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A Common Ailment Affecting Leaders Today

are you ready to lead for BIGG Success?There seems to be a common ailment affecting many leaders today. This ailment isn’t specific to industry. It has affected leaders in both the private and public sectors.

The problem with many leaders today is that they don’t lead. They follow. They respond. They react.

Public sector leaders

Our politicians look at the polls to decide on their positions. Of course, they need to be responsive to the people.

But we need leaders with BIGG visions. Their vision shouldn’t sway with the winds of public opinion.

It may not be popular at a given moment in time. Leaders don’t care.

They do care about importance. Great leaders help their people understand why achieving the vision is essential.

But as we said earlier, this ailment hasn’t just affected leaders in the public sector.

Private sector leaders

We’re told that marketing is everything. Business schools train future leaders to listen to their customers.

It’s now conventional wisdom. And, of course, it’s important. But it’s not enough.

We need leaders who know when to lead. As Henry Ford said, “If I would have asked my customers what they wanted, they would have said a faster horse.”

We need entrepreneurial leaders. We need leaders who see things that customers don’t.

We need inspirational leaders who bring innovative solutions to the market. We need leaders who bring customers products and services they never realized – and never would realize – that they needed.

We need entrepreneurial leaders – in the private sector and the public sector. The key to prosperity is leaders who have been cured of this ailment. It will lead to BIGG success.

Are you ready to lead?

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You Need Three Legs to Be a Success

You need 3 legs for BIGG SuccessBIGG success is life on your own terms. It’s about taking control to build the life of your dreams.

It begins with understanding your role. You have 100% ownership of an incredibly important enterprise – your life.

So you are the entrepreneur in charge. Entrepreneuring is a mindset, not an occupation.

You can try standing on your own two feet. But, when you get down to the essence of a great enterprise, you realize it is a three-legged stool.

Listen to this post! Click a player to hear George & Mary-Lynn on The BIGG Success Show Podcast.

iPad/iPhone Podcast Player
[haiku url=”http://traffic.libsyn.com/biggsuccess/00760-120811.mp3″ title=”The BIGG Success Show #760″]
The three legs are product, marketing, and delivery.

This triad is only as good as its weakest link. And unfortunately, one of them is almost always weak.

The magic happens when you get all three working together. It’s the key to BIGG success!

Product

We say product. We really mean service. You may think of it as your talent.

The key is to discover what you can offer to add value in the lives of other people. It’s how you begin creating value for yourself.

Your enterprise is built on this product. But the product alone isn’t enough.

Marketing

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that the most talented person always wins. They most certainly do not.

You can have the best product in the world and fail. The failure is the result of poor marketing.

If know one knows about you and your talent, you will fail. It doesn’t matter how good you are.

You have to get the word out. You have to get noticed.

If you don’t market yourself, your talent will be wasted. You won’t create value for yourself or anyone else.

Delivery

Once you have their attention, you have to deliver. It sounds so simple:

Make a promise. Keep a promise.

It is simple. But it’s not easy.

It requires follow-through and follow-up.

That’s where the difficulty comes in. In the day-to-day rush, promises are made.

The intentions are good. But you need a system to document set up to document those promises and insure they are followed up on.

What’s your weakest leg?

The rewards go to people who get all three legs standing firm. What’s your weakest leg?

Identify the factors contributing to the weakness.
Then brainstorm for solutions to make it more solid.
Develop a plan of action and then…
Make it so!

So you make more money, more dependably. That’s BIGG success!
Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file | podcast:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/biggsuccess/00760-120811.mp3
Image in this post from Flickr

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2 Important Things to Know About Your Customers

customerIt was a beautiful day in our area on Sunday so we decided to go for a drive. There’s an outlet mall about thirty minutes from us. So we stopped and shopped!

We like to combine work and play. While we were playing, we got a couple of ideas for post, including this one today.

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Where are your customers from?

As we made a purchase, the clerk asked us for our phone number. She said, “We like to know where our customers are from.”

Isn’t that an important thing to know about your customers? 

Geographic area
This is what the store we were at wanted to know. This may or may not be important to your business. It may be useful for targeting areas for your marketing.

Marketing activity
Unlike large companies, small businesses can’t afford to invest a lot of money on building their brand. When we spend money as small business owners, we need to see a return in the short-term while also building our brand long-term.

So discover what marketing activity is driving people to your business. While this is an inexact science, you want to determine as closely as you can if the time and money you’re spending on various activities are paying off.

Consumers often segment the research and the purchase. They may do some research on you as a result of one marketing activity. Then they may respond to another one to make a purchase.

The first activity may be important to the process but doesn’t get the credit it deserves.

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georgePrior to Bigg Success, my businesses relied on inbound telemarketing. In other words, our customers called us to schedule projects. Our Customer Service Reps might ask this question, “How did you hear about us?” Later in the process, we might also have them ask, “How did you get our phone number today?” We often got a different answer from the same caller!

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marylynnIsn’t that amazing? You don’t want to annoy your customers with too many questions. You do want to get as much information as you can as a natural part of the conversation you’re having.

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Demographics
There are a number of factors that may be important to understand about your customers. What is their level of education? How much money do they make? What is their occupation?

Obviously, you may not directly ask them some of these questions. You may survey them anonymously.

This information helps you target your products and services better. It’s also highly likely that your future customers will be a lot like your current customers. So it helps you qualify prospects.

Where are your customers going?

It’s arguably more important to know this one. What are your customers trying to accomplish? What problems are they having trying to do that? How can you help them?

Retailers
The type of business you have will dictate how you find this out. Let’s say you’re a retailer serving lots of customers with relatively small purchases. While they’re checking out, you may ask them if there was anything that they didn’t find.

You may want to keep a list of their requests. When you start seeing something over and over, you may want to add that item to your inventory.

Consumer services
For a consumer service business, the question is very similar. “Is there anything else that I can help you with today?” 

We used a version of this in my service businesses and it was amazing the projects we would uncover. For instance, we often learned that they were considering a remodel from this simple question.

Business services

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marylynnIf your business serves other businesses, the best way to find this out is the hard way – talk with them! This is what we do. It takes a lot of legwork to keep in touch with your customers at this level. But it’s the best way to find opportunities.

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Nobody likes to be sold. People like to buy.
Discover what your customers are trying to accomplish.
Uncover the problems they’re having getting there.
Then show them the solution you can provide and you’ll be a bigg success!

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Get the tips and tools you need to be a BIGG success.
Subscribe to the Bigg Success Weekly – it’s FREE!

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Thanks so much for reading our post today. Please join us next time when we’ll celebrate a bigg milestone. Until then, here’s to your bigg success.

 

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00519-111109.mp3

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Beware of Being Too Kind to Your Customers

money-in-handA recent MSNBC article says there aren’t many shopaholics left due to the recession. Then it explores how retailers are responding to frugal consumers for the upcoming holiday season, which accounts for up to twenty percent of annual sales for many of them.

Last year, holiday sales were down 3.4%. This year, even more Americans are dealing with job loss, fear of job loss, wage cuts, a drop in home prices and a rise in credit card interest rates.

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So what will consumers do? What's a retailer to do?

Working twice as hard but not making anymore
Let’s start with retailers. Dropping prices to push out inventory has become the norm since last year. Offering extreme discounts is a tactic many will use to try to get customers in their doors. Here's what that means:

Let’s say you have a product that costs you $10. You normally sell it for $20, leaving you with a $10 profit. You decide to cut your price by 25% to $15.

So now you make $5 every time you sell a product. You have to sell twice as much of this item just to make the same amount of money!

In this example, we used a product sale to keep it simple. However, many small businesses sell a service. So think about it this way:

Carrying forward the numbers above – if you cut your hourly rate by 25% – you would have to work twice as much but you wouldn’t make anymore.

Is it worth it? Would you be better served pursuing another strategy?

Consumers are more price-sensitive, but value is still king
Now, let's look at those customers. Experts cited in the article say consumers will shop for good value on items they want and need. Note the term “value”, not price.

Consumers are more price sensitive than ever. However, because they have been bombarded with super-low prices, they are beginning to think that those products are worthless.

Furthermore, they will pass up an offer – even if the price seems too good to be true – if they think they just don’t need the item. If you cut prices too much, you may kill your business by killing your customer with kindness!

3 strategies for a tight-belt economy:

  • Divide your product or service offerings into three categories – must have, need and want. In this economy, focus on the must haves. Which customers must have your must have product? Focus most of your efforts here.
  • Is there a way to bundle a “need” with a “must have” or a “want” with a “need”? Offer a special deal on the bundle rather than the individual product or service. You may find that you can sell more without having to work a lot harder.
  • Think about your customer’s bottom line. How can you add value to your product or service and boost your customer’s bottom line at the same time?

For example, is there some essential knowledge that you could impart to help your customer use your product or service to save money? If so, they’ll be much more likely to buy – even now.

How are you compelling your customers to buy your products or services?

Share that with us by leaving a comment, e-mailing us at bigginfo@biggsuccess.com or leaving a voice message at 877.988.BIGG(2444).

We think you’re too kind for checking in with us today. Thanks so much!

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Get the tips and tools you need to be a BIGG success.
Subscribe to the Bigg Success Weekly – it’s FREE!

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There’s a popular celebrity who says it took him 26 years to get one mile down the road. Please join us next time and we’ll fill you in on his story of bigg success. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

 

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00517-110609.mp3

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A New Media Maverick

Walter-CronkiteThere was a young man who jumped into new media. The established people in his industry didn’t want to do it. They thought it was beneath them.

They decided they didn’t want to play the game at all. They said it was just a fad. It didn’t have legs for the long term. No serious person would ever get involved in this silly stuff. It was child’s play.

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But the young man didn’t listen. He saw his bigg opportunity. So he jumped in with both feet.

Something interesting happened. This new media had more impact than the old pros would have ever dreamed. By the time they realized it, the young man was established. The old pros never caught up.

The new media we’re talking about here is television. The young man was Walter Cronkite. He said he didn’t become who he was because he was better. He became the most trusted person in the United States because he was there early.

History repeats itself

You may have thought we were talking about social media. And you would be right to think so. We hear a lot of the same kind of things said about it. A lot of people think it is just a passing fancy.

Because they don’t get it. They don’t understand that the genie is out of the bottle. That business communications have changed forever again.

Social media’s impact on sales

There was a study released a while back that looked at large company performance. More specifically, it looked at social media activity and sales growth.

It was conducted by Wetpaint, a social media platform, and Altimeter Group, a digital consulting firm. They looked at the top brands in the world and rated their social media activities. Then they compared the level of activity to the change in sales over the last year.

On average, they found that the more active a company was in social media, the more likely they were to see an increase in sales. The most active companies increased sales by 18% while the least active saw sales decline by 6%.

Companies with dedicated teams performed the best. However, these teams take social media to the whole organization. They view social media as a tool they can’t live without. They are conversational, not promotional.

How does this apply to small businesses? We think the opportunity is even greater. But you, the owner, have to get it. You have to learn how to use these new tools to increase your sales.

Walter Cronkite found his bigg opportunity by jumping on the train early. You’ll find bigg success by integrating social media into your business communication strategies.

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Get the tips and tools you need to be a BIGG success.
Subscribe to the Bigg Success Weekly – it’s FREE!

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Thank you so much for reading our post today.

Next time, we’ll talk about thinking entrepreneurially with your personal finances.

Please join us. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

 

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00484-091809.mp3

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