Today marks the three-year anniversary of the passing of our founder, my father, Chet Holmes. I could have written a lengthy blog post in his honor for the occasion, but it occurred to me that in life my father was never the longwinded type. Certainly there were events where he spoke on stage for upwards of ten hours, but he did so only because he had so much knowledge to share-there wasn’t a wasted breath. “Straight to the point” was truly his modus operandi. So Instead I’ve decided to keep it short and to the point. Today we celebrate Chet Holmes’ life, his work, and his pithy wisdom by collecting his very BEST quotes.
In celebration of my father’s life, here are a couple of free videos for you to enjoy:
A few weeks ago, our friends at LeadPages asked if they could profile our company in a case study. I didn’t just say yes—I told them:
“I’m going to be the best case study you’ve ever had.”
Businesses routinely see impressive conversion results when they start using LeadPages’ landing pages and other tools, but I’m not sure anyone would have predicted we could take our sales conversion rate up by 1,100%.
I want to share with you exactly what I did to grow our business while taking our operations into the digital age. In this post, we cover:
How Content Can Build Excitement: This sequence of emails and lead magnets kept people highly interested from opt-in to purchase.
My Exact Campaign Flow: Step by step, you’ll see how I turned tons of people from cold leads into members of Chet Holmes International.
The Four Templates I Used to Build My Campaign: You’ll even get a direct link to download them yourself when you read the post.
I’m still a little wowed by the results we’ve seen, and I think you will be too! The post is full of strategies you can apply to your own business. You might get some good ideas about what you can do with your LeadPages tool, check it out here.
Effectively utilize customer data to improve revenue streams.
Change is a constant, but the pace of advancement for organizations has increased as technology for businesses, clients and the general public continues to drastically advance.
Along with a lack of preparedness for change, organizational inflexibility was another major concern held by top business executives surveyed by the Boston Consulting Group and reported by eMarketer. Consider dedicating extra resources to dealing with these problems, as well as using professional consulting services to help orient your business toward success.
Changing the culture, physical operations and attitude of a company all factor into the most common challenge that businesses are unprepared for: large-scale transformation. Overall concerns about being able to adapt also apply to common concerns expressed about properly using customer data and successfully acting on digital channels. Specifically, a majority of executives in the retail and technology fields were concerned with efficiently utilizing customer data.
Customer data is not an unsolvable puzzle, however. Companies can collect a wide variety of data, especially when it comes to e-commerce, according to retailing website Evergage. Frequency of visits, method of payment and previous transactions can all be tracked by Web-based retailers.
Creating criteria to mark how engaged customers are is a good start, allowing businesses to segment and target potential and returning clients based on their behavior on a company’s website. If a customer has repeatedly viewed the same item or service over a long period of time, an automated suggestion for a similar product with a lower price point can encourage purchasing.
Combining data streams can also increase efficiency. Evergage gives the example of matching a customers overall clickstreams with total transactions or website visits. When data shows that patrons are frequently visiting your website and going through various pages but not making a purchase, sending a survey asking about what they’re looking for can help identify deficiencies and drive purchasing.
Companies across the country are making plans for their holiday promotions and determining the strategies they will use to draw in customers during the year’s busiest shopping period.
The weather has started to cool down and people are packing away their summer clothes in exchange for scarves and sweaters, meaning that fall is upon us and winter is knocking on the door. While it may not seem like it’s time, preparations are already underway for the 2014 holiday season. Companies across the country are making plans for their holiday promotions and determining the strategies they will use to draw in customers during the year’s busiest shopping period.
As a small business owner, getting a jump start now on prepping your operations for the end of the year can reap huge benefits. Taking the time to develop a brand positioning strategy that includes how you want to market to existing and prospective clients can keep customers coming in throughout the holidays and after the season is over.
Holiday sales expected to increase
Over the past few years, sales from holiday purchases have been steadily increasing. This trend is expected to continue this year, as estimates from the National Retail Federation reveal that a 4.1 percent growth in retail sales is anticipated throughout November and December, accounting for a total of $616.9 billion.
The NRF points to increasing consumer optimism and recent job growth as the main reasons for higher holiday sales.
“Retailers could see a welcome boost in holiday shopping, giving some companies the shot in the arm they need after a volatile first half of the year and an uneventful summer,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay.
Businesses can get piece of holiday sales pie
While the boost in holiday spending will be seen at larger retailers, businesses should know that they can also take a significant share of the anticipated sales growth. All it takes is a strong plan and solid preparation.
Entrepreneur offers several ways in which smaller enterprises can bring in customers and revenue this holiday season, including reaching out to existing patrons before the shopping frenzy starts. Through email, social media or more traditional marketing forms, you can remind your clients that your company is there to meet their holiday needs.
Additionally, the source suggests promoting your enterprise’s smaller size by promising customers more personalized service and experiences, which is something they may not always get when buying their holiday items from larger companies. By letting current and future patrons know their business is valuable and will be handled with personalized care can draw them in and keep them throughout the holiday season and even long after.
Having a strong online presence is also key for the upcoming busy shopping period, according to Deloitte. Going digital is now extremely important for businesses, and maintaining a website, social media profiles and Internet marketing strategies can increase your company’s customer base and revenues.
Deloitte found that more than 50 percent of holiday sales will be influenced by customers going digital, meaning that you can see ultimate business success during the upcoming months by developing your brand’s online activity.
Working together, along with healthy competition, helps drive positive business metrics.
A healthy competitive spirit can help businesses be successful, whether it drives a company to do more when vying against a competitor for a contract or pushes individual employees to try to attain the month’s highest sales volume.
A progressive collaborative attitude is another driver of business, fostering positive attitudes and a sense of team accomplishment as well as strategies to increase profits and growth.
Managers have to balance sympathetic and antagonistic relationships to get the most out of their employees. A corporate consulting service can help you work with the two sides to create an especially effective business strategy both internally and externally. Taking some advice from Fast Company about the nature of healthy and unhealthy business competition can also help organizations stay positive.
Competition within reason
There’s nothing wrong with rewarding top performers and having employees compete for recognition or prizes, as long as the engagements don’t become overwhelming and negatively influence attitudes, behavior and productivity. Too much contention in the office can eventually have negative impacts on a variety of work metrics, Fast Company said.
Competitions can reward those who respond well to such ventures but may not actually be much better at job tasks, making the long-term health of the business take a backseat to performance rivalries and challenges. Employees who do good work but aren’t as attuned to adversarial matchups may be minimized and, even worse, discouraged, hurting their output and the business as a whole.
Focusing on the positive results of interoffice competitions and not the negatives can help contests serve their intended purpose of benefiting the company. Recognize top performers but take care not to shame those who are on the lower end of the spectrum. Managers can also reward those who put effort into improving their skills outside of a designated rivalry.
Working together efficiently
Collaboration can help isolate and develop new ideas that help a company, as well as create a sense of community amongst staff and increase engagement. Working together also helps sharpen employee focus, Forbes reported.
Intense research and analysis are often best completed individually, but other tasks like developing client interaction strategies, deciding on a quarterly goal for a department or team and brainstorming sessions can all benefit from group work. Collaborative efforts should focus on areas where an increase in creativity and multiple perspectives are needed.
Even if employees aren’t physically near each other, using video conferencing and Internet-based seminar software can help bridge the gap.
As a business owner, you know how important your patrons are to your operations
Bringing in customers and using strategies to increase loyalty should be part of any solid business growth plan. As an owner, you know how important patrons are to your operations. While certain methods may prove effective, there are other strategies you can follow to ensure your customer base is constantly growing.
Fortunately, you have a leg up on larger companies when it comes to attracting and retaining patrons. As a business owner, you can dedicate more time and effort to truly connecting with your clients and learning about their specific needs. Providing excellent service for clients is what will keep them coming back.
Word of mouth goes a long way
There are many ways that organizations can bring in new customers. However, word of mouth from other patrons is the main driver when it comes to attracting new business. According to a joint study conducted by Verizon and Small Business Trends, 85 percent of small enterprises said they bring in new clients thanks to referrals from existing customers.
While a lot of time and money can go into reaching potential patrons through marketing and advertising methods, the results of the study show that it’s actually the low-cost strategy of word of mouth that is drawing in new business. This means that, as an owner, you should be working on increasing satisfaction among your current clientele in order to attract new patrons.
Satisfaction leads to more business
Inc Magazine reports there are five key things that customers look for when dealing with companies. Focusing on these aspects can increase word of mouth, leading to new patrons.
The first is consistency. Clients don’t want your processes and procedures to change frequently. They are counting on your business to be reliable, so constantly changing your operations could result in lower satisfaction. The second is excellence. Inc. states that while clients are not always looking for the best of the best, they do want your enterprise’s best.
The third thing that customers look for is empathy. They want your company to understand their needs and work to see the situation from their side. Attention is fourth. Taking the time to learn about what they are looking for lets them know they are important to your operations. The fifth thing that patrons want is appreciation. Inc. suggests putting effort into showing customers their business is appreciated through new and innovative ways.
RIS Media notes that it’s about going above and beyond for patrons. As a company, you and your employees can dedicate more time and resources to achieving this. Therefore, it’s vital to develop relationships with your customers and show them they are important and why they matter to your operations.
Focusing on your current customers not only brings you business success through higher satisfaction, but it also draws in new clients, helping you to grow your company.
Technology can be used to bring about positive change, and this is especially true for businesses.
Technology is everywhere. People are constantly using smart phones, tablets and computers to conduct a variety of daily tasks and while these devices have become essential for nearly every individual, they’re even more critical for businesses.
Chances are that, as an owner of a business , you’re probably already using one of these devices on a daily basis. This technology can help make operations easier when it comes to expanding your marketing reach, managing company finances or seeking out new employees.
Technology is increasingly making a mark on the business world, so it will become extremely important for any size organization to embrace what mobile devices and computers can do for them. Incorporating their use into your business growth plan will allow your organization to thrive and stay ahead of the competition.
Mobile is growing fast
A few years ago, seeing someone using a smartphone was a rare sight. Now, almost everyone has one of these innovative mobile devices., including perhaps yourself and your employees. Fortunately, you can use this technology to greatly benefit your operations and increase your business success. According to a report from AT&T and the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council, mobile technology, including smartphones and tablets, is changing a number of things for smaller companies . Owners experience greater productivity for themselves and their staff members, as business can be conducted from anywhere, not just in the office.
Applications developed for customers to download is another advantage of mobile technology, according to the report. This gives patrons the chance to connect with your business at anytime, which boosts consumer satisfaction and engagement.
But perhaps one of the greatest benefits of smartphones and tablets is that they allow companies to save a significant amount of money. The report reveals that organizations using these devices have saved approximately $67.5 billion a year by implementing mobile technology into their daily operations.
“Clearly, we are at a point where entrepreneurs now look first to communications technologies and innovations for solutions to improve productivity, cut costs and better manage and engage with customers,” said SBE Council President and CEO Karen Kerrigan. “That is time and money that can go back into driving sales and innovating in the marketplace.”
Cost-efficient technologies bring advantages
As an owner you may concerned about the cost of implementing software and hardware for your company. Tools such as the cloud and ecommerce technology can seem as though they would be too expensive to benefit your business. However, there are viable options available when it comes to adopting low-cost technology.
The New York Times highlighted several companies that were looking to incorporate software to make their operations easier. Each organization took the time to conduct research and find software development packages that fit their needs. By doing this, they were able to increase their sales and even make their entry into foreign markets. With some dedication, planning and time, you can find the technology that works for your operations, helping you to bring about the business success that you want.
Every small business owner knows that planning ahead has its advantages.
Every small business owner knows that there are advantages to planning ahead. Whether crafting a plan to recruit better employees, developing a solid marketing strategy or improving delivery of products and services, having a plan in place benefits companies of all sizes.
One of the most important aspects for smaller enterprises is creating a strong business growth plan. As an owner, if you don’t have a roadmap in place to outline where and how you want your operation to grow, things can quickly fall out of place. Therefore, it’s essential to develop a growth plan that puts you, your employees and your organization on the path to small business success.
By following these strategies and incorporating them into your plan, you can ensure that your company has the tools and methods it needs to grow strong.
Outline what’s most important - One of the first steps to creating a solid business growth plan is to write down what is is most important to you and your operations. Business 2 Community suggests mapping out these points and consider where they belong in your growth plan. Additionally, write down any goals you want to achieve along the way before moving forward.
Don’t be an overachiever - As an owner, you already have ambition and motivation, which are two great qualities for growing your small business. However, don’t let that drive overtake overtake your ability to be reasonable. Small Business Trends suggests that you have to let go of trying to do everything when it comes to overseeing important aspects of your company. Let your employees manage daily operational tasks while you focus on what’s in front of you.
Look toward your company’s future - You’ve heard the old adage that says, “Dress for the job you want, not the job you have.” The same rings true for your enterprise. Small Business Trends recommends that when coming up with a growth plan, think about the company you want, not the one you have now. This will give you a better glimpse into what you and your employees need to do to get where you want to go as an organization.
Don’t be afraid to reach out for help - Although you are in charge of your small business, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t ask for help when you need it. B2C suggests connecting with other owners and networking with professionals in your industry to gain more insight into how you can grow your company. Also, using business coaching services can provide you with a better view into what your enterprise needs to do to realize the success you want.
Every small business wants to grow, and with these methods, you can see your operations flourish.
What are your morals, and how hard are you willing to fight for them?
Having the honor and challenge of walking into my father’s company over the last year, it’s been like getting to know the businessman behind the father. I understood what the company stood for and it’s core, because I knew my father.
I see the business model’s success mirror the way he lived his life.
A gem of advice my father always shared that contributed to much of his success in business was, “Always give away your best stuff for free. That’s the only way they’re going to come back for more.” (#Chetism)
That one concept made The Ultimate Sales Machine™ a NY Times bestseller, keeping his book on the top of Amazon for years and ultimately catapulted his career to a whole new playing field. All because he did three things:
Gave more value.
Thought he’d given enough value, and decided to give even more.
He held nothing back writing that book. Concepts that he had refined over decades of work, that clients spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to get from him, all readily available in a twelve dollar book holding the keys to business success wrapped in his 12 Core Competencies. To give or not to give, for my father that was never the question, he always gave and it worked out quite nicely for him and his clients.
Since it’s the holiday season and giving is in the air, I thought this would be a great topic to touch on for our blog this week. Giving was not just a business strategy for Chet Holmes. Giving was a way of life, a way of being. Giving truly was my father’s very own Core Story.
Christmas at my home started in July with the music, in October with catalog buying, and ended in February when we finally took down the tree. Why? Because my father found no more joy than to give to those around him. Whether it was giving a lift to a homeless guy, buying iPods for all the nursing staff at the hospital, or hiring the star of a Vegas show to come to Grandma’s house because she was too ill to go to the Stratosphere.
I can see his giving nature run parallel with how he built this business here at Chet Holmes® International™. The most wide known gift running the lines of radio for years is a FREE report on the “4 Ways to Double your Sales in 12 Months.” Over the last 10 years, Chet Holmes radio ads have had record-breaking response rates comparative to majority of B2B advertisers on the radio. What’s our secret formula? –Giving.
Once business owners get the report, they’re offered to attend a 2.5 hour educational webinar where we do nothing but give them gem, after gem, after gem, revealing how they can generate at least $50,000-$300,000 in income immediately. What are we doing? –Giving. Because of that initial gift of giving, followed up with value and even more value, Chet Holmes and his company as a whole built relationships that last years upon years, attracting business owners WORLDWIDE, cross-selling and upselling into 8 different divisions of products hitting all the pains of the our clients with services that solve. Giving may seem like too much work in the beginning, but it’s not about the small sale, it’s about the lifetime value.
Giving first will reward you later. Chet Holmes and Chet Holmes International are living proof of that methodology. #ChetCulture
What does giving create?
Do you trust a company more if in your first experience with them they’re giving? Giving of knowledge and giving of time. Earning the right to serve. As Chet teaches, your clients will respect you more as an expert in your field, trust you as an advisor, and closing will be that much easier if you educate –give.
We attract abundance into our lives because when we give, we have more than enough, creating a feeling of abundance.
Point being, if you want to be successful, pay it forward. Give your best stuff for free. (Upsell them later ;).
Maybe if you focus on giving, this world could be just a bit brighter.
To the gift of giving-
Amanda Holmes, Chairman of the Board at Chet Holmes International
Want to improve your toolbox and skills? Attend one of our webinars. Click the image below to sign-up now.
Over the decades that I knew Chet Holmes, he taught me quite a bit. A good deal of what was imparted was, understandably, about business development.
So, how does that help you? Well, having been in business and applied many of Chet’s principles, I wanted to distill what may be of the most value to any and all business owners, such as you, seeking a better way to achieve more.
One of the most powerful principles is the “The Buyers Pyramid”. One of the biggest eye-openers in this is the miniscule percentage of people, at any given time, who are actively in the market to buy a product or service like yours.
Whether you saw or heard Chet speak, or read the top-selling book, “The Ultimate Sales Machine” I wonder if you remember the answer (or fully appreciate its significance). This is important as it has huge implications regarding your potential for greater success.
The Chet Holmes® Method breaks down the entire audience of buyers in any market into 5 key categories:
Percent who are interested in buying “right now”
Percent who are “open to consider such a purchase”
The amount who are NOT thinking about it at this time
Those who don’t “believe” they are interested (based on the info they have at hand)
Those who are definitely NOT interested
You see, Chet polled audiences by the thousands during his live events. He asked for a show of hands if people where “in the market” for such things as tires, cars, home remodeling, carpeting, technology, etc. What he found was, across the boards, only 3% of any market is in the “buying mode” now.
Well, if you pick up the newspaper on a Friday you will see may ads for automobile tire suppliers. They are directed at that 3% (but they do nothing to move those other potential buyers closer to choosing them when the time is right…which could be very soon). You never know when someone’s Maximum Motivation Date to buy may occur.
The goal here is to move any outliers into a place of choosing your solution sooner and to be sure that whenever the time comes, they think of your company first. To do this your message has to be powerful and it has to be education-based to resonate.
The lesson here is to teach your “prospects” what they need to know to make a smart buying decision and position your solution as the “obvious choice”.
One of the key ways to do this is to offer “insights” and “education” to help people make a better buying decision when the time comes (and to move them through the sales funnel rapidly).
Let’s keep with tires as an example, mostly because it’s easy to see how a small shift has huge benefits.
The typical full-page tire ad has the company name at the top and some sort of “SALE” predominantly placed. They are often ineffectively competing on price for their share of that 3% of people who are buying now.
Consider, instead, having the ad began with the headline, Warning: Do Not Even Consider Buying New Tires Before Reading Our Free Report ,“What You Don’t Know About Buying Tires Can Cost You Money and Threaten the Safety of Your Family”. Many more people would be compelled to read your ad. If you then present “public service announcement-like” information you will stand out from the crowd in a huge way.
Also, that report would include information that gets people to consider getting new tires even before they believe they need to (because you’ve educated them to the fact that even when not fully worn, their tires may no longer be safe or may be costing them fuel efficiency).
You can move those people from ‘not buying right now’, or ‘not even thinking about it’, to becoming your client/customer more surely and more imminently. You just need to actively and skillfully create your Ultimate Sales Machine through a formalized tried and true system.
Share your education-based marketing approach with us on Twitter @ChetHolmes and include hashtag #newbuyers.
By, Ralph Napolitano, President Client Services Division at Chet Holmes International and small business owner