Archive for the ‘Sales’ Category

Faith and Fear

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I’ve been thinking a lot about both of these words lately. Zig Ziglar said that FEAR is “False Evidence that Appears Real.” I get that. Fear is usually something we’re afraid might happen. I think about all the sales people we work with and how challenging it is to muster up the courage to walk into a building or into a networking event where you know no one. That sales person has to overcome the fear of feeling like they might not fit in, wondering if the door will be slammed in their face, rejection, and anything else that might pop into their mind.

How Fear Works

That’s how fear works. Stuff that isn’t real for this moment pops into your mind and, all of a sudden, there is fear. After overcoming through faith all the fear of a lymphoma diagnosis in 2014, we believed that we had conquered the Big “C” thing.  However, in the course of ongoing treatment, my husband relapsed this winter, and he/we are doing the chemotherapy dance again. I can tell you first hand that holding fearful thoughts at bay is no easy job.

We certainly have a lot more practice and even experience with this situation. Some things were easier this time around. For instance, the emotionally charged words like cancer, chemo, relapse, and lymphoma seem more normal and don’t create the lump in my throat like they did last time.

Clarity

I’ve gained a lot of clarity that fearful thoughts have a basis in negativity. I think this is true in any situation. Fear means you’ve allowed your mind to go to that place that’s wrapped in “What if I don’t get that sale? What if they laugh at my idea or think I’m stupid?” Look at how you can feel in an instant, and none of those thoughts are based on any type of reality. It doesn’t matter if you were rejected before. The reality is that what’s in front of you right now, today is a brand new situation and has the possibility of a brand new outcome. But the fear can keep you from knocking on the door.

Listen, I was scared to death of the thought of my husband’s chemotherapy. I had many fearful thoughts until we went for the first treatment and they said that he had to wait on insurance. In an instant, the fear of chemo was trumped by the great fear of what will happen if he doesn’t get chemo. This time around, he had a shot at going into a trial treatment with an immunotherapy drug. That seemed scary because of the unknown. As it turned out, he did not qualify for the trial, and so chemotherapy was the next best option. Immunotherapy now seems like a better option. See how that works? You are scared of the unknown in one minute, and the next minute the option in front of you seems better. Experience teaches me that taking the next step in faith trumps fear every time.

My husband is really GREAT at not fearfully dealing with things. I hope I can be like him when I grow up. He doesn’t worry; he does not make up stories that are steeped in negativity. He’s clear that he would like to live for a long time and so we do the things we need to do (difficult or not) to get the results we want to achieve. He’s pragmatic and optimistic.

He and I were sitting together this spring at a Subway Sandwich Shop waiting for an appointment with the oncologist. There were a ton of unknowns, and he and I were both pretty scared but had brave faces for one another. My beautiful husband looked up and said to me, “Well, honey, I’m going to die someday, but it’s not today.” I think there is so much wisdom in the way he does life. I’m lucky to have him.

Faith is Opposite of Fear

It strikes me that faith is really the true opposite of fear. Like fear, it is intangible, a belief in things that you can’t touch or feel in reality. Unlike fear though, having faith in you, in others, or in a higher power, casts a situation in a more positive light and affects how you feel and behave in a much different and better way.

I have been thinking a lot about this lately. If you could, for just a minute, imagine how it might feel to lose the person you love the most. For me, my shoulders immediately sag, all the air goes out of my lungs, tears come to my eyes, and I think I can feel my heart stop. And yet nothing has happened. It was only a thought. JD is alive and well. This kind of fearful thinking creates all that physical and emotional reaction in a second. It stops all the good stuff. It is paralyzing and can keep life at bay.

Does the thought of a sales call that “might” have a bad outcome fill you with immediate symptoms of fear? Think about how that might impact your ability to do what you want to do to be successful.

Take a minute and rehearse in your mind what an awesome outcome would look like. You are walking into the decision maker’s office, your shoulders are back, your head is high, you have a ton of faith in what you are able to provide to this new prospect. Think you could get a better result? Of course, you could.

It matters what you think about and how you choose to live. For me, I pick faith. I’ve always thought I was a very positive person. In the last three years, I’ve learned that I have much more to learn about staying positive. Fear lurks around and can show up in the oddest places. I encourage you to have conversations and deal with people who are interested in talking about how good things can be. There is always a choice in how to think, act, and believe. Since fear is wrapped in all that is negative and faith gives us hope for all that is positive, the choice is easy for me.

I hope you’ll face this next week full of faith in yourself, your business, your family, and even a little faith in others who might be able to help you.

Much love,

Beth

Vision for the Next Quarter and Beyond

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I just love ending the 1st quarter and going into the second quarter of the year, it helps you see your vision clearly. Last week our leadership team had our quarterly meeting. During this meeting we revisit the goals we set for the year, look at how we did with our first quarter goals to help set our goals for the second quarter, and see how the first quarter set the pace for the rest of the year.

Get a Vision of What is Possible

It is the time you get the vision of what is possible for the year. I remember as a young party manager, we had just finished our first quarter of birthday party sales, and I had a vision of what could be. It was really at that moment I realized, “Oh my gosh…we had a great quarter and I think we could do a million dollars in birthday party sales.” Yes! One million dollars! That’s when the vision began, and I knew it would have to be all hands on deck if we wanted to make the vision a reality and we did.

I shared that vision with Beth and our corporate team since we were in the sales coaching program. I knew sharing the vision was the first step and I also knew we couldn’t stop there. I had to share that vision with my birthday leadership team and then with every single person in our center, and that’s what we did.

Set Clear Goals

Our little birthday team was very young with just a couple of years of birthday experience among us, but we knew what we wanted. We knew it wasn’t going to be easy, so we set very clear goals. Our first one was to figure out how much in revenue we would need to average each week for the rest of the year to hit a million dollars. Then we looked at average revenue for each party we had in quarter one to determine the number of parties we needed to have each week to get the million dollars. W kept a very meticulous spreadsheet to update where we were and what we needed to do.

I think the real game change occurred when we shared the vision with our entire center. We became very transparent about our goals and the numbers associated with them. Every Monday, we would update the big white board in our sales office. We broke down all of our goals for people to see. At any time someone could come in the office and see how many parties we had to date, how much more we needed that month, how much in party sales we had, how much more we needed to do, and so on.  They always knew the magic number left to hit a million dollars. It didn’t matter if you were a party booker, cashier, game room operator, cook, or dishwasher; you knew what our goal was.

Be Transparent to Get Buy-In

I know most owners or managers don’t want to share those numbers with their entire staff. We knew, for everyone to see the vision clearly and have 100% buy-in, we had to be transparent about the goals and where we were. Once it was clear, we had to relay “how” each team member was an integral part of this vision.

We had quarterly center wide meetings, and I remember doing a team building exercise to show how every person in our center affected someone else and how it impacted our birthday parties. It was a great illustration that something as simple as being five minutes late could play a major impact and could be part of what made a party great or not.

That’s what I hope for you as we close out the first quarter of 2017. Reflect back on what you have done, see what you can do, and share that vision with every single person in your center. Once every person sees the vision and feels part of it…..that’s when the magic happens.

First Class Is Fun

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first class is fun

First Class is FUN!

It’s Easy to Appreciate First Class When You’ve Ridden Coach First!

I’ve had this thought on my mind for months. However, I just could not get the words out. It felt like maybe I was bragging and that is not my intent.

I am an “other side of the tracks” gal. I don’t believe I grew up poor but we were not rich. My husband and I started our lives together at a very young age and raised three children. I’m the kind of person who places a HIGH value on fun and always look for a way to make the most of any situation.

Many moons ago, I got fed up with the commercialism of Christmas and thought, “Why don’t we do something as a family that would make a grand memory?” My children were 15-21 and, as a family, we decided that a cruise would be GREAT fun! So, I went on a frugal hunt for how we could make that happen for the five of us.

We found an inexpensive, five-day, two indoor cabins, out of Galveston, cruise to Mexico. That worked great. My college girls met dad, Jordan, and me in Houston and we had the time of our lives. Those indoor cabins seemed great. It was super dark, which made sleeping easier and we only used those cabins to sleep, bathe, and prep for the next game of bingo on the ship! What could be better?

Fast forward 13 years. Everyone is older. Life is pretty darn good. That oldest child supports herself at a pretty high level and so mom and daughter have great fun cruising together. We have upgraded the accommodations and that’s my point. I can find lots of good things about the cheap seats. If that’s what I need to do to take the cruise, that’s what I’m going to do. However, Les and I got exposed to “The Haven” in May and I may be super-spoiled for the rest of my life!

I just finished our second “Haven Suite” cruise this year. We traveled on a wonderful seven-day cruise from Spain, through Italy, and France last week. I did not hesitate to book “The Haven” suite. The service and the amenities are well worth the cost and today, we are in a position to afford that kind of experience.

I share this story NOT to brag but to encourage you to create those VIP exclusive experiences for your guests. They will pay more. Obviously, your guests will expect more. You can make it worth it to them and to your business. Maybe you have a VIP suite or exclusive (skip the line services). Talk with your staff about what they believe you could do to create that exclusive (expensive) event. Make it “worth it” to you and to your guests.

The VIP treatment feels good. As a matter of fact, I am just giddy about the Haven experience. It’s awesome. I don’t know that I could appreciate it as much as I do if I had not first experienced the interior cabin. So, my advice to you is to create experiences that are affordable to everyone AND work hard enough to give yourself the opportunity to upgrade along the way!

I’m Dizzy

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if-you-have-to-be-dizzy-i-hope-its-because-your-business-is-spinning-out-of-control
I’m Dizzy; this may not be a surprise to those that are closest to me. Seriously I am experiencing some type of vertigo. It’s been going on for about four days now. When I close my eyes the room spins. When I stand up, I stumble. It’s worse when I lay down on my right side. It’s just weird.

I’ve managed to work through the fog of this issue. I’m on a plane today hoping that the pressure change might magically cure whatever this is. The reality is I have a Doctor’s appointment because taking a more strategic approach and seeking some medical advice is probably better than hoping it will go away.

I got to thinking about how dizzy things can get with business and how often we might take the approach of “I hope it will magically get better.” Have you ever tried the “hope” strategy? How’s that working for you?

I don’t know about you, but I’m just controlling enough that if/when I can do something to impact a situation then that’s what I want to do. What’s foggy for you today? Are you dizzy with all the business you can stand? Did you book all of the end-of-school parties you wanted to book? Go find out where those group events are going this year. If they aren’t coming to your center, you want to learn how they picked the places they went this year and got in gear, so they pick your center next year.

What about the summertime? Have you looked at Classmates.com to see who’s holding High School or College reunions in your community? Check out Class of 2006, 1996, 1986, 1976; You might be a perfect place for one of their events!

If you have to be dizzy, I hope it’s because your business is spinning out of control. If you don’t have all the business you want, please give us a call. We are obsessed with growing people and their businesses. It’s what we do… and whether I have vertigo or not, I can still come to the party!

Beth

Connection and Relationship Building Lead to Sales

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Selling is hard. Okay, maybe not hard, but it is difficult, especially if you are missing certain steps in the selling process.

I know many of you probably think that since I worked for TrainerTainment and ran a million dollar a year party program that I am a sales person. Well, yes I can sell, but it is not a strong skillset. Being a party manager meant I had an amazing team with the skills to sell. I was there to help, guide, and train them on what they needed to do to be successful.

Last year I decided to have a home-based business selling  jewelry from Stella & Dot. It is a multi-level marketing company selling amazing jewelry. I did it for a few reasons. One, I wanted to pay for my travels around the world and two, I wanted to see if I could sell or not.  I want to share with you what I have learned this past year.

The biggest thing I have learned about selling is that connection may be its most important part. I know, the close is really important, too, but if you don’t connect, you will never get to the close.

Being halfway across the world, I have to do 100% of my selling online, which has not been an easy task. Connecting online is a lot harder than I thought it would be. Sure, it’s easy to get people to like photos and comment on what they love, but true connection is building a relationship and building that relationship takes a real conversation.

When I was home last summer I was able to sell in person. I couldn’t believe how much easier it was when I was standing face-to-face with the client. I wasn’t talking about our product, but talking about them –  their family and who they are. I could develop a sense of what they like and then connect them with a particular product. The difference between online and in-person selling was amazing. I sold more!

Selling online has shown me that yes, you use social media to make connections with people, but once you have made that connection you need to deepen it and turn it into a relationship. I know from experience that many sales people in centers are trying to connect, build relationships, and sell by sitting in the center using social media or just making phone calls. They don’t spend time out of the center every day going business to business. You have to go out, make a connection, and build a relationship. If you want to expand your business and take your sales to the next level, get out of the center on a daily basis and connecting with people, face to face.

I challenge you. Spend at least an hour outside the center every day. Start small, visiting five new businesses a day. Go to a shopping center. You’ll easily get five. Build on that five and shoot for ten after a few weeks. I promise when your connections grow, your number of events will grow!