I attended my first Association of Certified Professional Wedding Consultants (ACPWC) http://www.acpwc.com meeting last week. I thought that those of you who, like me, are small business owners would appreciate what I learned. ACPWC has been around since 1991 and provides a training/certification program for Wedding Consultants (Planners) as well as continuing education and networking opportunities. Joe Siecinski, a business coach was the guest speaker. Joe is a business consultant, and he shared some of wisdom he has gathered through working with many clients over the past “x” years within his coaching practice.
Here is some of what he spoke about:
Combining action, behavior and decisions produce results.
Joe surprised us with his answer to the question, “why do most businesses fail?” We guessed money, competition and changing consumer behavior but the answer is actually, simply, “burnout.” Those who fail are apparently spending too much time and energy doing things that don’t work. He went on to tell us some of the things that do work!
One can’t change their behavior without changing one or more of the following: skills, beliefs, values or identity.
The way you are being * what you are doing = what you have.
It’s crucial to eliminate chaos:
- know your destination
- use time well
- deliver consistently well (clients remember what you did for them last not best)
- track your money
- provide stability
Read: “Getting to Yes” — book on how to negotiate with suppliers
- Renegotiate with suppliers (to manage cash flow)
- introduce early payment incentives to clients
- ensure that you have prompt billing
- put systems in place to chase down debtors
- dump the “D” clients (don’t invest in chronic problems/time sinks)
Read: e-myth revisited – Michael Gerber
Track time (yours is valuable!), expenses and inventory
Outsource jobs that are lower value. (your time is valuable, suggest you value it at $100/hour, spend your time doing what is most valuable, outsource what you can)
- Create a default calendar and stick to it!
- Have agenda’s for all meetings with clients (do you do this?)
- Don’t end the day without planning tomorrow. Planning at the end of the day helps your subconscious mind process it when you are sleeping — think of popular saying “I’ll sleep on it.
Read: Eat the Frog – Brian Tracy
Question based selling, keep following up until they get tired of saying no and hire you.
Measure every step of the selling process.
Have written goals, helps your sub conscious work on them
98% of the world’s wealth is contained by people who have written goals (attribution?)
Unique selling proposition, guarantee. Make a guarantee you can live with — example of general contractor guaranteeing framing for 10 years (which is required by law!).
Track conversions to know what marketing method is working.
Leads x conversion rate = # clients, revenue = #clients x #transactions x $/sale
revenue x margin = profits
Call every client you have ever had to generate new business. What else can you do for them? Who do they know who could benefit from your services?
Endless referrals by bob berg, incentive program/ system that works, call people back asking for referrals, and testimonials
Survey people who don’t buy. Give a prize, credit, item, etc. Could be a gift card, a service for free, etc.
If you want to learn more, Joe can be reached at: 408.699.6737 and you can read more about him and see his recommended book list and services at: http://actioncoach.com/joesiecinski
Also see my post about: