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Letting Go: How Saying “No” to Clients Can Have You Saying “Yes” to Success

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In today’s day and age most people would say it’s crazy to turn down business. Don’t we all need the money? And isn’t work so scarce that it’s better to take a “so-so” job than to hold out for the “yay” job that has you excited when you get out of bed?

I can definitely relate. For a long time I held onto a lot of clients who didn’t excite me and weren’t a great fit for me because I felt it was what I “should” be doing. But then I stopped – I let go – and it made such a difference not only in my business, but my passion for what I was doing.

I needed to let go because I wanted to create a place in my business for a new level of service. I created a way to work closely with a small group of people for a year and I’m giving this group my all. And I could not have done that by not getting rid of everything else.

Focus on services in your business that you love, and let go of the rest. Yes, it can be really scary. So many of us have a mentality that says, “I need to take what I can get.” But I can tell you from my experience and the hundreds of clients I’ve worked with that it’s much easier to start by saying yes to the right opportunity than it is to change later or turn around the Titanic. You don’t want to get stuck with negative momentum.

A recent client of mine was a chiropractor who had 400 patients a week. And he was miserable. Almost all his patients were workers compensation claims and personal injury. All of his marketing efforts were bringing these people in and he was getting ready to quit.

I helped him gain clarity of his ideal client, and while it was pretty detailed, he mainly wanted to work with folks focused on wellness. He started offering wellness and educational seminars and it totally transformed his business. He was able to raise his rates because people focused on wellness really valued what he was doing and he was working in line with his mission of being a chiropractor and healer.

Until he was willing to say “no” to the clients who weren’t working for him and do something different, he wasn’t seeing a change and he was getting really burnt out.

Don’t worry that the clients you say “no” to won’t be served. Refer them to trusted colleagues — your “no” is somebody else’s “yes.” (And everybody is probably much better off!)

There are so many of us holding onto things because we need the money, or this is what you’ve been doing for 20 years. But they are out of alignment with what you really should be doing. You need to create a vacancy. And when you do, the universe will find something to fill it with. But first you have to say “no” and let go.

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Lisa Cherney, a.k.a. the Juicy Marketing Expert, founded Conscious Marketing 12 years ago to help small business owners find their authentic marketing voice, attract their ideal clients and increase their sales. Following her own Stand Out & Be Juicy program, which centers on owning your unique self and laser-focus marketing, Lisa has tripled her income while working part-time.

Prior to Conscious Marketing, Lisa worked with many Fortune 500 companies, including AT&T, Lipton, Nissan, Blue Cross and Equal. She is a highly sought after speaker and often shares the stage with experts such as Jack Assaraf (The Secret), Jack Canfield and Jill Lublin. Learn more about Lisa at www.consciousmarketing.com or call 887-771-0156.

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Are You Giving Away Your Profit?

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Want a quick way to destroy sales motivation and profit at the same time?  Picture yourself as a sales manager who suddenly receives a phone call from a salesperson who is on the verge of closing a sale.  Here’s a sample of that typical conversation:
Salesperson: “We have to cut our price to get the first order. Then, once they see what we can do for them, we will be able to raise our prices.  I’m sure once they see how good our service is, I’ll be able to convince them to pay the regular price.”
Hmmm.  Really?  I’ll let you fill in how you feel the sales manager should respond.  The sad comment is that too many times, the sales manager – after sounding tough on the telephone for 30 seconds – then gives way to the idea of lowering the price by saying something like, “Well, just this time, but we certainly can’t go making this part of our sales tactics with other customers. The only reason I’ll say ‘yes’ this time is because of how much business is at stake.”
I can’t tell you the number of times I have heard this rationalization.  Sadly, what blows me away is the number of times I have heard it when somebody is trying to land a new customer – but then I never hear from these same people a year or two later expressing what the long-term results have been.  Why do salespeople or sales managers never share with me the long-term outcome of such “price reduction” strategy?  Because it never works out the way the salesperson or the sales manager initially believes it will.
Let’s look at this from the customer’s perspective. If you bought something at one price, don’t you think you would be able to buy it again at the same price?  Sure you would.  So why do you as a salesperson think that increasing the price after the initial sale is going to go smoothly?
Cutting your price to secure the initial deal only does one thing – it takes profit out of your pocket.
Many of you are thinking that this is all right, because all that is being lost is some profit on the initial sale.  My experience is you’re giving up profit not only on the initial sale, but also on any future sales to come.
The reason is simple (so simple, in fact, that I can’t believe so many salespeople still think slashing price on the initial sale is a viable option).  The first price the customer gets is what they believe is the
right price with the right value.  If the price is higher, they believe it to be unfair.
Sales motivation takes an even greater dive when the customer is ready for the next purchase, and the salesperson begins to wander down a dangerous path.  The salesperson justifies in their own mind why increasing the price is just “not the right thing to do” and will “jeopardize the long-term value of the customer.”  In the blink of an eye, with that one thought, the salesperson has committed themselves to lower profit on a going-forward basis (maybe even indefinitely. Yikes!).
As tempting as it might be to cut your price to gain a new customer, don’t do it!
If you can’t land the customer at the profit margin your business plan is built upon, then that particular customer is not worth having.  Think I’m crazy?  Run the numbers over the long-term and you will see what I mean.
To avoid being in the situation where you feel desperate to get a sale “at all costs,” here are some strategies to put in place:
First, maintain a strong pipeline of prospective customers.  Discounting is far more prevalent when a salesperson believes the sale on which they are currently working is the only sale they are going to get.
Second, never attempt to close a sale until the customer has identified to you the specific objectives and you’ve had the opportunity to explore the needs they have.  When the customer understands the benefits you’re helping them with and the gains they’re going to get from those benefits, then you’re in a much better position to close the sale by not having to discount your price.
Too many times, the salesperson gets taken down the price discount road only because they have not taken the time upfront to get the customer to fully explain the benefits they’re looking for.  As tempting as it can be to close a sale quickly, the pressure of the price discount is many times what emerges when you attempt to close too early.  Allow the customer to verbally describe the benefits for which they are looking.
This gives you time to expand on them and, in turn, help the customer see the full value of what it is you’re offering them.
Protect your profit.  Protect your sales motivation.  Both are too valuable to toss aside, all in the name of making a sale.

Mark Hunter, “The Sales Hunter,” is a sales expert who speaks to thousands each year on how to increase their sales profitability.  For more information, to receive a free weekly email sales tip, or to read his Sales Motivation Blog, visit http://www.TheSalesHunter.com. You can also follow him on http://www.Twitter.com/TheSalesHunter, on http://www.LinkedIn.com/in/MarkHunter, and on http://www.Facebook.com/TheSalesHunter.

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Communication and Business: Are You Sending Mixed Signals?

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There are two different types of interactions involved with marketing a business, resourcing and transacting. Knowing the difference between the two (and understanding when to use them) is key to the success of your business.

In order to show you why, I’ll have to explain the essential differences between these two very different interactions.

Consider this scenario: You go into a store and find the item you are looking for, take it to the check-out counter, pay for it and leave. This interaction is an example of a transaction. You have made an overt exchange of perceived equal value. You gave the store money and they gave you the item. This is all very straightforward and unambiguous.

Now consider this one:  You are looking for an address in an unfamiliar part of town and are a bit lost. You show the address to a stranger and he or she gives you directions. You follow the directions and arrive at your destination. This interaction is an example of resourcing. The person who provided the resource (directions) did so without expecting you to provide anything in return. Once again, this is all very straightforward and unambiguous.

Now finally, consider a third scenario, where the line between these two types of interactions was blurred.

While I was working on a website project recently a design tool gave me unexpected results, so I went online, found a website that offered answers on the design tool, typed in my problem, and hit ‘submit.’ The reply I got back was from someone who claimed they could tell me what was wrong and then asked what I would be willing to pay to get the answer. (They even provided me with three amounts to select from.)

This is an example of a mixed transaction/resource interaction. There was no mention of payment until I received the promise of an answer. I expected to be provided with the answer I needed for free, as is often the case when using online forums. The person on the other side expected something in return for the answer, but did not mention it up front. This interaction was not straightforward, and it created a conflict because it was not clear to both sides from the beginning what type of interaction was taking place. My response to this last minute request for payment was irritation, and I abandoned the website.

This example of a mixed transaction/resource interaction is trivial and the consequences small, but that is not always the case. If you market yourself, your products, or your services via the internet, mixed transaction/resource interactions can severely disrupt or irreparably harm your business.

When people interact, the nature of the interaction defines the nature of the relationship. If I am involved in a resourcing interaction, I am sharing what I have, know, or are capable of doing because I care about the person I am sharing with, and I want them to have what I have. In a resourcing interaction, I help you today with the expectation that at sometime in the future, when I need it, you will help me. The essence of resourcing is that an exchange is implied rather than overt, the timeframe in which it is to occur is vague and unspecified, and the value of the resources exchanged may not be equal. Resourcing is the way we build community. Resourcing is about ‘you and me together.’

On the other hand, if I am involved in a transaction, I am bartering, selling, or marketing what I have, know, or are capable of doing because it is a way to exchange what I have for what I need. I will exchange my labor, goods, or knowledge for your money, goods, or services. The essence of transactions is that an exchange is overt, the timeframe is specific, and the value of the exchange is judged to be equal by both sides. If any of these conditions is violated within the context of a transaction, we feel cheated. Transactions are the way we engage in commerce. Transactions are about you and me as separate individuals.

I have drawn a hard and fast distinction between the two, but the boundaries often blur. Internet marketers often have to move seamlessly from resourcing to transactions, while remaining clear about which they are engaged in.

A good example is Facebook. Is Facebook about social community or is it about marketing? Well, both really. Virtually everyone engaged in business on the internet uses Facebook as part of their marketing plan, but in order for it to be effective, it must also be used socially. If you do not create a Facebook community based on genuine community building, it does not matter how many “friends” you have—your marketing efforts will fall on deaf ears.

I recently “attended” a webinar where the speakers made the mistake of initiating a mixed transaction/resourcing interaction. The solicitation offered to teach me something for free. The words “teach” and “free” are key resourcing words and I expected to learn something of value.

I have been involved in enough webinars and teleclasses to know that there would be an offer of a transaction at the end where I could choose to learn more for a price. That’s good marketing if I have already really been taught something of value for free. In this case, that did not happen. The entire webinar was “high level, conceptual, and vague” until the end. The transaction offer was very clear, but I was not interested because I felt that, contrary to what the solicitation originally offered, I had learned nothing of value in the free webinar. I felt robbed of my time, lied to by the presenters, and resentful of their offer of a transaction. Their product may well be excellent, but I will never know. Any good will is gone, and I delete their follow-up emails without even looking at them.

The moral of the story? Make sure you know the difference between resourcing and transactions and know when to use each!

———————————————–

Lynda-Ross Vega: A partner at Vega Behavioral Consulting, Ltd., Lynda-Ross specializes in helping entrepreneurs and coaches build dynamite teams and systems that WORK. She is co-creator of Perceptual Style Theory, a revolutionary psychological assessment system that teaches people how to unleash their deepest potentials for success. For free information on how to succeed as an entrepreneur or coach, create a thriving business and build your bottom line doing more of what you love, visit www.ACIforCoaches.com and www.ACIforEntrepreneurs.com.

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