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Money Tips if You Do Not Have a Steady Income

life on your own termsBigg success is life on your own terms. We talked all about that last week in a series of five posts where we painted the bigg picture.

Now we want to get into the nitty-gritty. What keeps us from living our lives on our own terms?

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The challenge of irregular inflows

One of those things is not having enough money – one of the five elements of bigg success – when we need it. It’s one thing if you have a regular salary. However, a lot of people don’t have a steady income. It fluctuates from month-to-month.

What if you’re a salesperson working on straight commission?

What if you own your own business and don’t draw a regular paycheck? You may be a freelancer or a solo entrepreneur. You may be in business and have employees. You not only feel responsible for putting food on your table, you also have a group of people to whom you feel responsible.

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georgeI certainly can relate to this subject, having been a business owner for pretty much all of my adult life. Come to think of it, before I went into business for myself, I worked on commission as a sales person so I’ve seen both sides of it.

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marylynn
Of course, with George, I now am a business owner too.

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george
Welcome to the club, Mary-Lynn!

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marylynnWe have a couple of businesses in their early stages. I left a job in the corporate world with a regular paycheck, but I sure understand now what it’s like not to have that. I know I’m not alone. A number of people in our community have mentioned this as a major challenge to living their lives on their own terms.

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So what can you do if your income fluctuates from month-to-month?

Understand your cycles

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georgeOne thing that I found is that I had to understand my cycles. I’ve struggled with this one. When I wasn’t busy, I’d spend time and money promoting and prospecting. Then I would get too busy – I don’t have time to promote and prospect. So I stopped doing it. The thing I knew, I wasn’t busy again and the cycle would start over!

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If you can be consistent with your most important activities – those things that generate the most income for you – you may be able to smooth out your inflows.

You might even find that you can hire an assistant to perform some of these activities for you. You spend a little money now to save you time and make you money a little later.

What if you can’t afford to hire someone to help you? Then you’ll have to invest the time yourself. When you find yourself in your next “up” cycle – you’re too busy to spend time on crucial prospecting and promotional activities – take a look at it again to see if it makes sense.

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marylynnAnother thing I’ve found is that I can be more consistent if I carve up my activities into smaller chunks. For example, I may send out five e-mails every day of the week instead of thinking that I need to send out 25 e-mails. If you don’t have the time to do that, start with three e-mails a day.

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Stabilize your outflows

Risk is often measured by volatility. So by definition, if we have irregular inflows, we are taking more risk. Because of that, we should strive for less risk in our outflows.

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marylynnWe do this by keeping our standard of living relatively low. Our businesses are in their early stages. So we watch what we spend and live very frugally. For example, we watch how much we shop and go out to eat less than we did when our incomes were more regular.

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One of our newsletter subscribers, Randy, says “rowing his own boat” by working for himself are his terms for his life. He’s been on his own for about 25 years now. He’s put his two sons through college while remaining debt free. He says he did it by having a plan when his boys were just babies. That plan paid off. He just turned 50 and plans on living the way he wants from here on out.

Congratulations Randy and thanks for sharing your story with us!

Randy’s story also helps us understand a second part of stabilizing our inflows:

Be very, very careful with debt.

We have to resist the urge to pile onto our outflows by adding principal and interest payments. It puts even more pressure on our inflows and more stress on us because we have to earn even more.

What do you suggest?

Share that with us by leaving a comment below, calling us at 888.455.BIGG or sending us an e-mail at bigginfo@biggsuccess.com.

Thanks so much for checking in on us today.

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Would you like more tips and tools to live your life on your own terms?
Subscribe to the Bigg Success Weekly – it’s FREE!

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One of our listeners just accepted a new management job. Join us next time when we help him with bigg challenge.

Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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Are You Solving the Problem or Treating the Symptom?

diagnosis Picture yourself sitting in your doctor’s office. You feel terrible – so terrible that you finally went to get your doctor’s prognosis. Your doctor walks in, takes one look at you and tells you what’s wrong.

No questioning. No prodding. No poking. No cold stethoscope.

How much confidence would you have with your doctor’s diagnosis?

None at all, right?

Yet time and time again, we see this in the business world. Prescriptions are offered without a thorough diagnosis. So many times, we treat the symptoms of the problem, rather than solving the problem itself because we don’t take the time to discover the real problem.

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Ad hoc diagnosis cost this salesperson a client

We have a friend who sells television commercials. Recently, he told us about one of his new clients. This client had been running radio ads for his high-end grills. They didn’t work. So the radio salesperson put him on another station. That still didn’t work. So the guy switched to television.

Our friend produced a great ad showing people having fun around his client’s grills. Sales are booming! His client is thrilled!

But the radio salesperson missed an opportunity. By thoroughly diagnosing the situation, it could have been determined that the problem wasn’t the station, it was the message. Couldn’t you use sound effects to create a picture in the listeners mind? If you hear the sound of food on the grill, can you put yourself there? If you hear people having fun, do you want to join in?

The radio sales representative could have kept the client by thoroughly diagnosing the problem to come up with the right solution, instead of just trying something else (i.e. changing stations).

5 steps to diagnose the problem

With everybody looking for cost-effective solutions today, diagnostics are increasingly important. If you don’t get to the root of the problem when you prescribe a solution, you’ll damage relationships. So follow this simple five-step process to thoroughly diagnose the problem:

1. Ask probing questions

2. Listen
This is really part of the first step, but it’s so important that we felt it should be listed separately. Listen actively and attentively.

3. Clarify
Keep asking follow-up questions and making clarifying statements until you fully understand the issue. If your client offers a vague answer to your question, ask a question that digs deeper. Or repeat your client’s answer back in your own words. Now you’re ready to …

4. Define the problem

5. Offer the prescription
Now, and only now, are you ready to offer your solution to the underlying problem.

If you care about your clients, you will seek to build the relationship even if it’s not in your best interest today. Without question, it is in your best interest long-term.
 

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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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Next time, we’ll talk about tapping into your creativity this Halloween to have some bigg fun. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

Subscribe to The Bigg Success Show in iTunes. 

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Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00249-102208.mp3

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Am I Paying My Salesperson Too Much?

Bigg Challenge
Max is a business owner. He hired a salesman about a year ago. Max put him on the same compensation plan that his other sales people were on (a small base salary with an incentive).

The guy has done a phenomenal job. Max’s company is showing record sales and profits, largely due to this sales person. But here’s the problem: this salesman is now making more money than Max.

Max wants to know if he should adjust his salesperson’s compensation.

Bigg Advice
What should you do about this, Max? Here’s what we think …

Nothing!

Here’s why …

Is it costing too much?
It is possible to over-compensate your people. You can’t design a system where a small number of top performers win bigg while the company loses money.

But that’s not the case here. You’re also making more money, Max. So if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!

Handle with care
We’ve heard of great sales people who were let go when a situation like this occurred. It does happen. But remember the nursery rhyme about the goose that laid the golden egg?

This sales person is the goose. Handle him with care. Like the old Proverb says,

“Kill not the goose that lays the golden eggs.”

Your bigg payoff
Don’t miss the bigg picture. The bigg payoff for owning a business often isn’t what you make each year. It’s what you make when you sell it.

You’re building an asset whose value is based on the income of the business, sometimes called owner’s cash flow. As your bottom line increases, so does the value of your asset. That’s your bigg payoff.

How you can get paid more
You’re making record sales and profits so you can probably afford to add another salesperson. Before you do, look at your infrastructure and capacity to make sure you can support an additional salesperson.

If you can, then go for it!

There’s a good chance, if you do that, you’ll be the highest paid employee of the company again!

Model this employee
We would suggest cloning, but okay … we won’t go there! 

So try to find someone with traits and characteristics similar to this salesperson. To do that, think about what you know about him.

What industry did he come from, if he came from outside your industry?

What experience did he have?

What education?

Are there any other clues you can get from his background?

If you did a personality assessment as part of your hiring process, what did his look like?

And ask your sales person if he knows anybody who might work out well. Bigg goal-getters know bigg goal-getters.

Thanks Max for sending us your bigg challenge. We wish you bigg success!

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Quit Jumping on Me Like a Dog!

We send out a Bigg Salute to Chris Brogan for coining this phrase and letting us run with it. He was describing a situation with an overly aggressive salesperson he had just met. This person was trying to win Chris’s business. As Chris said, “This guy wouldn’t quit jumping on me like a dog … and my tail wasn’t wagging!”

So if you don’t want to “jump on people like dogs”, here are four tips to keep in mind.

#1 – Don’t get too revved up.
It’s understandable that you’re excited about what you do. But they may not be as excited as you. At least not at this point. Look for cues. If they’re responsive to what you’re saying, then keep going. But if not, back off.

#2 – Don’t just pitch, pitch, pitch.

When you meet someone for the first time, get to know them. Start building a relationship. What are their interests? If you start the conversation by talking about them, you will almost certainly be invited to tell them what you do. When you are, keep it short. What’s your elevator speech?

#3 – Don’t go for an immediate sale.

Know what you want to accomplish, but keep it reasonable. It’s a step-by-step process. If you exchange business cards, and have a brief conversation, that may be a great start. Now you can follow-up and try to get to the next step.

#4 – Assume that now is a great time for them to talk to you in depth.

You don’t know what’s on their mind. What kind of day they’ve had. What kind of mood they’re in. Wouldn’t you rather talk to them about what your offer when they can give it the attention it deserves? Talk to them when they can give you 100% of their attention!

What internet marketers know about building relationships

Internet marketers ask us to “opt-in” … they get our permission to market to us by asking for our e-mail. You can do the same thing in person. Tease what you can do and then ask for permission to follow-up. If they say “No” … don’t sweat it. Someone else will say “Yes!” 

You can opt-in to our newsletter so you’re the first to see what’s new and notable on Bigg Success. Plus you’ll get our
goal-setting workbook. It’s all FREE!

Our bigg quote today is by Bob Burg:

"The successful networkers I know, the ones receiving tons
of referrals and feeling truly happy about themselves,
continually put the other person's needs ahead of their own."

So don’t jump on people like dogs because that dog won’t hunt!

Next time, we’ll discuss how to get in the loop to gain a competitive advantage. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

Subscribe to The Bigg Success Show in iTunes.

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Pages

Believe in What You Sell to Succeed in Sales

By Bigg Success Staff
04-01-08

Career Builders

believe 

If you’re honest and a salesperson, you’re screwed!

That is true, unless you really, truly believe in what you do. If you don’t believe in what you sell, whether you admit it to yourself or not, deep down inside you think you’re nothing more than a con artist.

You may fool some of the people some of the time, but you won’t fool yourself for long. As time passes, your true feelings will rise to the surface. They will boil up into your conscious mind.

When that happens, you’ll find any success you may have achieved before nearly impossible to replicate. Your prospects will sense your true feelings and decline to purchase from you.

So to be successful in sales, you have to truly believe in these four things:

#1 – Your product or service
This is the one everyone talks about. Believe that your product or service delivers on the promises that you made in order to sell it. Believe that it’s better, quicker, or cheaper than any other solution your customer could find. Ultimately, believe that it’s the best solution for their problem.

If you don’t believe in what you sell, find something in which you do believe in and sell it.

#2 – Your company
You also have to believe that your company offers your customers something unique relative to its competitors. Believe in the values of the company. Believe that it stands behind its products and services. Ultimately, believe that your company operates ethically and always considers the people it serves in all decisions.

If you don’t believe in your company, find one you do believe in and sell for them.

#3 – Your profession
Many people look down on the sales profession. Without sales people, there are no other jobs! Don’t be arrogant about it – without your co-workers, you can’t fulfill the promises you’ve made to your customers. Customers also need sales people to help them make the best decisions. Buy from a good sales person and you get a consultant for FREE!

Believe in your honorable profession. If you don’t, get out of it!

#4 – Yourself
You have to believe in yourself and the value you provide individually. You do what you say you will do. You have unique knowledge that benefits your customers. You serve as a liaison between your company and your customers, with the judgment to know what to do when something goes awry.   

When you truly believe in these four things, you’ll be on the road to success. When your belief turns into outright excitement, you’ll find bigg success!

Find out when we post new articles. Subscribe to the Bigg Success Weekly.

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Become A Dream Weaver For Selling Success

By Bigg Success
02-22-08

Career Builders

dreamscape

People buy for two reasons – to stop the pain or to get the gain.

So paint a clear picture in your prospect’s mind of how wonderful things will be after they buy what you’re offering.

No matter what you’re selling, become a dream weaver!

In order to do that, you have to clearly understand the benefits of what you’re selling.

And that’s not as easy as it sounds!

Most of the time, we spend too much time talking about features and too little time discussing benefits. Or we stop before we get to the real benefit.

Fortunately, there’s a simple question that helps you get to the real benefit of what you offer.

And that means?

We’ll illustrate this with a service that you probably don’t find that exciting to think about – insulation contracting. Let’s see if you’re more excited after this discussion!

 

Nathan Newbie is a salesperson for a local insulation contractor. He does alright, usually finishing just above the middle of the pack. But he wants to be a top-performer. He just doesn’t know how to get to that level.

So he asks Samantha Sage for help. She started out in sales, just like Nathan. She became the top salesperson in her company. She was so successful that the owner sold her the company when he retired. Now she’s retired and living the good life!

 

Samantha prods Nathan, “Give me your sales pitch.”

“I would say,” Nathan starts off somewhat reserved, “as much as 70% of your energy costs come from heating and cooling your home.”

She inquires, “And that means?”

“Inadequate insulation is a leading cost of energy waste in many homes.”

“And that means?”

“You may be spending too much on your utility bill.”

“And that means?” Nathan responds excitedly, thinking he’s on to it now, “You could save money by adequately insulating your home.”

“And that means?”

“You would have more money to do what you want.”

“And that means?”

“If you insulate you home, you’ll pay for their next vacation!”

“You got it,” Samantha exclaims!

Are you more excited about insulation now? Most people are! Even a product that seemingly has little sex appeal can be quite appealing!

Most people make most decisions emotionally. So become a dream weaver and see your sales skyrocket!

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