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Baseball players use stats to tell the story of their season and their career. Those of us in business could learn a thing or two from baseball players about using stats to size-up our careers and experience.

Earning the Right to Sell with Stats 10 Steps to Greatness

Earning the Right to Sell with Stats  10 Steps to GreatnessWe could learn a thing or two from pro sports.Baseball players use stats to tell the story of their season and their career. Scorekeepers keep track of every at bat, every hit, every strike out, every run scored and every base stolen. Those stats are cited by commentators during the game, sports reporters after the game and they are featured on the backs of baseball cards to they tell the story of the player's career.Those of us in business could learn a thing or two from baseball players about using stats to size-up our careers and experience.Give your prospects a reason to listen to what you have to say.I was attending a conference last month and the topic of using business stats to "earn the right" among prospects was brought up. "Earning the right" was explained as giving your audience a reason to listen to what you have to say.Before you can sell anything you must establish credibility.Before you can sell anyone anything, you must first convince them you or your product or service are worthy. And one way to do that is with stats. At the conference, we were tasked with compiling a list of our own stats (what we've achieved in our business or career, or what qualifies us to be doing what we're doing) and I was amazed at how few of my own I could recall on a moment's notice. Can you easily list all your "stats" I couldn't!It was easy to come up with the obvious - I've been helping clients successfully market for 20 years. And I could also recall two recent marketing successes: gaining free exposure for my business to 100,000+ of my ideal customers and tripling my web site traffic in a three-month period.But beyond that I was stumped. My 20 years of marketing experience and seven years of entrepreneurial experience were boiled down to three stats that did not do a very good job of representing my career or my expertise.I came home from the conference determined to compile my list of stats and to start using them. And, to inspire you, my readers and clients, to do the same.Use my 10 questions to create your own list of "stats"To make it easy, I've compiled a list of 10 questions you can ask yourself to come up with your own list of stats. This list is just a jumping off point. Feel free to brainstorm further to come up with your own list of compelling stats that you believe will help you "earn the right" to be seen as an expert in your field by your prospects.I call this list your "10 Steps to Greatness" Why? Because when you are able to list stats in 10 different areas, you will be able to convince your prospects you are great at what you do AND that your product or service can help them.I've included my own stats as examples, NOT to brag about them, but for several reasons: First, to show you I DID come home from that conference and compile my own stats; Second, to give you examples to follow; and Third, to inspire you (if I can do it, you can, too!). Not all of my stats are earth-shattering. But by having a full list to choose from, you can be sure to have a handful of compelling stats available at any time.10 Steps to Greatness(1) How many years have you been in your current line of business (or a related field)?For example, I've been in the marketing field for over 20 years.(2) How many clients or students or customers have your served (in your current business or your total years in this industry)?For example, I've taught over 600 small business owners how to create and implement their own marketing plans using the 10stepmarketing System.(3) What results have you generated with your business, products or services?For example, I increased my subscriber base by 590% in four months and I tripled my web site traffic in three months.(4) What results have your clients or customers gotten with the help of your products or services?For example, when I worked with the American Council on Exercise, I helped them generate over 340.8 million media impressions in three years, through public relations and public service ads. I have also secured nearly $1 million in free media exposure for my clients.(5) How many awards or recognitions have you or your business, products or services received?For example, I've earned three national and two local marketing awards, plus a small business top achievement award.(6) Have you spoken, taught or done presentations?For example, I have spoken on marketing at conferences across the United States and in Canada, and I've taught hundreds of small business owners via teleseminar.(7) Have your articles been published or have you been quoted or interviewed or written up in the media?For example, my marketing advice is featured in Entrepreneur Magazine's Start-Up Series publication "How To Start A Personal Training Business." Additionally I am an Expert Author on EzineArticles.com and my marketing how-to articles are featured on numerous web sites.(8) How can you quantify your business (e.g. how many business deals or transactions have you made, or how many articles have you written)?For example, I've written and published 40 articles in the past six months.(9) How many products have you sold?For example, I made 20 sales my first two weeks in business.(10) What experts in your industry have you studied or learned from?For example, I have taken courses from such marketing and business experts as T. Harv Eker, Jay Abraham, Brian Tracy, Robert Allen and Mark Victor Hansen.I challenge you to spend some time this week, compiling your own list of stats. Start with these 10 questions and see what you can come up with. Draw on your personal or professional experience. What makes you great at what you do? What experience and knowledge to you have to offer? What are you passionate about and how can you translate that passion into credibility? Why should others pay attention when you talk? Be creative. Brainstorm. Then select a few of the strongest, most compelling stats and start using them in your marketing.Remember, you are not using these stats to brag about your accomplishments. You're using them to get your prospects to pay attention to you and to establish credibility. (C) Copyright 2005 Debbie LaChusa

The Benefits of a Shop Heater

The Benefits of a Shop Heater

If you're looking for a heating solution that will work for a shop, garage, or other large area then you might want to stop and consider a shop heater as an alternative to central heating or some other large heating unit. Most shop heaters will give you the exact amount of heat that you want right where you want it, without having to spend all of the money to heat your entire shop if you don't want to. If you think that you might want to buy a shop heater but aren't sure yet whether one would be right for you, consider the following benefits to help you make up your mind.Portability
One major advantage that shop heaters have over larger heating units is that they are portable. Regardless of whether the heater uses electricity or propane, in most scenarios you'll be able to bring the heater to where you want it and then either plug it in or light it. This can save you the trouble of having a larger area that's getting cool and having to go over to the main heating unit thermostat to adjust the temperature, after which you'll have to wait for the heat to spread through your entire shop or garage.Another reason that portability is a great benefit of shop heaters is that propane shop heaters can even be taken outside or on the jobsite. You can use your shop heater to provide extra heat under a canopy or to give people a place to warm up when doing outdoor activities. You shouldn't put a propane heater in a small enclosed area like a tent, but a heater can be used in place of a campfire when out with friends or family if it starts getting cold before you're ready to head to bed.Heat Where You Want It
In addition to being portable, shop heaters can put heat right where you want it when you need to use them. If you need to heat one specific area or you only need heat blowing in one direction while you're working on something, your shop heater can more than meet your needs. A number of heaters feature fans or larger blowers which can be used to circulate the warm air and you can always choose radiator-style heaters that heat the entire area around them evenly without moving the air.Along the same lines, you can use shop heaters to keep certain sections of your shop or garage warm while letting others stay cool. This can be very important if you are working with materials that can be damaged or activated by too much heat, or if you simply prefer to keep your work area cool to make up for any heat that you might add while welding or working with various tools.No Need for Construction
When you want to install a large heating unit you're going to need duct work installed and the heating unit itself mounted or placed on a concrete slab. Even if you're just adding on to an existing home or office ventilation system there's still a lot of work that needs to be done. In some older buildings this can even be a costly procedure as some older insulation used in heating and cooling contains asbestos and as such must be removed and disposed of by professionals. Using a shop heater to meet your heating needs avoids all of this you simply need to put your heater or heaters where you need them and you'll get the same heat without the need for construction.Lower Running Costs
Another big advantage of shop heaters is that you'll generally use them only when and where you need them so they don't need to be running all the time in order to maintain heat. Even if you're just turning the heater on or lighting it, heat will be produced within a matter of minutes if not instantly. Larger heating units have a much higher amount of air that they have to heat so it can take significantly longer for them to produce the heat that you want.Because of this you'll often find that shop heaters are cheaper to run than a heating system simply because they don't have to keep running in order to be effective. With a shop heater the only costs are the electricity that you use while you have the heater on or the propane or other fuel that is used to produce heat. By only using the heater when its needed you can significantly reduce your heating costs, especially given the rising cost of natural gas and other sources of fuel for central heating units.

Anticipation Of My First Sale

Anticipation Of My First Sale

What's the a biggest motivational tool out there when you start an internet home based business? Well for me it was the anticipation of making my first sale. When I started my "internet home based business" I quickly learned that nothing comes for free and you have to work at it to become successful. I thought that I could make lots of money in a short period of time; well I couldn't have been more wrong. Yes, I got into the get rich quick scams to begin with, searching on the internet for ways to make money fast. First there was the "get paid for doing surveys" scheme. Then I thought that I could sell things on e-bay to make a quick buck. While there are lots of people doing this its not a way to get rich quick. Next was the pyramid scheme. As time went on the money kept going out and nothing was coming in. I could have quit there but I was determined. I changed my way of thinking and started to search for legitimate ways to make money online. That's when I found my first no "B.S" internet home based business. I learned everything there was to learn about it, applied the strategies and then reread it all to see if there was anything I missed. Doing those simple things can make all the difference. While working my new business online I soon learned that one business wasn't going to be enough to sustain me working at home. So I decided to take on four more legit home based businesses so that I could obtain multiple streams of income. If I could get each of them making $500.00/month that would be enough to allow me to stay at home. I dedicated myself to learning everything about them as well and all the while I kept repeating the things I had learned. Repetition and Duplication are the keys to making any home based business work. Things started to happen after a month and a half had went by. My site was indexed from the search engines and I got a few signups to my affiliate programs. This in it self was enough to keep me plugging along, but still no sales. I was more determined than ever now, spending countless hours at my desk. And then it happened....I got my first sale. I couldn't tell you how happy I was. Things have been picking up more steadily each and every month. The more I apply the things I've learned the more successful I become. The more I repeat things I've learned the more successful I become and the more I track and duplicate things I've learned....well you get the point.

Four Keys to Understanding Sales

Four Keys to Understanding Sales

Over the years Ive read a hundred sales books with all kinds of different approaches and ideas. Some were very good and others left questions about their authors understanding of selling. When ever I found myself in a slump or things just didnt seem to work the answer always seem to be in the basics. A great chef, master carpenter or champion athlete always seems to have a mastery of the basics. So lets take a look at what this idea of selling really amounts to. First: Sales is two people, a customer and salesperson, communicating with each other. The customer is communicating their needs, wants and results required. The sales person is trying to understand these so the issue can be solved by their product or service. Just think of this as two people getting together to help each other improve their situations. Second: Customers purchase products and services for the results they provide. This can be a real challenge for sales people that have been indoctrinated that sales are all about their product. This means saving time and money, preventing problems, solving problems or creating opportunities; thats what the customer is looking for. Your product or service is simply a way or method to get the results, so salespeople need to communicate these results to customers instead of the product. Third: Getting into new accounts, selling new and existing accounts and servicing accounts is all about two people communicating. Getting into a new account is about communicating results that the customer could achieve and communicating it in their language. The selling part is listening, questioning for clarity and communicating the results. Servicing the account is continued communications about the results to date and additional results needed. Fourth: If we take the selling process, the objection response process or presentation part of selling and take the words selling, objections and presentation away, guess what we end up with. The Selling process becomes a communication process that is used every day. The objection response becomes a conflict resolution process and presentation becomes story telling. Take this idea of communications instead of selling and see what happens to your productivity. Ask yourself what the potential results of your product could be from your customers perspective. Now think about how that could best be communicated to your customers. Well explore each step of the sales process and how communications fits into it in future segments. For now, just think communications. * DISC Behavior Patterns, ask us about how this can help you sell, manage and engage people check out our web site at www.hgoergerassoc.com.Questions or comments: Contact Harlan at Harlan@itstartswithyou.net phone 701-799-1972.

Architect-Designed House Plans vs "Stock" House Plans

You may be one of the growing number of people who want a home that has the quality and craft that only architectural plans can provide, without investing the time and/or money necessary to have an architect create a custom design for you. To quote Sarah Susanka -- author of the highly acclaimed book The Not So Big House -- from an article she wrote for Fine Homebuilding titled Why architects should sell house plans (something theyve never done before), Many of these people [potential stock plan purchasers] want the quality that comes with the Ralph Lauren or Liz Claiborne label, without having to hire Ralph or Liz themselves. Until recently, people wanting to build a new home have had just two choices: hire an architect or a professional designer; or purchase one of the tens of thousands of generic stock plans available in magazines and on the Internet. Now there is a new and exciting alternative that provides the quality of an architect-designed home plan for the price of a stock plan. First the definitions: Our (architectural) plans are complete working drawings by licensed architects and designers, created for a specific family, that enabled that family to build a one-of-a-kind home. The plans originally cost tens of thousands of dollars to create (architects typically charge 10 to 15 percent of the total cost to build!), and took six months to a year to produce. The vast majority of stock plans, however, were created as inventory, to be sold to builders, developers and private parties via stock plan websites and magazines. In most cases there was no client involved in their creation, and no house was built from the plans prior to them being offered for sale. The plans cost is the time the designer spent drawing them with a CADD (or similar) software program, with slight changes made to produce many different versions. Both types of plans include enough information to enable a builder to construct a house. But the similarity ends there. It starts with the way they were created. Architectural plans are the product of countless hours of conversation, interpretation, drawing and design. A family with specific real-life needs worked with the architect, who then translated those needs into a beautiful and functional home design. Neighborhood surroundings, climate, topography and personal aesthetic are all taken into consideration. A design is created from scratch to fulfill that familys requirements as well as their dreams. Our dreams are often larger than our bank accounts, so an important part of the architectural design process involves highly efficient use of space and resources, to help clients stay within their budgets. Serious thought is put into the size and location of rooms, doorways, stairs and hallways, and into choosing construction materials, fixtures and building techniques. The reduction of unnecessary square footage that results from efficient design provides immediate and significant savings (click on the question titled Why is space-efficient design so important? for a more complete explanation). The architects training, past experience and ingenuity are all employed to satisfy his or her clients needs and desires, while staying within their budget. Architectural plans also provide much more detail than stock plans. The builders start with much more information, saving them quite a bit of time and effort, and thus saving you quite a bit of money. [Please note that detail, as its used here, refers to the amount of information the builder is given to work with, not to how complex and intricate the designs are.] Lastly, theres the aesthetic difference. Architects often refer to their drawings as the artwork, and the homes created from them are often as much sculptural as structural. Interiors and exteriors express a quality of thought and ingenuity not found in standard designs. Architects go through extensive education and training to be able to think and design in 3D, creating spaces that are balanced in scale and proportion, that feel right, and that provide for views and lots natural light. The result is a home that is beautiful, space and energy-efficient, functional and comfortable. There is nothing generic about architect-designed homes. Each is unique, and each has character. We are proud to represent an ever-growing number of award-winning architects, and the exceptional designs they have created. Hopefully one of their homes plans will fulfill both your needs and your dreams.

Sales Prospecting and a Targeted Selection Process

Whats a Targeted Selection Process? As related to prospecting, it is a process or system of defining whom you want to call on and performing the due diligence of data procurement to understand who you are calling on and why you have chosen them. It can be as simple as choosing an industry, picking a company name out of the yellow pages, understanding the appropriate level of contact to call on, and investigating a name that goes with the title. Or it can be as complex as an expensive CRM (customer relationship management) system for existing customers, defining market share of your product portfolio and routinely touching the existing base to broaden the revenue pond. But heres whats important to understand. Your Targeted Selection Process is a separate component of your sales strategy. It stands by itself.But it is directly allied with your other Sales performance indicators. The degree of success youll have in the business of sales is proportional to raising and maintaining these success indicators to a level more proficient than the industry norm. And the direction you decide to travel is strategic to the outcome. I call it the Playing Field. Because thats where it all starts its where the game begins.Heres what I mean. There are basically (2) strategies in picking your Playing Field; a Bottom-up approach or a Top-down approach. The following is an example of a Bottom-up approach. A Telecommunications rep initiates a telephone call into a company and asks the question Who handles your telecommunications needs? Guess where they are sent? If you said office manager you guessed right. If you said Head Janitor you werent far off.Is there anything wrong with that? Not really; its legal and a lot of folks out there do it. But lets think through this option as a Business person would. Lets study it as it relates to our sales process and individual Key Performance Indicators (KPI); Conversation-to-appointment ratio, 1st appointment to Proposal ratio, Closing ratio, sales cycle and average revenue per sale. Because these success indicators are gateways that directly affect the outcome of a sales process.Do your KPIs go up or down with a bottom-up approach? Historically, a bottom-up approach promotes a:1.1st appointment to Proposal ratio to decrease2.Closing ratio to decrease3.Sales cycle to increase4.Average revenue per sale to decreaseBottom line, youll be leaving time and money on the table if you choose this Target strategy.Well revisit the Conversation-to-appointment KPI in a minute.At the other end of the Target spectrum is the Top-down strategy for securing a new Targeted business appointment. Lets say that same telecommunications rep chose this approach in prospecting for new business. The first step in this process is Homework; some due diligence prior to picking up the telephone.Activities like:Gathering a list of appropriate industriesAssigning the highest appropriate level of contact to each account; by company size and industryResearching contact name for each appropriate title and accountResearching what each business does to exist and prosperThat sounds like a bit of work. But what historically happens with a Top-down approach in line with sales performance KPIs?1.1st appointment to Proposal ratio increases2.Closing ratio increases3.Sales cycle decreases4.Average revenue per sale increasesOK. We agree thats a no-brainer. So it all comes down to the 1st and foremost "sales performance" indicator, your Conversation-to-appointment ratio. Thats simply how many times you conduct a conversation with a target prospect versus how many times you achieve one. And the national average on that KPI is between 4% and 18%; Top-down or Bottom up approach. So it takes 10, 12 or 20 conversations to achieve 1 or 2 appointments. And thats a lot of work. In fact, JDH Group studies show sales individuals spend an average of 50% of their time on prospecting activities, or about 22 hours per week.That leads a sensible person to the conclusion that one needs to focus on efficiencies in Prospecting. And to secure those Competencies one must develop a communication system in line with your business solutions, your Top-down Prospect perceptions and your competitive influences. Not from a product/service angle, thats selling over the telephone. But a communications methodology that lends itself to Business acumen; insight into what is strategic to your target prospects business objectives, what pains they are facing due to recent events or what changes are on the horizon that may effect their current status quo.Next is figuring out how to communicate to your Top-down target the prospective benefits of your product/service in terms relevant to their financial Key Performance Indicators; line items like ROI, IRR and Payback Period. Those are success indicators that organizations rely on to measure progress toward their organizational goals. Its their Scorecard.So lesson number one. When youre addressing a target level that has Budget authority; a President/Owner of a small company or a CFO/Controller of a medium size one, youd better be talking terms in line with what they need to accomplish, not in a sales language creating a prospect perception that youre (1) dont understand their business and (2) are simply trying to make a living. From a 10,000 foot altitude, understand and communicate whats on your Top-down target prospects Front Burner business objectivesnot clear over in the freezer!You can choose not to accept the standard sales 101 playing field. Identify your individual performance components (KPIs) that are essential to your success and develop or seek systems to raise your competency ratios and performance efficiencies. And start your process by picking a Top-down Playing Field and educating yourself to their world.

Summary

Baseball players use stats to tell the story of their season and their career. Those of us in business could learn a thing or two from baseball players about using stats to size-up our careers and experience.