How to Get Ready for a New Year
This episode of the 60 Second Sales Show is all about how to get for a New Year.
If you want to make sure you are on track to make the upcoming year your best, this is the show for you.
Listen now and follow along with the transcript below.
How to Get Ready for a New Year
Hey everyone, welcome to another edition of the 60 Second Sales Show. I’m your host, Dave Lorenzo. With us as always we have Nancy Pop. Hey Nancy, how are you?
Nancy Pop: I’m good, how are you doing?
Dave Lorenzo: I’m doing great. Are you ready for 2017? Are you ready to go?
Nancy Pop: I am so pumped and ready.
Ah! Well, as we record this, there are just 20 days left, a little bit more maybe 21 days left in 2016. You’re listening to this now we’ve got two weeks left. You probably got less than five or six work days left to get ready for 2017. We’re going to help you do that today. I will tell you that I am the perfect guys to cover this topic and here’s why.
Earlier this year, we had the threat of a hurricane where I live in Miami. All my relatives came over my house. In fact, my wife’s family came over so we had 12 people, I think actually 13 people, and two dogs in my house for two days because this thing took forever to get anywhere close to us. Thankfully, it was a near miss because the storm had a 140 mile an hour winds. It was a little over 92, 93 miles off of the coast of Florida. One twist or turn and we could have had a category, I think it was four, storm hit us which would have been huge. It would have been catastrophic.
I tell you this because my home was the place to be. We were all shuttered, we were boarded up, we were completely prepared, and when my wife’s uncle said to me, “Man! How long did it take you to get ready for this?” I said to him, “Ten years.” The reason I said 10 years is because I’ve lived in Florida for 10 years and every year, I go through on June 1, which is the beginning of hurricane season, I go through and I check all my hurricane supplies. I check the batteries. In fact, I replace the batteries in, we have six lanterns we use. Every bedroom has its own light when there’s no power. We have ways to, not only cook, but we had bottled water enough for two weeks for 13 people, so I had a huge amount of bottled water on hand. I’m just a very prepared person.
In fact, today, one of the things I did when I first purchased my car is we, here at my house, we have a fleet of cars. The two cars that my family uses and oftentimes, we will have the two cars that my sister-in-law and her oldest daughter use and my mother-in-law’s car and I’d take care of the maintenance on all of them, and one of the things I realized was that I hadn’t checked the jack and the tire changing equipment in my car or my wife’s car in the last two years. I haven’t checked in since we bought the car.
I went out and I did that. I actually put everything together, I pulled the wheel on each car just to make sure I knew how to do it because I don’t want to have to learn how to do something in a pinch. I don’t want to have to learn to do it in an emergency. That’s how prepared I am. In our cars, we have fire extinguishers. In my home, on each floor, I have a fire extinguisher. In my garage, I have a fire extinguisher. I am prepared.
You as a business owner or a business leader, or a sales professional, need to be prepared at all times as well. When you walk in front of a client and a client asks you a question, that’s the not the first time you’ve ever heard that question. I went out of my driveway, jacked up my cars, put together all the … one of the cars in particular you got to crank down the spare tire. It’s under, it’s a big SUV, it’s under the car. You have to put together the crank and crank it down. I don’t want to be doing that on the side of the Florida turn pike at 2:00 in the morning for the first time. I want to know that I can do it and that I’ve done it before, and I want to know exactly how to do it.
When you’re in front of a sales prospect, you don’t want to think about answering a question that’s difficult for the first time. You want to be prepared for that. What do you do? You make lists of all the possible questions that could come up and you answer them in advance. That’s what professionals do. If you want to be prepared, that’s what you need to do, you need to get ready for each sales appointment, and as we head into a new year, you need to be ready for 2017.
Last night, I gave a terrific speech to a group of insurance executives. It was a little unusual. We were at a sports bar. There was alcohol being served. The more drinks they had, the funnier I was. It was a great, great event because I went on, an hour after, a speaker on insurance went on. I love insurance, I have a lot of insurance but a speaker on insurance sent people running in droves to the bar. By the time I went on, I was the funniest person in the room.
I talked about being prepared for 2017. One of the things that came up, one of the biggest issues that business folks have, business leaders, people who sell have is, dealing with the uncertainty they face in a new year, with a brand new presidential administration, and, if you’re listening to this in the United States, in a divided country.
What can you expect for 2017? The answer is nobody knows. We can’t give you a good answer. Here’s what you’re going to do. I’m going to give you five things to do, five things to focus on in 2017 so that you can be prepared and you can ensure that you’ll be successful. Number one, I want you to create a set of daily basics, create a set of daily habits, and I want you to stick to them. Give you an example.
One of the best habits that you can have is to get up early in the morning and do some form of exercise, whether it’s walking or something even more stimulating or with higher impact like running or going to the gym and working out. The reason that exercise is so important, and this I’m going to credit to a gentleman by the name of Charles Duhig, DUHIG, he wrote a book called, “The Power of Habit”, exercise is what they call a keystone habit. It’s one of the habits that influences your behavior in areas well beyond its specific focus.
If you exercise every day, there’s a very good chance, a high likelihood, that you will eat better. There’s a high likelihood that you will watch what you intake, your quantity of alcohol and sugar. There’s a very good chance that you will be focused on overall fitness if you start your day by exercising. I want you to create your own keystone habit in your business.
For example, one of my keystone habits is I start off every day by writing something. I sit and I write for 45 minutes, sometimes even a little bit longer, sometimes an hour. It could be writing the content for this show, it could be writing an article to go up on DaveLorenzo.com, it could be writing an article for a trade journal, or writing a chapter in one of my books. I write every day for 45 minutes to an hour. That clears my head, it focuses my thinking, and it makes me more productive because I’ve already got some mental gymnastics going. I’ve already got my mind primed for everything else to happen in the day that follows.
Create your own keystone habit. It could be something as simple as calling a client when you first get in the office, call one of your most important clients every day. It could be something as simple as sitting down and writing a thank you note to someone who has done business with you. Create a set of daily basics, a set of daily habits, starting with a keystone habit, something that has an impact on the rest of your day, and do it first thing in the morning.
The second thing I want you to do to get yourself ready for the uncertainty in 2017, I want you to go out as a business leader, an entrepreneur or a sales pro, I want you to go out and each week, connect with a new banker, with a new CPA, and with a new attorney. I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking to yourself, “Dave, listen. I sell medical devices. I don’t have any use for a banker. I don’t need to know a CPA other than the person who does my taxes. Honestly, attorney’s I try to avoid them because if I’m getting involved with an attorney, that means that something’s going on. Either somebody is suing me or I’m getting divorced or something bad is happening so I try to avoid those people.” That’s what you’re thinking right now. I know that.
Here’s the reason why I want you to go out and meet one of these people each week. We develop relationships, we build our book of business, we build our sales, we grow our sales by developing relationships, and we develop relationships by solving problems. In 2017, people are not going to know what the tax code is going to look like. The tax code is going to change. If you sell to folks who are concerned about taxes, for example, if you sell to the affluent, they’re going to want to know what’s going on with tax policy. Another thing that’s going to change, laws are going to change left and right. The new administration is going to come in. They’re going to revoke a lot of the old laws that were put in place, particularly those that were done by Executive Order, and there’s going to be a lot of talk about the changes in the law that the new administration is going to push.
The third thing is business regulations are going to change. Baking regulations are going to change. Banks are going to be able to … they’re going to have more freedom. It’s going to be like the wild west. They’re going to be able to do whatever they want. Stop short of being able to do whatever they want but they will have more freedom to operate and new and exotic banking products will be developed. You can count on that.
I want you to go out and I want you to meet a banker, a CPA and an attorney each week because I want you to have people in your stable. I want you to have people in your book that you can refer your clients to when they have problems or when they have questions. Remember, you initiate relationships by going to people and talking to them about what’s going on in their lives, by going to them and asking them what’s keeping them awake at night, by helping them solve problems even if the problems have nothing to do with your area of expertise.
These people, a banker, a CPA, and an attorney are critical because the changes that are coming, the uncertainty that’s going to exist is going to exist in the world of banking regulations, in the world of tax policy, and in the world of changes in the law. You don’t need to know anything about these changes yourself, you just need to know the right people to connect your clients to when they have questions. Each week, in 2017, I want you to go out and meet a banker, a CPA, and an attorney.
By the way, just so you know, bankers, CPAs, and attorneys work with lots of business owners. They work with lots of people in powerful positions. They work with lots of people who are influential. Bankers, CPAs, and attorneys are fantastic for any sales professional to know because they can refer people and they understand the currency of referrals. If you want more referrals, and who doesn’t? That’s the best way to grow your business. If you want more referrals, you can invest your time in no better place than meeting with a banker, a CPA and an attorney each and every week.
Number three, I want you to create an action journal or an action log, you can call it whatever you want. Throw away your to-do list, come up with just three priorities everyday. You can remember three, it’s very easy, you can keep three things in your head. Do three things each day and I want you to create an action journal and write down each what you’ve accomplished. Do it at the end of the day, before you go to bed. You can do it at the end of the day before you leave the office. I do it in Evernote. If you’ve ever seen Evernote, it’s a program on the computer, it’s an app. You can use it on your phone. I use the date as a title and I just write down what I’ve accomplished at the end of the day.
Why do I do this? I do it because it makes me feel good about myself. When you list your accomplishments, I want you to list your accomplishments not only in the area that you work in but I want you to list accomplishments as a father, as a brother, as a sister. You play many different roles. You’re a business owner, you’re a father, a mother, a sister, or a brother. All the roles that you work in, all the roles that you have in your life, if you’ve accomplished something in that area during the course of the day, I want you to write it down. I want you to list the things that you’ve accomplished. You spent an hour and a half teaching your kid how to hit a curve ball? Write that down. That’s important. That’s probably one of the most important things you can down, spend time with someone you care about.
At the end of a week, you’ll review your action journal form each day and you’ll be amazed at how much you’ve accomplished. Contrast this with keeping a to-do list and leaving the office with 50 things not checked off? You leave the office and you feel guilty when you have things on your to-do list that aren’t done. But, when you put your head on the pillow at the end of the night and you have 50 things on your list that have been accomplished, you feel fantastic.
Number four, honesty, transparency, and preparation demonstrate your ability as a professional and they will be at a premium in 2017. Honesty, transparency and preparation, why is this going to come to the forefront? If you look at what’s being talked about in the media right now, this is December, it’s the middle of December 2016, everybody’s talking about the Presidential transition and everyone’s talking about the lack of preparation. Everyone’s talking about the promises that have been made to win this election. There’s an article on the Washington Post published a couple of weeks ago. The President-elect of the United States of America has made 287 campaign promises, some of them are in direct contradiction with one another. Regardless of you political beliefs, you have to understand that that’s a problem because, obviously, if some of the promises are contradictory, they’re not going to be kept, some of them anyway.
Transparency is non-existent right now. The President-elect hasn’t had a press conference since the middle of June. His opponent didn’t have a press conference, had one press conference pretty much during her entire campaign. Transparency doesn’t exist in politics. I think that’s going to come to a head and people will place a premium on honesty, transparency and preparation because all they see in the world around them on TV is dishonesty, lack of transparency, and flying by the seat of one’s pants, proverbially.
I want you to focus your efforts on being honest, not only direct honesty, telling the truth, but I want you to be honest in what you choose to talk about versus omission. Sometimes you don’t lie because you don’t say anything but you know that by saying something you would have prevented something else from happening. That’s called an error of omission or being dishonest by omission. I want you to avoid that. I want you to be completely transparent in everything you do particularly with your clients and your employees. I want you to be prepared just like I’m preparing my jack in my car, I’m preparing for disaster with hurricanes, having fire extinguishers around, because preparation, honesty and transparency will be at a premium in 2017 and beyond. You can count on it because all you’re going to see in the media is the exact opposite. People will go out of their way to do business with folks who they believe are honest, transparent and prepared. Mark it down now and make it the cornerstone of your work in 2017.
Finally, I want you to be the voice of reason. There’s so much negativity out there. It’s so easy to pick a fight with someone these days because our country is divided. It’s so easy to pick a fight with someone because all you see on social media are people going back and forth at each other as if their lives and their income depended on the opinions they hold particularly related to politics. I don’t want you to be one of those people because people do business with people they know, like, and trust. If you’re out there picking fights with people or jumping down everyone’s throat when people don’t agree with you, no one will want to do business with you. No one.
Here’s what I want you to do. When you disagree with someone, when they say something you disagree with, I want you to say to the person, “That’s interesting. What makes you feel that way?” That’s what I want you to say. Regardless of how stupid or how ridiculous what they say is, I want you to say, “That’s interesting. What makes you feel that way?” That is you opening up and showing empathy toward the other person. You’re not saying you agree with their point of view. You’re saying that their point of view is something you want to understand. As humans, that’s what we strive for. We strive to be understood, that’s what we want.
Instead of jumping down someone’s throat, instead of getting into an argument, instead of really going nuts on someone on social media or in person, I want you to just say, “That’s interesting. What makes you feel that way?” Let them open up and tell you, and at that point, if you want to change the subject, you can change the subject. But what you’ve done is you’ve shown kindness, you’ve shown empathy, and you’ve shown a willingness to listen and that’s what will make people want to be around you. Do not be a part of the problem, be the voice of reason.
Let me recap for you, the five things I want you to do to get ready for 2017. Number one, you’re going to create a set of daily basics. You’re going to start with a keystone habit and create some daily habits and you’re going to stick with them for all of 2017. Number two, each week, you’re going to go out and meet a new banker, a new CPA, and a new attorney. Why? Because things are changing and these people will have the answers to the questions that are top of mind for your clients. You need to be able to help your clients in these areas when they have a problem and you help them by connecting them with a banker, a CPA, or an attorney. Your clients will appreciate it, and the banker, the CPA, the attorney will appreciate it because they’re connecting you with people to refer to you because you’re helping them.
Number three, you’re going to keep an action log or an action journal instead of doing a to-do list. Why? Because it shows how much you actually get done, it boosts your confidence, it helps your self-esteem, and it makes you focus on the positive things in your life. Number four, you’re going to act with honesty, transparency and you’re going to be prepared because the whole world around us will not be honest, it will not be transparent, and people will not be prepared. That will be the dominant focus of the news, how people are not prepared, particularly at the highest levels of government, how dishonest people are, particularly at the highest levels of government, and how opaque people have become, particularly at the highest levels of government. Your honesty, your transparency and your preparation will make you someone people want to be around.
Finally, you’re going to be the voice or reason, you’re not going to start fights, you’re going to be open and say to people who say things that are stupid or ridiculous, “Hmm, That’s interesting. What makes you feel that way?” Then you’re going to let them say whatever they need to say, you’ll be empathetic, you’ll be warm, and you’ll be welcoming, and you will be different than 90% of the population who is acting in the exact opposite way.
My friends, do not fear 2017, embrace it. It’s going to be a fantastic year for you. It’s going to be a fantastic year for all of us. With these five points, you are well-armed to march into 2017. Until next week, I’m Dave Lorenzo and I hope you, this week, every week, and into 2017, make a great living and live a great life.
Systems Enable Sales
If you want to sell more – and who doesn’t – you need to develop systems to enable your success. This episode of the 60 Second Sales Show is all about replicating your sales success. Imagine duplicating your best performance, over and over and over.
That’s not only possible, that’s what the best people and companys do.
The best in any industry or profession create systems and processes to replicate success.
Today we speak with an expert on systems who will show us how to create these systems to enablesales.
The title of this episode is: Systems Enable Sales
Here is the transcript for this episode of the 60 Second Sales Show:
Welcome, everyone, to another edition of the 60 Second Sale Show. I’m your host, Dave Lorenzo, and we are focusing today on systems and how systems help you make more money. That’s right, when you’re organized, you make more money. I know, it is shocking. Absolutely shocking that being prepared, being organized, having a plan, and executing that plan would help you put more cash in your pocket, but it’s absolutely true. On the show today, we have proof. That’s right, we actually have someone who has systems and who’s used systems, and systems help him make more money every day.
Before we get to that, I want to welcome in our fantastic producer, Nancy Pop. Hello, Nancy, how are you today?
Nancy Pop: Hi, Dave. I’m doing well. How about you?
Dave Lorenzo: I am absolutely wonderful. It is two days before Thanksgiving. We’re recording this just two days before Thanksgiving 2016. Everyone’s all fired up for the holiday. Nancy is ready to go eat turkey and drink eggnog or whatever it is she drinks after she drives 140 hours in a car to a very cold place. I, on the other hand, am preparing to deep fry a turkey. That’s right, for the second year in a row, I will be deep frying a turkey, and this is not just the second time I’ve done it. I was so successful at deep frying my turkey last year that I not only deep fried a turkey for Thanksgiving, I did another one the week after Thanksgiving, and I did one every week from Thanksgiving to Christmas. I am now proclaiming myself an expert on deep frying turkeys. I also have deep fried chicken. I’ve deep fried a leg of pork. I love to deep fry stuff. I just discovered that I love to deep fry stuff last year.
Now, the reason I think this is important, the reason I think you need to know about this, is because I have developed an entire system for frying a turkey from start to finish. The system began two days ago when I double-checked both the fire extinguishers that I put on either side of the area where we fry the turkey. You need two fire extinguishers, by the way, because deep frying a turkey is a two-person job. You always need one person keeping an eye on the oil, the temperature, and the flame, and the other person can actually keep an eye on the turkey while it’s cooking. If there is an incident and some oil splatters and it happens to catch one person’s pants on fire, you want a fire extinguisher next to both people so that if anything happens, one person can grab a fire extinguisher right next to them and put it out.
My system consists of a couple of days before, checking the fire extinguishers. Today, we set up the entire frying system, which is a propane frying system, and I tested it out with water. Tomorrow, we will take the actual turkey, and put it in the pot with water, and sore the side of the pot so we know how much oil to put in. Then, I have a checklist, step by step, on the day when we actually fry the turkey, which is two days from now, as to what we do, when we do it, and how we go about it. The reason that I created this is because I didn’t want to forget how I did it successfully, and I wanted to be able to replicate that process quickly next year. This was last year. I wanted to be able to replicate the process quickly last year.
For example, last year, to put the bird in and out of the oil, the bird goes on an apparatus, which it looks like a grappling hook. The grappling hook goes through the center of the turkey, and it has a little eyelet at the top. You have to get that. You have to put it in the oil and fish it out of the oil somehow. I, last year, wasn’t aware of this, so I quickly rigged, with duct tape, a coat hanger, and a broomstick, a way to fish the turkey out of the oil. Well, broomstick is wood, oil is flammable, not good. This year, we have an entire apparatus we’ve built, and it has a swiveling paint bucket hook on it. It has an eyelet that hooks it to a metal pole, and we have duct tape grips at either end of the pole so that we can raise and lower the turkey without ever having to get near the pot, nor worrying about anything flame up on us. We have a whole checklist, a whole system set up for frying the turkey this year on Thanksgiving, and I am thrilled. I could not be happier. I am ready to go.
The point is systems do three things for you. Systems, number one, help you replicate success. Systems help you replicate success. I’m going to replicate my success of deep frying this fantastic, beautiful bird from last year to this year. I’m going to be able to replicate it exactly. I’ll probably even enhance or modify the system to make it even better for the next time I do it. The second thing systems do is they give you the advantage of speed. Systems allow you to get going quickly. They allow you to make things happen at a rapid pace, because you don’t have to think about each step and think about the possible ramifications of what you’re doing. You’ve already done it, and it’s written down. It’s right there for you. It’s ready to go.
The third thing that systems do is they allow someone to step in your shoes. Let’s say that someone, one of my friends, has a turkey emergency, and I have to leave my house on Thanksgiving, and I have to go attend to this turkey emergency. Any one of the people who are here could step in and follow my checklist for frying a turkey and do just as good a job. They could follow my detailed instructions, my step-by-step guide, for frying the turkey, and they could do it just as well as I could, because the system is already in place. Systems help you make more money. Systems lead to success. That’s the point of our show today. Although you may not be frying a turkey while you’re reading this or listening to this, you will need systems in order to sell more.
Today, I have invited the person who is the best at creating systems, the best I’ve seen in my 20-plus years in business. This guy is a systems maniac. He has systems for everything from loading the toner in his printer. He probably has a system better than mine for frying a turkey. Nancy, if you’d be so kind, would you please introduce and welcome in our guest for today.
Nancy Pop: Yes. So, today we have Enrique J. Fernandez. He is a Miami native who is a veteran of the United States Air Force. After completion of his military service, Mr. Fernandez pursued his education, earning his bachelor’s degree with cum laude honors from Embry-Riddle University. He then attended the University of Miami School of Law, focusing on real estate, and earned his Juris Doctorate degree in 2006 and was admitted to the Florida Bar in 2007. Mr. Fernandez has been in private practice representing clients in real estate matters since 2007. He represents clients in many types of real estate matters, including rental disputes, real estate purchases, code violation resolutions, lien mitigation, quiet title actions, short-sale processing, loan modification processing, and foreclosure defense.
In his representation of investors, Mr. Fernandez strives to develop a pricing structure that results in a mutually beneficial relationship that allows the investor to obtain quality, accessible legal counsel. Whether it be protecting the investor’s interests in the purchase of an asset, its management, or sale, Mr. Fernandez strives to streamline the processes involved and protect his client’s interest at every stage of the process. Mr. Fernandez is also an active member of the South Miami Kendall Bar Association and currently the acting treasurer and the president-elect of the association. Sounds like we have a celebrity.
Dave Lorenzo: Wow, welcome Enrique Fernandez. That’s fantastic. Is there anything else that we need to know about you, Enrique?
Enrique: Yes. I’ve actually been frying turkeys for some 20 years now, and I can add a couple points to your process, if you’re interested. Just let me know.
Dave Lorenzo: Oh yeah, please do. Please do.
Enrique: Well, one of the things that I do is I fry a practice turkey before the turkey that I’m going to actually cook for the guests. What that allows me to do is get the oil up to temperature. It gets one turkey in, which kind of seasons the oil a little bit, and that first turkey we take out, and we actually carve it before most of the guests get to the house. We go ahead and put the meat into aluminum foil little turkeys and throw them in the fridge, so everybody has nice chunks of meat to go home with as leftovers after the meal.
Dave Lorenzo: Wow, that’s a great idea. That is an absolutely fantastic idea. We do one fried turkey and one baked turkey, because there are some traditionalists who like the turkey made in the oven. I love the idea of doing the practice turkey and giving people that to take home. I think that’s awesome. Fantastic. Now, do you have a system you use to get your turkey frying together?
Enrique: I mean, I do. You know, it’s funny. I actually started doing this when I was in the Air Force, and believe it or not, it’s one of those don’t try this at home things. I learned how to fry a turkey on the second-story balcony of a wood building in Grand Forks, North Dakota.
Dave Lorenzo: Oh my gosh.
Enrique: Which is, now looking back, a crazy, very dangerous thing to do. We were, at least, smart enough to know how dangerous what we were involved in was and took it very seriously. We developed a plan and really some experience that helped us put together a procedure that I’ve been using now for 15, 20 years, I guess.
Dave Lorenzo: That’s terrific. I am going to do an entire video. I’m not going to do it on Thanksgiving, because there’s too much pressure on Thanksgiving for everything to go perfect. I’m going to do a video, probably, next week of how to fry a turkey. What I’d like to do is I’ll do the video, and then you and I can get together, and we can do live commentary on frying the turkey. You can give me some extra tips that you have for doing it. I’ve found that you would think you’d be able to find more YouTube videos, more really good videos, on how to fry a turkey, but there really aren’t very many good ones out there. There are videos of people burning their homes down.
Dave Lorenzo: There are videos of them spilling hot oil on each other, but there’s very few videos of people doing a good job frying a turkey. I am going to do a YouTube instructional video on how to fry a turkey, and we’ll lay it out step-by-step, and you and I can do the color commentary.
Enrique: Count me in.
Dave Lorenzo: Enrique, let’s do this. Let’s talk about the systems that you use, but what I’m interested in, we’re not going to sell people on using systems or standard operating procedures. What I want to do is I want people to learn, in the next five to 10 minutes, how to develop a standard operating procedure. Give us, if you can, a two-minute overview of the value of systems in your law firm. Then, after you give us that two-minute overview, let’s you and I get into a discussion about how to develop systems or standard operating procedures in sales and in marketing.
Enrique: I think it really comes down to two things that I despise when it comes to my business. I really cannot stand making the same decision more than once or on a repetitive basis, if you will, and I cannot stand making the same mistake twice. I’m not naïve enough to think that my staff is not going to make mistakes. We’re very, very careful about what we do, but my bigger concern is when we do have a misstep, no matter how minor it is, we make sure to look at the procedures and determine whether this was a breakdown in our procedures or was it something out of our control? That has been a huge help in what I do in making my business profitable.
I shouldn’t say mistake as much as a challenge. When we come across a challenge, is this something that stemmed from our procedures, or is it something that’s outside of our control? If it’s something outside of our control, is there something that we can put in our procedures to identify it earlier in the process in order to resolve it? Making the same mistake or having the same challenges come up is one part of the downside that we’re trying to address with the procedures here.
The other is the repetitive decisions. Hey, is it time to order tuner yet? In my business, we have to order searchers for closings. Should we order the searches now? If we don’t order them now, should we order them tomorrow? When should we order them? By writing down procedures and policies about all of those things, it keeps me from having to make, for instance, that decision on when we order a title search on every single file.
Dave Lorenzo: That’s fantastic. Let’s talk a little bit about how you develop standard operating procedures or how you develop these systems. What is your system for developing systems, Enrique? How do you get people to keep track of what they’re doing, particularly when it’s something that’s in their area of natural talent, right? How do you get them to keep track of what they’re doing? How do you test it and make sure it works for everyone? Give us the way that you develop your systems.
Enrique: From the most basic level, the policies and procedures, it’s a living document, first of all. One of the things I realized when I set out to try to accomplish this was I had documents scattered everywhere throughout my hard drive, on my desktop, all these different kind of notes I’d taken and checklists and these types of things. One of the biggest things that helped was putting them all in one single folder, one single place where you keep everything, and coming up with a little bit of a numbering system to identify and separate the different types of procedures, different areas within the company, those types of things. At the most basic level, just structuring of the documents themselves was a little bit of a challenge. Really, whenever we put it in one place, it became a lot easier to find things. We also have a Word document that is a template for procedures. If you’re going to create a procedure, we use that template to start with.
Then, the drafting of the procedures themselves really comes down to taking notes. Whenever we’re trying to come up with a procedure, it’s not as if we’re sitting down and thinking, well, how do we do this? How do we process a file? What is the first step that we should do? Okay, that’s the first step. We write that down. Then, we think after we do that, what will we do? That’s not how we do it here. What we do is we process a file. If we’re writing a procedure on how to process a file, we will process a file. As we’re processing the file, we’ll take notes of what we did. Then, those notes of the steps that we took to process a file will be the beginning draft of the final procedure.
Then, we will analyze those notes and think, okay, is this the best way to do it? Is there something we should add here? Is there something here that’s not productive that should be removed? Then, the journey begins on that procedure. A procedure’s never done. It’s a living document. The starting point for it is really just taking notes as we do something that we want to have a procedure for.
Dave Lorenzo: From a sales perspective, if you’re reaching out to clients and you’re making a follow-up call, maybe what you do is you quickly write down first look up the client’s file, review notes in file to see what the last conversation was, review notes in file to see client’s name, review notes in file to see client’s kids’ names, review notes in file to see client’s spouse’s names so that you have something to do to start the conversation. That would be the initial start of how to make a follow-up call, the procedure for how to make a follow-up call, the system for how to make a follow-up call.
Now, Enrique, you do a very good, in fact an excellent, weekly email newsletter. I don’t want to get into that. That’s a separate conversation for a separate time, but tell us about the system you’ve developed for doing the weekly email newsletter. You do it yourself every week, but you have a procedure for doing it, don’t you?
Enrique: Yes, absolutely. It’s my newsletter, and one of the things that sets my newsletter apart from most newsletters is the fact that all the drafting, the language, the copy if you will, is mine. It’s my personal work. What I do is I’ve created a procedure that allows me to sit down and write, and when I’m done writing, that’s all I have to do. Then, I hand it over to my staff. I have somebody in my staff that proofreads it. I give it one last check to make sure that I agree with whatever changes they think should be made. Then, we have a procedure in place to upload that article into the system that we use to send out those emails. We also have a schedule of when those emails are supposed to go out, who they’re supposed to go out to, those types of things.
When it comes to my actual time involved with that newsletter, it’s limited to sitting down and writing it. That is not something that I can delegate. It’s very important to me that that newsletter has my voice and that my readers get to know me and feel a connection with me, because they know that it’s actually me writing as opposed to some of the newsletters I get. For example, I just received one on how to winterize your house. We are in Miami, Florida. That’s not all that difficult down here. You can tell it’s a national newsletter, and they’re subscribed to some system, and they sent it out.
Dave Lorenzo: How to winterize your house in Miami: turn off the air conditioning.
Enrique: Right, exactly. Now, if they would have sent it out and made a joke about it and said that turn your heater on and burn off the dust, then that would have been great, but it wasn’t that. It was something else. The point is I’ve limited my time, my investment of time, in that newsletter to just my writing. Then, from there, my staff takes it, uploads it, makes sure it gets distributed, and all of that.
Dave Lorenzo: I think a huge takeaway is that even for something that you’re personally involved in, you still have a system associated with it. You still have a process, a procedure, associated with it so that everybody knows what’s going on, and everybody knows what’s happening at what point in the process.
Dave Lorenzo: Now, let’s give everybody a starting point, everybody who’s listening. I’ve never written systems before. I’m out there in a business. I’m an entrepreneur or I’m a sales professional. I’m out here, and I want to replicate my success. What’s the first thing I need to do to get started with my system? Do I make an inventory of everything that I need to do systems for? Do I have like a table of contents? How do I start?
Enrique: Personally, what I would do is I would take out a notebook and a pen, and I would put it next to my desk. The next thing that I do that I do often, I would take notes of how I do it, and I would have created my first procedure. One of the things that I think holds people back when it comes to this is overthinking it and making it into a mountain whenever one procedure is better than none, five procedures are better than one, and so on and so forth. I think I’m up to, I haven’t counted lately, but I’m somewhere around 400 plus that we have here in my office, between the procedures and the forms and everything. We keep all of that in one folder, like I said.
Dave Lorenzo: That’s amazing. That’s absolutely amazing. You get to replicate your success in every area, and anybody new who comes in can look at it, and it saves everyone a whole lot of headache, a whole lot of time. It helps you make more money. That’s the bottom line. Fantastic. I absolutely love it. Enrique, if our folks want to reach out to you for advice on this or for real estate advice, particularly real estate advice in south Florida, where can they reach you? What’s the best way for people to reach out and get a hold of you?
Enrique: They can call me. (305) 226-4529.
Dave Lorenzo: Give it to us again.
Enrique: (305) 226-4529.
Dave Lorenzo: That’s Enrique J. Fernandez, PA. Enrique is an attorney here in Miami. He works on real estate transactions, but I encourage you to call him with any legal need, if you have any issue in Florida at all, anything from a DUI to a maritime case, you want to register a boat, call Enrique. He’ll put you in touch with a lawyer. If he doesn’t handle that area, he’ll put you in touch with a lawyer who handles it. Enrique, you have my deep thanks for joining us today to give us your insight on systems and on turkey frying. For more on the latter topic, stay tuned as Enrique and I add commentary to a fantastic turkey frying video.
As always, I am grateful to our wonderful producer, Nancy Pop. To both of you to everyone listening, I want to wish you the best and happiest of holiday seasons. By the time everyone listens to this, we’ll all have had our fill of turkey, but the holiday season will be in full swing. Once again, everyone, the happiest of holidays. Thank you for joining us, and until next time, I’m Dave Lorenzo. I hope you make a great living and live a great life.
Go out right now and build your systems because Systems Enable Sales.
Years ago, you used to be able to barge into a home or office and interrupt people and they would listen. If you were good, and you knew the features and benefits of your product or service, you might even make a few sales because of cold calling and knocking on doors.
Sales has changed. It doesn’t work like that anymore.
Today you need to be perceived as an expert. You need to educate your clients and prospective clients on things happening in your industry, community, and business. You need to have a list of references so long it would take months for someone to call all of them. You need to be around, after the sale, and develop a relationship with the client that will add value to his business and his life.
Recently, my next-door neighbor had some water damage repaired in her home. She used a public adjuster to help her recover the money she spent on the repairs from her homeowner’s insurance. As the repairs were in progress, several people from the public adjuster’s company canvassed our neighborhood, knocking on doors and cold calling residents to offer their services.
I asked the guy who knocked on my door if this was effective. “No. But the boss makes us do it,” was the answer I received.
A better approach would have been to send around a letter to each neighbor with the testimonial from the woman who had the repairs done in her home. Include in the letter some tips and guidance on dealing with an insurance company. Also, include information about how a relationship with a public adjustor will come in handy when a hurricane hits (we live in Miami).
Educate, provide proof of your expertise and offer to develop a relationship.
That’s a much better option than knocking on doors and trying to push your way in.
Here is a brief video that highlights this point.
It is time for you to face a difficult reality. You can no longer get your product into the hands of your customer the old way.
It doesn’t matter if you sell cars, consulting services, medical devices or media time, the “show-up and throw-up” method is dead.
You’re familiar with that approach. You cold call, force your way in, do a high-pressure pitch, and then fight like hell to overcome every objection imaginable.
This this a battle between you and your customer and you must beat him into submission.
And it doesn’t work anymore.
Buyers Have More Information
The Internet has put a world of information at the fingertips of your customer. He can educate herself thoroughly on all aspects of your product before you ever enter her life. He knows the benefits and features of every product on the market and she has done a comparative analysis of each of them. He knows your manufacturing cost. He probably even knows your expected profit margin. He knows your inventory cycles inside and out and she knows the best time to buy.
This approach is used each day by customers purchasing cans of peas in the local market. It is also used by the corporate buyer of plumbing supplies in the big-box home improvement store.
There Are More Options
Regardless of the political rhetoric, globalization is here to stay. This means intense competition from all corners of the globe for every product and service. Manufacturing, technology, accounting, and even discretionary medical treatment, are available overseas.
While you try to push your way in the door to meet a new prospective client, there are dozens (if not hundreds) of competitors reaching out to him each day highlighting their low cost.
Clients Focus on Emotional Engagement
More options and more information mean the customer is educated and empowered and he has developed a new final criterion to make a buying decision. It is subjective. It is intangible and it is powerful.
What is it? How he feels.
That’s right. The buyer wants to feel like he made the correct choice. He wants to feel like he made an educated decision. He wants an ongoing relationship with the person on the other side of the table. He wants to know you will help him if he needs more information or if he’s in trouble because of this purchase.
But it goes even deeper than that.
The buyer wants help improving his life and his career. The adage, “Nobody gets fired for bringing McKinsey,” is no longer good enough. Bringing you into the company (and his life) must be a competitive advantage for the buyer. You cannot just save his life; you must add value to it.
That is a difficult proposition.
Developing relationships is hard. Offering lifetime value in return for lifetime customer loyalty is intimidating.
That’s why most entrepreneurs, business leaders, and sales professionals, don’t embrace it. It’s easier to “show up and throw-up.”
Going out and developing new relationships is kind-of like…well, it’s exactly like, falling in love. You must go out and focus on adding value to the lives of others and people will be naturally attracted to you.
You can’t kick in the front door of a neighborhood home and plant a big wet kiss on the person on the other side.
Sales has changed and the sooner you embrace that fact, the quicker you can get started developing relationships and making more money.
Tools and training make a huge difference in how you view sales.
How do you think about sales?
Is it something you want to do?
Or is selling something you have to do?
In my front yard, we have a small fountain. Water flows through tubing hidden inside several large stones and out a hole in the top. The water dribbles down the sides and into the bowls below. It makes a pleasant, relaxing noise and it looks good.
The water flow in this fountain is powered by a small pump. The pump is hidden in the base resting in the bottom bowl of the fountain. If this small pump breaks, the stone pieces of the fountain (each weighing a minimum of 25 pounds and the larger ones weighing over 100 pounds) must be removed. The electrical cable must be rethreaded when you replace the pump and the tubing that conducts the water must be rerun through the stone.
My fountain pump broke last week. This is the second time this year. We have a special occasion coming up and my wife wants the house to look its best. This means I had to fix the fountain.
I did the job but I procrastinated. I was miserable the entire time. The process probably took longer than it had to because I didn’t have the right tools and I didn’t know what I was doing. I had to improvise which means I used the painful process of trial-and-error.
This is the perfect formula for misery.
Don’t have the tools to do the job
Have not been properly trained
That is how you feel about sales.
You’re required to do it. You don’t have the correct tools. You have no real training. You are using the painful process of trial and error.
The job itself is not the problem it is the process that you dread.
When you have the correct tools and you know what you’re doing, even things you don’t want to do can be fun, rewarding, easy and engaging and the results make you want to do it again and again.
How to Use Social Media to Boost Sales
In this episode of the 60 Second Sales Show we discuss how social media can help you grow sales quickly.
There are three aspects to sales growth with Social Media:
We look at each of these in this week’s who and go into detail on how you can use social media to leverage them.
Here is the transcript of this episode:
Hi everybody. Welcome to another edition of the 60 Second Sale Show. I am your host, Dave Lorenzo. Today, I thought we’d start off with a great question from one of our listeners. The question we’re going to get today is it’s something that comes up all the the time. I’ll explain why in a moment. Before we do that. I want to make sure that I introduce you to our fantastic, talented producer, Nancy Pop. Hi Nancy, how are you today?
Nancy: Hi Dave, I’m good. How are you doing?
Dave: I’m fantastic, thank you. Nancy, why don’t read the question? Actually, you and I discussed the question before we came on the air. This is a question that I got from Jackie on Twitter. It’s a question about social media. Why don’t you go ahead and read us the question then we can have a conversation about it and talk a little bit more about how to leverage exactly what Jackie is talking about?
Nancy: Yes. I think Jackie had a really great question. A lot of people today will really benefit from hearing what you have to say. Her question is, how do I make best use of social media for selling my product? I have hundreds of people following me and connected to me on Facebook and Twitter, Instagram but I can never get them to buy anything.
Dave: Right. You mentioned, we started out the conversation about this and I said, “No, no, no, let’s save it for the show because this could be great information that we could share with our viewers, better use would be sharing it with our viewers or our listeners. Go ahead and tell me what we were, start off with what we were talking about before we started the show today. You were saying?
Nancy: Yes. What I was saying was, I have a lot of friends or a lot of people that I’ve worked with in the past. They’re all trying to develop their lifestyle brand whether it’s through Instagram, or Twitter, or their Facebook page has thousands of followers. They just don’t, maybe they’re not good salesman or maybe they just don’t know how to utilize social media to get the most out of it but they’re having such a hard time redirecting people to their website or redirecting people to their sales or to their services whatever it is they’re trying to do. Maybe it’s a problem with the content they’re putting up, maybe it’s a problem with just, I don’t know. They’re just having problems doing it. It’s such a big problem for them.
Dave: Yeah. I understand completely what you’re talking about. This is something that, just like Jackie said like you’re saying now I hear all the time. People go out and they connect with hundreds, dozens, thousand, tens of thousands of people on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, whatever the social media platform du jour is or the social media platforms that’s the most desirable platform for your target audience. You feel like you’re putting out great information but there’s no response in terms of converting people from folks who are just out there doing what appears to be lurking into converting them into sales. What do you do?
This question baffled me for, I want to say probably, I have to say the better part of 10 years. I’ll tell you, I’ll give you my history on Twitter for example. I was one of the early adopters of Twitter. I loved Twitter. I’ll give you a couple of examples of great relationships that I’ve developed through using Twitter.
My original Twitter handle was DLorenzo, DLORENZO. After a few years, I started using Twitter in 2006-2007, and really got into it in 2008. I had built my followers up to about, I guess it was about 10,000. Then at one point, I felt the same frustration, Nancy. You were discussing the same frustration that Jackie shared with us on Twitter in her question. I just abandoned it for 2 years. The reason I did was because I felt like I was putting so much energy and so much effort into it by sharing great information, I wasn’t getting anything out of it. Nobody was going to my website, they were reading articles, but nobody was calling me up saying, “Hey, I found you on Twitter and I want to give you $100,000”. That was the frustration I had.
What I didn’t understand at that time was that Twitter and social media as a whole isn’t about converting people into clients on the spot. In fact, the view that I should have had on social media is the exact same view I have of the 60 Second Sales process. For those of you who are new to the show, my process, the 60 Second Sales process is one of developing a relationship with someone that will last a lifetime. I liken it to falling in love at first sight with someone in a business setting.
You take 60 seconds and you sell yourself. You take 60 seconds and develop that relationship then the value that you receive over a lifetime is the by-product. In social media, I was thinking to myself, particularly on Twitter, I was thinking of that as a one night stand, right? That’s the way a lot of people think of sales.
“Oh, I’m going to go on Twitter. I’m going to put out a bunch of content for a week. People are going to come to me and want to spend money with me. They’re going to love me so much right away, they’re going to want to gender home with me right now tonight”. That’s not the way it works. It doesn’t work that way in business, for sales, and it doesn’t work that way on social media. Here is the conclusion that I’ve come to that I know now from my own experience and from the experience that I’ve seen my clients have. Here’s the conclusion that I’ve come to in social media and it’s the same conclusion that I’ve come to with sales. That is that it’s not enough just to put out great content. It’s not enough just to put out great information. You can’t be out there on “send” all the time and not develop relationships with people.
It would be better for you to have 10 real relationships on Instagram, 10 on Twitter, 10 on Facebook, 10 on Snapchat, give and take relationships where you can have conversations exchange information, deliver value to one another, build that up first over time, have 10 of those that you can count on for the long term. Then when you ask them to buy something they will actually buy. It would be better to have 10 of those than 100,000 people who you can send out great information to and they’ll read it, they’ll consume it. They’ll eat up whatever chum you’re throwing out there but they’re never going to provide any value back to you in return because you don’t have a relationship with them.
Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, they’re like going to a cocktail party. You go to the party and you meet some people. You hang out, you have a conversation. You know what? Friendship may or may not develop depending upon what you have in common and the value you can bring to one another, the value you can deliver to each other’s lives. If you’re not out there having conversations, exchanging value, developing relationships, you can expect that you’ll get exactly what you’re delivering from social media and that’s nothing. Do you deliver into social media? Nothing. You may be delivering a ton of value but you’re not listening to what the people actually want.
What does this mean for you and for marketing? Well, I’ll give you some thoughts on that in just a moment. Nancy, let’s get back to the folks who were developing lifestyle brands. There’s a couple of things in there that I think are worth exploring. You mentioned those two words, lifestyle and brand. The first thing I think we should talk about is the lifestyle element as a whole. When you sell a lifestyle brand, what does that exactly mean?
Nancy: It can mean several things. The way that social media is evolving now, you see people that are, they are developing entire careers off of Instagram. Whether it’s some girl that’s just posting sexy photos of herself and suddenly she’s bringing in $80k a year by being sponsored by T or Nike or whatever you know. People are making entire careers out of it. Or it can be someone that is launching their own yoga company. Now they’re blogging, they’re doing what you’re doing, they’re podcasting, they’re putting out videos and they’re selling their personal training.
People find ways now especially millennials. They’re taking so much advantage of social media and they’re figuring out new ways to use it for their benefit. People are developing these careers through photos or just blogging. The simplest things that, we would think it’s so easy but it takes a lot of work. It takes a lot of work and it takes a lot of ambition.
Dave: I agree. I think there’s a whole host of things that you just covered in there. Some of them I think are fantastic. Others, I think in some ways they may have caught lightning in a bottle. There’s three elements to any good positioning, marketing or sales campaign. The three elements, and we can address exactly what you’re talking about under the umbrella of these three elements. The three elements are visibility, credibility and differentiation.
When we talk about the folks that you just mentioned, let’s take… first and foremost, let’s take somebody who’s looking to get sponsorships. You look for visibility and you say to yourself, “Okay, I want to be sponsored by Nike because I’m going to be able to attract 100,00 followers on Instagram. This is going to be valuable. This is going to be incredibly valuable if I attract 100,000 followers on Instagram. Nike is going to want to connect with me, they’re going to want to sponsor me because they’re going to want my 100,000 followers to put their eyeballs on Nike’s website or when Nike makes an offer, they’re going to want my 100,000 followers to see that offer because they know that they’ll convert one percent of those people and they’ll be thrilled with that 1% conversion.
That, for me, is a visibility play. If you have what it takes to develop 100,000 real, legitimate, responsive followers, then sure, I think that that makes complete and total sense. But for most of us who are in a business setting, you have a business that actually sells products or services. You’re not out there looking to just simply drive sponsorships, your purpose in life with visibility is to be able to go out and attract people who’d be interested in what you have to say. Those people out there without come and connect with you on Instagram or on Facebook or on Twitter, they’re suspects. They’re people you suspect might want to do business with you someday.
But you don’t know that they are prospects and that’s a person who’s qualified, they have money, they have a problem you can solve, they have the ability to make a decision on whether or not they’ll hire you or buy your product. You don’t know if they’re ever going to be prospects. That’s the challenge of social media today. You develop all these followers and now I have something like rebuilt my Twitter following to 8500 people following me on Twitter which is okay. I guess it’s better than the average person but it’s nowhere near what successful business people have who really focus on Twitter have. I have over 9500 people connected to me on Instagram, 30,000 plus on LinkedIn and Facebook between combining all my pages, 2,000 or 3,000 people.
Those people who are out there on my social media sites, for me, I focus on having conversations, real conversations with them, understanding what they’re thinking, this is a huge value a social media provides. I can get inside their heads, understand what they’re thinking, see how they make… see, feel and hear how they make decisions and then I can use that information to reach them and people like them in a way that will resonate with them. For me, the smaller numbers, I’d love to have huge numbers. The smaller numbers enable me to have a more intimate relationship with the followers I have, with the people to whom I’m connected so that I can understand what process they go through when they buy products, or when they buy my services. This will help me craft better offers to them.
That’s what social media is all about. It expands the universe that not only we’re visible to but also that we can have legitimate, real conversations with and understand how they think. That’s, I think, one of the things that’s always been missing from the sales process. We go out there and when I say we, it’s the royal we. It’s all of us as professionals who are entrepreneurs, who are business people. We try and sell our services.
We sell our services based on the value we think we can provide to other people. We don’t really know if there’s a value that’s a byproduct of the service that we’re providing that we’re completely missing out on. I’ll give you an example.
A friends of mine wanted to stop smoking. She had smoked for her entire adult life. If you’ve ever met someone who’s in their 30s who wants to stop smoking or even older, it’s very, very difficult. Your body becomes addicted to nicotine very quickly. That addiction is strong. I think these days as people have grown up with a culture that is not accepting of smoking anymore, fewer and fewer people start smoking in their teenage years and continue through their adult years. But my friend had smoked her entire, from probably the age of 16 in high school up until the point where she was 33 and she wanted to quit.
She told her doctor during her physical that she wanted to quit and the doctor was thrilled and the doctor, “I’m going to help you. I’m going to put you on an anti-depressant product which suppresses the urge to smoke. It’s a product called [inaudible 00:15:00] and they give it to people who are prone to depression. It’s a breakthrough product in that area but it has an off label use. The off label is that it suppresses the desire to smoke. This works phenomenally well for my friend. She was able to wean herself off the medication after awhile. She’s been able to quit smoking. My point is that all of our services, all of our products have these off label uses if you will. These unintended consequences, the unintended value that we provide. Until we talk to our customers, until we talk to our clients, we may not recognize some of that value.
Social media provides you with the ability to have those conversations. If you have a product or you have a service and you know someone or you’re connected to someone like the person Nancy mentioned who has 100,000 followers, a great use of their sphere of influence, of their visibility, would be for you to send them your products, send them your service, have them discuss it on their social media platform. What they liked, what they didn’t like, have them show it in video form, have them post pictures of it so people can see it. There, the visibility the have on social media so Nike is sponsoring the person that Nancy mentioned, that visibility could be valuable and people could have conversations about all the different ways they derive value from the product or the service.
That is a great use of social media as a tool. Leverage somebody else’s visibility of you don’t have it so that they can see your product or your service. Now, I know what you’re thinking right? You’re out there thinking right now, well that’s great Dave if you’re manufacturing sneakers like Nike or you’re manufacturing yoga wear like Nike and people can wear it, other people can look at it and say whether they like it or not, but what if you provide a service? How can you demonstrate that service?
Well, I think, Nancy, you also mentioned something about trainors or yoga instructors, you could do things like before and after, transformational videos, transformational case studies where people start doing yoga today and they’re completely inflexible and you show videos of them and you instructing them. Then over time, every two or three weeks, we visit this person and see how they’re doing and we show that transformation over time. What does that do for you as a yoga instructor who’s building your social media base in trying to leverage social media. There’s a couple of things.
It enhances your credibility. Remember we said, visibility, credibility and differentiation were the three keys in any great sales or marketing campaign. It enhances your credibility because people are seeing an actual transformation take place on social media over time with this person and it also differentiates from everyone else who does what you do because people see you out there in real time helping someone. That’s value. That’s great value on social media and it’s value whether you’re delivering that value for 10 people who are highly engaged with whom you have a conversational relationship. It’s also great value if it’s 100,000 people.
The value of social media is there from a visibility standpoint, from a credibility standpoint, and from a differentiation standpoint. I’ll give you a couple of examples of relationships that I’ve developed on social media that have become fantastic for me and that I would never have otherwise. Back in 2008 when I was first of Twitter. I met a guy who I started going back and forth with having 140 character conversations on Twitter mostly about football. He was a Miami Dolphins fan, I’m a Jet fan, and about practicing law in Florida. At that time, I was working with a lot of lawyers and it’s very difficult for lawyers to develop business in Florida. He happens to be an ethics lawyer who helps lawyers who get in trouble. We had those two things in common, football and the practice of law and the ethical way to develop client relationships.
We would go back and forth on twitter having conversations and discussions sometimes around articles that would appear in trade journals in the practice of law, sometimes around sports. Sometimes it’s just around Miami, the weather and stupid things that happen here. We developed this connection on Twitter. At one point he said to me, “You know, it might makes sense for us to get together for lunch since we both live in Miami”. We did, that was 8 years ago and we’ve been friends ever since. We’re close friends now. We see each other 2 or 3 times a month, for lunch and dinner. Our families are friends. A real, genuine has developed as well as a business relationship. I refer business to him, he refers business to me, we speak at some of the same conferences. That’s a relationship that developed strictly based upon social media, based upon Twitter, based upon a connection we made on Twitter. Social media has value but the value comes in developing the relationships just like in sales.
We talked about visibility, we talked about developing credibility using social media, now let’s talk about differentiation. This, for me, is the easiest one. So many of my clients struggle with, “Hey, Dave, how do I differentiate myself. I don’t know what I do that’s different than everybody else”. Well, remember when you were in kindergarten, when I was in kindergarten, my teacher’s name was Mrs. Fitzgerald. Mrs. Fitzgerald used to tell all of us that we were all unique, we were all like snowflakes, no two of us were the same, we were all different. Now look, that sounds like a bunch of crap, okay, it really does. But, it happens to be true. It sounds like a little, a lot of romp a room garbage but it really is true.
You’re different than I am, Nancy is different than I am, Nancy is different than you are, we’re all different sharing the way you approach things, sharing your own unique style, your own unique problem solving ability, your own personality that will differentiate you. I’m not kidding myself. There are a hundred or if not a thousand or ten thousand people out there that I can teach you how to sell stuff. I like my approach, my relationship-based approach. I think my approach is better than any other approach you’re going to find out there but I think the way I bring this information to you is what makes me different. The way you bring your product to your service to your clients, the way you deliver your value, your own unique style, that’s what makes you different. When you’re on social media, be yourself.
As we’re recording this show, this is, we’re like 3 weeks from a Presidential election in the United States. We have a candidate that has been essentially concocted out of reality television and Twitter, Donald Trump. Donald Trump’s campaign right now exists quit frankly because he has access to 12 million people on Twitter. Of the 12 million, a huge portion of them are media people who need a story to write. They need something to talk about on television. They need something to host a show about on radio. The fact that they have access to this guys and his stream of consciousness at 3:00 in the morning on Twitter makes him valuable to them. He brings his own unique style and bringing that style is part of his, I guess you’d say his brand, if you will. You have the same thing.
When you’re on Twitter, you got to let your personality show. When you’re on Facebook, you got to let your personality show. When you’re sharing stuff on social media, don’t try and play it middle of the road. You got to be out there laying it all on the line being yourself, having an opinion, that’s what people really get into.
If you’re not someone’s cup of tea. They’ll go away. Guess what, that vacuum will fill with people who you do resonate with. That vacuum will fill with people who want to have a relationship with you. Visibility, credibility, differentiation, those are the three ways you can make use of social media to be more attractive but at the end of the day, what it’s all about is developing relationships. Connecting with people, developing relationships and then gently put out a few offers here and there over time once you’ve exchanged some value with some people. You’ll find that the offers seem to work better. The reason is because it’s real now.
If I just throw a bunch of stuff out there and see what sticks, I’m like everybody else, I’m like McDonald’s advertising on TV. Throwing up a commercial, if you like the clown with the big red shoes and the nose, you’ll do business with me. No, that’s not the way social media works.
If you want to engage people on social media, you first go out and say, “Hey, what’s on your mind? What’s going on? I read the story today, here’s what I think about it. Anybody think anything about it? Yeah, this is my opinion, this is my opinion, great, happy to hear your opinion, let’s exchange, let’s have a conversation. Let’s exchange information about this specific topic in this article.” You do that a few times then you’ve got a relationship. You develop that relationship over time people want to hear more about you and what you do, guess what, you’re off to the races, that’s how you start client relationships. Real life, social media, not much different. It’s all about developing and building relationships over time.
Nancy, what do you think?
Nancy: I think the hardest part about it is the differentiation. I think there’s been such a huge, huge exponential increase in social media the past few years obviously. As more and more are figuring out how to use it and figuring out how to use it to their business advantage, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for people to find a way to stand out. How many yoga Instagram accounts are there? What else do we need to see? What else do we need to hear from people on Twitter? That’s definitely, for me anyways, the hardest part. It’s just figuring out your voice and unique content that hasn’t been heard or regurgitated a million times over.
Dave: I get it. I totally get it. You’re right about that. There are thousands of people out there who are yoga instructors on Twitter. How many yoga instructors are there on Twitter now, or in Instagram now or on YouTube or even on Facebook who are demonstrating for example ways to teach yoga to develop mentally-challenged kids.
Nancy: See, that’s unique. That would catch my eye.
Dave: Exactly. That’s exactly the point, right? How many yoga instructors are there out there now who are on YouTube demonstrating how yoga can be a value to veterans returning from Iraq with serious injuries?
Dave: Right? All of us have talent. We know if we’re lucky enough, if we’re fortunate enough, and we’ve done enough soul searching we know what that talent is. What you need to do is you need to find a way to develop talent so that its’ interesting to other people and it helps you start a conversation. If you’re a talented yoga instructor, you think of some of the unintended consequences of yoga. Well, it helps improve focus. Great. Let’s go take a handful of kids with ADD and let’s teach them yoga and see what happens, right?
With heir permission, with their parents’ permission, let’s record them and if it works out well, we’ll put it on YouTube and we’ll talk about it. Maybe by doing that, we’ll start a conversation with other people and that will help other people.
That would be a way to use your talent as yoga instructor to try and help improve focus in young people and, as long as it works well and you have everyone’s permission, there’s a happy by-product. The happy by-product is improved focus in these kids and perhaps somebody will see the video on YouTube and it will help them improve the life of their kid and that starts a really interesting conversation.
I think there are ways to differentiate yourself as long as you know you have that self-awareness you know where your talent lies. If you’re willing to go take that talent to a place that makes you… you’re willing to, Star Trek, you’re willi8ng to boldly go where no one has gone before, take your talent to a place where no one has gone before and you can differentiate yourself. It’d be hard for me to come up with a mundane area that you couldn’t differentiate yourself. For goodness’ sake, for years and years and years, I work with lawyers and accountants and then I help them differentiate themselves. If I could do it with lawyers and accountants, I can do it with you. My point is, everybody has a unique ability, everybody has talent, leverage your talent in a way that makes you interesting, compelling and you can start conversations and that’s what social media is all about.
Speaking of social media, my friends, if you have a question like the great question that Jackie asked us to kickoff our show today, reach out to me, the three primary social media platforms that I’m on all the time, dozens of times each day, Facebook, thedavelorenzo, Twitter, thedavelorenzo and Instagram, guess what it is, you got it, thedavelorenzo. Now, I post personal and business. I co-mingle it all together. It’s everywhere. You’re going to see business and personal stuff. Instagram especially. Instagram is a conflagration of my personal life and my business life. The Facebook page @thedavelorenzo is primarily business stuff, occasionally some personal will creep in. Twitter is business/personal. I talk about whatever you want to talk about. I talk about what interests me. That’s more of a conversational platform for me. I even put some politics on there because I like to get into fights with people and see what they think.
You only have one life so your business and your personal, combining the two, putting them both together, I think it makes you more interesting. When you’re more interesting, you’re someone who I want to have a relationship with. When you’re more interesting you’re someone I want to do business with because there’s plenty of boring people out there. I want to do business with people who are interesting.
Any final thoughts Nancy before we wrap up for today?
Nancy: Yes, I do have a final thought. What do you think is going to be the next best thing after social media? Or, do you think social media will really just be the end all be all?
Dave: Wow, What a great question. Social media, I think the whole social from social media is going to go away. I think at some point, it’s just media. I think you’re going to find that something like YouTube is going to be the preferred way people watch what we now call television shows. The beauty of that is that you and I can have our own television show. It may be more interesting than some of the stuff that’s produced by Hollywood. I think video is going to expand even more. I think real time video is going to be something that is going, it’s already influencing the way we act, the way we behave.
You can see today, and I was just having this discussion and we should probably actually do an entire show on live video, I was just discussing how this epidemic of African-American men in particular about African-American people in the United States being shot, I never realized how bad it was, how many people are shot because of inherent bias. I’ve been exposed to this because of real-time video, because of Facebook live video, because of Periscope, because of People, videoing situations that come up where, we had one two months ago where an African-American man whose car broke down in the middle of the street. He’s standing there and the police are approaching him with their guns drawn, I’m white my car break down in the middle of the street, those cops are coming to me with a gas can and jumper cables.
They walk up to this gentleman with their guns drawn and he’s shot and killed. This happens a lot. This happens on average, after this being brought to my attention, this happens on average over 30 times a month. I’m not saying how many, I don’t… on average over 30 African-American men are shot by police each month. This is something that is coming to the forefront now because of live video.
I think that’s a very heavy serious topic and that’s something that we as a country have to address. An issue that serious coming to the forefront by live video demonstrates to us the power of this form of media. My opinion is that all of us from a business perspective which is serious to us from a day-to-day perspective of how we make our living, that’s going to be I think the thing that we all start to focus on. You get your box, you get your new shoes from Nike, my son, we just ordered my son cleats, baseball cleats. He gets his new baseball cleats, he’s excited. We do a live video, unboxing them, putting them on, how do they feel? “Oh, they feel great. I’m running around. I feel terrific in them.” He plays his first game, we do a live video of him wearing his Nike, stealing second base. That’s going to be the most powerful form of communication.
Nancy: That’s an advertisement right there.
Dave: That’s exactly right. You know what? It’s a hundred times more believable as an advertisement than a Just Do It commercial with Derek Jeter stealing second base because, my kids are never going to run like Derek Jeter. I love him but he’s never going to be Derek Jeter, right? The fact that these shoes are effective for an everyday kid, making him more effective at stealing second base, that resonates with me because I have a regular kid. I don’t have Derek Jeter. I think you’re going to see stuff like that when it comes to social media, that where people are going to go to figure out what makes the most sense to buy.
You’re a grandmother. You want to buy a video game console for your kid. You don’t know anything about video consoles but you wrote down PlayStation, Xbox, PSP, you wrote down a bunch of names. What are you going to do? You’re going to go to your Facebook page and you’re going to post something, “Has anybody bought any one of these for their kids? what are they really like for video games? Let me know.”
Your friends, your grandma friends are going to chime in as to what they bought, then you’re going to do a search based on those results you get an you’re going to see what? You’re going to see testimonials, right? You’re going to see reviews. You’re going to see all this other stuff online. Then that’s going to take you to a video of someone actually using the product and showing you how easy or how difficult it is to use.
Now, you’ve gone in a span of a one hour time period or maybe they want to collecting information on Facebook 24 hours or 48 hour time period, you’ve gone from knowing nothing about video games to getting the exact video game your grandchild wanted for him for the holidays. That’s powerful.
I think to directly answer your question, the social part of social media is going to go away. It’s just going to become media. That’s going to be the way we make better decisions and all of our serious decisions about purchasing products and services, that’s going to be the way we consume our media. Television shows are no longer going to be limited to specific days and times. We can watch whatever we want, whenever we want. We can search for products on demand on our phones while we’re in a store or while in the dentist waiting room. I think the power of social media is here to stay. I think it’s just going to be just another way for us to get the information we need when we need it.
Nancy: I think also just to add my own little bit about it, virtual reality, I see that coming up more and more on my timeline. I think in the next 20-30 years, that’s going to be a huge game-changer.
Dave: It’s funny you mentioned that. Those of you who connect with me on Instagram, I’ll go, after this show, I’m going to post on Instagram a shot of my son at Fenway Park in Boston playing a virtual reality baseball game. Fenway Park has this great section underneath the right field bleachers where you can bring kids before or during the game. They can put on these virtual reality headsets. It’s like a helmet with glasses and you’re actually on the field at Fenway Park with the real players while players are hitting the ball, throwing the ball, you’re catching it, it is really, really cool. The next generation of that is putting you in an actual game.
You’re standing next to the centerfielder while the ball is hit during the live game. That to me is amazing but the possibilities of that, you want to go to a resort, let’s say, and you want to go to a resort in Mexico and you’ve never been to this place in Mexico before. You can put on the virtual reality glasses, go to their website and guess what? You’re standing on the beach, their beach in Mexico looking around turning 360 degrees around actually experiencing what it will be like when you go there. That’s fantastic. I love virtual reality. I think you’re right. I think there’s a lot of really good stuff on the horizon with that.
All right folks, that’ll do it for this episode. We look forward to seeing you right back here next week. Remember, reach out to us on Facebook at thedavelorenzo, on Twitter at thedavelorenzo, and Instagram, of course, at thedavelorenzo.
A big challenge for business leaders is understanding and embracing the difference between developing relationships and selling.
You sell a product or service. This is done by identifying the customer’s need and then demonstrating how the features of your product will benefit the customer and ultimately meet the customer’s need. This is called NBF selling (Needs, Benefits, Features).
In most cases, trust is not a big component of the NBF selling model.
Think about it. If you are buying a product and it breaks, you bring it back and they fix it or give you a new one. If you are buying a service and the delivery of the service is less than satisfactory, the provider will refund your money or allow you to use the service again at no additional charge. The only trust necessary is trust that the proprietor will stand behind the product or service. That’s not a huge emotional commitment.
It is different with a relationship.
Relationships are built on a foundation of trust.
Before someone can invest money in you, he must invest his trust you.
A relationship is two people coming together for a common purpose or because of common circumstances. Trust is the difference between a good relationship and a bad relationship.
When you start a relationship, you must connect on two primary levels before expecting the client to trust you. You must help the client know you (who you are, what skills you have). And the client must like you. People do business more frequently with people they like.
Trust comes after you emotionally invest in the client. You do this by demonstrating empathy. You do this by listening intently. You do this by reflecting back to the client your understanding of the issue and the emotion he feels. If you have demonstrated this type of emotional commitment, and the client knows you and likes you, he MAY invest his trust in you.
This may take a few hours or it may take a few years.
Trust is receiver based. This means no matter what you do, if the client doesn’t feel it, you won’t get it.
Think about this within the context of a personal relationship.
People get to know you. Then they like you. And if you demonstrate empathy and an emotional investment in them, they trust you.
The process for their services is identical to developing a friendship. Stop thinking about selling (needs, benefits, features) and start thinking about developing relationships.
When was the last time you gave any thought to your sales message?
Have you ever delivered a sales message to an audience only to have them misinterpret your intent?
Did you ever communicate something to a group, expecting them to take action, only to be disappointed with the results?
These scenarios are quite common but few people make adjustments to their sales message as a result.
Today we are going to focus on how you deliver your sales message to your target audience. Our goal is to improve your message delivery regardless of the media you choose.
The ideas we will exchange today will work in print (direct mail, email or articles), oral (speaking engagements, radio and television interviews, podcasts), and one-to-one communication.
Here are the seven steps to delivering a powerful sales message that helps you make more money.
Step One: Bring Your Passion
You must let your passion come through during your delivery.
You don’t have to be a motivational speaker, jumping up and down, getting overly excited. But you do have to vary your voice inflection and tone, and you have to let your passion for the topic come through. I don’t care if you’re talking about quantum physics, or if you’re trying to get somebody fired up about a charity. You’ve got to be passionate about the topic and the audience has to feel that passion.
Step Two: Use a Personal Tone
When it comes to selling, a personal tone always wins the day.
Too often I see people put out sales material that looks very sterile and academic, and they wonder why they don’t get results. The reason is because the tone of the message doesn’t resonate with the audience.
You must produce marketing material that is conversational. Use the first person tone of voice. The pronouns “I” and “you” are not dirty words. They may be verboten in academia but they are critical in marketing. Speak to people as if they’re people, whether you’re doing it in a written format or in an actual conversation from the stage, or on television.
Pretend you are having a conversation with someone who is sitting directly in front of you. You’re not receiving an academic grade. The grade you get is when people come to you with money in their hand.
The way to motivate people to come to you with money in their hand is to develop a relationship, and the way to develop relationships is through conversations. Write in the first person. Speak in the first person as if you’re just having a conversation in a one-on-one setting.
Right now, in this article, I’m speaking directly to you. I’m talking to you, and I thank you for being here, and I’m glad you’re with me. We’re developing a relationship right now. This is how you want to develop relationships with all of your clients.
Step three: Share a Strong Opinion
The third element in a successful communication style is your opinion. Being neutral is not a way to go through life. If you have no feeling for any topic, you are the dullest person on the planet.
You have opinions on everything. People you meet know that you have opinions on everything. When you don’t share your opinions with people, you appear to be guarded. It’s as if you’re hiding something.
You must share an opinion. Yes, people will disagree with you, and yes, you will drive some people away. But you will also attract people to you in droves. The people who are magnetically attracted to you will be even more attracted, and more loyal if they share your point of view. Regardless of who you are and what your opinions are, people will be attracted to you.
The example I give all the time of this comes from radio at two different ends of the spectrum.
On the right you have Rush Limbaugh, a conservative, right-wing figure who agitates people all the time. He gets people on the right very, very excited. He gets people on the left really, really angry. People listen every day. Why do they listen? Some listen because they agree with him. Some listen because they hate him. All of them listen because they want to hear what he has to say next.
The person on the left who does the same exact thing is Howard Stern. He doesn’t generally take political positions, but he is outrageous. People who are liberal, people who enjoy that type of humor, listen every single day. Why do they do it? They want to hear what he has to say next. They want to hear his opinion.
Both men, different ends of the spectrum, express their opinion, and people come back for more. And guess what…These people sell tons of products and services. They command high advertising rates. People take their word on the quality of the goods and services they advertise because they appear genuine.
You don’t have to be a controversial talk show host. You don’t have to be a fanatic. But you do have to express an opinion because people know it’s there, and they want to hear it from you. The folks with whom your opinion resonates will be people who are magnetically attracted and loyal to you.
Step Four: Reinforce Facts with Stories
If you’re trying to make a point to someone, if you want to bond with people, if you want to create a relationship, you have to be able to tell stories.
You have to have things in your life that have happened to you that have created the beliefs that make you who you are. Tell those stories to folks. If you want to stress a point to someone, whether it’s an academic point or a passionate point, you must have a story. You must have a narrative that goes along with it.
Stories engage a person’s emotions.
If you want to get people to come over to your side, if you want to sway their opinion, if you want to develop a relationship with someone, you have to be able to connect with them at an emotional level. If you connect with them at an emotional level, you can help them understand through logic and reason why they’re feeling the way they’re feeling. Once you do that, you have a relationship.
Connecting to people on an emotional level is important. Doing it through narrative is critical. You have to build stories into your communication, whether it is written or spoken word.
Step Five: Tell Them What To Do Next
Action is the ultimate goal of a sales message. Every communication tool you use, every message you put out, has to have a call to action.
You must answer the question: What’s next?
That’s the question going through the mind of your client after he is hit with your marketing message.
He wants to know what he should do next. Tell him in plain language.
Step Six: Use Lots Repetition
People don’t remember things. That’s why repetition is critically important. People follow messages they hear first, messages they hear last, and messages that are repeated over and over and over again. I’m not saying you have to say things the same way over and over and over again. You can change the way you say things, but repeating your message is critical.
Saying things multiple times will help it resonate with folks. Repeating things in writing multiple times will help it resonate, will help it sink in, it will make sure that it connects with people in a way that they can understand.
Rephrase your message and your call to action. Say it multiple times. Use different voice inflections each time.
The minimum number of times to communicate a call to action is seven. People must hear a message seven times before their brain processes it.
Don’t worry about the repetition making people uncomfortable. It won’t. People may hear the message on the sixth or the seventh time, for the first time, so they won’t know it has been repeated.
Step Seven: Keep It Simple
Finally, we’ve come to the last aspect of communication style. This is really important and most people don’t get it.
Your message has to be focused, simple and concise. You only want to convey one point at a time and you want to do it in a way that resonates with people.
Create a message that has punch, resonates with people, gets you into their mind quickly and motivates them to take action.
I know this is a lot to think about. It is a lot to mentally digest. But this style, this formula, is the recipe for successful communication. Read it. Re-read it. Use this article as a checklist.
Following this seven-step guide to building a powerful sales message will help you close more deals and make more money.
Here are three additional resources you can use to close more deals and make more money:
Everyone wants to get paid. That’s why you got into sales in the first place. This article will help you get your money right now.
Check out this article and see how you measure up.
That’s a pretty direct title for an article. The information it contains is just as direct. Read this and get more clients…Now.
All sales professionals and business leaders must be perceived as experts in their field. A client will welcome a relationship with an expert but he will dread meeting with someone selling him something.
There are three ways to develop this reputation and generate leads.
Here are the three ways to generate new leads.
Speaking helps you in three ways. 1). It raises your visibility. 2). It boosts your credibility and 3). It differentiates you from everyone else who does what you do.
Hone your skills and become a professional speaker. This involves developing original, educational, entertaining content. The more value you deliver (in teaching and entertaining) and the better you become at promoting yourself, the more often people will book you to speak.
When someone pays you to deliver a speech your credibility soars. You also receive lots and lots of free promotion (if someone is paying for a speaker they want to make sure the venue is packed).
You also get more referrals as a paid speaker. People invest in you financially and they also invest in you emotionally. Once they make that investment, they will support you and refer you to others.
If you have the ability to move people with words on a page, use it to build an audience. You can do this initially by publishing your own content in a newsletter and develop readership from within your natural network.
Once you are receiving regular positive feedback, begin sending copies of your newsletter to editors of trade publications, websites, and industry journals.
This does not mean going to chamber of commerce meetings, eating dry chicken and handing out business cards. It means finding people who can do business with you or refer business to you and helping them get what they want. Once you help them they will help you.
This requires setting up systems. You need systems to identify good networking targets and systems to track your activity. It is simple yet sophisticated.
Each of these methods for developing new leads requires significant work to implement but the return on the investment of your time and energy will be huge (and it is far more effective than cold calling).
Here are three additional articles for you to use in building your pool of highly responsive sales leads.
Want to know the issue that is really killing your business? It’s your emotional demeanor.
If you want to be successful in selling you cannot ever give up.
Want a good litmus test to see if you are on track? Ask yourself this question.
Sometimes it is impossible to see the value we provide to others because we are too close to the day-to-day activity of our profession.
This is often the situation I encounter when I speak with an entrepreneur who needs help with sales. He is perplexed because there are other businesses in his field (or in their area) who command higher fees or seem to land more lucrative clients.
If you find yourself in this situation the answer is often not found in adjusting the products and services you provide but in helping your clients (and prospective clients) understand the value of those products and services.
Here are some powerful points of value you should stress as you develop a relationship with your client. Although there are ten points on this list, I am willing to bet most business leaders overlook at least half.
Let’s see how many you recognize – but more importantly: How many do you think your client will recognize in you?
Avoiding Exposure to Risk
Clients need to be able to move forward aggressively with their business activity. It is no coincidence that the expression “Fortune favors the bold” is the mantra of many successful business leaders.
In order to move forward in a swift and aggressive manner, a client needs to have someone watching his back. Incorporating your product or service into a strategic plan can be extremely valuable.
Show how your service or product is less risky than all the others. Demonstrate how (and why) it is safer to do business with you than it is to do business with your competition.
Solutions to Problems
You will work with many diverse groups of clients throughout your career. This experience should be a valuable asset. The things you have seen and done should not only benefit your business – your clients should benefit from your experience too.
This is the essence of consulting. Your firm brings experience and education to a situation to help a client make a good decision.
When a client faces a particularly challenging business problem, he should be able to call upon you for council, even if you sell widgets. No matter what business you are in, your relationship with your client means you are in the business of solving problems.
Maturity of Judgment
Your judgment should be developed from a rational review of the facts supported with case studies from past experience. This is what encompasses maturity of judgment.
After you review your client’s condition you should recall similar situations from your past and solutions to them. Present each case to your client in a fair and impartial way. Demonstrate how your product or service solved the problem. Also demonstrate cases where people used other products or services. This allows your client to make the best possible decision.
Clients may be emotionally invested in one point of view over another. It is this maturity of judgment that will help them come to the best decision. The value you provide comes from boiling down the issue and helping the client review it from a rational point of view.
Thorough and Comprehensive Assessment
In conjunction with the maturity of judgment you exhibit, you should also provide your client with a thorough and comprehensive review of his situation. You should leave no stone unturned.
The piece of mind this type of review provides the client is invaluable. It is your job to help prevent as well as cure your client’s sleepless nights. Providing this type of security is worth its weight in gold.
Communication by Proxy
Sometimes your client will need somebody to be the bad guy. That is a role that you should be able to fill.
Similarly, you can approach a client’s rival on his behalf, as the “voice of reason”. This will often allow your client to save face if he has taken a tough position that he now finds untenable.
If your client does not have the time or resources to review a matter, your value is enhanced by your direct focus. Giving the client the gift of time is something that is seen as incredibly valuable.
Your expertise in a particular area is important and valuable. A client cannot be an expert on all the nuanced aspects of each and every facet of his business.
Leverage your education and experience in as narrow a nice as possible. You must own that nice in the client’s eyes. This expertise will pay a handsome return on investment.
Business leaders trust very few people. Individuals who have earned that trust are people who are relied upon again and again.
Your availability to provide ongoing support to your client is an asset. If you are accessible when he needs you, and you provide sound advice, you can command a premium that your client will gladly pay.
Protection from Future Threats
In business, change is constant and the future is uncertain. If you have a good track record with a client, he will find comfort in having you by his side as he heads into uncharted waters.
This is a highly valued aspect to any professional relationship yet it is frequently overlooked. When your client thinks about the team he has assembled to charge forward into the future, you should be one of the first people who come to mind.
When you are good, and I mean really good, your clients will want to keep you from their competitors. They need to pay handsomely for this privilege. Exclusivity is tremendously valuable (particularly in a narrow niche).
Help your clients see how good you are and they will want to lock you up and keep you all to themselves.
Your clients may need some assistance in recognizing some of these points of value. It is your job to help them understand that just because something is intangible doesn’t mean that it has little or no value. (Faith and love are intangible but they are coveted by most humans.)
Assessing your relationship with your client and finding subtle ways to remind him of your ability to deliver on the points listed above will keep your relationship financially strong.
Here are three additional articles that will help you demonstrate your value to your clients.
This sounds crazy. Sometimes when you don’t know you could fail, you are empowered to do anything.
You must care more about your success than anyone else. Do you?
Don’t be afraid to tell everyone how great you are. Here’s how to do it.