Category Archives: Sales

This One Tool Will Fuel Sales

There is one tool that all serious entrepreneurs need in their office.  This tool has a magic effect of skyrocketing sales to a new level.  And, I would bet that not everyone reading this has it.

People who have it, or perhaps several, report to me that it is this item that keeps them on track.  People who use it daily, report to me that they have surpassed their sales goals, sometimes to higher levels than expected and sooner than they expected.

It is the most important tool to have on your wall.  It is placed right where you see it several times a day and most definitely will get your attention when you enter your office or are daydreaming instead of causing something to happen.

What is it?  Can you guess?


Yes, a simple whiteboard in a medium size.

Now, why am I attributing such magical sales “juju” to a whiteboard?  I do so because, when you begin using a whiteboard to manage sales, sales occur.

Why is that?  When used properly, daily, you will become focused on making sales.  You will know who to call, when to call them, and certainly you will know how to close the sales because you are your best sales person on staff.  After all, it is your company, your creation.

Here is the best way to use a whiteboard.  First, write in large letters in the upper right hand corner of the board, your sales promise and go for the year.  Underneath that all the prospects you currently have to close, and next to each name – the amount of the sale you intend to close.  Next to their name and the amount of sales, write the date by when you will close this sale.  Underneath that, write the actions you will take to close the sales.  Give each action a by when date.  Finally get to work contacting those prospects.

What will happen is that you find out that some prospects aren’t prospects at all.  Take them off you board.  Then you will find new prospects, put them on the board.  Follow the same instructions as before.

What happens to you is that you are actually engaged in managing for results.  You have a vibrant tool that continues to change and grow and multiply before you.

You have created a silent and powerful partner in creating what you say you want to create.  And, this creation will happen.  YOU will make it happen.

Clients who actually use this tool report to me with glee that they just sold this or that.

If it sounds to you that I am passionate about whiteboards, you are right.  Try using one or two as I describe above.  I will look forward to hearing about your new sales.

If you feel stuck in moving your business forward, please contact me.  I am here for you.


If The Sun Is Shining, Do You Have To Make Hay?

12.9.15Whan the sunne shinth make hay.  Whiche is to say.
Take time whan time cometh, lest time steale away.

John Heywood, 1546

Or as we say it today: Make hay while the sun shines.  I heard this phrase a million times when I was young as I frittered away my time day dreaming and playing paper dolls.  Then I heard it again, another million times when I was an adolescent as I frittered away my time day dreaming and messing around with trying to have a boyfriend.  Then I heard it—I think you get the point.  And I bet this proverb is part of your past too, if like me, you frittered your time away.

As entrepreneurs we take Mr. Heywood’s warning very seriously now.  We certainly don’t want to waste time when there is business to close and profit to make.  This is the time of year when we can be influenced by the “Sales!” that are bombarding us on the internet.  We may think, we need to have a sale too.

Before you jump into putting your product on sale, think about if it is appropriate for your type of business.  For example, if you are a consulting company, would it really work to have a buy one get one free consulting package?  Or if you offer insurance products, could you really offer a major discount in insurance?

The point of this article is that it is up to you to decide what really makes sense regarding being in the holiday mode for your business.  It may make more sense to send a great happy holiday card to your clients and potential clients.  You could also focus on sending a personal message that checks in with your clients with your personalized best wishes and a preview of what you are planning for next year especially for clients.  You can use this time this time strategically to highlight your services.  You really don’t need a “Cyber week-Sale”.

If you want to brainstorm what would be appropriate for your business, I am here for you.  You are always welcome to contact me.  I look forward to hearing from you.


Could You Introduce Me To Your Target Market?

9.30.15Whether you are starting a business or expanding the business that you already have, knowing and marketing to your target market is the gold standard for assuring marketing and sales success.

This idea of knowing your target market sounds so simple, and yet business owners stumble more on this step than any other.

  • Some people think they have already done that and don’t want to waste time doing it again.
  • There are so many opinions floating around about how to define a target market that people become confused and thus do nothing.
  • Others don’t want to leave out any potential client so they decide that everyone—the world—is their target market.

If you are stuck on defining your specific target market, I introduce you to my colleague, Jennifer L. Morrow, owner of Creative Company

Jennifer has over 35 years of successful experience in branding businesses.  She and her team of branding experts are world class experts in defining target markets.

Jennifer designed a simple worksheet to guide you in designing your target market.  It is innovative and very useful.

The worksheet will help you define your target market; it will help you determine how to design your marketing to reach the actual decision makers, and will help you discover what will cause them to buy the product or service you are offering. Read It Now


What A Paleoanthropologist Can Teach You About Business

Last Thursday, September 10, 2015, a group of international scientists announced the discovery of a new hominin species in South Africa.  The name of the species is Homo Naledi. Homo Naledi, New Species

This is obviously ground breaking news!  And so what?—you may ask.  What does this discovery have to do with you, and with making your business more profitable?

The lead paleoanthropologist, Lee R. Berger, said this about the discovery, “I do believe that the field of paleoanthropology had convinced itself, as many as 15 years ago, that we had found everything—that we were not going to make any new major discoveries, and that we had this story of our origins figured out.  I think many people quit exploring; they thought it was safer to conduct science in a laboratory or sitting at a computer.  What the new species Naledi says,” Dr. Berger concluded, “is that there is no substitute for exploration.”

You do not have to be a paleoanthropologist to learn from Dr. Berger.  What he is pointing to is our tendency to think that everything has already been discovered, created, and figured out.  Berger has challenged us to continue to explore—to not give up and think it’s all handled—that we have seen it all.

How can I apply this information to my business?

  • Begin by questioning your assumptions.  (What about your business do you think is already figured out?  What does everyone know about your business?)
  • Then look to see if your business practices are stale, uninviting, and old.  What about your business should be upgraded and re-imagined?

This type of questioning can lead you to new discoveries and new ways of providing services to your clients.  It also leads to change, but I am not talking about changing for change’s sake; I am talking about inquiring into what you need to change, about being willing to change if you can see that the change could benefit your clients, and about implementing changes that will cause new results that are spectacular.


Help! I Am Lost In The Dark Unknown

4.22.15One of my clients came to his coaching call completely despondent.  He said, “I need a double session today—I am totally upset and completely confused.”  Somewhat surprising, given that this client has turned his business around since we began working together.  He has had enormous sales, and has the concrete potential for tripling his income over the next few months.

“Goodness Gracious!  What happened?”

Once we got clear about his concerns, we were able to distill them into one overriding worry—it was going to cost him capital to reach the next level of sales.  He didn’t know how much but he was certain it would be thousands of dollars.  Really?

We began by getting clear about the next step he was to take in order to fulfill on pending orders.  Once that step was done, we began to itemize the costs, one by one, including the minute details that worried him so much.  When we finished he was astounded by how little capital he really needed to use in order to achieve the next sales goal.

I am not minimizing the fear that the client was experiencing.  I think it’s very human to react to our fears.  The important lesson from this experience is: When you are worried about achieving something, and the worry gets blown out of proportion, talk with someone who is committed to your success, but is not invested in achieving the result.  I am recommending that you get a second or third opinion about what is really holding you back.  This client could have stopped the progress that he was making by letting his fear overtake his momentum.  Instead he admitted to his fear, communicated about it, and then together we could make it doable and achievable.

Promise yourself that the next time you are stopped by something in your path to success that seems overwhelming, you will seek another opinion.  You have people who can assist you to look at things from an alternate perspective.  They can help you in developing a workable way to achieve your goal.  Solutions abound if you let them occur and just ask.


The Key To Business Success…It’s Not What You Think

4.15.15We have been looking at what actions and ways of being make a business a success.  There are many trim tabs a business owner can do which are administrative and mechanical such as using a calendar for marketing events, hiring a virtual assistant, and having a system for accurate bookkeeping.  These items are important and help to develop a solid foundation for your business, but it takes something more than just the administrative and mechanical components; there is something greater that you, the business owner, must bring to the party.  What I am talking about is your ability to keep your word.  This is one of the greatest assets your business can have.

Surely you have noticed that when a powerful person says that something will happen, it usually happens—and it’s not a function of luck, or how they dress, or how loud they say it.

Let’s dive into that for a moment. I say keeping your word makes you powerful. But why? Because the way people listen to what you say depends upon the reputation that you have for keeping your word. Simply put, people are much more likely to cooperate, collaborate, work with, and do things for—in a real sense, go out on a limb for—people who keep their word. Over time, your keeping your word makes what you say actually mean something in the world—it gives your words power.

The opposite of keeping your word costs you business and sales.  Here is an example of what I am talking about.  The sky lights in my house are old and cracked.  We need to replace them before our rainy season begins.  There are a variety of window and glass replacement businesses in our town.  There seems to be a universal agreement about who NOT to use.  And, that agreement is predicated not on their businesses’ skills or on their knowing how to do the work.  Nope, the agreement is about who keeps their word.  One thing that stood out for me as I researched who to hire is that what people said is don’t hire them because they don’t show up when they say they will.  What they did say is oh, the company is very good in window replacement BUT .  .  .

Word keeping is the gold standard for most people when they are deciding who to hire, what services to use, and most people will pay a premium for word keeping.  It boils down to this—people who keep their word have more business.  No one is in business to provide lousy service, however, many people acquire a reputation for providing lousy service because of the missing factor in their business—they don’t keep their word.

You may want to look at your business and see what areas you are strong in and measure the strength of those areas against word keeping.  I bet you will find it is those areas that your word keeping is the strongest.  Tell me where I am wrong.


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When Is The End Not The End?

82014The ENDEverything will be all right in the end so, if it’s not alright, it’s not the end.  -Deborah Moggach, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

One of my clients contacted me this week, downhearted and very sad.  “I thought I did a good job with my guest event but I failed.”  Why?  He only registered two people immediately after the event.  The gloom was palpitating through the email.

And if that was the end of the sales opportunities, that certainly would be a failure, however, it wasn’t the end.  It was only the beginning of causing a success to occur by addressing the alleged failure.

In looking together at the statistics of the event, we found that only a third of the people who attended qualified for registration.  What is meant by qualification for registration is: have the money to pay for the offering and hadn’t already taken the program.  The number of participants at the event was inflated by a majority of alumni of the offered course.  They were not taking it again but got so much value from working with the client, they came to hear what he had to say.

Next we looked at how to reach out to the people who qualified to take the program and didn’t immediately register.  We decided on offering an incentive discount to those people for a limited time.  That offer resulted in more registrations.  Now a little light was showing in the original gloom.

However, there were still people who could register but didn’t, so how could he reach out to them without seeming too pushy?  We brainstormed some ideas, which were quickly rejected and gave us some laughs about how absurd we were being.  But, we did come up with one idea that sounded sane and would be of value to the remaining non registered guests.  We decided that perhaps they were confused about the program and had questions about their individual needs to see if the offering would work for them.  The client sent out a third email offering to talk to them in person to answer any questions that they had. This idea was a winner.  He now has appointments to talk to each person and discuss their individual concerns.

The project is not finished yet.  There is more to go.  However, this is something that is sure: “Everything will be all right in the end so, if it’s not alright, it’s not the end.”

I am looking forward to hearing from you.  When have you not accepted the end as the end?


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