Weekly Edge

On Santa's Team

Heather Frame - Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Today we have a short story that’s sure to put a smile on your face and remind you how fortunate you really are…..  It’s called ‘On Santa’s Team’ (author unknown)

My grandma taught me everything about Christmas. I was just a kid. I remember tearing across town on my bike to visit her on the day my big sister dropped the bomb: "There is no Santa Claus," jeered my sister. "Even dummies know that!"

My grandma was not the gushy kind, never had been. I fled to her that day because I knew she would be straight with me. I knew Grandma always told the truth, and I knew that the truth always went down a whole lot easier when swallowed with one of her world-famous cinnamon buns.

Grandma was home, and the buns were still warm. Between bites, I told her everything. She was ready for me.

"No Santa Claus!" she snorted. "Ridiculous! Don't believe it. That rumour has been going around for years, and it makes me mad, plain mad. Now, put on your coat, and let's go."

"Go? Go where, Grandma?" I asked. I hadn't even finished my second cinnamon bun.

"Where" turned out to be Kerby's General Store, the one store in town that had a little bit of just about everything. As we walked through its doors, Grandma handed me ten dollars. That was a bundle in those days.

"Take this money," she said, "and buy something for someone who needs it. I'll wait for you in the car." Then she turned and walked out of Kerby's.

I was only eight years old. I'd often gone shopping with my mother, but never had I shopped for anything all by myself. The store seemed big and crowded, full of people scrambling to finish their Christmas shopping. For a few moments I just stood there, confused, clutching that ten-dollar bill, wondering what to buy, and who on earth to buy it for. I thought of everybody I knew: my family, my friends, my neighbours, the kids at school, the people who went to my church.

I was just about thought out, when I suddenly thought of Bobbie Decker. He was a kid with bad breath and messy hair, and he sat right behind me in Mrs. Pollock's grade-two class. Bobbie Decker didn't have a coat. I knew that because he never went out for recess during the winter. His mother always wrote a note, telling the teacher that he had a cough; but all we kids knew that Bobbie Decker didn't have a cough, and he didn't have a coat.

I fingered the ten-dollar bill with growing excitement. I would buy Bobbie Decker a coat. I settled on a red corduroy one that had a hood to it. It looked real warm, and he would like that. I didn't see a price tag, but ten dollars ought to buy anything. I put the coat and my ten-dollar bill on the counter and pushed them toward the lady behind it.

She looked at the coat, the money, and me. "Is this a Christmas present for someone?" she asked kindly. "Yes," I replied shyly. "It's ... for Bobbie. He's in my class, and he doesn't have a coat." The nice lady smiled at me. I didn't get any change, but she put the coat in a bag and wished me a Merry Christmas.

That evening, Grandma helped me wrap the coat in Christmas paper and ribbons, and write, "To Bobbie, From Santa Claus" on it ... Grandma said that Santa always insisted on secrecy.

Then she drove me over to Bobbie Decker's house, explaining as we went that I was now and forever officially one of Santa's helpers. Grandma parked down the street from Bobbie's house, and she and I crept noiselessly and hid in the bushes by his front walk.

Suddenly, Grandma gave me a nudge. "All right, Santa Claus," she whispered, "get going."

I took a deep breath, dashed for his front door, threw the present down on his step, pounded his doorbell twice and flew back to the safety of the bushes and Grandma. Together we waited breathlessly in the darkness for the front door to open. Finally it did, and there stood Bobbie. He looked down, looked around, picked up his present, took it inside and closed the door.

Forty years haven't dimmed the thrill of those moments spent shivering, beside my grandma, in Bobbie Decker's bushes. That night, I realized that those awful rumours about Santa Claus were just what Grandma said they were: Ridiculous!

Santa was alive and well ... AND WE WERE ON HIS TEAM!

Marketing lessons from the man in red

Heather Frame - Wednesday, December 05, 2018

Today we bring you some marketing lessons we’ve learned from Santa Claus

 

1.     Deliver on time – Would we still believe in Santa if he missed a year, or came late?

 

2.     Everyone loves a giver – Don’t be a taker.  Move the free line, and win your prospects over with your generosity.

 

3.     Hire a team of hardworking admin people to make you look good – Santa gets the glory, but the elves work hard to make it all look easy.

 

4.     Plan ahead – Santa makes a list, and checks it twice, most business owners don’t even have a list.

 

5.     Teach your clients how to treat you – Every kid knows to leave out milk and cookies, an leave carrots for the reindeer.  Do your clients know how to help you?

 

6.     Qualify hard – Do you grade your prospects and clients?  Santa even grades kids either naughty or nice!  Which of your clients have been nice? Which prospect has been naughty? You know what to do

 

7.     Leverage – Santa has a team of ‘body doubles’ who have been working the crowds at every shopping centre on the planet for the last 4 weeks (while the real Santa sips margaritas by the pool at his condo).

 

8.     Limit access – Santa’s got things set up, so you can’t get him on the mobile, or just see him whenever you want.  You’ve got to send your request to an obscure PO Box in the North Pole.  Are you too easy to get?

 

9.     Run special events – He’s the original product launch formula guy.  He builds massive anticipation, and even gets your kids counting down the sleeps til the big day.

 

10.  Costume and self-promotion – If he just wore regular clothes, he’d be no big deal.  Do you have a uniform that makes you recognisable?

 

11.  Get others to talk you up – His PR elves get everyone talking about Santa, so he never has to talk himself up.

 

12.  Build a business that gives you free time – With all the body doubles and the team of elves, Santa really only works a couple of days a year.  So he and the missus get 363 days off.

 

There are business lessons everywhere if you look for them.  Feel free to send these lessons on to your clients and prospects if you think it will help them.

 

Have an amazing Christmas

Do you think you can?

Heather Frame - Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Oh how quickly time flies, here we are only 27 days out from Christmas Day.  If you are anything like us you’ll still have lots to do and fit in before the big day.

 

So today we have brought you one of our favorite quotes from Jim Rohn that helps us.  Hope you find it helpful too.

 

If you really want to do something, you’ll find a way.  If you don’t, you’ll find an excuse’ – Jim John

It’s that time of year: ‘Call me back after the holidays’

Heather Frame - Wednesday, November 21, 2018

According to Jeffery Gitomer ‘Call me back after the holidays’ is the second most-heard objection in sales (first being, ‘Your price is too high,’ Third being ‘I have to think about it.’).  It comes up year after year and salespeople get frustrated year after year, unnecessarily.  Here’s how to think about it and here’s what to do about it….

 

Salespeople typically hate holidays.  It’s an excuse for decision makers to put buying decisions on hold.  But the worst of them are the Christmas to New Year, ‘Call me back after the holidays,’ and ‘Call me after the first of the year.’  Two of the most hated phrases in sales.  (The still rank behind ‘We’ve decided to buy from someone else.’)

 

Call me after the holidays is not an objection.  It’s worse.  It’s a stall.  Stalls are twice as bad as objections.  When you get a stall, you have to somehow dance around it, and then you still must find the real objection before you can proceed.

 

Here are 5 of Jeffery Gitomer’s clever lines and winning tactics to use that will help overcome the stall:

 

1.      Close on the stall line.  ‘What day after the first of the year would you want to take (what would be most convenient to take) delivery?’

2.      Firm it up, whenever it is.  Ask, ‘When after the first of the year?  Can I buy you the first breakfast of the new year?  Make a firm appointment

3.      If it’s just a call back, make the prospect write it down.  Call backs must be appointed, or the other person is never there when you call.  Writing it down makes it a firm commitment.

4.      Tell them about your resolutions.  ‘I’ve made a New Year’s resolution that I’m not going to let people like you who need our service, delay until after the first of the year.  You know you need it.’

5.      Offer incentives and alternatives.  Develop reasons not to delay.  Bill after the holiday.  Order now, deliver after the holidays.

 

 

Wishing you well with your sales.

Embarrassing Bodies

Heather Frame - Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Have you ever watched the show ‘Embarrassing Bodies’ on TV?

 

Well if you’re squeamish, we’ve got some advice.

 

Don’t.

 

That’s because this show highlights extreme medical problems.

 

In the episode we watched there was this guy who had rotten teeth.  And when we say rotten we mean completely rotten.

 

He had no teeth left.  They were just stubs.  His gums were infected.  He’s breath stank like a sewer.

 

The problem got so bad he just had to do something about it.

 

Reminds us of many business owners who have come to us over the years to fix their problems.

 

They do nothing until it gets so bad they just have to take action.

 

And sure, we provide them a free no-obligation session to flesh out the problems and outline some systems and strategies to turn their business around to generate consistent profits

 

What about you?

 

Is your business in pain?

 

Do you want to generate consistent profits?

 

If so…

 

It starts here… by emailing or phoning us to book your free no-obligation session with us to flesh out any problems in your business and discuss systems and strategies to overcome these.

What makes a leader a leader?

Heather Frame - Wednesday, November 07, 2018

Running a business can be tricky business, especially as all eyes are on you to be a leader.  So, this week we bring you a quote from John Quincy Adams that we think sums up what leadership is all about.

 

‘If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.’  John Quincy Adams      

I don’t know?

Heather Frame - Wednesday, October 31, 2018

It doesn’t matter how smart, talented, trained or educated you are, in your business time and time again, you’re going to be hit with questions from prospects and clients to which you don’t know the answers.


A real estate agent showing a house will be asked about the energy efficiency of an appliance, or an accountant will be asked about an obscure tax law, a solicitor will be questioned about a portion of legislation they’re not familiar with.


And many of us will feel a sinking feeling when we’re asked that tricky question. No one likes to say “I don’t know”.

 

So, here’s an alternative to ‘I don’t know’.  Reply with the question ‘Is that important to you?’


For example, a real estate agent showing a house is asked what type of insulation is in the roof.

 

Reply – is that important to you?  

 

Oftentimes the response is “not really” – people are just filling space with conversation and asking may save you a random fact-finding hunt over something of no importance to the person asking the question. 

 

If however the answer was – Yes, my son has allergies to XXX you could reply – ok, I’ll find out and let you know and you’re further educated as to why the person wants that information and can more specifically track down the correct answer.


Or perhaps try… “Great question, let me find out for you”


Rather than, I don’t know, this leaves the person with a little pat on the back (for a great question) and provided you do what you say you’re going to (find out the answer) you’re golden.


You might try… “Judy in our organisation is our specialist on that, let me find out her thoughts”.  This is an easy way to retain credibility and to make the person feel as though you’re valuing their question by seeking counsel from someone who is a “specialist”.


So let’s stop the sinking feeling of “I don’t know”, and recognise that the other great thing about feeling the “I don’t know” dread is that next time you’re asked that question – you’ll know!

Have you got fleas?

Heather Frame - Wednesday, October 24, 2018

There’s a wise old saying that goes something like this:

 

“Lie down with dogs, wake up with fleas.”

 

It’s an important lesson on association.

 

It’s essential, as you move through life and become more successful, that you are careful about who you let close to you and who you keep out.

 

After all, you don’t want to wake up with fleas do you?

 

On the flip side, if you hang out with a better quality of dogs, you automatically get a shinier coat.

 

Just be careful who you choose to let close to you.

Time is Running Out For 2018

Heather Frame - Wednesday, October 17, 2018

We’ve talked about urgency on many occasions and how frustrated we get when we see business owners act as if they have all the time in the world.  The prevailing attitude we see is this: What doesn’t get done today can always wait until tomorrow.  Now that might be ok for employees, but not the ones working for you though.

 

With that said, we’re in week 42.  Time is running out for 2018.  Have you got your Christmas promotions happening?  The time to get busy is NOW, not tomorrow.  You’ve got to hustle and make a sprint to the finish line of 2018.

 

Here’s some tips for getting the most out of the remainder of 2018

 

1.     Find where the money is.  The old 80/20 rule applies right across the board in all aspects of life.  So start working on the 20% of stuff that brings in 80% of the money.  What is it? How are you going to use it?

2.     Block off times.  Set rigid ground rules for employees and colleagues and block off time that is uninterrupted time.  You need to get busy and can’t get busy when every 5 minutes you are checking email, facebook, or employees are banging on your door.

3.     Get your priorities right.  Don’t let the slightest breeze change your direction for the day.  For example, if you get a bad phone call let it go, get over it, don’t let it interfere with the rest of your day.  Let nothing and nobody get in the road of you and what you have to do.

 

Hey, life throws us challenges.  It’s up to us how we react to them.

 

What we do know is that there are only a few weeks to go until the end of the year.  We’re in high gear ensuring our goals are going to be met.

 

Are you?

What Extraordinary Leaders Do

Heather Frame - Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Today we bring you Chris Widener’s top 7 traits of extraordinary leaders.

 

In case you haven’t come across Chris Widener before, he is a very successful author and speaker on leadership and personal development, amongst other things.  If you are serious about growing your business and leadership skills, then this is for you.  Enjoy!

 

What?  You don't think that you are a leader?

 

You are!

 

Everyone influences others to some degree. Now, you may not be a very good leader... but that is altogether a different story!  Even if you are in need of some help in the leadership department, and we all are, here are some skills you can work on immediately to help you become the leader you want to be.  Then you can influence those around you like never before!


Be A Leader

 

1. Good Communicator.  Extraordinary Leaders are those who can take the vision they have and communicate it in ways that their followers can easily understand, internal, and own. Then, and only then, can they carry it out!  So, focus on speaking and writing more clearly, and with the passion that you have for the vision you have.  Use different ways of communicating, including different ways verbally and non-verbally.  Above all, communicate often!

 

2. "Sees" the End Result Long Before Others.  I think the greatest compliment on my leadership skills I ever received came from a gentleman who told me that "you see things about 6 months before the rest of us."  Without tooting my own horn (okay, a little bit maybe...), that is a skill of a leader.  They are always looking out ahead of themselves and their situations. Followers are worried about what happens today, while leaders are thinking about and strategizing about what they see for tomorrow.  Be constantly looking ahead.  Practice making projections.  Get good at "seeing" the future. When you can do this better than others, they will look to you for leadership!

 

3. Ability to Define Goals for Self and Others.  Do you know what your goals are? Can you define them?  Can you articulate them clearly (see number one)?  Can you do this for those who follow?  Can you define and set their goals?  A Extraordinary Leader works at clarity and definition of goals so that they can be internalized and acted upon by others.  Work hard at this skill and others will follow!

 

4. Ability to Set Strategy and Course of Action.  What will you do to reach the goal?  Many people can say where we should go, but it is the Extraordinary Leader who can lay out a plan for everyone to get there!  Work at laying out a plan for you and your followers.  Remember that there are people with different skill and passion levels, and take this into account!  Get good at this and when people want to get to their goals in a hurry, they will call on you to lead!

 

5. Ability to Teach Others.  One of the greatest leadership development companies in the world has been General Electric.  This is because their CEO, Jack Welch, has always emphasized the need for current leaders to teach others.  He himself spends what others would consider an extraordinary amount of time in the classroom teaching.  But remember, he is an Extraordinary Leader and he is developing Extraordinary Leaders to follow behind him.  Work hard at your teaching techniques, and be sure to use as many situations as possible for the opportunity to teach those who would follow.

 

6. Ability to Inspire Others.  You may have a great goal, but if you want to be an Extraordinary Leader, then you will have to put a little oomph under your followers!  This is the ability to inspire!  Work at helping them to see the big picture, the great end results, and how good it is going to be for them and others.  Above all, make it exciting.  If it is a good goal, it should be exciting.  If it isn't exciting, then dump it and get a goal that others can get excited about!

 

7. Delegates.  An Extraordinary Leader is rarely a person who is doing everything him or herself.  Extraordinary Leaders get their job done through others.  They figure out the way, communicate the way, and inspire the followers to go that way, and then they get OUT OF THE WAY!  Delegate to your people.  Empower them! Set them free to soar!
 

This is what an Extraordinary Leader does.  Leaders who do it any other way are just extraordinarily tired at the end of the day with very little to show for it!