Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Things Keep Changing

Things don't always stay the same.  

Learning to be flexible and trying something new is just the thing that will get us to reach beyond where we are comfortable.

Thinking about spring, flowers are blooming, trees are turning green, butterflies are out and so are the hummingbirds.  A walk, hike or enjoying the park are just what the doctor ordered.

Auburn and the surrounding countryside is a perfect place to be in the spring. Let's enjoy our spring and if you have time say hello.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Success Inhibitors

Success Inhibitors

Consider this partial list of traits and misguided behaviors.  There is nothing unique about this list and for many we can fill in our own illustrations.  If you have been in business long enough, you have your own list and they may be longer.

  1. Doing nothing – Business normally doesn’t come to you, it has to be worked for and earned.
  2. Doing too much – Do what you’re good at and learn to delegate the things you don’t do well.  If you don’t learn this you’ll will waste time and soon burn out.
  3. Control freak – The world according to you? Your might be right, but asking for input may make it better.
  4. Being a perfectionist – It will drive you nuts.  Should it be a comma of question mark?
  5. Not being real – If you’re not being real (authentic), at some point be found out and there goes the business.
  6. Forgetting that business is about relationships – Unless you can sell yourself, your going to need others to be success.  Relationships need to be nurtured.
  7. “Going it alone” – Successful people setup strategic, mutual “win-win” business relationships.
  8. No well-defined target market or ideal client – Not everyone that seeks your assistance should be your client.  As the song says: “You have to know when to hold them, know when to fold them, know when to walk away, know when to run”.
  9. Shooting at the wrong target – You can waste a lot of ammunition and time going after some market that you’re incapable of doing.  It is important to know your realistic capabilities.
  10. No distinctive Brand – Know what sets you apart from everyone else.  Say it clearly, succinctly in ways that will be remembered.
  11. Not differentiating your business from competitors – Don’t be a commodity just like everyone else; identify your value and why folks should consider you first.
  12. No market strategy – Plan your work and work your plan.
  13. No tagline – Tag it, remember it.  Remember the famous commercials; the tag brings the company and product to memory.  
  14. No “elevator pitch” – Describe your business in ten seconds.  Make it clear, understandable and distinct.  Practice it and remember it.
  15. Complex marketing message – remember the KISS method: “Keep it simple stupid”.
  16. Keeping all your eggs in one basket – if the basket has a hole in it, eggs will break and you may go hungry.  Be flexible consider of alternatives, and don’t bet your business on just one customer.
  17. Not listening – The most important thing we can do is to listen to our customers. They will tell us what they want and don’t want.  If we talk all the time, we will miss what we are being told.  (Refer to item number 8). BTW… It isn’t about you. 
  18. Selling based on the features rather than the customer benefits – The customer is looking for a reason to buy and the benefits are just what they need to hear and understand.  Let the customer know the value. It matters a lot.
  19. Trying to sell too soon in business prospecting relationship – Not building on fundamentals of relationship and understanding of the product will misfire. 
  20. Selling to new prospects and forgetting existing customers – Low hanging fruit is easier to pick and can be very fruitful.
  21. Not engaging customers when using on social media – Customers become customers when they engage with you.  Remember you can turn off customers by saying the wrong thing at the wrong time.  Stay away from controversially topics!  Did I say stay away from politics!
  22. Forgetting to ask for the sale – If you do every else right but don’t ask then there is a good chance that they won’t buy.
  23. Not asking for referrals – Customers and strategic partners can be your best sales team; engage your partners by asking.
  24. Not learning from your mistakes – When something goes wrong ask yourself what happened. Then take appropriate action to correct from your mistakes.  Think about in inverse as well; when something goes right learn from it and repeat.  (It is the back of the shampoo bottle, “apply rinse, and repeat”.)
  25. Not communicating professionally – If you’re spelling or grammar is poor, get help.  Ask a colleague to review your work.  I will ask my spouse looks at things just a little different than I do to review important communications.  If you are angry or upset, don’t send the communication! Throw the first draft away and write it again when you’ve had the opportunity to thing it over.
  26. Not being grateful – First find something to be thankful for in the most difficult situations (you’ll feel much better).  Say thank you!  If someone does something nice for you say thanks.  The lost art of being gracious and perhaps a note says a great deal about you.
  27. Not adopting a servant mentality – Serve without expecting anything in return. Your graciousness will pay dividends.
  28. Not following through – Every successful pitch has a great follow through.
  29. Not being nice – Someone is looking whether you know it or not.  It may be the third time a question is asked and you’re getting tired of repeating the same information. Say it again and be nice.
  30. Not enjoying the adventure – Business is a roller coaster ride with highs and lows.  It can scare you, excite you and joy comes from the experience.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Wildfire Prevention

Wildfire Prevention

Wildfire protection and prevention is important in the Sierra Foothills.  A few tips that will assist you in protecting your property.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Walking in Sunshire

Walking in Sunshine... Can you hear the music?  
AND how are your feelings about life and where you live?

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Staying Put

Staying Put

Americans are moving at one of the lowest rates on record.  A comfortable place doesn't it sound good.