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The Art of Delivering Value

delivery_car Today on The Bigg Success Show, we were privileged to visit with Benjamin Klein. Benjamin is the CEO for The Art of Charm, a highly successful coaching service. He is an expert in the psychology of sales, management and success. He has used that knowledge to create an upcoming program called Success Principles.

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marylynn
What is one of the most important success principles?

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benjamin_kleinThe most important success principle for me has always been to say what I mean and mean what I say. It’s very important to come from a position of honesty and integrity and to do things that not only create value for you, but also for those around you. You don’t go into it dependent on the outcome, whether it will be reciprocated or not. If the value is reciprocated, they are the type of person you want to work with. If the value is not reciprocated, you have saved yourself months of time dealing with someone you don’t want to work with. You give up a little bit upfront, but that just comes with honesty and integrity and knowing that you’re creating value for those around you.

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marylynnDo you have a value-offer model for some of our business owners who are listening today? Any suggestions for those people who have been offering something that isn’t working, that’s not getting them the leads they were hoping for?

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benjamin_kleinThere’s no specific “X plus Y equals Z” formula for this. For us, we have free intro seminars, which are a sales tool, but our clients get the value of three to four hours of class. They learn in our selling arena. There’s a lot that they can take out of that. We give them a preview of what we’re going to teach. In order for you to give the value upfront, you have to have a product or program that you really believe in. Then you can stand behind it 110 percent because, in order to be convincing, you have to be convinced. Once you’re convinced, you can sit there and be as high pressure as you want because you believe in it. If you’re making logical sense and it’s something that is genuinely going to help the person you’re standing in front of, then you’re on the right path. So for the business owners, I think you just have to tip that value scale so it’s a no-brainer. You want to give them $1,000 worth of value for only a dollar.

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georgeSign me up! The interesting thing, and where we seem to be moving, is that you just can’t have that me-too product or service anymore. You have to offer something that you know is unique. You create something that you know stands out because you designed it to capitalize on your own strengths and the needs of the people you’re serving. So you are convinced it’s the best thing out there.

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marylynnLet’s go way back, before The Art of Charm was this huge, international service that it is. You guys were just starting out. You didn’t have all these products and freebies that you could offer. How did you offer value then?

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benjamin_kleinWe always had the advantage of our intellectual property, which was the curriculum that was created. Nowadays, what’s going to sell the best is a knowledge-based product. Something that you can give the knowledge away for free. That’s what blogs and all these web sites online are for. People are visiting them for the content – to be entertained or to learn. Lucky for us, we had something we could teach people. Even to this day, our web team worked on barter. Tens of thousands of dollars was traded as credit toward programming for stuff that we teach. Our programs are high price-point. We’ve probably bartered with 75 percent of the vendors that we work with. They all wanted to take our programs. If you have something that people genuinely want, you cannot fail. We go on our podcast or the forum and ask our people what products and programs they want. You have to build a community, a base of followers, who are in line and in tune with your message. If your message is something that is contagious and it’s something that they want, and they know their friends and family want, then you have no place to go but up.

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Thanks Benjamin for your words of wisdom!

In addition to The Art of Charm, you can listen to Benjamin on the PickUpPodcast.

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We can’t thank you enough for reading our post today, but we’ll do our best! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

There’s a group of people who actually believe their lives will get better this year. Can you believe it? Join us next time to find out who they are. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
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Success in a Can

can_of_success Today we want to talk about a miracle solution that we just discovered. You can use this magical elixir for any problem you may have.

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If we were to create an infomercial for this wonderful product, we’d want Billy Mays, the spokesperson of all spokespersons, to be our pitchman. We can hear him now …


Billy Mays here with a product that I’m excited to tell you about. Success in a Can. If
you have problems staring you in the face; it will make them disappear without a trace.

For a demonstration, he could offer real-life example after real-life example.

So are you interested in knowing where you can buy this incredible product?

Well, it’s not sold in stores as the saying goes. You won’t find it online either. You see, it’s very exclusive. We can hear you now … you really want this product, don’t you? But there’s something you should know …

No one can get it for you. No one can give it to you. You have to get it yourself. But people who have used this product say that it is priceless.

So, we can hear you asking again … only more impatiently now … where can you find Success in a Can and how much it will cost?

Here’s the secret – you have to mix this magical solution yourself. The good news is that you already have all the ingredients.

Ingredient #1 – Self-awareness

Do you believe in yourself? We mean really truly believe deep down. Listen carefully to your talk – both your conversations with others and those internal chats you have with yourself.

How often “can” you? How many times “can’t” you?

Can’t is a limiting word. If you think you can’t, you’re right. And that’s just wrong!

Now we don’t think you should eliminate the word “can’t”, but you should be aware of it. You should limit its use to situations that don’t limit you. Because it reinforces what you truly believe. 

Ingredient #2 – Self-assessment

Think about your strengths and your weaknesses. You may think that’s odd – why would you think about your weaknesses if you’re trying to limit the use of the word “can’t”?

That’s a good question. Let’s see if we can come up with a good answer …

It’s important to be realistic. Because Success in a Can doesn’t mean playing to your weaknesses. It means knowing what you’re best at. It also means working with other people doing what they’re best at because you know they can! There, how did we do?

Ingredient #3 – Focus

Focus on what you can do, not what you can’t do. Whenever you hear yourself saying that you “can’t” do something, quickly start thinking about what you “can” do about the situation. By focusing your thoughts on what you can do, you’ll feel more energy to work on the issue at hand.

Ingredient #4 – Reinforcement

When you wake up in the morning, tell yourself you can do it. When you face a difficult challenge, tell yourself you can find a way. When you see an opportunity, remind yourself that you can make it happen.

If you don’t believe in yourself, nobody will. Success in a Can does come with a price … you have to change the way you think. But if you do, you’ll pop the top for bigg success. 

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Thank you for sharing your time with us today. You’re the reason we can! Until next time, here’s to your bigg success!

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Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00323-020409.mp3

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Profitable Passions – Part 2

career_renegade Today, we continue our conversation with Jonathan Fields, author of the great new book Career Renegade: How to Make a Great Living Doing What You Love.

Last time, Jonathan discussed why it’s so important, especially in tough times like these, to understand how to operate online because it’s an inexpensive way to swap work for money. Let’s get back to the conversation …

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georgeJonathan, I believe that really good entrepreneurs are masters at minimizing risk. I think one of the great secrets of being online is that you can test concepts with a relatively small amount of money compared to what it used to cost us in the real world. You find out fairly quickly whether or not that concept can get traction. If it doesn’t, you move on. If it does, you keep funding it.

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jonathanThat’s such a great observation. We were talking briefly before we started recording. You said that it seems like everything I do is a success. And I said, “No, everything that lasts that I do is a success.”

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Test, listen, adapt

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marylynnBecause you have two successful blogs, you have this book and then you have best yoga center in New York? You have the magic touch.

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jonathanI do a lot of different things. I’ve had failures offline and I’ve had failures online. I will continue to have many more failures in both worlds. I can tell you, hands down, that I have lost so much less money in my online failures. I’m able to jump back in to the next adventure in the blink of an eye online. Whereas when something goes wrong offline, you have a substantial amount more money, overhead or time invested in it. Everything is recoverable in my mind, but it takes longer. It may take months or years. In the online world, I’m sort of off and running. I have tried and failed online too many times to count, but that’s just part of being an entrepreneur. You’re constantly testing. The ability to listen and adapt are critical to survival, whether you’re online or offline.

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Getting started online

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marylynnSo for our audience, Jonathan – they may be thinking, “This sounds interesting. I may like to explore this online world. But I have no idea how to build a web site. I have no idea how to get started with an online business.” What would be some critical, career renegade, first steps for someone like that?

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jonathan
Step 1 – Buy my book!

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marylynn
Ha-ha, good suggestion! Does your book help walk people through that?

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jonathanIt’s interesting. When I started writing this book, I didn’t intend for it to have so much online advice, but it turned into a massive encyclopedia of references answering that question. So, if you’re interested in blogging, starting an information business, or figuring out how to turn your knowledge into a revenue stream – not just little products but real businesses – the book offers a ton of information. It also offers a ton of links and resources to other places where you can go a lot deeper because I don’t believe any one book is capable of covering the entire space. Beyond that, though, there is so much free information when you start to explore the blogosphere. I would start out with an idea, with what interests you. Search on it. Find the blogs where people write on a regular basis. To me, one of the critical things for almost anybody who is trying to build a reputation as a leader in any field is blogging. That’s something you can leverage into working for someone else or starting your own business. To me, it’s an amazing way to position yourself as the go-to person in your field of interest in an astonishingly short period of time. Anybody can start a blog, probably in less than an hour, and it costs almost nothing to do.

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georgeI became a renegade because I couldn’t find anybody to pay me what I thought I was worth. Then I found out I couldn’t afford to pay myself what I thought I was worth. What do you do about that? I had to adjust the value a little bit, but over time it’s been just fine!

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A very special offer

Jonathan amazed us with a special offer for you. He’s put together a sixteen-hour video training course called Career Renegade Flight School. You could expect to pay $1,000 for similar programs. He’s giving it away for a short while with proof that you’ve purchased his book. Go to Career Renegade to learn more.

Thanks, Jonathan, for the great advice!

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Thanks so much for stopping by our site today. Next time we ask, “Is your idea worth your money?” Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00320-013009.mp3

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Increase Your Sales without Spending a Dime on Advertising

hilton We were at the Hilton in Las Vegas recently for the New Media Expo. When we checked in, they offered us an upgrade for $25. We thought that an “upgrade” just meant a better room. But we knew we weren’t going to be in the room much. We’d be at the conference all day and meeting up with people in the evening. So why upgrade?

 

One evening, we were at dinner with some friends. One of them had upgraded. She got access to the spa and fitness center, a private breakfast, and more! As our friend described it all, we wished we would have gone for it!

However, the employee didn’t talk about the benefits (or even the features) when he offered us the upgrade. He didn’t give us a single reason to do it.

But at least he offered it; some employees don’t even do that. Or there’s the other extreme – selling so aggressively that you begin to wonder if what you were thinking about buying is any good at all. You start to question the company and its products or services.

We don’t know if Hilton…

  • has an incentive to reward employees who are successful at selling upgrades.
  • explains why upgrades are good for customers, employees, and the company.
  • Thoroughly trains their employees to present the benefits of upgrades.


We do know that …

  • We would have bought if the upgrade was presented how our friend presented it.
  • “What’s in it for me” applies to employees too!
  • We still love Hilton!

The power of offering more

Every sale presents opportunities for more sales. One of those opportunities is upselling – selling more of the same thing. According to the great book Yes! 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Persuasive, customers like choices “that fall between what they need at a minimum and what they could possibly spend at a maximum.”

The authors say that if you give your customers two choices, they will likely choose the least expensive one. However, you’ll make more sales than if you don’t offer a second choice at all.

The magic of 3

When you add a third product or service to the process, magic begins to happen. When that third product costs more than the other two choices, customers tend to go for the moderately priced product instead of the least expensive.

georgeOne of my businesses was a heating and air conditioning business. We had always offered our customers service agreements – we would schedule preventive maintenance of their furnace and air conditioner. We expanded that offer to include predictive maintenance (we automatically replaced inexpensive items that regularly broke down) and an all-inclusive program (our customers didn’t pay for anything else). We found that we sold more agreements than we did before. About 8% of our customers bought the high-end service, around 12% bought the low end package, and the rest bought the middle one!

marylynn So it pays to present your customers with a good – better – best offering. Your sales will skyrocket … as long as you can get your employees to tell your customers about it! Do you have any examples to share of good or bad upselling? How about some suggestions on how your business upsells to customers? Share your stories with us by leaving a comment.

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Are You Fishing for Customers in the Wrong Hole?

“If you want to catch a trout, don’t fish in a herring barrel.” – Ann Landers

George said he’s been fishing at times when he would have been happy to catch any fish at all. He’s even had times when his friend a few feet away was catching all kinds of fish.

So he found out what his friend was using – what bait or lure – and changed his, but he still didn’t catch any fish. He concluded he was fishing in the wrong hole.
 


Fishing for business
Sometimes we experience the same thing when we’re fishing for business. We’re putting our line out but we don’t get any bites.

It may be that the customers aren’t where we’re fishing – they’re in another hole!

For example, maybe your customers are primarily shopping for your product or service online and you’re only marketing offline or vice versa.

People don’t use the internet for that

George remembers having a debate with one of his business managers. This happened to be a plumbing business. They were discussing how to allocate advertising dollars between various media. George thought they needed a bigger online presence. His manager insisted that customers wouldn’t go online if they had a plumbing emergency.

After surveying calls that came in, the manager reported back to George that an overwhelming majority of the people who had called with a plumbing emergency during that time period had found them via the internet.

Sometimes we think we know where our customers are, but our perceptions are clouded by our own biases. Fortunately, there’s a way to find out for sure.

Today’s bigg action item – survey your customers.

Find out how they learn about new things. The odds are your future customers are probably a lot like your current customers.

How one car dealer did it

One example of this is a car dealer. He had the employee who pulled the customer’s car into the service bay record what radio station was playing. He analyzed this information to determine which radio stations to use.

Is there some way in your business to naturally find out what media your customers use? If there is, develop a system to track the information so you know in which hole to cast your line.

Work with your direct mail supplier

Here’s another example from George’s service businesses. His mailing service was able to take his customer lists and ping the national databases to see where their existing customers fit in. Then they had a good profile of the people to target with future advertising – target people who are similar to your existing customers.

Survey them directly

You may just have a survey form that your customers fill out. Offer them some incentive to take the time to complete your survey. It may be a product or service you offer that’s relatively inexpensive …

… or cut a deal with another merchant – maybe even work a trade – to offer an incentive to your customers (e.g. movies, dessert, or gas)!

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