The Business Life Podcast #018 - 5 Ways to Grow Any Business with Jason Skinner from The Business Made Easy Podcast

The Business Life Podcast #018 - 5 Ways to Grow Any Business with Jason Skinner from the Business Made Easy PodcastFellow podcaster and business consultant, Jason Skinner, from the Business Made Easy Podcast joins me on the show!

Jason and I got acquainted after we both joined a course for new podcasters. As I was in the first stages of getting my show up and rolling, there was always one guy in the course encouraging and helping not just me, but all the other podcasters in the group too; and that was Jason.

I appreciated how he was helping others so much that I started following along with his journey and learned what an incredible person and business owner he is. I’ve become a frequent listener of his podcast and truly appreciate his straight-forward, effective approach to business. If you’re looking for another great business podcast, I would very much recommend you add the Business Made Easy Podcast to your library!

In this episode, I visit with Jason about his journey as an entrepreneur, how he’s developed a knack for serving other business owners and he also shares 5 Ways to Grow Any BusinessTake a listen and be sure to snag the free resources below!

About Jason Skinner and the Business Made Easy Podcast

The Business Life Podcast #018 - 5 Ways to Grow Any Business with Jason Skinner from the Business Made Easy Podcast

Jason Skinner is the voice, heart and soul of The Business Made Easy Podcast and owner of Skinner Hamilton Accountants & Business Consultants. His passion for helping business owners inspired him to come out from behind the desk and bring his knowledge and experience to everyday business owners all over the world. A combination of simple to understand language and tried and tested business strategies has made Jason a favorite in over 20 countries.

Key takeaways from this episode:

  • Jason’s entrepreneurial journey to owning his own accounting and business consulting firm, and the Business Made Easy Podcast.
  • Jason’s techniques for how to develop a knack for helping others.
  • Reasons why businesses decline or fail, and the best way to prevent that from happening. (with a free resource!)
  • “5 Ways to Grow Any Business,” with resources to help you implement Jason’s strategies.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

The Business Made Easy Podcast Episode #12: “The 5 Key Ways to Grow Any Business” with “5 Ways to Grow Free Calculator.”

Jason’s “Free Business Plan on a Page” download.

Jason’s recommendation for his favorite business book:

The links below are my affiliate links, which means that if you choose to make a purchase, I will earn a commission. This commission comes at no additional cost to you!

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The Business Life Podcast #017 - How to upsell and increase revenue in business.

The Business Life Podcast #017 - How to upsell and increase your revenueOne of the easiest ways to increase revenue in your business is through upselling.

What is upselling? Providing additional products or services that compliment a product or service that you’re already selling to a customer. As you’ll hear in this episode, not only does upselling provide more revenue for you, but if done correctly, it also creates more satisfied customers.

Upselling is just like any other skill though; it must be developed and practiced. In this episode, I’m sharing three tips you can use to develop your strategy for upselling. I’ll give you a hint, it has to do with:

• Knowing your products and services

• Knowing what questions to ask

• And learning how to think ahead

Take a listen and start making the most of each transaction with your customer through upselling!

Key takeaways from this episode:

  • Why upselling is one of the easiest ways to bring in additional revenue for your business.
  • How you can provide a better customer experience and have happier customers by upselling.
  • Three techniques you can easily implement in your business to upsell.
  • A list of examples and common questions that will help you upsell.

Resource mentioned in this episode:

UPSELLING WORKSHEET.  This worksheet is designed to help you organize your products, services and questions so that you’re prepared to offer additional upsells to customers. Keep this sheet handy with you at all times!

By entering your information, you're also joining my email Community! My email Community is a prosperous group of business professionals that engage, share and aspire to continuously improve their business and life.

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Subscribe to The Business Life podcast on iTunes [⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ I would love a review as well]!

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The Business Life Podcast #013 - Sales 101 - The art of selling and reaching sales goals with Luke Sigle, The Vernon Company

Sales 101 - Reaching sales goals with Luke Sigle of The Vernon CompanyInvariably, successful businesses and business professionals are great at selling. After all, no sales equals no income!

Selling is typically not a skill that’s inherent or developed overnight. To start with, there’s always the fear of rejection. Even if you overcome that huge obstacle, there’s an art to selling that separates OK sales professionals from the GREAT sales professionals.

Me personally, I’ve had to work hard on honing my salesmanship, but the time I have spent doing so has paid off big time. The good news is anyone can become great at sales with the right strategies, techniques and lots of practice!

My guest on The Business Life podcast today is what I would call a Master of Sales. Luke Sigle is an account executive at The Vernon Company, one of the top 25 promotional products companies in the U.S. He was recently named the #1 account executive by volume at The Vernon Company out of 230. In today’s episode, Luke talks about his success in sales and how he’s been able to reach his sales goals. Take a listen!

About Luke Sigle & The Vernon Company

Luke Sigle is an account executive at The Vernon Company, the inventor of The Pick Hat and founder of the Mighty Micah Foundation.

The Vernon Company

Promotional products and apparel provide a low cost per impression marketing avenue that resonates with recipients. The true value of promotional items come from the impact they create between an organization and their customers, prospects or employees.

The Vernon Company helps deliver exceptional value to my customers through safe products, delivered on time at a great price. We provide a variety of services including promotional products, screen printed & embroidered apparel, domestic and overseas caps, customer importing, client web stores, product warehousing and order fulfillment.

The Pick Hat

The Pick Hat (QickPick LLC) custom caps have a pocket built into the visor for easy access and prominent display of a guitar pick. The perfect blend of products for guitar & music enthusiasts.

ThePickHat.com

Mighty Micah Foundation

The Mighty Micah Foundation was founded in January 2016 after the death of Micah Elizabeth Sigle. Our mission is to support families in the NICU. We are excited to announce a new initiative called the Mighty Micah Foundation Research Fund. Our goal is to establish a research grant focused on Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia (CDH) and related treatments. Your generous gift will help raise the necessary money to award a scientific researcher a very important financial grant.

Learn more by visiting www.MightyMicahFoundation.org.

To give visit mightymicah.networkforgood.com/

Key takeaways from this episode:

  • How Luke was able to achieve his goal of becoming the #1 account executive by volume at The Vernon Company.
  • Tips for sales prospecting and delivering your sales pitch.
  • Tips for becoming comfortable with selling and communicating with your customers.
  • Luke’s lifestyle habits that help him be a successful sales professional.

Sales books recommended by Luke:

The links below are my affiliate links, which means that if you choose to make a purchase, I will earn a commission. This commission comes at no additional cost to you!

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Building good relationships with customers starts by building great rapport with customers. Building good rapport simply means making your customers feel comfortable with you and making them WANT to do business with you. When you build great rapport with customers, you’re much more likely to get repeat business and referrals. In this short video, I’m sharing four secrets I personally use to build great customer rapport.

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Four Easy Ways to get more repeat business and referrals

Growing your business through repeat business and referrals is much more cost effective and efficient than trying to market to new clients. Not only that, referrals from satisfied customers are more likely to be your ideal customers. When you’re casting your marketing net out to the general public, it tends to be more hit-or-miss.

When I started my first business, I didn’t know a single person in town. I was 23 years old, but I looked like I was 17.  I went from business to business passing out my homemade business cards and asking if they needed help with their computer systems. Looking back, I’m not sure how anyone took me seriously.  After weeks of being rejected, I was finally given the opportunity to work on computer systems for a couple of very small businesses.

Flash forward two years and I had more business than I could handle on my own. The best part was I grew my business to that point spending almost nothing on advertising. (Probably less than $200). It was all through word of mouth and repeat customers.  I became very good at getting referrals, not just because of my technology skills, but also because of the way I treated clients.

Today, I want to share four secrets I used to get repeat business and referrals that you can also implement in your business!

Keep your customer list handy.

I frequently pull up my list of customers and scroll through them. I use this tactic to:

  • Reach out to customers I haven’t heard from in a while. Check in on them and let them know you’re still around and care about the products or services you provided them.
  • Inform customers of new products or services you have to offer that they may be interested in.
  • Find out how I can help them if they run a business. I might know someone looking for their products or services that I could refer to them.

Ask your customers for referrals.

This one is a little uncomfortable at first. It may sound sleazy, but really all you’re offering is to provide your quality products and services to those who need what you do. Prepare how you’re going to ask for the referral ahead of time. You may say something like:

“Thank you for your business, Mr. Smith. I’m looking to provide more [insert your product or service here] for people who need it. If you have any friends or family that would be interested in what I do [or provide], I would love to help them out!”

You’ll find that people genuinely want to help people; especially if you’re providing them a quality product or service.

Leave customers with a business card.

This is one that many businesses overlook. It’s so simple, yet so effective. I can’t tell you how many times I would return to a customer’s home or business to work on their computer and see my business card sitting on their desk or taped to their computer.

Sure, I fixed computers so obviously they would put it next to their computer. No matter what business you’re in though, half of your customers will keep your business card safely stored. Then, when someone they know needs what your business offers, who’s information do you think they’re going to hand out?

Offer a small discount for repeat business or referrals.

Even if it’s only 10%, people love discounts. Offering a small incentive to get referrals or repeat business works. Just think if you own a plumbing business and your customers can get 10% off their next service call. That could be $20, $30 or even $40! Not only are they getting benefit, it’s a cheap way for you to gain more business.

Start implementing these four tactics as part of your business and you’ll be delighted at how quickly you can grow through repeat business and referrals!

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Boost your sales this holiday season.

Think that the holiday season is only for shopping for Christmas gifts? Think again! Many non-retail businesses take it easy this time of year. They assume that people are too busy preparing for the holidays to think about anything else. If you have this mentality, you may be missing out on big sales. Here’s why:

  1. Momentum of buying. Long-time sales expert, Brian Tracy, said, “the best time to make a sale is right after you’ve made a sale.” I believe the same holds true on the buyer’s end. When people are in the buying mood, they tend to more easily make buying decisions. This applies to purchases outside of gifts! As a business, you shouldn’t lose out on your customer’s buying momentum.
  2. Smaller decision window. This idea goes hand-in-hand with momentum of buying. People want to get business “closed” before Christmas rolls in so that they can spend time with their families. As a result, they’re currently working hard to get their loose ends wrapped up. This forces people to make a buying decision quickly. Are you taking advantage?
  3. New Year planning. Most companies are busy planning for the end of the year, as well as the beginning of 2017. They often find that they either need to spend money for tax purposes or they have a need to fill to begin their new year. Do your products or services help them fill a need? Now might be a great time to approach potential customers!

As a non-retail business or salesperson, how can you take advantage this holiday season to boost your sales? Here’s three ways!

  1.  Contact potential buyers ASAP! Don’t wait another week, or you may miss your opportunity to make a sale. The week before Christmas is when people start to wind down with work and purchasing. Make a list TODAY of potential clients that may be in need of your products or services before the end of the year. Then, make it your mission each day to contact as many of those people as you can!
  2. Utilize year-end deals. Most businesses offer some type of year-end deals or discounts. If your company has some great deals going on right now, make buyers aware of them. Deals, combined with a smaller decision window, can really get customers excited to make a purchase. If you own your business and don’t have any year-end specials or deals, consider offering them!
  3. Spread some holiday cheer! The holiday season can get the best of people. With so much to do and so little time, our “intensity” often peaks. As a business or salesperson, make it your mission to spread holiday cheer and help others relax. If you can do that, you’ll greatly increase your odds of making a sale!

Don’t sit around waiting for Christmas to arrive! Get busy making your year-end business a successful one!

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How to gain clients when business slows down - Professional Development Coaching - Andrew Heim

Picture this: your businesses is rolling along smoothly. You have all the work you can handle and people are still beating down your door for your products and services. Although it puts a lot of stress on you and your business to have an overflowing workload, you’re happy to be working extra hours and making money.

Flash forward a few weeks or months; you wake up and suddenly realize that you’re not as busy as you once were. Your first thought is “thank God, I can rest for a while.” However, you soon become concerned about when business will start to pick up again.  You may say to yourself, “it’s probably just the slow season” or “maybe the economy is effecting business?”. While those factors may very well be effecting your business, it’s important to focus on what can be done to get your business headed in the right direction again. Here are three tips to help get you started!

Become Proactive, Fast!

Slow business times tend to lead to frustration and complacency. When you’re not having any “luck” or success, it’s hard to become motivated to sell. You’ll often do anything to avoid selling; organize your office, file those papers that have been sitting around for six months or even work on getting caught up with the bookkeeping that you’ve been behind on. While these are all important tasks, they aren’t generating revenue.

The secret to combating complacency is to get out and do something! Go to more networking events and meet people, make a list of potential clients and call on them or find new avenues to market your business that you had not thought of yet. Anything you can do to put yourself in front of people will help your chances of someone finding you who is in need of your services.

Follow up with past clients.

One of the best ways to get new business is from past clients. For example, in my previous company where I did computer repair, if I had a light workload during a particular week, I would call on former clients and check in with them to see if their computers were still running OK since I had last worked on them. Many times they would say something like “they have been working great, except we’ve been having one problem with…”. Often times clients won’t call you until their problems are at “Code Red Stage 4 Emergency” level. Just by taking the initiative to follow up with past clients, you are likely to gain new business that otherwise would have been delayed.

Another way to gain new business from past clients is through referrals. Again, it’s a matter of giving one of your past clients a call, or even taking them out for coffee. Sit down and visit with them for a few minutes about how things are going in their business. When you show that you care and take the time to genuinely be interested in other people’s business, more often than not they will go out of their way to help you as well. Just by spending a few minutes catching up with them and asking if there’s anything that you can personally do to help them, it will help keep you at the top of their mind should they know someone needing your products or services. This is a great method for gaining referrals!

Look back at when times were good.

If things have gone downhill in your business, it’s a good idea to look back at when times were good. What was different about that time? Was there something that you were doing differently to attract business? What has changed from then until now? By asking yourself these types of questions, it may tip you off or spark an idea on how to get your business moving forward again.

When you look back, you may find that your customer support had gotten off-track a little bit when you became overwhelmed with business. You might see that you started targeting the wrong types of clients when things took a turn for the worse. Whatever the case may be, it’s a good idea to go back to doing things the way you were doing them when business was good!

You may not be able to change the seasons or the economy, but most of the time when business slows down, there are many ways to get it back on the right track. By getting back to the basics, putting yourself in front of others and being more proactive, you’ll find that you can earn business in almost any environment or situation.

I always enjoy hearing other people’s stories! If you’ve ever experienced a slow down in your business, I’d love to hear how you got it heading in the right direction again! Please send me an email at [email protected], or you can leave a comment below!

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Selling is an activity that I struggled with greatly when I first started my technology business. I used to be a very introverted person, and talking to strangers (let alone trying to sell them something) was extremely difficult for me!  I can remember pacing the floor for an hour before making a sales call, going over in my head exactly what I would say. Or if I was meeting someone in person, I would have the A/C on full blast in my car while driving to their office, just to stop the profuse sweating. A typical sales call included getting tongue tied and mostly making a complete fool of myself.

Because I was a one-man operation in my technology business, I couldn’t just sit back and do the behind the scenes work. I had to learn to sell, because it was the only way of gaining clients (and a paycheck!). I knew that I had to learn how to sell as an introverted person, and not try and duplicate the techniques of salespeople who are more outgoing. After reading several books on selling, but mostly trial and error on my own, I found several techniques that not only helped me stay calm while selling, but also helped close sales more often than not. Here are three of the techniques I benefited from the most:

Know your product.

I can’t tell you how many times someone has tried to sell me something without even knowing the ins and outs of their own products. I received calls all the time from people trying to sell me website hosting, the latest antivirus software or other technology related products. When I questioned them on certain features or aspects of their products, I often found out that they didn’t have the answers. And they expected me to buy it?

No matter if you’re selling a product, a service or an idea, you need to know everything about what you are trying to sell. For an introverted person trying to sell, it’s crucial that you stay calm during the sales process, or you’re likely to get too flustered to actually make the sell. If you know everything there is to know about your product, you won’t get tripped up or start raining sweat down your face when a potential client asks you a question.

You’ll also be able to stay focused on what your product can do for the client by knowing all of the benefits your product has to offer. This is what clients really care about! Know your product and how it will benefit the client, and the sale is half made.

Let the other person do the talking.

I often assumed I was bad at selling because I didn’t like to talk. Now that I’ve had the chance to sell to hundreds of customers, I know that I was exactly wrong. In fact, I sometimes feel sorry for those salespeople who are extremely extroverted and like to hear the sound of their own voice.

I strongly believe us introverted people have a leg up over our extroverted counterparts, because we don’t like to do the talking. Any good book on selling you read or great salesperson you visit with will tell you that getting the other person to do the talking is key. So what do you have to be good at as an introvert? Asking questions and listening.

As an introvert, I’m sure that you’re probably already a pretty good listener! The area of listening that I had to improve upon while selling was remembering. It’s not just enough to hear the client and their needs, you also have to remember those needs so you can fill those needs during the sales process. Don’t be afraid to take a few notes as the other person is talking to you, just be sure to look up from your notepad from time to time and make eye contact with them, so that they know you are still listening.

You’ll likely struggle more with asking questions. Thankfully, you’re selling the same products each time for the most part, so after a few sales you’ll start to figure out exactly what questions get the responses you’re looking for. It’s also helpful to make a list of questions you’re going to ask before you meet with the client. Then all you have to do is ask the questions and set back and listen!

Remember, you’re selling yourself.

I’ve found that the reason I’ve closed most of my sales, and in turn generated more sales through referrals, was because people were in a sense buying me. Someone else may have just as good of a product as you, maybe even at a lower price point, but people will do business with a person that they like and trust.

When you’re headed into a sales call or meeting, it’s important to understand that they are not only buying your product, but in all likelihood determining if you are the type of person they want to do business with. Because you already know your product inside and out (remember tip #1? ), you can stay focused during the selling process on selling yourself. You do this by listening to their needs and showing that you care about them (tip #2!). People also want to know that you will be there for them from the time you first visit with them, through the sale and especially after the sale. If they feel they can trust you and that you will take care of them, you have all but made the sale.

While I didn’t mention anything about closing the sale (which is a crucial part of selling), I’ve tried to give you techniques that will make the closing practically a formality. As an introverted person, asking someone directly to buy something was the most difficult part of selling. I found that by using the above techniques, most of my clients either asked for the sale themselves, or all I had to do was ask when they would like to get started. Once you have found out what the customer needs, demonstrated how you can fill that need and shown that you are a person they can trust, you’ll find it easy and enjoyable to finish the sale!

I would love to get your feedback if these techniques help you in your sales process, or other selling techniques you have found useful as an introverted person! Please leave a comment below, or send me an email with your thoughts!

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