Monday, January 25, 2010

Are You Picking Up the Phone?

In the networking I've done in the New Year, I've heard a lot of complaining that 2010 is no better than 2009. But I haven't seen a lot of behavioral change. Since we are now living in the "new normal," we'd better change how we're doing things if we want different results this year.

If you haven’t seen much change in the business you're doing this year, it may be time for a change in the way you're going about things. In "Lack of Progress on Your Goals" I talked about reasons you may not be achieving the best results in your marketing efforts. One of the points was "Not booking enough appointments – not picking up the phone."

Many new advisors are told by their managers to make 75 new contacts per week and book 15 or more appointments. While this may seem like a lot of busyness and activity, there is truth to the numbers game. The more contacts you make, the more prospects you have in your pipeline.

What I want for you is to have a "Fan Club" with a waiting list for new clients, all of whom would be more than happy to pay your fees. In order to have a fan club, you need prospects. So there is truth to the numbers game. If however, you meet people but you never touch them again, all your actions will be for naught.

Could it be that you're not picking up the phone? Could it be that are not talking to enough people and spreading word about how you help them? If this is the case, you may need a plan to talk to a specific number of people per day - Clients and/or prospects.

If you want more prospects in your pipeline, here are some Next Steps to pick up the phone:

  1. Take out your address book or contact management database right now.
  2. Identify five people you can meet for coffee within the next seven days.
  3. Call each one and arrange a meeting.
  4. At the meeting, LISTEN and ASK QUESTIONS about the person sitting across from you.
  5. Ask what THEY need and see if you can help them in any way.
  6. Use this as a jumping off point to getting new clients by GIVING and see what happens.

Growing a business is not just about closing the sale today, it's about building relationships that grow and flourish tomorrow. Don't neglect your business building activities. Get on the phone!
Grow Your Business and Prosper!
Suzanne Muusers

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Lost Art of the Thank You Card

I've been sending out a lot of hand-written thank you cards lately. I find really nicely designed thank you cards at Trader Joe's and AJ's and I just get the urge to send them. You wouldn't believe the response I get when the recipient receives the card. I usually get a phone call from them gushing about "taking the time to send a hand-written card" and "thank you so much for thinking of me."

We have become such a digital world we forget about the impact such a simple action can have.  We now have email, ezines, newsletters,, and the like.  While it's nice to save paper on such niceties and be "green," getting a card in the mail is like getting a present.  When you send someone a card through the mail, I am betting that it stays on their desk for quite some time.

As I glance over my desk, I see a hand-written card I received from a financial advisor I met last month at the Financial Planning Association meeting. He asked me for advice on where he should get coach training. I gave him a few choice pointers and several days later received a beautiful zen-like card from him thanking me for the tips. You can bet that I'll keep that card for a long time.

So how can you use thank you cards in your business? What occasions would be suitable for a thank you card?

How about:
Birthday cards
Nice to meet you cards
Thank you for the referral cards (as part of a written referral program)
Congratulations for your achievement
Sympathy cards
Wedding cards

What would happen to your referrals if you wrote 5 thank you cards per week? Would your client relationships deepen? Would you spread goodwill and kindness?

Maybe thank you cards should be part of your Marketing Plan and part of your week!
Grow Your Business and Prosper!
Suzanne Muusers
ICF-Credentialed Business Coach