Posts Taged business-growth

Want to Know How to Sell… All you have to do is ask?

When it comes to sales your customers quite literally have all the answers.

Have you ever answered a question with a question? Would that be making a difference to your conversion rate? The answer to the latter is most definitely yes! Asking questions not only increases your conversion rate, but builds rapport with your customer and ensures that the sale becomes their idea and not yours. 

 

Asking questions also means active listening. You can ask questions about your customers work, business, kids or hobbies but make sure that your are listening with sincere interest. It may even be helpful to note down some of the answers – such as the names of their kids, interests etc for future communication. By asking questions and listening, you are building rapport and attaching importance to their conversation.

Also, by asking questions you are remaining in control of the conversation. Once you find yourself doing all the talking you are no longer in control. Just remember that the person asking questions sets the direction for the conversation. If the customer is dominating the conversation by asking you questions make sure you answer the question with a question. However, try to vary the questions that you ask. You may remember from looking after your own children or babysitting that being asked “but why?” over and over again tends to get a little monotonous.

Questions can guide consumer interest, discover a need and give accurate information.  There are two commonly known types of questioning – open ended and closed questions.

 

Building Rapport and Qualifying

Open-ended questions are an excellent way to ensure customer involvement in the conversation and are key to identifying not only what they need but a lot about themselves.  You can use open-ended questions to build rapport, to find a need, to discover a customer problem and find the right solution. In journalism there are six key questions used in the interviewing process which is as equally useful in sales – who, what, where, when, why and how.

Here are a few example of open-ended questions which are very useful:

  • Who are you buying the product/service for?
  • How often would you use the product/service?
  • What features were you looking for in this product/service?

 

This type of questioning yields a lot of great information from your customer and helps you determine which product/service is uniquely suited to them.

Closed questions tend to get one word answers “yes” or “no”. They can be used to gather information quickly – not unlike a check-list. Using closed questions can also confirm a buying detail and help confirm the sale.

By using questions you are encouraging the customer to communicate, building rapport, establishing their needs, directing the conversation, diffusing tension and inviting discussion.

Learning the art of questioning and listening is the key to increasing your conversion rate and well on the way to creating a continuing customer relationship.

 

By David Guest

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The Big Game of Business

When I talk to business owners, we often get into the conversation of how much should a business owner expect to make?

 

My rule of thumb is simple… Take what you think you’re worth as an employee… And multiply it by 3…(3x)” That should be your minimum expected take home, after tax wage! For most people in business this blows their minds. They look at their current profit and realise this figure is an order of magnitude away!

So, lets look at why 3x? It’s simple. When you decided to become a business owner, you probably did it for one of 2 reasons. 

  1. You either wanted to make more money, work less hours, or just be your own boss. 
  2. Or you didn’t have a choice, you were retrenched, made redundant, or are just unemployable.

 

When it comes to setting a goal for your business, the main number you need to look at is Leftover, not Turnover. That is net profit. As an owner, this is the reason we run a business. The problem is that this number can be highly variable. What I mean is that when you have a quiet month, you will still pay the bills, the wages, even the tax man. But the first person to miss out is you.

So the reason we aim for 3x your wage is risk. And risk is something that very few people value and expect to be paid for. You see, in a job you get holidays, sick pay, superannuation, long service leave and other benefits, when you decide to run a business, you sacrifice all of that for the dream of freedom.

Now for the brutal truth…. It is nearly impossible to be self employed and maintain this type of income. The only real way to achieve 3x is to build a business that works without you. The first one will be hard, but once you’ve mastered the skill, it becomes so much easier.

One of the best kept business growth secrets is acquisition… yes, buying other businesses is the quickest way to grow yours. I call this the big game of business, and it cannot be played when you are stuck in the engine room. You see, building your business system and your team is really about giving your the time to play the big game. That is, acquiring your competitors and expanding your service by adding complimentary services. 

When you get to this stage, business growth is exciting and rewarding. One of my favourite books on the subject is “The Magic of Thinking Big” by David Schwartz.

So don’t let the day to day busyness get in your way. Start today by committing to building your leftover to 3 times your wage, and get to work on building your business system so that your business can work for you.

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Tips for Recruiting and Managing Contractors to Grow Your Business

Hiring contractors can be a great way to facilitate business growth. Getting a new person in to assist your business, however, can be an awkward venture.

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Questions to Ask When Hiring an Overseas Distributor

The relationship with an overseas distributor can be a difficult one to negotiate. Although the distance between the business and the distribution of its products may be great, the communication between the business and distributor absolutely must be clear. Distributors are, after all, the people you’ve given trust to for your business growth. For this reason, distributors must be screened and re-screened before any contracts are signed.

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Getting an Agent or Distributor to Help You Expand into International Markets

For Australian businesses, the international market offers an excellent opportunity for business growth. For companies looking to expand into international markets, sourcing an agent or distributor is generally the first step. Before this step is taken, it is essential to understand the role of the agent and distributor, and to research the type of agent or distributor that will be of benefit to your business.

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Business Investment: Getting Funds to Expand Your Business

A business consultant can be most helpful when you are starting to look into equity finance. Equity finance is a way of raising capitol (funds) from external investors (other people outside the business) in return for a share of the business (profits earned by the business).

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How a Grant Could Help Your Business

Part of the strategic plan for your business could include a grant from the state or federal Australian government. This is worth considering particularly if you are having cash flow difficulties.

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Five Questions Often Asked About Working With David Guest

Ever thought your business was capable of so much more? Ever wondered how you and your team could work to achieve the amazing business potential you dream about?

3 Management Skills You Need for Managing a Virtual Team
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A Word On Systems For The Small Business Owner

Systems are not just important to large corporations. They’re a vital component of any business wanting to make growth a part of their strategy.

You see, the challenge that every business owner faces is that they are so busy working in their business that they cannot see the potential of their business. By introducing systems into their business, they are able to elevate themselves into a position where planning, strategising, relationship building and business generation become part of the norm.

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Test and Measure Your Way To Marketing Success

So often it’s only too easy to see the success in marketing. Amazing lead generation. Fantastic conversions. Sales skyrocketing out of this world.

The reality is that before a marketing strategy becomes successful,they have often been painstakingly refined and relaunched.

How do you set out to create your most successful marketing strategy yet?

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