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Are you working ON your business or IN your business July 9, 2010

Posted by truenorthtrainingsolutions in business, Professional, success.
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Or is there even a Difference

It’s a well known business corollary that any plumber who owns his own plumbing business and continues to be a plumber all day, will in fact continue to be a plumber for the rest of his life! Sounds reasonable right? No? Well let me explain.

If I ask you what you do for a living and you tell me you’re a plumber than guess what, you will never grow you plumbing business large enough that you can one day hang up your wrench. Ok so if I don’t want you to be a plumber what DO I want you to do?

Be a BUSINESS owner that’s what! See a business owner, who knows HOW to be a plumber will always have the ability to go out in the field in a pitch and help “catch up” on work. But a Plumber who owns a plumbing business and spends all his time out in the field practicing as a plumber, will never have enough business to allow him to move inside and start to generate MORE business. Because he’s the one who is always on the job site acting the part of the plumber, he won’t ever create the opportunity to spend time to drum up MORE business.

Someone who knows HOW to be a plumber, well enough to DO the job, is the PERFECT person to be in the office, mining referrals and calling clients back, scoping out jobs and doing all the things needed to develop his business. Now I will be the first one to admit that everything that I know about plumbing came from a Time-Life book, but when it comes to promoting a business and working customer service and handling customer contacts and call backs, THAT I know how to do and how to do well! However, in the Training Business if I’m the ONLY one who knows how to train folks, then I am at a severe disadvantage. After all how often can I be in the classroom teaching AND be in the office promoting, at the same time? Obviously never, but that’s what NEEDS to be happening, or one will suffer and eventually there wont be any more classes to teach!

So once you decide that you’re going to work ON your business, what is it that you’re going to do? Well we’ve already talked about promotion and marketing. But let’s look at the business itself and see if we can wrap this up ion the 3 P’s of business.

P (1) – PLAN – You need a business plan. I don’t necessarily mean one of those 200 page documents that MBA’s and Bankers love so much, although its never a bad idea, but more of a where are you, where are you going and how do you expect to get there. For example, let’s take our plumber. Let’s say that he wants to have 10 more trucks on the road, with an annual income (gross) of $1M a year. Well 10 trucks into one million means that each truck should be generating $100,000 a year, break that down by month, taking into account holidays and downtime, and you need each truck to earn $10,000 a month or $2500 a week, So there you have it, THAT is your PLAN. Of course NOW you need to GET 10 trucks. You have 1 that you work out of, now you hire an assistant, if it takes HIM 90 days to reach the point where you feel you could trust him with his own truck you now know that during your FIRST year, you could end up with 5 trucks and you could MAX out at $500,000 during your 1st year, assuming a stead rate of hiring and training with no attrition. This of course assumes an IDEAL world, which of course we know were not in, so the plan won’t follow EXACTLY, but at least you have a PLAN!

P(2) – PROCEDURE – if you have EVER worked for a large corporation you will probably have come to HATE procedures (and yes the US military counts!), but you also have to admit that in MANY cases procedures are the ONLY way to get anything done.  For example in today’s litigious society I can not tell you how many managers I run into who all have one or two folks on their teams that have been there “forever” yet are just not performing up to par. Why do you keep them? I ask, typically the response is something akin to “: terminating them is too hard.” There are too many folks in mid level management who feel that you must catch a cold blooded murder (or sex act) on video tape, in front of a minor in order to have sufficient reason to terminate someone. POPPYCOCK! What you NEED is one good procedure on HOW to fore someone! For example, in one company I worked for you had to be late 3 times in one week in order to be given a verbal, 3 verbal’s in one quarter and you got a written 3 writ tens in one year and you COULD be terminated. Are we following the math here? That means that not only are you ALLOWED being late no MORE than 26 times a YEAR with no issues, BUT those tardies have to fall within the same week! Late twice 1 week and twice the next? Nope you’re good. But at LEAST they had a procedure that the managers could follow! Now the MOST interesting thing about this whole thing was that once you passed a certain pay grade, you could and often WERE terminated for almost ANY reason (apparently it was in the contract), but I saw Senior Managers ($125k + folks) get turned over 3 or 4 times a YEAR! At that rate they actually ran out of qualified internal candidates and were FORCED to develop an internal breeding ground for management trainees. Which of course brought its OWN issues when they found that some folks wanted the money, but NOT the responsibility? That’s a whole nether problem. So while you’re inside planning make some tome for procedures, you will NOT regret it.

P(3) – Policies – These tend to go hand in hand with procedures, to the point that many people fee; they are interchangeable, but they are not. Policies and Procedures should be very distinct and critical components which should act as the glue that holds everything together! The Procedures will step you through HOW to do something, the Policies will give you the WHY of what you’re going to do! Let’s go back to our plumber from our previous example. While he is inside drawing up the plans for his expansion he had BETTER also be developing both his Procedures and his Policies. For example in his initial plan he talked about hiring and training new plumbers and having them up to speed where they could take over their own truck once they had been there for 90 days. Well I can tell you from years of practical experience that no matter how GOOD your training plan is, you’re going to have some guys that are ready to take over a truck in 6 weeks and some won’t be ready to take over their own truck no matter how much time you give them! So what are you going to do with then? Well your policies will dictate exactly what it is that you will do. For example, will the plumber have some type of a ‘testing’ scenario with a non subjective grade that he can base his decisions on, or will he go strictly off his own feelings? Well if he has a policy developed for HOW he selects when his folks are ready to represent his business on his time then it will be simple. But even if he goes “with his gut” a policy for termination can save him MANY headaches down the road. For example, let’s say that the plumber you just put out on the truck is a GREAT plumber, just a LOUSY people person. Well you know what; maybe that’s why he became a plumber so he wouldn’t have to deal with people. That’s fine by you, but if your policy states that 3 complaints in any 1 30 day period is enough to put him on suspension, well now your customers’ are the ones doing all the dirty work. You’re just enforcing it! I won’t try and convince you that writing policies is a simple task, but THAT’S why you need to be able to have time free to work ON your business!

Work ON the Business not just IN the business.

So many business owner get so involved in just doing what they need to do to be the best “Plumber/Carpenter/ etc” that they never spend the time they need to develop the business itself.

Now you’re ONLY challenge is ENFORCING your policies and procedures. Remember if you identify dead weight in your organization and you have developed the policies and procedures needed to deal with such things the ONLY reason that you should still have dead weight, is because there is something about them that is worth MORE to you than the business to you! That’s a decision that only YOU can make, but it is one that you will have to make. No one can enforce these ideas but YOU!

You have just seen the 4 steps that YOU need to take in order to guarantee that you may NEVER have to make another ‘cold’ call ever again! Are these the only things? Not by a long shot, but I can tell you from personal experience, you can make a HIGH 5 figure income with EVER touching any of these ideas. But if you want to cross that chasm, make that leap take that step into the 6 and 7 figure business developments you find yourself working on one or all of these processes throughout your career. I have been rich and I have bee poor, trust me Rich is better!

Cold Calls NEVERMORE quoteth the salesman- part 3 July 1, 2010

Posted by truenorthtrainingsolutions in business, internet marketing, Professional, success.
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Step 3: Modeling

So you have found your customers who can afford what you’re selling, you have used education based marketing to START the ball rolling, now you have an appointment, or better yet your standing in front of your client! Now What?

Well obviously you will want to IMMEDIATELY launch into your big loud sales pitch about how you’re going to do GREAT things once he signs with your company. His customers are going to LOVE everything extra that you do and charge and. then of course there is the big purple inflatable guerrilla that you’re going to park out front! – WRONG.

I could give an entire history lesson on this next idea, but I won’t instead let’s just jump into it and talk about the concept of modeling. Again this idea has been taught ½ dozen ways by 6 dozen folks and called everything from Modeling to NLP Physical Adaptation. As a matter of fact there is one particularly successful internationally known trainer (real tall, good tan BIG smile) who has actually changed what HE calls it 3 different times just in the periods that I have been learning from him.

Right or wrong, good or bad I can tell you one thing point blank, every single time that I have REMEMBERED to put this technique in place I have increased my closing rations and brought them up to OVER 50% for that time period. For those of you not good at math let me say it this way. When I remember to model my clients I have been able to approach EVERY single appointment knowing for a fact that would SELL every OTHER appointment I went to! How would THAT change your outlook on Monday mornings?

So on to the meat of it, what is this mysterious modeling and how can YOU acquire the skill? Well for all intents and purposes you probably used to do this when you were little, in a game kids call “Mirror Mirror”. You and a friend would sit facing each other and try and mimic each others movements as though you were looking in a mirror. This time however, as an adult you are going to model, not mimic, your prospective customer. For example, if your client invites you to sit down and they lean WAY back in their chair, arms folded across their chests, most folks would correctly assume that this is a NON buying signal. But for a minute here lets also take it as a challenge, instead of seeing a customer with his defenses up, lets see them as saying “Go ahead I dare you, convince me!”

So while most folks will LEAN into the client’s space and do their best to draw them into the conversation, instead let’s lean back and cross OUR arms, and see if we can match their tone. Now I will admit there are some folks out there who will advise you to get SO involved in the modeling as to raise YOUR voice if the client raises theirs! Although you can do that somewhat, MANY people, especially men, find that anyone in THEIR office raising a voice had BETTER BE them! So if you’re going to go that far, do so with care. But very simply match their tone and perhaps, if you can do so without mocking them, their speech style. Use this for a few sentences; most busy clients will only give you a few in order to make your point. What you will find is that as you start to model his tone, inflection and mannerisms, he will begin to relax, as he begins to relax he will start to listen more closely (now here comes the important part). As your client begins to relax and listen you need to start drawing them IN to your way of thinking, start asking those questions that they HAVE to answer with a YES. As they start agreeing with you THEY will naturally start to model YOU! Meaning that as you lean in slightly, so will they as you start to show more interest, so will they. What you will find is that within a few short minutes you will have successfully drawn your client IN to your way of thinking and feeling. Once they are on YOUR side, you can start to close.

I am not going to tell you that this works EVERY time, after all its YOUR job to get in front of your client long enough to apply a technique such as this, and some clients wont give you 20 seconds, much less 2 minutes, but when you can GET 2 minutes, use modeling and you should notice a HUGE increase in your closing percentages. As I stated earlier, EVERYTIME I used this technique I closed more than ½ of all the clients I saw. That makes for a REALLY great day!

Need more? check back tomorrow  for our conclusion or better yet, head on over to:

http://www.TrueNorthTrainingSolutions.com

and ask about our Remote Control Management Kit!

The WARM referral part 2 July 1, 2010

Posted by truenorthtrainingsolutions in business, internet marketing, Professional, relationships, success.
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Step 2: Education Based Marketing.

So what IS education based marketing? Essentially it’s the idea behind offering something of value that will teach your prospect something that they didn’t know they needed to know, for the opportunity of meeting you?

Let’s go back to our bankers. Most reps call up and say “President Gomez of Banco de Popular, I’d like 15 minutes of your time so I can show you how much money you’ll save by letting us….hello? El Presidente? In all reality you usually won’t get THAT many words out before your call gets disconnected.

Let’s try this instead. Presidente Gomez this is Mike Davis with XYZ bank, I have an appointment with Dr. Johnson at Planters Union across the street next Monday, and I would like to make sure that you have access to the same report. Recently Bank XYZ produced the report entitled “The top 10 errors most bankers make when choosing an EFT Provider. If you’ll be in your office at 11 I would be able to drop this off for you and provide you with the report. Even if he tells you just to drop it in the mail you now have a valid reason to follow up with him, a WARM follow up.

Now you’re only challenge is producing the report.

But WAIT you’re thinking, what if he just tells me to “stick it in the mail?” Well that my dear reader is entirely up to you. If this is a customer worth pursuing, and I would hope that you haven’t gotten THIS far without making that determination yet, then there are TWO ways to proceed.

First, you can do EXACTLY what he asked and just “stick it in the mail” however f I were you, and this were going to be MY customer that I was ‘banking on’ (pun intended) then I would make SURE that this report that he’s about to get is interesting enough to get his full and undivided attention! There are a few ways that you can do that; just off the top of my head here are 3:

1)      Make it EXTREME. There is a marketing promoter out there (who will remain nameless at this point) who suggests that everything that YOU do should be done in a VERY extreme and eye catching format. Make the envelope bright BLUE, use a font that looks like your 3 year old wrote it with a crayon, use post it notes etc.

Now I will be the FIRST to admit that thus does NOTHING to lend an air of professionalism to your document, however, on the HOME front, it WILL help it get read! However, in the example were using here (Bankers with multi million dollar accounts) maybe your should go with one of the most RECENT ideas, that of 3-D mail. This idea says that if your mail gets put “on the stack” there is less of a chance of it getting read; the closer to the bottom of the stack it is placed. This means that a nice 8×10 report in an envelope of the same size is a PERFECT piece of material to act as the FOUNDATION for a stack of mail.

HOWEVER if you were to include a “phony” band of MILLION DOLLAR BILLS (almost any printer can make them for you), and band them up in a “money band” with your companies logo. That would make your envelope lumpy enough that it wouldn’t fit anymore on the BOTTOM. Or maybe you include a small plastic “commode” that when you hit the bottom “jingles” like coins instead of ‘flushes’ you could print “Don’t flush your budget away making these kinds of mistakes.” There are dozens and dozens of 3D ideas that you can use, most of which you can buy at the local party store, and there are certain promotion companies that have ideas s well!

2)      Place the Report in an envelope and instead of mailing it, do as your phone call suggests and drop it off while you’re at your next appointment. Then you can honestly walk into his office (well outer office) and tell his secretary that you’re there to drop of the information he requested. If she doesn’t let you in, that’s ok, you personally placed it in someone’s hand, giving it a far better than average chance of being read. However on the OFF chance that you DO get in to his office, start the conversation with “President Gomez, as I suggested on my call I can’t really stay because I have to meet with President Johnson across the street, I just wanted to make SURE you had this important information’s.” That way he knows you’re not going to say, as a matter of fact I suggest you not EVEN sit down unless he specifically asks you to!

3)       Finally, however you got your report delivered, it HAS been delivered (maybe FED EX with signature required?) so you NOW have a reason to call him next week! Make sure that in the envelope with your report you included a cover letter that said “and I’ll be calling next week to see if you have any questions” Then do the obvious thing, CALL HIM THE NEXT WEEK!

Remember you offered him the report, he agreed that he wanted to see it;     you’re still on completely good ground! You have a VERY valid reason to call him back, and discuss it with him, hopefully if you gave him a Time and Date on which you would return to call, he will at least have taken a minute to look over the report and has developed some questions!

Part 3 will come tomorrow, and you’re going to LOVE that one!

How NOT to make a cold call – Part 1 July 1, 2010

Posted by truenorthtrainingsolutions in business, Professional, relationships, success, time management.
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The Warm Referral

I know that many of you will find this hard to believe, but I have actually worked in sales a time or two in my life.  Personally I HATE cold calls, I have found that it is MUCH easier and MUCH more profitable if instead of COLD calls you do you best to develop a series of LUKE WARM calls.

You might want to take some notes, as my dad always told me, nothing in life STARTS until someone sells something, and as MY lovely wife will tell you, and these ideas can just as easily help you grow your business as turn a profit.

The idea behind the dreaded cold call is that you are going to sell something, in this case something very expensive to someone who doesn’t KNOW you from the next guy on the street. I’ll be the first one to tell you that the percentages of that actually happening make Direct Mail order seem like a DREAM business, and they are lucky to get a 2% response. So what can we do to increase our odds?

I’m going to walk you through 4 things that will absolutely work every single time YOU remember to apply them.  Mention that last part because even AFTER I learned this, it was several months before I REMEMBERED to integrate them into my DAILY schedule. However the FIRST day that I did, my closing ratio increased 50%

So let’s jump into it.

Step 1 find Buyers who can afford what you have to sell!

As many of you know Michele and me run a training company and we train on a variety of subjects, mostly communications oriented both in business and relationships. Now I can have the ABSOLUTE BEST way for men to patch up ANY argument that they start with their wives and not ONLY have their wives FORGIVE them, but feel lucky to be married to such a stud. But if my class tuition is $200 a head, and I’m talking to a group of public school teachers, in JULY, how well do you think I’m going to do? My classroom is going to be as EMPTY as theirs!

But if I have done my due diligence and I decide that I want to market my class on conflict resolution to young married folks, how much BETTER will I do if I can find a way to bundle MY tuition in with the CATERING package from the Wyndham on I-drive? Now think for a minute, the hotel is expensive, the bride and groom know that, they ALREADY have their checkbooks out, AND their wedding planner has ALREADY explained that before the ceremony if complete they will have fought with their photographer, their caterer and their in laws. So for an extra few hundred dollars I can give them the tools they need to not only survive the process, but arrive at the alter relaxed, happy and NOT on the next episode of BRIDEZILLAS?

Now what if instead of working with the Hotel manager I want to be Greedy and I don’t WANT to split my tuitions, instead I want to develop my OWN line of introductions that will give these folks the feeling that not only do they want my class, not only will it help them, but they in fact would be seriously missing out if they DIDN’T sign up?

That leads us to our next step: which ill be covered next time!

However if you JUST cant wait hop on over to:

http://www.truenorthtrainingsolutions.com

and ask for the remote Control management kit!

Is there no truth in Business? June 24, 2010

Posted by truenorthtrainingsolutions in business, internet marketing, Professional, relationships, success, time management.
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A take off on Shakespeare or Star Trek, your choice, but it comes from a very valid place. Recently my staff and I have been DEVOURING as much information as we can about online marketing. We don’t want to rely SOLEY on Web based business models, we saw how well that worked – How IS Pets.com doing? – and KNOW that as much money as you can make on line there is a LOT of money left on the table by folks who only look at one form of promotion.

So the team and I have spent the last 6 weeks reading reviewing, attending, listening to and watching everything we can from every corner of the world for as many “online experts” as we can validate. Sorry to the guy with the “Internet GuRu” hand painted sign on the corner of my street, I’m thinking you might not qualify. Well for those of you who know me well know that I have a sleeping disorder, and it’s not uncommon for me to wake up and spend 30 – 45 minutes online doing one form of research or another at 3am.

One night recently, it was especially bad. I got this email that said something like “Let ME send you the 10 things that every online marketer MUST know!” Now I will admit I’m a member (for now) of GKIC, and I do see some value in it, but inherently I AM a cheapskate. So if you’re willing to GIVE me the 10 things I HAVE to know, I’m all about it. SO I click the link in the ad.

Through my research I KNOW that when I get a link with AWEBER in the link, it is from someone using one of the LARGEST mass email companies on the planet earth. I’m not saying anything good or bad about them; apparently they are VERY good at what they do. So when the page opened up with LOTS of colors and “scrawls” and ‘Post it notes’ and other eye catching ideas, I had an IDEA that I was on a “squeeze page” and was about to be asked to OPT IN.

Now without going too deep into to much an OPT IN is basically YOU giving someone your name and email address as well as giving them the right to sell trade, barter, smoke signal and use that information with others of their ilk. So I scrolled down to the bottom, found the opt in and put in my nick name as well as an email address that I KNEW doesn’t get any mail (there’s a method to my madness).

A few years ago the phone company misspelled my 1st name when I set up an additional phone line. From then on, every time I got a piece of mail with THAT spelling of my name I knew 2 things: 1) It was an Ad for something I didn’t ask for 2) I KNEW where they GOT my information from, and it WASN’T me. So I decided to use the same method here. If I gave a nickname I would know WHERE it came from and if I used an email address that doesn’t get much, I could monitor it VERY carefully.

So I add my information to the ‘opt in’ form hit the button marked DOWNLOAD and am rewarded with a page that says “thanks for your information, check your INBOX for your download link.” Ok, now WAIT A COTTON PICKING MINUTE! I am NO high level web programmer, but even I know that there really is NO valid reason for Bob to make me go somewhere ELSE to download HIS PDF, if he indeed even HAS the PDF in his possession. Something’s not smelling kosher here.

SO I scurry back to my inbox (ok its 3am I’m not scurrying anywhere), and lo and behold there are 6 new emails. Hmm 6? Well that’s interesting….hey look his friends already know about me! One of the links is a PDF download link and I get my free report, and go back to bed.

A few days later another bout of insomnia and I’m back at the PC. PLEASE I AM A PROFESSIONAL, I do not recommend the following to the amateurs or weekend warriors out there. For some reason only myself and my creator may one day determine, I decided to go through the entire NEW MESSAGE section and “grab” every freebie being offered. I was there for about 90 minutes; luckily my buffer holds my nickname and email address, I skipped anything that wanted any additional info and anything that was a “joiner” and found some interesting things.

First off, a LARGE number of these “affiliate marketers” are all selling for the same folks. Out of about 90 emails from 90 different addresses there were about 40 distinct websites being promoted. Next, if you are USING affiliate marketers to promote your products, get on their email lists so that YOU see what your customers see. Its bad enough the tactics some of these folks use (free.bies instead of freebies to get past filters), but some of these emails are absolutely TERRIBLE. Finally, and most severely is some of the out right PLAGERISM that is running rampant through that industry. I don’t care if they steal from each other in their emails, but one of these guys was actually using verbiage from a VERY well known VERY well compensated speaker and trainer (tall well built guy BIG TEETH) whom you would all recognize, was having his material STOLEN WORD FOR WORD and being re packaged as this other authors.

Hey we ALL may have made up a few social studies reports off what was in the Encyclopedia Britannica in the 8th grade, but as adults we GO TO JAIL for those kinds of things! Personally I hope Sir Large Incisors finds this guy and pins his legal carcass to the wall. But that’s my two cents.

So please if you are going to market online, there are some great ways to do, affiliate marketing is probably even a good way to do it, but please, screen your marketers and their material. I know for a fact that the workers for a company get busted doing THEIR jobs, the originator is [probably going down as well! Don’t let that be YOU!

By the way, the last time I looked, that email address was getting over 320 emails A DAY! One of the “affiliate marketers is actually sending 10 – 15 emails a day, each one hawking a NEW and DIFFERENT whiz bang product for each of whom he JUST hung up the phone with the inventor and, well you get the idea.

Drive your web mobile carefully, drive it wisely, and when you really need some good information, head on over to

www.TrueNorthTrainingSolutions.com and check out our resources!

No squeeze page, no opt in.

PS. After applying all the filters I can I just checked that email box, and since yesterday, 229 new messages!

Be INTENSELY ACTION Oriented! June 15, 2010

Posted by truenorthtrainingsolutions in business, Professional, success, time management.
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There are dozens if not HUNDREDS of “famous sayings” and pieces of advice making sure that you THINK before you act. Many also encourage you JUST to think, think positively (that’s where the Positive Mental Attitude theory got its name). As a matter of fact I know a trainer whose entire program is focused on getting you to take your thoughts and VERBALIZE them all day long! Now I’m not saying that this theory doesn’t have merit, personally I believe that it does indeed, HOWEVER even the bible will tell you that “faith without works is dead.”

Don’t get caught with your engine running and your transmission stuck in FIRST!

Remember your clients didn’t even know that they NEEDED your product or service. Now they not only need it but they WANT it now!

You should do at LEAST one thing EVERY day to move towards your end goal. For example if you are working FULL TIME as a Law Assistant in a Giant law firm, but your dream has been to become a writer, find a time EVERY day and do SOMETHING that will contribute to you becoming a writer.

Now there is a CAVEAT. Earlier I encouraged you to use your car as a rolling Library and listen to audio reports, seminars etc. Just because you listened to something for an hour on your drive in this morning, that doesn’t count. Remember his is ACTION oriented, not SLUG LIKE! Now if you have a topic for your story or book, and you need to do research about that characters life, and you sit down to read some trade manuals from an industry other than your own, that could count, for a little while.

But if you spend the next 3 years reading about running a Funeral Home because your main character is a mortician, you will become an EXOPERT n the mortuary industry, however if after 3 years you are STILL reading “Embalming Digest” your book will remain a pipe dream.

Set aside an hour a night and sit in front of the pc and start WRITING.

But let’s move back into an office environment. You started in a fairly entry level position and now 5 years later your still on the same team, but you have gotten a few promotions, but you’re STILL considered entry level.

NOW is the time to become action oriented. Start asking your boss for extra assignments, look for additional responsibilities.

I’m not saying give up ALL your spare time, but does you manager even KNOW that you want to be on X team? Most Managers in today’s corporate world know that is they keep you where they want you instead of where YOU want to be, you’re only going to be there a short time. As soon as you determine that they are the reason for your lack of growth you will EITHER leave that company or go around you and start interviewing with OTHER teams, then he’s got to start ALL over!

So tell him where you want to be, ask him if THAT place is something that he knows something about. Typically by the time someone comes into management, they will have gone through MANY of the positions that you will need to go through as well. They can, if you’re open with them, tell you the good sides and the bad sides of each. Best of all, by talking to them in advance if they are a really good manager, they will WANT you to succeed and grow, and by you being plugged into a path of growth you will become a better team member for them while on your journey. ADDITIONALLY you will have given them a 1 to 2 year warning of where and when you may be going. Thus allowing him to bring someone in to replace you and allowing YOU to train your own replacement.

But remember if you do nothing else, do this. Do ONE thing EVERY DAY to advance you on where you want to go!

If you don’t discipline YOU someone else WILL! June 2, 2010

Posted by truenorthtrainingsolutions in business, Professional, Uncategorized.
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One of THE most important things I have EVER heard anyone in any setting say was Phil Strack from a stage in Gainesville, Fl.

(http://www.legendarycoaches.com/)

When he said “If you won’t discipline yourself to do what you NEED to do, when it needs to get done, than someone ELSE will!” That hit me like a TON of bricks, when I realized how true that statement was it just floored me. If I don’t make the time to do the things that I HAVE to do, then I will ALWAYS be the “slave” to someone else who will have the authority to make sure that I DO, do what needs to be done when it needs to be done. The worst part of THAT equation is that whenever you are in that situation you will always be selling your time at wholesale and buying your life back at RETAIL.

The worst thing that you have to do, the one thing that you AVOID doing all day any day, is that the one or two things that you really SHOULD be doing! Only by developing some deep commitment and gathering in some self discipline and then executing it will you ever break through that habit of stagnation! Unfortunately what this MAY mean is that you will find yourself forcing yourself to do those things that you SHOULD be doing anyway! Now if this sounds silly and perhaps even self defeating just remember this, if you’re using less than 7% of your brains capacity and you have found out those things that you CAN, and should, do in order to become successful at something you are going to find yourself, occasionally, FORCING yourself to do it!

Sounds silly? Absolutely, we are adults! Why in the world do we need someone else telling us that NOW we have to start doing the things that we know ought to be done? Because if you examine those around you, what you will find is that the majority of the people around you, are NOT doing what they should be doing either! It is ALWAYS easier NOT to do something than TO do something, especially the first few hundred times. I promise that it WILL become easier, and I will also let you in on the ONE secret that should ALWAYS be true, and that once you understand this secret, will overcome 99% of all the objections that you yourself find arising within your own conscience.

Remember this is something that should ALWAYS be true, and if its NOT, maybe you ought to re-examine what it is that you are doing. It comes in 2 flavors, both of which are 100% related to each other, but they can appear diametrically opposed to the center. Here goes: If you are supposed to be calling someone in order to “make a sale” DO IT. If your product/information what have you is truly worthwhile than you are helping that person out! If you knew that what you had in your hands would bring a yearly income of $100,000, and that it was work that ANYONE could perform, no special skills required. What would you do with it? Sit on it and keep it a secret? NO you would call every person you knew, and a WHOLE lot of folks that you have only heard of, why, because YOU would be helping THEM! Think about EVERY call, whether on the phone or in person, you are helping them. The other side of the coin, if someone is helping you, but you find yourself intimidated by them,, or maybe something that they asked you to do, for your own good, is something that you just couldn’t find the time to do, and they are calling to try and help you follow up, answer the phone, talk to them, they are JUST trying to HELP YOU!

Here is the last but probably the most important thing that I can say here, you will not find yourself in the midst of success until you are able, on a consistent basis to find your way to do the things that you SHOULD be doing WHEN you should be doing them, even when you do not FEEL like you want to. Doing what you should be doing even when you will need in order to put your plan into action, can make all the difference in the world. So on your first sheet of paper list everything that comes to mind when you think about what it will be like when you are wealthy.

Remember now is NOT he time to “self edit” for humility or to make yourself look better. Put them ALL on the paper, boating, fishing, camping, whatever it is that fits your definition of successful. Make sure that you include built in “family time” I have found that if you don’t specifically set aside a certain number of hours for the accomplishment of your goals, not only will you never achieve them, but chances are good that you will never even gets started on them. BE SPECIFIC

Next you’re going to want to determine what the cost is in order to reach that goal, by cost I don’t just mean what will this cost you in dollars but your time and the sacrifices that you may have in missing your son’s soccer game, or your daughters recital. There will always be a cost, your job? Determine if it’s going to be worth it in the end. Remember an unwritten goal is just a wish. Once you have your goals written out, next go back through THAT list and set reasonable deadlines for the attainment of those goals. While you’re at it add in some type of markers for you to determine what your actual progress has been. Now you have your written list of goals, you know what it is that you need to do, make the decision that you are going to do SOMETHING every single day to move yourself along towards that goal.

Now, at the end of the week you will have run through several iterations of working on your lists, and your goal, so now we want to review your goals as well as your accomplishments for that week, and compare that to how long you believe it would normally take, and you are moving in exactly the right direction to attain what you need. Remember a plane from Chicago to LA is off course 90% of the time. Your plane can be a little off balance most of the ride and yet be making slight course corrections so that you will know exactly what changes you need to make along the way, in order to reach that goal. Unfortunately human patterns will demonstrate that you will spend more than 75% of your time, heading in the wrong  direction, and its all about making sure that you are heading in the wrong direction, and that’s OK, as long a you’re willing to make corrections. Finally, make sure that EVERY day, you reflect not only on your goals, but review the day and make sure that you are doing SOMETHING productive in favor of your goals. Plan your days in ADVANCE. Finally, remember at least one thing before your done for the day, or that day doesn’t count. If it means spending extra time at the end of the day to plan tomorrow, that’s fine. But how do you prioritize? Now that is the question at the ROOT of everything, and also our next subject.

It’s AMAZING What happens when things go missing…… May 28, 2010

Posted by truenorthtrainingsolutions in business, Professional, Uncategorized.
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I make no secret of the fact that I’m in the midst of writing 4 books, the first of whch should be back from the publisher by months end (June). Only one of these have I REALLY done my best to keep under wraps, the reason for that will become rather obvious once its complete, but even our proprietary Remote Control System hasn’t been as closely coveted as maybe it should have.

That being said, one of musics GREATEST Producers once said that the best way to take away the power of THIEVES is to give away that which they may try and sell!

So for the next few weeks you will be privy to one of my FAVORITE sections of my “Remote Control Management book,, enjoy, and I cheerfully and eagerly hope for comments:

I was at a seminar recently and the speaker said that according to statistical data (source unknown) you had to hear something 14 – 16 times for it to sink in and truly become part of what you do every day. So if you ever attend a session and you TRULY want to get the most out of it, make sure you buy the tapes, cd’s or recordings of the information being given. At least then you have a chance of getting everything out of it you need. Why is that important here? I read a book last year by someone who was VERY highly recommended, when I finished, I didn’t really feel lie I had gotten out of it what I needed. I was telling a colleague this a few weeks later and he said, “Well wait a month and then read it again.” So I did, the second time through, I found SO many things that I missed the first time, that it was like reading a brand new book! So if you enter this chapter with a specific intent and at the end, don’t really feel like you found what you were looking for, put the chapter aside, and in 90 days, come back to it. Give your mind a chance to absorb what it offered the first time, before you try and digest the WHOLE things in one setting!

First Things First

This may seem ALMOST self explanatory but I think anytime that you have determined that you will be making a major change in your life you need to IMMEDIATELY follow that up with an action. One of the simplest, yet toughest actions that you can determine is to make a decision that you will either START doing something or STOP doing something immediately!

There is a VERY old saying that is attributed to everyone from the Yang Dynasty to Ben Franklin that says “The journey of 1000 miles begins with the first step” As with many “old sayings, the origination of this one isn’t NEARLY as important as the validity and truth behind the thought itself. In our case the idea is to make a decision that you will start or stop SOMETHING.

There are 1000’s if not 10’s of thousands of GREAT ideas that are floating around the United States at any given time, unfortunately many of these ideas are wasted by being “given” to someone who will NEVER do anything with it. Network Marketing for example, I don’t care if it’s Tupperware, Herbalife or Zing Pow; someone in the world has made legitimate money by ethically performing the things that need to be done. Unfortunately there are thousands of folks who will take these ideas, talk VERY big about what they PLAN  on doing with this information, never do ANYTHING and then place the blame for their lack of success squarely on the company, program, leadership etc. SO, because this is something that we as Americans are not used to, people need to understand that making and following through with decisions is a skill that needs to be practiced. Personally I would strongly recommend that you start with the small things and work your way UP to the big decisions as quickly as possible!

Remember, sometimes the simple act of STOPPING a thing from being done is as important if not more so than doing something. For example, has your doctor suggested that you stop with the wings every Thursday after 6pm? Has your mentor suggested that you STOP making important phone calls from your cell phone with the top down on your convertible? These are things that would have a huge effect on your life, so STOP IT! Finally remember this, no valid and important change, happened over night. Overweight? Chances are you did not wake up one day 75 pounds heavier than you should be, so do NOT expect to lose 75, 50 or even 10 pounds in a WEEK. Any decision worth making is a decision that is worth making again and again every day until it becomes a habit. Once it becomes a habit you will only need to re commit to that habit on a weekly or monthly basis. Until then, you may find yourself working at it daily or even hourly!

BUILDING BUSINESS or WASTING TIME? May 21, 2010

Posted by truenorthtrainingsolutions in business, Professional, Uncategorized.
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First off please let me apologize for those of you who got used to me posting 3 times a week that I have been out of the loop for a week or so. I would LOVE to blame it on some world hopping social itinerairy that kept me locked up in a first class cabin jet setting around the world that I just could NOT find an internet connection. We all know that’s BUNK. Heck in some cases a fancy cell phone or really neat watch can allow you to post to a BLOG!

No my reasoning is much more mundane than that, it also reminded me of something that I had since forgotten, which led me to think about…are you seeing a pattern? It is my son’s 4th birthday this month. Yes this MONTH. When you have relatives all over the state and friends equally spread out, what SHOULD be simple, burgers on the Barbie ends up being not 1 not 2 but FOUR seperate parties, each with cake and GIFTS. My wife and I determined last year that in order to save money this year we would go to a famous kids place and let them HOST the party and clean up after the party and cook and…only to find that a 6 foot grey mouse gives my boy nightmares!

But last night, while all this CHAOS was going on around us I was reminded that MY father was almost always out of town on MY birthday PARTY days, and usually didn’t appear until it was JUST the family and it was time to cut the cake! Now it wasn’t JUST that dear old dad had no patience for kids, heck he bequeathed THREE of us ON the world, so that must say SOMETHING. But back to the subject at hand, 4 parties, 1 4 year old and LOTS of confusion equal to less than ZERO.

How does all this play and why do you care? Very simply, when you are handed something like this, a full schedule, guaranteed confusion and NO time, how can that be an advantage? Well obviously it’s an opportunity for TWO things.

1)      Learning – for those of you who have been in or near my car you know it’s a rolling library, between business and non business research I have over 150 AUDIO Cd’s in my car full of lectures, classes and various presentations from experts in one given field or another. Whether its Marketing, Lead Generation, Lists or just plain old research you have anywhere between 15 minutes and 2 hours of drive time every day, WHAT are you doing with it? What you SHOULD be doing is plugging in an expert and listening while you drive. Now the ONE caveat to that of course is that you can’t and SHOULDN’T take notes while driving. So I will be the first to admit that I have 4 cd’s sitting in my desk queue WAITING for me to play them with my headphones on, so I can take notes! That eats into the whole time thing.

2)      Networking – the one NICE thing about having a 4 year old is he has LOTS of friends and his friends have LOTS of parents who are not in our industry and therefore getting to know them and more about what they do/what they need, will ALWAYS help you to get information on the needs of other industries. Why just last night my wife spent 30 minutes discussing business with the wife of a colleague. Little did the colleague’s wife know that the industry that she is IN is actually one of MY target markets!

So the question is, are you wasting time or making progress

Rule #1 – DON’T WASTE TIME!

Always, but always find a way to learn something about what they do, what problems they have that you might solved and then demonstrate, if the situation is right, HOW what YOU do/have/sell can be made to look like its NOT all about you, but about their FAVORITE subject! – THEM!

Elevator Speeches are great, but what if I don’t have THAT long? April 22, 2010

Posted by truenorthtrainingsolutions in business, Professional, Uncategorized.
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Wow, you KNOW you’ve got a good idea when you get SO many replies, some good and some less than good. This one however stuck out quite a bit in my mind, having been there myself at one point in my career. The email went like this:

TNT,

The concept of an elevator speech is great, I completely understand it, but I’m an independent contractor working for a firm that gives me slightly less than “cold leads” to call on. I can use an elevator speech to explain to strangers what I do, but there’s no WAY it will help me with my customers. Most won’t give me 3 to 5 sentences to do my JOB much less as an introduction.

Sincerely

On the Road Again”

Well Willie, or are you Waylon, you know I never could get those two straight in my mind. You’re right, if you’re in an unconventional business where you’re not “exactly” a salesman, but you have a short window of time to make a powerful statement about you and your product/service than an Elevator speech is NOT the best thing for you. However a Value Proposition is EXACTLY what you need, the down side to Value Props is that you can’t stop with just one. When you develop your first one, you have to use that as a springboard for generating as many as you can, because you will be using them, regularly and in almost every situation.

So what IS a value proposition? To begin with, it is a statement that is in answer to a question, either asked or UN asked that addresses 100% of someone’s needs while being PAINFULLY honest!

WOW, ok J that’s an awful lot of information in that one statement, can you break it down for the simple folk?

Better than that I’ll give you a working example so you can see exactly what it is that I mean by each and every word.

Let me take you back a few years. I was an independent Bank Representative whose primary supplier was one of the 3 largest commercial banks in the United States. But they were VERY specialized. They had NO physical branches, no vaults and no drive through. Yet they wanted me to go into every Doctors office in Florida and convince the Doctor to allow them complete and unrestricted access to his bank accounts. They were going to control over 90% of the funds that that Physician collected from Patients, Insurers and the Government insert a completely alien technology into his office workflow and do all this with a “bank” that he’s never heard of, can’t see and has almost NO recourse against, if something goes wrong. Sounds simple right? It was exactly as simple as you are now imagining!

I however had 2 things going for me. The first is that the “Association” that supplied malpractice insurance to 90% of these doctors had signed an agreement with our bank, allowing us to use their name to get in the door. Secondly, even though I didn’t CALL it a Value Proposition, I was armed with the greatest sets of Value Props EVER!

When creating a value proposition the 1st thing to realize is that it is NOT about you! It’s about THEM, them being the customer, client, patient, whatever label you apply to the folks who are give you money. So in this particular case it was about Doctors, now 20 years later, I know a WHOLE lot more about Doctors than I did then, but the one thing I absolutely knew without question and that was MANY Physicians have an inflated image of themselves and what they do. Some people call this a God Complex. So number 1 you must come in low and slow and understand that it is VITAL for the Doctor to feel that he is in 100% control of the situation at ALL TIMES!

Secondly, I knew Doctors are VERY busy people. Whether they are Heart Surgeons, Cosmetic Dentists or Chiropractors, if they are talking to YOU and not a patient they are LOSING MONEY. Therefore whatever I say has to be short sweet and directly to the point. – INTERLUDE- You know I saw a lot of guys in my business then who UNDERSTOOD this point and would therefore go in and talk fast and loud and try using dozens of “industry terms” and abbreviations in an effort to place them on an even ground with the Doctor. You HAVE to remember, most people think fast talking means you’re trying to HIDE something and there is NOTHING ON THIS EARTH that YOU can do to put yourself on even footing with a Doctor. Even if you have M.D. after your name he wont like the school you attended, or he’ll think you must have been a quack if you’re no LONGER in medicine. So just STOP IT. It’s not about YOU it’s about THEM, and remember according to the AMA 34% of ALL Doctors are female, so you may ALREADY be in a bad position.

So back to our Val Prop, Next you need to find out, aside from their ego’s what is the #1 thing that ALL Physicians want? In Florida, due to an independent survey at that time we found out that Physicians wanted to INCREASE the collection of their fees. Of course YOU would never consider this, but MANY people go to the Doctor or Hospital, with no insurance and think nothing of walking by the person in the lobby trying to present you with your bill! Even the Mortgage Industry is willing to over look negative items on your credit report, IF they are Medical Bills. So here we are in a country where Insurance is continually paying less and less, collections are going up and up, and the complementary industries are not even TRYING to help you collect your FEES!

So in I come asking him to hand over to me, what small percentage of his bills he has been able to pry out of the patients hand, and for ONLY $1500 I can…do NOTHING he wants to hear about. Because 90% of the time I never SEE the Doctor, he tells the Office manager that is she likes it, go ahead. But because she runs the entire office INCLUDING when the Doctor gets to eat lunch, she has almost the same “complex” that HE does. The only advantage is that as an office manager SHE is intimately familiar with the money in the office, AND if she can find a way to increase HIS bottom line she might get a nice Christmas gift!

So, I have about one sentence to get her attention enough to have her grant me ANOTHER sentence. SO after having made my appointment (never come in unannounced), she has made me wait at LEAST 30 minutes, that way I know how REALLY is in charge here, I am swept into a nice leather bound office and given my 10 seconds of fame.

“Joan if I can show you a way to increase your collections, both at the time of service and in arrears while making it easier for your patients to pay their invoices is that something Dr. Jones would be interested in?”

So, what did we do? First, I asked her a question. Questions are very harmless, you can ALWAYS say NO. NEXT I addressed her two biggest headaches, getting money from the patients while they are there AS WELL as giving her a way to increase the ability for folks who skipped out to pay what THEY owe her. Remember, she may be the office manager, but if she s a good one, then she considers that her money too! Then instead of making it HER decision I deflected it off her for a minute and laid it BACK in the lap of the doctor. See Joan, I’m not asking your for any money, I just want to know if you THINK there could be some way in which if we solve X and Y that MIGHT interest the physician. It not only relieves her of the need to make n IMMEDIATE decision, but it ALSO allows her to demonstrate her power to me. Because her next statement will either be:

Well the Doctor allows ME to make those kinds of decisions, how can you do that?

OR

What’s this going to cost me?

REGARDLESS of which one she comes back with, my response is going to be another Value Prop. And it would sound like this.

“Joan, most practices as large as yours find that at some point in their billing cycle they sometimes find a disconnect has occurred with the patient, disconnects can cause folks to slow or even STOP paying their medical bills, is this something that your practice might see in a down cycle?”

Again, giving HER the power, demonstrating that of course this would NEVER be a regular thing in an office as prestigious as this one, but sometimes a down turn in the cycle could cause a problem.

Now you’ve have again granted her ALL the power and demonstrated a clearer understanding of her particular situation. That even in IMPORTANT offices like this one sometimes people don’t pay their bills. Additionally making sure she sees that of course it wouldn’t be the fault of her staff or her doctor or even the patients themselves, it MUST be a change in the economy.

She might then reply with: “Well I’m sure that the Doctor has experienced some down cycles, but from what the girl said on the phone, this sounds pretty expensive.”

OK, now we have gotten the ONE concern that you NEVER assume and that is that COST could play in. Now it’s the Job of your Value Prop to completely disarm her, because you know that the girl on the phone said NOTHING about cost! So you take your BIGGEST ticket and you break it down into its smallest component, and let TEHM guide YOU.

“Well Joan if I could plainly demonstrate that your could offer the absolute MAXIMUM number of payment options to your clients for less than what the Doctor invests in donuts for the Staff meetings, would it be of interest to him?”

I have addressed her fears without mentioning an exact price, but I have also let her know that this is the MAXIMUM, and so if the BEST is worth a box of donuts I wonder what I can get for a cup of coffee?

Now, THIS is a very LONG, and yet still not comprehensive, explanation of a Value Proposition, let me give you a VERY short one that was a qualifier for ANOTHER type of banking client.

As my partner an I were discussing last week Convenience Store Owners have chosen a business that CAN be the HIGHEST profit per item type of retail store that exists in America. Unfortunately they are typically working on a shoestring budget and often the owner of the store is working 60- 70 hours a week, and his wife or son is working the remainder of the week. So here I am, once again with an appointment, but in this case it is 100% ALMOST meaningless, since construction workers seem to NEED Boxed Marlboro Reds and Super Jumbo Barrel O’Cola Gulps almost anytime of the day or night. So for me to get ANY of his attention AT all I have to grab it IMMEDIATELY, and therefore I would typically open with this:

“If I could show you, in the next 90 seconds how you can put more money in your pocket EVERY SNGLE DAY, would it be worth a few minutes of your time?”

Now the cholerics are going WAIT you told him you could show him in 90 seconds and now you’re asking for a few minutes, what’s the DEAL! Well plain and simple, I actually honed down our presentation and the HIGHLIGHTS to LESS than 90 seconds, that’s without stuttering and without interruption. But to fill out the paper, is going to take 15 minutes (you KNOW banks). Since I typically KNEW when I walked in, what his current system was costing him, I knew before I started talking whether the math was in my favor our not. As long as I could show how the system would pay its OWN way, he would then sit down with me and finish the REST of the presentation. I’m not saying that they always signed, but I will say that the first year I started using Value Props I had a better than 75% signing rate.

What would YOUR business look like with those kinds of numbers?

Tune in next week, and we will go into a little more detail as to how you can develop your OWN Value Props and where you can use them to their highest effectiveness.