Archive for January, 2010

Sales Courses in Bunbury

Value is in the eye of the ticket holder

The seat is big. Almost comically big. Its electronic adjustments are as extensive as the food and drink options continuously on offer. The personal entertainment system with seemingly endless viewing choices keeps me from noticing how long I’ve been here; and the service is friendly, genuine and delivered by a team who seem to thoroughly enjoy what they do. I’m writing this in mid-flight as a business class passenger.

A clarification. I fly frequently, and until today always sat with the majority of air travellers – back in economy. I had the opportunity to experience the business class difference at no extra cost. And if I were to have paid, what an extra cost it could have been. As much as 500% extra!

What the experience has reminded me of is the difference between value and price. If you have a premium product or service that is premium priced, are you working to close the gap between the price you are asking and the value a customer will experience? Can you create a compelling or even ‘no brainer’ argument in favour of your premium pricing? Given the higher price, does it give you the margin to add additional ‘wow’ to the experience?

For example, I estimate that I will cost the airline between one and 2 hundred dollars more (I’m giving it my best shot!) That is not a bad investment on their behalf for the considerable additional revenue they would normally get, not to mention the loyalty injection.

Will it be enough for me to shell out that kind of money when I fly in future? Truthfully – probably not. However it has changed my mindset from ‘I would never pay that much to fly business class’ to one of ‘I can’t wait until I have sufficient cash to always fly business class’.

I reckon the airline might just have planned it that way!

Yours in prosperity and fun

Jeff Austin
Business Coach, Bunbury WA

Sales Training Courses in Bunbury

Doctors, Lawyers & Mechanics do it – do you?

No – not billing by the hour. Do you diagnose before prescribing? Do you lead with questions, not answers? Do you try to help or sell?

The difference was highlighted recently when I received an unsolicited call from a local who was most certainly trying to sell. Firstly, as I didn’t ask for the call, a helping person would have asked if it was OK for them to tell me about their product. She didn’t. Once a helping person got the ‘ok’ to continue they would have asked a variety of open questions to learn about my current situation, my concerns, my fears, my awareness of their product etc. All the things the professionals in the title would certainly do before offering their ‘fix’. She didn’t

This seller did actually ask me some questions, but when my answers didn’t seem to match her agenda, my answers were refuted or ignored. This is a key difference of someone who has a sell mindset versus a help way of thinking. The sell person has a defined map in their head of what they want and the chances of this aligning with what a cold-called prospect wants is an outside chance at best. The help person truly wants to discover if a need exists and if they can help to fulfil it.

If you’re not convinced, consider the approach taken by most telemarketers. Are they helpers or sellers? What do you instinctively want to do the very second you recognise them as sellers?

This is why we don’t offer Sales Training courses. If you want to sell more, you and your team do not need sales skills. However you may want to hone your people skills. You know the ones. Empathy, Listening and Communication to develop mutual Rapport, Trust and Respect. Consider this truth. Your level of ‘sales’ success will be determined by the quality of your relationships.

No prizes for guessing how much I bought from my caller

Yours in prosperity and fun

Jeff Austin
Business Coach, Bunbury WA

Time Management Training in Bunbury

Self-importance gets in the way of what’s important

Years ago, I had a very important job with many important things to do. Because the job was important, I was (of course) very important too! Accordingly, the many very important things to do were kept on a loooong and important list.

In the ensuing years, I fortunately learnt a few things. Firstly, I rarely got anything truly important done, and secondly, I really wasn’t that important! If you’ve found ‘to do’ lists less than useful, you may have been making some of my mistakes.

1. Because my lists were so long, I was more interested in shortening the list than I was at dealing with the truly important things. I would tackle the simple and often unimportant tasks, just to get that sense of achievement.

The answer – Limit lists to the 6 most important things you will absolutely achieve today. And unless there’s a genuine emergency, don’t let distractions pull you away from your 6 things

2. Mine was a daily list, yet I would write projects that would take weeks to complete on it. This would cause me to continually rewrite the task each day and often avoid the daunting project it until it became utterly urgent.

The answer – Break big tasks down and write them that way. Instead of putting ’write tender document’ on a daily to-do list; write the steps that you can and will take each day towards completing the overall task

3. I had consequence imbalance. On the rare occasion that important stuff was done, the consequence was, I was chuffed and went home. When I didn’t get the important things done, I would justify it and go home.

The answer – Force yourself to be a great daily planner by having serious consequences. Mine was simple yet effective – ‘I do not go home until my list is complete’! It took me four consecutive days of working back past 10PM to get good at planning and doing.

Now there is considerably more behind great time management than these three tips, but this article was number 6 on my list and the rest will have to wait its turn.

Yours in prosperity and fun

Jeff Austin
Business Coach, Bunbury WA

A Time Management story in Bunbury

Too busy chopping trees

At 7 am on a cool but sunny morning two wood choppers (let’s call them Bill & Bob) enter a small forest to begin work. They start chopping trees at opposite ends of the woods, approximately 100 meters apart. At around 10 am, Bill looks over at Bob and sees that not only had Bob chopped a little more wood, he was sitting down with his back against a tree seemingly taking a rest.

Bill filled with renewed determination, got immediately back to chopping trees. At about 1 o’clock, he again sees Bob sitting down but this time his wood pile was considerably higher. This goes on all day until 5 PM when an exhausted and cheesed off Bill confronts Bob. “What the heck is going on?” Bill exclaimed. “How come you have so much wood chopped? I’ve been busting my hump all day and every time I turned around I see you sitting on your tail slacking off!”

A noticeably relaxed and fresh Bob looks at Bill and says “When you saw me sitting down, I wasn’t slacking off. About every 3 hours I stopped chopping trees so I could sharpen my axe”

The purpose of the story? If you have ever caught yourself saying “I haven’t got time to – attend a training course – read a business article – contact inactive clients – visit current clients – meet with staff – fix debtor problems – carry out maintenance – spend time with the family”, consider what you are really saying is “I haven’t got time to sharpen my axe. I’m far too busy chopping trees”

Don’t you love irony?

Yours in prosperity and fun

Jeff Austin
Business Coach, Bunbury WA

Stop the Staff Turnover

Your staff turnover problems are not the fault of the people you hire. They are the fault of the people who do the hiring. Quite possibly, that means you! The good news – if high turnover is your fault, then you can fix it!

You don’t need me to highlight the downsides to high staff turnover – but I’m going to anyway! Frequent turnover of staff can mean…

1.        Too much time spent in new staff training mode. When you and other key people are training new people, you are naturally not doing what generates opportunity and profits.

2.        An unsettled environment for other staff. Work place harmony doesn’t occur or unravel overnight, and the harmony is created by staff ability to work well together. Frequent staff changes makes harmony creation even harder

3.        Limited chances for customers to build strong rapport and relationships with staff. We all like to buy from people we trust and like. Loyalty is difficult to build if every time a customer visits they meet someone new.

4.       The more we hire the less time we spend trying to get it right. It seems like nonsense, but it is often what we find. Managers who hire and rehire frequently become increasingly disenchanted with the whole hiring process and hire with decreasing care – thereby compounding the problem.

The challenges caused by poor recruiting and retaining are many and varied. And if anyone tells you that hiring and keeping great people is dead easy, then be highly sceptical. However, attracting, finding and retaining the right people onto your bus and getting the wrong ones off is absolutely achievable – without the need for fulltime HR mangers or extreme levels of unemployment. In fact, the unemployment rate matters little.

Getting the right staff on your bus (and the wrong ones off) needs to begin with a thorough and documented recruitment process that is followed every time you need to replace or add new staff. If you feel that it is not worth this much effort just to hire someone, then I can assume one of 3 things…

  1. Your current hiring practices are working – so don’t change them!
  2. You haven’t had or are not involved in dealing with any bad experiences as a result of poor recruiting.
  3. You enjoy spending most of you day fighting fires – mending conflict – repairing client relationships – rehiring and training (OK – perhaps not)

Get your free Jeff Austin Recruiting Process here

Learn more about ways we could help you to attract -retain – motivate the right people or contact us directly  today

Jeff Austin
Business Coach, Bunbury WA