Profit 911 Business Consulting By Justin Miller

Sacrifice Now for Rewards Later

sacrifice

It’s Christmas week and the business world seems to be slowly shutting down. When I dropped our boys off at daycare this morning, there were about half as many kids as normal. When I tried to go to the preschool to drop off forms, I found it closed until Jan 4th. I figured office workers would still be present for a couple days, but that wasn’t the case. All around the world people are starting their vacations. Many will not return until after Jan 1st.

When I drove in to my office building today I saw the opposite. Our parking lot was very busy. Moreso, than normal. This building is filled with small businesses. Us small business owners are still working our tails off. It is not a holiday yet. There is work to be done, money to be made, and customers who depend on us. It would be easy to ignore that, shut the doors, and take a break but at what cost? How much opportunity would be lost?

Dedicated small business owners are working. They are trying to figure out how much they can get done in the rest of the year, not how much can get pushed off. The recognize the value of family time and will be present with their families when the time is appropriate but will not squander either family time or work time. These people deserve a pat on the back and do not normally get one. We don’t work for that pat on the back. We work for ourselves and our families. We do what we think is best. We work hard now so that we can reap the fruit of our efforts later. We sacrifice in the short term to gain in the long run. We do it all because we care.

Keep up the good work my friends! What you do is important and needs to be done.

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

Another Freebie Friday (48 Hours Only)

 

13hacks-webA Christmas Gift For You! (Next 48 Hours Only) One week until we celebrate Christmas. I just started the annual shopping (mostly online) yesterday. I thought it would be good to give you a gift.

For the next 48 hours only, I have once again marked down one of my best selling training DVDs “13 Growth Hacks”. The normal price is $97 but right now you can pick it up for just the cost of shipping it to you $6.95 in the US and slightly more international.

If you missed out last time I offered this, don’t miss out again…
Go right now to get more details on the dvd and order while the discount is still here: http://www.profit911.biz/freebie

Best wishes for a great weekend!
Justin Miller
Chief Strategist
Profit 911 Consulting

Free smiley icon

When is it time to market your business?

selecting now on a blackboard

I received an email question today that I found quite interesting and thought I would share it and my response…

From Gary M, “at what point do you or a business owner turn to marketing to continue growing, reaching new markets, etc…?”

and my response…
Interesting question. I would suggest that marketing is a continual part of any business and arguably the most important. Without sales a business does not exist. Until a sale is made nothing happens.

There are plenty of warehouses of products that did not sell. There are plenty of broken dreams of small business owners, I have had my fair share of failures myself.

The small business owner is tasked with simultaneously working on all fronts of the business (or hiring people to do so on their behalf). In our global commerce world, inventory is less and less of a competitive advantage unless working solely as a local business. Product is able to be purchased in China and shipped DHL in 2 days if need be. The game is changing every day. The areas you need to excel in are different today that they were ten years ago.

In the same way having the best gear doesn’t make you any more money either unless there are sales and marketing in place to get it out making money. I see “gear junkies” in every industry I work in. I watch purchases being made on tradeshow floows with dreams of making a fortune when the buyer should have first found some customers and then bought the product.

It is very tempting and dangerous to say “but my business is different.” EVERYBODY thinks their business is different. I hear it every day. Everybody needs to be marketing and view it as one of the most, if not THE most, important part of the business. It is this very belief that has allowed me to build each of my businesses to what they are today. It is what has allowed me to live a life of freedom from a day job. It is what has allowed me the privilege of following my passion. It is at the heart of everything and if you are ignoring it, then you are missing the big picture.

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

An Industry Due for a Shake-up

Change Bowling Ball Strike Shaking Up for Adapting

I promised earlier this week to share my experience with the banking industry. The short story is there is major need for a shake-up and to wake up the banks. I know there is a lot of red tape in the industry but it is antiquated and not working well.

I was recently setting up a new business checking account and had 3 requirements…
1. Little/No Fees
2. Mobile check deposit
3. Decent ATM network (optional)

I tried first supporting local banks. Dug through 5-10 websites, even had to call some to ask about mobile deposit (you won’t believe how many STILL don’t have this). I finally thought I had a winner at a local credit union named “Vibrant.” Seemed to fit my requirements and is close to my office.

I walked in and what looked like the reception desk seemed to be closed (not sure if it is ever open or someone was out to lunch). Sign said go to teller window so I did. I was asked to take a seat in the lobby and someone would be with me. I watched a line grow at the teller window and was thinking I would never be stopping in to bank and wait in that line.

I sat, and sat and sat. About 5 employees had glass offices. 3 were with customers and two were not. One was well within view so I could tell she was not on the phone or with anyone. I sat 15-20 minutes and walked out.

2 open employees, not cross-trained on opening new accounts (this bank has heavy incentives for accounts and spends a fortune on marketing), nobody willing to drop an asynchronous task to bring in a new customer. I will not support a bank with that kind of stupidity going on.

Others I called and their phone systems put me into loops or dropped the call. I finally went searching for the big guys for an online bank with a true website application. I settled on Capital One. Application process was smooth until finished. It was then complicated by the fact I have a personal credit card open there and I had to call a couple times and their “system was down” asking me to call back. I asked if they could call me back and the answer was “no this call center is inbound only.”

The lesson is service matters. A local business should have easily had my business by providing superior service. They did not. The money they spend on tv ads, mailers, and marketing are all wasted if the right process is not in place when someone comes with money in hand. They are operating what I like to call the “sales prevention department.”

You need to make sure your business does not have this department. It costs a fortune to run.

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

How to use automated email marketing to sell while you sleep.

sleep

You voted and you shall receive…
As promised, I will be conducting a free live webinar this Thursday on the topic that won thevote last week.

Here were the results…
[A] How to get 3 times more leads with half the effort.  – 43% OF VOTES
[B] How to use automated email marketing to sell while you sleep. – 48% OF VOTES AND THE WINNER
[C] How to 10x your referrals without begging. – 9% OF VOTES

So email marketing will be the topic. You can get some more details and register at:
http://events.profit911.biz/email-webinar-reg/

I don’t have the fancy registration page up with video yet but you can get in now before I release the training to the public.

Hope your week is off to a great start and I will see you live in Thursday!

Best wishes,
Justin Miller
Chief Strategist
Profit 911 Consulting

P.S. Several of my students brought in over $10,000 on Black Friday week doing some of what we will be covering. You don’t want to miss this opportunity. If you can’t make it live, we will be selling a recording of the webinar on dvd at a later date.

Cast Your Vote

difficult choice choose at crossroads impossible to decide which direction to go decision when you can't choose being doubtful or in doubt because of confusion you become insecure and indecisive act here and now

Cast Your Vote Now…
I have some time blocked out next week to do a free online webinar training for you. There are a few different topics I am thinking about covering.
 
Please email our office at justin@profit911.biz with which one of the below topics you like best and want to hear.
 
The topic with the most votes wins…
[A] How to get 3 times more leads with half the effort.
[B] How to use automated email marketing to sell while you sleep.
[C] How to 10x your referrals without begging.
 
Email now with the letter or topic and let me know. I will release the results tomorrow along with info on how to register (voting is taking place multiple places).
 
Best wishes,
Justin Miller
Chief Strategist
Profit 911 Consulting

Did Black Friday Make You Money?

We survived the Thanksgiving and subsequent shopping holidays. So, one question for you…. how did you do? Did you find a way to cash in on Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, or Cyber Monday?

Our Black Friday was down from last year but still one of our best days of the year.

I heard back from Aaron Abramson who followed our Black Friday Blueprint Training (with his own twist) who had this to say:
“Hey Justin,  I just want to say thank you for your Black Friday sale system.  I’ve been using Infusionsoft for a year and a half, and have done some successful promotions in the past…

But I have NEVER done a sale with a PDF price list with printable order form…  Opening up my emails to see orders sitting there is like Christmas!

I did modify the sale though… We’ve been running it all week (not just on Friday), and Saturdaymorning extending it until next Wednesday (we do well with extending sales).

$9133 in credit card receipts so far this week!”

Aaron wrote that email before Black Friday had even arrived following the basic principles on how we run one time promotions.

So, email me at justin@profit911.biz

Did you run a promotion? What did you do? How did you do? You don’t have to have numbers as high as Aaron. I want to hear from you.

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

Never Assume Anyting

NEVERASSUME

Yesterday I shared with you about our great experience at Disney and I promised to share my experience at the IAAPA tradeshow.

First some background, this show is HUGE. With likely 10,000+ attendees and hundreds of vendors. The attendees vary in type of business greatly. That being said, we only walked the massive show floor on the last day of the show (Friday). The show had been running for several days prior to that. My aim in attending is to see what’s new, bring ideas from outside my immediate industry back to my company, and purchase anything that catches my eye as a profitable offering.

After lunch Friday, we walked through the outside exhibit display and came across a neat interactive display. The sign said to sign waiver first so we found the vendor’s table. One guy working, sitting laid back in his chair, on his phone. There was a stack of signed waivers on the table and a pen. I asked him if I could try the product out and could not believe the response. Something along the lines of “no, we are about close up soon. I would show it to someone that was seriously interested in buying at this point but that’s about it.” I’m not sure what part of “buyer” and “management” on my badge (within his immediate industry he is selling to) said there is no chance of a sale. This guy was “done” with the show. I thanked him, said that he had made a bad assumption, and walked off.

Let’s put this into prospective. He has likely spent $10,000+ to exhibit at this show. He assumed everyone had already been by that was serious. He had given up. I assure you there were buyers with money in hand still ready to spend at that point. I get it, he was tired. He assumed by my age and possibly attire I was not a sales lead. He likely did the same dumb thing many times that afternoon. I am guessing $10K to $20k in last sales do to his own attitude.

How many times do you exhibit at a bridal show or trade show? Do you tear down early? Do you assume everyone has gone through before the show is over? Would you stay 10 minutes late and talk to a sales lead? Do you assume someone can or cannot afford you by their attire? Assumptions are a killer for sales. Always assume the best. Anything less is counterproductive and worthy of the “sales prevention department” title, which you don’t want in your company.

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

Disney = Service

Magic Kingdom Castle at Christmas

I just got back from Orlando along with a couple of staff members and got a chance to spend a night and day at Disney World. Disney is known for customer service oriented employees and for the most part, this is exactly what we experienced.  I should preface this by letting you know that one of my employees that was with has worked for a major US amusement park chain and was floored by the difference between the Disney experience and the parks he has worked at and visited.

A couple examples come to mind on Friday night when we were at Hollywood Studios. First off, my buddy kept commenting on how the employees all seemed to actually enjoy their jobs, follow procedures as they were supposed to, and smiled while doing it. They did not seem in a hurry to get home (even when it was pouring rain at 11pm on Saturday night). When we were having difficulties figuring out the fast pass system and how to link all out tickets etc, we decided to approach someone working at the fast pass entrance to the Rock and Roller Coaster. She answered questions, helped setup the app on our cellphone, and once done granted us access to the fast pass entrance immediately without us asking. Very impressive and “would never” happen at the other park chain according to my friend.

The second experience that comes to mind was when we were leaving the Tower of Terror and headed toward the exit as it was past park closing. One of the workers on the street stopped us and let us know that the Rock and Roller Coaster was going to be open late if we wanted to go ride it. Wow. Couldn’t believe someone went out of their way to let us know. We asked another employee at the ride why it was open late and the response was that it was down for maintenance for 30 min earlier so they are keeping it open 30 min past park close. I have never experienced that at another park. More like “park is closed…. go home!”

Disney had a way of making three random patrons feel like VIPs and have a great time and they didn’t even know it. I assure you though that they work extremely hard on that experience and train heavily along with hiring the right people to start with. What does the experience look and feel like in your business?

Best wishes,

Justin Miller

Chief Strategist

Profit 911 Consulting

 

P.S. Tomorrow I will share with you the exact opposite experience I had with a vendor on the trade show floor at IAAPA (the real reason we were in Florida). If you ever exhibit at trade show or bridal show, this will be a must read for you.

662 Calls and No Sales

call center

Last night we did a “call night” at our office in preparation and to boost response for our Black Friday sale. We had 6 people on the phones and placed 662 outbound calls to our master list of leads (we got about halfway through the list).

The results for all the calls… ZERO sales. Now you may be thinking what a waste of time and money but the goal of the calls was not to get bookings. The goal was to get people registered for our sale and opted into email from us. About 1 in 10 people took us up on that. So ~60 people. Consider hourly wages probably cost us $500-600 just for last night. That may seem insignificant to you, but it actually a very significant number.

From past experience, I know that on average each person account for about $210 in revenue during the sale. So 60 qualified prospects should yield around $12,000 in sales. Now the wages seem cheap in comparison.

Yes, calling is one of the most expensive and labor intensive way to make a sale. That being said, it is still profitable and should be in your arsenal of marketing tools. Don’t get lazy. Your business depends on you.

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

P.S. For those of you in the photo booth business that are attending my 6 Figure Sales and Marketing Academy in April, I am working on bringing in a guest who runs call centers for a living to discuss this topic in detail. You can see more about the event at www.pbxpreday.com

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