Be Contrary: DON’T Ask For The Sale

don't ask for saleAt the start of my coaching career 10 years ago, I had paid a slew of biz dev folks to teach me how to get clients. They agreed on one thing: You can’t get a sale unless you ask for it. I always found this really difficult, coming from an immigrant background where I was uncomfortable about asking for money from anyone at any time in my life.  Not only was it uncomfortable but it wasn’t working. I would be doing hundreds of hours of free coaching and ask for the bloody sale and I never got it. Most people said they loved me but couldn’t afford it or had to ask their boss or husband or dog. You get the picture.

Low and behold, when I scared myself silly and started spending the big bucks (the amount of a small car as I often like to say) on getting trained in how the big boys close sales, I discovered an incredible truth: All the sales gurus were wrong-the real gurus NEVER ask for the sale. Well, you might be asking yourself how exactly do I get clients without asking for the sale. Read on and be comforted. If you do what I tell you to, you never have to ask for a sale again as long as you live.

Step 1: Be A Specialist

I can’t say it enough times, if you’re a jack of all trades, you are master of none. Even if you do something specific like Video Production, be a specialist in an aspect of that like Green Screen rentals or Website Intro Videos or Training Videos or Interview Videos. Find a need and niche in it. Without a focus, nobody will truly understand how you can help them.

Step 2: Always Hang With The Same Crowd Who’s In Pain

There is a specific group of people who you can help the most with their pain, who will pay you the highest fees and that you have more access to than others through your networks. Find these people and get into their face, their life, their networks and the media they consume. Become the air that they breathe around your specialty.

Step 3: Ask About Their Pain

When I won a mobile massage at a charity, the masseuse and I got to talking about her business. I asked about the pain that I help with–“how do you market to get new business?”. Even though my face was pressed into a massage chair, I still could hear her pain and could talk to her about it.

Step 4: Ask For Permission To Share

The next thing I asked the masseuse (who was really great by the way!) was permission to share how I help clients in her kind of pain. She was delighted and of course said yes! Then I proceeded to outline in 3 or 4 steps how I help. Voila!

Step 5: Ask If This Would Help Them

When I asked my masseuse this question, she really did think (and I knew) I could help her. She vehemently shook her head up and down and said YES, it would definitely help to have that done to my marketing.

Step 6: Shut Up

Then I just buried my face into the massage chair and kept on enjoying the rub down. I let her process what we could create together. As she was leaving, she asked me how much it would cost to work with me.

There you have it folks, the anatomy of how I get people to ask ME to work with them instead of me having to ask THEM for the sale.

Need more chicken soup for your biz? Follow me on Twitter, friend me on Facebook, watch me on YouTube or connect with me on LinkedIn –and let’s talk

5 Things I Learned About Business While Shark Diving

sharkdiving

Sitting on the ocean floor during the shark dive

Yes, I was crazy enough to go shark diving. Not in those cages either. I actually jumped into a water infested with fins. It was unnerving to say the least but there were lots of other divers already in the water so it seemed harmless. As in everything I do in my life, everything comes back to how it applies to small business.

Here are some things I learned about my own small business that day…

1. Prepare Yourself

Before the big ‘shark dive’ portion of the live-aboard dive trip I took, we had briefing after briefing about what to do and what not to do. Stay away from the food they lower to the ocean floor. (A guy actually lost a limb when a piece of food floated his way). Don’t make sudden moves etc. In business, I often find that people just throw themselves out there. Sometimes with little to no preparation for their mind or skill set. Unfortunately statistically speaking, they end up shark bait to their competitors.

2. Watch Your Surroundings Constantly

As part of the briefing, we were told that if a shark is swimming erratically and speeds up while swimming towards you, you’re in trouble. There’s not much you can do at that point. However, we did learn to be extra vigilant of our surroundings because the sharks were literally everywhere-in front, behind, and on top of us as we sat in a circle at the bottom of the ocean. It’s actually not a bad metaphor for the business world. Are you out networking with your competitors? Are you attending their seminars or webinars? Watch your surroundings in business constantly. Or you might get attacked.

3. Watch Yourself Constantly

One of the biggest things I had to watch out for was my air consumption because I was breathing heavier due to my elevated heart rate. Cut me some slack here, I was literally swimming with sharks during their feeding! Still, I had to be extra aware of my air flow and keep an eye on my tank supply. In business, your cash flow is your oxygen. During times of crisis you use more of it and need to keep a constant eye on it because as in the ocean, there’s no life without air.

4. Stick To Someone Bigger Than You

I was so paranoid about getting bitten by a shark that I picked the most heavyset, enormously overweight dive buddy on the entire boat. He was easily 4 times my size. I figured even a hungry shark might be intimidated by that size. I mean, if you were a shark, would you eat a steak your own size? I stuck to him like glue. Of course, he did get stuck while passing between two reefs but we were well-trained to calmly back out and untangle our gear from the reefs. Similarly in business, I pay extraordinary amounts of money to walk with the giants of my industry standing next to me. My coaches have been responsible for doubling and tripling my income in the three years since I started my business. Stick to someone bigger than you, always.

5. Have Fun

All the while I was calculating and analyzing and listening to my own heavy breathing in my mask during the shark dive, I was exhilarated. I was doing something most people wouldn’t even dare to dream of doing. I felt brave and alive. Every time I meet miserable people who work for someone else, I feel the same exhilaration for having had the guts to leave that life and work for myself. Just as in the shark dive, I sometimes have to remind myself that the journey of an entrepreneur is scary but it is a ton of fun.

Need more chicken soup for your biz? Follow me on Twitter, friend me on Facebook, watch me on YouTube or connect with me on LinkedIn –and let’s talk

When My Client Said She Didn’t Like Me

hateWhat would you do if a client told you she disliked you? What if it was a client you liked and respected as someone smart and successful in her business? Well, that’s what I found out, when I asked the same client for a referral. Here’s the unedited version of the email that the new prospect (now client) got from my client. Of course, identities have been protected.

On Wed, Aug 27, 2014 at 1:33 PM, xxxx wrote:

Hi, I have been speaking with Chala and she gave me your name as a ref. Basically ,How long have you been working with her and have you achieved the results you wanted? Thanks,M

Sent from my iPhone

Subject: Re: Chala Reference

‘Hello M, Thank you for reaching out…I LOVE LOVE LOVE Chala.

I will honestly tell you that I didn’t like her in the beginning because she put me in my uncomfortable zone.  Once I committed to be uncomfortable, I fell in love.  I really didn’t think I would ever like Chala because she is no-nonsense and had me focusing on things that I really didn’t think were going to help me.  I kept at it each time I thought about the hefty price tag on her service.  Once I was able to follow her instruction, do my homework and focus on marketing tasks assigned, I started to see results.  First and most importantly in how I felt about marketing my company and secondly in terms of clarity.  I never thought I could feel so proud and clear about marketing my business.  one piece of advise – ask ask ask ask for help in everything marketing because she has her finger on the pulse.  Every time I changed voice-mail greeting, email signature, newsletter title, networking groups – I consulted with Chala and have seen a positive increase in either clients, leads or new knowledge.

I am now ignoring my phone more and trying to handle the recent influx…it took 2-3 months to feel this influx, but i have had many small increases in all areas along the way.  Now my problem is hiring to keep up with the new business:O)

I am very happy i stuck it through and pushed myself to enjoy the discomfort.  For the first time in 5 years i have a marketing plan, strategy and calendar and every thing that is considered marketing in my business is sending the same message.  I have connected with many “marketers” and none of them are as all-inclusive in their marketing approach as Chala.

now to figure out how to keep Chala in my life, she is worth every penny and more!!

You cannot go wrong here unless you choose to do nothing.  Let me know if you have any questions.

All the best! S

What did I learn from this very insightful correspondence? That once you burn through your discomfort and your fears and stop blaming things, people and circumstances, THAT’S when you truly experience growth.

This is not a brag-blog. This is a reminder and a message to all my coach and consultant community who have been called (because I believe it is a calling!) to help others through your gift. Your first job isn’t to teach them a skillset, it’s to teach them a mindset. It’s to hold their hand through the fire of fear and discomfort. Do I have clients who quit when they get uncomfortable? Hell yes. I heard a scary stat somewhere that 80% of coaching clients don’t implement what their coach tells them. But do the ones that push themselves past the discomfort benefit? Well, you’ve read it yourself.

What discomfort do YOU have to push yourself through?

Need more chicken soup for your biz? Follow me on Twitter, friend me on Facebook, watch me on YouTube or connect with me on LinkedIn –and let’s talk

The Crazy Things That Happened To Me In Dallas

badflightI broke through my personal barriers of leaving my 5-year-old (and my 45-year-old) behind for the first time for a chance to grow my coaching business at a US conference. So many wild and wonderful things happened and in case you’re also going to be trying on new and scary things to grow your own biz, I thought I’d share them with you and save you the hassle.

My Pinky Got Me Stuck At Customs

Perhaps one of my biggest worries was that I’d be questioned at the US border about why I was an exhibitor, potentially taking American jobs away from Americans. I asked a thousand people about what to say or not say if questioned. The answers varied wildly, some saying they lied about having a booth and others saying it was completely safe to be honest about exhibiting at a US trade show. Armed with this dubious information, I got my Nexus card out (the pre-approved security card that allows a simple finger print and eye scan to fast track you through customs) and went to their automated machines. When I couldn’t get my fingerprints to register on one machine, I kept hopping to the next one and the next one in a panic. I started to get noticed by the guards so I just hit ‘accept’ and printed out a receipt. On the receipt was a cut-off picture of my head and a giant black X. Not good. Then when I gave it to the officer at the gate, he asked me to step in the ‘little room’. Oh my God, I thought here comes the cavity search. Well, I learned that it was because my Pinky finger hadn’t registered strong enough and next time I should press my other hand on it to get a better impression. Without a single question, I was allowed through. Phew.

My Breast Milk Got Me Clients

The first morning of the conference, I volunteered to take the microphone and talk about what made me happy in the breakout session. In front of hundreds of women, I told the story of how I’d stopped scuba-diving when I gave birth because when I was breastfeeding, I was worried about the pressure squeezing milk out into my wetsuit. I have no idea how that story came out but if you know me, you wouldn’t be surprised about it. I got 2 clients and many many comments from countless women throughout the 4 days I was there because of that story. My point about being authentic and unafraid to spill your truths was proven.

What I Got From Air Canada’s 10-hour Delay

After an exhausting 4 days, I was ready to go home and kiss my little guy’s chubby belly. I got to the airport and 5 hours later, my flight that kept getting delayed was cancelled. It then took 2 hours for the hotel vouchers and rebookings to be done. All this happened with not a single word of information, apology or update from the 3 Air Canada employees who were overwhelmed by the event. Most people in the line up after an 8-hour wait were surprisingly poised and patient. Some started screaming at the staff and yes, they were served first. People became friends, commiserated together and bonded.

A very smart frequent traveler was the one person who, as soon as he heard about the cancellation, hopped onto his tablet, rebooked his own flight online and left without waiting for a voucher. I myself did the same 1 hour later with my darling hubby’s help on the phone. So if this happens to you, leave. You can rebook yourself from your own hotel. Also, the airline will reimburse your hotel, just send in your receipt. Those poor people didn’t know so they waited. The next day, after another 3 hour wait, I sat next to a gentleman who is going to become my next VIP client. How’s that for destiny?

When you scare yourself and leave the safety of your everyday life, you go so much further than you could ever imagine!

Need more chicken soup for your biz? Follow me on Twitter, friend me on Facebook, watch me on YouTube or connect with me on LinkedIn –and let’s talk

What My Superhero Power Would Be

picnicmanWhen I found out that a multimillionaire, multi-talented serial entrepreneur named Tina Roth Eisenberg credits her success with her ability to answer one single question, I was intrigued. The question was:

If you were a superhero, what would your superpower be?

What The Successful Said

She said that almost all the successful people she met were able to answer this question instantly. For example according to the Inc. magazine article, John Maeda, who led the MIT Media Lab and Rhode Island School of Design, responded with “curiosity.” Maria Popova, who curates the popular Brain Pickings blog by reading 12-15 books a week, said “doggedness.” Eisenberg’s own superpower? Enthusiasm.

What I Said

I really loved this question because it made me realize that my own answer is the focus of my business and it’s simply this:

To enable people to overcome their childhood crap around money (which translates to their ability to market and sell themselves).

Yup, this is my life mission.

Your Focus

If you think about what your greatest mission in life and in your business is, then wouldn’t you naturally want that to be your superpower?

For example, a client who is a financial advisor recently decided to become ‘the business tax deductions expert’. Imagine a superhero looking at your finances and finding missing deductions to hand you unexpected savings out of the blue! How about another client who helps women get over hot flashes through simple dietary changes? That’s a superpower any woman would love.

If you don’t have a niche, you probably haven’t met me or haven’t had the pleasure to speak to me about this topic that’s my personal frustration with businesses I meet. I try not to cringe every time someone tells me that they work with everyone and do everything.

I want to convince every one I meet from every industry and every walk of life that indeed, life is sweeter when your business has a focus (a niche) and you can’t become a superhero if you don’t have one main strength. Otherwise the Xmen franchise would star a single hero and wouldn’t that be boring to watch?

Need more chicken soup for your biz? Follow me on Twitter, friend me on Facebook, watch me on YouTube or connect with me on LinkedIn –and let’s talk

The Absolute Fastest Way To Find WHERE Your Ideal Clients Hang Out (VIDEO)

Hi, this is Chala Dincoy from Coachtactics.com your no-nonsense marketing coach who gives your small business a booster shot in the arm. In this video, I’m going to address THE most asked question I get when I meet small businesses—WHERE do I find my ideal clients?

If this question has plagued you as a small business owner, I guarantee it’s because a. you don’t have a specific group of ideal clients, in other words a niche or b. you don’t do market research to find out more about your target clients.

So if you don’t know where to find your ideal clients, start by focusing on WHO that ideal client is. Then do the research by asking THEM–yes as crazy as it sounds– ask your ideal clients where they hang out in large groups with others who are just like them. Ask them what they read or what social media groups they are active in. Ask them what clubs or associations they belong to. Ask them what trade shows and conferences they attend. Ask them what charities they support or what major suppliers they use. Then use various marketing activities to get into their world. That’s where you find your ideal clients—WHERE THEY TOLD YOU THEY’D BE! So how exactly do you ask them, you might be wondering. I recommend giving something to potential clients BEFORE asking for their help in getting this information.

My clients offer free lunch and learns or a bonus assessment or a free makeover in exchange for a 5 minute informational interview. Most of my clients get clients during the research phase. You see how you can’t go wrong with your marketing if you just ask your clients where they go? Then you go with them! After all, marketing is simply telling your ideal client that you can help them with their pain.

To intercept them with this message consistently, you need to know WHERE they are. So get out there, first ask them where they go and then be present with your message in their world—over and over and over again.

Need more chicken soup for your biz? Follow me on Twitter, friend me on Facebook, watch me on YouTube or connect with me on LinkedIn –and let’s talk

 

Still Bragging About Yesterday? Then You Haven’t Done Much Today

pinball
Pinballl Clemons

I met and fell in love with a man called Pinball Clemons last week. Not to worry, my husband was already in love with him. I, on the other hand had never met him.

CFL Hall of Famer,
Vice Chair of the Toronto Argonauts, Michael Clemons was a name I’d often heard in the community but due to my armchair sports allergy, I’d never personally been acquainted with.

Well, did he ever blow me away when I saw him speak for the first time last week. He had some doozy quotes that I LOVED and resonated so much with. Here are a few of them.

The first zinger was:

“Excuses are like belly buttons, everyone’s got one and none of them are good for anything”

I laughed out loud at that one. I want so badly to say this so many times during so many conversations I have with business women I’m networking with. (Not clients though, with them I tell them how it is and I call them on their excuses. Most times they love me for it, other times I piss them off.)

You know who doesn’t have excuses? Successful people, that’s who. They take responsibility and change their lives if something isn’t working. Victims blame everything and everyone except themselves for their circumstances and wait to be rescued by the miraculous change in the ‘excuse’ condition that’s responsible for their situation.

“If what you’ve done yesterday still sounds good today, then you haven’t done much today”

I loved this one so much that I made it the title of this post. I found that I was doing this a lot. I kept talking about how I tripled my revenue last year. What about this year? I’m happy to say that I’m 132% ahead of year to date same time last year right now. However, I have to double that if I want to reach my true goal. So as Janet Jackson would say ‘what have you done for me lately?’

“If a paralyzed 15 year old can golf, you as an entrepreneur can’t be afraid to take risks”

Pinball cried when he told the story of his true hero, a teenager who became paralyzed from the neck down, who was unable to move or speak and could only communicate through an interpreter who read his blinks. He talked about how if this little boy could still have the spirit to get up each and every day and live his very difficult life in joy, going as far as golfing while strapped to a lever and having his dad’s help for his swing, then we as entrepreneurs didn’t have the right to be afraid of discomfort.

I really loved the lessons contained in these golden nuggets that fell from Pinball’s lips and I live by them. Who is inspiring you today?

Need more chicken soup for your biz? Follow me on Twitter, friend me on Facebook, watch me on YouTube or connect with me on LinkedIn –and let’s talk