Ep. 92 – December, the Woman’s Marathon

December is easily the Woman’s “Other” Marathon.  We didn’t sign up for it got our cute bib and tracker at the race pickup…but we are in it.

The holidays are so much fun…and so much extra work.

December, the Woman's Marathon
December, the Woman’s Marathon

This time is so precious. You can easily run out of energy, zest, and enthusiasm if you’re not careful.

Enjoy your marathon, and set yourself up to WIN.

Holiday Extras Become Your Responsibility.

Lots of people want the extras.  You know, the beautifully wrapped gift, the home-baked goods, the handcrafted, personalized gift for people on their list.

That’s good.  That is not your responsibility to do it all.

Take care of yourself, girl, there are too many other depending on you.

Solution:  Get a team.  Involve others.  Ask for help.  Make a signup sheet for work. Let the older kids wrap presents with you… or don’t wrap at all!

Too Much Good Stuff.  Everywhere.

In the month when almonds…aren’t healthy almonds, that rich, decadent food can make you miserable.

Too much of anything is just too much.  So enjoy the goodies.  Just be wise.

Solution:  Drink your water. Decide your limits. Get a water tracking app.

Late Nights and Too Many Early Mornings.

Think of all the extra activities.  Choir concerts, piano recitals, and performances are found everywhere.  And the parties?  You’ve got work parties, ugly sweater parties, family parties, church group parties, kid’s parties, and the list goes on.

Oh yeah.  And real life needs to keep going on.  If you’re not watching it, sleep doesn’t seem to happen in December.

Solution: While it’s easy to say you’re going to bed on time.  Set yourself an alarm. Really.

Say no.  Even in December.

As a time management strategy, work to say no in December.  This is not the time to make a small project into something so BIG.  Simple is good.  Saying no can be even better sometimes.

Solution:  It’s time to focus on what really matters for your holiday.

Plan the Next Thing.

Your mind can trick you.  You may think that multi-tasking is helpful.  It’s not.  If you are at one activity, but completely disengaged with what is happening, you really aren’t there.

Try the 12-Minute List.  When you have those tiny pockets of time, write down all of those things you have coming up.  The shopping list, the one holiday errand to pick that gift up, the extra phone calls, write all of it down.  Then go to the party, the concert, the next thing and be all in.  You can completely give of yourself because the worries and stresses are recorded.  You’ll get to it.

As we get closer to the actual day, it’s not about writing it down, this exercise becomes my 12-Minute Tiny Tasks.  Use those same twelve minutes to do a couple of tiny tasks.  In that time, you can write a thank you card, wrap one gift, or start the next load of laundry.  This is how you make multitasking work.  You focus on the task for a quick couple of minutes then move to the next thing.

Solution: The power of the 12-minute timer can work wonders.

Make Time to Laugh.

With so much going on, the stress can quickly become too much.

Allow yourself time to laugh.  Send a gif. Really people watch while you are rushing through the store. (It’s fascinating.)

The power of laughter can dissolve frustration away.

Solution: Let yourself be in the moment.

Run your race and enjoy it.

Ep. 91 – Thanksgiving is Like Your Business.

Thanksgiving is Like Your Business. Five Secrets You Need to Know.

A year ago, I shared a post about how Thanksgiving is like Leadership.

Thanksgiving and Your Business
Thanksgiving and Your Business

But the more you dive into the makings of a happy holiday feast, the more you realize, Thanksgiving is like your Business.

Here are show notes explaining how to plan, shop, prepare, execute and enjoy a lovely holiday feast is a lot like running your business.

  1. No matter how well you plan, one thing can derail you how you respond says everything. You think you’ve got it covered- the full logistics. Find the less than obvious things. We thawed the turkey in the bathtub. Lesson learned: Turkey Thaw (Prep) Time. You cannot make up lost time. Be a turtle.  Keep moving forward.
  2. Multiple things are going at the same time. You don’t have to be there for each one.  Efficiency. Don’t crowd the oven. Set stations & spread it out.  Lesson learned: Set up stations. Structure the project with assembly line focus. Become efficient.
  3. The restriction of 1 oven held us back. Three tools allowed us to have multiple things cooked and ready at the same time.  Lesson learned:  Invest in the tools. You need to maximize your efforts and your time.
  • Ask these three questions before making your  next business purchase:
  • How often will I use this?
  • Can I use this tool for multiple projects?
  • Will I be using this in one year in my business?
  1. Dad can do the cranberry sauce. A child can stir while you add. (You take care of the big stuff you must take care of) Pass #2 & 3 priorities on to someone else.  Lesson learned: Delegate. Structure the project with assembly line focus. Become efficient.
  2. Sick kid: yes, even though you plan & make it work, somehow your kid can get sick. Just because. So we were in the InstaCare and late night pharmacy. This is real life. This is how life works. Lesson learned:  Something things you cannot control: health, sickness, the weather. Keep the important things important.  Your business does not overrule relationships.
  3. BONUS Secret:  Yes, you can. If you can plan, prepare & execute a Thanksgiving dinner- you can run a business. (The steps are far more apparent for a holiday dinner. Do your research.  Lesson learned: Believe in yourself. If you are having a hard time, know that I believe in you. You can do this.  You can create something.  Do it now.

Tell me now, what is your best holiday planning secret? 

Subscribe to the podcast today.  And be sure to share this one smart, ambitious woman in your life!

Ep. 90 – How to Take Quality Care of Your People (Think: Your Champion)

How to Take Quality Care of Your People (Think: Your Champion)

Quality Care of Your Champions
Quality Care of Your Champions

Sales Funnel Series, Part 5

Take your small business to be the business “everyone keeps hearing about…”

Who are Your People?

  • Your people (they have decided to be your Super Fan)
  • They’ve been coined “your apostles” because they are out speaking the good word of you. We call them CHAMPIONS
  • They feel comfortable (They seek out new ways to) learn from you, be part of your group, or contribute to your cause.

You know you have a champion when…

  • Their spouse, close friends, and beauty shop ladies know you.  By name.
  • They cannot stop talking about you.  Everywhere.
  • The love and buy every, single thing you sell.
  • They volunteer to do more, buy more, or give you even more than what you asked of them.
  • The relationship between you and your champ is what we call “The Ultimate Win-Win.”

Why do your champions matter?

  • Organizations, businesses, and even political parties do not survive WITHOUT them.
  • Example: NFL with the Seahawks fans in freezing cold weather.
  • These are the lifeblood of your business.  Think of Cheers, “Norm…” walks into the room.
  • McDonald’s shift and the old, curmudgeonly guys come in for morning coffee and pancakes. They know their menu better than you.

How do I influence my champions even more?

  • Figure out a way to be one-step ahead of their request. Keep them happy.
  • Example: NFL with the Seahawks fans in freezing cold weather.
  • These are the lifeblood of your business.  Think of Cheers, “Norm…” walks into the room.
  • McDonald’s shift and the old guys come in for morning coffee and pancakes. They know their menu better than you.

Why are they so committed to me & my services?

  • They seek connection.  Find ways for these members to meet others like them.  (Membership group. MeetUp of members.)
  • They want status.  (For the Inner Circle of fans.  High paying customers… we offer this…)
  • They want access to you.  (NFL, meet the players day…with purchase of this & this…)
  • Find ways to have “elite club members only” events.  (Only season ticket holders get to attend the event…)
  • If you buy this package AND the membership bonus, you’ll receive FREE _________.

What else can I offer them?

  • Signed copies of your work (great for creators.)
  • An open house of your newly remodeled restaurant (by invite only of those reward members that have 5,000 points of more.)
  • Offer a new experience.

How often should I connect with them?

  • Surprise them.
  • Make it personal. Everyone knows a card is coming at the holidays.  I send a card 2-3 times a year in the off months.
  • Leave something that reminds you of them.
  • Send them tickets to your exclusive event…
  • A simple thank you card for doing business with you.  Buy the staff lunch after your business with them.

How do I include them?

  • Something special…just for them.  Think everyone can buy tickets to a concert.
  • Few pay more for the up close seats.
  • They pay more for the backstage passes.
  • And your champions will pay a lot more for the “15-minute meet the band” before the show… (that comes only with  up close seats and backstage passes…)

So, How Do You Quickly Get Started with Your Solid Sales Funnel?

  • Take one step and start moving forward.
  • Next time I’m going to show you how to do even more and get your customers to start talking about you.
  • You have big work to do. I love showing you how to simplify the steps so you are working smarter instead of harder.

Ep. 89 – You’ve Made the Sale. Now Make a Connection.

How to Get Your Customers Speaking About You.

Make the Connection
Make the Connection

Be the tour guide. Remember that funny scene in Toy Story?

Tour Guide Barbie drives them through the experience.

1.  Show them what to do next.

Don’t assume they know. (Don’t give them a fish!)  Think of our discussion on the last the sales episode.   Focus on the relationship. Thank them directly. Tell them, “Great!  Do this next…” Take them to the next step, add the link so they can follow your process.

2.  Need a testimonial or review?  You guide them through it.

  • When your customers send you an email with some great feedback, ask if you can share it.
  • When they tell you in person, ask if you can write that down and they can add their insights.
  • You can write a testimonial and ask if they would be willing to endorse you.
  • Ask customers to leave a review on Yelp. Or your Facebook page.
  • The caveat: Only ask for one request.  Too many requests and what happens?  Nothing.

3. End every communication with Calls to Action (CTAs).

  • As the tour guide on this sweet experience for your customer journey.
  • Walk them through the maze of customer service.
  • Example?  Trying to pay the electric bill here is completely different experience from paying the cell phone bill.
  • Say, for example, “Now, click on the link and leave a review on iTunes.” You may have to show them how.

Social Media Steps to Get them to Speak More About You

  • Ask a question.  Tell them to “hit like,” or “Give this a thumbs up if you know what I’m talking about…”
  • Ask for exactly what you want. ‘Fill in the blank…”
  • If you are on a Facebook live, ask your audience to give you some love (click on those little hearts) then share this recording so others can learn, too.
  • On a live recording, tell them the exact words you want them to post below.
  • Intrigue your readers on your blog, “Comment below,” or to share this on social media…

Real Life Steps to Take so Customers Speak About You

The process is: See > Serve > Show > Share:

  • See:  they see me, I see them. We connect.
  • Serve:  help them somehow.  Share some insight.  Show your personal touch. Tell them why.
  • Show: Show them how.  Take their phone, open the podcast app, subscribe them to the show. (Note:  I actually did this with some women at jury duty last week.  This works!)
  • Share: Ask them to share it with someone who would love this.  (People don’t enjoy buying what they NEED, they enjoy buying what they WANT.)

So, How Do You Quickly Get Started Sales Funnel and Share Your SASS?

Take one step and start moving forward. Next time I’m going to show you how to do even more and get your customers to start talking about you. You have big work to do. I love showing you how to simplify the steps so you are working smarter instead of harder.

Tell me in the comments below, how do you plan to implement your sales funnel?