June offer

Over the last few months, we have been receiving an increase in enquiries for an up and coming event that are looking to have a speaker at their event and wanting to get further information or insights into how our team works and the possible topics.

One of the things that I have been seeing more and more of is how businesses today have so much opportunity in front of them but are sometimes struggling to get their strategic plan or direction clarified to ensure that they can chase these opportunities.

This month we would like to offer a 1 ½ hour strategy session for you and your management team to investigate your business opportunities and provide a greater opportunity in the year ahead. This 1 ½ hour session will provide you with some practical skills of how to look at your current business environment and identify some new opportunities for your future success.

Robyn Pearce — The Time Queen’s Top Time Tips

  1. ‘No’ is your most powerful time management tool (but not in a career-limiting or relationship-limiting way!)
    Learn how to politely and appropriately say ‘no’ to potential time-stealers and less relevant activities.
  2. Every week, block in a few important non-urgent actions.
    Make appointments with yourself, written into your diary or organiser, to work on one or two activities per week of long-term and long-lasting value.
  3. Constantly ask, ‘What is my highest priority right now?’
    This great question helps us stay focused on activities that really make a difference.
  4. ‘How can I do this task more efficiently?’
    Become a ‘walking question mark’. There are always better ways to do things. Time-saving efficiencies are all around us, but most people don’t go looking for them. Instead, they just complain about lack of time!
  5. Block in regular sanity gaps.
    When did you last take a complete weekend off – no email, no business calls, no responsibilities other than the people you’re with? You’ll come back fresher and you’ll also produce better results.
  6. Manage your energy well and time looks after itself.
    Your energy levels are your indicator as to whether you’re doing the right things. If something isn’t flowing smoothly, something needs to change.
  7. Eliminate clutter in all areas of your life.
    Imagine every item you hang on to has an invisible silver thread connecting you to it. Does it energise you or pull you down?
  8. Don’t make email the first thing of the day – and turn off your alert.
    If you get hooked into email first thing in the day it takes over. Instead, you take control of your day. If people rely on email for urgent information, they’re using it wrongly.

The sale may not be now

In many sales environments, one of the key things we now need to understand about our customers, is that the sale may not be now. As you and I both know when we are out looking to make a purchase, we will do a number of elements of research before we actually enter into the buying process.

The first step will be to understand the product we are looking to purchase, we will start to research online for information around the product and ensure that we have a full understanding that the product will meet our needs. Once we have got to this point, we will then engage with a supplier of this particular product. Firstly on the basis that we are just looking to get further information and may not quite be in a position yet to make the purchase. Many businesses at this point fail to realize that every single person entering or enquiring about the product or service, is actually going to be a buyer of their product at some point in the future. Our biggest challenge is to create an environment where the customer feels supported and engaged with us at a relationship and emotive level to ensure that when they are entering the purchase process, they will be in a position to be able to close the sale.

It is vitally important for you to consider in your business right now, how many clients you have that are looking or thinking about purchasing your product or service.

Many people say to me “Oh Darren, these clients are just tyre kickers wasting our time or not engaged” and this is where I totally disagree. These clients are the types of people that you need to be creating connections with, understanding their needs and ensuring that you have clarity of the purpose of their enquiry. By doing this you have interest and empathy to their situation, you will start to create an emotional connection.

Creating pressure or trying to force the sale at this point in many cases, will force your customer to leave.

In today’s business environment, the concept of closing a sale, seems to have become a bad topic. What we have to understand is closing the sale has become a contentious topic. Many businesses feel that the purpose of closing the sale is to provide pressure on the customer which in today’s business environment, is inappropriate. I totally agree with the sense of the traditional pressured close is no longer an option in business, but the opportunity to be able to provide your customer with an ability to understand your product or service, how it meets their needs and the ability to make the transaction happen now rather than waiting, is all too important.

Consider the number of clients that you have in this area right now and understand what you are doing with them. I see many businesses today are not providing enough support or engagement with this group of people to hold on to the relationship.

Thinking outside the funnel

I was working recently with a client and we were discussing the current sales targets and the service that their business provided. As we investigated further, we discovered how the product that they were working with, could provide the customer with lots of different opportunities, it was realised that maybe these same opportunities or insights would be valid for other industries. By doing this, we have now been able to build a strategy to talk to two different industries that have now created literally thousands of more sales opportunities.

One of the key things I am consistently encouraging clients to look at is understanding their current market place and thinking outside the traditional service product sales funnel that they have used.

Think about other industries on how they could use your product or how we could use their communication channels to introduce your topic. Getting clients to be able to recommend you via their newsletter to new industries or new opportunities is extremely important in growing your sales funnel.

Consider right now your product range and think about what other industries could these products be applicable to.

Welcome to June

I cannot believe that we are nearly half way through 2019 and there seems so much to do.

This month we are focusing on 3 of the most important topics I think there are in business:

  1. The ability to prospect and attract new customers;
  2. Managing new customer enquiry; and
  3. Developing your brand in your future customers’ eyes.

These 3 topics are critically important for so many industries and especially those in professional services, it has got to be a key focus to your annual business plan.

In this month’s newsletter, we are looking at developing a prospecting machine in your business. This prospecting machine needs to provide your business with structure and consistency that will enable you to attract the level of business your business requires to deliver the result you want.

The second topic being lead management. In many of the businesses I am currently working in, we are seeing a considerable amount of general enquiry, first call enquiry and past client engagement at very poor or low levels. What this means is that there are some great opportunities for businesses to develop a much clearer lead management system and the following article will show you how this can be done.

Lastly, we have a new consultant join our team, Ed Scanlan, who is a specialist in developing your brand and message to market. We are very privileged to have Ed now as part of our team in helping support specialists and professionals in presenting the exact brand and market positioning they need to be successful. His article talks about developing your brand and how this can be systemised to ensure your success.

4 Quick ‘n’​ Simple Leadership Tips For Improving Employee Engagement With Remote Teams – TERRY WILLIAMS

According to a Gallup survey, the number of employees working remotely increased from 39% to 43% between 2012 and 2016. I know the mice will play when the cat’s away but what are these folk up to? We can measure productivity after the fact, and should. We should judge people by their results, not by slavishly being merely present at a desk until the boss leaves. Ultimately, if they’re meeting or exceeding targets, then does it matter if they’re working in a unicorn onesie whilst binge-watching ‘Game Of Thrones’ to get up to date before the new series starts? (Too late!) Maybe some of those Lannister tactics would boost revenue?

That same survey says the majority (57%) of employees say they would change jobs for one with a more flexible schedule, and 37% of people would change jobs for an employer that allowed them the ability to work from where they want at least part of the time.

Leadership is not just about transactional production. Ideally, it starts with hiring people of talent, intrinsically motivated, whose discretion you have evidence you can trust. Technology might mean you are far more capable today of micromanaging from a distance than ever before but you’re likely very aware that probably won’t be a helpful leadership style, particularly with those high-value, high-talent types. That same tech allows people to multi-task, peruse social media, etc all of which diffuses their focus and tech shouldn’t be the sole means of enhancing connection, commonality of purpose and inclusion. Leadership of remotely located teams is still about creating and maintaining an intentional workplace culture, even in the absence of a literal singular workplace.

If Tom Peters once said something like, “The true test of your leadership is what happens when you’re not around,” what have you done when you were around to maintain that influence when you’re not there in the physical sense? So, what can you, in a practical sense, actually DO?

  1. ABC – Always Be Curious. Ask questions to provoke and promote action. Not retro-questions asking for progress reports but future-facing questions like “Between now and when we next speak, what issues do you anticipate”? Or, “How do you feel Caitlin’s work might be affected by yours”? Note the use of the phrase “might be”. Can’t be any wrong answers with “might be”. Bringing a colleague into the mix increases the likelihood of engagement as people are usually more moved by their impacts on colleagues than on you or the company.
  2. According to Khaneman and Tversky, push motivators are twice as impactful as pull motivators. (ie we are equally motivated by the fear of losing $1 as we are by the potential gain of $2). Be practically pessimistic (that is to say, realistic) with your updates and foreshadowing with your remote folk. For example, “What if your supplier is late”?
  3. As you should with local people, be specific and regular with your feedback with remote people. Keep close a list of their names and, as stuff crops up, pencil feedback-worthy news in so you have it to hand when you’re next in contact. And schedule those contacts. If you wait until you “have time”, you’ll never have time or will only make contact when there’s a problem. Then you’ll be the person who’s only calling when there’s a problem. Don’t be that person.
  4. Make meaning overt and obvious, repeatedly. And, don’t TELL them, guide them to self-discovery. Have you tried W.I.D.W.I.D. and W.W.D.W.W.D. conversations? W.I.D.W.I.D. stands for “why I do what I do” while W.W.D.W.W.D. stands for “why we do what we do.” Don’t leave meaning to chance. Along with autonomy and mastery, purpose (ie meaning) is one of the fundamental drivers of engagement, at work and in life. When the going gets tough, the tough get going, not because they’re tough but because they know what the point of the going is.

Sales Accountability

Whenever I talk about this topic with a range of businesses, there is always the dreaded look in the room where attendees begin to scurry into their paper, check their phone or decide now is a great time for a toilet break!

One of the key things that I encourage businesses and teams to look at is not necessarily just the group accountability but people’s personal accountability to the challenges and tasks that they want to achieve personally. Once we start to decide that our personal accountability around achieving the tasks that we have set for ourselves are important, our enjoyment and success in our roles changes almost instantly. Getting teams to start to realize the importance of developing their proposition, developing their opportunity and defining how they will be getting their key tasks done within a set timeframe, really changes the results in a business.

My key tip is to get your team to define out what are their key personal accountabilities in terms of what they are wanting to achieve in the next four weeks and then supporting them around those achievements. Those achievements may be work-orientated, personally-orientated, fitness, health, diet – whatever they are, it is important for us as a team to provide each other with a sense of accountability but a sense of success when we do meet our objectives. Creating accountability both personally and within the business, is now such a hot topic that it really does work in making changes in your business.

Grow your target market

When I work with businesses who are really wanting to grow their results, one of the first things that I do is to get an understanding of their current client base and then begin to develop out how they can grow their client network.

This may be re-engaging past customers, developing an offer or proposal for a selected group of clients or targeting a new region or geographic area that shows great opportunity for that company’s services or products.

By being able to develop out your target market, this increases your opportunity for increased sales but also developing new relationships which will enhance your opportunities in years to come.

One of the key things we must always remember when defining our target markets, is to be as specific as we can as to the likely clients we will want to work with and who will be able to provide us with the exact connections to grow our business opportunities.

The ‘BackBrief’ As A Business Communication Tool – TERRY WILLIAMS

What is a ‘BackBrief’? I first encountered the concept running a delegation workshop for a prestigious law firm.

The point of delegation is to drive optimal productivity, right. The lowest cost resource that can do the work should be assigned to do that work. The high-cost resources such as the partners, specialists and so forth should be doing high value work. Those in supervisory roles need to be delegating effectively, using systems to ensure work is done to standard, to time, and on budget.

There’s a lot that I could write about delegation and perhaps will in future but, for now, I want to focus in on one person. That person is a senior solicitor in that firm. He knew at a logical level that he should be delegating but his personality was such that he struggled. “No one can do this as well as me”. “Even if someone could do this as well as me, it won’t be the way that I would do it”. “Look, it’s just quicker and easier if I do it myself”.

Obviously those are just excuses and you can probably counter those excuses yourself. It’s short-term thinking, ultimately unsustainable, and certainly not optimal productivity. He was however able to cite several instances where he’d assigned work that ended up being poorly done, or not done at all, due to a lack of understanding on the part of the people being assigned the work. You could argue that adult professionals should not go around nodding that they can do a task when they aren’t sure. You could assign blame to the delegator who is ultimately still accountable for the work and its quality and timeliness. Better is to implement a simple system that invests a small amount of time upfront that ensures there is accurate understanding or there isn’t. Another lawyer in the room was ex-military and she introduced us all to the concept of the ‘BackBrief’.

‘BackBrief‘ is exactly what it sounds like. The person or people receiving the instructions give a synopsis of the instructions they just received. The person originally giving the instructions can then determine whether the message was received properly. If it’s a small task, then the ‘BackBrief’might be a swift verbal remark. If it’s a task of substance, then it might warrant some time and a small presentation.

It’s a great idea that I’ve been introducing into my workshops the past two years. Many professional non-military workplaces are picking up on it. It increases certainty and clarifies expectations. It lessens the odds of ambiguity, uncertainty and misunderstandings. It addresses issues around people’s fears of speaking up. It’s a simple, low-cost communication tool that people take to quickly, leading to fewer mistakes and enhanced productivity and leadership. Change doesn’t have to be scary, giant leaps into the unknown. Sometimes the best change comes about via small things like the ‘BackBrief’.

Improve your business… One month at a time…

1 ½ hours focused on Real Estate to do list – 8 activities for listing success!

This sessions helps Real Estate professionals identify what a great week looks like for them and the key activities that make you more money.

This session covers:

  1. Busy vs productive;
  2. Success actions;
  3. Your to do list;
  4. Create more systems;
  5. Key activity for listing opportunity;
  6. Calls, calls, calls;
  7. Creating a plan in concrete;
  8. Accountability system.