The Sales Process: Do you have one?

Your sales process will define your success. Do you have one? Make sure you understand the difference between sales and marketing when you develop your processes.

What is a “Sales Process”?

Process flow chart.The sales process is every step you take from marketing a product or service to post sale maintenance and support. The sales process isn’t finished at the point of sale. You still need to build in post sale follow up to ensure your client stays sold and becomes a raving fan. Referrals should be part of the sales process.

Marketing isn’t sales!

Marketing is the promotion of your idea whether a service or product. This is part of the sales process but not the actuall selling. You never close a sale when you are marketing.

Most people don’t know they need what you are selling. Marketing is educating your prospect about the value you bring to the table and helping them understand why they should buy from you. You’re not selling at this point. You are effectively creating the customer.

Marketing

Define your opportunity.

Man with list of check marks in a column beside him.Here are five questions you need to answer before you get anywhere near developing your marketing strategy and sales process.

  1. What are you selling?
  2. Why are you selling it?
  3. Who are you selling to?
  4. When are you selling?
  5. Where are you selling?

Design a sales process.

  • Creating a list of prospects.
  • How will you approach them?
  • What is the follow up?
  • How will you close?
  • What is the post sale process?

Selling

Work the plan.

Once you have designed your sales process, it’s time to work your plan. The challenge will be sticking to your plan. Part of a good plan is “Plan, Do, Review”. Set a schedule. Once your plan is done, decide how long you will work the plan and when you will sit to review what works and what doesn’t.

There will be nay sayers who will try to convince you a business is a bad idea. Everyone will have suggestions on how to run your business. It’s prudent to take in good advice but don’t let it derail your plan. Wait for the review and then weigh the advice you have received against your experience. Tune up the plan rather than making wholesale changes and go back to the “do” period.

Earn Referrals.

3D-Women-Shake-Hand-01During your sales process, you will make an impression whether you win the business or not. By selling with intent and integrity, people will come to trust that you are the consumate professional. When you have earned their trust, you have earned the privilege to ask for referrals.

Back to the dating analogy, when people know, like and trust you, they will be very open to making an introduction if you ask them. Tell them who you want to meet. Describe your ideal prospect and ask for introductions. If you don’t ask, they don’t usually think to offer.

Earning and asking for referrals should be built into your sales process.

Business In A Box

Does all of the above sound like a lot of work? You bet it is! You have choices to make. What are you willing to do? You can work out your own strategies. Alternatively, you can buy a “business in a box”. You can buy a franchise system and set up multiple distribution points.

Robert Kyosaki wrote a book called “The Business Of The Century” explaining that MLM is the next business evolution. Faster and more effective, you could consider a multi-level marketing opportunity to get you started.

woman carrying moneyIf financial resources are limiting you from building a bricks and mortar business or buying into a franchise, consider working with a Multi-Level Marketing group to get you started. Remember, MLM is a business and there will be costs.

Make sure you understand what the ongoing operating cost is and be realistic in your expectations. MLM is like going to university. You will learn and it will change you. You may decide the MLM is all you need or you will learn and earn while you work toward your ultimate dream business.

“If it’s to be, it’s up to me”!

What are you willing to do?

Make it a great day,

Barry

P.S. What am I thankful for today? I’m thankful for opportunity. I’m thankful for justice. I’m thankful for chances for personal development.

What are you thankful for today?

What do you say when someone criticizes your faith in your business?

Wouldn’t it be great to be prepared with an answer when someone criticizes your faith in your business? Don’t get sucked into a debate. Be prepared with a response that lets them know where you stand in a respectful manner and let it be.

What does faith have to do with business?

If you thought this would be a discussion about religious faith and business, I’m sorry to disappoint you. I will be up front and tell you that this blog was prompted by something I saw in Church presented by Andy Stanley, a new series called “Prepared”. That series is about being prepared when people make critical comments to Christians but the same principles apply to you and your business.

Man giving thumbs down.Have you ever been involved in a business opportunity and people drop comments in a conversation that really don’t invite discussion but are meant to convey a negative opinion of your particular position or business? You are left feeling shut down and wondering if you are dealing from a position of strength. What if you could be prepared with a response that respecfully conveys your conviction without inviting further conversation?

In Andy Stanley’s “Prepared” series, he gives a response for Christians that I think will work beautifully when someone challenges our belief: “I believe Jesus died for my sin and rose from the dead. But, I don’t believe it because the Bible says so, it’s better than that…” and he leaves it at that. He’s suggesting to make the comment and then just move on. This clarifies a position and really doesn’t invite any further debate.

Just as Christians have faith in Christ, we need to have faith in our business beliefs. How strong is your faith?

What can I say when someone challenges my Multi-Level Marketing (MLM) business?

There will always be crabs who will throw comments your way in order to justify their own fears and ignorance. In the majority of cases, they really have no idea why you are involved in a particular project or business. What they do know is that you may have to leave them behind. I’m not convinced they are ever consciously aware that is what they fear.

Let’s pretend someone has just said something like “I can’t believe you’re still involved in that legal thing!”. Maybe the response could be something like “I believe that everyone deserves equal access to the justice system. But it’s not just because the system is broken, it’s more than that…” and leave it at that!

Make new friends.We understand that most MLM or Direct Marketing Opportunities provide people with one of the greatest ways to grow as individuals whether they ever make money or not. Being involved in a business opportunity, whether MLM or bricks and mortar, changes you.

  • We learn about connecting with people.
  • Learning how to learn.
  • Finding ways to grow.

Some are content to just have a supportive community of positive and like minded people. Yet others make the decision to take the business to different levels and help others realize their greatest potential.

Entrepreneurial Faith

Do you realize you are in a very great minority? Most people don’t have what it takes to think outside the box and do something great. You are part of an elite group of true leaders. You are willing to make changes others aren’t willing to risk. Now, there is another choice to make. Will you keep the faith in yourself and your business?

Like having faith in a supreme being, we often face challenges to belief in our businesses. There are days when that faith is shaken. The challenge is to look  inside and rediscover that faith. Those are the days when we need to make the decision to be very careful with our associations. Sometimes, it may mean limiting our exposure to family and friends.

There will be days when you will have to draw on your entrepreneurial faith to get through bad hours, days, weeks or months. Some will be more difficult than others. Find someone who is like minded that you can call on those days and that you trust you can count on to help you “see the light” again. The wonderful thing about great MLM or Direct Marketing groups is that they recognize we go through tough times and are there whenever we are ready to re-engage.

Your entrepreneurial faith will make or break your business.

Will you keep the faith?

Nearly all men can stand adversity but if you want to test his character, give him power. - Abraham Lincoln

Make it a great day!

Barry

P.S. What am I thankful for today? I’m thankful for Jesus Christ. I’m thankful for my LegalShield family. I’m thankful for open minded people.

What are you thankful for today?

 

 

Plan for your future while living for today.

Planning for your future while living for today seems like such an abstract idea when you are young. When I was 20, I couldn’t even imagine being 30. Well, 30 was over 20 years ago now. I wish I had planned a little more.

If you don’t have a plan, you’re living someone else’s!

Sunset over Rice Lake with quote.

What is your plan for your future?

Here are 10 things to consider in your plan:

  1. Man with list of check marks in a column beside him.Is God a part of your life?
  2. Will you work a job or run a business?
  3. What kind of work or business?
  4. Who will you work with?
  5. Do you plan on having a family?
  6. Where will you raise your family and/or run your business?
  7. When or if you will “retire”?
  8. Where will you spend your golden years?
  9. Who will you spend them with?
  10. What will your legacy be?

When you are young, planning for the future seems like pie in the sky. Living for today is all well and good but yesterday is gone and tomorrow is today. Now what?

I knew at a young age that I wanted to be married and raise a family. To do that, I believed I needed a decent job with benefits and a pension plan. Little did I know that was really pie in the sky! The time came for a plan update. Think about it, your life plan is really no different than a business plan. It’s a guide and when circumstances change, you have to rethink your plan and adjust your path.

Faith

I often hear people make the comment that God will provide. That’s great, He will. You have to do your part so that God can fill in the blanks for you. God won’t give you a job or put money in your bank but He can help you fulfill your plan if you have one. Just think about your parents, did they just give you everything or did they help you learn skills that would enable you to achieve your own success? That’s why they call Him God The Father, not God the give you everything without any effort.

Having faith is more than religion. Have faith in yourself. You will achieve greatness. How you define that is up to you unless you are living someone else’s plan. We all have greatness within us. It’s up to us to have a plan to draw on that greatness and decide how we will leave our mark on this world.

Family

Married with childrenFamily isn’t necessarily spouse and children for everyone. Family is that group of people who provide unconditional love and support. By support, I don’t mean money! I am lucky enough to have been blessed with children and grand children. Whether I agree with their particular path or plan is irrelevant. They will always have my love and moral support just as I know I have the support of my parents, siblings and extended family.

We are also blessed with an extended family. We have friends that we have met over the years in a new city. We also have friends that we have met through employment and business. In many cases, due to geography, you are closer to your extended family than your genetic family.

What this boils down to is that you have some control over who your family is. We start with genetics but we decide for ourselves from there. Don’t underestimate the importance of family in your plan.

Fortune

Finance is one of our greatest challenges. Certainly, we can go off the grid and live in the mountains but what happens when we need support? Canada has one of the greatest universal medical systems in the world but if you aren’t contributing to society, you can’t access the supports. This requires either working or running a business of some sort that provides income to yourself and others. Would you believe I want to pay more taxes?

Paying more taxes means that my financial resources are able to meet more of my needs and beyond that to my desires. This also means that I am contributing to assisting those who are less fortunate. Yes, I want to be rich, not poor. I plan to do that through extra effort at business ventures with the potential for increasing my assets and grow me as an individual. That personal growth is worth more than the money.

Future

Yesterday is gone and tomorrow is today. You certainly don’t want to miss out on today before it becomes yesterday. Enjoy every moment while you’re in them, even those moments you are planning for tomorrow.

My friend Randy Taylor from Taylor Made Leadership says to fast forward to the last day of your life and imagine you are watching a movie of your accomplishments. Think about your favourite movies all had great script writers or they wouldn’t work. The script for the movie of your life is yours to make. Will you write your own or will you let someone write script for your destiny?

Reflect on the past while making plans for the future and enjoy every moment along the way.

Make it a great day,

Barry

P.S. What am I thankful for today? I’m thankful for opportunity. I’m thankful for great coaches. I’m thankful for God in my life.

What are you thankful for today?

Backup solution for multiple devices including your smartphone and tablet.

Disaster Recovery: Do You GotBackup?

Disasters happen. Gotbackup can minimize the pain.

Losing Pictures

My son who is now gone. I couldn't replace this picture.

My son who is now gone.

This has probably never happened to you but I have lost years worth of precious pictures when a hard drive died.

I know, backup, backup!

Now I worry about what happens if it dies and I have forgotten to plug in my external hard drive or worse yet, the house burns down with all my computers inside. That means not only are the electronic pictures gone but the originals are lost forever. I have pictures that are almost 100 years old!

I guess I could scour family Facebook posts but the resolution would be so bad I would be lucky to get a good 3×5. That would take a lot of pictures to fill a wall.

But I #GotBackup! With Got Backup, I can reach my files from anywhere. 500GB worth of data from anywhere in the world.

Make It An Automatic Backup

Any good backup solution should be automated. In the old days, I would sell hardware solutions that required remembering to have the right tape in the machine. Yep, the machine knew if it was the wrong tape and that backup wouldn’t run. Wouldn’t it be nice to not have to think about your backup? Mine is automatic now. Thinking hurts too much!
Picture of man running with a burning computer.

Access Files From Anywhere

Backup your files to an off site secure storage facility and you can recover from anywhere. Many of us have specialists do the recovery work, especially when it involves our business files. Imagine your technician being able to log into your account and recover years of accounting data that you thought was lost. CRA or IRS(Canada Revenue Agency or Internal Revenue Service) will be much happier and just having the data when they call may prevent an audit because you were able to answer their questions.

3D-Women-Question-02Imagine being at the office and realizing you needed a file that is in your documents folder on the computer at home. Not that it ever happens to me!

No problem, just log into your GotBackup site and download it! If you want to, get the package that allows you to share files with friends and co-workers. It’s just as secure as the bank. I would still password the more sensitive stuff on an individual basis.

Take a look at Got Backup. You might even make money preventing disaster!

Make it a great day,

Barry

P.S. What am I thankful for today? I’m thankful I learned to keep a good backup before it was too late. I’m thankful for GVO. I’m thankful for opportunity.

What are you thankful for today?

Business Building: Three will make you free, six will make you rich!

Business building can seem daunting some days but the answer is actually simple. Finding three leaders will free you, six will make you rich.

Business Building

Whether you are building a sales organization in the insurance industry or in a direct selling or MLM, the concept is much the same. You need to decide whether you will focus on just selling product or, do you find like minded people to work with you to find customers for your product or service? Don’t get me wrong, no business will survive without a solid product or service that meets the needs of enough people to be profitable. In the end, you need sellers in your organization as well.

Some are sales superstars and just enjoy being on the go all the time. Many are more excited by the hunt than the sale itself. Others are more like coaches and enjoy helping others achieve success.

While you are selling, look for the coaches and bring them into your business. Choose carefully.

Picture of man running with a burning computer.

Three Will Make You Free

This applies to those who prefer to build a sales team. Find three people who can do what you do and then teach them to duplicate what you have done.

It’s all about distribution. Think about the retail market. Where is the real money? Yes, the manufacturer or service provider makes a good profit but it’s the middle man or distributor that has the leverage to make the most.

Six Will Make You Rich

 

Man with profit bar chartMake a little off the efforts of many. This is how most chain stores make their money. They have multiple distribution centres that all contribute a little bit adding up to big dollars. Imagine if Walmart or Loblaw only had one store. You need to be like the large chain stores and have more distribution points. Leverage the efforts of others.

Three distribution points (people) will free you from a job, six will make you rich.

Coaching pays better than just selling because it leaves you more time for yourself.

What will you chose?

 

Make it a great day!

Barry

P.S. What am I thankful for today? I’m thankful for great coaches. I’m thankful for great products and services. I’m thankful for like minded people.

What are you thankful for today?