Sunday, 30 March 2014

How Do You Identify Your Client’s Agenda?

"I went through Tripp's notes and I believe that I can say that I satisfy all his points 
when applied to my business of Turbo Charged Reading." M'reen

What’s On Your Client’s Agenda?
Tripp Braden
 How do you stand out from the crowd when marketing your products and services? With all the marketing messages you see and hear every day, what stands out for you, what gets you to take action on something you hear today? I bet if you’re like me, you respond to messages that move you to where you want to go. Your clients want a message that is focused exclusively on their unique needs, hopes, and dreams. Over 70 years ago, Robert Collier shared in his seminal book on writing sales letters that you must enter your potential customer’s mind where the conversation is.  You have to meet the customer where he is, not where you are. It applies in marketing, as well as professional sales. If you can piggyback your solution to their agenda there is a good chance you get the business.
Over the years, the word agenda has taken on a negative meaning for most people in business.  It’s probably because many poor sales people have not learned how to understand what their clients are trying to achieve when buying their products and services.  If you hope to stand out from the crowd, you must be able to get on your client’s side of the table, and the earlier, the better. You must become an expert at uncovering the client’s agenda during your sales process.
It’s fascinating to me with all the information available to us as sales and marketing professionals, we spend so little time really understanding our client’s motivations or agenda. I know several sales professionals who can tell me all the results that I can get from their services, but can’t tell me why their best clients bought their products. Many times, it’s not the reasons the sales people thought.
Here are several ideas about understanding your client’s agenda to help you become more effective at influencing others. If you answer the following questions before you approach your clients and you may be surprised how different people treat you when you call.
Is your product relevant to your audience? Does it help them achieve their goals? Does it help support their personal or professional agenda? If yes, you’re going to be on your way. If no, your sales challenge increases geometrically.
Does your product or service have an impact on your client’s life?  When you respond to an offer quickly, it’s because you feel it will impact your life. Your agenda at the beginning is to get the results faster and with higher quality than you might think possible. If it’s cheaper, that’s OK, but if something helps you make the impact you want, you’re comfortable paying a higher price.
Does your product or service support what they already believe? I had a very successful mentor tell me that people can rarely try something more than 10% new. When we talk about new technologies, they are some new things based on proven technology. For many years, IBM has made it a point to make clients feel there was little risk involved in the solutions they provided.  If you’re able to match up with the client’s expectations of your product, you are likely to succeed in moving forward as their provider for your services.  If you can learn their expectations, you can share how you support their agenda.
Don’t believe me?  Think about your last major purchase.  Why did you buy it? Was it a fact based decision? I bet it was because it helped you achieve something you wanted.  It helped you forward your agenda.
When people choose to work with you because you are supporting their agenda, they are likely to give you expert status in what you do for them. People want to know they have someone who specializes in what they do. Many smaller businesses struggle to get traction because they are unwilling to walk away from being a generalist. I can’t tell you how many entrepreneurs share that they want an expert to help solve a particular problem or challenge, but all they can find are generalists.  It’s interesting because as you get more intimately involved in their agenda, the more likely they ask you questions about other areas of expertise your organization possesses.
If you take the time to understand your client’s personal and professional agendas, you move to the top 10% of the companies in your business. In many cases, that can still be a highly competitive position in the market.  If you want to move to the very top of your field, you need to help your best clients co-create their agenda moving forward. On next week, I share several ideas that can help you create an extraordinary partnership with your clients by helping them create the future they want through working with you.  See you then.

Perhaps you’d like to check out my sister blogs:           gives many ways for you to work with the stresses of life       describes the steps to reading in the way your mind prefers          just for fun                    for advanced reading techniques

To quote the Dr Seuss himself, “The more that you read, the more things you will know.
The more that you learn; the more places you'll go.”

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Sunday, 23 March 2014

On the Beat

On the Beat
December 8th, 2013   Mahoney  
I’m often asked about policing in Spain and the Canary Islands and how it compares with that in the UK. I usually avoid writing about policing issues, as much is subjective and depends upon personal experiences and encounters with the law. However, based on my work as a journalist, as well as many reports and comments that I have received from fellow expats, maybe now is the time to deal with the issue.

For me, the question came to the fore during my recent visit to the UK. My partner and I had found a wallet in Dorchester, the county town of Dorset, during a very brief stopover in the town. From a quick glance, I could see that the wallet contained over 100 pounds, bank cards and the usual clutter of a man’s wallet. Time was short and so we went to the local police station to hand it over as lost property. To my surprise, I found that the police station was only open three days each week and closed for lunch between 13.00 and 14.00. Sadly, we had arrived ten minutes late, and even though there were police cars in the car park and voices could be heard inside the building, no one would answer our knocks on the door and there was no letterbox to drop off the wallet. Although I am aware that the Dorset police headquarters is based in a remote part of the county, I was surprised that the county town could not offer a better service to its community. After all, community policing, in my view, is not just about catching criminals in fast cars, but also assisting the community when it is most needed.

To avoid further delays, I opened the wallet and examined it more fully. Maybe I could return the wallet to one of the banks that had issued the cards in the wallet? Fortunately, tucked inside, I found a driving licence. I could see from the licence that it and the wallet belonged to an elderly man, and it was clear that I had to get the wallet to him as soon as possible.

With the help of GPS on my mobile phone, we located the elderly man’s home, where we quickly realized that our efforts and delay in our travel plans were not in vain. This frail and worried gentleman was being helped by his young neighbor to call the police to report the lost wallet, and he beamed with relief and delight when we returned the wallet to him.

This experience made me realize how fortunate that we are to have the police service in the Canary Islands. It seems that we are never far away from a police officer, be it local, National or the Civil Guard. I personally have always found them to be courteous and professional in my dealings with them, both as a journalist, as well as a citizen. Frankly, I feel safer in the Canary Islands than I can ever remember the UK.

During my two weeks in the UK, with the exception of police officers at the airport, I only saw two police officers dealing with a single incident in the city of Bristol. The usual response to such criticism is, of course budget cuts and the recession, but I suggest that the safety of its community is the main responsibility of any government, and even though the weather was very cold during my visit, maybe a few more police officers on patrol would be of greater benefit than hiding in large warm offices in rural Dorset? Just a thought.

The availability of good security should be on everyone’s checklist whenever considering a local move or an overseas retirement destination.

Perhaps you’d like to check out my sister blogs:            gives many ways for you to work with the stresses of life       describes the steps to reading in the way your mind prefers          just for fun

Wednesday, 19 March 2014



In this lifetime I’m a woman.
In my next life I’d like to come back as a bear.
When you’re a bear, you get to hibernate.
You do nothing but sleep for six months.
I could deal with that.

Before you hibernate,
you’re supposed to eat yourself stupid.
I could deal with that too.

When you’re a girl bear, you birth your children
(who are the size of walnuts)
while you’re sleeping and wake up to partially grown
cute, cuddly cubs.
I could definitely deal with that.

If you’re a mama bear, everyone knows you mean business.
You swat anyone who bothers your cubs.
If your cubs get out of line, you swat them too.
I could deal with that.

If you’re a bear,
your mate EXPECTS you to wake up growling.
He EXPEXTS that you have hairy legs
and excess body fat.

Yup, gonna be a bear !

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Follow Up.


"I do understand the illogical embarrassment of repeatedly knocking on someone’s door,
they haven’t necessarily heard your first knocks and are waiting for or would welcome your visit,
if only you wouldn’t give up." M'reen

Follow Up.

I once sent a pitch to a former client. I hadn't worked for this client in several months,
but she paid well and I was eager to get another piece of business. I was certain I had a proposal
she would be interested in. But my contact didn't respond to my first email.
Or my second one, a couple of weeks later, or my third, a couple of weeks after that.

We had a strong history together and I really wanted to work with her again. And so, instead of
my usual practice of giving up after a couple of tries, I kept at it. After yet another email went unanswered, I called her office and left a message. A week later, I left a message again.
(I was feeling more and more like a stalker, but I really wanted the job.)

A week after that, I called one more time--and she happened to pick up the phone.
She hadn't read or didn't remember my emails or phone messages, so I explained once more
what I had in mind. "That's interesting to me," she said. And gave me the job.

As soon as I got off the phone and got done whooping for joy, I pulled out a little yellow sticky note. "Persistence pays!" I wrote with a red felt tip, and stuck it to the side of my computer.
For years--until I changed computers a couple of times and the stickum wore off--that little note stayed 
in place as an important reminder that what can feel like obnoxious pushiness might actually 
be the appropriate behavior needed to get a customer's attention in this busy world.
It's a lesson I've often forgotten, but when I've remembered and made the effort to follow up
and then follow up again, I've rarely been sorry. More than once, it has led to an unexpected sale.

On the other hand, as someone who receives a lot of pitches, and more than my share of follow-up emails and phone calls, I know that there are effective ways of doing it and ways that will only annoy.

How do you do follow-up right? Here's what works for me:
1. If you haven't followed up, you haven't really pitched.
This seems like it should go without saying. But too many people will send one email or leave 
one phone message and never get in touch again if they don't get an answer. If something's worth
going after, it's worth trying more than once.

2. Follow up at least two times more than you think you should.
In another case, I sent a pitch, then one follow-up, and then gave up. Four months later
the customer got back to me--very apologetically--to ask if I was still interested.
I was, and that company has since become one of my best clients. It was sheer dumb luck that this particular customer remembered my pitch or else found it again in her inbox. If she hadn't, I would have missed a really good thing by giving up too soon.

3. Assume your customer has forgotten your pitch.
You'll have the best chance of success if you figure on starting over from scratch every time you get 
in touch. If your original proposal was an email, include that email in your follow-up. If you have
a prospect on the phone, or are leaving a message, remind him or her in as few words as you can 
what you proposed.

4. Don't act like you're owed anything.
It can be tempting to get peevish the third or fourth time you've followed up and gotten no response. Keep in mind that no matter how many times you've gotten in touch or how perfect your offer is
for that client, no one there is obligated to respond to you in any way.
Your fifth follow-up should be as polite in tone as your first one was.

 5. Try multiple channels.
Not getting a response to your emails or phone messages? Try an @ message on Twitter,
or a message on LinkedIn or Facebook. If you have multiple contacts at a prospective client
and one isn't answering you, try someone else. (Make sure to let each contact know who else
you've contacted, though, or this can backfire.)

6. Your objective is an answer.
If you've set yourself a "no" quota, you know that an answer, even a turn-down, is much better than getting a non-answer such as "I'll get back to you." (If you don't have a "no" quota, you should.)
But some people are uncomfortable saying no, so they'll try to put off the inevitable.
Fight that tendency by giving the person a reason to give you an immediate answer, 
such as
a limited-time discount. And if your contact says something like "I'll get back to you,"
set a time when you'll get back to him or her instead.

7. Have a plan.
What happens if and when you get that "no"? Have an immediate plan. What other customer
can you pitch to next? What other product can you pitch to this client? Getting turned down 
should just take you to the next step along your planned path. By the way, you should also 
know what your next step is if the answer turns out to be yes.

8. Say thank you.
Whatever answer you get, someone took the time to read your proposal, or speak with you
on the phone. They gave you some of their time and attention, which is a scarce commodity
for every professional these days. They may have given you information that can help you make
your product better, or some ideas about how to sell it elsewhere. And if you thank them,
they're likely to remember how gracious you were--and want to do business with you in the future.

Perhaps you’d like to check out my sister blogs:            gives many ways for you to work with the stresses of life     describes the steps to reading in the way your mind prefers           just for fun.
To quote the Dr Seuss himself, “The more that you read, the more things you will know. 
The more that you learn; the more places you'll go.”

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Strategies to Shatter Your Financial 'Glass Ceiling'

John Assaraf
Discover Cutting-Edge Scientifically Proven Strategies to Shatter Your Financial 'Glass Ceiling'... and ...

Perhaps you’d like to check out my sister blogs:            gives many ways for you to work with the stresses of life       describes the steps to reading in the way your mind prefers          just for fun.

To quote the Dr Seuss doctor himself, “The more that you read, the more things you will know.
The more that you learn; the more places you'll go.”

Monday, 10 March 2014

Outsourcing Bookkeeping Has Huge Benefits

Why drive yourself? Hemel Hempstead UK to where?
Photo taken by M'reen

Outsourcing Bookkeeping Has Huge Benefits
By Barry Malekont

If you have ever thought about outsourcing your bookkeeping there are some real advantages
that save not only time, but money as well. We live in a Global world and taking advantage 
of outsourcing can actually help businesses hire more employees locally rather than fear losing work overseas. Due to the availability that the online world provides, it's becoming more and more practical 
for companies to take this one step further. Instead of having an in-house bookkeeper,
or doing it yourself, many businesses are finding a multitude of advantages for outsourcing bookkeeping. Here are a list of benefits you can realize by outsourcing your bookkeeping.

1. More time
Outsourcing your business's bookkeeping frees up valuable time, that can be re-focused to earning 
you money instead of consuming time and resources. With the economy still hurting employees
are burdened with more responsibilities, and less time to achieve the expectations the employers 
are demanding. These added responsibilities can be a heavy distraction from the day-to-day operations, and having your bookkeeping in-house can lead to a conflict of interests.
By outsourcing your bookkeeping a company can spend more productive hours focusing
on what earns them money, instead of costing them money.

2. Reduce Cost
Rather than paying for full time staff members at really high wages, you can now choose to only pay 
for the hours that you need. You will not only realize a savings in wages, but you will no longer need large overhead and added infrastructure. Eliminated are pension plan contributions, employer expenses, employee medical benefit costs, etc.

3. Improved Company Focus
Re-directing your company focus away from staring at piles of paperwork, gives you the ability
to focus on your core business functions. This re-focusing allows you to deal with important matters 
of growing your business. Even if you do have a full time bookkeeper, that person can now focus
on billing, and collecting rather than being overwhelmed with other trivial aspects of maintaining
the companies books. By not spending time on the details, you can focus on the reasons you went 
into business for yourself, and the key strengths you and your staff are proficient at.

4. Expertise
Outsourcing gives you the ability to rely on a company that is proficient, knowledgeable and fast. 
This provides you with a team that has a great deal of knowledge and experience without burdening 
your company with additional training. You are now able at a fraction of the cost put your books
into the hands of highly skilled staffers who understand the most efficient practices. 
Someone who excels at the same task will perform it in half the time.

5. Accuracy
By outsourcing to a bookkeeper that is skilled and focused on just your task at hand will naturally
be more efficient and accurate, as they will have little to no surrounding distractions.
Look for companies that have systems in place that double check the accuracy of the data
they are entering.

6. Scale ability
Whether you're looking to grow your business or cut down on spending, having a reliable team
at your disposal provides you with different plans and options that can and will help you achieve 
your goals. Outsourcing provides flexibility that in-house bookkeepers just can't provide.
You can easily add people power without the hassle of searching for help.
If you need to scale back in slow times, that becomes a very simple process.
These are just some of the benefits that outsourced bookkeeping can provide.
Save up to $40.00 per hour by hiring an outsourced bookkeeping company.

Perhaps you’d like to check out my sister blogs:            gives many ways for you to work with the stresses of life       describes the steps to reading in the way your mind prefers          just for fun.

To quote the Dr Seuss doctor himself, “The more that you read, the more things you will know.
The more that you learn; the more places you'll go.”

Sunday, 9 March 2014

The second 30 blogs:

Dad, me and Meg having baggins while building a dry stone wall.

The second 30: 

The Sole trader Author: M’reen 
Youtube: Why SMART goalsare dumb 16/2/14
Wheeties are full of iron 23/1/14
Time management – some potential options Author: M’reen 
An art video. Using MS Paint 4/1/14
The first 32 articles Author: M’reen 
How to say what you needAuthor: M’reen 
Perhaps you’d like to check out my sister blogs:            gives many ways for you to work with the stresses of life       describes the steps to reading in the way your mind prefers          just for fun.

To quote the Dr Seuss doctor himself, “The more that you read, the more things you will know.
The more that you learn; the more places you'll go.”