Who Will Help You Reach Your Goals?

“Individual commitment to a group effort - that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.” - Vince Lombardi

Everyone is an individual.  They are creative in their own way.  Some can write, others can speak, still others sing, lead people, organize others, and the list can go on.  We can do things by ourselves and can do them well.  We all have been part of a team at some point in our lives.  We had to work with others and get along with people so we could do something together.  Create something as a team instead of just as one person.

Could we do the project or work by ourselves?  Maybe.  Too often we think that we want to be alone and not have to work with others.  We are seeing a shift in the workforce as I write this, where people want to work from home.  Apart from their coworkers.  Working alone has some advantages and disadvantages but the key question is, can we work together?

I have been blessed to get to work with a number of people in my life.  This collage is a representation of a few of those people that I got to collaborate with.  I have been an individual contributor most of my career.  All that means is that I was there to sell it to the client.  Someone set the appointment after taking the call, that was placed by a customer that saw an advertisement, that someone created.  I can go out and sell on my own, but I need someone to make the product, I need someone to deliver the product or even install the product.  I will need someone to account for the transaction that I help create as well, so that everyone can get paid.  Also, someone needs to write the checks to pay everyone.  This could be a small company and all those jobs are held by one person.  Most of the time, we need to focus on what we can do well and let others do what they do well.  When we collaborate, we can bring different strengths to the table and accomplish so much more.  We can work on a project together and the ideas that flow are multiplied because someone said something that sparked you to think of something else, and so on.  I believe this is what spawned the saying the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

What has collaboration done for you?  Have you been able to work with others to create something?  We have the chance to work with others all the time, but we get to choose who we will collaborate with.  Do you need to find someone to help with a part of your business?  Do you need some software to help you manage your business or your team better?  Do you need a coach to help you in your personal or professional life?  Do you need help with marketing, HR, accounting, or sales?  In the book Who Not How by Dan Sullivan with Dr. Benjamin Hardy, they talk about getting people involved who can do the how instead of you trying to figure it out yourself.  Isn't that one of the goals of collaboration, finding people who are more skilled at something and letting them do it?

If you are ready to work with someone on your sales then contact us for a free 30-minute conversation to see if we can contribute to what you are doing.

Out with the Old and in with the New

“The studio is a laboratory, not a factory.  An exhibition is the result of your experiments, but the process is never-ending.  So, an exhibition is not a conclusion.” - Chris Ofili

The end of anything is the time to conclude, summarize, and evaluate how the process, program, whatever you are finishing.  Some people look at the end of a calendar year as a chance to do just that, evaluate the previous year and make some decisions and even goals for the upcoming year.  We can look at the end of the year as a chance to beat ourselves up over the lack of progress or lack of goals achieved in the past year.  Year-end should be simply an evaluation of did this get done or not, without any judgement.  That can be hard to do.  Simply reviewing the prior year to gain understanding or an assessment of where things are so that you can make plans for the upcoming year.  It should be a time marker or progress check in.

Adapting Goals are good and we should all have them, and you need to check in with the progress against the goal.  Do not put a lot of pressure on your year-end other than to check in.  When you have disrupters that appear in your life it can pause your goals or even shift your goals.  Learn to make adjustments as you go along.

I have had a few of those in the past couple of years.  I started working for a company and had big plans and goals to do things.  There were expectations on me as well from my new boss and company.  In the two years I worked for the company a few things happened along the way.  My daughter got married, my physical health needed some serious attention, my brother died, I got to focus on my mental health, and I got to focus on my family relationships.  I got the chance to focus on the things I needed to without even knowing I would need to focus on them.  Being with that company gave me the chance to focus on those things.  Now I was not as successful with my job as I wanted to be, or they wanted me to be.  I did get to learn a lot during that time and now my goals have been adjusted.  I became aware of the shifting of goals during that time, and I got to learn from them and not be judgmental of myself or others during that time.

Is it time to make some changes?  Contact us here or get a spot on our calendar to find out how we can work together in the new year.

It’s Year End – Time to Evaluate

How has your year been?

Have you dealt with adversity? Probably.

Did you have hardships? Possibly.

Perhaps you had your best year ever. Maybe you started a new job, new relationship, or welcomed a new family member this year.

How are you feeling about this year?

Aurora Borealis

As I look over the past year, I see a lot of things that have happened. I lost my father in February, welcomed my first grandson in March, and was hospitalized with COVID Pneumonia in April. I also finished a successful first year in business, finished writing my first book, and started a regular room on Clubhouse with a friend of mine.

Life is about perspective and this time of the year is especially prone to reflecting. Hopefully, you can and will take the time to reflect on the past year and see what can be learned from it and what could be improved. This is something that you could do every month, or even every week. Reflect on the the things that have been going on and what could you have done differently? That is how we grow and improve.

I hope that you get the chance to reflect and see what a wonderful life you have, even if this year was not a great year. One of my favorite movie lines is, "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around every once in a while, you could miss it."

If you want to more information on how you can improve your sales team contact us and set up a free consultation.

How to Properly Follow Up

Do you effectively follow up?  Do you know how to properly follow up?  How is your follow up game?  Do you want to improve how you follow up and become more effective?

We all have struggled with following up.  When to do it.  What to say other than, I am calling to follow up.  You send emails that fail because you did not stand out above the other 100-200 emails that they received that day.

Follow up can be fun and productive if we make it that way.  In this webinar we talk about ways to follow up, how to ask the client when we should follow up, and discuss effective tools that you can use to do the follow up.

There is even a bonus video for you to check out if you are interested, the 1985 Peach Bowl that I played in.  Check out the webinar and the football game if you choose to.

If you have questions about Pricebook Plus you can contact them.  If you need help with your sales team and you want to have a 30 minute meeting to discuss how you can improve your team with the help of Coach Chris grab a time on the calendar here.

 

Bonus video, Illinois vs Army 1985 Peach Bowl game:

 

 

 

Sales Planning with Coach Chris

Learning how to plan your sales goals for the year can be a challenge.

There are a few things that you will need to know in order to make a plan and be able to stick to it even when the industry seems to be turned up on it's ear!

Sales planning is something you do every month and not just at the end of the year for the next year.

Check out the video as Coach Chris and Pricebook discuss how we can plan and the impact it can and does make on our business.

If you want help planning your sales for this year or next year contact us or pick a time and date on our calendar here.

 

Watch the video here:

Patience

“Patience is the companion of wisdom.” - Saint Augustine

 

Hour Glass

For some of us being patient is a difficult thing.  We want to get to the next sale, we want to win the fight, we want to overcome the next obstacle.  If you are patient, you can learn a great many things.  You can learn what your customers really want, what your boss is trying to communicate, what that person really fears.  You can hear things that are important to know for you to get that next sale, win the fight, and overcome that obstacle that is keeping you from the next level.  Learning to be patient is something that can take time and lots of practice.  We live in a microwave world, and we are used to instant results or near instant answers.  Nothing can replace the process that needs to take place for us to learn the lessons, yet we feel the need to hurry it along.  It is not too late to learn the lesson of patience.  Sit and wait it out and let it run its course and it will provide you with far great joy than if you rushed it.  We want the answer now and in sales we want to push that too.  That is what some people need our help with, making decisions, but sometimes it is necessary to let it play out.  If you have ever had a fine wine, great bourbon, or even a great meal, they all take time to develop.  There is a reason that a great chili tastes better the day after it is made, because the flavors take time to come together, and a good lasagna takes about an hour or more to make.  Patience can be a wonderful thing if you allow it to be.

 

What can you do to be more patient?  If you want help with this get on my calendar for a free consultation.  You can contact us to learn more here.

A Guide to How Sales Growth Planning Helps You Achieve Your Business Goals

Why Do You Need a Sales Growth Plan for Your Business?

Sales Meeting

This may seem like an obvious question but how many times do we move forward with an idea without a plan?  Every successful business has a plan for growth.  Whether you are building new products, expanding into new markets, or looking to grow your customer base, it is important to have a strategy in place.  The same holds true for your businesses.  It is not an easy task to find and keep new customers. Fortunately, there are a few simple strategies that can be used to increase sales and grow your business.  This article will discuss how to get started on setting up a sales growth plan for your business. It will cover the basics of what you need to do, how it can help your business, and what questions you should ask yourself to get started.

1. How to Get Started 

It is important not only to have a sales growth plan but also have it written down. Having a process that is written gives your team structure and helps them understand their roles in the company.

Questions you should ask yourself before getting started:

What are my goals?

Always start with the end in mind.  If you know where you want to go you can create a map to get you and your team there.  If you need help with mapping it out or even figuring out where you want to go, there are many resources.  You can find a mentor that has a business like you want to build.  Follow them around, ask a lot of questions.  Plenty of Contractors want to help.  Find one that is not a competitor and ask if they will teach you.  You can always contact us to start a discussion.

What are my strengths?

Be honest with yourself and your team.  Ask someone else for help.  You have some amazing strengths, make sure you are able to see them clearly for what they are.

What are my weaknesses?

Same rules apply here as above: be honest and ask others for help!  You do not have to beat yourself up over this but do not overcompensate here either.

Which parts can be improved?

You should have a good starting point but we all can improve somewhere, right?  What are you doing right and what can you do better?  Your processes are no exception.  So, do not be afraid to ask the question.

 

2. What are the Components?

The components of a successful sales growth plan are not always easy to define, but there are some commonalities. The following components have been found to have the most impact on the effectiveness of a company’s sales growth plan:

Market penetration

If you can navigate the current market and find a way to reach more customers through marketing, community outreach, and other things like this, it will help your business develop brand awareness.  Brand awareness is when people see your name all the time and it becomes synonymous with their need for your product when they need it.

Choose one or two major initiatives to move the needle

There may be more things that you need to do but bite off a chunk at a time and complete it before you take the next bite.  If not, you will have so many things you are chasing, and it will get confusing to you and your team.

Create a timeline with specific deadlines and milestones

Demonstrate how these initiatives will contribute to the success of the company objective

Determine who is accountable for each component 

If you can get others involved in creating your success the better off you will be, and you will not be overwhelmed with all that needs to be done.

Assign responsibility for communicating this information

Communication is paramount to your success in anything.  Make sure you have a clear line of communication between all parties, internally and externally.

3. How do You Know if Your Current Sales Growth Strategy is Working?

Ultimately, you want to know if your current strategy is working and if it’s not, you need to know what you can do differently.  Sales leaders need to ask themselves:

Am I seeing the results? Do you see growth or is it still flat?

Are we gaining new customers or are we losing them as fast as we are gaining them?

What would happen if I changed our sales growth strategy, or what would happen if I did not change our sales growth strategy?

 

Conclusion/Final Thoughts

It should be pretty clear if the current growth strategy is working or not.  If you are having a tough time reach out to others that can have a fresh perspective.  Find a coach or mentor that can give some clear unbiased feedback but more than likely you will know it is working because you are growing your business in both revenue and customers.  There are plenty of books and podcasts that can help you learn as well.  Here is a webinar that Pricebook Digital and I will be doing on November 16th, 2021.

Best, Better, Good Selling

Do you show multiple options to allow your customers to purchase your product or service? Why or why not?

Are there reasons to support this philosophy?

Best, Better, Good Selling
Actually, there is a lot of studies that have been done and we have referenced a couple of those along with several articles that help understand the reasoning behind giving your customers choices and how to present them.  Here are a list of the articles and studies that have been done to support this idea:

Pricebook Digital and I held a webinar on the topic of Best, Better, Good Selling and how it can impact your business.  In the webinar, we look at the impact of the correct number of options to show your clients.  Helpful hint, it is more than one.  Whether it is selling TV's, tires or HVAC equipment.  When people have choices they make better decisions and they make them more often.

So, what are you doing to allow your customers to buy what they want, when they want to?

Check out the webinar and then contact us to learn more about how we can help you get your sales team closing more deals today.

Watch the webinar here:  Best, Better, Good Selling with Coach Chris and Pricebook

 

Click here to set up a free 30-minute consultation.

 

Podcast – Story Behind the Red Chair

Most of us have a story to share.
Some are great successes other are tragedies, and still others are great comedies.
What is your story or one of your stories? What did you learn? How has it helped you or others?
We can learn so much from life if we just pay attention.
One of mine is about my younger brother. It involves all of the above. I share this because maybe someone needs to hear this today.
I hope this helps someone be able to tell their story.  Know that you are not alone and there are plenty of people that are available to listen to you, if you want to talk.

 

Listen to the full podcast here.

 

Thanks to Elaine Lindsay and her team at SZF for allowing me to share my story.

 

If you want to learn more about who we are and what we can do to help you contact us.

Are you Charging a Finance Fee on Every Job?

Is financing like a dirty word to you because you do not like to finance things yourself?  Can you separate your thoughts on money, versus their thoughts on money, when you are working with customers?  Why do we feel the need to lessen our price to build false value for our customers?  Have you ever gone to the grocery store and asked them for a cash price?  Can you go to some of the big box stores and ask for a cash price?  Then why is it acceptable for people to ask for a cash price when buying larger ticket items?  Because we have all been trained that it is acceptable.  I am not saying you should not do it, but you must account for it when you set up your price book.  Your sales team must understand what the limits are if they need to offer a discount to get the job and the consequences if they exceed that agreed upon discount level.  Why would I charge a financing fee if I am not financing this job?  Why would I charge a credit card fee if I am not using a credit card?  Should I give a cash discount or not?  All of these are good questions and should be taken into consideration when you are setting up your pricing.  The key here is that you figure out what is best for you and your business.  Some people believe that much like the grocery store that they shop at, the price is the price, whether I use cash, credit card, or financing.  But what does it look like if I add a finance charge to each of my sales tickets?  If you use financing, it can cost you upwards of 18%.  That is a lot to add to a proposal, but you must cover your costs.  If you do not, then you are losing money on that job.  That does not make good financial sense for you and your business.  There are programs out there that you can use that do not cost you a dime to finance, and they carry a higher rate for the customer.  Calculate Costs

Some people have learned the art of the blended finance rate.  That means that every proposal that they write has a small percentage, somewhere between 4-7%, that gets added and does not get removed whether they are using the financing or not.  How do I know what a good, blended rate would be for me and my company?  If you have good bookkeeping for your company, you will have an idea of what you are spending on financing costs every year.  If you know what that overall cost is per year you can break that down to a percentage of sales and see what your financing percentage is per year.  Then you charge that or a little more than that to cover your financing on every job.  If you have annual sales of $1,500,000 and you spent $85,000 in financing costs that works out to be 5.66% of your total sales.  I would then use a 6% financing rate to add to all my installation jobs to cover that for the year.  Adding it to the overall cost of the job and not allowing my sales team to remove that percentage or they lose part of their commission.  It is not mean to hold the salespeople responsible for charging the proper amount for the jobs they sell so that your company can be profitable before and after you pay them.  That is part of their job.  Using a blended rate can mean more profits and is a cost of doing business with some companies.

If you are not charging the proper amount on your install tickets, then your business can be suffering or just getting by.  If you do not have a plan for making profits, then you will struggle to succeed or not be around very long.  Also, if you want to grow or have to replace old worn-out equipment, then you need to make money regularly.  You cannot expect to just make money when you need it, like on a rainy day.  How profitable are you or do you want to be?  Is it unreasonable to expect to make 8-12% net margin?  I do not know one person that got into HVAC, Plumbing or the Electrical business as a charitable organization.  If you have questions on how your business can be more profitable, reach out to us today to discuss how we can help you and your business.