The other day, I shared the news about a new project I’ve been working on for some time now. I’ve recently launched an entirely new division of my business, focused on helping entrepreneurs discover their hero potential and become the hero of their own business. As part of that project launch, I filmed a video to help entrepreneurs understand where the money’s at in their business.
Then, the emails and tweets came out of the woodwork about how I was able to do “all the stuff” I do. Mom, wife, biz owner, coach & mentor, writer, performer, etc. Amid the encouragement and positive vibes people were sending about the new project, there was this underlying question:
“How do you make it all happen?”
Watch the video. In it, I describe my SIMPLE Map, which is a tool I developed to help me know, at a glance, where the money is at in my business. It’s what I use to guide my business decisions (like when I launch a new product or business division, for example). While it’s geared to entrepreneurs in general, here’s my take on the video specifically for the direct sales market:
S – Seed. This is the springboard for your ideas. Events you want to hold, online orders you want to take, hosts you’d like to coach, clients you’d like to do business with. Every income-generating opportunity begins here. This is where you put on your thinking cap and decide how you want to do business.
I – Incubate. Think about how you can turn your ideas into reality. Do you need to sketch out a product display? Get feedback from your best hosts and customers. Find out what they love about doing business with you, and turn that into something you can market. Reach out to your client list and let them know you want to work with them. Listen to their ideas and needs and find a way to make it happen. This is asking for referrals, getting client feedback, and inviting people to schedule a demo or a one-on-one with you.
M – Messaging. Once you’ve settled on an idea (perhaps a hall show or a vendor fair), and gotten feedback about the best way to make it happen, let your best clients and hosts get first dibs. Tell them what’s coming up and how they can be a part of it. Your Perfect-Fit Customers and Hosts want to see you succeed, so give them an opportunity to support you! In its simplest form, this is also sending the invitations for your upcoming shows!
P – Pre-Launch. Sneak previews and exclusive showings give your best customers advance opportunities to do business with you. If your Perfect-Fit Clients are status seekers, often they will pay extra to be the first on their block to have the “latest and greatest” that you have to offer. These clients also will often spread the word about your upcoming launch to their circle of influence. Host Coaching is also included here. It’s where you first start to see the revenues coming in for the work you’re doing.
L – Launch. This is where you take that idea and turn it into cash. This is when you actually DO the vendor fair, the home party, the one-on-one or product demonstration. This is when your website goes live and orders start coming in. This is where the bulk of the short-term income is derived.
E – Execution. This is where you build the business relationship for the long-term. Customer care & follow-up. Order deliveries. Reorders and VIP “clubs” that continue the business conversation beyond the initial transaction. If you do this part well, you’ll have customers for a lifetime. According to industry insiders, the average customer re-orders 1.1 time. That means for every 10 customers, only one will re-order from you (and only once). The biggest reason for this is a failure to do proper customer care and follow-up. When customers hear from you regularly, you stay top-of-mind, and are more likely to be their first choice when making a buying decision. Consultants with solid referral and re-order businesses know that this is where the money is over the long-haul.
Use this SIMPLE Map in your own business and take a look at where you’re leaving money on the table. What are you doing to build stronger client relationships and increase the lifetime value of your customers? Develop an action plan for knowing where the money is in your business, and start putting more of it in your pocket – instead of leaving it on the table.
© 2011 Lisa Robbin Young
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Lisa Robbin Young offers direct sales training and coaching to direct sales professionals looking to grow their business like a real business instead of an expensive hobby. Sign up for her free weekly ezine at http://www.DirectSalesClassroom.com.
Action Step: Watch the video.