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How To Be Unstoppable – pure rubbish!!!

… or is it???

I see so many promotions and topics with the same underlying theme – “How To Be Unstoppable”. I see them in my email inbox, my mailbox, on the web, tv – seems like everywhere I turn there’s some guru promoting this.

I know I’m not the only one that sees this. And a shameless confession, it has a certain appeal to me. The thought of being “the guy” or being able to carve out your own destiny stirs emotions up in me. I see images of being applauded, and revered, and respected, and sought after, oh, and did I say “wealthy, happy and successful?”.

It also stirs something else up in me… pride and ego. And those two monsters have taken many people down, myself included.

So, instead of being “the guy” and being unstoppable, I’d rather be a guy who makes the best use of his gifts and talents, is diligent, seeks wisdom, plans and takes action and God willing, achieves his goals. (interesting observation – the more I do that, the easier everything else seems to be)

Now in my business, would I like it to be unstoppable?

Yes!!

… as long as I don’t have to sacrifice my family, friends (or anything else dear to me) on the alter.

For the record, in my opinion, unless you’re God, I don’t think anything can ever be “unstoppable”. There’s always something seen or unseen that can take you down.

So instead of “unstoppable”….

What If Your Business Could Be Stronger, Rock Solid, Able To Withstand Numerous Blows And Still Keep Producing – Would that relieve some tension or make you grin?

Well the good news here is that it can.

How do you do that?

… you get rid of the silly notion that there is some magic pill to swallow or some silver bullet or your business can be changed in the next 60 seconds or less. That is pure rubbish.

What isn’t, is you can roll up your sleeves and WORK.

Imagine….

  • setting a goal and going after it with focus and determination
  • researching the market and competition to see what’s out there
  • finding a niche you can dominate and crafting out a clear, concise USP (Unique Selling Proposition) that separates you from the competition
  • developing a strategy to attacking the market
  • creating a compelling sales conversion process
  • making an irresistible offer to get your prospect or client to say “yes”
  • Now picture adding 5-10 different lead generation techniques to get your message in front of the exact right people at the exact right time

Seems like a lot of work doesn’t it? Well, it is. That’s why most people won’t do this. That’s why for the few that do, they can reap most of the spoils. Did you know that 95% of the profits in a market will go to less than 5% of the businesses?

Now if you decided to be different and if you did this, how would you feel about your business? How would you feel about it’s ability to weather the storms that are guaranteed to come? Would you be confident in being able to take time off, take trips, plan your retirement, get involved in charity, or how about mentally being there for your family instead of constantly thinking about business?

If you go after something with wisdom, focus and determination and WORK on the right things, it’s amazing what you will be able to accomplish.

Blessings,

P.S. If you have a challenge in your business, we offer a free no-obligation 15 minute consultation where we will tackle and give you perspective on demolishing the #1 problem affecting your business. You can get more information here… Click Here eh!

Are Your Emails Leaving Money On The Table?

In This Article I’ll Share One of the Most Overlooked and Mis-Used Ways to Increase Sales. It’s also something your competition will most likely NOT do.

One of the most underutilized marketing tools in businesses these days is the use of emails.

If you have 5000 people on an email list and you increase the effectiveness of your results by 5%, then you will have 250 MORE people that want to buy from you. Multiply 250 x how much a customer is worth to you. If you sell a higher end product or are a professional service business, and a customer is worth $10k to you, then you are leaving up to $2,500,000 on the table.

What about if you sell supplements or info products and have a bigger list?

Let’s say you have a list of 50,000 people, you sell a $50 product and 15% of the people open emails. Now suppose you increase results by 5%, then that means you have an EXTRA 2500 people reading your emails. (Please note, I typically like to see 30% open rate on emails so I downplayed the example here)

If an extra 2500 people that are already on your list but are ignoring your emails (or worse, you’re not emailing them), if these people buy your $50 product, then you have added up to $125,000 in sales.

To get these results, it does not require adspend and it multiplies the effectiveness of everything else you do. You just have to become a little better at something you are already doing.

Do I have your attention? Do you want to take some of that money off the table?

Everyone is always looking for the “next thing”. Since we have expertise in helping clients find, bring, nurture and sell people, clients always ask me “what is the next thing we should do?”

Here are some numbers that will boggle your mind and cause your pulse to quicken…

In my friend Ian Brodie’s book titled “Email Persuasion”, he cited these stats: “When the Direct Marketing Association studied the effectiveness of various types of marketing, email came out way on top with a return on investment of around 41 to 1. Nearly twice that of any other approach.

When data analytics firm Custora published the results of their 4-year study into the online buying patterns of over 72 million customers across 14 different industries, they showed that over 40 times as many purchases came from links in emails than from Facebook or Twitter.

Ok. so how do you do it?

…. with effective email marketing.

Let me tell you a story…

I suffer from a constant conundrum. In my professional life working with clients, my tendency is to be bottom line pure information. In my personal life, I like to laugh, play, have fun and tell stories, especially with my wife and 4 kids.

So what’s the conundrum?

Someone told me a long time ago that “people buy from people”. If the whole relationship I have with my clients and my email list is purely professional and purely informational, then how much of a relationship do I have?

If I’m so focused on facts, figures and “how-to’s” (all important) that I forget to be personable with clients and my email list, then a relationship is NOT created.

I recently had someone say to me, “I wanted to work with you because of the pictures of your family on your website. You look like a nice guy that knows his stuff.” People will come to you for your knowledge and stick with you for the substance of who you are. (That’s how it is with dating and marriage too isn’t it?)

Shameless confession, I used to write a weekly email newsletter diligently for years until I got burnt out. It was great at the beginning because I started by telling stories and entertaining while educating. Then I switched to “How to’s”…

  • How to double the number of leads from your website with one strategy you can implement in the next hour
  • How to get a continuous and never-ending flow of high quality leads to your professional practice for $20 each
  • How to 10x traffic and conversions while cutting costs and minimizing risk
  • How to – ugh, if this is all you do you will get burned out too!!!

I got tired of the how to’s. I got burned out. I wasn’t having fun. I was beginning to feel like a mechanical robot.

And when I was doing purely “how-to’s”, the feedback and comments I got dwindled significantly – you could say it fell faster than a fat boy falling off a cliff! 🙂

… meaning – the people I was emailing got burned out too.

To make your email marketing effective, yes, have pitch content, have “how-to’s”, and please, please, please, please, please have the personal touch.

When you do this, you will be pleasantly surprised at how your sales (and enjoyment) will increase.

To your success,

Blessings eh!

P.S. Opt-outs are ok. They will happen. If people opt-out because you are being who you are, then what are the chances they would stick around and purchase from you and be a good client or customer?

 

 

One Way to Skyrocket Your Lead Flow Using Your Website

For Businessowners that Want to Create an Unfair Advantage in the Quantity and Quality of Leads Coming into their Business:

Do you want an in-expensive, highly profitable way to create a continuous flow of new leads into your business?

Today we will cover something that every businessowner needs. And that means you too!

But first, when it comes to utilizing your website there are a couple different approaches…

2 Schools of Thought When Handling the People that Come to Your Website:

  1. Go for the jugular and close the deal
  2. Capture their contact information so you can continue to market to them (called “Lead Generation”)

If  you are going for the jugular that’s fine. Just know that you are leaving at least 33% of the money YOU COULD BE GETTING on the table. It most cases you would be losing 200% or greater.

If you capture their contact information, then you can market to them forever for free until they buy (or die).

In my opinion, school of thought #2, capturing their contact information, or Lead Generation is supreme. This is one thing that every businessowner needs!

Lead Generation is designed to do one thing and one thing only – constantly and continuously generate high quality leads for your business.

To create this, you need what one of my marketing mentors, Dan Kennedy, calls “a lead generation magnet”. A lead generation magnet is something of interest and value to your prospects that gets them to say to themselves “Hey, I want that!” and they give you their contact information in exchange for whatever the lead generation magnet is about. A minimum is to get their email address.

Your lead generation magnet can take many forms, some of the most popular are white papers, special reports, free e-books, videos, interviews or a free email course like this one. They are all good and choosing the right one for you depends on your strengths and the interests of your market.

There are many advantages to a lead generation magnet. The vast majority of people aren’t ready to pull the trigger and won’t buy right away. Instead they research to see what’s out there and check out several sites to get a feel for who’s selling what. If you offer them something of interest and value to help them in their decision making process, then you can take them out of the market and follow up with them. In your follow up you can demonstrate why you are the BEST solution for them and separate yourself from your competition. One more lead for you, one less for your competition.

To create a lead generation magnet, you will need:

  1. The lead generation magnet – white papers, special reports, free e-books, videos, interviews or a free email course. This should appeal to the emotions of your market. Find the problems they are having, talk to them about those problems and offer them ways to solve their problem – as in, buy your product or hire you!
  2. A landing page – this is the page on your website where they go to learn a little about what you do and enter their information in exchange for your lead generation magnet.
  3. An opt-in mechanism to capture their information for follow up. Here are a couple of options: Aweber and Infusionsoft (Aweber is cheaper, Infusionsoft is way more powerful and also more expensive. It’s the one I use. Both are excellent. A business just starting off might only need Aweber)
  4. A thank you page – after they give you their contact information you immediately take them to this page to access their information.
  5. Follow-up sequence – this is one of the most important pieces of the puzzle that many businessowners miss. You will open the floodgates by effectively utilizing this. (Again, Aweber or Infusionsoft will do the job)

Here are some questions for you to ask yourself:

  • Are you using Lead Generation?
  • How effectively is your magnet working for you?
  • Would you like to have a River of Leads Constantly and Continuously Flowing Into Your Business?
  • Do you want to free up your time and let technology do all the hard work for you so you can do something fun?

If you have any questions or would like to comment on the information, please comment below.

Blessings,

P.S. In you want to get this into effect now, I have a done-for-you service to free you of all the hassles, frustrations, unknowns and concerns you may have. Contact me and we can discuss this affordable and valuable tool.

P.P.S. Want more bang for your internet marketing buck? … Click Here

A Tale of Two Voices

Had an interesting dialogue with myself on the trail today… ever have conversations with yourself or am I the only one?!!

It was cool and misty at 8:15 this morning as I laced up my shoes to go for a nice trail run in Aliso Woods Canyon. Was supposed to be an easy 13. I’ve been starting to log some longer miles to get ready for “who knows what event I’m doing next”. Truth be told, running trails is a sanctuary for me. I love being out in nature, free from noise and distractions. As long as I have water and food I’m good.

So off I went this morning. Had my fuel belt with water bottles filled up. My food for today was none other than peanut butter & strawberry jam. Love my PB&J!!! I had enough water and food to be out for just about 2 hours.

As I started out on my familiar route, one voice in me said “lets go and explore a new trail”. The other voice said “it’s on the way to the park entrance where we usually start so it’s no big deal, let’s do it”

So off I went exploring a new trail. As I was nearing the end of this trail I saw another trail shoot out to the left with a nice short, steep climb to a small summit. One voice said “let’s go”, the other said “the path is well worn singletrack (narrow trail), so yes, let’s do it”.

To the top of the hill I went. As I looked down into the valley below, I could see the park entrance. No idea how to get there since there was no path down the hill. I could also see another path I had never seen before. It ran parallel to the one I usually run on, but somehow this one seemed secluded. There was no one on it, the other path I normally take I could see runners and mountain bikers all over it.

Hmmmm, one path is empty, secluded and I would be the only one on it. Scenery looks better too. The other path, has lots of people on it. I gotta do the new path! It was like it was calling out to me.

But how do I get there? There was no way down the hill to get to it. I looked and looked. There was heavy dry brush that would be really hard to navigate and would scratch the heck out of my legs. What to do, what to do…. Then I saw it!

I could carve a new path around the heavy brush, then there was a stretch of not-so-thick grass I could go through where there seemed to be a very faint path where someone else walked. That was it, I could get there! I could accomplish my mission and had to do it. Would be a fun adventure.

Felt like a little kid again. Full of excitement and adventure!!

Smiling, almost giggling, I set off.

Then the other voice kicked in “You know Chris, the grass is thick there, you don’t know what’s underneath it. Could be ticks, maybe deer ticks with lyme disease. Or worse, you could step on a den of rattlesnakes. Better not go. Better go back and get on the familiar path and play it safe. Don’t want to get hurt you know”

… hmmm, good points, I thought. He’s right. Maybe I should go back. What was I thinking? Oh well.

Then the other voice chimed in “hey! Let’s go!!!! I want to go this way. It’s gonna be a great adventure!! Let’s go!”

…. hmmm, good point. I did want to go! And I needed to resolve it, since both voices made excellent points.

So how did I resolve it? What did I do?

I decided it was time to have a meeting. I brought the two voices together (seriously, you could make a good case that I’m a certifiable nut job at this point! Am I the only one that has ever had this happen to them??!)

I asked the excited voice why he wanted to go. “Because there’s a new, really cool looking trail. We will be the only one on it. Who knows what we will see!! It’s going to be a great adventure. Let’s go!”

I asked the conservative, safe voice why he thought we shouldn’t go. “Because there could be danger there. Ticks. Snakes. You don’t have your phone with you. If you fall and break your leg, smash your head on a rock, or get bitten by a snake it could be game over”

…. good points on both sides.

I asked the excited voice if he would be ok if we didn’t go if it was deemed unwise. His response was a hesitant “yes”. I asked the conservative, safe, fearful voice if he would help us if we went that way and he said “yes”. Then I asked for his wisdom. “Could we make it down there? – yes. Is this something we have done before? – yes. Is it likely there are ticks in the brush? – no. The grass we would have to walk through, it’s short, there appears to be a set of footprints through it, it’s cold and damp, is it likely there will be snakes there? – no”

I gathered all the data. Thought it through. And in my final anaylsis, it seemed like a reasonable thing to do. To go down there.

Both voices cooperated. Both voices were needed as there were some tricky spots to navigate. And low and behold, we made it!

By the way, on this new (to me), secluded and almost private path, I saw many wonderful things I would have never seen…

  • I saw deer. The deer and I were within 10 feet of each other. Neither moving. Simply checking each other out. (I also came across a family of deer later on, momma, daddy and baby. The buck had a nice big set of antlers on him).
  • I saw a really cool owl. About 5 feet away from him. We just checked each other out for a bit before I went on my way.
  • I saw a primitive looking “Man vs. Wild” shelter by a hidden part of a stream. The adventurer in me was feeling very refreshed at this time!

None of this I expected. It was a very pleasant surprise. The trail was simply beautiful.

Don’t go off and draw a conclusion that I saw all this because I took the path less traveled. That would be unwise. I never would have taken this path if it would have been deemed too dangerous and silly. No, I’m not into stupidity (got most of that out of me in my 20’s!!).

Here’s the moral of the story…

When facing a tough decision in life, it’s good to listen to the two voices. You need the one to look for opportunities. You need the other to make wise decisions. Don’t be foolish and only listen to one and tune the other out. If you do, you will miss out on wonderful opportunities or you will make foolish, stupid decision you will regret for years to come.

Here’s the process I use to make decisions:

  1. Pray
  2. Search the Bible to see what it says (seeking wisdom)
  3. Consult people with expertise and perspective I don’t have. Including my wife since she can see my blind spots – just wish I listened to her earlier in life, would have saved me from some painful situations. (again seeking wisdom) There is safety in a multitude of counselors.
  4. Decide what I want while checking to make sure my motives are right and not self glorifying.
  5. I prayerfully consider all the data and do my final analysis. Then I decide and take action.

I have made many decisions in my life. Some good, others I would take back in an instant. As each page on the calendar is flipped, I have resolved to be wiser and more audacious. Isn’t that how you truly have a full life and fulfill your mission?

How do you make your decisions?

Would love to hear your take on this.

Blessings,

NOT ENOUGH PEOPLE TO SELL TO? How to have eager prospects begging for next-day appointments

Dan Kennedy, one of the top marketing experts frequently says that “one” is the worst number any business can have – one client, one source of revenue, one product, one lead source – you get the point. If you have only one way of getting leads, what happens if it dries up?

Let me tell you a story…

Tony, a friend of mine, has always been a hard working guy. He was in the Marine Corps, recon division, not afraid of much. When he got out he didn’t want to work for anyone else, had too much drive, so he went to business school. One day after class he asked the professor what businesses he owned. The professor said he never owned a business. Confused, frustrated and irritated Tony left. That was the last time Tony was ever seen there.

Tony is also a strong minded man so he decided he would learn business the way he learned to fight – in the trenches. He started up a yacht maintenance company and worked his tail off. Toiling day and night he finally landed a big account subcontracting for a bigger yacht maintenance company. Life was great. Big checks, steady year-round work, wife, kids, house, mortgage, car payments.

Then one day it happened… the bomb hit…

He showed up Monday morning to pick up his list of yachts to clean as he did many times before. This time he was told he was no longer needed. 90% of his income gone in the blink of an eye. It’s a hard pill to swallow, especially when you are a hard working man with a wife and kids looking up to you and depending on you.

I won’t bore you with all the details of what happened next but the short version went something like this…. hurt (crushed is a better word), confused, bills, anger, determination, prayer, supportive wife, strong work ethic, lesson learned, focused. Stayed in same business, printed flyers, hand delivered them, got a couple clients, provided un-paralleled value, knew his competitors were lazier, delivered superior service, treated his customers like gold (wow is that missing in businesses today!), got more customers, raised rates, hired workers, increased customer value by adding more services, continued to diversify, started brokering deals buying and selling yachts, bought a bigger house to support his bigger family.

You may be saying, “great story Chris, but how does that relate to me?”

If you don’t have multiple streams of generating leads, then you may want to start. Here’s the problem I see, too many businesses don’t have enough leads and so they start to look for ways to advertise or get their name out. Everything sounds so darn good that they try to do too much without much thought into anything. Nothing gets done.

Here’s the BIG lesson: develop focus. Draw up a marketing plan and focus on one source of leads at a time. (if you have an abundance of funds then outsource to get more done at one time).

Think about this, if you add one source of traffic every two months, then in the next year you will have 6 different sources of leads working for you, or 12 sources in 2 years. What do you think your business would look like if you did this? If you focused your thoughts and efforts and got one source going every two months, do you think you would have more success or would you be worrying about where your next lead was coming from?

Tony got focused and kicked some butt.
Now it’s your turn to kick some butt!

Hope you enjoyed this.

Blessings

The Perils of Positive Thinking and a Powerful Dose of Reality

The perils of positive thinking and a powerful dose of reality.

How's that for the use of alliteration eh?! My high school English teacher would be proud.

I recently read an article by Perry Marshall about Admiral James Stockdale. He was Ross Perot's Vice Presidential candidate in 'the US 1992 election. Didn't do well as VP candidate but was quite an impressive military man. He was former president of the Naval War College and was the highest ranking officer in the dreaded "Hanoi Hilton" in Viet Nam.

He spent eight years in Hanoi and was tortured numerous times by his captors.

Mr. Thomas Barnett relates:

"Stockdale tells the story of the optimists who never survived their time in Hanoi, simply because they clung far too much to their dreams of release and in doing so couldn't handle the brutal realities of what it took to survive the day to day.

"So instead of dealing with the here and now realistically, they tended to cling to the hope that they'd be home by whatever the next holiday was, and when that day came and went, their spirit would be diminished by that measure.

"Over time, they died because their spirit was extinguished by reality."

Stockdale explains:

"You must never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end (which you can never afford to lose) with the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be."

The problem with so many people who are positive thinkers is that they lose touch with reality. They have high visions of what they WANT their business and life will look like, but they aren't will to bust their behind to get there.

When I train for Ironmans and endurance events, my workouts vary. My easy days are very easy. My hard days are very HARD. I have a coach, a plan, and a strong work ethic. Many people I've met tell me they would love to do an Ironman. Guess it sounds sexy or something. It's no big deal, anyone can do one. As my dad would always say "You gotta wanna".

So whatever your goal is – you do have one don't you? Have faith in it. Believe. Visualize. Seek wisdom. Plan. Prepare. And work.

For the powerful dose of reality

… if you truly want to do well, here is what you need to do…

  • niche your business
  • KNOW your customer
  • segment your prospect and customer lists
  • up your prices (people will pay more if you can competently make their frustrations, headaches, unknowns and concerns go away AND deliver exceptional value)
  • move to more affluent clients
  • change your language to match your niche
  • craft a powerful USP (Unique Sales Proposition) and UVP (Unique Value Propostion)

Doing those will put you miles ahead of the competition. Many of them are too lazy to do that and will slash prices in an attempt to gain business and complain that times are hard. (they ARE HARD! that's the reality!!)

And while we're at it, let's make some new assumptions.

 

  • assume your clients will take longer to make decisions
  • assume it will take longer to get paid
  • assume vendors will be slower than they promised
  • assume your biggest account will dry up
  • assume your biggest source of leads and customers will dry up with no advanced notice
  • assume some unforeseen circumstance like a legal challenge or financial setback will pop up

Prepare for these and put things in place to avoid them. And once you've planned for them and determined to push forward. With your vision in front of you. Your faith in tact. Ready to work. THEN you can look forward to great success. Anticipate it.

When you adopt this thinking, you will speed up the pace of accomplishment. You will gain focus and creativity. You will attract the right people into your business.

With the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be, you will make it out of Hanoi and reap rewards that will leave many people wondering "How did they get so lucky?" When that happens, just smile. 🙂

Hope you enjoyed this.

Blessings

Business Boosters to Crush This Economy – Part I

I was at a meeting last night put on by marketing genius Bill Glazer. He has 25,000 customers that pay him every month ranging from $40 – $1000 (he also has some high end clients too). Do the math – he knows what the heck he’s doing.

That’s me with Bill Glazer. We are laughing because he had to bend down and I stood on my tiptoes so we could both fit in the picture. He’s a big guy!

Back to the talk… Bill shared 7 Business Boosters That ANY Business Can Do To Survive And Thrive In This Recession.

First a sobering thought…. Harry S. Dent Jr, who has a great track record of measuring and predicting economies, said that “the economy will get worse before it gets better.”

Maybe that’s too depressing for you. I hope that’s not the case with the economy. But if it is true, doesn’t it make sense to prepare and attack this the best you can? And avoid being a bloody corpse laying lifeless on the battlefield of failed businesses?

Do you have a better chance of winning a fight with your sword dangling lifeless at your side or unsheathed, in-hand, glimmering and ready for battle?

Here’s the worst that can happen with this outlook – you will survive this recession and will be in a position to own your market when the economy turns. Plus if the economy gets better rapidly, you will be raking in business hand over fist!

Back to reality – if you are not prepared with proven, reliable, yet new and dramatically different strategies for this new economy, you will get crushed.

So what do you do?

First, to deflate a big balloon floating around in la la land – forget the 4 hour workweek, or the 4 day workweek, and find something you love doing and do it.
Study, learn, and outsmart the competition. Take action. Implement. Test. Refine. And let them eat your dust. In cycling terms we call it “dropping them”. That’s where you start off together, exchange pleasantries, give encouragement, then put the hammer down and “drop them”.

Second – Be Ruthless!
You must be smart, tough and decisive. This is no time to be tolerant of status quo or slow.

Third – Develop Clarity.
Develop clarity of what you want in your life (isn’t that why we’re here?), your business and any other area important to you. This will allow you to cut out all the time thiefs and give you crystal clear focus. The more clarity you have, the more you accomplish at greater speed.

And lastly, and probably most importantly – Surround Yourself With A Tight Group Of People You Can Rely On.

Stop reading every piece of mail and email, unsubscribe from email lists if they don’t provide value, resonate with you or challenge you.  Pick out 1 or 2 or 3 people you like that know what the heck they are talking about and draw closer to them. Smart and successful business people focus on what they do best and outsource the rest. Shameless confession time – I used to be so proud thinking that I should do everything. Notice I said “should”. Fact is you and I “could” do everything. The wise question is “should you”? Figure out what you do best and find a tight group of people you can rely on that can provide the rest.

Follow these steps and you will survive. Focus on them and you will Drop Your Competition and Crush This Economy.

Look for my newsletter next week where I will reveal Part II – Business Boosters That Will Change Your Speed of Accomplishment to Such A Degree That Everyone Will Think You’re Cheating.

Until then,
Blessings

Chris