Archive for June, 2010

Grow Sales – Squeeze Your Way to Business Growth

If you want to grow the sales of your business, squeeze some oranges.

Okay, I don’t literally mean ‘squeeze oranges.’  What I’m talking about is taking a look at the assets you’ve created in your business, and doing more with them.  Another term for squeezing is leveraging.  (I thought squeezing was more fun!)

What you want to “squeeze” are the assets in your business, so you can get more out of them.  Think of your company’s assets as a basket of oranges.  These oranges are a number of things, such as:

  •  Products or services you’ve developed
  • Clients
  • Employees, virtual assistants, contractors relationships
  • Marketing materials and methods
  • Key referral resources

This basket of oranges is already creating a certain amount of income in your business.  The best way to make more money in your business is to:

  • Create a second basket of oranges (more assets)
  • Squeeze harder on the basket of oranges you already have

My choice?  Squeeze harder on the basket of oranges you already have (choice #2).

It’s my experience that most entrepreneurs wanting to grow their businesses take the much more difficult, expensive, and time-consuming route of creating a second basket of oranges.

The reality is many of your existing clients will buy more products and services from you, if you proactively tell them how else you can help.  That’s why it is so important to talk with your clients frequently and find out what are their probelms, and needs.

Therefore, my suggestion is get squeezing!

The fast track to growing your business—and your income—is to increase sales to an existing market. 

This means you go after the same or similar market with your existing products or services.  What you will do differently is you will market more proactively.

Revitalizing your marketing strategy may mean you’ll have to tweak, revise, or re-price some of your existing products or services.  The good news is you don’t have to totally revamp them.

It’s unnecessary to create new products and services, or market to a new market unless:

  • Your product is out-of-date, or is no longer competitive
  • The market you’re promoting to is extremely small, shrinking, not viable

Now, you’re squeezing your oranges!

So, if you want to grow your business and your income, the best way is to develop a smart, comprehensive marketing plan for your current products and services, and market…building on what you already have in place.

To learn more about how to create a marketing growth plan guaranteed to work visit http://bonitarichter.com/7-step/

My Daughter, Janelle

I am so excited!  My daughter, Janelle, is flying to ILJanelle today to visit with me for one week.  She just turned 20 years old, and has been living in PA attending college.  I am hoping someday she will return to IL, and be closer to her ‘mama.’   

Oh, and ladies, this is her natural hair color.  It’s to die for, isn’t it?  

Learn Secrets How to “Close the Deal”  

You can market, market, market.  But, if you can’t get a prospect to sign on the …dotted line…, you won’t have a business for long.

I ‘ve created a *NEW* *HOT* workshop I’ll be leading in September.   In May, I ran a pilot of the program and it SOLD OUT with 1 email!  I’ll be releasing more details in coming weeks. 

(Thank you and lucky are those of you who invested in my 7-Step and Niche Secrets programs.  You are superstar followers, and part of an elite few people who gain access to this proprietary information I shared.) 

Squeeze More Oranges to Grow Your Business

This week’s article is about how to grow your business without having to create “from scratch.”  Find out how in my article on my blog.

Have a beautiful and prosperous week,

Bonita Richter, MBA

Dream. Plan. Create.

Qualifying Prospects – Separating Prospects from “Looky-Loos”

When you operate a service business—or any business—it’s common to have a number of people inquiring about your products or services who are just “shopping around.”

These people are called “Looky-Loos,” and are generally curious, with good intentions.

However, they are not serious buyers, who are willing to make a decision to invest in your services any time soon.

“Looky-Loos” can be a huge waste of time.  So, knowing how to qualify prospects, so you spend time with “serious inquiries only” is a key skill to acquire!

Knowing how to “weed out” the serious prospects, from the “lookers,” takes a good measure of courtesy, and tact.  You have to be responsive and polite to ALL potential customers.  However, there are ways to limit the amount of time, money, and effort you spend on shoppers that will lead you down a path to nowhere.

Here are three tips you can use to invite serious inquiries, only, in your business:

Tip #1.  Have a website with descriptive information available.

If you have a generally “good” website, most prospects whom visit will figure out quickly if your company is a good fit for them.   To ensure you don’t get a lot of “dead-end” inquires; make sure your website clearly communicates—

  • The specific target market you are seeking to attract
  • The specific expertise or special services you offer
  • What step you want prospects to take if interested in finding out more information

The strategy is, when a prospect reads your website, they decide if your business is right for them, before they waste any more of their time—or your time—by making an inquiry.

Some people, out of a sincere desire to learn more about you and the possibility of working with you, will request more information.  If this happens, move to Tip #2.

Tip #2.  Ask qualifying questions of the prospect.

By questioning a prospect, you are pre-qualifying them before you spend significant time with them.  By asking a few simple, non-intrusive questions, you can get a sense of how serious the prospect is very quickly.

This information can be asked during a telephone call, or, by using a questionnaire you email prospects, which they send back to you.

To do this you want to think about key information you need to know to assess if a prospect is—

  • Serious about investing in your services
  • A match with your ideal client criteria

Here are examples of questions to ask for a coaching business:

  • How large is your business in sales?  Employees?  List size?
  • What is your number one goal in coaching with me?
  • Are you willing to invest in a coach now if you could meet or surpass your goals the next 12 months?

Questions such as these give you a better sense of whether a prospect is ready to make a decision, and how much time to spend with them.

If you determine a prospect is serious, then, you can go into more detailed questioning to determine a prospect’s needs, and let them know how you can help them.

Tip#3.  Be cautious of prospects who want TOO much information.

Some prospects use proposals as a way of getting free consulting services, and this includes small businesses, as well as Fortune 500 companies.

Some prospects will even email you their specific questions, hoping to get a response from you to “try you out,” or they have only “one quick question,”  which means you end up giving away free services…and wasting your time.

My advice is don’t write a proposal until you are certain that a prospect is truly interested in making a decision about investing in your services soon.  When doing a proposal, focus on results, and not “How” you will solve a problem your prospect is experiencing.

Spend your time with prospects that are “serious inquiries only.”  Doing so will help you achieve a positive attitude toward ALL inquiries (because you know how to “weed”), as well as help you be more productive, and your business more profitable.

My Daughter, Becky, on Prom Day

My daughter, Becky, is pictured here in her prom dress on prom day.  It is such a lovely picture of her, I had to DSCN0420share it with you.  It was such fun that day helping her get her nails and hair “done.”   

I unexpectedly had to do last-minute alterations while the dress was on her—with no time to spare— because the limo was on the way!  She had lost weight.  (We found out later she lost 30 pounds in just one month.  This past week she was diagnosed with Celiac, the cause of the sudden weight loss.)  

So, if you’ve been wondering “Where’s Bonita?”, you now know one of the reasons.  Plus, I’ve been focusing my time working with my private clients.  Look for their stories in coming issues.  Their businesses include—  

  • Eco-friendly products retailer
  • Gardening products retailer
  • Gourmet catering
  • Human Resources consulting
  • Start-up/specialty candles to start, more to come

To learn more about how you, too, can become a Platinum coaching client to ACCELERATE business growth contact me http://bonitarichter.com/contact/.

Learn Secrets How to “Close the Deal”

You can market, market, market.  But, if you can’t get a prospect to sign on the …dotted line…, you won’t have a business for long.

I’ve created a *NEW* *HOT* workshop I’ll be leading in September.   In May, I ran a pilot of the program and it SOLD OUT with 1 email!  I’ll be releasing more details in coming weeks.   

Have a beautiful and prosperous week,

Bonita