Martin Stellar - Coach & Consultant for ethical sales and business growth

Martin Stellar - Coach & Consultant for ethical sales and business growth

Bye Bye 2019

A day can make a big difference – or a year, or a decade, or 5 minutes.

Every moment in any life can be a moment of complete inflection.

And obviously, a calendar date makes no real difference – except if you assign a specific meaning to that date, when you give it its significance.

If for you that’s New Year’s then today’s your day and all the power to you.

Just remember that it’s always you who gets to chose the point of inflection and significance – and that you get to choose it whenever you want.

Today, tomorrow, next week: you assign significance to a moment, in service of an inflection you desire.

Change happens all the time, and the change you want happens continuously, by repeatedly choosing, and it starts whenever you want it to start, and the best moment for it to start is whenever you’re ready.

Pro tip: if you want to be ready for change, chances are you already are, whatever the date.

All it takes for change to happen is to make a decision – but you’ll need to make that decision over and over again, until it sticks.

Anyway, such are my year’s end thoughts for you. It hope it’s been a good year for you and that your next one will be even better.

Love & luck,

Martin

Business Growth, Made Simple

Ever notice how easy it is to complicate things?

We decide to grow our business, choose an approach and a plan, and before we know it there’s endless todo-lists, multiple areas of attention, several projects simultaneously under development, and a feeling of overwhelm that creeps up on us like thunderclouds on the horizon.

When in reality, growing a business can be very simple, even if that doesn’t mean it’s easy.

That said, the simpler things are, the easier to handle they are.

So if you want to grow your business in 2020, here’s a simple (heh) rule of thumb to guide you:

Create incremental growth in three core areas:

1: More potential clients

Plenty of options to make that happen: Social media posting, speaking gigs, workshops in your area, host webinars, organise an online summit, run FB ads… whatever is easiest (sic) for you in order to increase visibility

2: Higher conversion rates

Lots of people don’t pay attention here, and that’s costly because every potential customer who finds you or contacts you, has incurred a cost in your business – either in terms of time or money. The more people you can enroll, the more efficient your business becomes.

So ask yourself: what can I change in my branding, my site, my activities, my communications, so that more people sign on? (Hint: getting better at enrolling helps here, and my LEAP Ethical Sales Training makes you lots better).

3: Increase value per customer

I’m not saying you should supersize your customers, and unless you’re MacDonald’s I doubt your customers ‘want fries with that’.

But, there’s a good chance that a buyer will want an add-on when they buy from you, or perhaps after working with you, there’s another programme or course that would help them.

Except many business owners wrap up client projects and move on to finding more buyers, which that means you’re leaving money on the table – and it means that you might be underserving your buyers.

Sure, you’re not going to foist an upsell on anyone… but what if you can provide or do something that would delight a current customer, after their first stint with you?

Well, if you don’t offer it, nothing will happen. But if you do offer it, what might happen is that they buy, which brings the total lifetime value of that customer up.

So here’s some questions for you:

Do you think you could generate 10% more potential clients, next year? Can’t be too hard, can it? Only 10%….

And, could you raise your conversion rates by 10%? Probably yes, right?

And then, what if across the board you could raise the average customer lifetime value by 10%… could that be done? Very likely, yes. Again, 10% isn’t that much.

But if you apply the 10% growth across all three areas, you end up with a total of 33% growth for your business, and that’s nothing to sneeze at.

AND it’s something that most businesses can attain, AND it’s a super simple, testable strategy: 10% across three areas… what could be simpler?

So if you want to grow in 2020, do it the smart, simple way. Increase prospects, increase conversion rates, increase customer LTV, go for 10% in each area.

Simple, manageable, and a nice way to stay clear of overwhelm.

Want to chat and work out a few (simple!) ideas to help you grow 10% in each area?

Let me know…

Cheers,

Martin

What You Wanted, and Did You Get It?

You know I’m not the kind of guy to jump on bandwagons, but in all the talk about goalsetting, and reviewing the year and the decade, and gearing up for a new one, there’s something missing – and it’s possible the single most important notion for you to install, if you want to *actually get* what you *actually want to get*.

And I chose those words with care, in that order, because:

What you think you want, isn’t usually the same as what you really want. Meaning, on a subconscious level.

“What is it that you really want” is a fantastic question to ask (yourself or others), but it’s the reason why you want that, where things start getting interesting.

And then the reason why you want that, and the reason behind that…

It’s similar to the ‘5 why’s’ principle, except you ask 5 times: “What about that makes me want it?’.

You’ll quickly come to an insight as to the deeper reason, and that will serve you set the right goals.

Because the goalsetting secret nobody seems to talk about is that our mind may well set goals and make plans, but it’s our subconscious that mostly drives where we’ll end up.

It’s what your subconscious wants that’s dominant in how you think, decide, and operate, so you’d better *know* what your subconscious wants.

That way, you can set goals that are aligned both with your mind, and your gut&instinct. And those goals are the kinds you’ll achieve – whereas if there is no alignment, things probably will be a struggle, or won’t work, or you’ll be stressed and overwhelmed or things will end up a mess…

Been there, have you? Yeah, me too.

What you want to achieve in 2020 is one thing. What your subconscious wants to achieve is probably, somehow, different.

Figure out what it is, and overlay the two. Happy 2020 etc etc.

And if you didn’t reach your goals, it’s good to do some thinking and figure out in what way your subconscious wanted something other than what you rationally told yourself you wanted, because likely there was something off there.

Meanwhile, I’ve just had an idea:

What if I give you a single, one-off session, specifically intended to help you set the best possible goals for the year?

I don’t usually do this, because clients work with me in coaching programmes, and not one-off sessions…

But hey it’s Christmas, so why not make an exception and help you get started right in the new year?

We’ll take 50 minutes on Zoom, put an X-ray on your aspirations and challenges, and create a set of goals that are as perfectly aligned as possible.

And unlike my normal fees, which are much higher, this session will be only $50. I’ve no idea how many people will sign up for this, so this offer can disappear at any time.

Want goals that are actually attainable, plus advice on how to reach them?

Let me know…

Cheers,

Martin

Assumptions Blind, but Hypotheses Guide: Treat Everything Like a Test or Experiment

Assumptions blind, but hypotheses guide: treat everything like a test or experiment

It’s impossible to not make assumptions. We all do it, all the time, and we should thank our subconsciousness for feeding us assumptions – after all, it’s what has kept humanity alive for a long long time.

But, it’s a mistake – and often a very serious mistake – to let to treat an assumptions as fact.

When you do that, your actions are based on untested data about the world, the market and your audience, and that means you might well end up moving in the exact opposite direction of where you want to go.

“I’ll just put ads on Facebook for my business, and then I can scale up”.

Maybe. But you’re basing that on success that others have had, you assume that you can replicate that success in your own way and for your own audience, and you assume that Facebook actually shows your ad to the right people.

That’s a lot of assumptions behind your strategy, and if you then also assume that ‘more ads’ will lead to ‘better results, in the end’, then poof: gone is your advertising budget.

Instead, treat everything like a scientist would:

“My hypothesis is that Action X will produce result Z”, and then you test whether or not the hypothesis holds ground.

Measure results, adjust the strategy (meaning: use a new hypothesis), and run the next experiment.

I’m not a scientist, but it seems that’s how scientists go about things.

After all, proof is a lot more useful than assumptions, and testing hypotheses is how you establish proof.

So if ever you try something and it’s not working, the first action is to ask yourself:

Which assumptions did I hold as true?

Where did that divert me from taking the actions that get me the results I want?

Cheers,

Martin

The antidote for feeling bad, hurt, angry, frustrated, upset, etc etc

Angry with someone?

Remember rule #6.

Upset, hurt feelings?

Remember rule #6.

Feeling battered by the unfairness of life?

Remember rule #6.

Impatient, wanting results now even though you know that things take their time?

Remember rule #6.

Annoyed, frustrated, unhappy with life?

Remember rule #6.

What is this mysterious rule #6, you might ask?

Simply this: ‘Don’t take yourself so damn seriously’.

Any other rules?

Nope, that’s the only one you need to remember, any time your state dips below the baseline level of well-being.

Because when you’re not in a good mood, there might be all kinds of reasons out there in the world that cause that, but there’s only one thing that’s causing your mood to dip:

The self-importance that says ‘in my life, things should be different and I have the right to feel bad or be angry when they aren’t difference’.

Sure you have the right, of course.

But does it help you at all, in any way, to feel bad or get angry?

Exactly.

So there’s your antidote whenever you want to raise your state:

Remember rule #6.

Cheerio,

Martin

Careful With Other People’s Problems…

It’s good to be compassionate and caring, to look out for others and help when you can.

But there are certain types of people you need to be careful with, especially if other people’s wellbeing matters to you greatly.

The first type of person is the Taker (as opposed to Givers and Matchers – see Adam Grant).

Takers only receive, and don’t give back nor do they pay forward – and you can deplete yourself completely, dealing with those people.

Then there’s the people who don’t realise that their problems are affecting others.

These are the people who always create drama, who amplify problems, who blame and rant and rave and complain bitterly – and consistently leave you worse for having dealt with them.

Avoid those people.

We all have problems, and only those who own their problems end up solving them.

Those who don’t dare look in the mirror don’t benefit from our help.

Because ‘helping’ someone who doesn’t take ownership isn’t helping – instead, it’s enabling their destructive behaviour.

I suppose it’s related to ‘misery loves company’, and so you get dragged down to their level of misery. Their problems – Somebody Else’s Problem, or SEP as Douglas Adams called it – become yours.

And you’ll agree that this doesn’t help them. And, if it leaves you worse off because now you’re saddled with someone else’s problem, you’re less able to properly help those who do take ownership, and who want actual help instead of enablement.

So to make sure you perform and help and serve as best as can:

Never let an SEP (Somebody Else’s Problem – kudos to Douglas Adams) become your problem.

If you’re going to help, help those who’ll benefit. It’s the only way to give people your best and have it actually have an effect.

Cheers,

Martin

Is Every Business a Relationship Business at Heart?

On one side, there’s business and sales and clients and selling… but on the other side, there’s relationships and communication.

Because no purchase is ever a strictly technical transaction.

Any time someone buys something, there’s a conversation going on in that person’s mind.

When you join that conversation, i.e. when you really *get* your clients, the conversation deepens, and a relationship starts – and inside that relationship, is that conversation.

Put differently: being in business means you’re in a relationship business.

It’s you, a thing you do, another person, and a problem they want to solve – and those are all related.

And if all works out well, you get money and they get your solution.

But only if the relationship is quality, and the conversation is about that other person and their needs and aspirations.

Here’s where it’s very easy to go wrong: far too many people talk about their offer and their accolades, but those only serve to persuade, and that automatically triggers resistance and defensiveness.

That way, the conversation doesn’t improve and the relationship doesn’t transform from ‘Tell me how you can help me’ to ‘Help me figure out if I should get your help’.

And that switch is crucial.

First, you’re a listener and provider of information, which is related to an existing problem or goal.

But after the switch, you’re a helper, serving someone in making the best decision for themselves.

Put differently: the ‘switch’ is a moment where the relationship changes.

When that change happens, a potential buyer has gone from being curious to being interested, and good things can happen from there.

But, only if you take care of the relationship.

Because the sale happens inside a conversation, which exists in a relationship.

In other words: whatever it is you do or make or offer or solve or provide:

Ultimately, you’re in the relationship business.

Now, I often get asked ‘how’. How to have conversations that work, how to build relationships, how to ask for a sale, how to ask questions that clearly show you’re not pushy and are looking out for their best interest? How, Martin, do I land more clients?

Too much to explain here, but I do have a training webinar you might want to watch, and you can do so here.

And if afterwards you want to talk, let me know.

Cheers,

Martin

Ten Rules for Ethical Selling, #4: Never Decide for the Buyer

Obviously, it’s the buyer who decides to buy. For a seller to make the decision would be all kinds of wrong – as well as practically impossible.

We don’t get to tell people what to buy and when – all we can do is offer help in making a decision. Facilitate, you know?

Problem is, it’s really easy to communicate the opposite, and when we do, the buyer runs for the hills.

A buyer – anyone, really – subconsciously is always scanning the environment for anything that could end up being a threat. That’s the protection our lizard brain gives us.

And in that hyper-alert mode of perception, which is active 24/7, anything that could potentially one day become a threat is instantly and automatically classified as ‘Threat. Avoid’.

Now what’s the things that’s most threatening to anyone?

Having our autonomy taken away. It’s one of the worst things that can happen, to not be free to do or be who we are.

And the moment we show up with a ‘well this is what you ought to do’, in whatever variation, that subconscious bodyguard of us asks ‘Yeah but wasn’t it us who runs this show? Why is someone telling us what’s best? This can’t be right. Avoid’.

And there goes another buyer, suddenly nowhere near as bought in to getting your thing as before.

All it takes is the impression that autonomy is being threatened, and the impression will be treated as if it were an actual threat. The other can’t help it.

So if you want your enrollment to be ethical and effective as well, rule #4 of ethical selling is:

Never decide for your buyer.

And, be hyper careful to not even allow that impression to exist – in fact, actively seek to have it known that any decision made to get started and buy, is not yours to make.

At most, you can decide to *not* work with someone if you feel it’s not the right fit, but that’s all.

The ‘yes’ is the buyer’s choice, so make sure they know that you mean that.

As a result, people enroll themselves – no persuasion required.

Cheers,

Martin

Did You Design It?

I’m a complete sucker for good design.

Whether it’s a car, coat, pen, keyboard or the kerning (letter-spacing) in a book: when something’s been designed well, it’s a joy to see or use.

The flipside of loving design, is that it’s almost painful when something’s designed badly.

That kitchen gadget that slips out of your hands when they’re wet, a black website with white text, or the way Mailchimp has designed its user interface:

Bad design is unpleasant and frustrating, and can easily lead to lost time.

So then why do we so often omit to design our work?

Procedures, routines, or even simply the way we plan our day: don’t things get better when they’re designed well, with intention, and with usability in mind?

Of course they do.

So if you ever find that your days are too short, or your work doesn’t progress the way you want it to, or you have trouble staying on task, maybe ask yourself:

Are you spending enough time each day, to organise, plan, and *design* your day?

If you’re not satisfied with the results of any given day… did you design the day beforehand?

If your efforts aren’t getting you the results you want… did you design a strategy for reaching goals, and one for implementation?

Cheers,

Martin

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