The business I own is a franchise. One of the benefits of being a franchise is that we have semi-annual conferences where we get together and share ideas and learn from each other. (We’ve also been known to do the “chicken dance” at Joe’s Crab Shack but that’s a different story for a different time!)
Our most recent conference was in Myrtle Beach, SC two weeks ago. This was perhaps the only time of year when 48 of our 49 other states had better weather than we did in Myrtle Beach! Which was okay since we didn’t even see a golf course except from 20,000 feet up.
What we did do was share a lot of great ideas on how we can grow our businesses and help our customers do the same. Here are some of the ideas I came back with that you might find useful.
Talk to a lot of people
This sounds simple and it should be simple. But it’s easy to get distracted and focused on other things. Most of us (and our businesses) can benefit from connecting with a lot of people. The more people who know us and what we do, the more good prospects we’ll have in our sales pipeline.
Ask for the order
Again, this sounds so simple that it should go without saying. But, as imperfect people we can easily forget simple and basic things like asking people to do business with us. It’s not hard and it does work. (Good advice from my new friend Rhonda.)
Make it easy to do business with you
The busier we get the less we tend to think about how easy or hard it is for people to do business for us. We tend to think about things from our perspective, not our customers. If we want people to keep working with us, we need to focus on their needs.
Follow up right away
Even with all our high technology, people still slip through the cracks. The best way to follow up with a new contact is to do it right away. To this end I’ve started keeping postcards and stamps in my briefcase. After each meeting I jot a short note on a postcard and drop it in the nearest mailbox. Thanks for the idea Rod!
See my last post for details.
Too many emails, phone calls, meetings and tasks. Too many deadlines and too many plans. Our days are filled with too many ways to prevent us from being in the present. Often we need to stop and stand still mentally for a moment and just be present right now, right here. Forget everything else and just focus on the moment. It’s a nice change!
Sometimes the other person is just having a bad day
When you think you’re doing a lousy job because the other person is not buying what you’re selling, maybe they’re just having a bad day. One of my colleague recognized this in a selling situation that was quickly going nowhere. So, she used her special brand of New York humor to break the ice. And, in an instant the ice melted, they connected and she closed the deal. Nice job Theresa!
We can all use a “Whack on the side of the head”.
When I was in college (was it really 20 years ago?) I read a memorable book by Roger Von Oech called “A Whack on the Side of the Head”. It’s a classic on how to be more creative. While walking back to our conference center after lunch one day I rediscovered this wonderful book thanks to a conversation two of my fellow franchise owners (who also went to college in the 80’s). Thanks guys!
I’m sure there are many other valuable ideas I brought back from Myrtle Beach. Some were new and others were rediscovered. Either way it was a lot of fun and well worth the airplane ride. Plus we got to hear a brief history of Myrtle Beach from Larry the cab driver. What more could you want?