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Black Friday is only 2 Weeks Away

Black Friday Sale background. Christmas background

Not many tips went out this week with business tips and for that I apologize. The reason is that behind the scenes we have very busy implementing our Black Friday sales strategy and getting all our ducks in a row.

Black Friday is actually our highest sales day of the year in our event business and I think that every business in every industry should run some type of promotion (funerals would be hard but I bet it could be done). Consumers are running around with their wallets open spending money and you really should be present and available to collect some of that coin.

It isn’t too late to plan a promotion and get it in place. Just remember it is not a case of “if you build it, they will come”. You actually have to give great value and promote the heck out of it. Our promotion includes two rounds of postcards, several emails, facebook ads retargetting ads, and even outbound phone calls. The more methods you use, the better.

Seriously, don’t miss the boat or think it can’t be done in your industry. Make it happen and reap the rewards.

Best wishes,
Justin Miller
Chief Strategist
Profit 911 Consulting
www.profit911.biz

Good, Cheap, or Fast… Pick Two?

GCF

You have probably heard this one before… you can only pick two out of the three choices… good, cheap, or fast. If you are like me you might call bull on this and search out someone that can do all three..

Some of my best vendors consistently compete on all three items. As a service provider, you better at least be able to compete on two. It is possible to compete on only one, but it better be quality you pick. Someone will ALWAYS beat you on price, especially in small industries with hobbyists running around.

That being said, game changers come along in even bigger industries. Think Uber vs taxis. I think Uber wins on all three right now.

After my experience flying the past few weeks, I think JetBlue wins on all accounts vs Delta. JetBlue is supposed to be a budget carrier but also killed Delta in service and quality in my recent experiences (according to the axiom, this should not be possible). Think about what you can do to win in all three areas. I suggest it can be done in many industries (at least in the short term).

Also remember to plan from the customers perspective of what defines good, cheap, and fast. What you think really doesn’t matter.

Quick advice for today but very important and could be the topic of an entire seminar or workshop so I suggest some time reflecting, planning, and plotting how to win in this game of business. if you don’t have a clear strategy and place to fit into intentionally it will be a very bumpy road ahead for you.

Best wishes,
Chief Strategist
Profit 911 Consulting
www.profit911.biz

How Long Should I Follow Up?

Leads to Sales Conversion

I get asked this question a lot. “When someone inquires to ask about my services and does not book right away, how long should I continue to contact them? I don’t want to seem pushy and salesy or waste my time on duds.”

The best answer to this question is, as long as it makes sense. Now I know that seems a little vague, but it depends on two factors…
1. How much is a sale worth?
and
2. How much does it cost to continue follow-up? (in time, money, effort, etc)

The answer is going to be different for each person but the general pattern is if the sale is worth a lot, then follow up more. Likewise if the cost of follow-up is low (like in the case of email), then follow-up more.

Here is an email, that just came into my event office yesterday to prove the point…
“Hello Justin,
I actually called your place about a half a year ago requesting information on your services for a wedding. My fiancé and I set our wedding date for 6-10-16 at XXXXXXXXX. We’re wondering if we could hire you for your services if you are available? If yes that would be wonderful! Please email me back at your earliest convenience.
Thank you,
Gabrielle”

Now she doesn’t even remember but I have records she initially inquired on January 29th (over 9 months ago). We have put no manual labor into this lead since February. Instead we have a contact system in place that has been keeping in touch with her automatically and providing value for 9 months.

This is one of my core teachings is to use technology and long-term follow-up to get sales that everyone else won’t. How many other companies do you think are still following up with her 9 months later (on a weekly basis at that)?

Make sure you have long term follow-up as part of your marketing.

Best wishes,
Justin Miller
Chief Strategist
Profit 911 Consulting
www.profit911.biz

P.S. Long-term follow-up is key and one of the foundational marketing building blocks I will cover in detail on April 10th in Las Vegas at my “Six Figure Sales and Marketing Academy.” We have about 20 seats still left at this point and available along with more info atwww.pbxpreday.com

Finding the Bottlenecks In Your Business

justin-beach

My wife and I just got back from our vacation in Puerto Rico on Saturday and we had a blast. Now it is back to “normal” life as we returned home to a sick toddler. Thanks to everyone that gave us input and advice for our trip. It was a ton of fun.

While we were on vacation, I couldn’t help but think how I could somewhat easily run my business from Puerto Rico while our operations remained here in Illinois. I have worked hard to put people and systems into place to get as close as possible to having my event business run without me. I must admit it is somewhat tempting to be a young snowbird and travel to a beach location for the winter months and avoid the snow here in the Midwest. Then I remember that a 4.5 hour flight with two young children and being a couple thousand miles from our babysitters would be quite an adjustment.

So, onto business bottlenecks. First, let me put it out there (and I don’t have time to fully explain in this short email), you are the bottleneck in your business. This is true of any business owner. Your skills, attitude, and vision is what holds back the business. A long vacation is a great way to find exactly what the bottleneck is that you create.

Go away for awhile. Do you get phonecalls from staff that need you? Do you have a stack of work waiting upon your return? Could you have better trained and empowered someone to handle those items? My Monday morning meeting was pretty short today (under 5 minutes). I felt a little unnecessary but also great in that things took care of themselves. That is the goal. For the business to run without me and make money even in my physical absence.

Take a moment to think about what it would be like to have a business that worked for you instead of you working in your business. That doesn’t mean you can’t work in the business. If you enjoy it, then great but that is the only reason you are working is for enjoyment. This is the level of freedom I help people to achieve in their own businesses. This is what we work in when someone steps up and says they have had enough and are tired of spinning their wheels year after year. They are tired on missing out on family time and living their own life. They want to be at their children’s sporting events without worrying about their company or maybe they want to spend some time traveling the world. This is all possible when people realize that they are the bottleneck and put their foot down and decide they have had enough.

Serious stuff today but very important.

Best wishes,
Justin Miller
Chief Strategist
Profit 911 Consulting
www.facebook.com/profit911

P.S. Big announcement coming later this week…

The Importance of Downtime

El Morro Fortress, San Juan, Puerto Rico

A small business owners we all know logically that we need some down time. The problem is that if you are true entrepreneur your brain doesn’t stop. You are always thinking about how to overcome a challenge or how to take advantage of a new opportunity. Studies show us over and over that we are better able to think creatively and overcome challenges when we take time to get away long enough to see the big picture. When we are active and have different experiences in the world it allows us to see other viewpoints we were previously blind to. I encourage you to make time for yourself, both professionally and personally.

Professionally you really should spend at least two days a year on a “strategic retreat.” At a minimum rent a hotel room that you are not usually at (the nicer the better). Find a place where you can think uninterrupted. Shut down the electronics and just focus. This is the time to get your gameplan together.

Personally, plan a real vacation. Not a couple of days tagged onto the end of a business trip, but some time actually fully devoted to vacation. My wife and I will be doing that startingtomorrow as we head to Puerto Rico. She has a high-stress job in healthcare and my mind thinks business nonstop. The kids will be staying with family and we are spending some time just for us (which does not happen as often as it should). I suggest you plan some time for yourself right now as well. It can be during a slow time for your business if that works best but do it.

Likely, you will not hear from me again until next week but if I have something I am dying to share you might.

Best wishes,
Justin Miller
Chief Strategist
Profit 911 Consulting
www.facebook.com/profit911

P.S. If you have been to or live in Puerto Rico and have some ideas on what we should do, reply and let me know.

Hold Their Feet to The Fire

deadline

When you hear that phrase you may assume I am going to be talking about staff but today I am actually speaking in reference to your customers.

I had a potential consulting customer that wanted to purchase a product from me. I had given him a generous discount with a firm deadline and expiring link to buy yesterday. This morning I received a message asking for an extension because he was at a concert. My response… no.

You may ask why I would turn down the sale and the money and it is important to know that there are several reasons.
1. Integrity. When you say an offer is special and not normally available you better be telling the truth. Otherwise your customers will assume they can always get a deal on everything. They will know you are bluffing and can’t be trusted.

2. Missed Deadline. I am very explicit when I make an offer and when I make a deadline it needs to be followed. See above and below for the main reasons why.

3. Potential Future Problems. The person has already shown themselves unwilling to follow directions. In my world, that means they are likely to not follow directions in the consulting advice as well. That means they likely will get crappy results and probably blame my product and badmouth the training. It is not worth the money now for the slandering later.

4. Training Your Customer. You have to tell your customers how you do business, how to contact you, and what is acceptable behavior. If you don’t do this, then you will quickly have chaos. It may come in the form of missed deadlines, heavy negotiations, late night requests for help, etc. It is your own fault if you did not make your expectations clear.

Know what you want and why. Find people that fit into that to help you get there. Short term gain is never worth long term problems.

Best wishes,
Justin Miller
Chief Strategist
Profit 911 Consulting
www.profit911.biz
Continue the conversation at: www.facebook.com/profit911

P.S. After reading this you should know that I am not lying when I say that this week is the last week to catch my free Black Friday training webinar. After that the training and the ability to buy the product goes away until 2016. The last day to view is Thursday. Register right now before it is too late at: http://events.profit911.biz/bf-training-registration/

Improve Your 2015 Holiday Promotions

ribbon

I want to share a story I found today at: http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-1270743
Copied below for your convenience…

Enjoy!
Best wishes,
Justin Miller
Chief Strategist
Profit 911 Consulting
www.profit911.biz
Continue the conversation at: www.facebook.com/profit911

Expert Advice to Improve Your 2015 Holiday Promotions

With the holiday season just around the corner, now may be the best chance for business to increase your sales. If you haven’t already planned your holiday promotions, here are three reasons why you want to take action.

First, the holidays are an easy conversation starter. Famed copywriter and marketer Robert Collier instructed, “Always enter the conversation already taking place in the customer’s mind.”

To give your promotion the best chance of getting your customer’s attention, align your approach with something that they’re already thinking about. Since the holidays will soon be upon us and on everyone’s minds, they are a good subject to begin a dialogue.

Second, the holidays give you a “reason why” you’re doing your promotion.

In his book “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion” Dr. Robert Cialdini identifies principles that can influence a person’s actions, such as making a purchase. In one experiment, Cialdini’s researchers asked a subject to comply with a simple request, “Can I cut in line ahead of you?” While nearly 60% allowed the researcher to do so, they found that compliance improved to 94% when they added a reason that the subject should take the action.

Rather than simply offering “25% off”, you can associate a reason for your promotion by giving it a name such as “Year End Clearance Sale” or “Thanksgiving Appreciation Event”.

Third, the holidays inherently imply a deadline for your promotion.

Cialdini’s research found that adding scarcity, a limiting condition, to a situation further influenced people’s actions. He states in “Influence” that “as opportunities become less available, we lose freedoms; and we hate to lose the freedoms we already have.”

Since the holidays have a specific end date, you could make an attractive offer that is only available during the holidays. Many businesses use “Black Friday” and “Cyber Monday” to promote their products or services within 24-hour timeframes.

To spur your imagination, here are actual examples from business owners on how they’ve successfully used holiday promotions to reach their goals.

Dr. Dennis Buckley of Health Advantage, a chiropractic clinic in Pasadena, CA, says, “One way we’ve attracted new patients is by holding a toy drive each year, where people can bring in a new toy in exchange for treatment.”

Health Advantage partners with local charities and other businesses to promote it. Buckley explains, “It creates excitement and good memories, plus brings joy to children. It’s also our way of giving back and saying thanks.”

Geoff Ronning of Phoenix, AZ uses the holidays as a way to show how much he appreciates his clients. He says, “I’ve had great success sending business and motivation books as holiday gifts, and there is always a lot of business that transpires as a result.”

Ronning has even gotten his family in on the act. Ronning shares, “One of the most successful things I have ever done was to record my wife, son, and me singing a popular holiday song with rewritten lyrics. We wore silly holiday sweaters and recorded it with our computer camera. The singing was terrible, but our clients really enjoyed the video. It strengthened our relationship with them and boosted sales.”

If you’re in the entertainment business, you can get more bookings during the holiday season. Jethro Alcuaz, a magician in Glendora, CA used a holiday promotion to book holiday parties. Alcuaz shares, “I emailed my previous clients and offered them a limited time discount if they booked me for their holiday parties and it worked very well.”

Holiday promotions are a great way to increase your sales and help you achieve your business goals. By being creative and using the three principles above to promote a compelling offer, you’re well on your way to a more successful holiday season and reaching your overall business goals.

Shut Up and Take My Money!

shut-up-and-take-my-money

Want to know how to get more money from your prospects and customers? Make it easy for them to pay you! Accept credit cards.

This may sound silly, but I see it played out all the time. It happened just this weekend when my wife and I took our kids to the apple orchard. They require cash or check payment only even in their retail store. The bottom line is they are losing money.

A lot of people start whining about credit card fees and collecting money. You really have to look at it from the customer’s perspective and if you can’t , man you are missing out big time.

People spend 12-18% more when using plastic so the cards actually make you money. Read here for more: https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/credit-cards/credit-cards-make-you-spend-more/

Sounds simple right? Accept cards. Advertise you accept cards with the logos anywhere there is a price mentioned. Allow payments on your website. Don’t hold up the process of people paying you.

Best wishes,
Justin Miller
Chief Strategist
Profit 911 Consulting
www.profit911.biz
Continue the conversation at: www.facebook.com/profit911

P.S. Taking credit cards can sometimes double your bottom line by increasing sales. Want to take it a step further? Accept payment plans.

How to Reel In The BIG Fish

big fish

In my private consulting a lot of my clients always ask about the BIG clients and how to land the big money deals.

This is good and bad. First, many people think that it is just extra money with no extra work. The bottom line is that the big buyers work a little differently. They are demanding and want excellence. They also buy differently. They often buy more for who you are than what service you provide. This means you have to speak their language, portray the image that matches them, and know what their goals are. The bottom-line is also not necessarily much better than smaller events. Yes, you will have a big invoice at the end of the day but you may also have some big expenses associated with the event.

We are currently working on an event proposal with a budget of about $30,000. The only problem is that the original vision for this event would have cost over $100k. The other thing that many of you may not realize is that way more than half of this will be paid out to third party vendors and suppliers we are bringing in.

At the end of the day, our bottom line will be good but the amount of work put into the event will be very substantial. Make sure you understand the big picture of big budget events are you will set yourself up for disaster.

Best wishes,
Justin Miller
Chief Strategist
Profit 911 Consulting
www.profit911.biz
Continue the conversation at: www.facebook.com/profit911

P.S. If you are in the event business and will be at Photo Booth Expo next April or are within driving distance of Vegas, I will be hosting a one day live training bootcamp onSunday, April 10th entitled “Six Figure Sales Academy for Event Pros”. We will cover all the details and marketing and sales in your business including how to land the big deals. Please contact me if you want to get more info and be on the pre-announcement list so you can reserve your seat before the public announcement. It is a small room so space will be very limited.

The Number-One Reason Businesses Don’t Grow

DR

I hope you had a wonderful labor day yesterday. Today, I defer to one of my mentors, Dave Ramsey and a message from his Entreleadership on delegating…https://www.entreleadership.com/pages/the-numberone-reason-businesses-don%27t-g

I pass you off for two reasons:
1. There is a great message in what Dave says. [read the article as it is better than the video clip] 2. My two young boys decided we needed to have a late night party. Our 8 month old Mason is teething and was crying until midnight (and again at 3am and 6am). Apparently our two year old, Logan thought it was a good idea so he stayed up until about 2am as well. Shortly after the fun, we had a very loud thunderstorm. What a night!

Anyhow, check out the link, read the article, and watch the video: https://www.entreleadership.com/pages/the-numberone-reason-businesses-don%27t-g

Best wishes,
Justin Miller
Chief Strategist
Profit 911 Consulting
www.profit911.biz
Continue the conversation at: www.facebook.com/profit911