Bite-Sized Business Marketing Seminar Series

Join me at the Milford Bank on March 16th, to learn more about how I help business owners increase sales and profitability while working more efficiently. My training focuses on sales & marketing including plan development, processes, team building, communication, and financial management. ROI Business Advisors have helped businesses grow more than 40% in one year, helping them become million dollar businesses. 

Hope to see you there! 

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 Difficult Discussions – Coaching Employees 

Discussions between managers and team members can be tough, for both of you.  However, to be a manager and coach of your team will will have them from time to time.  If you can maximize that opportunity to grow your employee, both the employee and as a result the company, will benefit.

Discussions are often difficult due to performance or personality issues, but you don’t need to make them even harder on you as the manager.  There are just a few ideas to keep in mind when faced with one.  First, confirm such a talk is needed.  Some manager swill take action when it is not needed, however most put the talk off longer than they should have done so.  A key question to ask yourself is whether or not having the discussion can benefit the subordinate.  If the answer is yes, you should proceed.  Both your emotions and those of your subordinate may be tested, but once you’ve determined that coaching is needed, it is time to move forward.

After determining a talk is needed, give the person notice that you need to speak at some future time.  Telling an underperforming employee on a Friday that you need to talk on Monday morning – will get the person to consider the reasons why, then what the person could have done differently to prevent the need for such a meeting.  There have been times when the subordinate came into the meeting after so introspection realizing both what was done (or not done) and how to fix it himself or herself.  Another advantage to that strategy is giving yourself a deadline to have the talk.

Next, you need to throughly prepare for the discussion.  After determining that you need to have the discussion, the next step ius determining an objective and desired outcome.  The information you share should be as objective as possible, focused on actions and behaviors, not personality or attitude without examples of behavior.  Be sure to check your assumptions – be sure you are stating facts and not opinions.  If providing negative feedback, be prepared for a level of emotion in the response.  Afterall, no one wants to be told they are not doing well at work.  Everyone’s self-image tends to be impacted by their perceived performance at work.

Also have some positive information to share.  Mention something regarding the person and his/her performance which is positive.  It needs to be true and be relevant.  Reinforcing the value of the person to the team, the company and you is also of value.  If the person was not a good employee overall, you most likely would not invest as much time in thgis discussion.

Have options or solutions for the problem or behavior.  Just telling someone they are not doing something well is far less effective than following that up by showing them how they can be far more effective by making a few changes.  Remember, you are their coach and manager, not merely there to tell them they are not performing well. 

Before starting the talk, think of it as what it is, a discussion between two people with a common goal – having the subordinate performing at an acceptable level.  It is not a debate or argument.  Going into it thinking so will not end up with your desired result, unless you want the person to quit the job.

Choose words that are simple and clear, and speak slowly enough that the subordinate will be sure to absorb every word.  He or she will most likely be more anxious than you are about the discussion.  Practice your delivery of the message beforehand.  One manager I know goes through his words at least 10 times.  His theory is that by knowing what he wants to say that well, he can change some of the wording slightly if needed, during the discussion.  Another key is to listen.  At times of higher emotion, such as a difficult discussion, you will sometimes hear about thoughts, goals, or feelings which the person would never let out in normal cercumstances.  Once when delivering such a talk to a subordinate with a personality conflict (and resulting behaviors) with the manager, the other person told the manager of her longtime dream to be a medical librarian.  As a result, instead of giving her a written warning before firing her, he helped her attain the perfect job for her.  

The discussion, like other meetings, should be closed with a POA moving forward.  Each person needs to know the specific steps they are to take.  The manager may need to schedule time to explain some aspect of the job in more detail or conduct some type of training.  Even more importantly, the subordinate should have some type of follow-up to help improve performance.

Monitoring progress after the discussion is key to determine the effectiveness of the time invested in it, and next steps.  Both of you need to follow-through with everything you’ve agreed to do.  You, your team, your subordinate, and your company will benefit from it.

 

About ROI Business Coach:

Evolution of ROI Business Coach

After over two decades working for large multinational pharmaceutical companies, ROI Business Coach founder Bob Kademian considered opening his own small business. Since a boy of ten years old, he was always interested in what made one business very successful and another not as successful.  His research revealed that the success of a small business was not guaranteed by the company producing a top quality product or service. Most companies that were either good or even great at what they did not survive five years. And even fewer lasted ten years.

Kademian soon realized that it was not only the quality of their work, but also how good a businessperson the owner was, that determined the level of success of small and mid-sized businesses.  Very few businesses stayed about the same size, many would grow over time, and most failed.

From his research, Kademian decided that business coaching and consulting would be the best way to have maximal impact to help businesses become more successful, fill a pressing business need, and let more people enjoy the benefits of the products and services of each business. Today, Bob is a business consultant to entrepreneurs and corporations around New England, specifically southern and central CT (New Haven, Hartford, and Fairfield Counties). 

In 2004 Mr. Kademian joined a large business coaching franchise and started the Milford, CT office. He helped a number of businesses become stronger, and their owners become stronger entrepreneurs.  Clients ranged from having no business background, to MBA business owners.

After seven years of business consulting in the Milford, CT region, Kademian determined that he wanted to bring business coaching to the next level and left the franchise. But first, to honor a noncompete clause in his agreement with the franchise, instead marketing his coaching/ consulting services he launched ROI Marketing of New England, LLC, which helped businesses by providing marketing services.

Three years later, in 2014, the ROI Business Coach division of ROI Marketing of N.E., LLC was launched.  ROI Business Coach, utilizes strategies gained from research over the past 25 years, combined with business, and business coaching & consulting experience.  It integrates those strategies with others learned from both business school and the experience of being part of a company that grew 44 times to $15 billion in annual sales, during his 15 years at the company. 

ROI Business Coach has developed improved versions of tools utilized by other business coaches including the following: ROI Business Mirror; ROI Goal Mirror; ROI Marketing Mirror; & ROI Business Return Mirror. The Milford, CT company also utilizes strategies from the best business minds in the World.

ROI Business Coach of Milford now also teams up with consultants who are experts in very specific niches of business management areas such as digital marketing for specific industries and team building for U.S. based World headquarters of international firms.  Some are less niched, such as those specializing in face-to-face selling or telemarketing to businesses in certain industries.

In 2016, Bob Kademian was honored as Milford Regional Chamber Board of Directors Member of the Year. The article can be viewed here: http://patch.com/connecticut/milford/bob-kademian-honored-milford-chamber-director-year-0

ROI Business Coach takes pride in helping client business owners achieve the RESULTS they want in their businesses, while providing VALUE.  If ROI Business Coach is not confident that they will provide value, they will not work with a potential client.  That is because no sale is more important than your own values. 

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The 7 Keys for Turning Trade Shows into Successful Investments for your Business

Trade Show Advice

Trade Show Advice

How profitable were all the trade shows at which you exhibited last year? When you consider the financial cost, staff time and effort, is it worth it? Do you exhibit because it is a profitable customer or lead generation source or is it an expense that leaves you wondering why you exhibit at all?

Many businesses exhibit at trade shows, but few do it profitably. The following are the 7 key areas and questions on which to focus – if trade show exhibits are to be a customer or lead generation strategy for you.

1. What is your objective? – Is your objective to create leads for follow-up, sell people at the booth, or just maintain a presence in the market by exhibiting at a few key shows per year? The answers to those questions will determine your answers to the following questions. If merely having a presence was your goal, why not focus on creating leads from the booth as well?

2. Does the show you picked have a high enough concentration of members your target market? – In planning, this is the first question you need to ask to determine whether or not to exhibit at a show. If you sell mortgages, a show filled with real estate agents fits this description, for example. Also, keep in mind the attendee to exhibitor ratio, i.e. the more attendees per exhibitor, the greater the value of your booth at that show.

3. Why would people stop at your booth? – Here is another reason why planning well in advance of the show is required. By determining what is of interest to attendees at the show, you can get more people at your booth. If you can get a list of registrants, contact them before the show and invite them to your booth. Others have raffled off something of value to their target market. You must to create a reason for people not to speed by your booth without stopping.

4. What are you going to offer people at your booth that will be of interest to them and what do they want to buy? – Here is where your understanding of how your target market thinks will guide you. The key is matching what you offer to what they want to buy. Is it information they are most interested in? Don’t forget to train the salespeople and provide selling scripts before the show. They will not sell at the booth the way they normally sell, so training is important here. Also, what promotional materials will they use?

5. Are you trying to make a sale on the spot, or create a lead to close at a later time? Your industry and business model will determine this objective for you in most cases. If trying to create a lead, your entire exhibit plan must support this, including a follow-up system. If you are trying to sell someone at the booth, have everything you need to make the interaction at the booth, sale, and entire transaction as smooth and seamless as possible.

6. What is your follow-up system? – Do you have a follow-up system? Once someone stops at your booth, what are you doing to insure that new lead is followed up on? If someone buys, what is your process to get them to buy again? Your answers to these questions may provide dividends for years.

7. How could you do it better and at a lower cost per lead (or customer) next time? – Analysis after a show and after all leads (or customers buying at the booth) have been contacted, and using it to guide you in planning for future shows, can be a very valuable tool in making your next show event more profitable.

If you keep these 7 key areas in mind, the better your answers to these questions the greater your ROI on trade shows.

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How to Get Much More Done in Less Time

Business Consultant / Coach in New Haven County, CT

How would you like to get 40% more done in the same amount of time?

One skill in which everyone could improve is time management. We all have to-do lists – both business and personal/family. If you could achieve more of your activity goals, i.e. items on your to do list, each day you could be more productive. In most cases people can achieve significantly better results by just making a few changes in how they think and what they do. The following are a collection of seven ideas on how to do so. This list will get you started on a business life that is less stressful, more efficient and in the end more productive:

1. I have read that when someone who is used to working on a messy desk then starts to work on a clean desk, they will be 40% more effective. I have people report back to me that their assistants have told them they got 60-80% more done the day made that change. How does your desk look today?

2. Work to the clock, not the task. This is the opposite of what we were taught as kids. We were told not to watch the clock, and focus only on the job until it is done. However, think about when someone is about to go on vacation. When that person knows they have a day or half-day to get certain must-do tasks done, they achieve a tremendous amount of work in 4 or 8 hours. It is scary to think about how much they could accomplish with focus on a set of tasks while keeping in mind how much time they have left. Just like Michael Jordan’s jump shot at the buzzer, finishing your list by the time you have to leave the office (i.e. the final buzzer) feels great.

3. Multitasking is less efficient than focusing on one task at a time. My apologies to those who have made multitasking an art. I know people who took pride in how much multitasking they could handle at any one time. There have been multiple studies that have proven multitasking costs you time. Start one task at a time and complete it before going to the next task.

4. The follow-on to multitasking and working to the clock is setting a time limit for each task. How many times have you seen someone that scheduled an unrealistic number of tasks to be completed in a day or a couple hours, only to complete very few items on the list? Instead, when you set a goal to be completed, it should be prioritized and given a realistic set amount of time to be completed. If you are not sure how long a task will take, a good rule of thumb is to make a realistic estimate, then double it! If you do not complete a task by the time allotted, you must make a decision. Either you schedule a time for completion of the task, or reschedule the next task and finish your current task. This strategy takes discipline, but it works. Try it today.

5. When listing tasks to be completed in a day, first they must be categorized:

a. A-tasks – which must be completed today or you will be negatively impacted. Examples are getting your monthly or quarterly tax forms completed and paying those taxes, submitting a proposal by the date promised, or calling or meeting with someone at a specific time. These tend to be important and urgent tasks.

b. B-tasks – will become A-tasks if not completed by a certain date. These are the tasks on which you spend most of your time if you are proactive not acting in a reactive manner, as a general rule. These tend to be important tasks which are not urgent (yet).

c. C-Tasks – are less important tasks, but need to be done. These will sometimes be urgent. When categorizing a task as a C, ask yourself – What would happen if you never did that task? If the answer is no, just don’t waste your time. Don’t let an urgent task make you start thinking it is important. Items here may be scheduling a meeting which may or may not bring you closer to your goals, but you won’t know until you schedule it, training at a seminar on a specific topic where the due date to register is coming up, or purging both electronic and physical files.

d. D-Tasks – are often like your D-customers, if you look at them rationally, it is clear you are better off letting them go. These tend to be unimportant and non-urgent tasks. Sometimes after considering a task, you will realize that volunteering for that civic organization was actually a C-task, and you should do it.

e. Once you have assigned a category to all tasks, prioritize each. Therefore you should have tasks listed as an A-1, and A-2, etc. until you run out of A’s, then do the same with your B and C tasks.

f. Next, assign each task a specific time to be completed. Task A-1 may be the first thing you want to get done, if so start with that task to start off your day. Remember the Eat Your Frog concept, from the Brian Tracy book by the same name. Take that task that you have been dreading, and knock that off first chance you get. That way you will not think about it, and just get it done.

6. Handle paper/messages only once if at all possible. This may sound foreign to you at first, but this has been a great timesaver for many people. Each piece of mail, paper, email, etc. must be assigned a category to save you time. It is like an Emergency Department nurse at a hospital triaging patients. You can do it with emails and paper. There are four choices when faced with a document, both physical or electronic:

a. Act – you can take action at that moment. The rule of thumb here is that anything you can complete in 100 seconds or less, you should complete that task, respond to that email, etc. at the moment you first find that message or paper. If not, it becomes a task. See #5 above on how to handle that task. These are the only items that you may touch more than once.

b. Delegate – assuming you have someone to delegate it to, have the person with the expertise and time that can handle that task, do so. Even better, ask them when they can have it done. They will be more apt to complete it by their stated goal day and time. FYI – the person to whom you delegate the task can be someone outside your company or department. Consider all options before determining you don’t have anyone to whom you can delegate a task.

c. File – either in your electronic or physical files store that item. Make it easy to find. Taking an extra moment to determine the best place to put it now, will save much time and aggravation in the future when you need it.

d. Trash – delete the email or throw away the document or letter that has no value. Touch that item only one time. Start doing this instead of handing that document multiple times and your productivity will start increasing quickly.

7. Plan your day effectively. Most people are most effective mornings or later in the day. Determine whether investing the first or last 15 minutes of the day to plan your tasks works best for you, and do it. Here is the toughest part; you need to do it every day. Then, on Fridays schedule one hour, either at the beginning or end of the day, to schedule next week’s tasks and meetings. Remember, the rule of thumb is that for every hour of planning that you do, you will save 10 hours of time. Some people I know have become significantly more effective by following just that one rule.

Start using these seven ideas today, and let us know about your results. Also, please email me at: Bob@BizCoachBob.com if you have a favorite time management strategy that you would like to share. If we have enough response, we will publish additional ideas and then add the best of the ideas you send to us. Remember, no matter how good someone is at time management, you can always be better. Enjoy your new level of efficiency and productivity!

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How a “Blue Ocean” Strategy Can Bring Your Business to the Next Level

Fairfield County Business Consultant CT

Do You Know How a Blue Ocean Strategy Can Help You Bring Your Business to the Next Level? 

 

Have you ever noticed how virtually all businesses in the same industry tend to use the same strategies? Then there will be one business which utilizes at least one strategy not used by the others, and as a result experiences greater success.  That success can be in increased sales, greater profit, or a more productive team.  This is the concept of a blue ocean strategy vs. strategy convergence. 

 

Strategy convergence is where all businesses use the same strategies to run their businesses and get the same results.  When other businesses try something different, get different results, (and often gain a competitive advantage), that is a blue ocean strategy. The name comes from the idea that most boats will stay close to shore, which involves less risk, but everyone is fighting for the same fish.  With a blue ocean strategy, you take more risk, go out further from shore, and can catch many more fish because you have an enormous ocean in which to fish without any other boats nearby. 

 

An example is the mortgage industrywhere everyone wants to build relationships with home buyers during the sales process so that they get more business from the home buyers– repeat business from them and referral business from their friends and family.  But after the sale, people remember their real estate agent and few other people involved in the purchase of their home.  To overcome this problem, one mortgage company developed a package of information perceived as valuable to the home buyer, so that they would remember their mortgage company too.  Then five years later when they were moving again, they would remember who helped them with their last mortgage, and how to contact them.  Another mortgage company developed an innovative mail program for their customers to keep top of mind for their next move.  It was unlike any other mortgage company’s mail program, and resonated with customers.   

 

Years ago, two drug companies promoting the same product was unheard of, yet one company in the 1980’s hired another company to help them sell their big drug.  As a result, Zantac became the biggest drug in the country and the company made lots of money.  Today that is a strategy that is used at times by many drug companies, but back then it was a blue ocean strategy. 

 

Working with people in various industries, we sometimes borrow something which is a standard marketing practice in one industry and use in another industry where it has not been used in the past.  Sometimes, this turns into dramatic results. 

 

We have also used strategies which had been successfully used in the past, and then stopped although no one could remember why.  What is interesting is that their competitors did the same thing – successfully used the strategy, then stopped. 

 

Look at your business and sales and marketing strategies utilized today, and think about what you could differently.  Are you happy with the safety of being close to shore, or are you ready to try something different?  What’s your blue ocean strategy? 

 

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A Guaranteed Way to Get More Sales (Really!)

Business Marketing Consultant New Haven and Fairfield CT

Would you like a guaranteed way to increase your sales?  The business principle of getting more of what you want by measuring it may be the answer.   As simple as it sounds, if you measure what you want, you will increase your chances of getting it, and will attain it faster than if you did not measure it.   The saying is that you get what you inspect.  As with many business rules, it is the application of this rule that is the key in determining your level of success. 

Sales performance is a good example of how to apply this principle.  It is not just the final results, such as number of sales closed or dollar amount of sales that you need to measure.  You also need to measure your performance in the interim steps to reach those goals, which are the drivers of your sales success.   

There is a five-step process to do so: 

  1. Determine the metrics, i.e. sales drivers, for your business 

  1. Continue your sales activities 

  1. Test and measure your results in each driver over time, versus before starting the strategy (baseline) 

  1. Adjust sales activities as needed 

  1. See how much your sales increase 

Examples of sales drivers for your business may be: 

  • number of members of your target market who you contact 

  • new (unqualified) leads generated 

  • number of (qualified) prospects that progress to the proposal stage 

  • how many proposals you write  

By doing so you will improve your results in both: (A) number of closed sales: & (B) dollar amount of closed sales. 

The reasons for this are not magic.  They are a combination of psychological principles rolled into one strategy.  This works so well that I call this one of the few guarantees in business.  By measuring your performance in sales drivers specific to your business, you are guaranteed to increase sales over the long term, all other factors being equal.  This works because you get what you inspect.   

Start trying this strategy on your business and see how much your sales increase over time.  Why wait?  Start increasing your sales today! 

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Mailing Programs-How Many Waves are Enough?

The short answer is – it depends. One thing is for sure, mailing out one piece of mail to 3,000 people is far less effective than mailing out three waves of mail to 1,000 people. You may even need far more than 3 waves per person depending on a number of factors, such as complexity of your offer. Test and measure each wave to learn what your response rate for each, then calculate your ROI to determine how much profit you made from each wave and your overall program.

Using a unique code for their responses will help you determine which wave sold your prospects. If the third wave is the most effective (and is profitable) try another wave and continue to do so until your response rate goes down. Also, it is not necessary to change the mailer every time. Sometimes sending the same mailer multiple times produces better results than changing the mailer. The key is to test and measure. If your mail program continues to be profitable, and you have the marketing dollars available, keep doing it. Have fun with it while you are making a profit. What is better than that?

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How You Can Use SMART Goals to Get What You Want

All successful businesspeople set quality goals. To create quality goals for yourself and your business, test your goal against the five SMART criteria to see if it is a quality goal. You may have heard about them before, but do you follow SMART criteria when setting goals?

To create a quality goal, you must first set a goal that is Specific. For example, having a goal of becoming wealthy is not enough. The key question here involves whether you have an exact amount of money you want to attain. “Think big” as Donald Trump would say. The second criterion involves your goal being Measurable. If you can’t measure it, you won’t know if you attained it. Examples include a specific number or the answer to a yes/no question. The third and fourth criteria involve your goal being both Attainable and a REACH. Setting a goal that you don’t believe you can achieve is de-motivating. Then setting one that you know you will attain every time you try is not worthwhile either. For most people, goals that you will attain somewhere between 67 and 90% of the time are the most effective as you have balanced these two criteria. The final criterion involves Timeframe. You must have a specific date (and time, if possible) by which your goal is to be accomplished.

If your goal passes all five tests, write it down. Then review it twice a day, take action and watch your goals being attained by your efforts.

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Are Your Goals Holding You and Your Business Back? What You Can Do About It

Whether you are a business owner, or work for one, a key to your success is your goals or lack of them. This does not only pertain to salespeople. In fact, the lack of written goals may be what is holding you back from where you could be taking your sales, your company and your career. If you don’t have quality goals that are written, you are not alone. In his book What They Don’t Teach You at Harvard Business School, Mark McCormack tells how only 3% of the 1979 Harvard MBA class had written goals just prior to graduation. Another 13% had goals that were not in writing, and 84% had no specific goals other than graduating and enjoying the summer. Ten years later, the 13% of the class having goals that were not written, were earning an average of ten times the income of those without goals. The 3% with written goals did even better, averaging over ten times what the others with unwritten goals, and 97 times what those with no goals were earning at that time. Which group would you rather be in? By creating goals and writing those goals down you will increase your success. Many in the Milford, CT area are already doing so. Are you?

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How Better Activity Makes You More Money

Laws regarding business just cannot be broken, and one of those laws involves the connection between activity and income. The law states that your income is determined by your activity. The better your everyday activity in your work, the more money you will make. Your financial results-profits for business owners and commissions for salespeople, are the best gauge of how good your activity really is. The following describes the three ways to make your activity better.

One way is QUANTITY, increasing the number of times you do something. For a salesperson, that may mean making more telemarketing cold calls to attain more face-to-face appointments. A second is QUALITY, improving how well you execute the strategy. For the telemarketer that may mean improving presentations, asking better questions, and improving the script being used. If your efforts in each of those areas does not improve your results, then change your STRATEGY CHOICE-try a different activity. Perhaps telemarketing is not the way to reach your target market. Try face-to-face cold calling (or as some call it, “Bold calling”.

By making your activities better, you will make more income, probably feel less stress at work, and have more fun. So try it and take Action today!

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