Adopt these seven resolutions and watch your business grow and thrive.
Resolution Number One. Spend the first hour of each day on marketing. Send emails, write letters, make phone calls—do something that has a chance to generate business! I would credit this one factor above all others in business success. If you just get in front of the right people every day, you have a chance to make a sale! Too many business owners are so busy being busy that they never have time to market! How much time do you spend on marketing per week—really spend?
Resolution Number Two. Spend at least three hours a week (more would be much better) working on your business, NOT in it! That means taking the time to write procedure manuals, business plans, and the other cornerstones of duplication and long-term success. Few people enjoy this, but it is a very important factor if you are ever going to maximize the potential of your business. The more systematized your business becomes, the easier it is to run and the more time you can spend making money or playing golf instead of putting out fires.
One of the most powerful objection busters in the business is the Feel-Felt-Found solution. It can be adapted to handle many different types of objections. When the prospect raises an objection, you listen attentively then follow up using these three steps:
1. “I understand how you FEEL.” This statement avoids being argumentative and takes prospects’ objections seriously. It tells them you were listening and shows that you do indeed have their best interests at heart.
2. Many of our clients FELT that way before they invested in our services. “For instance, Mr. Miller is in your line of work [church, age group, or other category].” This shows prospects that their concerns are valid and the fact that you name other customers they can relate to who had the same concern builds trust in you. “He worried about that but…”
3. What he FOUND was that… [your answer] there were lots of people with [concern]. However, his family enjoyed the club facilities, the contacts were valuable to his business, etc. Here are some examples that put all three steps together:
Don’t treat new customers or prospects better than old customers. It is very easy to fall into this trap and it’s a surefire recipe for the destruction of your reputation and your business. For example, it’s not unusual for a business to cut prices for new customers to attract their business while charging established accounts more money. All the explanations in the world are not going to change the mind of the existing customer that he is getting a raw deal.
A great way to make sure you are doing your best is to always act like your client has just told you she is considering another service. What would you do differently to try and keep that client from leaving? Well, first of all you would try to find out what was wrong, right? But let’s suppose there is nothing in particular, or at least nothing the client is willing to share with you, then what? In the karate business, we developed a five-step process for increasing customer loyalty when their interest started to wane.
It’s a sad fact of life that there is money, big money in just about every disaster. It takes little talent or foresight to make an easy 10, 20, or even 50 percent gain in a matter of months, weeks, or even days. Over a period of a year or two, there is almost no chance you won’t win big nine out of ten times.
The vast majority of the population is afraid of money and therefore never attracts much of it into their lives!
Fear of Money
Even if making a great deal of money is not your main aim, achieving success in almost any field will often be followed by money as a byproduct. The problem is that a very large percentage of the population associates money with many of the negative things in life. Many of these people will argue vigorously that this is not true. They say they would have no problem being rich; it would be wonderful. They then proceed to bombard you with a host of popular misconceptions like these:
* People with money are selfish.
* People with money step on others to get ahead.
* People with lots of money are snobs.
* People with money are bad or even evil.
* People with money can’t be trusted; they are dishonest.
With negative thoughts and conditioning like this throughout our lives, is it any wonder many people don’t want to have money or even great success, knowing that with success will come money? They simply do not want these negative connotations reflecting on themselves.
The Truth about Money
Every industry has their stupid, unfriendly, non-customercentric policies, but the golf industry in which I often work has more than most. Following are just a few shining examples.
At North Berwick Golf Club (Scotland) on a damp and foggy morning, I was asked to remove my $100 navy-blue, waterresistant sleeveless sweater with the logo of a very high-end club on it as, according to the steward, it constituted rain gear which was not allowed in the clubhouse. I had just stepped out of my car and I protested that it was my only sweater, that it was dry, and that I was cold. To which came the reply, “You’ll warm up in a wee minute as soon as ye get yer coffee in yea.” Which, loosely translated means “I don’t give a damn. Take it off if you want to come in!” I did take it off, but was cold for 15 minutes while I waited for my coffee to arrive and warm me up. Yes, I know I was a guest and should just be delighted to be there, but instead I was cold and irritated.
Gullane (Scotland) is a monster of a course at almost 6,200 yards with the fairways hard as rock after weeks of high temperatures and no rain, thus ensuring that even a missed hit went 300 yards. We were forbidden to play the back tees (very typical in England and Scotland, as they consider it a privilege for the members, and, even then, only in tournaments). So we played Gullane at 5,800 yards or less with a driver and a sand wedge. If I had wanted to play pitch and putt, I could have done that on the free course at the Gullane village green. I felt cheated!