Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Are you qualifying your leads, or are they qualifying you?

When you generate leads for your business, the logical middle step before converting a sale for the product or service you provide is the 'qualification' stage, ie, finding out if you're a good match for each other! You got their attention, but do they want what you offer?

In the studio business, we each have an 'ideal client' that has the working style we want and need in order to perform to the highest goal-meeting ability. But so many times, especially in businesses that differentiate themselves on price, it's the CLIENT that does the qualifying, not the business.

Let me explain: you tell a prospect what you can provide for them in a proposal. They come back with a completely different idea of what you'll provide in a follow-up (usually based on the cost of your service).

At this point, do you renegotiate with their follow-up in mind, setting your goals aside and grasping on to whatever they want you to do as your guide? If so, you've let THEM qualify YOU.

If instead, you either go back to negotiations with your original goals in mind, but taking into account some of their needs in their follow-up, or you just say, "Thank you, but we're not right for each other", then YOU'VE qualified (or disqualified) THEM.

You have to be the captain of your own ship in business, and taking time with clients who aren't your ideal takes time away from generating, qualifying, and converting those that are. Make sure your marketing and communication language always maintains the integrity of your business goals, and you'll spend far less time courting the ones that aren't right for you.

Start learning how to do this (and so much more), by reading The Answer.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Good Things Come to Those Who Ask

It's time for another article from the brilliant Jack Canfield. This is a perfect follow-up to his last article I posted, and also a perfect follow-up to my day! Today my business has been greatly improved by simply asking for help from my mentors, my mastermind group, and my colleagues, all of whom I also consider to by my family, even though I'm blood related to none of them. I'm a person who was very bad at the concept of 'asking' before: I felt it was a sign of irresponsibility or ignorance. But if the most intelligent, successful people I've ever met (or have studied) say it's the most important way to move forward...who am I to argue? And I'll let you in on a little secret: since I got out of my own way and started asking, I've been a lot more successful too (and better able to help others when they ask).


Good Things Come to Those Who Ask
by Jack Canfield

Asking for what you need is probably the most underutilized tool for people. And yet, amazing requests have been granted to people simply because they've asked for it!

Whether its money, information, support, assistance, or time, most people are afraid to ask for what they need in order to make their dreams come true.

They might be afraid of looking needy, ignorant, helpless, or even greedy. More than likely, though, it is the fear of rejection that is holding them back. Even though they are afraid to hear the word no, they're already saying it to themselves by not asking!

Do you ask for what you want or are you afraid of rejection?

Consider this: Rejection is just a concept. There is really no such thing as rejection! You're not any worse off by hearing no than you were before you asked. You didn't have what you asked for before you asked and you still don't, so what did you lose?

Being rejected doesn't hold you back from anything. Only YOU hold yourself back. If you are told no, ask for what you'd have to do to get it, or ask again at another time when the circumstances have changed. Ask if they know someone else who might say yes. When you realize that there's no merit to rejection, you'll feel more comfortable asking for things. But you may need a bit of help learning how to ask for what you want.

First, ask as though you expect to get it.

Be confident in your request coming from a perspective that there's no reason why you wouldn't get it. Or they say no, you can ask them why, or what you would need to do to get a yes. You might need to form a better business plan before you will get a loan. You might need to take a course in computers before you will get a promotion. You might need to spend more quality time with your family before you will get the loving support you need. By getting this feedback you are able to make adjustments and ask again with better chances of getting a yes.

Second, assume you can get what you want if you only ask for it.

You want a window seat? Assume all you have to do is ask for it. You want an ocean view? Cheaper tickets? A scholarship? A better deal? Just ask for it as if that's all you have to do to get it.

And finally, be specific about what you want or need.

Do you want to make $5,000 more a year? Then don't just ask for a raise. Ask for $5,000 more a year. Vague request produce vague results. Don't just ask for more time with your spouse; ask for a date on Friday night. Don't ask for help on a project, ask for what you want that person to take care of.

Getting a good perspective on rejection and learning how to ask will make a world of difference for you as you work toward your goals. Practice asking and you'll get very good at it! You'll even speed your progress by getting what you need, or improving yourself in order to get it later.

Make a list of what you need to ask for in all areas of your life, and then start asking!

© 2008 Jack Canfield

Jack Canfield, America's #1 Success Coach, is the founder and co-creator of the billion-dollar book brand Chicken Soup for the Soul and a leading authority on Peak Performance and Life Success. If you're ready to jump-start your life, make more money, and have more fun and joy in all that you do, get your FREE success tips from Jack Canfield now at: www.FreeSuccessStrategies.com

Two Dynamic Voice Tidbits!

Got to hand it to Voices.com, they've innovated again with a new Platinum Membership feature. Here's the scoop, straight from Stephanie Ciccarelli:

The Platinum Membership includes your very own Voices.com website as well as listings on 10 niche voice over websites, a public relations campaign, ad placement on the Voices.com advertising network, 100 MB of storage for your MP3 voice-over demos, videos, priority ranking in the search results and unlimited Featured Talent Directory listings, and access to the industry's hottest freelance voice-over jobs.

Here are some helpful links with more information:

Discussion about the new service on VOX Daily
Page on Voices.com with product information

Check it out!

Paul and I were both incredibly lucky to get to listen in on a live call with famed voice teacher Arthur Joseph last night, and WOW, we're both still blown away by it. Whether your business IS your voice, you want to be a better presenter or performer, or you just want to enhance your life and spirit, check out his work. He's amazing!