Janna's Blog

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One opportunity I have is to work with the local Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce on their Chamber University.  These monthly workshops are provided to the local business community as a tool to help them in their business.

During the last 2 years of assisting with the planning of Chamber U it amazes me that the only topic people want month after month is marketing.  If the title of the topic includes marketing people attend, if it doesn’t then they don’t attend.  So what is the mystic about marketing?  Why is there such a “demand” for marketing information and education, yet what most business lack is systems and sales processes?

You  can have the best marketing plan on the planet, yet if the team can’t close the sale, why bother.  If there aren’t systems in place to follow up with the leads that marketing generates then it is a waste of money.  If the target market for the business is not identified, then throwing $100 bills off the highest building might generate better results.  Marketing is math nothing more nothing less.  If the calculations don’t add up then the results become questionable.  Here are a couple of tips for your marketing math:

  1. Target – Who is your target and don’t have the words anybody, everybody, anyone etc.  A target is just that a target.   What is the geography, age, likes, dislikes, economic boundaries etc.
  2. Copy – What do you say to them when you advertise?  You have less than 3 seconds to grab your attention – how will you do that.  Hint – Only you Mom cares about your logo so make it small and at the bottom of the page – stop wasting space on your logo.
  3. Planning – Create a simple marketing plan, lay it out for weekly activities, get specific.  Test and measure results.  Too often the marketing plan lacks the action of planning.  What are the short, medium and long term anticipated results?  What will you do today that will bring in business tomorrow, next quarter and a year from now?  Get the details on paper, be consistent, be ready to throw out what doesn’t work and make it happen.

Last week we highlighted the challenges of marketing.  Marketing without sales is a waste of time and money.  Yet, as a business coach, that is what I see continually in businesses I meet.  The marketing team (even if it is a team of 1) does the marketing activities: advertising, networking, strategic alliances etc.   Yet, when the phone rings does the sales team know how to close the sale?  Statistic indicate that almost 70% of sales are not closed due to the sales person never asking for the sale.  If you don’t ask for the sale, you probably won’t get it.  The sales team needs training.  I have joked that the sales team needs WEEKLY training, only to have sales people agree with me.  It isn’t a joke, train your sales team, train them well and train them often!

Who is your sales team?  My answer – every employee in the company?  Who needs sales training – every employee.  Who is the core sales team?  The team of people who regularly talk, meet with customers and prospects.  That includes receptionists, customer service, Presidents, management etc.  All it takes is one word to make the difference in a sale.

What do you train the sales team on?

  1. Conversion rate – The phone rings – a prospect – everyone is excited (or at least they should be).  How do you talk to them?  What questions do you ask PRIOR to your answering their question?  As prospects very few of us really know what we want to purchase.  We just think we know.  If you don’t help to educate us – we will then buy on price.
  2. Products – You know your products (or do you).  How do you describe them?  Do you create emotion as you share the value of your product to me?  Do you know how to create emotion for your product?  Does everyone really understand the value of the product?  For 98% of companies I believe the answers to the above questions are no.  Changing those answers will make a difference.
  3. Customer – Do you know what the customer wants?  Not what YOU think they want, but what they truly want?
  4. Competition – Who are your competitors and how are you different?  Why should they buy from you and not them?  If you are more expensive then why, if you are less expensive – then why.  Know your competition – they probably know you.

What is an executive coach and why would I want one?

Advance a career.
Transform a company.
Achieve incredible results.

With Executive Coaching all this is possible. Plus more.

For executives who want to take their career to the next level – certified practicing executive coaching can get you there.

So why executive coaching for your organization?

In business, the only thing that really counts is results. Executive coaching promises to deliver results within a relatively short span of time.

High achievers continually deliver results and they do it by performing at their best each and every day.

In today’s dynamic business world, these high achievers also need the guidance, support and motivation of an executive coach to accomplish this.

Peak performance is based on a few key factors, and no matter what business you may be in, the fact is:

• High performing executives achieve more
• High performing teams deliver more
• High performing companies make more profits and enjoy more market share.

All this is made possible through executive coaching.

How can you leverage your current skills, experience and resources in today’s fast-paced economy? How can you stay competitive in an increasingly competitive business world? How can you remain a top performer in a top performing company?

The answer is simple –by using the services of an executive coach.

So how do I pick one?  How do I know they can really help?

Here are 4 tips for choosing an executive coach:

  1. What is their track record? Who have they helped and what measurable results have occurred due to the coaching.  If there are no measurable results, then find a coach that can provide them.
  2. Do they have a system that will help you get the result YOU want? This about you and your results, not the results the coach wants.  A good coach will coach you to achieving clarity on where you want to go.  They will provide you the education you need, help you implement what you learned and hold you accountable to the results
  3. Do you fit you? Not every coach can results with every person.  Every person has a personality and becomes motivated by different styles.  A good coach will alter their style to fit the individual, yet not all coaches have that gift.  Make sure it is a good fit to what will ensure the right results are achieved.
  4. Do they practice what they preach? Is their business growing? What do their goals look like – are they willing to share them with you? Do they have a coach (if they believe in coaching, yet don’t have a coach how good are they)?  What have they learned in the last month?  What are they reading?  Make sure the answers to these questions and others fit with where you want to go and what you want to accomplish.

If you have any questions – give me a call – I will help you find the right coach for you.

The critical impact of attitude is seen every day in the business world.  What one business owner sees as a disaster, another sees as opportunity, and capitalizes on that opportunity.  Those who have spent their lives in below the line thinking don’t even realize the impact it has not only on them personally, but their families, businesses, customers and potential.  If their team is below the line, where did they learn it from?  Most likely they learned it from the business owner.  An owner who is below the line will hire staff who also first turn to blame, excuses and denial. It is someone else’s fault that the project is delivered late, someone else’s fault that the customer is upset.  To change they will need someone to hold them accountable to point out where they are below the line.

As I work with clients on this concept, the tendency is to swing to a point where issues in the business are not discussed with the excuse (notice the tendency again) that the issue is below the line.  This doesn’t give permission for a business to white wash issues in the business.  What is does change is the ownership and responsibility for changing the issue at hand.  If projects are late, that is a fact.  The question is what must change in the business to ensure projects are not delivered late, that your customers have the experience stated in all the promotional material.

Businesses have lived for years in below the line thinking and attitude.   They stay in business, they grow, they pay the bills and serve customers.    What impact would the business make with an above the line attitude?  Profits would increase.  Less time would be spent on blame and poor productivity.  Productivity would increase with energy due to the positive atmosphere in the business. The examples abound.

Yet, you must be ready to make the change.  Your dissatisfaction with the results, profitability, long work hours, people avoiding you since they dislike being around negative, blaming people, etc., must be at a point where it is higher than your resistance to making the change.  It is easy to live below the line. It may not be fun, but it is easy and there is a great deal of company.  When I ask my clients do they want to be average, the resounding answer is NO.  They want to be above average.  To make that happen, your mindset must change to one of excellence—above the line thinking— and you will be amazed at the results.

The family business.  It is the foundation of the small business world in the US.  Approximately 80% of small business are family owned.  That can mean brothers, sisters, parents, grand parents, aunts, uncles and children.  Why are there so many family owned businesses?  One reason – blood is thicker than water.  There is a trust factor that comes with working with family.  I hear laughter from some of you.  Some of you wouldn’t trust your family with a dollar let alone own a business with them.  While that can be true, the reality is even where the family has a trust and verify.  The family business has a set of dynamics that are unlike any other.  Think of your family – what would it be like to work with them every day?  Then, go home each night.  Now I have you thinking…  Yes, that is the joy and challenge of family business.  It is often hard to:

  • “leave it at the office”
  • Ensure there is work/family balance
  • Handle the up and down times of revenue and profit
  • Ignore that irritating habit of the family member when they are always around

Yet, it is wonderful being able to:

  • Share the joys of success
  • Have your family understand the business
  • Be able to know the “team” members strengths and weaknesses
  • Work alongside someone you truly like
  • Share ideas and trust them to look out for your well being.

The list goes on for both sides.  If you are considering starting a family business congratulations – you will love the journey.

What have your experiences been with family businesses?  Are you in one?  Have you done business with one?  Share them with me, I would love to hear the stories.

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Contact Janna

Janna Hoiberg
Telephone : 719-358-6936

Colorado Springs, CO 80920 
or

Moultonborough, NH 03254

Colorado Springs Location