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How To Close Sales From The Front Of The Room

Posted On May 7th, 2010

About 7 or 8 years ago, Dr. Phil (before his big Oprah fame) came to the Opryland Hotel in Nashville to deliver an evening seminar. I forget the title of the session now, but I still have the notes I wrote down during those 3 hours.

During his presentation he stated you could trace back where a person is today and what they’ve become to 10 defining moments, 7 critical decisions and 5 pivotal people. Today, my list of those defining moments and decisions is different than it was then – but one item that was on the list then and will stay on my list of “critical decisions” forever was my decision to learn how to sell from the platform; and tied to that was one very pivotal person who introduced me to the concept, Dan Kennedy.

That decision alone has enabled me to become a real millionaire by 35, grow an incredibly successful and profitable business and have given me a lifestyle that is the envy of many. Yet, what surprises me is this: THOUSANDS of people have seen me in action, closing 30% to 60% of a room, generating $100,000+ for 90 minutes of work…YET very few have ever asked me to actually teach them how to do the same.

Even more puzzling is that many of people I would naturally think would be interested in pursuing this were speaking along side of me at the very same conferences over and over again, watching me consistently walk away with signed order forms at every event. These were vendors (mostly) who were spending $6,000 to $10,000 or more for that speaking spot where the BEST they could hope to go home with were a handful of business cards and a project of having to follow up and play phone tag to actually get the sale from a few of them.

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A Marketing System Is Like a Chocolate Cake Recipe

Posted On May 3rd, 2010

The best way for me to describe a marketing system is to compare it to an award-winning, chocolate cake recipe. My guess is that you are familiar with chocolate cake, and you may have seen a recipe before. Here are the characteristics of a good chocolate cake recipe:

  1. You know exactly what the outcome is. You know what the cake should look like, taste like, and smell like and, therefore, you’ll have ways of knowing if the recipe was successful.
  2. There is a list of ingredients with exact measurements. These measurements are not vague, and there are no substitutions. You cannot leave out the flour or substitute it with salt or you won’t get the same results.
  3. There are specific instructions on how to use the ingredients. This is important; if you bake all the ingredients and then try to mix them together, you won’t have a very good cake. You must follow the instructions and use the ingredients in the order given.

If you follow the system, you should be able to produce an award-winning, chocolate cake every time.

A marketing system works exactly the same way: Read full article and comment →

What To Do When Facing a Crisis

Posted On April 13th, 2010

Running a business is already pretty tough – so what do you do when out of the ordinary problems get piled on top of the herculean problems on every business owners’ shoulders? Just recently I received a few e-mails like this from people who were registered for the boot camp. In some cases, they called to cancel. A few others ARE coming, and wanted to get direction from me on how to use this as a catalyst for change. In essence their questions were all the same: “What should I do when facing a personal/business crisis?” How do you turn things around — or simply just keep yourself moving forward – when faced with incredible adversity, problems, health issues, lawsuits, money problems, divorce, and even a death of someone close to you?

Personally, I’m no stranger to problems myself. Last fall comes to mind when I was dealing not only with a very difficult personal issue that I won’t mention here, but skin cancer, two lawsuits, challenges with a key employee, turnover and a big, gut wrenching problem with a key client. All this landed on my plate during a time when I was traveling about every other week during the busiest time of year for us. Yet I didn’t skip a beat and kept all my personal and professional commitments, quickly reorganized some business plans and initiatives and had to put a few major projects on hold. Only prayer and few good, stiff drinks got me through. And no, I don’t wear a cape and I don’t share this with you to brag – I share this with you because many people never see that side of my business or life and think I’m somehow “lucky” to have “everything going for me” when nothing could be further from the truth. I just don’t go around complaining about it. Read full article and comment →

3 Critical Elements of Success for Every Computer Consultant

Posted On April 6th, 2010

In My Decade Of Working With Thousands Of Small IT Business Owners, Here’s What I’ve Discovered About Success…

Helping owners of computing consulting firms (or MSP’s) achieve significant bottom-line, measurable results in business takes MORE than just giving them a great marketing campaign – it actually requires 3 critical elements all working synergistically.

By the way, these three elements have been carefully researched and documented and are essential for any individual trying to break free from bad habits or trying to achieve success in an area they have been consistently struggling with. If you want validation of this, then I suggest you read “Change or Die,” written by Alan Deutschman; this is one of the most well-documented books on this very topic.

Critical Success Element #1: A Coach. Every successful entrepreneur, actor, and top athlete has a coach. No one ever won an Olympic Gold Medal without a coach. Michael Jordan was “cut” by his high school basketball team before his coach stepped forward and personally mentored him to become the greatest basketball player of all time. The Green Bay Packers wouldn’t have been the winning team they were without their coach Vince Lombardi. And according for Forbes Magazine, more and more of the nation’s top entrepreneurs are using MULTIPLE coaches to help them take their game to the next level.

With my clients, I can see them secure dramatically better results the more personally I get involved. That does not mean giving them more “stuff.” It does mean helping them to think more strategically, coaching them on how to manage their time better and providing other staff and support resources to enable them to execute and implement. Read full article and comment →

So What Can You Actually Guarantee in a Managed Services Agreement?

Posted On March 21st, 2010

I get this question quite frequently.  A solid guarantee is a tremendous way to increase your close ratio in any sales transaction.

Here are some ideas on how you can implement this in your managed services close:

  1. Response time to issues or phone calls
  2. Reducing downtime to X minutes per month or less
  3. The client’s satisfaction with the service based on THEIR perception
  4. No viruses or spyware, or you’ll remove & clean the virus at no charge to them
  5. No data loss or crashes or you’ll incur all the fees and costs of restoring the network

And if you discover that a large percentage of the people you sell to abuse your guarantee, you either need to do a better job delivering your services or change the type of client you are selling to.

What do you guarantee in your managed services contracts? Read full article and comment →

Calling All IT Business Owners: You’ve Gotta Ask Yourself A Question: “Do I Feel Lucky?” Well… Do Ya Punk?

Posted On March 17th, 2010

When I was a kid I went through a phase when I carried around a rabbit’s foot for luck. I still remember it: tie-dye purple on a keychain, tied to my blue roller skates with rainbow laces. I can’t honestly say I had any good fortune come my way because of it, but it did make me feel luckier.

Of course now that I’m an adult, I know better than to depend on silly charms or superstitions for the success (or failure) in life. Yes, I admit there are times when everything’s going pear-shaped and I wonder if I’ve crossed a black cat somewhere, but the truth is, 99% of the time we create our own circumstances – our own luck – by the choices we make.

Many of the people who knew me as a kid think I’m “lucky” to be where I am today, often citing the fact that I was “always that way,” born with some inherent abilities to run a business. And to a certain point, I agree. I DO feel fortunate to have certain talents that others seem to struggle with. But simply putting my success down to the “luck” of having been gifted certain talents is an insult. It wasn’t “luck” that made me spend thousands of dollars on my own education and work 60+ hour weeks for as long as I can remember. It wasn’t “luck” that I learned how to write persuasive sales copy, sell from the platform or implement highly effective marketing plans. And it’s not “luck” that keeps my business growing 25% – 40% year upon year. Read full article and comment →

Tellman Scam… or Success Tax?

Posted On March 11th, 2010

Here’s a bit of a dilemma I’d like to get your opinion on…

At my last 25K meeting, one of my colleagues, Tellman Knudson, shared how he was getting absolutely trashed online as a scam artist for trying to do a good deed.

Last year, Tellman decided to raise awareness and money for homeless teenagers by throwing down a pretty incredible challenge: he would run barefoot across America. The web site is www.runtellmanrun.com if you are interested.

I know what you’re thinking…he’s nuts. When I heard this I thought the same thing; BUT I also know that without some type of outrageous stunt like this, his charitable efforts would just blend in with all the other charities and get no media coverage.

As you may have already guessed, he didn’t accomplish his goal and had to stop the run because of severe damage to his feet. At that point, he had already invested over 1/2 million dollars of his OWN money to promote this new charity, not to mention the countless hours he invested to get it off the ground.

But, just as sure as vultures to a fresh carcass, many of his critics had a field day and started completely bashing him online, stating his “charity” was a complete scam and that there was no such organization created. I happen to know that is not true, and the things they are stating as “facts” are indeed half truths told in a way to purposefully mislead people. I won’t bore you with all the details. Read full article and comment →

Brief Shining Moments

Posted On March 3rd, 2010

Did you happen to catch any of the “top 10” finishes of the Winter Olympics? For me, the best part is seeing someone have all their training and preparation pay off in a glorious win, especially if they won by a mere fraction of a second or a “big” lead. The look on their faces, the excitement in the annoucers voice, the winners circle, and the tears of sheer joy and accomplishment. Often makes me cry myself.

But imagine for a moment those who lose. Countless hours of training and hard preparation down the drain…the bitterness, the pain and crushing disappointment. You’re the 2nd fastest, best and most skilled athelete in the world and you get ZERO recognition – and some never to have a second chance. Competitive sport is like that…full of one season wonders, even one-game wonders. I saw George Foreman speak one time about his comeback and how difficult it was to overcome the unbelievable negativity and outright taunts launched at him over and over again from the media and public. He said, “One minute you’re the heavy weight champion of the world and everyone admires and respects you…then the next minute you’re just George, a has-been.”

Business is like that too; an endless string of medicore results, dissapointments and failed objectives with shining brief moments of unbelievable success. Knowing that, it’s important to do two things: Read full article and comment →