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Part 5 seperating the URGENT from the IMPORTANT July 13, 2010

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5)      Divide the URGENT from the IMPORTANT. Here’s how we break down the differences between the two:

Items that are URGENT and IMPORTANT must be done NOW.  Typically these are things that come up “suddenly” often they may be emergencies, but regardless they have a very strict time limit attached to them, meaning that they must be done NOW! For example, you get laid off and there are two bills due, the cable bill and the power due. You only have enough cash to pay one. Common sense would dictate that the Power bill is the one to pay, not only is it URGENT and IMPORTANT, but if you don’t have power you can’t watch cable ANYWAY! Unfortunately not everyone sees it that way. A more daily occurrence however may be that the computer system that does your payroll for your employer has just crashed, its Wednesday, the payroll is due to be paid Friday. This is URGENT and IMPORTANT. If you can’t cut the checks on Friday you will have a LOT of angry employees and may NOT be able to get any more work done if folks are worrying about their paychecks. This is definitely an unplanned event that has a very short time frame on it.

Items that fall into this category are things that can NOT be delayed without GRAVE consequences. If you own a restaurant and your Poultry supplier gets shut down because of ‘Mad Hen Disease’ that might fall into this category. Oh you can put off selling chicken for a  day or two, but come the weekend, your customers will want a full menu or they may go elsewhere!

Items that are IMPORTANT but not URGENT have long term impact on your goals. These are those things that appear on your radar with someone else’s calendar being stressed. An example of this could be that very first time your brakes start squealing as you drive. You know that they have to be repaired, they are a life saving part of driving in traffic, but really, how many people turn into the first car repair they see when the brakes start making noise? None is the correct answer; almost everyone sets a date in their mind (future tense) when they will start thinking about working on a date when they might want to get them fixed. In your life somewhere is someone who cares about you telling “get the brakes fixed”, but that’s their time line, not yours. You will get them fixed, you know that, but it will probably be after some other unforeseen item comes to pass.

Another example would be that report that you have to submit on your new work project, you know that the drop dead due date is 9 weeks away; you also know that your boss wants to review the report BEFORE it gets submitted. You COULD start on it immediately, but you know that you won’t so instead you set yourself an appointment on your Calendar to begin writing it so that it is finished by the 2nd, that way there is a week for the boss to read it and suggest any changes. You KNOW that you will do it, you even have an idea of WHEN you will do it, but its NOT important enough to do right now.

Need IMMEDIATE assistance with BOTH?

Check out www.TrueNorthTrainingSolutions.com

and ask for thr remote control management Kit!

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June 21st Part 2 – okay I get a little distracted July 12, 2010

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I do apologize, for those of you who have been waiting for the rest of that series. To  say I got a little distracted, would of course be an understatement, but here we go, back on time and on track, to help YOU get what you want!

4)      Now you want to prioritize these items – Finally you have the top 30 things that take up your day, and they have been successfully divided into one of 5 categories A, B, C, D, E.

Look at each and every one and make sure that THEY are where they are, because that’s exactly where you feel they should be. If after a thorough examination you have determined that they all belong on the list and they are in their proper priorities, now look at each item under your FIRST 3 letters and determine how much WEIGHT they carry on their own! Then use the numbers 1 through 5 to label them even DEEPER within the subspecialty. For example If out of 30 items you have 4 that all fall within the A category, now you have to examine each of these 4 very closely and you will begin to see what is the absolute, have to get done NOW, item that’s #1, then from the 3 that remain choose the one that actually carries the least amount of weight, but still has heavy consequences if not executed quickly! Then the last 2 will ‘fight’ over #’s 2 and 3.

Work your way through sections A, B and C that way. With D, you will want to delegate them to others according to deadlines and their due dates. Item E is exactly that, place all of the ITEM E’s in a folder on your desktop and if you have run out of EVERYTHING else you can delegate them. If not, give yourself a time limit for these items to be physically tossed to the trash! If they haven’t been tossed aside, than someone, maybe not you, needs to re-prioritize them, they may not even belong on your list.

Once you have all your items grouped and then separated within each grouping, you can now look at EACH item as a “do-able” task and work your way through, until they have ALL been completed, forgotten or tossed!

For more and more, please cruise on over to:

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Where we’re always on ttrack!

Using the ABCDE method to set your priorities: June 21, 2010

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This method may seem familiar to you when were done, so lets not strain the brain too much and just say that I believe that this method is merely a “take off” on what is more commonly referred to the “Ben Franklin Method,” since it is widely believed that he was the first one to use these particular methods.

First off, as in ANY goal setting conversation you will want to spend some quality time scheduling related  set of tasks. Spend some time each day, making them closer to the fact. Of course the closer they are related the more you will eventually begin to merge them into one or a series of related tasks. Finally you will arrive at the obvious thing that you, once you have skimmed those ‘off the top’ you will, want to start working on the balance of the items on your list!

So here’s how we use the ABCDE program. You have made a list of everything that fills in your day, as well as the priorities that go along with them. Now what you need to do is focus on them by yourself, in a room alone and begin by dividing them into certain segments. These segments will be labeled A, B, C, D and E. Here’s how the labels should be assigned.

A – MUST DO – These are the items in your life and in your business that carry BIG and I mean HUGE consequences if they don’t get done, or if they don’t get done properly. For example in many businesses invoicing is left up to a 3rd party accountant. Sounds smart, let them track the receipts. BUT if the account that you do the most work for is 3 months behind in their payments and coming current is the difference between meeting payroll and NOT, maybe you ought to take a bit more interest than you usually do in bringing THAT account up to date.

B – SHOULD DO – These items carry a much milder consequence if not completed today, but are still important enough that if they are NOT dealt with properly they could work their way UP to being in the A category. For example, you JUST shipped out an enormous amount of product to a vendor that you have NEVER done business with, and they ask for a 2/10 net 30 cycles. You have to start SOMEWHERE with folks, but maybe if they are asking it should be seen as a red alarm?

C – LIKE TO DO – These items carry NO consequences for not getting done, but you enjoy doing them. For example, when you established your business you stated in your Value Statement that you would ‘donate’ 10% of your profits to charity. This year maybe instead of donating cash you have found a charity that can benefit most from your TIME. So you have a choice, do you spend 10 hours a week gathering new business and making contacts, or do you spend those SAME 10 hours a week working at a homeless shelter? A very good friend of mine always said that the nicest part about being wealthy was that he could send his money to work for others less fortunate then himself, when he personally didn’t have the TIME to be there in person. If next month’s calendar has NO new business on it, and you are more than 1 week into THIS month’s, maybe that homeless shelter would make as good of use of $250 in cash rather than you sweeping up at the end of the night.

Do NOT perform ANY C tasks if there is ANY A or B tasks UN done.

D – Delegate to Others – These are items that SHOULD be done, but they are NOT the best use of YOUR resources. This is where you start giving other folks the “opportunity” to learn and grow. I’m not saying you need to hire some 16 year old kid to put gas in your car every Friday, but if your choice is to spend an entire day ‘working’ on your website, or hire someone who can get it done in 2 hours who is the best person for THAT job? I strongly believe that this is where the concept of “Accountants” came from. Here is an entire industry that only benefits if you make $. Yet you can either be spending time generating money, OR you can find out where the specialists are, go there, and find one who is willing to “help” you on a semi regular basis? Now you have accomplished two tasks in one: You have delegated that accounting task to someone else who will be paid a relatively small fee, but most importantly you have freed up the dozen or so hours you WERE spending, performing the tasks themselves!

E – ELIMINATE – These are tasks that make absolutely NO difference in your day, they don’t contribute to your goals and carry NO consequences. A PERFECT example here occurs on Sunday all over the USA, it’s called “Monday Morning Quarterback.” Instead of spending the morning huddled around the water cooler, setup an instant messenger service on your PC and have the SAME conversation while you are hunting new business or (worse yet) chasing after old business. I will say this about that however, if you got paid 100% up front, then you wouldn’t care WHERE your customer is on Monday. These are tasks that no one else wants because THEY too realize that they are trivial and just eat up time. Often this is what leads you to external delegations, however, you REALLY need to look at these tasks and find out if they can be eliminated. A perfect example, when our first child was born, my wife, who worked from home,  determined that she was spending so much time cleaning the house that she didn’t feel that she was generating enough income. So we ‘delegated’ this task by hiring a maid service. Unfortunately my loving wife, not wanting to be embarrassed would then spend ½ the day BEFORE the maid arrived, “picking up.”

It was at this time that I determined that the maids were being paid almost as well as she was, therefore we were losing at LEAST ½ a days work/pay every Friday. When you added what she missed the previous day you were NOW in the position to realize that having a maid was costing 20% of her income. The solution? Hire 2 maids and 1 to clean the bathrooms? No too much overhead to be practical. Get rid of house cleaning for good? Absolutely not, instead what we found was that by making a list of what the maid was doing, one of us performed one set of tasks and the other performed the rest. Thus we eliminated the payment, we eliminated the ‘pre maid’ stress and my wife gets help with the housework! So by eliminating 1 item we actually WON on 3 separate fronts! That’s what’s known as a Win3!

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

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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

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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

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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

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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.

HOW Will Folks FIND me on the Net? April 13, 2010

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s it just me or does everyone and their 3 year old little brother have a website?

I mean really, there are 4 BILLION people on this planet and I strongly believe that each and every one of them (except my MOM) has at LEAST 3 websites. The First one is literally the first one they ever put up, typically it contains their favorite song (from 1991), artwork from some obscure artist and some rantings and “hottest news on them” also from 1991.

Next will be their Family/Hobby or Photo site. This is where they will post photos that REALLY should NOT be consumed by the general public and in today’s day and age have EVERY chance in the world of affecting the potential job opportunities of ANYONE that they know! Or worse yet displaying 12 paged on the growth patterns of geraniums in non native soil, while suspended from a bungee cord OVER a waterfall (photos to come later – never).

FINALLY will be their 100% guaranteed money making sight that will have them on EZ Street by next Tuesday. Usually this one is generated from a template that they found on someone else’s site called www.money4nuthinchikz4free.biz .

With all that electronic confusion HOW in the world is ANYONE going to spot a legitimate business web sight! Surprisingly enough that’s where Google Maps come in. I say surprisingly because although millions of people couldn’t survive without Google they have never been my search engine of choice. BUT with this information that could all change.

How would you like to be able to post your website on the internet, have it come up in a GOOGLE search AND display a nice little advertisement, map and “picture”? Sounds pretty neat right? Well read on!

Google lets you submit your business listing free of cost to its local business center. You can add business details like address, area of operation, contact number and hours of operation to the listing.

All these details are available on the screen with a snapshot of a map which shows the detailed location of your business. All you have to do is add the listing in the local business center by going through a quick verification process and the visitors will find their way to your business website

Submit Your Website to Google Local Business Center (you can do it here). (www.google.com/local/add ) If you don’t HAVE a Google account, NOW is the time to create one. There a link there to do so. EVEN if you have one that you use privately you still might want to create one as a “business account” that won’t accidentally have any links to your grandmother’s birthday photos or anything. They are free, painless and pretty versatile.

So, now you are at Google’s Local Business Center, you are basically going to start by creating a MAP for your business. But TNT I work out of my HOME. Well you have one of 3 options. 1) Get a PO BOX 2) Put your Home address and prepare your customers to see you in your boxers, 3) Get a Mail Drop address like at the UPS Store. Any of these will work and all have been used in the past. Of course is there REALLY any difference between them? If your million dollar customer wants to “surprise you with a check” is it any better that he show up to the UPS STORE than your HOUSE?

A few things to note about setting this up. First off if you’re like me and you can’t remember addresses this is a GREAT thing. My Dog groomer’s phone number completely ESCAPES me, so I go to their website and get it from there. If they had a map setting like THIS one, then I could have ANYONE in my house drop the dog off and not worry about anyone getting lost! Next, if you have a Store/Company Logo make sure you have a scaled down version of it in .JPG saved ion your PC. How first rate do you look when someone is searching for Dog Groomers in your area when not only is YOUR site the only one that pops up a MAP, but ALSO has a nice little LOGO featured as well.

Last but not least, once you have the features up and running, you can add 30 day messages to your search links as well. For example, my Groomer could add a 25% off coupon to her Map Link that would FORCE me to go back every month (because I’m cheap), and also it could be updated with just about any other little tidbits, Like “Our Very First Bathe Your Dog Safely at Home video has JUST been released – come see it NOW!” You can keep the part about it being volume 1 of a 66 part series under wraps until they get to the store!

But seriously once you get this account and mapping setup Google will actually provide you with an entire ARRAY of Web Analytics tools that you would normally have to pay big bucks for in the private market.

Last but not least a note about setting this up. When I set mine up I was actually in the middle of an incredibly boring conference call. The reason I point this out is that as part of their verification service Google would REALLY like to be able to call you back on the phone numbers that you provided. As my phone was tied up at the time, they couldn’t DO that so they said that within the next few WEEKS they would mail me a post card with my verification code (really guys a post card?). In all reality it took about 4 days, and as hectic as things are in the True North right now, it seemed like less time than that!

Check in next time and we’ll talk about press releases!

…and now for the finals from the elevator! April 8, 2010

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Now for some more stuff from the mailbag:

TNT,

All this stuff about elevator speeches is fine and dandy if you’re in big business, but I’m just a college kid looking to make my way through school with a job. Whats the point? I mean really, whats in it for me?

Jake

WOW, OK Jake this is a HUGE example of chapter 7 of my new book “Remote Control Management” there is an entire generation out there, just entering our workforce with an air of expectation. Because they got a “time out rather than an Ass whipping they are convinced that the world owes them without them having to work for it.

Well Jake, if your still reading (which I doubt) I’ll try and type this very slowly so that you’ll understand it:

The world owes you NOTHING, one day you will ether WANT to move out of moms house or (better yet mom will toss you out) and you will be required to humble thyself and get a job that pays more than minimum wage so as to pay the rent. When that day arrives, it will be time for you to look at an elevator speech from the other side.

That of a Value Added Proposition Statement. In other words, what can you say to your superior that will convince him that you add enough value to his company and his bottom line, that paying you more than $10 an hour would be a good idea.

So lets guess, you might work in a big “box store” selling music or radios or (heaven help us pc’s and you wear a blue shirt. In all actuality you are probably the one propping up the register trying to look down my daughters shirt.

Your boss walks up and says “So Jake, what are your plans for next semester?”

Whatever you do, do NOT try and wing it, chances are THAT answer will come out like this:

“Take afternoon classes and sleep late”

Now he’s trying to figure out why he hired you.

Instead lets look at it from HIS side and what might help him:

“well sir (start with respect) I have been reading up on the latest Intel Hexacore Processors because I think that by next Christmas a lot of the big game enthusiasts will want them, and I’d like to be out on the sales floor helping to move them out!”

OK, your are reading, a feat of its own, on YOUR time, about something cutting edge that HE will have a LOT of inventory money invested in at his busiest time of year. You have identified the biggest section of buyers who don’t USUALLY buy from him, they by from the PC only store across the street, and trying to determine how to best help HIM move out said inventory. Add to that your desire to want to be “in the thick of it all” at the one time of the year most of his college age kids are packing off to Poughkeepsie and you have just sealed the deal!

All that, and you didn’t have to Lie, or HURT yourself.

Now you’re starting to see how much these elevator speeches can be used for vastly different ideas, like this one:

TNT.

I own my own business work from my house, in my underwear. I don’t see my customers except when I collect their checks. How in the WORLD would I benefit from an elevator speech?

Chris

Weill I’m assuming that Chris either sells Credit Card machines or he is a consultant of some kind. Sine CC guys rank up their with used car salesman right about now, lets assume he is a consultant of come kind.

So how could a consultant who only sees his customers at closing time benefit from a 2 -3 piece statement designed to generate some kind of indication of value?

Well lets assume that he has a business that allows him to work as he describes, lets also assume that this takes up about 1/3 of his day, what does he do with the other 2/3rds? Well if the sunshine in his email doesn’t represent his typical demeanor we would hope that he shops and goes to dinner and does those things that many of us NOT in the consulting business may do during a day.

But chances are that he also interacts with many folks who don’t know that he IS a consultant., and chances are that when he interacts with these people who don’t know what he does, SOME of them may ask what it is that he DOES do. I know that I get asked that just because I’m the only dad at story time with my 4 year old. So what DO you say when someone asks “So Chris, what do you do, that allows you to pump gas at 11am in your shorts”

So far I’ve just considered that he may be a consultant, now lets take that another step and say that he is a restaurant consultant, who helps non corporate franchise restaurants get things back on track.

So how about this as an answer: “I work with private restaurant owners to help them increase their ROI utilizing the staff that they currently employ”

Its called a value proposition and it allows you to say wonderful things about yours;if and what you do without bragging!

Now that you have some great examples of how to use elevator speeches next time I think we will move into something a little more fun…………………………

We now return to our regularly Scheduled blog…. March 29, 2010

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Today we give out a new elevator speech

Moving back to the idea of elevator speeches. I’ve seen a lot of chatter about a few different ideas that all seem to meet in the same spot = elevator speeches. I’ve seen explanations about “value added statements” or “ultimate selling proposition”, and Tony Jeary calls them ‘strategic acceleration points”

The bottom line is that they are all 2 – 3 sentence statements that transmit an honest exchange of what you’re offering as a good or service representing what you do – an elevator speech

Our .first question is this:

I work in a call center that has about 6000 other reps, we can be supporting any one of a dozen products at one point, occasionally I will find myself in line at the cafe with one of our executives, How can I use an elevator speech to our advantage? I never went to college, having joined the USMC right after HS.

Now I have to admit this does present a unique issue, how to make yourself standout when you are surrounded by 6000 OTHER folks some of whom no doubt are better at what you do than you are.

First start off by asking yourself, what do YOU bring to the table that they cant get from the other 5999 callers? Are you fluent in another language? Do you have a skillset or certification that might lend itself to what you do? Are you involved in some outside club, organization or school that might assist in what you do? Is there something that you know so well that you could develop INTO something that you could teach to others?

Well as a matter of fact, even though it is a brief letter and I can spend an hour talking about his one unique quality, but I will instead sum it up in this. I was recently contacted and asked to author a presentation, and ultimately publish a paper called “Military Leadership and Corporate Management, How close are we?

Having worked in a similar situation, I would venture to guess that this particular company has a high turn over rate. The company I was with had a 100% turn over of each floor every 39 days. Meaning that by years end almost the entire company was brand new.. Now this particular company that I was with PRIDED itself on its training system. Therefore the only thing I could come up with was that folks were learning everything this particular company had to teach, and then taking those skills elsewhere at a higher price!

I think we may have found the basis for our marines elevator speech. If we can start with the assumption that the executives question would revolve around wanting to know what product is currently being supported than a response might look like this:

Well sir although my primary responsibilities involve supporting products from the X corporation I have found myself spending more and more of my break and lunch hours applying my military leadership classes on retaining a higher percentage of the quality folks that receive their training here!

We’ve told the exec

That YOUR primary responsibilities are in line with increasing HIS bottom line. You have also explained that you have identified an issue with their business model, without sounding like a “know it all.” Lastly we have explained that through some independent studies in a previous career, we are trying to apply what we learned there, to a problem that you see here.

How Did all this come about? Lets look line by line:

Well sir although my primary responsibilities involve supporting products from the X corporation Thats identifying you with HIS bottom line, and that you DO understand what you were hired for.

I have found myself spending more and more of my break and lunch hours – This shows initiative, and more importantly that you’re NOT using HIS time clock to test your theories.

applying my military leadership classes on retaining a higher percentage of the quality folks that receive their training here! – now in this one line you have said several different things:

That you received leadership skills from a program that not only he didn’t have to pay for, but that are recognized globally

Those skills have helped you identify an issue that you have observed going on that may actually BE costing his company 10’s if not 100’s of thousands of dollar

Lastly that you can recognize the value of the training that his company provides and you recognize that he may be losing some of that training (obviously).

Obviously this is just one example of how valuable a good elevator speech can be. Next time we’ll send out a few MORE examples from the email bag, and I wont be as chatty. That way we’ll get to the REAL fun, How do I create my OWN Elevator Speech!