Here’s How to Get a HUGE Jump on Creating an Amazing Year in Your Business…

At any time of the year, it’s important for one to stop and take a look and access your year: where you are or aren’t in your business? Do you like what you see? What issues are raising your anxiety level? How is your bottom line? Have you achieved all the goals you set in January? If not, then why?

Now these questions can cause a lot of emotional pain and angst but they don’t have to. Why not see them as opportunities instead? And as an opportunity these exact issues could bring you more money in the bank. And who doesn’t need this?

So how can you turn these issues into opportunities and get a huge jump on the year? By one simple thing: Send out a Survey to your list. Don’t wait for another year to get back on the right track. Do it now,  create a survey and send it out to your clients and prospects. It’s actually THE best way to find out what your clients think about products, services, newsletter, website, membership, etc.  Also it’s a terrific way to see what they like, what they don’t and what they’d like to see more of from you.

I gave up trying to guess what my clients and prospects needs were years ago. And in my business and in the clients I’ve worked with, we’ve found whenever we had challenges and were not sure in what direction to go in I suggested, “Let’s do a survey.” And believe it or not every time we would do one we got amazing results which were just the answers we needed.

It’s really simple to do a survey.  The quick and easy method is to:

  1. Be clear on your goals for the survey – what’s the info you absolutely need to find out.
  2. Figure out who you want to send it to – is it best to send out to your whole list, or maybe just your customers? Or maybe it’s customers of a certain product (or service) that they purchased from you.
  3. Create your 4 – 5 simple questions. Check out this last post to get my BEST questions to ask-
  4. Get a Survey Monkey or Survey Gizmo online survey account and put your questions in there.
  5. Create a few emails and send out your survey to your list.
  6. Close the survey within 7 days or when you’ve had enough responses
  7. Analyze your results and use them in your business.  This is the HUGE part that will help create your 2011. Your results will help shape your business, your products, services, etc., depending upon what you’ve asked in your survey.

Don’t downplay doing a survey in your business. It really is THE most simple and easy way to ensure you’re creating products, services and really meeting the needs of your clients and prospects on your list.

If you want to know more about creating and implementing surveys in your business, get instant free access to this video: “17 Clever Ways That You Will Never Have To Guess Again What Your Prospects & Customers Want”.  I promise, this will be REALLY helpful for you. Hope to see you soon!

First Steps You MUST Take to Creating Your Information Products

One of the many services I offer is working with clients to help them create their products and then launch these products for them.  The question I always get over and over and over again is—“How do I know what product to create?”  This is an incredibly important questions and often hard to figure out and most of my clients before they worked with me used all sorts of Google algorithms and some even used the pasta method, which I wouldn’t recommend.  The important note here is most guessed and did many other things. The funny thing is THE best thing they could have done to find this out was right under their nose and I was the one that pointed it out to them…

Want to know what it is?  It’s doing a quick survey to your list and ASK THEM what they want. Alex Mandossian calls this an Ask Campaign.  Why note go out there and ask the very people who will buy from you what they want.  And even if you don’t have a list, you can still use social media and post your survey online and drive some traffic there or you could find a JV partner who would be willing to mail the survey to their list for you.

Here are some terrific questions to ask:

What’s the one must have product you would buy from me if I was smart enough to create and sell it to you?

What format should we offer this product to you so you can consume and learn from it effortlessly and easily?

  • Online course- videos, audios and transcripts viewable and downloadable
  • Printed Physical course that’s mailed out to you
  • Live webinar that was a 6 week course
  • Live teleseminar that was a 6 week course
  • Combined online course and live Q&A coaching calls
  • Other- (Please specify)

What price point would be you be willing to invest in this product? (Choose one)

  • $0 – $100
  • $100 – $250
  • $251 – $500
  • $501 – $1,000
  • $1,001 – $2,500
  • $2,501 – $5000
  • $5,001 – $10,000
  • $10,001+

This is THE best way to figure out what next product you ought to create for your list. And again if you don’t have a list, you could use social media and simply as one question—“What’s the one big challenge you’re facing today in your business?” and you’ll get some cool answers that will help spin you in the right direction to creating your next product.

If you liked this article, please leave me a comment. And if you want to discover more about surveys, check out this page– http://www.createamazingsurveys.com/gkic/

What Do Your Customers Want to Buy?

I’ve been asked this question over 1,000 times— what do my customers want to buy? And another questions I get is– how can I figure out what product or service to create so that they will buy it from me?  And I get a gillion more.  Here’s the real scoop on what people want to buy and I want to give you as much information as I can so you can be incredibly successful with creating the best products and services for your clients and customers.

I stumbled upon this book years ago—7 Steps to Freedom II: How to Escape the American Rat Race, by Benjamin Suarez. It’s a rather dated book, published in 1994, and a very BIG hard back book, so I wouldn’t travel with it.  This book is awesome if you’re considering doing direct mail and if you want some real insides on how people buy, and what to sell, how to make money formulas to be profitable, it’s a really good step by step- albeit dated.

What I want to share with you was the ONE thing that I got out of this book and it was his whole discussion and presentation of “Why people buy.”  So here are some key takeaways for your business:

Generally speaking people buy to spend money, be affluent, feel good and to avoid and solve the problems they’re having.  They don’t want to buy things that are hard work, cause risk or that are time consuming. I’m talking about the majority of people, not the 5% of entrepreneurs like you and me. The key is people want “Quick and Easy” solutions.

Here’s a list according to Benjamin Suarez of what people want to buy for:

  1. Immortality and Survival
  2. Power
  3. Love
  4. Money
  5. Recognition
  6. Acceptance
  7. Parental Success
  8. Career Success
  9. Marital Success
  10. Health
  11. Success in Competitive Games
  12. Avoidance of Hardships
  13. Recreational Fun
  14. Avoidance of Unpleasantness

Knowing this list above is hugely important. This gets into the psyche of the REASONS people buy and the “things” they buy for.  After I read this list, it made so much sense to me.  So the next time you’re gearing up to sell or promote a new product or service, take note of these things above and in your promotion and copy address one or some of these that fit.

Also, take a look at this list and it might also help you figure out which product or service to create. We already know the popular markets like Health and wellness, weigh loss and physical fitness, and of course love.  But don’t forget about recognition, immortality, acceptance, fun, and making money!

AND if you need any help with trying to figure out what next product or service to create or offer, check out my latest presentation on the 17 Ways to give your customers exactly what they want—Never Guess Again what your next product or service will be.

The Anatomy of Creating a Survey

Over the last couple of weeks, we have gone over steps how to know what your clients/customers want through creating surveys and writing out our questions.  Today, I want to put all that information together and show you the anatomy of a survey.  Other people might try to make this process really complicated or complex, yet the process is REALLY simple. And if you follow this process, I promise, you will discover EXACTLY what your customers want and then all that’s left to do is to create it!  So after you’ve created your survey- here’s what you need to think about and plan:

Survey Time Frame

In order to get the best response from your prospects, the lifespan of a successful survey is between 7 to 10 days.  Think about this 7 to 10 days time frame as a mini launch.  By keeping this prospective, you will be able to plan every single detail to make this successful.

Communication

By setting up the time frame of 7 to 10 days, you will want to send out 5 – 6 emails throughout this time.  Try to avoid emailing everyday, which could be viewed as spam.  Instead, try to send an email every other day.  Within these emails, you will want to include:

  • Why you need their help
  • Focus on your gift you want to give them (See more below)
  • A Short & Sweet Reminder about completing the survey with the link at least twice in the email
  • Always add a P.S. to your emails

The key to remember about the communication part of this process is make each email compelling so your prospects will provide you with good, solid feedback.

The Gift

Always give a gift to those who answer your survey. It is the best way to not only motivate but also to thank them.  Time is a gift to most people and therefore you want to reward them for giving you some of their precious time.  The best gift idea is something of value and compelling that you think they would want.  I like it to be electronic so it’s easily downloaded- like an eBook, eReport, MP3 audio, video, etc.

Analyzing

The last part of this process is a favorite of mine-maybe because I am a true survey geek!  All your prospects have turned in their surveys and now it is time to dig into their responses.  .  In fact, if you have used a survey tool like Survey Monkey or Zoomerang, they make analysis SO easy.  I love these tools because they do ALL the number crunching FOR YOU!  In addition, they put them in these cool graphs too.

So take advantage of your online survey tool and crunch your numbers, really taking the time to read all your date.  Pay special and close attention to all your open-ended answers.  And then use the information in your business, in your marketing—USE IT!  That’s why you created it and sent it out. So many people forget about it and don’t use that information—it’s a goldmine- use it!

Want more information about using surveys in your business? Check out—www.NeverGuessAgain.com

Already know you want to invest in a program that will show you exactly how to create surveys and use them in your business so you know exactly what your customers want?  Check out my interview with Bill Glazer where we discuss how to give your customers EXACTLY what they want.

 

 

How to Ask Questions in the Right Order

You know the whole chicken egg theory, what came first.  Well when you’re creating your questions for a survey, this can also be true.  Experts argue whether you should ask demographic information up front, at the end, or not at all.  Then others argue about whether they should be optional to answer or not.

What I know after doing surveys for over 20 years, is that the right order of your questions does matter.  And the best order I’ve found is to:

  • Ask easier questions first
  • Move into more complicated questions that flow
  • End with asking easier questions again.

For example, do they get your newsletter, will they want the product as an online course, or as a printed book with audio and videos?  So, you would start off asking questions like:

1)    Which of these materials do you receive from me each month? —- List multiple choice of all they might receive from you—like a printed newsletter, eNewsletter, weekly email, monthly phone call, etc.

2)    If you receive our newsletter, what in particular attracted you to sign up for it? You could leave this open ended or you could give them a list of 4 – 5 reasons of why they receive it and they can either check one or check all.

3)    “If we were to offer a specific training and product around —– how likely would you be to purchase?” (Or you could say, rate how interested you would be to purchase it.)  On this type of question you’d add a 5 point scale to gauge their interest level, from highly likely to least likely and the points in between.

4)    “We’re considering creating an online course, and would love your feedback. What type of training would be most helpful to you?”  Here you would then add some multiple choices for them to choose, like only online course, or an online course with live monthly coaching, etc.

It’s all about order, you start off asking easier questions. It’s best when one question flows into the next.  Also I find it’s easier to END with the simple questions like the demographic information that is SO helpful to get on surveys so you can get a good snapshot of “who’s” answering your survey. Here are some examples:

 You are:Female
Male
 What is your age range? Under 20

20-24

25-29

30-39

40-49

50-59

60-69

70-79

80+

These types of demographic questions are terrific to add to your survey and I find them best to put at the end.  Some folks prefer to put them at the beginning, I honestly don’t think it makes a difference. And I have had them required to answer and optional.  If you really want to know the info, than don’t make it optional. However, do your best to keep the survey anonymous, this way you will be assured the information is truthful. Again, the order of your survey is important because it has to flow from start to finish. And your questions are key, they need to be easy to understand and answer and you can build off of each question. This way those that respond will be able to get through answering your questions quickly and won’t quit in the middle or from the start because they’re confused or the questions are just too complicated.

If you need help or want to discover  more about using surveys in your business- go to –  Never Guess Again

It’s All About the Questions

There is a quote by Albert Einstein that says “If you can’t explain it simply, then you don’t understand it well enough.”

This quote says it all when it comes to the topic of this week’s blog.

It’s ALL About the Questions!

This is actually STEP 2 – AFTER you figure out your goals and outcomes of what you want from doing your survey. Creating questions for your survey products is incredibly important because it will shape the answers you will receive and ULTIMATELY what you will be able to do with that information.  Through this questioning process you will step closer to finding success in your business.

Step # 2 –It’s ALL About the Questions!

When you are coming up with questions, there are SO MANY types of questions to choose from. So let’s start with this— phrase:

“Short, Sweet & to the Point”

One way to keep questions “Short, Sweet & to the Point” is to use open-ended ones. These are the questions that will bare the most fruit for you in your surveys.  A lot of researchers and statisticians don’t particularly like open ended questions because they are the most difficult to measure because each answer is unique, so when sifting through 10k open ended answers, it can be overwhelming in going through all of them. So I highly recommend using open ended questions when you:

1.  Want detailed information in the respondent’s voice

2.  Don’t have good solid answers to create a multiple-choice—because a lot of times you can miss an answer because you didn’t give them one they would have chose. (When you create multiple-choice you’re forcing them to answer your answers that you’ve created.)

The real key to using open ended questions is they can really help not only shape your business, products, etc.; they can also shape YOUR MARKETING.  They write the answers in their voice and will give you key words and key phrases that you can use when you market to them.

Here are some guidelines for you to keep in mind as you create your questions.

1.  Are you questions short or wordy?

  • Simple and concise words are the best to use

2.  5th Grade is your target when it comes to the understanding level.

  • Do not make assumptions
  • Everyone needs to understand them

3.  Stay Away From Complicated.

  • Complication will lead to people not wanting to participate in your survey

4.  Keep your goal and the main thing you want to achieve in mind.

Next week, I am going to take you deeper into how to create those easy and inviting questions that will give you the answers to help shape your business.

PLUS– FREE 60 Minute One On One Call with ME!

If you’ve made it all the way down here to the bottom, thanks for reading, and here’s a gift for you. I want to give you 60 minutes of my time for free, with my compliments.   Maybe you’re:

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How to Give Your Customers Exactly What They Want

Technique #1:  Start With Your Outcome, Not Questions 

This week I want to challenge you with this thought: “Think Outside of the Box.”  The topic of this blog is a little different and will require you to think outside of the box.

Diving right into it, I do not want you to think about all the questions to put into your survey.  I want you think about the outcome first!  So many people fail before they hit the ground running with their survey because they think “Questions First.”

Think about it…before creating and writing questions, you need to know what you want from them first.  Therefore, in hindsight, your first question to ask is: “What is your Outcome.”  and “What’s your goal, what information do you need, or what kind of problems in your business will a survey help you with?”

Once you figure out your outcome, the next step is coming up with some objectives.  It is very important to limit your objectives to two for the outcome.  By limiting your objectives to two, it will help you in the end with coming up with specific questions.   Another reason for keeping it to two objectives is to follow my number one rule with surveys:

Less questions is more! No more than 15 Questions!

To help you out, I am going to give you some examples of good outcomes and objectives to get your creative juices flowing.

  • I want to get new testimonials – at least 10.
  • I want to find out what keeps my clients awake at night.
  • I want to know what my client’s biggest challenge is.
  • I want to know what my customers like and don’t like about my newsletter.
  • I want to know what kind of topics my customers want to read about in my blogs.

So your homework this week is to take the time and come up with some serious outcomes that you’d like to get for doing a survey to your prospects and customers.

Solving the Mystery of What Your Clients Want

Whether you are an entrepreneur or working directly with clients starting from scratch with a new idea is hard, especially when it comes to creating new products. Knowing exactly what your clients need and are looking for is pretty much like a guessing game.

Unless… you know the secret of predicting exactly what your clients want and are looking for.  Today, I am going to share that secret with you.

In fact, it is extremely simple…all you have to do is ASK THEM. The key to this “Secret” is realizing the core of what your clients or prospects want lies in doing a survey—asking a series of questions:

  1. What do they want?
  2. What are their biggest challenges?
  3. What keeps them awake at night?
  4. Based on the above information, what new tools should we create for them?
  5. What is the best format for these products/tools? Online? Printed? Audio/Video?

By doing a survey, it is more than a client asking random questions.   It is about the whole survey process, which includes:

  • Figuring out the goals of your survey and what you want to accomplish with it
  • Implementing the whole survey process
  • Getting a Big Response
  • Using your Results in your business

Over the next few weeks, I will share my secret with you as well as the entire process that goes with it.

Commit to Your Plan to Create Success

I was recently listening to a panel discussion made up of several well known marketing experts and one of the panelists said something that really jumped
out at me.

The panelist was Jay Conrad Levinson who is known as “The Father of Guerilla Marketing.”  He said that he believed “…a mediocre marketing program with commitment will always prove more profitable than a brilliant marketing program without commitment. Commitment makes it happen.”

As soon as I heard that I knew he was right… but I was not really sure why.  So I thought about it for a while and came to a conclusion.

Commitment is when you—

Create a marketing program – good or bad – and then commit to it.

Include the message in all your communication.

Know everyone in your organization follows the program.

Give your customers the same marketing message from you over and over for a long period of time.

Send regular emails, or a newsletter, or have a blog.

Then something happens…You create consistency. This consistency then creates a feeling of trust for you in your customers.

A few weeks ago in my post The “Oprah Factor” and how you can create your own “ X Factor” I talked about the trust that Oprah’s fans feel with her and how this led to very strong and deep emotions they felt about her and this in turn led to the tremendous influence her opinions have on her audience.

Let’s face it.  There is a lot of uncertainty in the world right now.  Your customers are craving consistency and dependability.  They are looking for people to do business with they can rely on.

What you need to do is to develop a strategic marketing plan and commit to it.

If you haven’t created one, or I you’re not sure where to start with developing a marketing plan, I always suggest of course surveying your customers.  Even a very short questionnaire with one or two questions about what they are worried about, what keeps them awake at night, or struggling with right now in their business, will give you a great starting place to build your marketing plan.  Here’s where you can get more info and examples about surveying your customers.  www.createamazingsurveys.com/replay.html

And if you need more help, this is what I do with my clients— create marketing roadmaps/plans for them so they can have a more successful business.  Click here for more info. www.marketingimplementer.com/uploads/Find_Hidden_Money_Article_App.pdf

Whose Shoes Are You Walking In?

Your customers, (this includes those that have not bought anything from you but who have read your blog and subscribed to your newsletter or visited your website) look to you for help, motivation, advice, entertainment, and valuable information.

To really do this effectively you have to walk in your customers shoes.

Everyday I encounter businesses that really miss the mark on this.

One way to really get this is to BE your customer.  Go to your website, cruise it like a potential customer, sign up for your optins. Even better, get your friends, colleagues, and those that work for you to do the same.  Have them document what they see and how they feel during the experience.  There’s a lot to be said about doing this. In fact there’s a huge business that focuses just on that and it’s called “mystery shoppers,” having someone pose as a potential customer and they document their experience. This works well in bricks and mortar places like dentist offices or doctor’s offices.  By doing this, you will be very surprised by the results.  In fact, you could take it one step further and create a short survey for anyone to answer who you ask to go to your website, your newsletter, etc., and get them to document their experience on your survey. For more information about surveys and how to use them to make more money in your business— www.CreateAmazingSurveys.com

What I would recommend is that you start paying closer attention to your own everyday encounters with other businesses, colleagues, bosses, or clients that are either less than satisfactory or extremely pleasant. Really be aware of your own thoughts and reactions when you are annoyed or frustrated or if you find yourself very impressed.

Anytime you encounter something that starts to make the little hairs on the back of your head stand-up, stop and think about why.  What is causing your reaction?  It could be something that seems to be very small but is in actuality significant.

Maybe you are trying to download a free report and you are being asked to fill out a lengthy form to get it.

Or you sent and email to someone and they only responded back with one or two words because they are on their mobile device.

Or you get asked for your zip code at a particular store every time you buy something, even a pack of gum.

Or you visit a website for the first time and immediately get a popup asking you to rate your experience before you even have a chance to look at the site.

Now think about what the other party could have done to make the encounter better for you and really make you eager to return or do business with them again.

Could they have given you just a bit more information that would have been helpful?  Could they have answered your question themselves rather than just pointing you to a document
or FAQ?

Could they have listened to you more carefully to better understand your situation?  Could they use less jargon on their web page to make it easier to understand?

Now go back to your own business and look at every place you interact with your customers, colleagues, bosses, employees, and others.  Really pay attention to how you present
yourself, your information, and advice.  Are you really providing the best possible experience?  Are you really avoiding the mistakes and behavior that annoy you when you are the customer?

Don’t make yourself difficult to do business with.

Let’s face it.  Standards seem to be dropping everywhere you go.  The real key to creating a successful business is paying close attention to what your customer’s experience is with your business…  This is a real opportunity for you to shine and create an amazing experience for your customers.  That is the best way to stand out from your competition and create a much more successful business.