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Most one-person businesses don't flounder because their
products or services are below par. They struggle because their
owner's lack of business skills or business practices gets in
the way of being profitable.
Are you making these big mistakes?
1. You don't tell people what you do in a way that helps them
buy. People buy when they understand what they get, what problem
you'll solve for them, how you'll stop their pain, or increase
their pleasure. Focusing on what you'll do, where you went to
school, what steps you'll take, how hard you'll work for them,
won't get you sales. Letting them know what pain you'll take
away, what pleasure you'll bring, how they'll feel better, be
better, when you're finished will go much further in getting to
yes. Sell the sizzle, what your prospect can see, feel, and
experience, not the steak, the steps you'll go through, how long
you trained, the effort you'll put in.
Your bottom line will thank you...and so will your satisfied
customers and clients.
2. You don't know your leads to sales ratio...so you
consistently miss making the money you want and need to make.
Knowing your ratio helps you understand what you need to do to
get more sales.
Your marketing efforts will bring you potential customers.
Your sales ability will convert those potential customers into
paying customers. If you are getting lots of potential
customers, and not enough sales, take a sales class, pick up a
good sales book, ask a buddy to help you learn to sell better.
On the other hand, if you're closing most of the qualified
leads you get and you're still not making enough money, start
working on your marketing efforts. Either increase the sizzle in
your marketing efforts, making you look like the solution
potential prospects will want, or increase the scope, the number
of potential prospects you approach.
3. You aren't willing to fire customers who cost you more than
they give you. Yes, we all do pro bono work for deserving people
or organizations that really don't have the money to pay our
regular fees. I'm not talking about these special clients.
(Unless this is your total business, then we really need to talk
about what business you're in!)
Be willing to fire those clients you simply can't stand or when
you can't stand the work. Continuing to work with people who
aren't a good match for you, your values, your preferred way of
doing business, or is meaningful to you will not support you,
your business, your financial goals, or the quality of your life.
Ask yourself if you are getting the return on investment of
your time and energy in the work you are doing with each client
or customer? Assess both the money and the emotional return. If
either are lacking, seriously consider referring the client to a
colleague or having a frank talk about how the work is not
working for you.
Then take a good look at what your service and product
catalogue offers. You may find products or services that made
sense when you were getting started don't make sense now. Or,
the type of clients who want those products or services are no
longer the type of people you want to work with.
Continuing to do work, or working with people who aren't a good
fit, prevents you and your business from growing and flourishing.
You own the business. You get to decide what you do and who you
want to work with.
It's your business, decide today to take one or two steps that
will increase your skills or improve your business practices to
increase the return you're getting from your efforts.
(c) 2004. Pat Wiklund. All rights in all media reserved.
Reprint rights granted so long as the article and by-line are
used intact and all links are made active.
Business coach Pat Wiklund works with entrepreneurs who want to
make and keep more money from their businesses. Assess your one-
person business with her free business tune up ecourse: pat3-
firstname.lastname@example.org. Contact Pat at email@example.com.
|This article was submitted by - Pat Wiklund||Please Rate/Review this Article - Recommend it to friends|
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