I Will Feel Good after My First Win?

Luke Goodman speaking to a fine room of business owners! Our dedication!

Luke Goodman speaking to a fine room of business owners! Our dedication!

I have had an amazing day today and can’t believe the satisfaction I get from my life these days. I have spent time at 4Networking Penrith today (an amazing Network for Small Business Owners) and quality consulting time with Luke Goodman (LOL Home Loans) and Jenny Kuo (Sociable Space).

In dedicating this article to the both of these fine start-ups, it got me reflecting on my own success (or perhaps lack of it at the start). Including my own reflection on my own poor start-up and working with people who are going through what I went through, it got me reflecting on this big “Chicken & Egg” issue we all contend with in one way or another:

– I will feel good when I get results!
– BUT because I don’t feel good, I am not motivated to get results!

This is one sick cycle that I got caught up in and there is no easy way around it. Despite all the motivational courses (I spent about $20,000+ on Tony Robbins), training, positive thinking, “Magic Cures” and all those “Spiritual / Hippie” things you can do out there – for us telling the truth in the real world, this process sucks for most!

I think it sucks even more if you are like me let’s say, I come from a Military / Police / Agent family ancestry which is all about “Not Making Mistakes”, following clear rules and getting it perfect every time.

And that I did! High Distinction at University in a fairly challenging course and always did “The Right” thing for my employers (another story – my dedication to my employers almost was the death of me). But here is the thing, when you start your business you have NO money, your partner probably hates you (because you are bringing in no money) and your life is one mistake after another.

So for that reason, we can feel very bad and this feeling to a “Point” can be good and motivating, but we all tend to go too far where it leads to pure destruction! The big thing I have learnt to get through this process (in what I did and what I suggest to my awesome clients):

– Accept that the process is hard.
– Approach things with realism.
– Make sure you have enough money to cover you and your family doesn’t starve.
– Go Hard!
– Weather the Storm!
– Get your First Result.
– Then Feel Good!

This was my own personal process and if you are in that hard feeling start-up phase, I feel for you! Please hang in there and feel free to drop me a line if you want to say hello!  Thank you again Luke & Jenny – you are fine avatars to the hundreds of thousands of Start-Ups across the world and the ones to come!

With Gratitude and Love from Edward Zia – Marketing Mentor who spent some time on the bottom!

Coffee Chats & Profitable Business Networking!

Always great to be interested in the other person during Coffee Chats?

Always great to be interested in the other person during Coffee Chats?

This post is dedicated to the fine Luke Goodman from LOL Home Loans after a fantastic marketing consultation and lunch we had today in the Eastern Beaches of Sydney.

He is a man getting right into his business as well as business networking.  It made me reflect on my own experiences in this area and importance on building relationships outside of the room.

As a Marketing Mentor and also a 4Networking Regional Leader, it got me thinking about this topic on working through the process.  To get this topic across simply, I found two extremes of networkers:

– (The Bad) – People that just go and sell to the room. The are only interested in money they can take and in it for themselves.

– (The Brilliant) – People that go in with a give first and take much later attitude and in it to help the room benefit.

I think this sets an amazing distinction and when it comes to building relationships with people and trading, comes in the powerhouse “coffee chat!”

So what is a coffee chat? It’s a great process where two people in a business networking sense can go off somewhere and really decide whether they meet, like, know and trust each other! Meeting at a networking event and a quick chat just isn’t good enough to do anything! But a coffee chat?

Wow, getting to know each other – having a great time and then doing business! It takes time to really get to know and trust each other and what better way than over coffee or food?

So if you are getting into business networking, my advice? Book a coffee chat per meeting and totally love it and enjoy the process!

Thank you Luke Goodman! A compelling reason to write a good post.

Premium Products & Services: Why People Pay More?

Certainly Premium Products Right Here! :)

Certainly Premium Products Right Here! 

This article I would like to dedicate to the fantastic couple Eddie & Manni Manirath.  They are  husband and wife enterpreneurs working on health coaching and helping business / professional women get their sexiness & sass back like they were in their 20’s!

In spending some quality time working with them, they are doing what I always love to hear:

– Delivering the Best Quality Possible and Asking a Fair Price!

That really resonates with me (and also the market) and only too often I meet small business owners doing the direct opposite. That is, many try and “go cheap” and compete on price which is incredible dangerous!

“The cheap / low pricing” strategy is often used by large companies and why? Because they comercially can! For North American readers “Wal-Mart” is an obvious one and for us Australian’s “Officeworks” is a notable other.  They are massive companies, with massive supply chains and can afford to do this with relative easy and profitability!

In a very weak example, let’s say you wanted to sell pencils.  As a small business owner, how much would they cost you? Say $0.30 per pencil and you sell them for $2.00? How much would it cost Wal-Mart? Probably $0.30 for 100 pencils or more.

As small business owners, we can’t compete on price and our bastion of success is quite often “high quality / personalised services & products”.

Hence this is where the problem kicks in! I see too many business owners convince themselves they are “premium” when they really suck. They have sub-standard training, products and services (sorry life coaches – you are guilty of this one all the time!) and most visibly of all have poor quality business cards and promotional materials (even home made printed on Ink-Jet’s, ewww!!!).

What ads insult to injury is that they are trying to charge “Mercedes” type of pricing for something that just doesn’t command it, but are using “hype” & “exaggerations” to try and justify pricing they are just not entitled too.

What I loved about meeting with Eddie & Manni today was that they want premium pricing, but they totally get it has to be reasonable, fair and they need a premium Image / offering to support that!

I get it all the time from great clients, how can I fairly increase my prices without losing volume? My answer is simple:

– Make sure your Product has the Image / Quality that fairly deserves it!

As a guide, things I often suggest to fantastic clients are:

1) Make sure your product / service is worth it.  If not, upgrade it!

2) Make sure the market wants that and will pay for it!

3) Make sure you deep down believe that without any hype!

4) Make sure it’s ethical charging that price!

5) Make sure your Image is perfect and “Mercedes” quality!

6) Be consistent and trusted!

7) Work non-stop to build your reputation!

Really important and talking image, the first thing we often look at is ensuring things like personal presentation, business cards, flyers, promotional materials, Facebook, LinkedIn and websites are up to scratch. I always recommend this to anyone in business, go visit say the Hilton / Mercedes and see how the premium brands play it.  Then say go visit a 3 Star hotel / Ford dealer and see the difference. Our businesses are no different and I hope this has provoked some kind thought.

Thank you from Edward Zia for taking the time to read this article.  Wishing you the best and maximum success out there!

Our Passion and Love for Selling and Small Business Success!

Got to Love Selling! It makes Business Owners big Dollars!

Got to Love Selling! It makes Business Owners big Dollars!

I have had an amazing week and very blessed again to be working with 2 amazing business operators, Glenn Meilak (Definitive Wealth Management) and George Germanos (Alliance Accounting).

The boys have both built impressive businesses in the short space of about 2 years and its funny seeing them in action.  I have known plenty of business people doing exactly “the same thing” (e.g. Accounting and Financial Planning) to mostly not make it or have a marginal existence at best.

Glenn & George are sharp operators for sure and today we were talking about face to face selling! That is, like myself and many fine people I work with we are all nice people, technical experts and of course having to sell our services.

Being guilty of this myself, it can be easy to get involved in the detail of what we do and “temporarily forget” the importance of having to understand where our clients are at, what their hot buttons are and of course how to sell! After re-sparking these memories with George and Glenn today – it has motivated me to write a fine check list and guides for business owners wanting to brush up their selling:

– LISTEN – Always find out where people are at first!
– ENSURE – Before choosing to sell or push a point, make sure you know your product is just perfect for them!
– SUBTLE DISCUSSION – Most selling these days is not the old “Door to Door” days, but a subtle and friendly conversation leading people a certain way.
– TRANSPARENCY – No bull, the facts. This goes both ways, facts about what you do and facts about how awesome it is.
– DIRECTNESS – If your product is the best and they need it, you tell them that and you believe it!
– JUSTIFICATION – If you are charging $500 then have a great reason, $1000 a great reason, $100,000 a great reason! Whatever you charge, justify it fairly!
– ASK – Ask for the order or just get to work!

Depending on where you are it, this may be obvious or a revelation to you! One big thing that came to the surface is dealing with “price objection”. That is, there are two reasons that people object to price:

– They are just jerks.
– They aren’t convinced it’s worth that much.

Jerks are jerks, but don’t assume that! Always justify your price. For example, if you are say more expensive / premium than the rest of the market, you must know why! Then explain that in precise detail.

For example, my hourly rate is $250 / Hour + GST and I am sure there are plenty of marketing consultants around that will do it for $100 / hour or even less! So if I am head to head, why am I worth what I am charging if I get asked?

– Because I have almost 15 years of experience.
– It is a fair rate for my experience / reputation.
– My advice can save plenty of mistakes costing more than $250 / Hour!
– My advice has made other’s thousands of dollars, far in excess of it’s charge.

That is why I charge more! I rarely get confronted on this issue, but in the rare cases I do this is the standard answer. If I know I am perfect for them, then I go for it! If they don’t want to work with me great, but it won’t stop me making a HARD suggestion! As for you, if you are learning how to sell or dealing with price objections – really understand why you are brilliant and go hard for it! You never know who will hire you!

Hope you enjoyed this fine read and thank you for your attention! Of course if you are after some powerhouse Sales & Marketing Strategies – make sure you check out the Awesome Marketing Vault right here.

Thank you from Edward Zia and have a great day or night wherever you are!

Trading Introductions – Getting Big Referrals for Small Businesses!

Nothing like Politely asking for Introductions & Referrals!

Nothing like Politely asking for Introductions & Referrals!

A BIG thank you for this blog post goes to the fine Robert DelVecchio from IT Support Guys! He is this fine IT support guy based in the “Hills Shire” of Sydney, Australia.

While we were working together we talked about a powerhouse topic very close to my heart, being getting referrals through business networking! Most business networking groups (e.g. 4Networking, BNI, She, Success Womens etc) are mostly dominated by small business owners.  Why? They need to have their own support community and is a great opportunity to target fellow small business owners.

In my case, I have the luxury of of being “lazy” in that many of my potential clients are in the room – BUT, for quite a few they target larger businesses (say with at least 5 staff). In that case, it’s a bit harder and instead of say “selling to the room” we advise they characters to “sell through the room!”.

That is, instead of trying to do business (buying / selling) in the room, the goal is to build partners.  That is, friends they trust – preferably who share the same target market.

One amazing strategy many have used to make top dollars is what we call “introduction trading”, that is:

– They make friends and trust each other.

– Educate each other as to the type of clients.

– Sit down, go through each others databases.

– Work out who to introduce each other to who.

– They then do it!

A great approach may be do 5 x each with each other.  That is, give each other 5  introductions each to relevant people they can do business with! That is where the money is for many, as if you approach people from scratch it may take 3 – 6 months to get the sale (if ever!).

Through an introduction from a trusted source, it can turn into more “order taking”, that is rocking up to fulfil the order rather than sell hard!

So my advice, find a good friend and trade with them like this! Powerful!

Drop me a line for any success stories of if any questions at edward@excellenceabove.com.au – best of luck!

Thought Leadership, Yes Thought Leadership!

Thought Leadership - Well that's one way of getting attention, but perhaps tweak the approach on this one :)

Thought Leadership – Well that’s one way of getting attention, but perhaps tweak the approach on this one!

I had a fantastic day today, met with some totally awesome clients and one in particular was a fine gentleman by the name of Ciaran Keating from East Software.  This was right in the Sydney CBD and we enjoyed lots of fine coffee and food for a Friday morning.

We spoke for hours and hours at length and great minds think alike – we have a similar business strategy that we are pursuing called “thought leadership”.  I originally learnt this term some years ago through the Australian Marketing Institute and this is basically:

– Being known inside and outside your industry as a reputable leader and someone who sets the pace!

It’s my dream to be that myself and although the “kindling” of that process is there for me, it’s a far-cry from that! But still aiming for the stars I am!

Putting on my marketing mentor / consultant hat, this is quite different to what most people do. I am all for survival – but too many people I find go from month to month without any clear direction! Not good for anyone, people can get in ruts, make poor decisions (i.e. especially not saving up cash or not thinking ahead) and it’s bad! What I like about “thought leadership” is that beyond the cliche it actually get’s one thinking long term! It makes you think about your reputation and make more considered and intelligent decisions which I think it awesome.

For example, to become a thought leader there are probably hundreds of ways of doing it, but I think nothing beats the long hard grind. In my case, I am personally:

– Writing this blog post! Ha, I got you

– Networking like crazy.

– Speaking all over town.

– Going hard for my clients ALL THE TIME.

– LinkedIn, Facebook, Facebook Advertising.

– And many more!

I think the trick for this working is really considering, “What must I do to get that reputation that people look up to me?”. And of course, we are doing this for far beyond EGO reasons – Industry leaders usually get paid the most, so ha ha ha! Hope that helps and gets you thinking – I will have to write more on this topic!

Evil Nutjobs and their Quest into your Bank Account!

They Shonks would if they could!

The Shonks would if they could!

Lately I have heard this expression come up more and more in that “You Should Never Leave Money on the Table?”.  I only heard this expression maybe a year ago – and like all things, I really learn both sides of the coin before taking a side.

I understand conceptually the point of “Not Leaving Money on the Table”.  That is – my ethical / noble take of it is lets say you meet with someone, it’s really good to establish some way you can help each other before you leave.  Be it buy their services, sell, refer or just support each other.

However, I have seen it’s dark underbelly show up yet again in that when you meet with some people, they really really try hard to take your money by any means possible.  That is, I have heard war stories of people:

– Trying to oversell.  That is – their services are not appropriate for the other and they keep going without any ethics.

– They make out they want to meet for innocent means and then hit you up at the table to join some type of scheme (i.e. a big issue around Sydney right now).

– They try and get you to do something to serve only their agenda and pay little to no attention to yours.

The Top Earners I personally know and work with – about 9 /10 of them are team players, contributors, and only enter sustainable “Win-Win” agreements.  I know the odd rich toad, but in my experience over the last few years – most rich are quite noble type of characters (i.e. the sustainable / long term wealthy).

I have noticed that the poorest people I know are the ones that try to suck you into schemes and usually have a poor reputation around town.

I once met a guy at a Networking Event that did almost all of the above.  They dominated me in the conversation, tried to sell me some crap that they knew wasn’t useful to me.  And then afterwords he “Accidentally” sent me some material on a dodgy scheme.  When I pointed this out, he was all like “Oh Sorry, it was by accident”.

I then said “No thank you, this type of scheme isn’t for me”.

And guess what he did, he kept going! I then stopped replying to his emails and that got rid of him.  Also of interest, you can tell that he certainly didn’t want to leave any money on the table! Provided of course it was all in his wallet!

So please be careful out there boys and girls! I have noticed shonks on the rise in the Sydney Scene and I really hate them all big time.

Happy Easter too! 🙂

Dodgy Organizations: Ripping you off by Holding Stuff Back!

Evil People Love it!

Evil People Love it!

One thing our Legal System is big on is clearly defining lying.  When one gives evidence, they have to “Tell the Whole Truth and Nothing But the Truth”.  That is – if one selectively tell’s part of a story with intent to twist it’s meaning – that is actually considered being deceptive.

An obvious example – I say such and such hit me and I want to charge them for Assault.  If I hold back of the fact that I stole his wifes handbag and pulled a knife on them – it obviously changes the whole meaning.

In more subtle, but still insidious example – I have done some training over the years with organizations that do exactly this.  That is – when they structure their training, they are quite clearly with-holding WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW with the whole purpose of trying to sell you more courses.

Don’t get me wrong – I am all for up-selling and such, but when the dodgy suckers start with-holding what you need to know, this is borderline theft.

Years ago (in a very different life) – I actually hired this “Coach” to help me out.  They would charge big dollars per session and kick me out right on 60 Minutes.  And it took me a few years to realize what they did – but they would never tell me what I needed to know.

Just enough to get me by, but always not enough to scam me back.  Years later I went into business for myself and yes – found this person still kicking around with no money and doing poorly.  Why? Everyone knows they are a shark!

So here is the thing – unless you have no choice (i.e. they are say a Airline or a  Teleco) – if someone is holding stuff back and not doing what they should – get rid of them! Dodgy sharks only get by – from people buying their services.

Although I know *almost everyone* reading this blog is honest and doing a great job, if you ARE NOT I invite you to change your thinking right now.  Most people I know who are dodgy never make it – and for the ones that do, please note:

– If you don’t change right now after reading this, you are an evil morally corrupt cockroach who isn’t advancing the human race.

As for you cool honest people – keep it up! Love your work.

The Dangers of “Faking it Till You Make It”

You don't think you will get exposed?

You don’t think you will get exposed?

In quite a few courses I have done they have all given similar advice of “Faking it Till You Make it”.

Conceptually I get it and agree with it partly – i.e. you may not be brilliant yet, you feel insecure, but “Pretend” you are to help you get there.

That makes some level of sense in that when we start something new, we may be totally brilliant at it – but at some emotional level we feel bad.  We then “Lie” to ourselves, saying we are great and eventually we believe it.

Hmm makes sense, but I have seen the dark Under-Belly of this used (often to the charlatans demise around the Sydney scene recently.  Consider these examples of unethical deception at work which I have witnessed personally:

LIE #1 – People pay me $500 for my services

REALITY #1 – The liar exchanged money (i.e. $500 for $500 so it’s NIL) with others so they could make this exagerrated claim.

LIE # 2 – I just did over $200K+ worth of sales.

REALITY # 2 – This person has no money.  I know that – they told me so and when you meet them you know!

LIE # 3 – I have consulted to Microsoft, Dell & HP

REALITY # 3 – The person just solicited them and failed – now they call themselves consultants to them.

I don’t doubt that some people are fooled by this, but the reality is that most people with some level of Street Smarts see right through this.  I have plenty more examples of this very unethical marketing too.

What I find very odd is that for the people that are doing this – they aren’t getting results.  That is, honest hard-working people are doing better – but you get these shonks coming to market thinking they can do better.

So I am all for puffing yourself up to make yourself feel better – but be really careful about when your “Spin” turns into “Lying”.  It’s actually against the Trade Practices Act and you won’t want to wind up on TV! Substance, Facts and Substance! By all means a bit of Spin is good – but watch yourself out there. As for you liars I am talking about above – I hope you get what is coming to you soon.

And you honest people are totally awesome and rock!