Sunday, October 30, 2005

The story continues - UFC with Vendors

On October 10th, I wrote about an experience utilizing UFC (Up Front Contracts) with a vendor. I am here to tell you that it not only worked, but it was win-win. He came for his appointment, he was done in 30-minutes as I requested, and I had a quote that was within the budget we had set aside. There were no games or misunderstandings. The best part is my son will have brand new windows within 6 weeks. That was the goal. The goal was not to have the sales person move in until a decision was made.

This was my fear after talking to my neighbor who had a window company come in and literally stay 8 hours until he was kicked out of their home. The worst part was the quote he gave was so high they could have bought another home for what he wanted to replace their windows. He did not get the business. Now the man who helped me will be meeting them to investigate the same project, and I am confident he will get the business. Why? Because, he is a professional.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Ah Ha Moments from The Millionaire Mind

Today Ed presented the Millionaire Mind. As always, it was terrific. For me it was bittersweet. I learned that for the most part I am doing a lot of the things that were talked about. I am also working on improving the right areas. My ah ha moment came when we talked about scripting and messages we have learned growing up. For me it was the phrase "You are not living up to your potential." And then I heard it again today. I guess I need to figure out what is holding me back so that I can live up to my potential. I also need to cover my belly while I am trying to do it because that can be a tough pill to swallow.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Macro or Micro

I heard a great quote today at a presentation: "Don't build me the clock, just tell me the time." It brought home the difference between "macro" people and "micro" people. While the amateur is trying to impress his prospect with all the bells and whistles of the clock, all his clients wants is the time. Zig Ziglar uses the example of a 1/2 inch drill bit. He notes that most people don't really want the drill bit, they just need a 1/2 inch hole.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Bonding & Rapport ?

When all else fails, Plan Z

I was all ready to head to my training today. I always feel great when I hear our clients share their stories of growth. Ed is an amazing trainer. As I slept last night and heard my poor little three year old wheezing and coughing, I knew it was not good on many levels. Today we are home, David is on steroids to get it under control and I am working from my home office. So the good news is that I can still work and I get to take care of my boy.

This is how life is in sales. You make appointments with clients and then for one reason or another they are cancelled. Sometimes you've traveled a long distance to get there only to find out that the person you were meeting with had a crisis and cannot meet. So what do you do? Plan Z. When that happens to me, I get on the phone and make calls, try to get something local if I can. Great time for walk-in cold calls. After all you are in the neighborhood. So never be dismayed. There is always a reason, and sometimes Plan Z was the right plan after all. In fact, I have had Plan Zs turn into major accounts.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Get a Mentor

I never realized just how powerful having a mentor can be. That is something I have done throughout my life. I have had a series of mentors to guide me throughout my life. They have taken different shapes and genders, but they have always been the one to push me, encourage me and nurture me. They always seemed to know what I needed.

I must admit I was having one of those days. A bit discouraging in the sales arena. Something that I thought would happen this quarter is probably not going to happen until next year. It was no ones fault. It was one of the "Life Comes At You Fast" moments. I took a moment to share my concerns with a mentor.

Today I know why she's my mentor. Her response is okay, now what? She suggested to make a list of 10 things I am going to do now, specifically different from what I was doing. It took me right out of the pity party and on to a proactive mode. I went from victim to victor. I am reminded of what Ed says all the time which is that winners do what non-winners won't do. As a I winner, I will move on!

Monday, October 10, 2005

This stuff works when you're a customer too!!!

I just set up an UFC (Up Front Contract) with a vendor. This stuff is cool. We need some windows in my son's room and I have heard horror stories of the vendors who come in to your house and won't leave until they get an order. I determined before I made the call that I was not going to play by those rules. So when I made the call (after getting a reference - who says!), I asked some very targeted questions which helped layout the ground rules. I even told him why by utilizing the "horror story of my neighbor" to lay the ground work of what I did not want to happened.

In then end I have an appointment with a set time, I have established with the vendor what my decision making process is and that I have a budget. I also told him what I will not accept in the process based on my "biggest fear" and then we created an up front contract and what the call will look like. Now when the appointed time comes there should be no mystification, after all we all want the same thing (in different ways). I want a warm room with new windows and he wants to sell me windows. Now let's see what happens. To be continued . . .

Saturday, October 08, 2005

On a personal note

Today I went through all my old files from my previous business. It was time to clean out storage space where it was stored and it ended up in my living space. As I went through each box representing 6 years of my business (life), I was amazed at how much I had grown over those years. I also saw the progress I had made, and I enjoyed the walk down memory lane. Yes, I felt some sadness, but only for a brief moment. I also know that is not who I am today.

For me I realized what I do now is what I am really passionate about. Helping people solve their problems, develop new and effective process in their world and create a financially rewarding future is the most amazing thing. I think that is why looking through all those memories was not as painful as I expected, because I was ready and I had moved on to where I am supposed to be. Pretty awesome.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

If you don’t take care of your customer’s . . .

Someone else will. Dianna Booher, President of Booher Consultants, defines customer services as: "Good customer service is no longer enough. It has to be superior, WOW, unexpected service. In a nutshell, it means doing what you say you will, when you say you will, how you say you will, at the price you promised-plus a little extra tossed in to say I appreciate your business."

Ed in our last class gave a tool to do just that, take care of your customers. It’s like a maintenance check with a call for action at the end. Here are the five steps:

  • Appreciate: Call them and let them know how much you really appreciate them and their business.
  • Changed: Ask them if anything has changed in their business lately. It might turn out that things have and you have something you can offer them or you can refer them to someone who can help them.
  • How are we doing?: Yes, ask them. And then really listen and want to know. Now is the time to deal with any issues. If you ask you are a hero. If you don’t and there’s a problem, they will go away and you won’t know why, but chances are lots of other people will.
  • If you were me, what would you do to improve the process/service/product? This is powerful. Give you clients a chance to be CEO for a minute and give you their feedback on what you can do better. Or what you should stop doing.
  • Introduction: At this point you can see if there is anyone they would feel comfortable introducing you to.

By the time you have gotten to the last step, you have become a trusted advisor and they will be thinking of someone they can call on your behalf. It is important to do this all the time. This is part of the sales process and it will allow you to go back and re-sell over and over again.

Monday, October 03, 2005

"Successful people ask better questions and, as a result, get better answers."

Tony Robbins