I’ve Mystery shopped your business and this is what I found

Posted by Kevin O'Driscoll on February 26, 2014

When I meet with a business owner, I always want to make sure they receive value for their time. One technique I have used is to mystery shop the business by posing as a potential prospect and then providing a summary of the experience. The object is to portray a reasonable prospect with a real world need.??Given what I have experienced in these sessions, I would STRONGLY encourage all business owners and general managers to regularly mystery shop if you are not already. When a prospect visits or calls, you have already paid for the lead through your advertising and marketing. The cost per lead is the same whether you make the sale or completely turn off the prospect. In this economy we cannot afford to waste leads.

Here are the biggest misses I consistently see that can make a HUGE difference in the conversion rate, size of the sale and lifetime value of the client. Bottom line is to address these simple things to drive more profits.

Greeting: Greet the prospect promptly with your name and get their name. Use their name immediately and throughout the conversation. Seems elementary, but this happens less than 50% of the time.

Sequential Sale Process: Have a sequential sales process in place including a standard opening question with the greeting to help direct the conversation. Also be sure to have a transition statement along with a series of open ended questions to allow for a targeted recommendation. “I would be happy to assist you with that. May I ask you a few questions so I can suggest the best options for your situation?” Then ask open- ended questions to identify the key info you need to narrow the choices. If you don’t have this in writing for your sales team, you can expect a lower conversion rate. A sequential sales process is occurring less than 20% of the time. Read article / comment »

Tapping the Power of the Press

Posted by Kevin O'Driscoll on January 7, 2014

There’s nothing difficult or mysterious about putting together a press kit aimed at generating some free publicity!

 

Question: I have a vague idea what a press kit consists of, but by no means any great detail. Are there any general guidelines available on creating one?

Answer: A press kit is a packet of information on a business and its principals that is distributed to the media to provide a background briefing and encourage publicity. That way, when a local business reporter writes about your company, he or she can refer to the package for details of your outfit’s history, what it does, the number of employees, where it ranks in the industry, and so forth.

As a general rule, press kits are typically put out by public-relations or marketing firms, whose job it is to garner some positive articles about their clients. But there’s no reason why a savvy entrepreneur can’t put together a press kit and distribute it to both local media and industry publications without outside help.

Ed Klinenberg, president of Precise Communications of Pasadena, Calif., includes the following elements in the press kits he puts together for his PR clients: Read article / comment »

Are You and ACE or an Afterthought?

Posted by Kevin O'Driscoll on November 11, 2013

I remember a few years ago when my wife Karen and I were trying to find a builder to construct our dream home. It was a lengthy process to find the right individual. We wanted someone who not only understood our goals but was reputable and had a history of producing a great finished product.

Before we made our final selection, we conducted interviews with a number of potential builders. Looking back on why we chose who we did, I realize it had a lot to do with the fact that the builder seemed to be in very high demand. He was constantly meeting with potential clients. I knew him, liked him and trusted him and I remember thinking, “Wow, we’d better get on board with him before he’s completely booked up!” Read article / comment »

9 Painfully honest causes for Small Business Failure

Posted by Kevin O'Driscoll on October 25, 2013

“The short answer is, regardless of the industry, failure is the result of either the lack of management skills or lack of proper capitalization or both”

 

1. Choosing a business that isn’t very profitable. Even though you generate lots of activity, the profits never materialize to the extent necessary to sustain an on-going company.

2. Inadequate cash reserves. If you don’t have enough cash to carry you through the first six months or so before the business starts making money, your prospects for Success are not good. Consider both business and personal living expenses when determining how much cash you will need.

Read article / comment »

But I dont want to go back to school

Posted by Kevin O'Driscoll on September 3, 2013

How can I get myself to do what I need to do?

While we all took and some of us teach “time management” courses at some time in our adult life, it alway seemed so great in theory but horrible in practice and I never knew why. After speaking to many of my peers, I realized I was not alone in these feelings. We could get all pumped up to get organized, get focused and get going but it became one more thing we needed “to do” that day.

Well over the last couple of weeks I have been reading a book, “How can I get myself to do what I need to do?” as well as listening to several audios by a gentleman, Terry Gogna. I had the pleasure of spending a little time with him at a recent weekend business conference I attended with my family. Read article / comment »