Earlier this week I posted a blog on small business and stress, and I got so many e-mails that it seems only natural to write a follow up. Here are some helpful tips that will allow you to increase or maintain your business, and have less stress!
– Create personal time for yourself
– Do not allow business to ruin your personal time
– Save time by taking advantage of technology
– Practice using closing techniques
– Operate from abundance, rather than lack
Create personal time for yourself
On the last Saturday of October, I go to the Georgia/Florida football game in Jacksonville, and this is non-negotiable. I’m a big fan of football, and because of my busy life and schedule, I don’t get to see most of the games on television. But that is okay because on this one day, I am there in person! There is my daughters birthday party, Thanksgiving and Christmas, there are times that I designate to spend with my wife. When I designate a time as “personal time”, it will be exactly that.
Do not allow business to ruin your personal time
You know and I know that if money calls, you have to answer.(unless you are at the game, or opening a present!) However, just because you answer doesn’t mean that you must talk for an hour, or drop what you are doing and run. Try saying “I’m already in the middle of something right now, can I schedule a time to call you back later today?” (or first thing in the morning, or when I get back in town) The catch here is: Do not tell someone that you are in the middle of something and need to talk later on, and then talk. People do this all the time. When you tell someone you have to talk later, then move to schedule a later time. Offer times when you can call back, agree on a time, and then say “Okay thank you and I will talk to you then” and get off the phone and back to your personal time.
Save time by taking advantage of technology
Have you seen Schedulicity ? This app is so awesome! It allows you to tell people about your business, they can book appointments, and even pay for an appointment or service when they book it! Of course you set your times of availability for them to choose from, they book the appointment, and you both get a confirmation e-mail. No talking required! The office where I have been seeing clients uses this service and it is the best thing since sliced bread.
There are many apps out there these days, and they are very much worth checking out. I must ask you though, are you getting full service out of your web site? Does your site tell people everything they need to know? Instead of talking on the phone for an hour, I can just say, please go to my web site for all the information you need to know.
Also, do you feel like you have the same long conversation over and over again? Do yourself a favor and use your web site, OR create an automated e-mail. Do not spend time writing the same long e-mail over and over again, or having the same long conversation over and over again, be smart and use technology!
Practice using closing techniques
A lot of people don’t know that earlier in life, I was very heavily trained in sales. I’m good at it too! The first thing you learn in sales, is that you want to close as soon as possible. This means that you want to eliminate any extra steps.
Closing On The Web
In this day and age, when a client visits your web site, they should be able to get all the information about you and your service, book an appointment, and even pay for it. You can use video, web apps, and blogging to close the sale, and you don’t even have to be involved! If you use contracts, make sure that they are available on-line and easily downloadable. Have people download, fill in dates and times, agree on terms, and sign and return to you. You still haven’t signed! With the internet, you can actually make a pitch and close a sale, and not be involved. The technology does the work for you!
Closing in Person
Do not show up to meet with a potential client without a contract, or anything else you may need to solidify the deal. You may be a photographer, a band, an air conditioner repairman, whatever you do, you show up and “Fix it right now”. If people are shopping around, (as they often are when shopping for bands) I always say, “We can make this happen right now, and you won’t have to worry about it anymore!” I will also tell people the truth and say “I cannot promise to hold that date unless we confirm”. You don’t want to be pushy, but you have to ask for the sale.
Closing On The Phone
You can many times close a sale on the phone, even if it is a situation in which you can’t talk long. (your personal time) Know what you need to know, such as date and time, etc… and you can say “Yes I am available and can do that!” then you can say “Let me schedule a time to get back with you and firm up the details”. Then it’s a done deal!
Operate From Abundance
You offer a service and it is a viable service that people will pay for. People pay for this service all the time, and so why shouldn’t they be paying you? Even if you are new in business and still a little unsure of yourself, you want to show your client that you are confident in yourself. Of course you know what you are doing. Of course you have done it before and will do it again. You are going to do as much business as you want to do! Don’t act surprised if people want to hire you, say “let me double check my schedule” even if you already know your schedule is free. Never be afraid to say “Let me get back to you”, or “Please check out my web site”.
Hopefully these tips will help you out! Please direct any questions to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and many blessings to you!