Planning

Posted: January 20, 2011 in Uncategorized

Planning is the power tool for achievement –
the magic bridge to our goal. Planning is like a road map.
It can show us the way, head us in the right direction,
and keep us on course. Planning means mapping out
how to get from where we are now to where we want to be.
The task of the leader is to get his people from where
they are to where they have not been.
No one was ever lost on a straight road.
Reduce your plan to writing … The moment you
complete this, you will have definitely given concrete
form to the intangible desire.
First you write down your goal; your second job
is to break down your goal into a series of steps,
beginning with steps which are absurdly easy.

JUST DO IT NOW!!(Putting It All Together)
The key to happiness, satisfaction, great success and a wonderful feeling of persona power and effectiveness is for you to develop the habit of eating your frog, first thing every day when you start work.
Fortunately, this is a learnable skill that you can acquire through repetition. And when you develop the habit of starting on your most important task, before anything else, your success is assured.
Here is a summary of the 21 Great Ways to stop procrastinating and get more things done faster. Review these rules and principles regularly until they become firmly ingrained in your thinking and actions and your future will be guaranteed.
1. Set the table: Decide exactly what you want. Clarity is essential. Write out your goals and objectives before you begin;
2. Plan every day in advance: Think on paper. Every minute you spend in planning can save you five or ten minutes in execution;
3. Apply the 80/20 Rule to everything: Twenty percent of your activities will account for eighty percent of your results. Always concentrate your efforts on that top twenty percent;
4. Consider the consequences: Your most important tasks and priorities are those that can have the most serious consequences, positive or negative, on your life or work. Focus on these above all else;
5. Practice the ABCDE Method continually: Before you begin work on a list of tasks, take a few moments to organize them by value and priority so you can be sure of working on your most important activities:
6. Focus on key result areas: Identify and determine those results that you absolutely, positively have to get to do your job well, and work on them all day long;
7. The Law of Forced Efficiency: There is never enough time to do everything but there is always enough time to do the most important things. What are they?
8. Prepare thoroughly before you begin: Proper prior preparation prevents poor performance;
9. Do your homework: The more knowledgeable and skilled you become at your key tasks, the faster you start them and the sooner you get them done;
10. Leverage your special talents: Determine exactly what it is that you are very good at doing, or could be very good at, and throw your whole heart into doing those specific things very, very well:
11. Identify your key constraints: Determine the bottlenecks or chokepoints, internally or externally, that set the speed at which
you achieve your most important goals and focus on alleviating them;
12. Take it one oil barrel at a time: You can accomplish the biggest and most complicated job if you just complete it one step at a time;
13. Put the pressure on yourself: Imagine that you have to leave town for a month and work as if you had to get all your major tasks completed before you left;
14. Maximize your personal powers: Identify your periods of highest mental and physical energy each day and structure your most important and demanding tasks around these times. Get lots of rest so you can perform at your best;
15. Motivate yourself into action: Be your own cheerleader. Look for the good in every situation. Focus on the solution rather than the problem. Always be optimistic and constructive;
16. Practice creative procrastination: Since you can’t do everything, you must learn to deliberately put off those tasks that are of low value so that you have enough time to do the few things that really count;
17. Do the most difficult task first: Begin each day with your most difficult task, the one task that can make the greatest contribution to yourself and your work, and resolve to stay at it until it is complete:
18. Slice and dice the task: Break large, complex tasks down into bite sized pieces and then just do one small part of the task to get started;
19. Create large chunks of time: Organize your days around large blocks of time where you can concentrate for extended periods on your most important tasks;
20. Develop a sense of urgency: Make a habit of moving fast on your key tasks. Become known as a person who does things quickly and well;
21. Single handle every task: Set clear priorities, start immediately on your most important task and then work without stopping until the job is 100% complete. This is the real key to high performance and maximum personal productivity.

Make a decision to practice these principles every day until they become second nature to you. With these habits of personal management as a permanent part of your personality, your future will be unlimited.
Just do it! Eat that frog.

Turning Prospects into Clients

Posted: January 19, 2011 in Uncategorized

Good marketing programs create many prospects. But all prospects do not—and should not—convert to clients. Here are ideas to help you convert prospects into clients.

Take Action Immediately

Not immediately following up with prospects causes them to go cold. Then you are right back where you started. The prospect will likely forget meeting you. Or, the prospect may think you are not interested in serving her. Furthermore, your response time to a lead’s request is an indication of your response time when he is a client. So take action quickly when you receive a telephone inquiry, a trade-show lead, a referral, or other lead.

Focus on Referrals

Referred prospects are the most valuable. When you receive a referred lead, the selling has already been done. If you act quickly on referred leads, it will reflect well on your source, and he will be inclined to refer you again. If you delay on a referred lead or handle it poorly, don’t expect to receive any further leads from your valuable referrer.

Evaluate the Lead

Some follow-up on every lead is a good idea. You want to separate the suspects from the prospects. Evaluating the lead will enable you to follow up more quickly with the better prospects. Ask the lead or the referral source about problems, needs and wants, the decision process, and his or her ability to pay your

fees. Ask these questions as early in the process as you can.

Have a Follow-up Plan

An automatic follow-up system will make it easy for you to follow up in the same way every time. Set aside a definite time for contacting and courting a new

prospect. Unless you set aside time in your calendar, you may have trouble fitting it in. Prospect value can dissipate rapidly. If you are fully booked, fire off a letter or call the lead to set a specific time to meet.

Add the Prospect to a Mail List

Every professional should have a marketing database. When you obtain a lead, the information should be permanently recorded in your database. “A” prospects should receive regular and personal attention, whereas “C” prospects can be handled by mail. (Handling of “B” prospects can depend on your load.)

Give the Prospect to Someone Else

If you cannot follow up the prospect, or if the lead is of little interest to you, give it to someone else in your firm. Selling is a team effort. Ask your designee to keep you informed as to the progress of the prospect. Offer to help when the prospect gets close to closing.

Conclusion

A pipeline full of good prospects is critical to the steady growth of a firm. A full pipeline enables you to be selective and to follow up with the best leads.

Good marketing programs create many prospects. But all prospects do not—and should not—convert to clients. Here are ideas to help you convert prospects into clients.
Take Action Immediately
Not immediately following up with prospects causes them to go cold. Then you are right back where you started. The prospect will likely forget meeting you. Or, the prospect may think you are not interested in serving her. Furthermore, your response time to a lead’s request is an indication of your response time when he is a client. So take action quickly when you receive a telephone inquiry, a trade-show lead, a referral, or other lead.
Focus on Referrals
Referred prospects are the most valuable. When you receive a referred lead, the selling has already been done. If you act quickly on referred leads, it will reflect well on your source, and he will be inclined to refer you again. If you delay on a referred lead or handle it poorly, don’t expect to receive any further leads from your valuable referrer.
Evaluate the Lead
Some follow-up on every lead is a good idea. You want to separate the suspects from the prospects. Evaluating the lead will enable you to follow up more quickly with the better prospects. Ask the lead or the referral source about problems, needs and wants, the decision process, and his or her ability to pay your
fees. Ask these questions as early in the process as you can.
Have a Follow-up Plan
An automatic follow-up system will make it easy for you to follow up in the same way every time. Set aside a definite time for contacting and courting a new
prospect. Unless you set aside time in your calendar, you may have trouble fitting it in. Prospect value can dissipate rapidly. If you are fully booked, fire off a letter or call the lead to set a specific time to meet.
Add the Prospect to a Mail List
Every professional should have a marketing database. When you obtain a lead, the information should be permanently recorded in your database. “A” prospects should receive regular and personal attention, whereas “C” prospects can be handled by mail. (Handling of “B” prospects can depend on your load.)
Give the Prospect to Someone Else
If you cannot follow up the prospect, or if the lead is of little interest to you, give it to someone else in your firm. Selling is a team effort. Ask your designee to keep you informed as to the progress of the prospect. Offer to help when the prospect gets close to closing.
Conclusion
A pipeline full of good prospects is critical to the steady growth of a firm. A full pipeline enables you to be selective and to follow up with the best leads.

Is this going to be your year for turning on the power of marketing and sales in your business? If your answer is yes, here are eight keys to success:
1. Focus on the Client’s Profits, Not Your Own
There is a limited demand for routine tax return preparation services or will preparation, but there is unlimited demand for professionals who help clients improve profits!
2. Don’t Hibernate During Compliance Season
Clients are never more interested in help with their business than when confronted with last year’s financial results or with their tax liability. Plan now for cross-selling to each client you meet with during this filing season. Augment the effort with preprepared press releases, articles, and mailings.
3. Build Relationships with Your Clients’ Team Members
This year, plan to meet with your top 10 clients’ other professionals. These people are the movers and shakers in your community. By creating a team working for your
client, you will also have created a referral team that works for you.
4. Develop a Unique Selling Proposition, and Quit Talking about Fees
When meeting with prospects, focus on the value you can offer, and on what makes you different from your competitors. Fee terms should almost be an afterthought.
5. Learn to Ask Better Questions
Knowing how to ask good questions is the foundation of being an effective advisor. Through questioning, you learn what you need to know to help your clients.
6. Help Clients Prepare for the Future
Clients are more interested in today and tomorrow than they are in yesterday. Help your clients use your services as a foundation for making better judgments and business decisions.
7. Prepare a Services Matrix
Prepare a matrix of your largest clients and services used. Probably 5% of your clients (including families and controlled groups) make up over 50% of your revenue. Use the matrix to determine your best opportunities.
8. Always Give More Than You Promise
Always exceed your client expectations by 1% and you will have a continuous flow of delighted clients. Sometimes, under pressure, you may promise delivery of a report before it can realistically be done. Learn to manage expectations by promising the outside date, not the earliest. Then deliver earlier.

  1. Negotiation is part of life and business: We should accept from the very beginning that negotiation is part of our life. If you want to go to the bar at Friday night but your girlfriend want to watch movie or dinner with you at the same time, negotiation begin. And if your kid wants a puppy but you think that it is not a good idea, negotiation happens. You see, negotiation is everywhere in our life and therefore escaping from negotiation is very difficult.
  2. Have an attitude that desire that they also win: It is human nature to cover ourselves and get what we want. Most of the time people will neglect other people’s wants and desires. However to cultivate a long term relationship, during negotiation you need to also think of a way that have the other side win also.
  3. Willing to listen: Perhaps the most important negotiation skills is listening. You are going to actively listen to what other people said. What do they want? What do they think? What are their frustration? You may want to write down what they say and some questions you want to ask, then write down their answer when they answer back. From other person point of view it shows that you are highly respecting them. Furthermore, you are able to “help” them by allowing them to get what they want, at the same time you also get what you want.
  4. Clear and concise in your desire: Do you really know what you want during negotiation? It is often the case when you are talking too much, but people still don’t quite understand what you really want, or a clear boundary that if someone goes beyond that, you will not accept it. Be very clear on what you want and communicate it to other people is the key when negotiating with others.
  5. Try your best to keep your emotion out of the dealing: People get emotional very easily when they negotiate with others. For example, if you are offering something that is too low they may feel offended. They will think that you did not appreciate them as a person or did not respect their product or services, even if you do not do so! In this case, what you need to do is to focus on facts. What are the facts in the deal? The key here is to identify clearly what are the facts and start from only the facts, and keep your emotion completely out. Your focus is to work on the facts, not discuss how offend you are.
  6. Make sure each side understand each other well: Two very useful statements in negotiation are: 1. “Let me see if I understand you correctly. What you would like to say is…”. (to make sure you understand them) 2. “So based on what I have told you so far, would you mind please repeat back your understanding of what I’ve said?” (To make sure they understand you). The key here is to make sure that you listen to what they want you to hear and vice versa. Just because you said something doesn’t mean that they are hearing! To achieve that result what you need to do is to clarify, clarify and clarify. Only by understanding each other can you make an agreement that both parties win.
  7. Focus on solution: The key to have good negotiation is to focus on solution, but not problem. Basically the other parties want good price and good product, while what you need is a good profit margin. The next step will be to find a solution that solves both parties need. Therefore, keep asking yourself the question: What is the solution to this?
  8. Cultivating the negotiation so that the end result is a future business relationship: When you are putting a hard time to come up with an agreement, you would not want it to be a one-time deal. Successful business owner knows that selling to existing customers is much more easier, and cheaper, then finding and selling to a new customer. In other words, when you are negotiating, think of it as a long term agreement by cultivating an ongoing relationship, and expect to do business with the same parties again and again.