How would you like to turn rotting fruit into cash?
Did I say rotting fruit? Yup!
Pull out your pen and get ready to write, because I'm going to give you a big idea on how to use your perishable inventory to make more money!
If you sell a service and no one engages your services today, then you will have lost 8 hours of your productive time that you will never get back.
Those hours are the "fruit at your supermarket." And that fruit has a certain shelf life, and once that expiration date arrives, you can no longer sell that fruit.
That's why I recommend using a variable pricing strategy similar to what airlines do with their supply and demand pricing.
E9digital is a boutique company with limited capacity and we operate at close to 100% allocation on our team members.
But recently, one of our big clients moved a project from Q4 of this year to Q1 of next year. That left one of my top teams without a big project.
So I reached out to a couple of other clients that were sitting on big proposals to see if they wanted a big discount on their project but the catch was that they had to move now and use my team in Q4.
I also told each of those clients that only one client would be able to take advantage of the deal, so it was first come, first served.
And just like that I turned my rotting fruit into gold.
They key to doing this correctly is to make sure that your deal does not affect your normal, full priced work.
So take a look at the times on your schedule where you are under-allocated and see if there is a segment of your clientele that you can serve with a discount pricing package and you will definitely make more money.
Think about what happens when you touch a hot stove. The speed of the nerve impulse through your neural network can be as fast as 100 meters per second. It's almost instantaneous - and there's a reflex action even before your brain gets the time it needs to process the threat. There's no thinking involved. This kind of process is hard wired, and essential for our survival.
Consider that this is only one example of hardwiring in our human experience. And there's some programming that goes beyond the physical. We develop mental and emotional mechanisms as well.
For the most part their intention is similar - our survival, and our safety. And the thing is, they tend to be automatic. Our default is to stay safe and comfortable, right smack in the center of our comfort zones.
But possibility and the opportunity to create results beyond our "reasonable reality" lies outside that place - outside our comfort zone. We need to get a bit uncomfortable in order to achieve the grander goals we say we want.
There's a reason the breakfast line is really long, but the stand-up-to-deliver-an-Education-Piece line... not so much. I know, bacon tastes good. But clearly there's something else at play.
Don't worry, I've got some good news. First of all, fear's job is to stop you. It's what it does best. We all experience it. And most of the time it's irrational and at least in interpersonal connection, it's simply based on perception. It's not real.
So whether it's walking across the bar to talk to that attractive potential mate, adding your input in a creative meeting with a big client, or standing up in front of a room of your peers, the feelings and the circumstances are often mismatched.
Secondly, it often just takes some practice to prove to yourself that it's not actually as scary as you thought it'd be.
So that brings me to my challenge for you. Look, whether or not you want to stand up here and do one of these, totally up to you and cool either way. In case you couldn't tell, I'm having a ball up here.
But look around. This is one of the safest, least judgmental environments you're going to find. Everybody loves you here. Well, most of them do anyway. Sometimes I wonder about Matt. Just kidding.
So get up and stretch yourself. Get out of your comfort zone. Take a risk in your ask during your commercial. Or ask someone significant to attend as your guest.
Just like polished comedians take their material out to small clubs to do test runs, see how it goes here. And have the courage to ask for feedback. If it works here, it can work out there.
When I'm training new coaches, they're often nervous in their first sessions. It's confronting to get hired by your first clients. To handle their objections (which are totally normal by the way). Anyone up against real change - even if they say they want it - has some kind of resistance, or they're either lying or not really committed to taking on the work.
And we say to those newbies, go out and get your nose bloody. It's the way you develop yourself, to get better and more comfortable with the pursuit of your bigger stuff.
You think the greatest guitarists in the world have soft delicate fingertips? Or did they face the discomfort to develop callouses that allow them to strum their instrument and create remarkable music.
I'm standing here surrounded by musicians. And I say strum away my friends.
Get your nose bloody, have a blast, make some music, and as always, have a powerful day!
Show of hands, how many people have been in their current line of work for at least two years? Keep your hands raised if it's been five years. Seven years. Ten years. Twenty years?! Wow.
Ok, so there's some variation but for the most part we've been at what we've been up to for a while. Do you have any idea what your closing percentage is? For some of us that looks like initial connections converting to sales, and for others - in larger volume businesses - it may be an initial sale that converts into a longer term relationship.
Today, I want to take a look at what I call "simple structures." It's the little actions, and awarenesses, that add up to the big wins. Michael Nerenberg knows how this works in baseball, right Michael. It's not about the homeruns - though they're pretty and have the potential for glory. It's about manufacturing runs through base hits.
Simple and Sufficient Structures. How many emails or phone calls or advertisements do you have to initiate to generate a piece of business? Rich Heller, how many landscapes do you visit and provide estimates for on average in order to create a greener client? Jeff Weiskopf is always generous with his willingness to take calls even if they're ultimately not someone he'd take on as a client. How many of those calls do actually turn into business?
We may all have different mechanisms to fill our funnels, but there tend to be analogous structures. Take a moment now and think about the manner in which potential clients initially come your way. The internet? Word of mouth? Email blasts? Whatever it is. Choose one of the modalities that you believe tends to be an effective structure for you. Now, what's one specific action you can take to drive it forward this week?
Can you send one extra e-blast? Or make three phone calls per day? Maybe it's following up with one referral source each day. Think of one daily action that will lead to filling your pipeline in service of converting business for you.
Next, let's take a look at what we can do in this room. One area that I'm working on is inviting guests. Some of us really excel in this area. But whether you tend to invite lots of guests or very few, imagine the buzz of energy in this room if everyone had a guest here next week.
And what would that take to create? How many invites would you have to extend to have one of them be accepted? And it's funny, everyone that comes down here has a positive experience. Imagine if you made one call or sent one text or email, each day, to offer the opportunity to have access to this group.
Simultaneously, we can look at referrals. Clearly this isn't a new structure. It's pretty much the main dish down here. But give some thought to a category of professional that for whatever reason you tend not to refer to. Go ahead, look around the room and find someone. Imagine what would be possible if this week everyone created one referral in a new area.
Metrics can be measured. And leveraging simple, daily and weekly structures can have a big impact - a powerful impact.
Every piece of business ultimately contains a transaction. Typically, it's an exchange of goods or services for money. And there are different levels of exchange. In other words, buying a pack of gum is going to be less involved than buying a brownstone, right Josh Doyle? Nora, I imagine hiring someone for a week might be different than hiring them for a year. And Josh Perlman, it's likely that how one chooses their waiter is different from how one chooses their dentist.
Trust is certainly involved in these, and specific need. And there are likely other factors. But today I'd like to come at this from a slightly different angle. We're going to call this distinction Farmer, Fire, Flower, Fence.
I want you to picture a farmer. This farmer is walking in his field and he notices a beautiful flower. The problem is that it's on the other side of a big, heavy fence. Now, in my scenario I want you to know that the farmer really wants the flower. But the fence prevents him from getting it.
Consider that there are a few factors that will ultimately determine whether or not this farmer will end up possessing the flower. The most common place to look is at the fence - is it climbable, are there holes in it, etc? If it can be navigated by the farmer, he'll get over or through and get the flower. Another place to look is at the flower itself. How desirable is it? Consider that if the farmer wants it badly enough, perhaps he'll find a way to get it, even if it creates some discomfort - like climbing a high fence or digging under it, etc. And to add one final element here, consider that there's a fire burning where the farmer is standing. It doesn't have to be a real fire - just the growing discomfort of not having the flower. If the discomfort is great enough, the farmer might also be motivated to navigate the fence.
Now let's map this model onto our businesses, and our customers and clients. If you're in a sales based business - and to some extent we all are - but I mean especially where you rely on volume, like Jackie's OSM Partners' swag of all trades, perhaps you lower the fence. In other words lower the price as the amount increases. But if you're in a field like Acupuncture or Dentistry, you could do some kind of special rate but you're probably not relying on lowering the fence. It might be more effective to get the farmer to see how beautiful the flower is - like how white his teeth will be or what it's like to live pain free. You could also help him get clear about how hot the fire is, and what's predictable about their situation if they don't get any support. Continuing to live with crooked teeth, or not being able to lift his kids onto the hay ride.
I can tell you that as a coach, people often share their fires - and we get to discuss them. But the most effective thing is when they get in touch with their own power and possibility. If they can connect to how beautiful that flower is - and remember that here it's a flower of their own choosing - they'll navigate almost any fence.
So take a look at your business and your "farmers." Where do you tend to focus? The fence, the fire, or the flower? And to be clear, there's no right answer. This is simply about awareness, and an access point to creating what you believe would be affective.
How would you like to leave every power team meeting with 5 referrals?
So how do you do that?
Pull out your pen and get ready to write, because I'm going to give you a big idea on how to use power teams to make more money.
First, everyone on the power team should bring their laptops or ipads to the meeting.
Next, everyone opens up their linkedin.
Then you go around the table and each member picks one job title, and gives one solid reason why a person with that job title would be interested in meeting them.
Everyone does a search for that job title in their Linkedin contacts.
Then each member will send out 3 to 5 email that read something like this....
I just had breakfast with Conrad Strabone. He's one of the top web developers in Manhattan. He said Directors of Business Development love chatting with him because he can show them how their website is costing them sales leads, so I thought of you.
Let me know if you'd like an intro to Conrad and I'll make that happen. If not, no worries, and I hope all else is well with you.
This proactive method of contacting people is low key and low stress.
Most will say that they are not interested, but will thank you for thinking of them.
If you go around the table and send out 30 of these email at each power team meeting. You should get 4 or 5 intros, and you should be able to convert one of those leads to a sale.
They key to doing this effectively is the big idea, since the people you are emailing have not expressed an interest.
So the big idea should get them thinking that they need to examine something that is not currently on their radar.
In my example, I didn't say Conrad would like to sell you a website. I said people like you are interested in learning how their websites might be able to generate more sales leads.
Now imagine that you did nothing else at each power team meeting, month after month. The result will be a dozen extra sales per year.
So try this at your next power team meeting, and you'll ... make more money!
Business Networking International.
The last word is pretty cool, but I think we all know what gets us up before the sun - growing the first by means of the second. We want more business, which for most of us means more clients. But does that just mean more people with money?
As a Life Coach - it isn't quite that simple. Money helps of course, but there's more to what makes up my Ideal Client.
Perhaps it's the same for you. Maybe it's not a "one size fits all" solution. There are certain people who will absolutely love your product or service and rave about it to all of their friends and anyone who will listen. While others simply won't see the point or value in what you're offering.
It's for this reason that it's so important to identify your ideal client. But before you can focus on who they are, you first need to be clear about what an ideal client is.
Yes, your ideal client is someone who benefits from your product or service. But, they're also someone you want to target with marketing and promotions based on your current business situation. Your existing customers may not necessarily be your ideal ones.
In a perfect world, your ideal customer will possess both of these elements - someone who sees tons of value in your product or service, and will also help push your business forward.
Kat Boogard wrote a piece for Audience Ops in which she describes five steps to identifying your ideal client.
Step One: Know Your Product or Service
First, you need to have a solid understanding of your business. That doesn't just mean knowing your financials and memorizing the copy on your website. You need to understand your business from your customer's point of view.
Take some time and write out exactly what you offer to your clients. What problems do you solve? Why should people buy from you instead of your competitors? What sets you apart?
Step Two: Determine Your Goals
Once you've identified who is currently buying from you, determine what your goals are.
Are you happy with this current type of client? Are they happy with you? Or, do you feel that you're not appropriately targeting the people who would value your business the most?
Step Three: Analyze Past Interactions
Your past interactions with customers can reveal a lot - both good and bad. Combing through any major mistakes and successes can help you narrow your focus. First, look back on any failures that made your stomach turn. Did those incidents have anything in common? Also take time to review any big wins. Maybe those clients all had the same problem and you were able to address it with your product or service. Maybe they were even all in the same industry.
Step Four: Build a Customer Profile
Once you've done your research, and put in the legwork, you're ready to outline everything that makes your customer tick. This is when you'll build your customer profile, which shares all of the information about who exactly you're trying to target. The process involves answering some important questions that cover everything from basic demographics to what influences their buying decisions. Find out as much as you can about your particular customer. The more you know, the more powerful you'll be.
Step Five: Remember Your Hard Work
You created a detailed profile of your ideal customer. Now what? If your goal is to target those specific customers in order to continue improving your business, you should always keep that information top of mind. It should impact every move and decision you make.
Identifying your ideal customer can seem like a daunting task. However, it's an important step in growing and improving your business, and these five steps can be a structure to support you.
Back together again! Not that the week off didn't have its benefits, but you got to be in it to win it, right? And this group plays to win.
There are a lot of common threads connecting us. We're dedicated, smart, trustworthy, responsive, and we care. We get up early. We present ourselves. We edify and acknowledge each other. And that's just inside the room. We also have commonalities outside the room. We build committed relationships with our families, and show up for the people in our lives, including our clients. We're moving our businesses forward and we're all in various phases of growth.
But we're also all different. In fact, it's at the very foundation of this structure. Every single person in this room is different in our professional pursuits. Architecture, design, dentistry, marketing, real estate, legal practice, coaching, therapy, computers, construction, charitable causes, wine, websites, jewelry, and the list goes on and on and on.
So we're the same and we're different.
Consider that the same can be true of our clients and customers.
They all have different needs, different stories, different budgets, and different value systems. They have different skill sets, levels of leadership, communication skills, and education. Different tolerance levels, different egos, different taste and sense of style.
And they are all the same - human beings who wake up in the morning, go to sleep at night, and care about those close to them. They get excited to go see their favorite show, and scared when they get bad news from their physician. They desire happiness and satisfaction, enough money to buy what they want and enough time to enjoy it. They struggle, feel pain, have a birthday every year, and hopefully celebrate the wins when they can.
They, like us, are all different. And also the same.
So it's simple. Let your humanity connect with theirs. See them for who they are, discern their needs, and how you can meet them.
And remember what makes us different. It's not just what we do, but how we do it. Keep present to the how, and what makes your product, service, and brand be the one they need, the one they want, the one they connect to.
Here's to our similarities. Here's to our differences. Here's to business, and growth.
As of last week, I have now had a 121 with every member of the chapter. So why is this important?
Get your pens ready to write because this week's make more money moment will help you get business and referrals from what initially appears as unlikely sources.
First, you should get about 50% of your referrals from your primary power team since they speak to same target client as you, and quite often need to pull you in to complete a deal.
But that doesn't mean you should ignore the other 50% of potential referrals from the rest of the membership. So here are a couple of ideas to make your 121s with every member a little more productive.
First, make sure you educate your partner on how to recognize opportunities for you by giving them a few trigger phrases that should make them think of you. For example, a couple of my trigger phrases are "I'm starting a new business" or "I can't get in touch with my web developer." When you hear these things, the client is basically telling you to introduce them to me because they need help with their website.
Second, you should discuss the job titles that are often good prospects for you and see if there is any overlap with your 121 partner. If you're both speaking to similar prospects but selling different things, that gives you a chance to help your customer solve a problem, and give a referral at the same time.
For example, I know that George Friedman wants to meet Office Administrators, so when I'm speaking to an Office Administrator, I can listen for any gripes about their copier or office equipment. And when the opportunity arises that should be an easy introduction to George.
To sum it up, by having 121s with everyone in the chapter, you're going to uncover a lot of opportunities that you didn't know existed. The key is training us on how to recognize and act on those opportunities.
If you have any questions, or would like some additional coaching on how to do this effectively, please let me know...Now get out there and make more money!
Do you ever get hired for projects that will also employ other vendors like a wedding or an office renovation?
Get your pens ready to write because this week's make more money moment will help you increase your referral network! Let's take case of a wedding, and DJ Coolhand being hired as the DJ.
The first thing DJ should do after being hired is ...collect a deposit, but you knew that.
The second thing he should do is present his client intake form, with one of the sections being dedicated to collecting the contact information of the other vendors that will be working the wedding like the florist, the caterer, the photographer, and planner.
This does two things. First, it allows him to coordinate with the other vendors to ensure that the event comes off seamlessly.
But second, and more critically, at least for him, is that he can now contact, network and trade referrals with these people on future weddings.
Now, if you connect with these other vendors, the most important thing you need to do is stay in touch with them at least on a monthly basis to make sure you stay top of mind...And don't send them a newsletter, send them a personal email checking in on them and their business.
Finally, if you're connecting with other vendors, why don't you invite them to come join us for breakfast one Wednesday. I think we would all like to meet them too!
If you have any questions, or would like some additional coaching on how to do this effectively, please email me.... Now get out there and make more money!
Over the past few months, we've talked about a lot of things. We've looked at gaps and stops, getting vulnerable, mixing things up, waiting, and not waiting, we've looked at what we need, and what gets in our way.
And all of that is valuable in terms of our lives and our businesses, and maximizing the potential of both.
But there's another key element in the journey we're all taking. While being aware of the road still ahead, it's crucial to sometimes turn around and acknowledge the ground taken. There will always be mountains yet to climb. But today let's pause and appreciate the view.
And the wins!
I'm going to put some people on the spot now. They have no idea this is coming. And I do it with love and respect.
Amy, how long have you been President? Thank you for your leadership and your commitment.
Brittany, how much closed business have we done so far this year? Awesome. Thank you for your light and joy.
Conrad, how many referrals have been passed this year? Take a guess. Great! Thank you for your power and your sense of fun and play.
Simone, thanks for having our backs.
Matt, thanks for being our advocate.
MC, thanks for your care and strength, and for making leadership a team sport.
Thanks Jeff for supporting the education of us, Carey for presenting us, and Steve for always keeping us on track.
And Jamie and those who have supported with tech and AV.
And the rest of us who show up early and stay late, who host at the table and support the venue in various ways.
A special thank you to founding members: Andrew Kahner, Josh Doyle, Cliff Schneider, Jeff Simon, Matt Long, Steve Conyers, and Ryan Smith. Thank you for being the pioneers who set out on Lucky 62's maiden voyage, and for seeing us through to where we are today.
Also, to the heads of the Power Spheres, and to anyone I left out.
Thanks to everybody.
My friends, I have a baby coming in the next few days to a week or so. And don't worry, you'll see me soon. But before I go, I wanted to give us all the gift of appreciating what we've been up to - where we've been, where we are, and where we're headed.
Thanks Jenn Mello for stepping up to the mic next week and sharing your voice. I encourage others to do the same. And if you don't want to actually speak, do share the topics with Jeff and myself that you'd like to hear more about.
This is a special place. And it takes each one of us to create it this way.
So much power and possibility in this room, in the structure, in the accountability, in the relationships.
Partnership, friendship, care, and consideration. All channeled toward commerce and community. Profit and professionalism.
Take a good look around. It's all right here.
Thanks for showing up so consistently for ourselves and each other. And even for the various charitable causes, and events like next week's cruise.