Tuesday, August 30, 2011

How to Choose Your Method of Communication

There are 2 main areas to consider when choosing your method of communication:
1.     Which type of communication suits the subject matter best?
2.     Is this the type of communication that the recipient prefers?

With the ever increasing technologies being offered, there is a staggering variety of options available to us to communicate with each other. How do you know which one to use and when? More often than not we choose the method that WE enjoy and find most efficient, without even contemplating what our client, supplier, colleague, etc, might prefer. It always makes good business sense to find out the preferred method of communication when we enter into a relationship than to default to the one that we’re most comfortable with.There are also subjects don’t suit certain communication methods. For instance, an email is usually not the best method to deal with conflict. Words represent only 7% of communication and there is no instant interactiveness when communication by the written word. There’s a lot of meaning lost and a lot of meaning added when only words are being used.

If a client leaves a message on our voice mail, it usually means that they like that means of communication and you should reply to them via telephone... and likewise with e-mail, texting etc.

As a business owner, professional or sales person the onus is on us to adapt to others’ communication preferences. Establishing a connection with a client, supplier or colleague starts with how we communicate with them. So the next time you start to compose an email, ask yourself, “Is this the right subject for an email, and is this how the recipient wants to communicated with?”

Remember – and I can’t say this too often –
it’s not about YOU!!!

Originally published in Work Better, Not Harder on August 30, 2011

Thursday, August 25, 2011

7 Low Cost Tips to Increase Sales

There are only 3 ways to increase your sales:
1.     Have more customers
2.     Increase your average sale
3.     Increase the number of transactions per customer

Following are 7 strategies that you can start working on today.

Test an increase in your prices – is this a possibility? Even a small increase will make a difference in your bottom line.

Audit your customer touch points – Make a list of EVERY way you touch your clients. From your business cards to your email signature to your handshake to your Facebook page. Is each touch point relaying your brand promise and saying what you want it to?

Networking – Make your contacts count! Develop a networking strategy. Your networking contacts or “circle of influence” aren’t just people who you may do business with, they are people you can refer to others and who can refer you. It’s about learning what others do and teaching them what you do. a. Give freely with no expectations

b. Help others
c. Build connections
d. Network with like-minded people

Show your value – Your message should speak loud and clear about exactly what it is you do for your client – not what you do – what you do for them. What value do you bring to them? How do you make their life or business better? All your messages should speak about this value… your website, in person, email marketing… everything. It’s all about “What’s in for them”.

Up-selling – After the first sale, what else can you offer them that will really be valuable to them? Are there packaging opportunities with your products and services? Can you develop a passive revenue stream? If you have a service, is there an opportunity to add a product and vica versa.

Ideal Client Profile – I don’t care if you sell toilet paper, not EVERYONE is your client. Take the time to figure out who your IDEAL client is… everything about them. Once you have this profile, you can figure out how to reach them in a focused way… where they hang out, what they read, what organizations they belong to. I guarantee, if you do this, your ROI on your marketing $$ will be higher and your sales conversion rate will increase.

Improve your Sales Skills – The #1 way to increase your sales is by improving your sales skills - you will increase your conversion rate. Your revenue will increase and each sale will cost you less.

Originally published in New Life Business Newsletter August 2011