My mother always told me to create a "to-do" list. This was of course at a time when smart phones and tablets only appeared on television shows like 'Star Trek'. My mother would pull out her list with delight, just a plain piece of white paper folded into three parts. Excited and crossing off yet another item, my mother was always adamant I should do the same. Let's simplify and translate this method to 2017 technology so you begin crushing goals with this age old trick! Read More
Taking notes on appointment can be difficult and sometimes ineffective. I always suggest building in prep time for every scheduled activity. I know it sounds overwhelming and wasteful. Let me provide you with five reasons why you should build prep time into your schedule and how to do so simply.
1. Recognize Opportunity - Be the salesmen whom always knows who's who. People tend to remember how you make them feel. A name or a family members name is an important title in life. Cultivating a relationship with a prospect... Read More
A couple of weeks ago, Ryan Stewman reminded me of a time when I first launched this podcast and how perseverance was the key to making it this far. I had no clue what headaches I was headed for! This is the story of how I conquered my first networking event and learned first hand how perseverance and pushing forward can change everything.
The original laptop where the Technology = Equality podcast was recorded and created experienced the crash of the century! After weeks of planning, recording and creating, I almost lost everything because I wasn't worried about losing anything. I was almost ready to scrap the podcast idea and only continue with the consulting. I decided to make an effort to salvage the show. I was beside myself with joy the moment I restored several interviews. They were far from perfect.... but I had them and that was what really mattered. Ok, so not only did it pay to continue to try working on restoration, my perseverance paid off in yet another manner!
I know, I know. you are probably saying... what the heck is ThingMagic?
ThingMagic is a major game changer in the retail industry!
Created in a garage right here in Cambridge, Ma., ThingMagic is a RFID (Radio-Frequency Identification) technology company. For those of you who are unaware, RFID is the little chip, that identifies a product once scanned.
So, months later, as I am browsing through MeetUp.com events, hosted by my favorite local entrepreneur, Chris Requena; I see he is hosting a breakfast at which Mr. Bernd Schoner is the guest speaker, regarding his book, The Tech Entrepreneurs Survival Guide."
FYI- Breakfast networking is always the way to go if you are just starting out. Your mind & breath are still fresh!
Heels In Cambridge...
I thought I parked near the building I was going to for this event, but I was so wrong. Let's just say $60 for parking and a 1/2 mile in heels on cobblestone turned out to be, well...... priceless!
...is like a Spartan race to a networking event!
Side Note: When dressing for any occasion, always consider the commute, not just the destination!
So I was headed to this breakfast with a goal in mind.
I suggest you consider why it is you are attending an event before you just attend for the sake of attending. Now, if that's your thing.... great! Most of us on the other hand, don't make a habit of attending networking events. Having a goal for the event creates an automatic personal purpose for attending and helps to decrease the anxiety you may experience.
I had intended to clear my schedule and attend a MeetUp long before this one. Now I had double the purpose and there was no stopping me!
Well, that's a lie.... I was internally griping about parking (it's Cambridge!) to myself. Then debated if I should turn back to the car, as I trooped it a 1/2 mile in 2-inch heels to the conference center. When I walked into the conference room at the Microsoft NERD Center, I practically froze!
Was I really about to walk up to Chris Requena or Bernd Schoner, co-founder of ThingMagic and author of "The Tech Entrepreneur's Survival Guide"?
Instead, I sat down in the audience and began to rethink walking up to these men, with my home made business card, to be on my Podcast which I had yet to air!
I tried to calmly walk away and look for Mr. Requena, as though I knew him! The presentation was about to begin, so I quickly shoved my business card into his hand and said I was starting the show, call me?!?
Yeah, I really didn't know what I was doing, but I did it! (And I didn't get one bite in the process.)
I then sat down, attempting not to look like a kid, giddy, and way over excited as though Christmas morning had just arrived! Bernd's entire presentation was not only informative, but he shared a couple of silly stories, making it personal & fun.
I was beyond excited they both accepted! Though I'll admit, I was afraid Bernd's P.R. person would totally ignore me. Once again, I was wrong!!!! I was able to schedule an interview within the month and personally speak with Bernd myself.
Thank you again, Mike... I did it!!
Begin growing your practice by getting to know people! Find a couple of local events, decide why the event is beneficial for your practice, check the weather & remember the full commute!! People don't bite at networking events.... So what are you afraid of? Get out there and grow your business! Perseverance pays!!!!
For your copy of "The Tech Entrepreneur's Survival Guide" click here.
Point is.... Get started and just try!
You never know what could happen.
Do you get busy?
Or do you get productive?
What’s the difference? The difference is working by objective and not by task.
Often times when entering my office in the morning I am greeted by a number of tasks. It is tempting to jump right into some of the easier tasks to get them off the list. I think most business owners, including me, struggle with this daily!
Checking off items on the to-do list makes you feel as though you are accomplishing something.
You feel busy.
Why is it important to work by objective and not by task? If you begin your day focused on the numerous tasks available, you could keep yourself busy the entire work day and never accomplish anything related to moving forward with your goals.
It is crucial to understand the difference between busy and productive so you can actually be productive. You can keep yourself busy for hours with your email inbox, a social media feed, or allow autoplay on YouTube! Anyone can be busy at any point they choose to engage in any activity.
Productivity is accomplishing a series of tasks to assist in the realization of your ultimate goal. To be productive you must focus on your end goal!
Try taking a step back in the morning and begin to focus on the overall objective of your week and the current day. Ask yourself the following;
- What projects are you working on?
- What income generating activities have deadlines which you need to process?
The time taken to define what tasks are most important to accomplishing your goals is priceless.
Try using the five steps to processing success, or what I like to call P.O.P.R.S. Planning to mentally simplify how you accomplish your tasks.
Prioritize, Organize, Process, Record, and Store.
You should begin your day by prioritizing your daily tasks to process the income generating activities first. Get organized by grouping similar actions to ease the process flow. Once organized, begin processing your priorities. Submit all business to respective departments/ companies/ contacts/ clients. Never complete the day without recording every piece of business processed. Note the individual records with each action taken. Store the client file in the designated filing location; electronic or hard copy. Be sure to maintain a copy of all relevant paperwork processed with the respective client record.
This method is simple but it can greatly improve your progress if you focus on the acronym alone.
Use the attached free “5 Steps to Processing Success” .pdf to help you get organized and move through your day with ease. Remember to perform only your goal oriented activities to begin your day. Once your goal oriented tasks are completed, move on to the tasks not pertinent to the progression of your long term goal. You will quickly begin to see the movement toward accomplishing your goal.
Check out what's happening with our favorite businesses this month!
Ryan Stewman, the Hardcore Closer, joins the Technology = Equality Community for episode #69 to share a wild journey from the day he was given a beeper number to changing millions of lives. He witnessed the rise and rapid fall of entrepreneurial relatives while his parents opted for the security of traditional careers. Ryan started his entrepreneurial journey in an unconventional manner and transformed his illegal experience into a profitable practice. Listen in as Ryan shares insight on how the lack of a safety net and perseverance can pave the path to a brighter future.
“If someone gives you a cool nickname, Go with that shit!
Do not resist cool nicknames!”
Strategy: Success may come and go in the blink of an eye! Look at every situation as an opportunity to be sure you never miss one. Instead of creating excuses, develop a solid foundation you have control over, then evaluate all feedback to help yourself grow.
Wisdom: Everyone is moving forward in life, create a plan so you know where it is you’re trying to get to. The road may be far bumpier than you anticipate, but keep moving forward. Keep doing what you’re doing and never quit!
Wish: Ryan would love for someone to develop an automated social media marketing content organization and backlink/ funnel coordination program.
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Take a moment to think about all the deals you have closed over the years.
How many client files do you currently possess?
Can you name all of your clients, where you met, their family makeup?
When you finished closing the deals and you received your commission... what did you do with the client record?
There have been numerous studies over the years regarding customer acquisition vs retention and the best way to grow sales. I will spare you the details and provide a link to view a simple infographic and a list of additional resources on this information.
What I do want to be clear on is that it is about 5-7 times more expensive to find a new customer, then it is to keep a current customer happy. The fact is if you focus on selling to existing clients, you can increase your revenue by a minimum of 25%.
Now think about it, you can grow your practice, grow your income without creating new products or spending time finding new people. Take the time to focus on finding the right message and the right method to continue reaching the clients who already know, like and trust you.
There are far too many business owners focused on growing their practice, but with no solid direction or plan. Most sales professionals I've worked with over the years tend to close the deal and the client file is put away. Stored among the many clients they have worked with through the years. Does this sound familiar?
Are your clients' records put away?
If there's no follow-up, then there's no contact, there's no conversation. How do you intend to grow the relationship? How do you intend to continue serving them? How do you intend to gain referrals?
Your clients need you to solve the problem you are the best at solving. Focus on what this problem is and how you can help them even more.
I'm going to help you begin developing your sales practice secret weapon right now.
Take a moment to focus on the big problem you solve for your clients. What information are your clients naturally searching for? Now use the short SETI Method to develop a plan of action.
The S.E.T.I. Method stands for Sort, Examine, Template, Implement. This is a simplified technique I use in my practice and with my clients to quickly develop a sales practice secret weapon for any industry.
Begin by sorting your clients into groups based on similar purchase habits. To keep the process simple, try to stick to the number three when creating your groups.
Once you have three groups, examine the history to verify which of the three is the most profitable for your practice. This can be done in a number of different manners based on the type of sales practice you operate. If you're a Realtor you may choose to group clients into buyers, sellers, and renters. If you're in financial planning you may choose groups aligned with product types or a specific location.
Once you define your groups, clarify why they are who they are. What is it about them personally that connects the group members? Now you can begin creating a customized plan to keep in touch with each of your groups. Determine the best message and connection methods for each group to begin implementing.
This plan, as simple as it may seem is rarely mapped out in a sales practice. The communication template you have now developed is your client retention plan, your sales practice secret weapon. You should continue to tweak or change the template plan as you go.
Once your template plan is developed, try to find tools to help automate the implementation process of your sales practice secret weapon as much as possible. Remember to check out the infographic and list of resources using the link included here. Click here to connect and schedule a free 4th of July BONUS strategy session to help you automate your sales practice secret weapon!
Peter Aquart, COO and co-founder of American Wealth Builders is on a mission to help the average person take control of their finances. Peter discovered his niche of simplicity at the very young age of 13. He has since designed and implemented an entire software system for turnkey real estate investing and has owned and operated over 15 businesses. Peter joins the Technology = Equality Community for episode #68 to discuss perspective, personal growth and the evolution of your passion.
"We have an obligation to everyone else around us and to this world to grow into the best person you can become!" ~Peter Aquart
Strategy: Marketing and sales are the most important piece of your business. Find your market, go where the demand is and be passionate about your service. Take decisive action and always ask questions to help gain a better understanding of both systems and situations.
Wisdom: Never stop learning! Take the time to evaluate yourself and your business, but always keep an open mind to gain new perspectives. Your passion may end up being an evolution along with the growth of your skill set. Once you understand the value of your service figure out how you plan to deliver this value.
Wish: To help as many people as possible regain control of their financial future through real estate investments.
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My dad is the best at just about everything. From dancing to fixing things to navigating back roads!
If he doesn't know how... he will undoubtedly figure it out if you ask him to.
Looking back now, there is nothing he has ever given up on (no matter the time it takes) and there is nothing he can't accomplish. As a child, I didn't understand why my father seemed to have such amazing luck, or why things always went the way he planned. I always thought it funny that my father kept a notebook and several pens in his breast pocket. Much like mom, dad always had a list!
My dad is the best....
The reality is dad was always overboard with the listing of things!!!
When we were kids, if we became sick; he kept the <<Kid's Name Here>> Input/ Output log!!!
NO Seriously, there was an Input/Output log for each one of us kids at some point in our lives!! Liquid, solid, you name it, he jotted it down... everything! Unlike mom's lists; which were generally to do lists sorted by deadlines, dad's lists were thoughts, ideas, notes, to do's and work related items. They always made sure to keep their lists in order of priority.
I just chalked it up to "older person activities" and not something I really needed to put into practice.The simple concept of having the ability to move faster and keep track of more didn't even begin to cross my mind. It didn’t hit me until years later when I was married with a child and working full time. I had to find a way to keep track of things. I’m sure you’ve already guessed what happened next. Yes, much like my parents, I began creating lists! At one point I was using a brown leather binder; technology has changed this habit completely! I now utilize the native dictation, notepad, and reminders built into most Apple devices to list just about everything. I create lists daily, for everything & anything; from groceries to work to projects!
No worries, I have never gone as far as the infamous Input/ Output logs..
I am just hoping I am not now considered an "older person"... for taking on this activity! I'm sure my daughter would beg to differ! Oh well.... I'm still going to celebrate my 29th birthday every year!
Ok, so back to the lists (or shall I say my older person activity)..... The lists allow me to seamlessly prioritize by having a visual of everything I need/ want to accomplish. I can quickly add to a list via dictation and sort with two or three taps on my screen. Technology has allowed me to find ways to accomplish more, with less effort or time invested.
I invite you to join the conversation on the Technology = Equality Facebook Group. How are you using technology to help you stay organized? How has your dad influenced your career? Do you notice your parents shining through your actions?
If you have only read the blog or listened to the audio blog, be sure to check out the Technology = Equality podcast available on iTunes & Stitcher Radio! The podcast was created to help you hear the journey of other entrepreneurs who were in your place at one point in time! Listen in as they share a story of their journey and tell you about the current pain in their industry to help spark your next great business idea!
Do you have an industry you’re passionate about or a guest you are interested in hearing from? I'm open to suggestions and feedback at all times, just click here!
All these years, I really have just laughed off most of what my big sister has told me. Mainly because anytime we are together we are busy just joking around. For those of you who know us, you understand why I was surprised. As I continued to grow my practice I had the following revelation... READ MORE
Streamline your sales practice with the 4D Strategy.
I am not a shoe rack sales person.... but you might find the time to streamline processes and build your sales practice if you try one!
Often I am asked where I find the time to build this business. I try to explain, but audibly, it sounds like I just cram things into my day. The reality is, I just have more time in my day to accomplish the simple things because I ensure they can be accomplished quickly. Simple tasks can eat up time where you least expect it to.
Let's move on to the clear benefits of investing in a shoe rack.
Really the amount of time saved in the morning, not to mention the amount of time saved throughout the day can add up quickly!
Think about it. If you are like I once was, your shoes are everywhere! I mean everywhere.... bedroom floor, under the bed, in boxes, in the closet, in the living room, by the door, in the car, in the trunk.... yeah, everywhere!
Why is this important, well, often I wouldn't have a clue what shoes I did own and end up with double! Or better yet, finding something to wear and spending hours looking for the right pair
We have all been there, admit it!
Ok, so if you have a large shoe rack, you can keep all shoes in a central location.
Ok, stay with me though... and let's rewind a bit to the theme I tend to always come back to;
Time is money!
When your shoes are organized, it's easy to pick the right pair. This trickles into the outfit, the accessories, and things just tend to fall into place from there. You can quickly create your masterpiece outfit for any occasion without hesitation or a scavenger hunt! This, of course, turns into massive amounts of time saved!
So how do you decide where (if not on shoes) you can begin saving a little extra time in your day?
1. Start by taking note of each step of your day-to-day actions.
2. Give an estimate (mentally or on paper) of how long each action takes. This estimate can be anywhere from 30 seconds to, however, many hours you generally take for each of the actions noted above.
3. Choose the three actions which take the most time.
4. Ask yourself the following questions and label each of your actions with one of the four D's. This action can be deleted, delegated, delayed, dominated.
Deleted: Is this action necessary for me to have a fulfilled day? If the action is not a necessity. Cut it out!
Delegated: Can anyone else do it? If so, can you guess what you should do? Yes, get it off your plate as soon as possible! Find the person who is qualified to accomplish the task.
Delayed: Do you have to do this every day? If not, set a recurring schedule to perform the associated action.
Dominated: Is there any way to make this action smoother? Can you reduce the number of steps required to accomplish the task? Get creative and always remember to batch actions.
Take the new hours you now have; no longer looking for shoes, and get back to building your business!
For more tips and tricks visit wwww.Technology-Equality.com