Archive for Cobb Galleria

Your Prospects, Your Perspectives

Every client you have has – at some point – been a prospect.   Makes no difference if this person was a friend, coworker, peer or perfect stranger prior to engaging your services or buying your product.

The Spark and Hustle event I recently attended here in Atlanta, was about breaking out into the business world as a female entrepreneur.   Thus, a lot of the talks were focused around sales.

I really enjoyed hearing Joyce Bone of Millionaire Moms thoughts on this.  Her statement, “Work where they work. Go where they go,” gives new meaning to the phrase “soccer moms.”  I just envisioned all these soccer moms rallying around while the kids are playing, multitasking as they watch and cheer on their kids while networking!  (Gotta love moms, huh?)  Couple that with her next comment, “When dealing with prospects, be pleasantly persistent,” and you can see why the “mom” force has such great success on the entrepreneurial front!

However, when you’re not a mom, you have to find these opportunities in other ways.   According to Robyn Spizman, you must “put the muscle into your hustle with the 5 by 5 rule: make 5 cold calls every day by 5:00”!   For me, the definition of a cold call implied making phone calls.   Given that I spend so much time on the phone with my current clients, this is something I don’t always relish.   So, I have expanded my approach well beyond the phone by creating a new definition of a cold call: it’s any new contact I make – anywhere – whether it be at the grocery store, a friend’s dinner party, or a restaurant.  It reminds me of the Organic Networking System that Debby Stone and I co-created years ago, when I was more heavily involved with our company, Corner Office Coaching.  It’s about how to naturally develop relationships by doing what you enjoy and being who you are, thus creating a flourishing professional network and enhancing business development skills.  At the time, I didn’t make the connection about cold calls, but I am glad I finally did – it feels liberating!

Granted, it doesn’t always feel comfortable to just start chatting it up with folks in the grocery aisle.  You have to find a way to shed new light on something.  I was thinking about what Taryn Pisaneschi said about this: “When networking, set a goal and have one thing that you are promoting that day, remembering the bigger, less obvious solution that it provides.” If I go really basic with this idea and use the grocery store aisle analogy, you can buy a jar of spaghetti sauce for your pasta dish, yet the bigger, less obvious solution it also provides is 2 servings of vegetables that are good for your health.   With this pattern of thinking, you have turned the typical, “this has a huge amount of carbs” problem into a “this is a really health solution for me” solution.    (Ok… that was a little wonky… but you get the point.)

Think about what you’re offering in the way of a product and service, and give it a new perspective for a prospect.   Show him/her a side of this product or service that has been overlooked.   I’m pretty sure you’re going to find there’s a lot more to what you offer than meets the average “eye.”  And a lot more interest in it, too!

Note:  This is one blog post in a series of them that I’ll be publishing here periodically about the insights I gleaned from the aforementioned Spark and Hustle conference.  It is my hope that these posts will not only inform you, but also inspire you to take action on making your dreams real, especially if your dreams include becoming an entrepreneur.  Perhaps with some spark and hustle, we can all profit from our passions!

Your Press Release, Your True Voice

I’m not sure how many of you actually involve the media in what you do…however, you may want to start thinking about it.

Search engine optimization is far more than just getting your web site listed by submitting it to Google.  There’s Facebook, Twitter, and all those other things that can bring your online presence to a higher level.   One of these is press releases.

When you say “press release,” it scares the bejeepers out of people.  Most people can’t write them (me being one of those people) nor do we even know what to do with them.    However, Laura Scholz who runs her own communications company somewhat summed it up at the recent Spark and Hustle event here in Atlanta: “When dealing with the press, be timely, relevant, to the point – and send no attachments.” Interesting.

I asked Cindy Brock, one of my team members, about this comment, since she has worked in the TV, entertainment, and media industry.   “It’s true,” Cindy says.  “For every 5 press releases I must rewrite, 3 of them are for a product or service that was released weeks or months ago, it’s not relevant to anything that anyone would care about, and it’s filled with endless gibberish.”   Cindy said that when dealing with the media, you must put yourself in the shoes of the person who is going to receive the information.  “Imagine you’re a TV news reporter and you only have 1 minute to get your message across.  You must tell the viewer what it is, how it’s beneficial, and why action needs to take place now.”

I thought about how this transfers across to aspects of a business (or even a personal journey).  How much time, money, energy are we spending doing things that are not in the time frame we want, not relevant to our overall goal, and are completely missing the point we want to make or goal we want to achieve?   Yikes!  If we’re being true to ourselves, wouldn’t we give these items the attention they require?  Wouldn’t we be do what ever we could to make our voices heard?  I think so.

What are your press releases – and other actions and choices –  saying about you, and how you feel about yourself?  Are you using your True Voice?

Note:  This is one blog post in a series of them that I’ll be publishing here periodically about the insights I gleaned from the aforementioned Spark and Hustle conference.  It is my hope that these posts will not only inform you, but also inspire you to take action on making your dreams real, especially if your dreams include becoming an entrepreneur.  Perhaps with some spark and hustle, we can all profit from our passions!

Your Pricing, Your Brand

I recently spent 3 days at a great event here in Atlanta:  Tory Johnson‘s “Spark and Hustle.”   This was an amazing three days and I walked away with a wealth of information.

I was fortunate enough to hear some great folks speak, as well as talk to them in person, and a lot of the things said rang so true for me.

for instance, pricing is a tough call for anyone.  Yet, as Cindy Morrison said, “Never, ever price from fear.” How many of us do that?  You come up with a price, then you think it’s too much, but then you’re frustrated with yourself because it’s not really enough.   You end up going up/down on the seesaw and really not getting anywhere.   Unfortunately, as Casey McCann pointed out, “Pricing is a game.  I suggest you play it.” Yet, that’s where the problem exists: in knowing how to play the game.

The more I thought about this, the more I realized that the statement made by Jennifer Abernethy of The Sales Lounge is 100% right on target: “The biggest sale we need to close is often with ourselves.” It was as if the “angels on high” sang right into my ear!   Pricing was not about a number on a page: it was about selling myself on how much I was really worth.   As women, we are geared towards always giving, without ever calculating the value of our time and energy.   We aren’t doing it wrong: we just need to look at from a different perspective.

Shameeka Ayers, The Broke Socialite, really made it come together for me with these two thoughts:

First, if you will believe in the power of your brand, others will too! (her words, not mine).   Can you remember the last time you were so passionate about something that you thought you could leap tall buildings in a single bound (and not get your Superwoman cape caught in something)?  That’s exactly how you should feel about what you offer.  If you’re not quite there, ask yourself these questions:

  • What powerful benefits does your product or service – or your mere presence – give to someone else?
  • Will it encourage someone to take a risk that they wouldn’t have taken previously?
  • Does it enable someone to move around their obstacles and find a clear path ahead?

Shameeka’s second thought – at first – seemed a bit foreign to me:  If you dare to be radical, be radical about monetizing. Oh sure.   Back on the old “how do I price this” roller coaster.   (How many of you are sitting next to me on this ride, also screaming about pricing?)   But she is absolutely right.   If you’re going to try something different, why not your monetization strategy?   After all, as an entrepreneur, the financial impact is a vital component.

That’s a lot to think about, so let’s get to it.  Feel free to share your comments below, and I’ll be checking in again to let you know how I’m doing, too!

Note:  This is the first in a series of blog posts that I’ll be publishing here about the insights I gleaned from the aforementioned Spark and Hustle conference.  It is my hope that these posts will not only inform you, but also inspire you to take action on making your dreams real, especially if your dreams include becoming an entrepreneur.  Perhaps with some spark and hustle, we can all profit from our passions!

True Voices Spark and Hustle

Hello!

This will be a brief post, with much more to come later on this very topic.   I am scrambling this morning to get ready for a call with one of my Be You Out Loud clients, then a call with my coach, Jeanine Mancusi, and then to get on the road heading toward to the Spark and Hustle Conference at the Cobb Galleria Centre in NW Atlanta.  It’s run by Tory Johnson, with Michelle Pippin, and I am delighted to have been chosen to be one of their official blogging/tweeting/posting people!

I am also excited about all of the great information and great women I am sure to meet there!  It’s a conference all about women entrepreneurs and their (our) businesses, so it’s right up my alley.  And this is a year that I have dedicated to (among other things) learning about how to be a better business woman.  (I could say something here about it being about time, since I am in my 10th year of business, but I will refrain.  🙂 )

Not that I will ever stop learning.  First of all, I love to learn.  And second, the way I see it is that one would have to work rather hard to avoid it!

OK – short post, as I said.  But look for more later about what all I am learning.  I am happy to share whatever it is, so that you can learn, too…

Have a sparkling day,
Laura

PS Written a year later: In 2011, I was a speaker at Spark & Hustle, and this is a picture proving it! 🙂