All posts by coachchuckmiller

BE C-O-O-L THIS SUMMER TO GET HOT

With the dog days of summer upon us, it is the perfect time to COOL off with these tips so you aren’t sweating to come up with new ideas to help grow your business.

C – Constantly contact your contacts!  We all have these great data bases, so why aren’t we using them?  Your contacts need to be more than just people who are in immediate need of your services.  Think of them as your own personal sales force.  They need to be out there working for you, telling other people who you are, what you do and how well you do it.  If you aren’t in constant contact with your contacts, you aren’t going to be top of mind then a potential opportunity presents itself.  Regularly reach out to your contacts reminding them that you need their help to help you grow your business.

O- Open to opportunities!  I regularly hear, “I need to get more leads!”  The truth is, if you are out in public at all, leads are everywhere.  You just need to be open to the opportunities that surround you, and then be ready to engage them, telling them who you are, what you do and how well you do it, ask the right qualifying questions and convert them to using your services.  If you aren’t telling everyone you meet, and I mean everyone – your grocery bagger, your dry-cleaner, the car wash guy, your kids teachers etc etc – you are missing out on opportunities to grow your business.

O- Optimism!!!  Where you mind goes, your energy flows!!  You must have a positive attitude.  The smile sells.  People want to work with people with positive attitudes.  Optimism gives clients confidence in your abilities.  Would you rather work with Eeyore or Tigger?  If you are excited about what you do, people will be excited about the opportunity to work with you.  Nobody likes a gloomy gus.  Optimism leads to opportunity.

L – Learn!!!  Knowledge is power!  The more you know the more you grow.  The more you learn the more you earn.  Knowledge gives you more confidence and therefore your clients will have more confidence in you.  Knowledge makes you look more professional.  Take every opportunity to get to know as much about your business, your industry and most important your clients.  It is only when you truly know you clients that you can truly satisfy their needs, wants and goals.

So if you take the time to COOL it, your business will be the only thing on fire.  Wishing you all the very best and much continued success.

H-E-A-T Up Your Business

With the dog days of summer upon us, we have certainly been experiencing our share of hot weather.  So as I was sweltering in the heat recently, I decided I’d turn my perspiration into some inspiration for my friends and clients.  Here are some ways to turn the HEAT up on your business:

H – Human Touch – In today’s world of technology, with email, texting, the internet and social media being so prevalent, it is easy to forget that sales is still a relationship business.   A smile, a look in another’s eyes and a handshake still can make an impact.  It’s difficult to go “belly to belly” on a text.  Treat each customer as a human being, not a transaction or target.

E – Emotional Connection – No matter what you are selling, there is usually some emotion connected to it.  Connect with the emotions being felt by your client.  Share in their joy, grief or fear.  If you are empathetic to their emotions, you will connect with them on a deeper level and forge a stronger relationship.  When people are emotional, whom do they turn?  They usually look to friends and family.  If you can connect on an emotional level, you have upped your status from salesperson to friend.

A – Anticipate needs, wants and questions – Hopefully you know your business and what transpires during any given transaction.  If you can educate your clients and answer their questions before they even ask them, you become their trusted adviser.  By taking a proactive approach you look more professional and will be more respected.

T – Trust – I am a big fan of Pat Lencioni and his best-selling book “The Five Dysfunctions of a Team.”  Mr. Lencioni explains that the foundation of any team is trust.   Think of your clients as teammates.  In order to achieve our mutual goals of a successful transaction, we must constantly be building trust with them through are words and actions.

So put a little H-E-A-T in place for your business and before you know it, you’ll be on fire.

LEARN TO LEARN

It has been said, that to be truly successful we must aspire to be in a constant learning mode.  Knowledge is power.   It is only through continual learning that we grow and understand our business and ourselves.  Doctor Seuss may have said it best when he said, “The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”  However, for many of us, learning can be difficult.  Here is a quick lesson in how to learn to learn:

L- Look and Listen.  The saying goes: the smart person learns from their mistakes, yet the wise person learns from the smart person’s mistakes.  Keep your eyes open and watch other as they learn by their mistakes and experiences.  What makes others successful?  No sense reinventing the wheel.  Duplicate the efforts of other successful people to be successful yourself.  At the same time, have your ears open to listen to what people are telling you.  If we truly listen, we will be able to better understand our customer’s needs, wants and goals.  If we then understand, we can then deliver better results.

E – Energy and Enthusiasm.  Like anything in life, the more you enjoy it, the more you will do it.  If you put positive energy and have enthusiasm around learning, it will not only be easier but it will come more naturally.

A – Action.  All the learning in the world won’t help you if you don’t put it into action.   We are judged by our actions not our intentions.  We all have different ways to learn (visual, tactile, auditory) but the best way is to roll up your sleeves and create an experience for yourself.   We have all read books or been to lectures on how to be successful.  So we have the knowledge.  We must then put that knowledge into practice to get the full impact of the learning experience.

R – Reciprocate and Repetition.   The best way to learn is to teach.  Take the time to teach others whatever you are trying to learn.  By going through the various steps or instructions, we train our brains.  Learning also comes from repetition.   We are rarely ever great at something the first time we try it.   Whatever you are trying to learn, keep doing it over and over until you get it right.

N – New and Now – Try new things.  Our brains are muscles.  If we try new things, it forces our brain to work harder and get bigger.  Depending on what new thing you are trying, you may also be working a new or different part of your brain which increases you capacity to learn.  Start learning NOW.  No time like the present to begin learning new things.  The more we know the better off we will be.

So start learning today and be ready for great success in the future.

The Power of “E”

I recently watched a video by Best Selling Author and Speaker Todd Duncan where Todd spoke of having a “VIEW:“  “V”ision, “I”ntense Focus on creating that vision, “E”nthusiasm around your vision, and the “W”hy of what you are attempting to achieve.  In the video, Todd mentioned the power of “E” in reference to having enthusiasm.  The latter resonated with me as I coached my high school basketball team.  I was expressing to the players some of the qualities and activities that I felt would help make them more successful, not just on the basketball court, but in life.  When I finished, it dawned on me how many of those qualities and activities begin with the letter “E”.    It then occurred to me how many of the same words apply to us and our business success.  I have broken them down into three categories:

  1. Physical Health  – It’s difficult to be successful in anything if your body isn’t feeling right.

Eat – More importantly eat right.  There is so much bad food out there, make sure you are eating good food and eating at the right times.

Exercise –  Besides honing our mental and intellectual skills on a daily basis, we also need to keep our bodies in shape to ensure a long healthy  life.

Entertainment – I threw this one in because it is important to have balance in your life.  Take advantage of all the great cultural opportunities around us.

2. Mental Health –  This is along the lines of having the proper mindset.

Energy – You need to have and create energy in everything you do – and not just energy, but positive energy.  There is a concept in physics that states: “energy creates energy”.  The same goes in our business.  The more positive energy we put into our business – the more positive results we will see.

Enthusiasm – Ralph Waldo Emerson said “Enthusiasm is one of the most powerful engines of success…nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.”

Excitement – Like enthusiasm, you need to want to do what you do.  Your excitement will be infectious to your clients and those around you.

Enjoyment – If you enjoy what you do, you will naturally do it better.

3. Financial Health –  Activities that will help you attain your financial goals.

Engagement – Be ready to reach out to people and engage them in a discussion about your business

Entrepreneurial Spirit– Treat your business as a start-up,  thinking about things like capital improvements and ROI.

Effort – I always tell my players – “there are always  two things we can control: attitude and effort.”.  It almost goes unsaid, but the truth of the matter is the more effort we put forth, the more likely good things will happen.

Experience – There is an old adage that “nothing beats experience.”   Experience allows you to be a better problem solver because you have been around and seen it all.

Expectations – Set them properly for yourself and your clients.

Education – Never underestimate the power of education.  This means learn as much as you can about your craft and teach other what you know.  Knowledge is power.

Empowerment – Allow yourself and others around you to be as great as possible.  Delegate tasks  and ask for help.

Efficiency – Build in systems to your business so you can be as productive as possible.

Keep in mind the Power of E to power your business to the next level!!

Help Your Business “BLOOM”

This time every year, seasoned veterans and fresh rookies alike, report to spring training in wonderfully warm locations like Florida, Palm Springs and Phoenix.  The goal is to get ready for the long season ahead.  A very important part of their training is learning, re-learning and re-enforcing the fundamentals of how to play baseball. The fundamentals are the foundation of any successful endeavor.   Sales is no different.  In order to be truly successful, we need to have a keen grasp of the fundamentals.  No matter how much we think we know them, it is never a bad idea to hear them a gain.  With spring in the air, here are a few of those fundamentals that will help your business to “BLOOM”:

B- Build Relationships – Sales is a relationship business.  The more relationships we have, the more opportunities we have to make a sale.  A relationship is different than a contact, an acquaintance or a lead.  Relationships have a foundation of trust.  Think of your own personal relationships.  Usually the stronger the trust, the stronger the relationship.  People are more likely not only to use you but refer you if they trust you.  So to do more business, build more relationships.

L – Lead Generate, Lead Generate, Lead Generate!!!  You can never have enough leads.  This may be the toughest part of a salespersons job.  No one really enjoys generating leads but they are the lifeblood of a successful salesperson.  So start your door-knocking, your cold calling and your farming.  Get cracking on your print and social media campaigns.  And most importantly don’t forget the most fundamental of all the fundamentals: everyone you meet is a potential client.  Make sure everyone you meet knows who you are, what you do and how well you do it.

O – Optimistic! It has been proven that the more positive you are the more likely you are to attract opportunities.   It is no secret that people are more likely to be drawn to you if you have a positive outlook.  The more people you surround yourself with, the more opportunity to build a relationship.  No one wants to be around a “negative Nellie.”  So a negative person will have less opportunities, which actually only re-enforces their negative attitude.  Stay optimistic to attract more opportunities.

O – Organization.  Organize your business to create more freedom for yourself.  Put systems in place that allow you to have a more balanced life.  By being organized, your business continues to work without you.  A balanced life will also allow you to have a more optimistic attitude and thus draw more opportunities to you.

M – Maximize your productive time.  This is all about priority management, time management and time blocking.  So many times in a day we get caught up doing those task that don’t necessarily put money in our pockets.  Make sure you are carving out certain hours of the day to specifically focus on those activities that are income producing.  Hold yourself accountable to those tasks.  By maximizing your productive time, you will maximize your income.

If you continue to focus on the fundamentals, I have no doubt that your business will bloom.  I want to wish you all the very best and much continued success.

We Can All Use a Little Luck

Every March 17th, we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.  Since I wrote a post around Valentine’s Day on how LOVE can grow your business, I thought it was only fair that I write a post around St. Patrick’s Day on how LUCK can help grow your business.

Luck has been defined as “when opportunity meets preparedness.” To prepare you for the next time you get that opportunity, here is some L-U-C-K to get you started:

L – Leverage – Leverage is using what you currently have to get more.  This means using your current opportunities, resources and relationships to create more opportunities, resources and relationships.  REALTORS do this with their just listed and just sold marketing.  They use one house to generate other business.  We can all do this with our own clients.  Leverage the clients we currently have to help us acquire new ones.  For whatever reason, we are often reluctant to leverage our relationships.  An example would be if I have a friend who knows my favorite movie star.  I leverage the friendship by asking my friend “will you please introduce me to my favorite movie star.”  If they are smart, they will, then leverage the “favor” to get something for themselves.  It may sound bad “using one another” but I believe that it is only in lifting others that we will all rise.  Leverage is really nothing more than a warm lead.

U – Understanding – We need to understand our client’s wants, needs, hopes, dreams, visions and current situation.  It is only then that you can fulfill them.  To truly understand, we need to ask lots and lots of questions.  It is only through asking questions that you get the answers.  The more questions – the more answers – the more understanding – the more solution oriented we can be.

C – Communication – In my mind, there is no such thing as too much communication.  Communication is the imparting of information or the connection between people.  Communication can be as simple as wearing your name badge.  You are communicating who you are and what you do.  Communication is cold calling, door knocking, social media and print media.  We all need to communicate all aspects of a transaction.  Communication relieves stress.  So even when nothing is going on, communicate that there is nothing to communicate.

K – Knowledge – Knowledge is power.  Knowledge gives people confidence in your ability.  Knowledge is a quality of a true professional.  Make every effort to learn as much as you can about your industry, your company, your area, and your clients.    Not only be learning all the time, but take the time to teach others what you know.

Hopefully, by adding a little L-U-C-K  to your business, you can create a lot luck for yourself that will lead to your pot-o-gold in the future.  Have a wonderful week and a Happy St. Patrick’s Day.

 

USE LOVE TO GROW YOUR BUSINESS

This week we celebrated Valentine’s Day – a day we show our love to those who are special to us. Did you show that love to your client’s? Here’s how you can use L-O-V-E to help you with your business:

L – Love what you do. When you love something, it just comes easier. When you love something you see opportunity not obstacles. Think about your current or past relationships. When you love someone you are willing overlook those things that you might not like. You will do absolutely anything for that person.  I’m a father.  I have changed a lot of diapers in my day. Normally, you aren’t willing to change someone’s diapers unless you really love them. My point is, when you love something or someone, you are willing to put up with a lot of poop. People say they love their hobbies. Hobbies can be tough, as well as expensive, yet people still do them.   My aunt loves to quilt. How can sitting at a table cutting very precise pieces of fabric and then sowing them together be any fun? I call it forced labor – she loves it. People love to golf. Golf is a frustrating game which involves hitting a small ball with a long stick into a hole for 4 plus hours. People love to ski. Skiing involves buying really expensive clothes and equipment to drive in treacherous conditions, in freezing temperatures, only to strap boards to your feet to fly down a hill where you might fall on your butt, break a bone or worse, crash into a tree. Bottom line: things are easy and fun when you love them – so love your jobs.

O – Open to opportunity. There are opportunities everywhere. You need to be aware of them and take advantage of them. Last week, I was in the office when 2 neighbor ladies came in to find out who managed our building so they could have a light installed to make the neighborhood safer. I could have given them the info and set them on their way, but instead I asked them about their home and whether they wanted to refinance. They said no but they also said they knew someone who might be buying a house. Based on just asking a simple question, my company now has a potential referral for a realtor partner and a warm loan lead.  Think of all the people you make contact with during the day – baggers at the grocery store, bank teller, waitresses etc etc. What if at the end of every transaction with these people you said “by the way, I’m a great (fill in the blank), do you know anyone who might need my services.”  Even if that four seconds, said 10 to 20 times a day, amounted to just one more transaction a quarter, that’s four more transactions you would have. Seneca, the great Roman statesmen, is credited with the expression “Luck is where opportunity meets preparedness.” You will be amazed at how lucky you will be when you are prepared to take advantage of your opportunities.

V – Value proposition – Know your value proposition and be ready to articulate it. Some call this your elevator pitch. Be ready to tell everyone who you are, what you do and how well you do it. If you are able to articulate your value, you will set yourself apart from your competition.

E – Enlist the help of everyone. Despite the fact that you are often an independent contractor, you are not alone in your business. Don’t feel you have to go it alone. Enlist the help of everyone you know to help you grow your business – friend, family, past clients, and everyone in your sphere of influence. Humans, by nature, are a helping species. If you ask people for help, they will help you.  You may only know 50 people, but if those 50 people know 50 people then your reach may be 2500 people. And wouldn’t it be great to have 2500 people know who you are, what you do and how well you do it.

Spread your L-O-V-E, and not only will you have a Happy Valentine’s Day, but a very Happy and Successful 2017.

DO YOU TREAT YOUR CLIENTS LIKE DOGS? MAYBE YOU SHOULD!!

I recently ran across an article on training your dog. The author gave 4 training tips to bring out the best in your dog. As I read them, it struck me that these were not only great tips on how to bring out the best in your dog but how to bring out the best in your clients too!!!  Actually, use these tips to train yourself on how to deal with your clients. See if you agree:

1.   Speak their language: To foster the best relationship, two way communication is a must.  Learn to decipher their body language and their “barks”.   Does their bark say they are hungry, playing or protecting? What are your clients really telling you?  Learn their body language and their tone when you are having discussions with them.  In our technological age, learn what language they are speaking: text, email, voicemail. Speak to them in the language they like best.  Also in this ever-growing culturally diverse world, it will help if you “literally” speak their language (Spanish, an Asian Dialect, Farsi).

2.   Identify the “why” behind their misdeeds: For dogs, figure out why they ate your favorite shoe? Were they bored, hungry or were they just not aware that the shoe was important to you? For your clients,  figure out the “why” of their transactions. Why are they moving, selling, buying? Why have they chosen a certain area, town or house size? Know their desires, hopes and dreams as well as their financial situation to know why they are doing what they are doing. Bottom line – ask questions!!!

3.   Boost Concentration powers: Work with your dog ‘s mind and body to develop their cognitive powers. Work with your clients to educate them on the sales process and all the many steps it will take to have a successful transaction. Communication, education and expectations lead to healthy relationships. Work also on your own professional education to expand your minds. The more knowledge you have, the more confidence your clients with have in you.

4.   Build a bond: Good dog behavior comes from a strong friendship with you. Hugs and treats are a must. This is probably the most important ingredient in creating a client for life. Give your clients lots of attention before, during and after the transaction. Show your appreciation and gratitude for their business and referrals. Treats your clients like friends or family not a transaction. If so, they will be loyal, like “man’s best friend,” and will be more likely to give you repeat business and referrals.

Hopefully following these 4 simple tips will allow you to be more successful with your clients.  So go ahead, you have my permission – treat them all like dogs!!!!

WHAT’S YOUR DREAM!?

Every January, we celebrate Martin Luther King Jr; a Baptist minister, civil right leader and cultural icon. Dr. King was probably most known for his 1963 “I have a dream…” speech in front of a million people in Washington DC . So my question for you today is “What’s your dream?” Whatever it is, it can be more easily achieved if you emulate some of the qualities and characteristic exhibited by MLK. Here are a few that come immediately to mind for me – I’m sure you can think of dozens more:

PASSION – MLK risked imprisonment, beatings and ultimately death for what he believed. When you have passion for something you have an intense excitement, enthusiasm, enjoyment and energy that can allow you to accomplish almost anything.

COMPASSION – Dr. King entire mission was to help others. With compassion, you think of the needs of others first. You will understand and appreciate what others are going through. Through others we find ourselves.

LOVE – Dr. King had many quotes on love. My favorite is “Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy to a friend.”  Anything is possible if you have love. Not only that, but when you love something, it seems easier.  And even of it is not, you won’t mind because of the love you have for it.

HUMILITY – MLK rarely took credit for all the good he was doing. He left that to others. Humility is quality of being humble. We all do great things, but keep a low profile about them. Let others do the praising.

STRENGTH OF CHARACTER – Dr. King never stopped believing in his mission. He had the ability to stay the course when others around him told him he was wrong. Stick to your guns for what is truly right.

I’m sure Dr. King would be impressed with how far we’ve come but there is still work to be done. Keep focusing on your dreams using the qualities of Dr. King and someday your dreams will come true too.

Wishing you all the very best and much continued success.

Resolution for Success

Happy New Year (I can still say that since this is my first post of the year).  I hope you all are off to a great start this new year.  The Italians have an expression for Happy New Year which is “Buon Anno” which literally translates to wishing someone a “good year.”  We all want that.  I do want to caution you though if you use this expression not to make the same mistake I made while vacationing in Italy a couple years ago during the New Year holiday.  The Italians have another would that looks and sounds like “anno” and that is “ano.”  Ano translates to anus or butthole.  So being the “ugly American” that I am, and not having a firm grasp of the Italian language, I went a week wishing people a “good butthole!”   Though if you think about it, isn’t such a bad thing.

So how is that any motivation?  Well it got me thinking about the meaning of words.  One of the words we hear this time of year is “Resolution.”    With the new year, many people make resolutions.  They usually involve something like losing weight, getting in shape, being a better person, or spending less time on social media.   I thought about making a resolution but before I did , I wanted to make sure I fully knew what it meant to make a resolution.   So I looked up the word and what I found through the definitions and the synonyms was the blue print for success for almost anything we set out to accomplish.

Resolution:  “A firm decision to do or not to do something.  The quality of being resolute.”  From the synonyms, I grabbed 4 “P” words to guide you:

Plan – have a plan that will be the road map for your vision that you can look to on a daily, weekly or monthly basis that will keep you on track to achieving your goals.

Purposeful – be purposeful in everything you do.  Make each of your actions and activities have meaning and purpose in achieving your goals.

Persistence – don’t be afraid of “no.”  No often doesn’t mean no, it just means “not now.”  If you aren’t persistent you will miss out on future opportunities.

Perseverance – achieving something of value is often tough.  You must persevere through all the hardships and adversities to get to all your rewards and goals.

So use the 4 P’s and make yourself a Resolution of Success for 2017.