Saturday, July 31, 2010

Purchasing a Business Can Come with Obstacles

Rather than develop a business from the ground up, some make the decision to purchase a business. This may be the way right way to enter the business arena for many, but for others they may face many obstacles. Being prepared can make the transition flow smoothly. Here are a few tips to aid you along the way.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Struggling to Manage Your Business Time Wisely?

Are you running a business, but still struggling with time management? Check out my latest article for added pointers.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Have You Got Your Groupon?

I recently signed up to start receiving my daily Groupon email. Are you a participant? Well, I have to say I am enjoying it. To make a long story short-it is a fabulous way to capture some awesome business deals within your city. A sign up for free, and incredible deals offering tremendous savings are put on display. You will receive a great offer each day and if enough people go in to purchase the deal-Bam! you have a tremendous savings.

It is a terrific way for businesses to share the news about what they have to offer and attract customers as well. Perhaps this is something worth taking a look at. To learn more about Groupon click here.

Are Micropayments a Better Way to Pay Off Your Credit Card Bills?

As usual, when I read something I find of interest or learn about something new I will share it with my readers. Today, I was reading an article in the local paper, and thought I would share it with you all. We we all strive to pay off our debts as quickly as possible. Sometimes it doesn't seem to happen fast enough, and that can be very frustrating. Here is an idea to keep in mind the next time you send off a payment. Click Here.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Have You Thought About Purchasing a Business?

Have you ever dreamed of owning your own business, but are just unsure if the business will be a success? Well, to take this step can be risky, but a fun challenge as well. Perhaps the idea of purchasing a business that is already established looks attractive to you. Making this move just may be the right opportunity for you. Check out my latest article to learn some of the advantages of pursuing this business opportunity. Click here.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

9 Reasons Why Prospects Don't Return Your Calls

Some cold calling experts suggest that you leave a message when you receive a prospect's voice mail. Unfortunately, many sales people feel that this is an exercise in futility because most of the time their prospect does not call them back. If that sounds familiar, here are nine reasons why your prospects don't return your calls.


1. Your voice mail message is too long. The majority of voice mail messages decision makers receive are far too long. Decision makers are too busy to listen to a long, rambling, and disjointed message. That means you need to get your message across in 30 seconds or less. In fact, I suggest that you try and limit your message to a maximum of 20 seconds.


2. Your voice mail message is too cryptic. On the reverse side, a short, terse voice mail with no details will not likely motivate someone to call you back. You MUST give a prospect enough information to capture their attention and say, "I need to talk to this person."


3. You leave the same voice mail message. It is important to keep trying to connect with your prospect which often means leaving multiple voice mail messages. However, if you want someone to call you back you need to leave a different message every time you call. Plus it must be compelling (see the next point).


4. Your message is not compelling. Most voice mail messages do little to motivate someone to pick up the telephone and return your call. A compelling message MUST demonstrate that you understand your prospect's industry, situation or circumstances and portray that you might have a solution.


5. You have not developed a relationship with them. In today's competitive landscape, people want to do business with suppliers and vendors they know and trust. A call from a salesperson in an unknown company is not likely going to be returned


6. You sound like every other sales person. The average executive receives dozens of sales calls a day so if you want a busy executive to call you back, your message MUST stand out from every other call he or she receives. I once sat in a Vice President's office as he listened to his voice mail messages on speakerphone and was fascinated how similar every sales call sounded. I was equally intrigued by how quickly this person deleted the messages, too. His finger hovered over the delete button, and in most cases, he erased the message in the first few seconds.


7. You have not done any research. When you leave a voice mail message that clearly demonstrates that you know nothing about your prospect's business, there is no chance they will return your call. For example, "Mr Prospect, we provide solutions that help call centers improve their productivity and performance and generate a higher ROI on their out-bound calls." If this message was left for a small business owner (and it was!) it is highly unlikely the salesperson would get a return call (and they didn't!). At the very least, do some basic research and make sure that your message reflects that homework. It will improve your chances of a return call.


8. Your product or service does not interest them. Contrary to popular belief, not everyone needs your solution and when you call companies that are not the right fit for your product, service or offering, you are simply wasting your time and that of your prospects. Improve your results by more closely targeting your prospecting calls to companies who can actually use your product or service (see point 7 above).


9. Your prospect is simply too busy. Most sales people fail to realize exactly how busy executives are. A client of mine once said, "I'm so busy right now I can't possibly take on any more projects." This sheer volume of work often prevents decision makers from returning your call because they don't have the time to talk to you and because they can't fit another project into their schedule. Unless your product, service or offering is something they desperately need right now, they probably won't return your call.


Author: Kelley Robertson





Get your FREE copy of 100 Ways to Increase Your Sales by subscribing to Kelley's free newsletter, "59 Seconds to Sales Success" at

Kelley Robertson, author of The Secrets of Power Selling, is available to speak at sales meetings and conferences. Contact him at 905-633-7750 or


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How to Keep Prospects From Canceling

For a lot of small business owners, one of the challenges in how to sell services is actually how to keep valuable prospects from slipping through your fingers.

As a small business coach, I've worked with business owners who tell me they find themselves chasing after prospects. It's rather exhausting and quite unpleasant to say the least, right?

The chasing happens because we fear the prospect will cancel a meeting or will be a no-show. Or we're chasing because they were a no-show.

Here are a few suggestions for greatly reducing or eliminating this experience with prospects:

Check your pressure gauge

What I mean by this is that is, if we're not careful, we unintentionally introduce a level of pressure or uncomfortable persuasion into our sales conversations with people. A prospect can easily sense the pressure and they lapse into not telling the truth about whether they are interested or not. So they say they're interested and set the appointment to not disappoint you or simply to get out of feeling cornered. That's a key reason people come up with "objections" as well - they're feeling pressured or cornered.

This is the reason I always say ditch the intent to sell. Simply have a conversation to discover whether there's a mutual fit. Don't assume the sale prematurely. When you go into the conversation with the intent to sell, you then have an ulterior motive to "make the sale." Often simple things like your tone of voice and your choice of words raises the red flag with a prospect that you're after the sale.

Your prospect can sense that you are more interested in making the sale than being genuinely interested in solving their problems and meeting their needs. So check your own pressure gauge to see whether your intentions in the conversation may be fueling the "flight response" in your prospect.

Ask the right questions

When you're in a conversation with a prospect, there are some key questions you can ask to uncover

* If they truly are your ideal client

* If they're even ready to make a decision right now

* If what you offer is a good match for their needs and their budget

Be sure you're asking open-ended questions vs yes/no questions. If your conversation doesn't reveal those key bits of information, you may be assuming the person is ready to move forward when they're not. This then makes the chances of cancellation or no-show much higher.

Share your value (vs your products/services)

When we talk to prospects, there's quite a bit of temptation to dive right into a pitch or description of what we sell. We spend time detailing our different services, prices, packages, etc. It's important to realize this is secondary to why the prospect contacted you.

Sure, they may say they want to hear about your services, but that's not really what they're looking for. They're looking for solutions to a problem, an experience, a transformation, to realize their vision for something, to get relief, to meet a burning desire, etc.

The more you're able to describe what you do in a way that resonates with what they're truly seeking, the more they value what you have to offer; and the chances that they'll cancel is greatly reduced.

Set up the meeting effectively

In setting up the meeting, I'd first ask you to consider this: did the prospect request the meeting or was it more that they felt pressured and said yes? That's a good thing to evaluate. Instead of saying "Why don't we set up an appointment to..." try something like "Do you think it would make sense, at this point, for us to connect and..." The latter makes it their decision and it also gives them an opportunity to be truthful about whether they'd actually like to meet. It's best to know the truth than to have them say yes then disappear on you.

Also, rather than just agreeing on the meeting, agree on the commitment to the meeting as well. Say something like, "Allison, I know that we're both pretty busy people and I do respect your time. I'm committed to setting aside this time specifically for you. I've set aside 60 minutes in my calendar on Tuesday for us to.... If you're unable to make it at that time, would you call me by TIME to let me know?"

This sets the tone for mutual respect of each other's time. You're saying that you respect their time and you're also implying that you expect them to respect your time as well; this reduces the chance of a no-show or cancellation.

Author: Allison Babb


And now I'd like to offer you the FREE one-hour audio seminar for solo entrepreneurs on "How to Create a Steady Stream of Clients For Your Solo Business" at: Allison Babb is an author, speaker and Small Business Coach to solo entrepreneurs at:

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Saturday, July 10, 2010

Team Building Ideas

When John Dunne penned the phrase: “No man is an island”, he could well have been writing about the work ethics of corporate organizations today.

For, long gone are the days when the focus was purely on the individual, and personal goals in the workplace. Nowadays, however small the enterprise, the emphasis is on all members working closely together. And, for that, you need plenty of team building ideas, teaching your members how to communicate and interact well together, working collectively towards the same goals. After all, a business can only be truly successful when staff are motivated and pull together as a team.

History of Team Building

McDougall (1920) is reputed to have been the founder of team building, when he stated that there were five different conditions necessary for a highly productive group, although other persons of note, such as Sigmund Freud, have also recognized the benefits of team work.

However, it wasn’t until the early 1980’s that companies in the United States seriously began to introduce a team-based system of working into their firms.

This method of collectively working towards and achieving required goals has now become recognized worldwide, to the extent that numerous consulting firms have set up, their purpose being to advise organizations and corporations on the best way for that particular firm to build its team, along with ideas and activities to improve the team’s performance.

Team Building Consultants

Teambuilding consulting firms possess the knowledge, experience and tools necessary to advise corporations on, first of all building a team, and then getting the very best out of that team.

They’ll discuss with you the specific goals of your organization, taking into account such issues as the needs of your team, their ages, and the size of the group.

They’ll then present you with team building ideas and activities for improving such matters as communication, motivation, goal-setting, problem-solving, decision-making, and trust-building. It’s also important that staff should explore their own strengths and weaknesses, and learn self-regulation.

All of this should result not only in highly-improved team productivity, but also in a more pleasant working atmosphere, making that particular company a more enjoyable place for staff to spend their working day.

Team Building Activities

So, what sort of activities will consultants suggest to help bring out the best in your team?

Team building ideas vary considerably, depending on the sort of organization you are. For, building an effective team is not only essential in the business world, it’s also very much required by other organizations, such as sports teams, youth groups, and cultural groups.

Activities range tremendously, from outdoor activities – both physically demanding and less physically challenging – through to group bonding sessions or behavioural-based activities designed to improve group functioning.

At the end of the day, whatever type of organization you have, a well-managed team will result not only in success, but also in its members being more motivated and working confidently towards their collective goals.

Author: Alison Gray

About Author
Alison Gray loves her job as team leader and gives team building strategies at her website
You'll also find plenty of team building ideas, such as storytelling ideas for the workplace.

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Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Sam's Club Has a New Business Offering

Not only do I like to learn the latest business news, but I also enjoying learning about events occuring in Arkansas or associated with the state (since that is where I am originally from.) I recently learned about a new business opportunity Sam's Club is now providing that sounds interesting. While you can purchase many items at this store in bulk, and at great discounted prices- have you ever thought about seeking out a business loan there?

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (owner of Sam's Club,) and Superior Financial Group have teamed up to offer a new business opportunity. Now, small business owners will have the opportunity to qualify for loans up to $25,000, and this money doesn't have to be spent at Sam's Club. The program will focus on minority, women, and veteran owned businesses.

During a 2009 survey Sam's Club learned many of its small business owners had been denied business loans, and this number was on the increase. They wanted to make a change. For additional information. Click Here.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Remember Hard Times Mean Scam Times for Many

Whiles times are still tough for many, and we all must watch our pennies, remember these few red flags when you think of business opportunities.