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5 Simple Steps to Turn Your Business Into a Success!

25 Mar

Business Owner 7

One of the absolute essentials for building a successful business from scratch and then continuing to grow it year after year is doing just one thing and doing it incredibly well, and that is building your repeat customer base. If more of your current customers continue to come back for more of your products and services it won’t be long until they draw more first time customers who can then become repeat buyers and then generate more sales and revenue for your business. So how do you do that and where do you begin? I have created a simple five step outline that you can use starting today, no matter what type of business you in, where you are located, or what your products or services are. And, if you are just getting started setting up your business you will want to use this as your Customer Experience road-map. So here we go;

Step 1: Provide a Memorable Customer Experience
• Create an amazing entrance to your business no matter if it is your home-page or front entrance to your traditional brick and mortar
• Be Polite and use your best manners. No first names unless invited by the customer
• Treat each customer as your most important
• Pay attention to the details of your customers experience
• Learn about your customers so you can personalize their experience such as using their name.
• Take a tip from Disney and look for ways to create a moment and a memory
• Make sure your customer’s know how much you appreciate them.
• Look for opportunities to surprise and delight. Notice, and when appropriate act on, even the tiniest scraps of information they observe or discover about a guest that will enhance their experience
Step 2: Exceed Customer Expectation
• Nothing impresses a customer more than an employee who goes, “above and beyond the call of duty” to ensure total customer satisfaction
• Show that you care about them personally
• If you can’t meet your customers’ needs and expectations, then offer options for other sources, even if it is a competitor
• When offering options to your customer, you will also need to give them the information that will help them to make the best decision for their situation. Most customers prefer just two or three options.
Step 3: Create a Company Wide Standard of Excellence
• Every aspect of your business should be driven by a focus on your customer
• What so my customers need and how can I best provide it?
• Have a written plan for ensuring excellence in customer service
• Create clearly defined company-wide service standards that are measurable
• As the owner or boss, you need to walk your talk consistently and lead your staff by example

Step 4: Keep In Touch After the Sale
• Offer opportunities for customer feedback
• A telephone call or a hand written letter sent in a timely fashion after a sale shows the customer that your business cares about their experience
• Ask open ended questions in order to give your customer opportunities to express perceptions, attitudes, both positive and negative about your business and its quality of service
• Follow-up and customer feedback will enable your business to emphasize those things that are most important and most critical to your customers.

Step 5: Deal effectively with the difficult customers

• All employees should be trained and experienced in handling difficult customers
• Listen first, then speak.
• Use the mirror technique reflect back to the customer what he or she is saying to you in a way that the customer knows that you are listening and feels that you care.
• Show empathy, looking directly at the customer while you are listening
• Be unwilling to stop until it is right.
• Difficult customers can be an asset for excellence because valuable information is likely to come out in the frustration of the moment that otherwise might be kept private

I hope this was helpful to you and that you will begin to implement these five steps into your own business starting today. If you would like more in depth help in just how to use these five steps I have created a FREE VIDEO SERIES shows you with real-life examples from different types of business owners how they implemented them into their own business and the amazing results they achieved and you can to starting today. Wouldn’t it be great to see your sales begin to grow week after week? Here is the link to your FREE VIDEO SERIES.

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5 Ways To Attract and Keep More Customers

11 Mar

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One of the biggest challenges to most businesses no matter what type of business you have, traditional brick and mortar or online, the need to attract more customers is universal. If your sales are slow and your business is not seeing the rate of growth you would like it may be because you need more traffic to your place of business and website. So, how do you do that? How do you create more interest in your business, products, and consistently generate the kind of growth year after year that you would like?

I have a lot of information for you here so I have boiled it down into nuggets. If you would like more help I also have a free video series that covers everything here in depth and I will tell more about that in just a bit, but first let’s get started.

Step 1: Identify your target customer
• Create an ideal customer profile.
 Name:
 Gender:
 Age:
 Appearance: (What do they wear? E.g. Suite/tie, medical scrubs, tee shirt/jeans, etc.)
 Current Occupation:
 Marital Status/Children:
 Common Trait or Group Identifier: (Shared experience, situation, circumstance, etc.)

Step 2: Identify their most urgent need
• Offer customer feedback opportunities.
• Join relevant social media groups.
• Read or listen to news reports regarding your area of business.
• Provide customer follow-up.
• Ask customer at time of sale.

Step 3: Make sure you are offering the products and services your customers want to buy and not just the ones you want to sell.
• What is your best selling product or service and who is buying it?
• What are they using it for and how can you provide additional products or services that will help them even more?
• What other similar individuals, groups, or businesses could you also provide these types of products or services for?

Step 4: Emotionally engage and connect with customers
• Provide opportunities for customer feedback.
• Understand the needs, perceptions and expectations of its customers at an individual level.
• Seek out opportunities to create emotional connections with Guests whenever possible.
• Provide exceptional customer service.
• Make each transaction an interaction.

Step 5: Ask repeat customers to invite their friends to your place of business
• Host “Thank You” event for your customers and ask them to bring a friend.
• Participate in an event in your local community.
• Invite local media to cover event or offer a press release.
• Create synergistic partnerships with other business owners who share your customer base, but are not competitors.

I know this is a lot of information, but I hope this will help you to get started growing your customer base and developing your repeat customers. No matter what type of business you are in using these five key steps will get you results if you do them consistently and with excellence. If you have found this helpful and you would like more in depth help just click on the link below to enjoy a free video series that walks you through each of these steps and shows you how you can implement them into your own business. Here is your link:
http://www.alexzandrad.com/

If you have a business question that you would like help with or an area that you would like more information on please post it below in the comment section. I love hearing from you and I do my best to answer as quickly as I can.

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Your Key To Business Success!

17 Dec

Female Florist Small Business Flower Shop Owner

One of the biggest frustrations business owners of any size company often have is not generating the amount of sales they would like. The level of anxiety this lack of revenue causes can range from mildly worrisome to debilitating fear. Often business owner’s line of thinking is, if only they could generate more sales then all their financial worries would be over.

Icon 50Bills could be paid, employees could be hired, new equipment purchased, growth and expansion plans could move forward, goals would be reached, and personal financial concerns would be over. The fear and worry of having to let staff go or even worse, closing their business, would be a thing of the distant past.

Icon 52It’s the fear of this kind of failure that moves entrepreneurs to find a way, look for that one elusive key that will change everything and turn their business around. What is it that will make their business a success? What is the secret that will finally put an end to their continual financial worry? What is it that will once and for all, get them out there and get their business noticed?

Icon 55The answer, it starts with conveying the feeling of growth and progress in every action you take in your business. You want your customers to understand that your business is continually expanding and becoming more successful. Success breeds success and you want to let your customers know that as you grow and progress so will they. Your success will result in their success if they do business with you.

Icon 54Your customers often share the same worries and concerns in their personal lives that you and I have experienced in our daily business activities. If you can remember this and create products or services that will resolve their issues, worries, concerns, provide simple solutions to their most pressing problems, and improve their overall daily experience you will have a loyal customer.

Icon 56So how do you do this? How do you revolutionize the way you do business? It starts from within you. It begins in the way you think not only about your business, but also about how you live in general. It is about the way you live your daily life, how you conduct your daily activities and personal actions. This includes your time away from your business.

hand and plant 1Even when you meet someone socially, completely outside a business context, with absolutely no thought of trying to create a deal or sell them anything, it is vital that you leave them feeling they are better off in having known you. Leave them with the feeling of personal increase and success.

Icon 53You can do this by holding within you the unshakeable conviction you yourself, are on a path of growth and success. Let your internal faith that you are constantly becoming more, inspire you to fill your thoughts, focus your intent, and be the motivation behind every action you take.

Icon 57Each day, do everything that day with the absolute certainty that you and your business are continually growing, expanding, and becoming more successful. Every action you take, every business decision you make, must be made to provoke and accommodate growth and success. In other words, do the things, take the actions, and make the decisions that will move you towards your goals. This must be your business lifestyle. It should also be the way you treat and engage your customers. You become a successful business owner by helping your customer become successful.

big-plans-for-small-businessesLook inside your soul and feel with full confidence and absolute certainty that you are becoming wealthier. And, as you are becoming wealthier you are causing others to also become wealthier and more successful. This could be everything from providing your customers with your products and services they need to get a job or even a promotion, to expanding your business and providing a job for someone within your own company. It could be to become a patron to your favorite charitable organization. It could be something as simple as providing your customer with just the product or service they needed to solve their problem and making them feel so valued that it turns their whole day around.

business-woman-in-officeYou do not need to brag about your success. Not only is it unseemly, it damages your brand and ultimately your credibility. Just feel deep within you and with resolute certainty that you and your company are continuously growing and becoming even more successful. Let this inner certainty guide your outer actions, and daily transactions with your customers towards success for all. Let each action you take, the tone in your voice, and the expression on your face, convey your inner peace and absolute assurance that your stresses and strains of financial worry are no longer a part of your daily business activities.

Have a comment or question about this week’s post? Let me hear from you! Post your own success stories or ask a question about how to move your own business forward to success! I love hearing from you and read every post personally!

How To Successfully Price Your Products and Services

3 Sep

One of the secrets to business success is pricing your products properly. Price your products correctly and that can enhance how much you sell, creating the foundation for a business that will prosper. Getting your pricing strategy wrong could create problems that your business may never be able to overcome.

There are a variety of different types of pricing strategies in business. However, there’s no one surefire, formula-based approach that suits all types of products, businesses, and markets. Pricing your product usually involves considering certain key factors, including pinpointing your target customer, tracking how much others in your industry are charging, and understanding the relationship between quality and price. The good news is you have a great deal of flexibility in how you set your prices. That’s also the bad news.

This is my formula for meeting your business goals in pricing your products or services, what factors to consider when pricing, and how to determine whether to raise or lower your current prices.

Get Clear about Making Money  businessowners.jpg
The first step is to get very clear about what you want to achieve with your pricing strategy: You want to make money. That is why you own a business. Making money means generating enough revenue from selling your products so that you can cover your costs, make a reasonable profit and continue to expand your business.

The biggest mistake many businesses make is to believe that price alone drives sales. Your ability to sell is what drives sales and that means hiring the right sales people and adopting the right sales strategy. The price is merely a reflection of the value you are providing to your customer base.  Let me give you an example of what I mean. The difference between an $8,000 Rolex and a $40 Seiko watch is that the Seiko is actually a better timepiece. It is far more accurate.  The difference is your ability to sell the Rolex and the “perceived value” to your customer.

Now let’s talk about the two mistakes entrepreneurs make the most often when it comes to pricing their products and services – under pricing and over pricing.

 

priceing-too-low-675x320.jpgUnder pricing. Pricing your products too low can have a disastrous impact on your bottom line, even though business owners often believe this is what they ought to do in a down economy, when they are not generating the volume of sales they would like, or when they are first starting their business in a potentially crowded marketplace. Accurately pricing your product or services is important at any point in the economic cycle, but no more so than in a difficult economy. Many entrepreneurs (particularly women) mistakenly under price their products or services attempting to convince their customer base that their product is the least expensive alternative and hoping to drive up sales volume. However, more often than not, it is simply perceived as a cheap alternative to a more “valuable” product or service. Remember that consumers want to feel that they are getting value for their dollar and most are unwilling to purchase from a seller they believe to offer products or services that are perceived to be of lesser quality. Entrepreneurs also need to be very careful that they are fully covering their costs when pricing products. Reducing prices to the point where you are giving away your products or services is a sure-fire way of putting yourself out of business.  The only time you under price something is when you are clearing out old stock to make room for a new product or service.

 

pricing-too-high.jpgOver pricing. On the flip side, overpricing a product can be just as detrimental since the buyer is always going to be looking at pricing from others in your industry.  Pricing beyond the customer’s desire to pay can also decrease sales. Entrepreneurs (particularly men) will be tempted to price too high right out of the gate. “They think that they have to cover all the expenses of people who work for them, the lease, etc. and this is what price it takes to do all that. Put yourself in the customer’s shoes. What would be a fair price to you? He advises taking short surveys of customers with two or three question and asking them whether your chosen pricing for your products or service seems to be fair, do they see your product or service as valuable to pay that price, and most importantly would they actually be willing to purchase it themselves.

 

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Next week we are going to take this a bit deeper and discover the five key factors you can use to successfully price your products and services that will help you generate more revenue, build your brand, and successfully grow your company.  I know from all the questions I have been getting that this is a hot subject, so please feel free to post your comments or questions below and be sure to add a link to your business website.

 

 

 

 

March 3, 2010

6 Mar

Creating Market Share

Part of creating market share is innovation.  As we are all aware the current real estate market is less than ideal, especially if you are a broker or a seller.  That is unless you know how to be innovative. 

 146W22St Barbara Corcoran tells how in the early 1990’s the bottom fell out the real estate market in New York city.  She was getting ready to announce the closing of her real estate company when a large developer called her and ask her to appraise a group of eighty eight apartments in six different buildings on the Upper East and West Sides of the city.  The buildings had been on the market for a number of years.  The developer and his investment partners had a $50 million mortgage on the buildings, making each apartments monthly maintenance fee 40 percent high than the rest of the market.  Buyers were also having a hard time finding financing (sound familiar?). The lack of financing combined with the high maintenance fees had made the apartments nearly impossible to sell.  If that wasn’t enough, real estate values in general had dropped nearly 40 percent and many of the apartments needed repairs or renovations.

 

What seemed like an impossible task, Barbara turned into an innovative opportunity.  She first explained her idea to the developer, then to the underwriting bankers, next to the the lead lender on the project, and finally to the majority investor.  With everyone on board, Barbara set about the work of preparing for the sale of the apartments.  First she enlisted the help of two of her staff members.  Next she set about re-pricing all of the units. She added up all the asking prices of each of the units, and then divided that amount by the number of units in all of the buildings.  Then she deducted 10 percent for the amount that the buyer would normally negotiate off the price anyway.  All units went for the same price no matter what floor it was on, view or no view, new kitchen or old.  Then she did her best to remove any objection a buyer might have.  There was no board approval needed.  One of the larger banks with a big stake in the properties agreed to provide mortgages to the buyers. Finally, there would be no maintaince fees for the next two years.  She had included those fees already in the selling price.

 

Next Barbara pulled out a custom made rubber stamp and brought it down with a sound thump on one of the eighty eight prepared contracts. The stamped clause gave the buyer two weeks to consult their attorney and return the contract for a full refund of their deposit.  She called a meeting of all her sales staff and announced that they had eighty eight apartments to sell in six building in the Upper East and West Sides and that they were going to sell them all in one day.  All studios would be sold for $49,000, all one bedroom would sell for $99,500, and any two bedroom unit would be sold for $165,500.  Then she did something very clever.  She refused to give the addresses of the buildings to her sales staff.  She told them that this sale would not be open to everyone and it would not be advertised.  The address and unit numbers would be revealed only on the morning of the sale.  Barbara asked that her staff tell “only your very best customers and of course your families”.  The sale would be limited to one per customer and on a first come, first served basis, and start at 9:00 am sharp!  Two weeks before the sale she “added a little fuel to the fire” and quietly and confidentially expressed her concern to a few well chosen staff members that she was concerned that there might not be enough apartments to go around.  

 

When the morning of the sale finally came Barbara was shocked to see a crowd of buyers outside of her office that stretched to the end of the block.  The line had started at 4:00 am that morning and by opening at 8:30 am there were hundreds of potential buyers eager to get an apartment.  As promised at 9:00 am sharp a list of the apartments and an attached map with the unit number and address clearly marked were handed out.  Starting at the front of the crowd and working their way back the staff members handed out the information.  Once a buyer had made their choice, signed the contract, and left a deposit the property was immediately take off the market.  Buyers were urged to to have several choices when they returned to the office incase their first choice had already been taken.  It was organized mayhem.  Some buyers worked in pairs comparing units in different buildings over cell phones.  One buyer flew in from Paris to buy a one bedroom unit, sight un-seen, on the highest floor in a building six blocks away from Barbara’s office after camping out on the side walk since 4:00 am that morning.

 

Barbara had started out that day with eighty eight apartments that no one had been able to sell in over three years and her own company near bankruptcy.  At the end of that same day all eighty eight units were sold to happy new owners and Barbara and her sales staff had netted over a million dollars in sales commissions.  Her innovative thinking allowed her sell the un-sellable and save her company which she later sold in 2001 for $70 million.

 

I have another real estate success story for you but I think I will save it for you until tomorrow.  As always, I welcome your comments and questions.

Alexzandra D.

http://alexzandrad.web.officelive.com/contact.aspx