funnel, we typically refer to a sequence of events, like first do a cold call, then send a follow up email, do another outreach activity, then pre-qualify the prospect and close the deal. Ask yourself how many deals you would like to close in one month, then break that down to how many prospects you should have in your pipeline, the number of quotes you should have out, your daily number of cold calls and include your marketing strategy into the mix. This will help with understanding your desired conversion rate and what your sales pipeline should look like on a monthly basis in order to achieve the close rate you’re looking for.

5.     Keep going, keep growing

If it this process is showing results work hard on developing it. It may be working now however it is imperative to keep testing your process to find better ways of doing things. As the founder of the business or sales leader it is important that you are actively involved in developing the company’s sales process. There’s a great quote from Steli Efti :

“Lack of iteration is what prevents companies from making a good sales process great!”

Keep moving forward and looking for a winning repeatable process.

Why Marketing is so essential to the success of your Sales goals

Why Marketing is so essential to the success of your Sales goals

We’ve all heard it before, how the marketing department just cannot see eye-to-eye with the sales department. And how the sales department thinks the campaigns designed by the marketing department is never going to work. It’s 2017 – time to set aside those differences and truly understand how these two departments are quintessential to the growth of any business. Yes it can be done. It is absolutely possible for these two divisions to work together harmoniously. And this is the year to do it. Why? If we can better understand how important a great marketing campaign is, we can better utilise it in growing our sales, month-on-month. The best way to do this is to get these two silos’ to speak with each other. It doesn’t matter if you’re a corporate or a solopreneur, the bottom line is, marketing complements sales. Simple.

7 Steps to understanding Marketing

  1. Business Vision – What is your business vision? That is, do you know your business? Why did you build your business? Does your vision align with your strategy? First and foremost, by having a clear vision of what you want, then how you’re going to achieve it will follow automatically.
  2. Determine Target Market – In order to design a great marketing strategy you truly need to understand who you are speaking to. What does your ideal customer look like? Where are they located? What are their interests? Where do they hang out in the social media realm? By understanding the buying persona (or client avatar), you’ve just made your strategy building so much easier.
  3. Look At Your Competitors – Chances are there is already a business doing what you’re doing. But never fear! Now is the time to understand what differentiates you from your competitors and make that your slogan, your driving force. Look at what they are doing and do it better.
  4. Act Like A Media Company – You absolutely need to commit in creating as much great content as possible. There are numerous articles available on the web describing where buyer attention is focussed. Find out where in your niche they are and cater to them. In other words, if you’re selling beauty products then it makes sense to share gorgeous editorial pics on Instagram, to do how to videos on YouTube and to share daily cleansing tips for instance with live feed on Facebook. Get creative and keep churning out quality content.
  5. Set Out Marketing Goals – Take the needed time to set out your marketing goals for the year to come and break them down into achievable monthly milestones. The better your goals are outlined and adhered to, the easier the sales process becomes.
  6. Create A Marketing Calendar – Create a workable marketing calendar for the rest of the year. Look at ways to launch new products or services, create monthly themes and weekly action steps. Become creative with your posts, however, do cater to your target market and keep in mind the medium that you’re sharing on. Look at the time of day and the day of the week that you’re sharing content to ensure that you maximise engagement and convert those leads into sales.
  7. Put A Budget In Place – There are times that you’re going to spend money to make money and marketing is one of those places. The beauty of social media and blogging is that you can grow your audience organically and create a loyal following without spending a cent. Other times it is essential to throw a bit of budget behind your marketing campaigns to ensure that your conversion rate is high and attainable. You want to see tangible results from your marketing campaign, so make sure that the right people are seeing your content at the right time.