A Message From Howard
CEOs, Presidents and Business Owners:
Your business success is determined every single day. Business success doesn’t take place because of a good or even a bad marketplace. It takes place because of you. You’re the one that has worked through the difficulties and slogged through the challenges of your business. But one day something happens in your business that…
There isn’t any CEO, business owner, founder or entrepreneur I’ve ever talked to that doesn’t want to be successful. People, not just those in business, want to be successful. It just feels good when you are successful at something. And who doesn’t want to feel good about what they do and about their day? Especially since the time spent at work is such a significant part of your day!
So let’s keep the business success rolling right along every day!
Here are 9 business success tips for CEOs, business owners and entrepreneurs.
1) Don’t promise things you can’t deliver. I know you’ve heard this many times before but it’s one that is worth repeating – and remembering every business day. Here’s why with an example everyone can relate to: It’s one of the things that salespeople who are not good salespeople do. They promise everything to get the sale or the contract yet everything begins to fall apart rather quickly once the deal is done because they really couldn’t deliver what they promised – with product, with service, with on-time delivery. Always make sure you’re delivering just a little bit more than you promise because if you do, the people that you do business with won’t want to do business with anyone else.
2) Always be extraordinary. Ordinary doesn’t make it anymore. This is the easiest of times to get into business. It is the hardest of times to stay in business. There is also so much more competition in the marketplace today. That’s why you need to be better than ordinary. Otherwise, someone or some company will replace you.
3) Don’t put things off till tomorrow. It’s easy to deceive ourselves, isn’t it? We’ve all done it. Saying things like: Oh, I’ll finish this tomorrow; I’ll get it done tomorrow. It’s not a matter of how long you work, although hours can be long, it’s how effective you are during the time you do work. Don’t put anything off until tomorrow without thinking it through. Ask yourself: Why wait? Or ask: What can I delegate to get more done in a better way? This opens your space up to be more productive – and in turn, others will then be more productive.
4) Surround yourself with great people. That’s not just great co-workers – that’s great suppliers and vendors, great customers – everyone that you potentially can do business with. Everyone that you do business with needs to be adding something to the business and to your work day, not just going through motions. To be successful on a company level and on an individual level, you need to surround yourself with great people. Do so as much as you possibly can.
5) Know your numbers! This is one that I find business people fall short on all the time. For example, if you are the CEO, founder or owner of your company: What does your profit and loss statement look like? Depending upon the size of your company, a P & L should be done weekly, monthly or quarterly. Or what about sales or marketing department efforts? You need to have the latest prospecting and sales numbers in your head. Or know how the latest marketing campaign impacted recent sales. You need to understand what those numbers mean to the overall success of the company. When someone says to you: What was sold last month? You can’t say: I don’t know. Or someone asks how the latest marketing campaign is going. You can’t say: Gee, I don’t know. Ask yourself: How am I going to be successful if I don’t know? And if you don’t know the numbers off the top of your head, know where to quickly retrieve them.
6) Don’t think that you have to know everything. It’s impossible to know everything! Ask for help! Business people don’t really like to ask for help. They think that in some way they are failing to do a good job and should know more than they sometimes do. Become a leader by studying business every day – and know when to ask for help to get the job done right.
7) Remember: Nothing happens until something is sold. Now ask yourself: What business am I in? You may answer: software, manufacturing, advertising, public relations, social media… But you’re really in the people business and your job, as well as everyone else’s in the company, is sales.
8) Know your customer or client. Talk to them, listen to them, ask them questions, and find out how you can help them. Don’t just try to sell them to get their money. Get actively involved in what they’re doing. Become part of their consciousness so when they think of a particular product or service, they think of you. When they have a question or a problem they call you. Get involved with your customers.
9) Never give up. You will have bad days; you will have days when you wish you were doing anything else other than what you are doing. You will have days when you are stressed beyond belief. You will have days when you are so tired that you don’t know how you’re going to put one foot in front of the other. But never, ever, give up. Instead leave the office for 20 minutes, go get a cup of coffee, walk around the block. Go home at night and don’t think about business, get a good night’s sleep and come back in the morning with a determination to win. Never give up. Never quit for one moment because as you push through the day and take that next phone call, that next new customer may be waiting for you on the other end of the line. If you quit, nothing happens. And what’s going to happen is six months later you’re going to say to yourself: You know, if only on that particular day six months ago, if I just would have kept my head, if I just would have thought about it, if I just would have pushed forward, I would have been fine. Never, ever, ever quit. It’s okay to be discouraged once in a while. It’s okay to be tired. You may even sometimes feel beaten, but you’ve got to bounce right back up again.
Have other business success tips and ideas? You’re welcome to share them in the comments section.
On Wednesday, October 16, 2013 at 11 AM/ET, Viveka von Rosen, @LinkedInExpert, is the guest on the Talk Business With Howard radio show. Join us and listen in to this jampacked discussion with the latest information on how to successfully prospect for business using LinkedIn. You can listen to the rebroadcast of the show right here on this page. Thank you, Viveka, for the LinkedIn Q&A post to get the conversation started! -Howard-
Q: Can you really get clients on LinkedIn?
Yes, in fact 43% of marketers have landed a client on LinkedIn http://linkedprospecting.com/infographic-how-top-sales-people-use-linkedin-to-sell-more/
Q: What is the secret to successful prospecting on LinkedIn?
Visibility, Communications, Positioning and Follow up!
Q: What do you mean by visibility? How do you increase visibility?
Prospects might not know you by name, but they do know the type of person they are looking for. There are certain steps you need to take to be found by the people you want to be found by for the things you want to be found for. One Ninja Trick for visibility/findability is LinkedIn Skills – Go www.LinkedIn.com/skills to find and add the skills (and keywords) that other people are searching for on LinkedIn. This is not the Skills section in your profile (although make sure to get your skills listed too!) Skills is a hidden page on LinkedIn – your secret weapon if you know where to find it!
You also want to expand your Professional Headline to include what you do, whom you serve and what makes you different. Usually it just says Title at Company – but you have 120 characters to work with!
Add the appropriate keywords in your Skills (50 Skills can be added), Experience Title (100 characters) & Description (1000 characters), Summary (2000 characters), Projects, & Interests (1000 characters) too. Adding the right search terms to the right sections will make you more visible.
Q: What does visibility have to do with prospecting?
The best prospects are the ones who find you! They are already partially sold. If you can create a visible enough profile you are more likely to get people contacting you.
Q: What are some of the best ways to engage with prospects on LinkedIn?
Use the channels LinkedIn gives you: Invitations, Introductions, Messages and InMails.
- When inviting someone to LinkedIn, use the “groups” option when possible.
- Customize your greeting (you have 300 characters) to tell people why you want to connect with them.
- Be proactive. Grow your network before you need them.
Introductions are one of LinkedIn’s most powerful and under-used tools. The Introduction is similar to a warm handshake, and can be very effective when reaching out to a prospect.
- Ask the “Introducer” first if they are willing to introduce you, and if they say yes use the “Get Introduced link.” (The “Get Introduced” link is just to the to the right of “Send InMail” dropdown)
- Remember to thank the Introducer, give them an “out” and then tell the “Introducee” why you want to be connected on LinkedIn.
- You get 5 Intros at a time with a free account, 15 with a paid.
Messages are a great way to communicate since they tend to get past spam filters.
- DO NOT use messages to send company promotions.
- Consider them a peer-to-peer communication channel.
- You can easily send a message and engage with a prospect thru your groups.
- When messages thru groups the same rules apply as above.
InMail is LinkedIn’s version of a FedEx – you must pay for these. They are your last result when you can’t reach the person you are looking for through other methods
- You get 3 InMails a MONTH with a basic premium membership ($24)
- Or you can buy them for $10 each (up to 10): https://www.linkedin.com/secure/inmail_v4?displayProducts
Q: How can you Position yourself in front of prospects?
First of all, look your best!
- Have a great photo – no logos.
- Make sure your profile is free of errors by creating your profile first in a Word document. (You can also manage formatting and add special characters (like bullets) in word.)
- Make sure your profile is focused on benefit to the reader, what you offer, your USP.
- Don’t be afraid to add testimonials, recommendations and awards you’ve received.
- Customize your LinkedIn UR: by clicking on the edit link to the right of your existing URL and then following LinkedIn’s steps to customize the link.
Show your altruism!
- LinkedIn has a new Volunteer Experience & Causes section that allows you to you’re your volunteer work
- You can also add information on how you like to donate your time and talent
- Options are joining a nonprofit or skills-based volunteering (pro bono consulting).
- Many prospects can be found on boards you serve – so add this section to your profile.
Add your contact info to the Contact Me Section at the bottom of your profile.
Q: How else can you get in front of prospects?
Make sure to use the updates section daily – LinkedIn Updates are much more robust than they used to be.
- You can mention people and companies, add links and files.
- Make sure you take a little time each day to “like” and “comment” on the updates of network as well.
You will also want to join Strategic Groups.
- Join groups in your own market or industry, your prospects industry, alumni, open and some big groups.
- Once you join a group you can send a message to strategic members /prospects or invite strategic members to connect with you.
- Groups are the easiest place to communicate with LinkedIn members you are not connected to.
Make sure to organize your prospect network once you have connected to them!
- Tag your network to organize them.
- Once your connections are tagged, you can send them strategic, helpful, messages to stay top of mind.
- Send a helpful hint or tip a few times a month to strategic tagged connections. With contact details of course.
Q: Anything not to do with prospects?
Don’t use messages or updates to SELL! Remember the 80/20 rule. LinkedIn is for building relationships, not selling your stuff.
Viveka von Rosen is author of LinkedIn Marketing: An Hour a Day and is known internationally as the “LinkedIn Expert”. CEO of Linked Into Business, and co-founder of LinkedProspecting, she also hosts the biggest LinkedIn chat on Twitter (#LinkedInChat on Tuesday nights at 8 PM/ET) and co-moderates LinkedStrategies, the largest LinkedIn strategy group on LinkedIn. Forbes has listed her as a top social media influencer, and she has been cited in Money Magazine, Ragan, CNN, Forbes, Mashable, The Miami Herald, Social Media Today and The Social Media Examiner!
The decision to grow your business can result in one of two things:
1) Will move your business forward
2) Will keep you from making more money; making more profit
There are many ways CEOs, presidents, business owners and entrepreneurs can trip themselves up when it comes to growing a business. How that can happen is discussed in this 5 Minute Business Strategy.
Plan before you start growing your business. Think it through.
The right people + The right place + Doing the right thing at the right time = Profit!