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.

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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.

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Seek Out New Opportunities

Last week, I explained how overcoming setbacks is as an easy as A.B.C.
A-Ambiguity       B- Build      C-Commit
This week I am going to show you how easy seeking out opportunities is. It is as easy as N.O.W.

stands for “Never-as in “Never Giving Up!”  By making, a daily mantra of “I will never give up” means there is not a minute, an hour, or a month that you are not seeking out new opportunities.  New opportunities are the only way to completely come out of a setback.  The only way to find new opportunities is give it all you have every day!

stands for “Opportunistic”.  Before you see that word and think “I have to chase down every opportunity that comes my way”,-wait.  Have the spirit of being opportunistic but make sure it’s the right fit for you.  By going out of the box and chasing after something “just because” is not the smart way to do it.  Instead, figure out your niche and be opportunistic within that realm.  By being patient and not settling, you will find out it pays off in the long road.

stands for “Weigh-as in Weigh it all out”  When you do find those opportunities that fit your niche, do not jump in right away.  If time permits, make a list of pros and cons and see if this opportunity is truly right for you.  Sometimes people are so excited about that first job opportunity that they do not weigh out the pros and cons.  Six months later after the “Newlywed” feeling wears off, they find they are regretting their decision.

So that’s it…last week I gave the A.B.C’s of how to deal with setbacks and this week I showed you how N.O.W. will help you seek out new opportunities.

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Avoid Focusing on Set-backs and Seek out New Opportunities

Avoid Focusing on Setbacks

There comes a time in one’s personal and business life, where a setback comes in and rears its ugly head.  When it does come, because we know at some point it will, a person has two choices. They can either sit there or focus on all the negativity that comes with it.  Or they can come to terms with the reality of the set back  and push forward.

It is as easy as A.B.C.

 stands for Ambiguity.   A trait that is tied to most entrepreneurs which holds the meaning: The possibility of interpreting an expression in two or more distinct ways. When facing a setback, especially one that leaves a person in a negative situation, the best thing to do is look at in an ambiguous way.  Instead of focusing on how negative this setback is, look at it in a positive way.  And turn a problem into an opportunity. Real Life Application:  Make a list of 10 to 20 positives you can gleam from this particular setback.   “I am not sure where I’m going but I still prepare myself diligently for the journey every day” ~Peter Baskerville

stands for Build.   A setback requires a person to start over or build from the bottom up.  Take the list that you made of 10 to 20 positives and use them to make a game plan.  Part of making this game plan will help you build confidence not only in yourself but also in keeping a positive outlook on this setback.  “Whatever good things we build end up building us.”
~Jim Rohn

stands for Commitment.   In this time where your environment as well as situation is unstable, you have to be committed.  More importantly, you have to be committed to yourself foremost.  Now that you have made a list, a game plan, write up a commitment contract where you outline what you are committing to.  “There’s a difference between interest and commitment.  When you’re interested in doing something, you do it only when circumstance permit.  When you’re committed to something, you accept no excuses, only results. ”  ~Tom Robbins

 

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The Right Attitude & Mindset is a Must ~Be like the Bee~

                       Aerodynamically, the bumblebee should not be able to fly, but the bumblebee does not know it so it goes on flying anyway.      Mary Kay Ash

There is a saying that goes “You are your own worst critic”.  This simple six-word sentence is especially true when it comes to negative thoughts.  In the last two weeks, I have encouraged you to take big risks about your life, business, even your actions.  I can challenge you and motivate you to reach these amazing goals, but there is one thing I cannot do.  I cannot take away your own negative thoughts that probably consume you when something really, positive is happening.

Did you know it takes extra effort on your part to worry and think negatively?  Whereas, with positive thinking, if you make the decision to rid yourself of negativity, there is no extra effort needed.

Just to prove to you the amazing benefits of positive thinking, I am going to give you three simple but mind-altering tips today!

1.  Positive thinking is what keeps your motivation at its peak

Your attitude about life, how you see the world and respond with actions-both emotional and behavior wise-is determined by the way you think.  So instead of letting your attitude control you, make a decision to control your attitude by thinking positive.

2.  Visualize Your Positivity by Daily Affirmations 

You can also use visualization and affirmations by using tools such as a Life Vision Board or even a journal.  By creating or writing out images of what and how it would feel accomplishing a goal, you use them to replace the negative thoughts.

3.  Avoid Focusing on Set-backs and Seek out New Opportunities

If something does not work out or you are overwhelmed by a project, take a step back and think it through.  Now, I am not saying focusing on all the negative aspects or reasons why this happened.  Instead, go through the entire process and write out a positive lesson learned for every failure.  By focusing on finding a lesson learned, you are not allowing the negativity to flood your mind.

When your negativity starts to slip into your mind, do me a favor and think about a bee.  A bumblebee just the way its body is designed should not be able to fly.  Bumblebees are hard workers who do not know this about their body.  They just fly and focus on what job is ahead of them.

~Be like the Bee~

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It’s a Balancing Act

Continuing with the balance theme… there are so many areas of our lives these days requiring our attention and not just when we get to it but sometimes like it needed to be done yesterday.

Work, relationships, personal time, school, emotional, physical, mental, etc are all aspects of life that require balance.  If balance is not established, you may find yourself feeling or saying something like this;

“I am drained, exhausted and overwhelmed.”

“I wake up in the morning and automatically feel tensed and stressed.”

“My life is chaotic and out of control.”

“I need to change my life but have no clue where to start.” 

                                                                                                           “I cannot focus at all!  No matter what I do, nothing is working!” 

These five statements all reveal one thing – you are lacking major balance in your life!  There is no reason for you to wake up feeling tense and stressed just from getting out of bed.  If you find yourself relating to those five statements, then please continue reading.  I am going to give you three simple and easy ways to find balance in your life once again.

1.  Personal down time is a MUST! 

When you are overwhelmed with life, most likely you have little to no personal downtime.  This is a time where you are doing an activity or even activities that you enjoy to do.  It is not something you feel like you HAVE to do.  The key word being: enjoy.

There is a reason I put this step first because it is the hardest step for anyone who has an unbalanced life to follow through with.  The best way to start to put this step into practice is by giving yourself 30 minutes every day to do something fun.  Once you are in the habit of scheduling in 30 minutes of personal time, then begin to increase it by 15 minutes at a time.  Eventually, you will have at least an hour to two hours of personal time scheduled each and every day.

2.  Remove Draining Negative Tasks/Activities

 One of the biggest reasons people feel overwhelmed and anxious is because of negative, draining tasks/activities.   These activities take our focus away from the things we need to be doing, thus putting us further behind with our daily to do lists.  They also put our frame of mind in a negative place, which can attribute to tension, stress as well as anxiety.

Examples of these tasks/activities include gossiping with co-workers, focusing on all the negative aspects of a task, constantly listening to someone who is complaining or venting, etc.  The best way to avoid these types of tasks/activities is to only participate in ones that enhance as well as add value to your life.  In addition, by avoiding these tasks/activities, you are able to save valuable time-especially at work.  By focusing on the positive aspects, you are giving yourself more time and welcoming positive energy.

3.  Prioritize Errands & Chores 

 Look at everything you are responsible for doing and make a list.  As you go through each item on your list, write beside it at least one alternate, easier way to complete this.  For example, are there groceries, stamps or other items you can purchase online that are delivered to your house?  You would be surprised of not only how much time you save but also money.  Another option is trading services or favors with neighbors and friends.  An example of this is offering to watch your neighbor’s kids a certain amount of days for mowing the lawn.  The key to this time saving tips is to trade tasks that you enjoy doing or that you were planning on doing.

These three simple and easy tips are only the start of finding and achieving balance in your life.  Do not allow those five statements at the beginning of this blog be a part of your life.  Life is too precious and short for it not to be enjoyed.

As always, please share your comments or your own ways of how you found balance in life.  Have a wonderful week! And find time to ENJOY!

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It’s All In the Balance

When life is hectic, especially right now with the holidays, time seems to slip from our hands and balancing life, work, kids, and other things is hard to do.  Yes, I can tell you to take a breather but that might make you hyperventilate.  So instead, I am going to ask you to stop and take a moment to read these seven tips on how to balance everything.

1. Don’t overbook.

This may seem unusual to people who try to crowbar as much as possible into every workday. The problem is things rarely go according to a prearranged agenda. That means a lot of time falling through the cracks chasing down appointments, unreturned phone calls, and other items that simply are not going to happen. Instead, keep your to do list as simple as possible but productive.

2. Prioritize.

The secret to booking your time effectively boils down to knowing what is important and what can wait. However, it is critical to use the sharpest knife possible in trimming the essential from the secondary.

3. Learn how to say no. 

One of the biggest land mines to effective time management is recognizing you do not have to agree to everything and with everyone. Use your priority criteria to identify requests that simply are not worth your time.

4. Organize.

Bringing your time in line is not just a matter of scheduling. The mechanics of how you operate can be every bit as important. That means organizing most every element to allow as smooth a workflow as possible.

5. Use technology.

Although personal habits and practices can do wonders for time management, do not overlook technology yet another weapon to make the most effective use of your workday.

6. Nothing is Perfect .

Try as we all may; time management is not an exact science. Do not stress out—and waste time in the process—by obsessing over every second of time. Do what you can and enjoy whatever time you spend more pleasantly or productively.

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How to Get Motivated

Now that we have kicked the procrastination habit, seemed appropriate to talk about staying motivated.

What is motivation? This simple but complex word can bring both disappointment as well as accomplishment.  It drives you to take action but can also drive you to not want to do anything.  Motivation is a word that everyone struggles with at one point or another but how long this lasts is up to you!

Are you finding it hard to keep motivated – especially with the holiday season upon us? Do you find yourself going strong and then BAM!  Something comes up and it takes a lot to get your motivation back on track.  The ironic thing about motivation is when those rough times come your way, if you keep it going, you will succeed.  Motivation is not easy but with a little hard work it is achievable.

Here are five tips to keep your motivation going especially during this time of year:

1.   When you have set-backs, the worst thing to do is to focus on the negative.  Instead re-focus, and do not hesitate.  Make a plan and go with it.

2.  Stay positive.  The number one reason people lose their motivation is due to negativity. It is like a disease that overwhelms your entire train of thought.  So just don’t go there!

3.  Believe in yourself.  When you start to doubt yourself, motivation starts to slow you down.  Before you know it – your motivation is gone. Be a believer.

4.  Acknowledge the progress you have made.  By looking at everything you have accomplished, it will jump start your motivation.  And reward yourself for this, it is huge!

5.  Stay focused at all times.  Keep a to-do list to remind you of everything that must be done.  By doing this, it will help you keep your eyes on the prize.  And let you see just how much progress you have made.

There is no such thing as “Instant Success”.  Everything in this world takes time, work, and motivation.  Motivation is not easy but with a little hard work it is achievable.  Let me know what helps keep your motivation!

Have a good week!

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How to Really Get Things Done, Check Things Off Your List, part 2

Last week, I gave you three tips on how to avoid that ugly 15 letter word called: PROCRASTINATION

The next three tips I am going to give you is an important part of checking things off your list, so you can actually get things done.

Tip#4: Do the Hard Things First  

When you are writing your priority items down (Tip #1), avoid putting those “Tasks” that you loathe last.  In fact, I bet one of the reasons you have procrastinated and are behind is because there are tasks you don’t like to do.  So, for example, if you HATE balancing a financial spreadsheet, put that down first.  Remind yourself if you get those “HATED” items done first you will have the fun items, things you enjoy doing, to do at the end of the day.

Tip#5: Make a Commitment  

The best advice I heard concerning procrastinating, is to commit to doing a certain number of tasks at the beginning of each day.  By making a commitment, you are more likely to stick to it.  If you are like some people who may say “I tried that and I have no problem letting myself down.”  Then ignore that thought in your head and move on to the Tip #6.

Tip#6: Accountability  

Everyone has a friend or co-worker in their life who will keep them straight and not take bogus excuses. Let them know you are struggling with procrastination and need someone to help you get over it.  Email them your list and ask them to hold you accountable. At the end of the day, that person can contact you (or vice versa)  and ask you “What did you get done today?” It is important to choose a person that won’t let you off the hook if you don’t keep that daily commitment.  You both can even set up a consequence/award system.

I hope you enjoyed these six tips which will help you overcome: PROCRASTINATION!     Make sure you let me know what you think about these tips or
even share some of yours!  See you next week!

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How to Really Get Things Done, Check Things Off Your List part 1

Stress, Guilt, Anxiety…three things that occur when you look at your to-do list at the end of day and hardly anything is checked off.  Immediately you think “What happened?!” In the back of your mind though, the answer lies in a 15 letter word:

PROCRASTINATION

Just saying that 15 letter word, makes me cringe because we all experience a time where PROCRASTINATION slips into your life.  Are you at that point in your life?  Have you been stuck in a rut of procrastinating?  If so, continue reading because I have the solution to get you unstuck.  And, if by chance you are one of those super-human people who never procrastinate, then keep reading as a motivation to keep focused.

Tip#1: Make a daily to do list

Before you say “What?!? Make a list?  Isn’t that setting me up to fail before I start?”

The answer is NO and here is WHY:

1.  Instant Reward: You accomplish something by sitting down every day to make a list.

2.  Constant Insurance:  By not taking the time to write everything out, you run the risk of forgetting something.  Also, by forgetting things, you end up spending more time than you would if you had taken the time to make a list in the first place.

3. Prioritize: Nothing motivates someone more than making a plan and knowing exactly what to do.  Make the top three things on your list, things you have to do IMMEDIATELY.

Tip#2: Motivate Yourself

The best way to motivate involves visualizing what it would feel like to cross off the top three items of your list.  If you continue to focus on what it looks
like, then it will motivate you to keep on going.

Tip#3: Set a Timer

This may sound like a waste of time but it really does work.  While I am not advocating multi-tasking, this is a way to get you going.  Start with setting the timer for three minutes.  Pick an item on your to do list and do as much as you can in three minutes.  After three minutes is up take a break, a 2 minute break, and then go right back to it. This time set the timer for 5 minutes and pick up from where you left off.  Continue the process by increasing the time until you get to the point where you are constantly working at finishing your task.  Eventually you won’t need to set the timer because your motivation to get things done will be a habit.

I am going to stop there with three tips today.  One of the main things I want to pass on to you is to STOP PROCRASTINATING and get working. Those three worrisome words:  STRESS, GUILT, ANXIETY cause more problems than they are worth.

Check back next week for the last three tips on working towards crossing things off your to do list and stopping the horrible cycle of PROCRASTINATING!

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