Professional Business Coaches

Professional Business Coaches

  • 12 Principles for an Effective Sales Process

    From believing in your product to creating a win-win relationship with your prospects, discover the secrets of a successful sales process.

    Is your sales process more like a hockey game or more like ballet?

    Hi, my name is Bernie Heine, and I want to talk about 12 intriguing principles around selling.

    Client Builder Selling Process

    So what do I mean about hockey and ballet? Well, you know in a hockey game, while fundamentals are important and people learn to do all the different moves, the game itself is very random. The puck can go in any second in any different direction. People are always moving, manipulating, trying to trying to get the process under control and make it work for them, and there’s just quick seconds where it works and then it’s over again and they’re trying to regroup. Ballet is a scripted, choreographed, flowing movements organized people. So when your sales process, is it more like a hockey game or is it more like ballet? And we think they it makes more sense to be focused on the ballet version, to be organized with a process where you know and your prospect knows where you are at all times.

    The worst thing that happens in the sales process is when the prospect and the sales person are completely out of sync. This mutual mystification where we think it’s pretty much closed and the prospect doesn’t ever want to talk to you again, and this happens time and again. So having a process that you fall back on where you know where you are is very helpful.

    So I use the client builder selling process, which is what I teach to my clients, and I don’t want to talk about the individual steps of the process today, but I want to talk about these principles that underlie the process.

    Believe in What You Sell

    So principle number one is you must believe in what you sell. Your prospects will never be as convinced about your products as you are. You have to really believe that what you sell is a good product and that as a sales person, it’s your duty to the world to bring out these products to be able to help other people.

    Keep the Focus on Your Prospects

    Principle number two is to keep the focus on your prospects at all times. This is not a show about you and how brilliant you are, and how much interesting information you can deliver in a short period of time. It’s about the prospect. You get there by asking questions and showing genuine interest in who they are as a person and what the concerns are of their business, and the mindset we have is “I’m financially independent and I don’t need the business.” People can sense when you’re desperate and you’re trying to push your stuff on people. Take the other road which is “I’m happy to do business with you if you want me, but I don’t I need the business.” It’s not being arrogant, it’s being thoughtful of who they are and where they’re coming from.

    Better Prospecting, Better Selling

    Principle number three is the better you are at prospecting, the better you will be at selling. Prospecting is that connection between marketing, which gets people to be interested in your products and know about your products and sales, which is closing the deal and making the business happen.

    Prospecting is a connecting piece. So the better you are reaching out to people, understanding people’s needs, analyzing the marketplace, all those factors will make you much better at selling.

    Seek to be Trusted, Not Liked

    Principle number four is it seek to be trusted and not liked. Often times, you hear people talk about know, like, and trust. Well first I have to get to know you, and then I will like you, and then eventually I’ll trust you, and then we can do business. Well the liking is actually only important for a certain sector of the population, so I use a disk model and those would be the eyes. they really need to like you so they’re extroverted and they’re people people. They need to like you in order to do business. But for the rest of the population, it’s not that important. What’s really important is that they trust you. People will do business with people that they trust, but that they might not want to have them as friends. They might not like them in particular, but they trust them. They know this person gets it done. This company does what they say they’re going to do. This organization follows up. That’s trust and that’s what we need to seek, not just being friends with people.

    Collaboration, Not Competition

    Principle number five is collaboration, not competition is the best mindset. I want to collaborate with my prospects. I want to create a business relationship that works both ways, a win-win. If I’m competing against my client looking for a win/lose. I win, you lose. I get lots of money, you get a little tiny product. That’s not the right mindset for selling. I have to think it’s cooperation. I want to get a win/win. I want you to be very happy with your products, and I want to get paid for that, and we want to work together to get there and not fighting each other for air time.

    People Buy Emotionally

    Principle number six is people buy emotionally and then they rationalize intellectually. So we make decisions with the center of our brain. It’s the part doesn’t even understand language. We need to be emotionally connected in order to make a decision. And often times, you’ll hear people talk about a gut feeling: “Well I just didn’t really feel good about that.” Well no matter what the numbers say, if we don’t have a mutual feeling of trust, we’re not going to close the deal. You’re not going to buy from me if you don’t you trust me, and that’s not a rational thing, that’s an emotional thing, You have to feel emotionally good about this is where we’re going.

    People Only Buy When They Have Pain

    Principle number seven is very related to that. People only buy when they have pain. People have to have pain or there’s no sale. We as salespeople have to tease out what are those pain points. What are the things they’re really bothering people that our solutions can alleviate.

    You Need a System for Prospecting and Selling

    And principle number 8 is we need to use a system for selling and prospecting. You can’t just randomly walk in and change it each time. How can you ever get better if you don’t have a process? We need a process, we need a system, we need to have something that we’re following we can also share with out prospects so that we stay on the same page at the same time.

    You Can’t Convince Anyone of Anything

    And principle number nine is we can’t convince anybody of anything. People have to convince themselves your solutions are the right ones for them. When we force people to do stuff against their sort of better judgment and we tricked them into some sale, it’s not a lasting relationship. Sure, maybe you’ll close one deal, but you’re not going to build a pipeline of valuable customers and prospects if that’s your mindset. So they have to convince themselves. They have to know “yes, this is the right thing. Let me buy your product.”

    Sales is a Process of Disqualification

    Principle number 10 goes very much along with that, which is sales is a process of disqualification. We start with a wide set of potential prospects, suspects, people that might be interested and we narrow it and narrow it and narrow it. We need to constantly be looking for ways to make the list smaller so that we can focus a lot of our energy on the high quality leads. We shouldn’t worry when people are not immediately interested in buying because we can’t sell everybody. We have to narrow the focus, so we can do a really good job with ones that really need our products.

    Give Prospects the Freedom to Say “No”

    And along with that, principle number 11 is “give your prospects the freedom to say ‘no.’” Show them the exit doors. Don’t force them to stay in. That’s what they want to hear. Prospects are often afraid but the salesperson won’t give up. They’re going to have rehearsed stalls and objections, and they’re going to know what to say. When I say this, they’ll say that. When I go here, they’ll go there and try to force me into a corner, so that’s why they often say “oh, I have to think it over.” No, I don’t like to end and a discussion with “we have to think things over.” I want clear plans. If it’s a ‘no,’ tell me right now in my face. I can handle it. Don’t give me that “no, I need to think this over” when really you mean “I never want to do business with you ever again.” That’s fine. Tell me so we don’t let this stumble along and we’re talking around each other. We need to be on the same page.

    Give Yourself Permission to Fail

    And finally principal 12 is give yourself permission to fail. You’ll make mistakes. It’s fine. We learn from our mistakes and we move forward. Maybe you’ll say some of the wrong things in and you’ll lose a sale. Well that happens in life. We don’t close every single thing we start, so give yourself permission to fail so you’re giving yourself permission to experiment and try new things. And I encourage you to try on these 12 principles of selling.

    Call us at PBC for a free consultation and discover the secrets of a successful sales process.

     

    Connect with us on social media and be part of the dialog.
    Find us on Facebook View our LinkedIn Profile Follow us on Twitter Find us on Google+ View our latest RSS feeds Find us on YouTube Our Vimeo Channel Join our MeetUp
    Sign up for our Business Tips Newsletter

     

    This is one of the episodes of The Thinking CEO with Bernie Heine at BusinessTown.com.
     
     
     
  • 16 Habits of Successful People You Can Adopt Today

    From reading every day to avoiding procrastination and never giving up, discover how you can make the choice to be successful.

    So do you have rich person habits or poor person habits?

    Hi, this is Bernie Heine. Today I want to talk to you about an interesting study about habits of rich people, and how those differ from habits of poor people.

    Be-Do-Have

    Thomas Corley did a lengthy study of hundreds of very wealthy people and hundreds of very poor people and found out that there is a very big difference in the habits of each group. Before I talk about habits, I want to mention a concept called “be-do-have.” So a lot of people will say “geez, if I only had a million dollars, then I could do the things millionaires do and I can finally be the person I really want to be.”

    Well in actual fact, the equation works the other way around. Being who you want to be is a decision, it’s not the outcome of your life. I can decide today that I’m a successful person. I decide today that I’m a good father. I can decide today that I’m a good husband. These are decisions I take about how I lead my life. And if I say I’m a successful person, then I just need to look around and say “well, what do other successful people do?” and do the things that they do. Then I will have the benefits that those people also have.

    So it’s “be, do, have.” Be the person you want to be, do the things that those types of people do, and you’ll have their success. So in the book “Rich Habits,” he identified what some of those “do’s” are. People often ask me “what should I do if I want to get ahead in life? “What can I do to be more successful?”

    16 Habits of Successful People

    So let me tell you what the list is:

    1.  Live within your means.
    2.  Don’t gamble.
    3.  Read every day - stuff that adds to your knowledge.
    4.  Limited TV and Internet time.
    5.  Control your emotions, especially fear.
    6.  Network and volunteer regularly.
    7.  Be a star at work and business. Give that extra that it takes.
    8.  Set goals, not wishes.
    9.  Avoid procrastination. Be proactive.
    10.  Talk less and listen more.
    11.  Avoid toxic people.
    12.  Don’t give up. Focus, persistence, and patience pay off big time.
    13.  Believe set aside those self-limiting beliefs.
    14.  Get a mentor or coach.
    15.  Eliminate bad luck from your inner dialogue.
    16.  Know and seek out your main purpose.

     

    What You Can Do Today

    So I encourage you to get started on this right away.Take a look at that list of 16 items. Pick a few of those that really resonate with you and put in a plan to implement them. Set yourself some goals and whatever you do, tell people about those goals. Involve your community in helping you get there. Who are the people near and dear to you? Close to you that you can tell “geez I’m really working on this fear thing. I think I’m too fearful” or “I really do talk too much and I need to listen more. Tell me when I’m talking too much.” So involve other people. Get a mentor, get a coach, or use your infrastructure to help you and begin letting these 16 habits and you’ll be amazed at the impact this will have on your life.

    Call us at PBC for a free consultation. Let us help you discover how you can make the choice to be successful.

     

    Connect with us on social media and be part of the dialog.
    Find us on Facebook View our LinkedIn Profile Follow us on Twitter Find us on Google+ View our latest RSS feeds Find us on YouTube Our Vimeo Channel Join our MeetUp
    Sign up for our Business Tips Newsletter

     

    This is one of the episodes of The Thinking CEO with Bernie Heine at BusinessTown.com.
     
     
     
  • 3 Rules for Exceptional Business Performance

    Learn why growing revenue is more important than cutting costs and discover other secrets to boost business performance.

    So do you know what the top three rules are for exceptional business performance?

    My name is Bernie Heine, and today I want to talk about a very interesting book: ‘The Three Rules for Exceptional Business Performance’ by Raynor and Ahmed. So they studied over 25,000 businesses over 45 years and came up with a list of 344 companies which really proved to have exceptional performance.

    Better Before Cheaper

    So the first rule is better before cheaper. So this is answering the question what value do we provide our customers? These exceptional companies focused on things that weren’t necessarily included in the invoices they sent to their customers, so these are things about exceptional customer service and going the extra mile to help customer out. They focused on “what are the things we can do in our strategy to be better, add more value to the equation, and be better for our clients rather than looking for ways to be cheaper. This strategy allows them consistently be competing on non-price activities.

    Revenue Before Costs

    So the second rule is revenue before costs. So this means internally their strategy, the strategy that is of the really successful companies, was to focus on building revenue as a principal way of achieving higher levels of return than it was cutting costs. Because there are basically three ways to improve the return on assets, or the overall profitability of a business, you can grow the revenue or you can cut costs or you can cut the amount of assets you have. Companies that consistently prioritize growing revenue over cutting costs or slashing assets proved to be really successful in the long term. That doesn’t mean that they didn’t have to go through cost-cutting or didn’t have to cut assets, especially in terms of downturns in the market or restructuring businesses, but they always prioritized growing revenues above those other opportunities.

    So in summary, it’s better before cheaper, so focus on what are the things the customer really values, not just the things that are on the invoice. What additional values do they get? And two, it’s revenue before cost, focusing on growing the top line is the number one priority, and cost-cutting those other things second.

    And number three, there are no other rules.

    Call us at PBC for a free consultation and learn how to cut costs, grow your revenue, and discover other secrets to boost your business performance.

     

    Connect with us on social media and be part of the dialog.
    Find us on Facebook View our LinkedIn Profile Follow us on Twitter Find us on Google+ View our latest RSS feeds Find us on YouTube Our Vimeo Channel Join our MeetUp
    Sign up for our Business Tips Newsletter

     

    This is one of the episodes of The Thinking CEO with Bernie Heine at BusinessTown.com.
     
     
     
  • 4 Simple Steps to Delegate Better

    From being prepared to pass on tasks to having ongoing performance discussions, learn how you can delegate more effectively.

    Hi, this is Bernie Heine, and today I’d like to talk about the 4 stages of delegation. So in surveys of CEOs of companies, often times not being able to delegate well and not spending enough time developing my people are some of the top two responses the CEOs give when asked about what issues they’re facing.

    The two of those are interrelated. If we delegate more, we will be developing the skills of our people because they’ll be doing the things that we were otherwise doing. So the big question is how do I delegate more effectively? I want to talk today about these four stages.

    Be Prepared to Delegate

    The very first stage is I have to be prepared to delegate. So what does being prepared mean? So to be prepared to delegate, I first have to identify what are those jobs that I’m doing that I shouldn’t be doing? So listing out the whole job, these are the tasks that I do/ the process that I use to do these things and I realize I’m not the best person in the company to be doing it. So if I lay those out, I’ll have the list.

    Who is Best for the Job?

    The next thing in this preparation is understanding who best can do those jobs, and I need to understand people from a behavioral standpoint and from a career ambitions standpoint. The more I understand my people, the better I’ll be at selecting who the right person is to delegate that work to.

    Plan the Discussion

    So once I’ve completed my preparation, that next stage is to plan that delegation discussion. So do I really understand how many hours this person already works that I’m going to be delegating this to? How does that fit into their work schedule? Also how does it fit into their career ambitions? is this going to be the kind of thing that’s going to make them excited to want to move forward or am I just doing mundane work that is going to drag them down?

    Also, how should this adjust their work life? Is this easily added into what they’re doing? Are they going to in turn learn how to delegate some of their current activities to others so they can make room for this work? So really plan out this discussion, so going in you’ll be set up for success when you do have the discussion.

    Carry Out the Process

    So step three is actually carrying out that delegation discussion. Laying out carefully the steps and the process you want to go through to make that happen, sharing your experiences with how this process works, and also setting up some smart goals with the person you’re delegating it to so you’ll be able to follow up because we’re talking about delegating not abdicating. So it’s not giving up the work, giving up the responsibility. You still maintain control over the process and are responsible for the process, but someone else is doing the work they need to have clear guidelines and goals, so that they know when they’re being successful in carrying out the activities, and you have an easy way to follow up with them to know that everything is under control.

    Ongoing Performance Discussions

    Finally, the fourth step is to have ongoing performance discussions. So you should anyway be having regular discussions with your people to know where they are and know where they are in their careers or they are the the current job tasks and after delegating multiple assignments to different people, you want to be in regular contact with them in these discussions to follow up on those goals that we’ve set. How are things going with the work you’re doing? really to stay on top of it as a leader managing the process. Also pay close attention to the careers and the ambitions of that are working for you.

    So remember, it’s important to be delegating the work. We can’t do it all ourselves. Even if someone can do it 90% is good or 80% as good as you can, consider delegating it and think about how their lives will improve when they get better doing these things, how their current careers will move on because they’re doing important work that otherwise their boss was doing, and overall build a stronger company and have more time for yourself to focus on the big picture things, the larger things, grow the business and grow your own career.

    Call us at PBC for a free consultation and learn how you can delegate more effectively.

     

    Connect with us on social media and be part of the dialog.
    Find us on Facebook View our LinkedIn Profile Follow us on Twitter Find us on Google+ View our latest RSS feeds Find us on YouTube Our Vimeo Channel Join our MeetUp
    Sign up for our Business Tips Newsletter

     

    This is one of the episodes of The Thinking CEO with Bernie Heine at BusinessTown.com.
     
     
     
  • 4 Steps to Building Meaningful Relationships with Your Staff

    One-on-one meetings are essential to effectively managing employees. Learn how to make the most of them.

    So do you have really good, close relationships with your people?

    My name is Bernie Heine, and today I want to talk about getting back to the fundamentals of management, and that is about building relationships.

    So we often hear from our clients is that they just don’t have time to work one-on-one with their people. Everybody’s busy, they’re overscheduled, we don’t take the time. We have that once in a year employee review meeting and we talk about all the things they did and didn’t do right during the year. But what about taking some time for some real meaningful one-on-ones on a regular basis, not just once a year. I want to talk about a simple four step process to go through in having those one-on-ones, making them more meaningful, and getting more out of it to really build better relationships with your staff.

    Introduction

    The first step is the introduction. Make sure we layout very clearly what it is we’re going to be talking about in this meeting. What are the objectives/projects/issues we want to cover in this meeting?

    Be Clear on the Topic

    The second step is to be very clear on what questions we have, what data we have, what information are we bringing into the meeting , so it we can have a real good dialogue about the third step of the process which is to develop an action plan.

    Develop an Action Plan

    What are the things that this employee needs to do by when, what resources are they going to need, how can you help them be successful at achieving their goals?

    Summarize

    Finally the fourth step is to summarize we just talked about. It’s the action plan when things to get done by, by whom, and by when. How can I support? So did you leave the meeting with a very clear understanding of how we’re working together? How this is not only improving the person’s work life but also their career whatever else we can do to help them be more successful employees.

    One very important factor to remember when as were developing these relationships is people don’t usually quit companies they usually quit their boss and make with their boss because they had built that relationship because they don’t feel valued and respected in building this kind of relationship with regular one-on-one meetings with your employees is an awesome way build those relationships

    Call us at PBC for a free consultation and learn how you can effectively manage your people.

     

    Connect with us on social media and be part of the dialog.
    Find us on Facebook View our LinkedIn Profile Follow us on Twitter Find us on Google+ View our latest RSS feeds Find us on YouTube Our Vimeo Channel Join our MeetUp
    Sign up for our Business Tips Newsletter

     

    This is one of the episodes of The Thinking CEO with Bernie Heine at BusinessTown.com.
     
     
     
  • 4 Strategic Steps You Can Take to Strengthen Your Business

    From thinking strategically to making sure you have a plan of action, learn how to make your business better.

    So I often hear my clients say, “I want to have the best year ever.”

    My name is Bernie Heine, and I want to talk today about four ways to make your business even stronger.

    Begin with the End in Mind

    So number one, as the late Dr. Stephen Covey said, “begin with the end in mind.” So start with your vision. Where do we want to go with our business? I always recommend that my clients take time out. Do a strategic planning timeout. Get away from the office with your main team and talk about “where do we want to go with this business?” Craft a really solid vision, mission, and value statement. “What’s really important to us? and “where we want to go and how to get there?” are the beginning points for any successful business.

    Conduct a SWOTT Analysis with Your Staff

    The second idea is conduct a SWOTT analysis with your staff. So get the team together. This is also a great off-site activity. Get out of the office and go somewhere you can really encourage some more creative thinking and put together a SWOTT analysis. Now what does SWOTT mean? Well it’s just a simple acronym for strengths, (what are all the things we’re really good at, weaknesses, (what do we need to get better at?) opportunities, (where do we see in the marketplace as other areas we can grow into?) threats, (what do we see as pending threats? Maybe technology trends, competitive threats might impact us in the future,) and the fifth letter is another ‘t’ for trends (so what are the big trends that we’re seeing in the marketplace?)

    So by pulling all this together, we can create really good strategies about where we want to take the business.

    Strategic Planning

    The next step is strategic planning. The first thing’s first, what are the most important initiatives that we have to get focused on right now to get moving? And what are the more longer-term things that we need to be focused on? Having the vision, mission, and value statement and having the SWOTT analysis work sets us up to be able to create those strategic priorities. Those main things we need to get done are then further broken down into the strategies that can implement and prioritize so that we’re working on the most important things right now.

    Who? What? When?

    Now the fourth idea is who’s going to do what by when? Let’s make sure that we have a clear plan of action where the entire team is involved in knowing who’s working on what initiative, when it’s due, what the goals are so that this whole activity is a coordinated effort from the whole company moving towards that vision you’ve established for yourselves.

    Call us at PBC for a free consultation and learn strategic ways to make your business even stronger,

     

    Connect with us on social media and be part of the dialog.
    Find us on Facebook View our LinkedIn Profile Follow us on Twitter Find us on Google+ View our latest RSS feeds Find us on YouTube Our Vimeo Channel Join our MeetUp
    Sign up for our Business Tips Newsletter

     

    This is one of the episodes of The Thinking CEO with Bernie Heine at BusinessTown.com.
     
     
     
  • 5 Key Behaviors That Define Healthy and Successful Organizations

    What characterizes a healthy and successful business? Bernie Heine gives you his keys to business success.

    Businesses are always focused on getting all the systems and processes, but is there something else?

    Hi my name is Bernie Heine, and I want to talk today about other issues that we need to be focused on.

    Most businesses will focus on "okay, we have a new strategy, so we got the right people in place, we've got to get the right processes, and we need some new machines, we need some new IT systems." All of those things can be summed up as the smarts of business – making the business smarter making it stronger. And those are all great things right? Well they are, but we often forget the other half of what's also important.

    The Health of the Business

    As Patrick Lencioni talked about in his book "The Advantage," we also have to work on what he calls the ultimate competitive advantage, which is working on the health of the business. So what do we mean by the health? Well, when you look at a company that maybe has been really suffering, a company that went bankrupt, what are they going to attribute that to? Are they going to say "we should have hired one more MBA," "you know we were short one PhD scientist," "we just changed that machine out one year earlier"? That's almost never what they talk about. What they get down to is "well, the senior leadership team didn't see this coming" or "they didn't trust each other enough to talk about what was really going on." You know, you have that proverbial elephant in the room that nobody wants to talk about – "well, that's that third rail topic that we don't want to touch because every time we mention it you know the boss always gets a little crazy so we'll just avoid that issue." That's usually what causes big companies to collapse, is because we're not talking about the things that really matter. We're avoiding those issues because we're afraid we might hurt somebody's feelings.

    Trusting Each Other

    So how much do we trust each other? And we're talking here not just about trust that people show up for work on time, but something we call vulnerability-based trust. So do we trust each other enough that you can walk into the room and apologize to your colleagues and say "I'm sorry I screwed up yesterday, everything I said I was totally wrong, we need to approach this from a different angle"?

    Disagreeing with Each Other

    Once we have this level of trust, which is the underpinning of a successful team, the next thing is can we have good arguments, because if we can trust each other we can actually argue with each other. We can have disagreements and we can fight back and forth, and by the way that's really healthy – when were getting all the sides of the argument on the table and people are expressing their views, and because we trust each other we can express our views. If we don't trust each other, we're afraid to bring it up "I don't even want to go there, I don't want them to think that I'm not part of the yes-man team that's supporting the boss." So if we get to that level where we can have these arguments, can we then come around and all come together with an alignment around a common solution? Can we put our previous thoughts behind us and agree that "yes, this is the path forward, we've had it out and discussed it in detail, and now we're moving forward with the one message to the organization"? Do I leave the meeting and I tell everybody else that's a crazy idea and I block it, or do I tell everybody else "this is what we're doing, I believe in it, it wasn't my idea but that's okay since we came together as a team and this is the place were going"?

    Holding Each Other Accountable

    The next thing to ask is if we hold each other accountable. Are we holding each other accountable for that solution or do we just expect the boss to hold us accountable? With the teams that work well together, the entire team holds themselves accountable for the strategy that they're moving down, the one that they all agreed to.

    The Common Result

    The final thing, the fifth element, is if we believe in the common result. Are we all trying to just maximize our own department budgets or our own bonus plan or just saving a few people in the company but it doesn't matter because the rest of the company suffers, or are we really looking for that result that helps the entire organization be more successful?

     

    So these are the five behaviors that really build a cohesive team and organization, that build the health of the organization, which supplement the smarts. We still want to have a smart organization, we wanted to do right thing and have the right people and processes, but we need to also spend an equal amount of time on the health of an organization. And that's what really defines very successful businesses.

     

    Call us at PBC for a free consultation and discover what it takes to build a truly cohesive and effective team.

     

    Connect with us on social media and be part of the dialog. 

     FacebookLinkedInTwitter RSS-NewsletterYouTubeSouth Shore Professional Roundtable

    Signup for our Business Tips Newsletter

     

    This is one of the episodes of The Thinking CEO with Bernie Heine at BusinessTown.com.
     
     
     
  • 5 Principles For Building a Leadership Culture in Your Organization

    Everybody can be a leader! Bernie Heine explains how to foster leadership to boost your organization.

    I believe that today, one of the greatest challenges that our society faces overall is a big lack of leadership.

    Hi, my name is Bernie Heine and I'd like to talk a little bit about five leadership principles that can work together to build a leadership culture within your company.

    Anyone Can Be a Leader

    The first one I want to talk about is the fact that everybody can be a leader. We talk about leaders as being the heads of the company – it's the CEO's job to be the leader – but we can all be leaders – the most junior person, the intern that we hired last week – anyone can exhibit leadership properties. Being a leader means taking initiative, being positive, looking for the right answers, looking for solutions and not looking for the problems. Everyone has the ability to be a leader, and I think we've all experienced people like this in our lives, someone that wasn't necessarily the CEO who brought up a good idea to get people moving, to stop the argument that brought some other people together. These are all the things that we look towards in our leaders and everyone can have that position.

    Selfless Leadership

    The next important leadership culture to consider is to serve the team and not myself. Leaders think about serving the collective good – "what am I doing help the rest of the organization?" As opposed to focusing inward "what am I doing right now to make myself better in this situation?"

    Establishing Long-Term Goals

    Another important aspect is that leaders look to the future and declare victory and then work backwards. So, I make a statement about 'this is what I'm going to accomplish, this is our vision, this is where we're going'. And this could be for the company overall if you're the CEO, but even if you're a more junior person in the organization, what is it that I'm accomplishing even with my department, even with my role within my department, and make a statement about 'this is what I want to accomplish' and then I set in the steps to get there.

    Be a Leader, Not a Victim

    The fourth really important principle is to never allow yourself to become a victim. What do victims do? The opposites of leaders, victims wallow in the 'woe is me', they blame everybody else around them, and never hold themselves accountable. Victims essentially give up their lives to other people around them – it's the economy, it's the weather, it's my boss, it's the clients – we all have lots of excuses as to why we are not successful. But what leaders do is say 'well, all those things might be happening but I'm able to choose the path of leadership, I'm able to have a choice, I don't have to react simply to what's going on, I can do things about it.' So leaders take action and make things happen. There is a great book called the Oz Principle, where he talked about just drawing a line on a page and then asking yourself the simple question am I above the line, meaning I'm the leader, or am I below the line, meaning am I being a victim. As human beings, we vacillate across this line all the time, and we have to recognize when we are above and when we are below.

    If It Ain't Broke, Break It Yourself

    The final leadership culture I'd like you to consider for your organizations is if it ain't broke just break it! We have to keep moving forward, we can't live with the status quo. Leaders have to be bold enough to say 'even though this has worked in the past, we need to break some stuff to move forward.' In the end, you can't make an omelet without breaking some eggs. So let's get out there and break some eggs and make a change.

     

    Call us at PBC for a free consultation and learn how to create (or re-create) a leadership culture - a solution to the significant lack of leadership.

     

    Connect with us on social media and be part of the dialog. 

     FacebookLinkedInTwitter RSS-NewsletterYouTubeSouth Shore Professional Roundtable

    Signup for our Business Tips Newsletter

     

    This is one of the episodes of The Thinking CEO with Bernie Heine at BusinessTown.com.

     

     
     
  • 7 Critical Realizations Every Business Owner Should Have

    Have you had your business epiphany yet? Learn about some revelations that have helped other entrepreneurs grow their businesses.

    Are you frustrated with working long hours? Are you struggling to grow your business?

    Hi, this is Bernie Heine, and today I want to talk about seven epiphany moments of business growth.

    So here are seven different ways that you can approach growing your business, and I encourage you to take some notes and think about which one of these really resonates with you and what can you do to help grow your business.

    Do You Have a Vision for Your Business?

    Do you have a vision for your business? Do you know why you’re in business? Do you know want your long-term goals are with having this business? Where do you want to be in 10 years?

    So many business owners that I meet can never really answer this type of questions. They never really thought about it. If that’s the case for you, here’s what I recommend.

    Take some time out with your staff or with yourself, if it’s just your own business. Get away from it all for a while. Think about the things that really make you want to be in this business. Why are you doing this in the first place? Where do you want to take this business in the next five years, 10 years, 20 years? Craft that long-term vision.

    Your Business Is a Reflection of You

    The epiphany moment number two is understanding that your business is a direct reflection of you. How you do things is how your business will look. So the more you invest in yourself, the more you improve your personal effectiveness, your leadership skills, your marketing skills, your sales skills, the stronger your business will be.

    So many people focus elsewhere but if you’re leading the organization, then the money you spent directly on you impacts the success of the company. Continuously plan to improve yourself. Think about what you might do right now to take the next step.

    ‎‎

    Passion and Enthusiasm Aren’t Enough: Skills Matter

    Don’t assume that enthusiasm and passion are enough. Sure, you’re very passionate about your business and you’re very enthusiastic, but do you have all the right skills?

    You need that level of energy as an entrepreneur, but when was the last time you worked on improving your skills? Are you still using some knowledge that you learned maybe back in college or maybe on your first job? When was the last time you read a new book on business or took a course or went to a training program or got another degree or additional certification? How much are you working on those things?

    Imagine a professional athlete, maybe someone in the NFL, and imagine that they’re still relying on the skills they learned when they were in high school or in college. They would not be very effective, would they? Yet, so many business people fall into that same trap. So think about what you can do to improve yourself, your personal effectiveness, and your knowledge to be a better leader.

    Understanding the Value of Connections

    Epiphany moment number four is understanding the value of connections. A lot of business owners focus their attention on their prospects and their customers. It’s all about closing the next sale, and that’s all great, but don’t forget about the other connections. Don’t forget to network.

    What about strategic alliances? Do you know some businesses that have the same customers as you have but sell different products? How often are you networking with those people or working with them? Think about all the connections and strategic alliances you can build. Go beyond the direct customer contacts that most people are so focused on.

    Don’t Be All Things to All People: Focus on a Niche

    Don’t try to be all things to all people. So many times I hear entrepreneurs say “well if I narrow my focus too much, I’m going to miss out on all these clients that are over here and over here. There’s all this business to be had.” In fact, the more you try to be all things to all people, the more you’re not really important to anybody, and that means that your profit margins are likely to be very low.

    The more you focus on a niche where you can have a targeted message on the benefits that you bring to a narrow focus of people, the more you can sell at higher prices.

    So think about who you really are targeting? What are you selling to those people and how can you increase your margins by being more of an expert in the field?

    Avoid Doing It All Yourself: Learn to Delegate

    Epiphany moment number six is avoiding the “it’s easier to do it myself” syndrome. How many times have you heard yourself saying that or maybe heard others say “well it’s just easier for myself” or “let me just take care of this.” Well, it might be easier to do it yourself right now, but it’s rarely more effective.

    Catch yourself when using that term and think “at this moment it might have been easier for me to handle this right now,” but think long-term. If you keep doing that, when will you have time to do bigger and better things? When will you have time to invest in the growth of the company as opposed to being focused on all these menial tasks? So, learn to delegate!

    Understanding the Benefits of Systematizing the Business

    So epiphany moment number seven is understanding the benefits of systematizing the business. So many small businesses don’t have systems that are laid out in a clear manual because they say “it’s not really important. We all know what we’re doing. Why do we need to write this down?”

    Well if you think about a franchise business, you often pay $100,000 essentially just to get the operating manual, the step-by-step recipe for how the business works.

    Now, why is that important? First of all, it helps in training. It documents how we do things, but also, it gives us an opportunity to go back and make corrections and edits. If we’re making up the processes every day, or if we just assume we’re following the same process but haven’t ever really documented it, how can we make improvements? How can we make process improvements? How can we get better? How can we learn?

    Take the time to systematize the business. Have an operating manual you can refer to when bringing on new people or expanding the business. It’s a lot easier when you’ve got documented set of processes to fall back on.

     

    So finally, let’s take some action here. Think about these seven epiphany moments we just talked about. Pick one or two that really resonate with you. Create an action plan and get going today!

    Call us at PBC for a free consultation and learn about some revelations that have helped other entrepreneurs grow their businesses.

     

    Connect with us on social media and be part of the dialog.
    Find us on Facebook View our LinkedIn Profile Follow us on Twitter Find us on Google+ View our latest RSS feeds Find us on YouTube Our Vimeo Channel Join our MeetUp
    Sign up for our Business Tips Newsletter

     

    This is one of the episodes of The Thinking CEO with Bernie Heine at BusinessTown.com.
     
     
     
  • 7 Strategies to Double Your Profits

    Don't forget what running a business is about! Bernie Heine explains 7 strategies that can double your profits.

    So often, business people forget the basic equation of how to run a business.

    Hi, my name is Bernie Heine and today I'd like to talk little bit about the seven strategies that work together to double your business profits. Now that sounds a little bit unbelievable, how are we going to double our profits? But by making just 10% improvements in each of the seven areas I'm about to talk about, if you do the math you'll see it actually can double the profits, or even more, increase the profits of your business. So often, people forget about this basic relationship: we have to sell to more people, we have to sell them more stuff, we have to sell it at a higher margin, we have to reduce our costs, and if we just go to that very simple calculation you have profits at the end. If we work on each one of the seven elements and just make even a 10% improvement, you'll see how that drops right to the bottom line and can double the profits of the company.

    Find New Customers

    So what's the first one? The first thing is we have to get out and meet new people. One of the strategies is that we have to have our marketing focused on benefits. What are we doing for the customer? Remember, they only listen to that one radio station, WIIFM (what's in it for me). So we need to have benefits-focused marketing, so that we can attract the most new people to the business.

    Remember Your Existing Customers

    The second one is about our existing customers. I have a client who had a database of 600 past customers. What did he do? He marketed to new people all the time. He had zero strategies, no money at all spent marketing to 600 people, and spent all his money, about $10,000 a year looking for new customers. So what are we doing to stay in communication with our current customers? Are we involving them in some kind of a communication, whether it's a newsletter or we're having direct outreach, but keeping in close contact with existing customers?

    Learn Why Customers Leave

    The third one is what about past customers? Why did they leave, do we even know? Most businesses don't spend any time at all analyzing why people are going out the back door, because we're so busy focusing on the fun stuff bringing them in the front door, all the fun marketing ideas. But what about why they're going out the back? So doing a bit of an analysis on why they left, and then if we fix that we can get them to come back, give them a special offer.

    Convert Prospects into Consistent Buyers

    So now we have to convert more of them. How are we going to get more of these people to move from being a prospect, somebody that might have responded to an ad, to becoming a paid customer? This is about having a sales process. How do you bring them through the funnel? How do you move them through the process? Do you do it in a systematic way that you can improve on time and time again? This means having a sales process and detailing it out with flowcharts. Even if you're a one person company, you can still assign yourself the tasks of moving through the sales process, knowing where you are with each individual.

    Increase Sales Volume with Upsells and Add-Ons

    Once we have them, now we want to sell them as much as we can. So how do we increase the percentage that they're buying from us? With this, a key strategy is upsells and add-ons. So what else can we do for them? Sure, they're interested in this part of our services or this product that we sell, but what else can we do for them? If we've done a great job in the sales process of analyzing their needs, we might know of some other ways we can help them to go beyond just the basic product that we have.

    Raise Prices to Increase Gross Margins

    The next step is to increase our gross margin. So how can we cut costs and raise prices so that we have better margins on our products? I mention raising prices and most people think yeah right we can't do that, but what I find is that most entrepreneurs undervalue their own services – they just don't believe enough in their own products to raise prices, and they just need to take that step because so often if you do the calculations, you'll show that by raising prices you make a dramatic increase in your profitability, and often times you only lose a little bit of your business. In fact, you can afford to lose more business in that direction than if you say the opposite, which is why we're going to cut prices. Often times if your business is a 30% margin business, if you cut prices by 10% you have to add like 50% more business in order to get back to where you started from. So it's a lot easier to raise profitability by raising prices, and the likelihood of losing business is much lower than hoping that we're going to gain more sales by lowering our prices.

    Reduce Fixed Costs

    The next step is to cut our fixed costs. How often do you do an audit of all your fixed costs? Are you really getting the full value for everything that you're paying for in your business? Often times we just pay bills without thinking about if we're really getting what we should be getting for those things. So negotiate those prices and work on reducing your fixed costs so that the bottom line is the profits will come out. So if you go through the all the steps, just making a 10% improvement on each one of those areas, you'll be happily surprised to see a doubling of your income.

     

    Call us at PBC for a free consultation and learn more about these 7 strategies to make small incremental improvements in your business and see an increase in profits.

     

    Connect with us on social media and be part of the dialog. 

     FacebookLinkedInTwitter RSS-NewsletterYouTubeSouth Shore Professional Roundtable

    Signup for our Business Tips Newsletter

     

    This is one of the episodes of The Thinking CEO with Bernie Heine at BusinessTown.com.
     
     
     
  • A Great Sales Process Makes a Great Salesperson

    Having a clear sales process can drastically boost your organization. Bernie Heine explains why and shows you how to create one.

    Salespeople are born, not made. You just have some people who are naturally born salespeople right?

    Hey this is Bernie Heine, and I’m going to talk today a little bit about the power of having a process to drive sales.

    So most companies just assume that people know how to sell, we all know how to sell – people ran lemonade stands when they were kids and did a good job right? So you’ve got your natural born sellers and then some people that just aren’t that good. But in actual fact, we can train people to have a process in sales. We use processes for every part other part of the business – we have processes in finance, we have processes in manufacturing – but so often, people don’t think to have a good sales process. And having the process means we can know where we are at any point in time, we can adjust our strategies, and we can repeat the things that work well and avoid doing the things that don’t work well. We have to understand what the clients’ needs are, so we do a diagnosis.

    Identify the Decision Maker

    Once we understand where their pain points are and what’s really bothering them, then we move to how much money they do they have, what can they really invest in the solutions that we might offer. Then we want to know how they make decisions in their company – is it just the person you’re talking to or is there a Board of Directors that you have to get in front of in order to get your sale.

    At this point I want to know from them a commitment. Are they willing to even hear my proposal? And when they say yes I want to hear your proposal that is the time when I actually for the first time introduce what I can do for them.

    Close the Deal

    After all this, closing the sale is easy. Most companies start the other way around – the first thing that the salesperson does is show up with a brochure or catalog or all these pictures saying ‘look at all the great stuff we can do’ and they try to sell you everything in the book, versus starting with ‘what do you need? maybe I’m not even the right person for you’. The most important thing in sales is you can’t spend your time in front of non-qualified leads. You have to know right away; if you’re in the right place you’re in charge of the process.

    In between each one of those steps of the process it’s also very important for us to set advanced agreements. I need to know that I’m moving lockstep through the process with my prospect. Because the worst situation I can be in is when I’m ahead or behind where they are, or I leave the meeting thinking that the sale is closed but the client thinks I’m so glad he left and never wants to hear from me again. We need to know that we’re in the same place at the same time, so we set and keep agreements all along the way to confirm that we’re in the same place. It’s about having a process, keeping to the process, setting agreements, and then really doing the work of sales which is managing the numbers.

    Manage your Input Numbers

    What most people don’t realize is you can’t manage the end result. The end result happens because you’re managing the inputs to the process. The real input is how many people am I talking to on a day-to-day basis, how many people are moving through my funnel, are moving through the process that I’ve developed and managed in a disciplined way. That’s the part that we manage, that’s the part that I manage personally, and if I’m a sales manager that’s the part I’m managing for my team. Everybody’s got a number, we have to know what that number is, we have to know where we stand on a daily basis against that number.

     

    Call us at PBC for a free consultation and learn how to implement a practical sales process that brings results.

     

    Connect with us on social media and be part of the dialog. 

     FacebookLinkedInTwitter RSS-NewsletterYouTubeSouth Shore Professional Roundtable

    Signup for our Business Tips Newsletter

     

    This is one of the episodes of The Thinking CEO with Bernie Heine at BusinessTown.com.

     

     
     
  • Building Better Relationships in the Workplace

    Bernie Heine talks about building better relationships in the workplace using the DiSC system.

     
    First, we will talk about: (1) How to discover your own style, (2) Understanding other people's styles, recognizing "what am i like vs. everybody else," then "how do I recognize other people are," and then really the clincher is (3) how to build better, more effective relationships now that I know how to recognize other people, and the activity at the end that we'll do is an Action Plan to pick one person you might wanna build a better relationship with and what are some ideas that I have that actually improve the relationship with that individual.
     

    How You See Yourself

    First of all, I'd like you to ask yourself these two very simple questions:

    1. (a) Do you see yourself as someone who is more fast-paced and outspoken (more of an extrovert)?

    OR

    (b) Do you see yourself as someone who is more cautious and reflective (more of an introvert)?

     
    1. (a) Do you see yourself as being more questioning and skeptical, more interested in the job that needs to be done and task that you are working on?

    OR

    (b) Do you see yourself as being more accepting, more people-focused, more interested in who I get to work with necessarily than what the job that hand this down working on right now?

    2 questions

     

    Upon answering these 2 simple sets of questions, you'll come up with the 4 DiSC styles:
    D - fast-paced & outspoken | questioning & skeptical
    i - fast-paced & outspoken | accepting & warm
    S - accepting & warm | cautious & reflective
    C - cautious & reflective | questioning & skeptical

     4 DiSC styles

     

    Answering these quesions is one simple way of identifying "What am i mostly like?," "What style am i like?" You can use this also to recognize other people's style.

     

    How to Recognize Other People's Behavioral Style

    When we're reading other people, it's not because we're trying to label them. It's because we want to understand people. We profile other people so that we can better understand them, so that we can adapt our needs. By knowing that, we can understand them better, work with them better.

    All styles on the DiSC Map have their own strengths, have their own limitations. There is no good or bad styles. All of us in the end are really a blend of all four styles. Nobody is just one thing and nothing else. We all have at least a little bit of the others. Some people are very much of like one style and very little of the others. Some people are really close to the center and there are a total blend of all four styles. We are all different. No two alike. No two people have the same style.

    We read people by observing their actual behavior through body language, tone of voice and expression, and choice of words. All of these things are clues as to which one of these four styles we're looking at. We need to use all of our senses to really evaluate "What is this person's style?"

     
    The Golden Rule
    • Treat others as you want to be treated.
     
    The Platinum Rule  by Dr. Tony Alessandra
    • Treat others as they wish to be treated.
      This is a better approach to build better relationship with other people. As what we have learned from the DiSC styles, not everyone is like you. We all have our own style. So if I treat everybody like "I like to be treated," three quarters of the population is alienated, three quarters will not be happy with my approach.

    The more successful we are, the higher the level of our Emotional Intelligence, the more we can adapt to ourselves to be like the other styles when we're with them, and now we can communicate.

    Call us at PBC for a free consultation and learn about the Everything DiSC Workplace Profile that will help you better understand your DiSC style including your priorities, your motivators and stressors. You will also learn how your DiSC style reacts to other styles as well as strategies to increase your personal effectiveness and connect more effectively with others in organizational settings.

     

    Connect with us on social media and be part of the dialog.
    Find us on Facebook View our LinkedIn Profile Follow us on Twitter View our latest RSS feeds Find us on YouTube Our Vimeo Channel Join our MeetUp
    Sign up for our Business Tips Newsletter
     
     
    This was originally presented at "Marshfield Chamber's Building Better Relationships in the Workplace - using DiSC" event on February 4, 2020.
     
     
     
  • How To Be a Better Leader by Using Emotional Intelligence

    Bernie Heine tells you how to be a better leader by improving your credibility and emotional intelligence.

    I'm often asked "what does it take to be a good leader?"

    Hi my name is Bernie Heine, and I'd like to talk a little bit about emotional intelligence, and one of the keys to knowing yourself, knowing others, and really improving your leadership style.

    Develop Your Leadership Skills

    When I ask audiences "what does it mean to be a good leader?" and people say "well it's communication skills, it's having a vision, it's motivating people", all kinds of great stuff comes out. One of the key things that comes out over and over again is credibility. People want to know that their leader is a credible individual, so how do we improve that? What we do to improve our credibility? Well, a lot of it has to do with our level of emotional intelligence. We all have an IQ, which is a fixed thing about our intelligence that we can't really do much about – you either have a good one or you don't have a good one, and we can't really do much about the level of our intellectual quota, but our emotional intelligence is one that we can get better at all the time. It turns out that our emotional intelligence is the one that is most highly correlated with success in life, no matter how you measure success.

    Building Credibility and Emotional Intelligence

    There are four steps we can go through to build our credibility and our emotional intelligence. The first one is that I have to know myself. So I have to know what is it about me that makes me unique, versus where everybody else is. And then I have to be able to control myself. One of the things I learned in this process when I first started doing this kind of work was that I talk too much, and I have to recognize points in time when I have to slow down and listen to other people not be the one filling the room with words all the time. So, knowing myself then controlling myself. The next key step is that I have to know others. How can I look around the room or be in a one-on-one dialogue with an employee, with a prospect, with a client, size them up and then do the fourth part, which is meet their needs. So I have to know how to adjust my style so I can meet their needs.

    Readjusting the Golden Rule

    Most people are familiar with the golden rule, which is to treat people as you wish to be treated. The problem with the golden rule is, not everyone wants to be treated like me. And if I were to treat the rest of the world just as I’d like to be treated, I would alienate about three quarters of the population. So I aspire to the platinum rule, which is to treat others as they wish to be treated. So now you ask “how do I know how to do that?” One of the simple tools that we have, which is very effective for this process, is a DiSC analysis. This is where we divide people into four categories, and at this rudimentary level we can understand where people are, and then adjust our styles into their category. The basic way to understand that is we all recognize that some people are more extroverted and some people are more introverted; we have people who are more people-oriented, they care a lot about who they’re working with and who’s around them, and we have some people who are more task-oriented, who care more about the job they’re working on, and less so about the people they have to work with. So when we mix these two simple questions – am I introverted or extroverted?; am I more task-oriented or people-oriented? – I can divide into different categories and use this tool in understanding people at a very simple level. I can then know how to adjust my style in order to be more effective with them. Really effective leaders connect with their people. They’re connecting with them because they are using their emotional intelligence to know where they’re coming from, and then speaking in a language that they can receive. Work on your leadership skills, improve your emotional intelligence, and that’s really the key to success in life.


     

    Call us at PBC for a free consultation and learn more about how to become your best and be one of those highly successful leaders.

     

    Connect with us on social media and be part of the dialog. 

     FacebookLinkedInTwitter RSS-NewsletterYouTubeSouth Shore Professional Roundtable

    Signup for our Business Tips Newsletter

     

    This is one of the episodes of The Thinking CEO with Bernie Heine at BusinessTown.com.
     
     
     
  • How to Be More Effective at Networking

    You are your brand! From having the right mindset to following up, learn how to make contacts and represent your business.

    So is networking an important part of your marketing strategy?

    Hi, my name is Bernie Heine, and today I want to talk about 10 networking tips that will help you be more effective at networking.

    Your business is your brand. You are your brand. You’re representing your business every time you go out and meet with other people and talk about your company, your abilities, products you sell, and your business is total reflection of how you present yourself in those circumstances. So I have a short list of items here that I want to talk about today the might help you become more effective whenever you’re out networking

    Develop a Networking Mindset

    So tip number one is develop a networking mindset. So what do I mean by that? So networking is about creating networks. It’s about connecting individuals. So when you’re in a networking meeting, you’re out meeting different people we want to have that mine said they were there for the principal purpose of making connections, not just my connections with many people, but think about making connections overall in the group.

    Develop and Practice Your Elevator Pitch

    Number two this develop and practice your elevator pitch.Now what’s the elevator pitch? It’s that really quick introduction you use when you meet somebody: “hi my name is Bernie, and I’m a business coach.” Now how does that leave people? Well, how about if I said “Hi my name is Bernie Heine, and I help executives earn more and work less.” How does that sit with you?

    So thinking about the elevator pitch is often best when we talk about how what you do benefits other people and not specifically what you do. We want to avoid the back and forth boring kind of interaction that people often have with each other because they assume what they really need to say is “hi, I’m an insurance salesman or I’m an investment banker or I’m a business coach or I’m am executive coach or I’m a a trainer.” Those are all interesting things, but they don’t encourage much dialogue. It doesn’t encourage people ask more questions. When you focus on the benefits you bring to your clients, you have a much bigger impact in the message. It will encourage some dialogue to take place.

    Only Choose Events Relevant to You

    So tip number three, choose only the events that are relevant to you. Networking is not just going out partying, it’s work. We want to meet people that help us in our business and our careers and getting ahead. So take a look at the speakers list and the guest list and make sure that the event you’re going to is one is really relevant to you and really important.

    Create Some Goals, Who Do You Want to Meet?

    So tip number four is once you’ve identified the events you want to go to is create a strategy. Create goals about who is it in particular that you want to meet. What are you going to say to those people when you meet them? Have a clear idea what the outcome should be of attending that particular event.

    In Every Interaction, You’re Going Through Various Stages

    Tip number five is note that in every interaction, you’re going through a series of stages. When you first meet somebody, and then then you enter into questions and dialogue back and forth and you establish certain connections and the idea that you know different people, you’ve been in the same industry, you’ve had a similar job. You’re pulling together connections and then you’re looking to move to next steps. And next steps might be “this isn’t really working, this is not the right person for me, I don’t see any opportunities here, let me pass this person on the someone else, or we want to set up an appointment so that we are looking to close the conversation and say “great, I’ll give you a call tomorrow, or we’ll meet next Tuesday for lunch,” whatever you agree to.

    What you want to have is a clear closing. You want to think about every interaction in the networking event as going through that similar process and moving towards a definitive endpoint you both agree makes the most sense.

    Work The Event

    Number six is make sure you work the event. Have a set of goals laid out. What do I want to accomplish?

    Now some of you might be extraverted and you probably love going to events and you just can’t get enough of meeting people and talking to people and engaging with them. A downside of that might be that you end up spending too much time with too few people and it might be very interesting conversation but is it getting you toward your goals? Now if you set goals in advance that you want to meet six or seven people or you want to get three business cards, or you want to set two appointments, whatever that you might be having those in the back of your mind during your conversations might help you move along and not just spend too much time with one individual that you really along with and love to talk to.

    But let’s say you’re more on the introverted side. Going to these networking events might be a very painful experience. Well having a set of goals can help you know when you’re done. So I had a conversation about this recently with a client about just setting up three appointments was his goal. So therefore once he got to that point, he knew he could disengage from the event and not have to be out there the whole time. He knew sort of his endpoint and he knew what he was up for.

    Be Interested, Not Interesting

    The seventh tip is to be interested, not interesting. Be interested in what you’re hearing from people and not focused on your performance. You’re not on stage delivering a monologue to a crowd, you’re at a networking event and you want to learn about other people. You want to understand where they’re coming from. The best salespeople listen much more than they talk. In networking you’re a salesperson and you need to listen to understand what other people’s needs and wants are, so that you can then come with a good strategy for how to best help them. So be interested in other people and not worried about being interesting.

    Networking is Not Selling

    The eighth tip is networking is not selling. Selling is something we do afterwards when we’ve set up an appointment with somebody. This is not a time to be hawking your wares, and people that do that and there are plenty of people you’ll meet at networking events that feel this is a big sales opportunity, they often get shunned by the group.

    They’re the people nobody wants to talk to anymore because they’re in your face trying to sell you something right now, trying to get you to buy whatever it is they have right now in this minute. The only thing we’re trying to accomplish in a networking event is to gain connections, help other people get connected, and for us to have appointments set afterwards. There’s plenty of time to be selling your products after the event.

    Bring a Colleague Along with You

    So the ninth tip, and this goes for really large events, you might want to consider double teaming. Take a colleague along and split up the group. Split up the list of names of people you want to talk to.

    A key thing to pay attention to is don’t find yourself each talking to the same individual. If you’re there with two people, spread out. If you see that your colleague is engaged in a conversation with someone, avoid also entering into the same conversation because you’re there to accomplish your goals which is to meet all the people you have on your list. Two of you at the same time with one person might be fun but that’s not really the purpose of why we’re there.

    Follow Up

    And number 10, the final tip, is follow up. In business, most things is to build trust, and following up is a great way to show our level of trust. We talk to a lot of people, we said a lot of things, and now we have to do the things we said. If we said “I’m going to call you tomorrow,” call them. If we say we’re going to follow up with an email, follow up with that email. But in every case we need to follow up and meet the commitments of our promises.

     

    So good luck with networking. Get out there and be yourself, set goals, and develop your businesses and develop your brand.

    Call us at PBC for a free consultation and learn how to represent your business.

     

    Connect with us on social media and be part of the dialog.
    Find us on Facebook View our LinkedIn Profile Follow us on Twitter Find us on Google+ View our latest RSS feeds Find us on YouTube Our Vimeo Channel Join our MeetUp
    Sign up for our Business Tips Newsletter

     

    This is one of the episodes of The Thinking CEO with Bernie Heine at BusinessTown.com.
     
     
     
  • How To Combat Self-Sabotage by Visualizing Business Success

    Bernie Heine explains how to combat self-sabotage,embrace positive thinking, and work toward success.

    "I can't do this."
    "I'm not cut out for this."
    "People like me don't work like this."

    Hi my name is Bernie Heine. How many times have you had heard people talk like that? Where they're really self-sabotaging themselves, or seeing things negatively about themselves, and they're reinforcing that in their minds all the time?

    Positive Thinking and Avoiding Self-Sabotage

    Many people, you could say most people, have moments in their lives where they're self-sabotaging themselves. They're doing things that are directly against what they really want to be doing. They set out goals – we want to be successful, we want to do these things – and then we have all this negative talk in our heads that tells us that we can't do that – we're not good enough for that, we haven't learned that yet, other people do that but that's not where I fit in, I don't believe that I'm part of the cultural scene that should be doing that, we're from a different place, that doesn't work here – all these negative thoughts really drag people down.

    Visualize Business Success

    When I'm working with my clients, I'm always asking them to put that stuff aside, think positively about what you can do, what you can learn. The human being is an amazing organism – we can do so much, and we use only a minute percentage of the capacity of our brains. In fact, if you learn one new thing a second it would take you 100 million years to fill up your brain. So people can always be learning new stuff. It's impossible for us to outstrip the capacity of what we can learn or how we can learn to do new things. That's the place where we need to focus our energies, not on the stuff we can't do and all the excuses – being the victim and working our way into a hole, giving up the responsibility for our lives and everything around us – but really stepping up to be the leader, seeing the ways out, learning the new things we need to learn to be successful, programming our brains, reframing our positioning to say "I can do these things. I am capable of that and I don't need to listen to people that are saying I can't do it. I can do this." One of the keywords that we can insert in this equation all the time is "I can't do that YET."

     

    For more on visualizing business success, you may consider to read our blog "Are You Focused on What Matters Most?." This is all about focusing on what's important, as the ‎ultimate strategy to succeed in any business.‎‎

    Read the blog - Are You Focused on What Matters Most?

     

     

     

    Call us at PBC for a free consultation and learn more about how to focus on the very basics of your business and make sure you excel at them every time and with every customer. We take this approach with all of our clients, using assessment tools like our Business Effectiveness Evaluation process and creating prioritized 90-day action plans.

    Business Effectiveness Evaluation Tool

     

     

     

     

     

    Connect with us on social media and be part of the dialog. 

     FacebookLinkedInTwitter RSS-NewsletterYouTubeSouth Shore Professional Roundtable

    Signup for our Business Tips Newsletter

     

    This is one of the episodes of The Thinking CEO with Bernie Heine at BusinessTown.com.
     
     
     
  • How To Elevate Communication: The Core Competencies of Coaching

    Bernie Heine explains what core communication skills are needed to be a great coach.

    More and more these days, businesses are embracing coaching principles.

    Hi, my name is Bernie Heine, and I’d like to talk to you today a little bit about how these coaching core competencies are becoming more and more important in business today. Whether you’re a leader or whether you’ve been assigned to be a mentor to someone in an organization or to coach someone within an organization, we all can learn a lot from using the core competencies of what coaching is all about. And I’ll explain a few of those right here.

    Bridge Communication Gaps

    The first one is creating awareness. Most people are unaware of where they stand in life, they don’t notice things about themselves. We have these blind spots, and everybody else seems to see it but we don’t see it. People like me talk a lot as an example, and I never used to notice how much I talk because when somebody else was quiet, I just assumed that they had nothing to say so I would just fill the space with my words, because I like to do that. Becoming more self-aware, I recognized the need to take breaks from speaking, so that everyone else has a chance to talk. I’m very conscious about this now, when I’m interacting with others, to make sure that I don’t overpower the situation. But I’m sure you all have met someone on both sides of those equations, either that talk too much or that don’t talk enough in an interactive environment. This is one of the things that a coach can really bring out in people, helping them become more self-aware of some of those things that might be holding them back in their careers.

    Another one is active listening, so if I’m going to really understand someone better, I need to be listening carefully for what they’re saying, and not just listening so that I have the next comment to make in a conversation but really listening to where they are. This is also a great skill that every leader should have when they’re leading a group, an organization, a team meeting. Are we listening to each other, really paying attention to what the other person is feeling, thinking, where they’re coming from?

    Encourage Unique Thinking and Behavior

    As a coach one of the core coaching principles is to reframe the situation. People often get stuck in a particular pattern, and they don’t think “well what if I stepped aside from that right now and viewed this from a different angle” – a classic one in sales is you view it from what the customer is looking at or in marketing look at what the customer is looking at when they’re reading our materials. But in an organization, it’s also always there – put yourself in the role of the assistant who is taking the orders from you, what do you think is going on in their minds? Helping people reframe the situation often helps them move forward, because we want people to be in action. It’s about helping people take action moving forward, and also holding themselves accountable. A lot of times one of the biggest benefits of using coaching principles in your leadership is helping people stay accountable. Just the fact that people talk about what they’re going to do, the fact that they have shared with you some of their goals and some of their ideas or their desires, or what they want to do with their lives, just that sharing is already helping them stay on a track to improving what they’re doing. By involving other people, we often help ourselves to be more accountable. Having an accountability partner to go out for a run or playing in a basketball game, whatever it might be people often use the ability to help us stay on track and move forward.

    Be Positive with Employee Reviews

    Finally, one of the most important aspects that we look at when we’re using coaching principles, is focusing on people’s strengths. We hear all too often, especially at the time of year when companies are doing performance reviews, ‘well this person needs to get better, they’re really bad at this, we have to work on this,’ we focus on all these negatives that people have and how to make these negatives into a little bit better. So they go from mediocre to just okay in some level of their performance. As a coach, it’s not that we ignore those, but we also look at what’s good about somebody, what strengths do they have, what things can they leverage in their lives to go from being good to awesome to become world-class at something. And everybody has something about them that they’re really passionate about and that they’re really good at. And when we focus on those things, the overlap of our passions and our strengths is what we call the zone of leadership. When people are in the zone, they’re unstoppable – they do amazing things, they work all kinds of hours because they’re not working, they’re just having fun and really enjoying it. So when we’re coaching somebody, we want to look for those, we want to help them identify what are those strengths and passions that really turn those people on. And then as a leader we are in an amazing position often times to assign work to that person to help guide them in their careers, through the company, or even just the position they have on the team to make sure that that’s what they’re leveraging and they’ll do really awesome, amazing work and become fantastically happy people.

     

    For more on Coaching Core Competencies, you may consider the following PBC resources: 

    Read the blog - The 12 Coaching Core Competencies

     

    Download the white paper - Developing a Coaching Culture

     

    Call us at PBC for a free consultation and learn about these coaching core competencies that will increase your employee's ability to work together and significantly improve the performance of your company.

     

    Connect with us on social media and be part of the dialog. 

     FacebookLinkedInTwitter RSS-NewsletterYouTubeSouth Shore Professional Roundtable

    Signup for our Business Tips Newsletter

     

    This is one of the episodes of The Thinking CEO with Bernie Heine at BusinessTown.com.
     
     
     
     
  • How To Hire Great Employees: The One Secret You Need to Know

    Having a great hiring process isn't enough to hire great employees. Bernie Heine tells you the one secret to build a winning team.

    You've got an amazing job description, you're advertising all over, you've selected a great candidate – how come they don't always work out?

    Hi, my name is Bernie Heine, and I want to talk about the hiring process and some of the pitfalls that often happen.

    Change Your Hiring Process

    When in the hiring process, we're laying out a very good job description – this is what needs to get done, these are all the things we want to have from people – but we also have to be a little bit careful of what we're asking for and make sure we've asked all the right questions about what's really important.

    I have a client where they had a great process going. They brought in all kinds of qualified applicants, but they had a very high turnover rate. Now, granted, this was a tough job, and it was a little bit of a dirty job – it's not for everybody – but still, why were they having this high turnover rate? So I asked him to do a very simple exercise: we did a focus group. We did a focus group, not in the normal sense that you would think, we did it virtually. I asked him to imagine in his head that on one side of the room we have the four best hires he's ever made, that they're right here in the room with us right now, and on the other side of the room we have the four worst hires. What's in common and what's different? We went through kind of an interview process of people that aren't here, but we know who they are and we kind of know what they would've said if we asked some particular questions. We went around the room and interviewed these people who aren't here, but we know them. It all came down to one major difference: the people who were successful in the company had a higher level of intellectual curiosity. They were the people that would read the trade journals, be interested when the company was bringing on a new tool, and they would want to know how it worked right away and be the first ones to use it. The other group, even though on all other aspects were completely equal, didn't really care about that stuff – they they weren't interested in knowing where the business was going. so they added some questions to the interview process that incorporated intellectual curiosity, things like what kind of magazines do you read, what kind of things you do in your spare time. Just to find out if these are people that would be interested in advancing their education in the job, or are they just there because it's a job.

    Hypothetical Hiring Process

    The result was amazing, and they've had great hires ever since adding just that subtle tweak in the hiring process. So really what it comes down to is that we hire for attitude, and then we can train for aptitude, because you can't change somebody's attitude towards the job. What are those elements that were looking for to make sure we get the people that have the right attitude, and those people will end up being your long-term really successful employees. So I encourage you to think about all the questions you're asking, and are there some really critical differentiators you can add to your hiring process that could make the difference between long-term employees and high rates of turnover.

     

    For more on hiring great employees, you may consider the following PBC resources:

    Read the blog - 3 Watch Words When Hiring: Accuracy, Equity and Fairness

     

    Download the white paper - How to Make Successful Recruitment Decisions

     

     

     

     

     

    Call us at PBC for a free consultation and learn more about comprehensive plan on hiring for success.

     

    Connect with us on social media and be part of the dialog. 

     FacebookLinkedInTwitter RSS-NewsletterYouTubeSouth Shore Professional Roundtable

    Signup for our Business Tips Newsletter

     

    This is one of the episodes of The Thinking CEO with Bernie Heine at BusinessTown.com.
     
     
     
  • How to Identify and Prioritize “Gain” Tasks

    Is your to-do list focused on tasks that will help you get the most from your life? Find out in this video.

    So is your to-do list filled with all the right things so that you can really get ahead in life?

    Hi, my name is Bernie Heine, and today I want to talk about the fact that wealth creation takes focus and determination.

    Steven McClatchey talks about the difference between activities that move towards gain and activities that you do to alleviate pain. And the difference in those two is very big in terms of its impact on your life. Ninety percent of our success in life is because we’re working on activities that add wealth, that move towards gaining something, and only 10 percent is the avoiding of pain.

    So when we’re working on gain tasks, these are things that you can’t delegate. These are things that are really important to you like getting an advanced degree. You can’t delegate to someone else to get your MBA for you. These are things we have to do ourselves. Pain tasks, the avoiding of pain tasks, are things like taking out the trash, cleaning your office. All of these things are only important if they don’t get done, and they often are associated with a high sense of urgency like “it’s trash day on Friday, so we better take the trash out in the morning.” That doesn’t get us very much in life, but if we don’t do it, we might end up with a smelly house, but it’s not going to move us forward. Going out and getting an advanced degree or working on that important project, those are the activities make all the difference in our lives.

    Gain Tasks Lack Urgency

    So there are three ways to identify those gain tasks. Number one, they have a significant lack of urgency. It’s not something that has to happen right now.

    Sense of Achievement

    Number two: there is a significant sense of achievement associated with getting them done.

    Deep Sense of Personal Satisfaction

    Number three is you gain a deep sense of personal satisfaction from having completed those.

    Make Gain Tasks a Higher Priority

    So knowing that, how can we implement this? So this is a simple three-step process. So step number one is to make these gain tasks/these wealth creating tasks a priority in your life. So once you’ve identified them, look over your to-do list. Are those the kinds of things that are even on your list? Or is your list filled with all of the “avoiding pain” kinds of tasks which feel really urgent because you’ve got to get them done today/you’ve got to make this happen/you’ve got to make that happen. We’ve got to do stuff/we should do stuff.

    I often say people shouldn’t “should” on themselves,you know? We shouldn’t use that language. We get to do stuff in our lives, and the gain tasks are things that we really like to do, but because they don’t have that sense of urgency, we often procrastinate on them and push out on our calendar. Bring those gain tasks and focus. Make those the top priority on your list

    Step number two is to take a look at all of those gain tasks and lay out a time plan. Begin with the end in mind. Where I want to go with this? What is the critical path that I need to be on to make sure I accomplish that?

    Step three is to protect those tasks.Think of it like the difference between a to-do list and a calendar. On a to-do list, we can just add and add and add more items. It’s very easy. if you’re already have 27 items, you add a 28th item to the bottom of the list, it’s very simple. It doesn’t feel painful to add more items to your to-do list, even though most people have to-do lists which could take months to complete. We just keep adding more and more on.

    Think of it with these priority items/gain tasks, think of them like calendar items. For instance, when somebody asks you for an appointment you just add it to your calendar, you first look at your calendar to see if you have 9 a.m. on Wednesday morning. So you’re moving things because it’s a fixed amount space on the calendar to put up with you just can’t keep accepting appointments for the same. So treat these gain tasks calendar tasks. They’re really important. You want block time out for them. They’re not just another thing added to a long list of to-dos. With that newfound list of priorities, focus on those and make yourself yourself a better life, and a better person and run a better company.

    Call us at PBC for a free consultation and learn how to focus your to-do list on tasks that will help you get the most from your life.

     

    Connect with us on social media and be part of the dialog.
    Find us on Facebook View our LinkedIn Profile Follow us on Twitter Find us on Google+ View our latest RSS feeds Find us on YouTube Our Vimeo Channel Join our MeetUp
    Sign up for our Business Tips Newsletter

     

    This is one of the episodes of The Thinking CEO with Bernie Heine at BusinessTown.com.
     
     
     
  • Motivating Today’s Workers: The 3 Things That Really Matter

    Bernie Heine tells you what you can do to motivate your employees and boost their performance.

    If we pay people more money or give them a big bonus, they’ll work harder for us, right?

    Hi my name is Bernie Heine, and I’d like to talk right now little bit about some of the modern science on motivation.
     

    Is Money a Good Incentive?

    I have this conversation with a lot of senior leaders that believe ‘well, we just have to pay our people more money and they’ll do all the things we want them to do’. But, as Daniel Pink talks about in his book Drive, there are other factors that motivate today’s knowledge workers. While dollar incentives still work very well for people that are doing algorithmic work or manual labor type things – if I pay you a little bit more money will you work a little bit faster to build this wall or paint this room, etc. – sure, those incentives still work and you can get people to work harder and do more work if you pay them a lot more money. But when we talk about knowledge workers, it actually works the other way.

    How to Motivate Employees Without Using Money

    There has been a lot of experimenting done with people to find out that the more money I incent people with to do creative work, the lower their performance. What really drives people, the number one thing, is autonomy. Knowledge workers want to know that they can pick their own teams, their own work schedule, their own way of going about setting up the work. The second thing that’s really important is mastery – am I able learn new things on the job? Is my employer putting me through a training program allowing me to learn new stuff, maybe cross-functional, maybe learn about a different department, getting involved with people from another part of the organization? – so, mastering new things. That motivates people. That’s why people learn how to play musical instruments. Most people don’t learn to play the guitar or the piano because they want to be a professional musician, they do it because it’s cool to learn new stuff and it gives people motivation to know that they’re getting better at something every time they try. The third motivational factor is purpose. People want to know that what they’re doing has real purpose in life. It’s something that aligns with their own values, their own purpose for being. And if they can get behind the purpose of the company, if they know it well, if they believe in it, that’s really motivating to them.

    Worker Autonomy

    So it’s not always about paying people an extra dollar for something, or paying them the innovation bonus, or raising their salaries that’s going to get people out of bed in the morning and excited to work in your company. But it’s giving them a certain amount of autonomy so that they can pick and choose the things they want to do maybe, and the way they want to do it, giving them some leeway. The other one is mastery, or giving them the opportunity to learn and experience new things and get better at what they’re doing, excel in their own job.

    Then finally it’s about maximizing purpose, what do we believe in, what do they believe in, the mission of the company, and really wrap their heads around it to do great things and experience a life that they want to live.

     

    Call us at PBC for a free consultation and learn more about how you can motivate your workers to meet or exceed their potential.

     

    Connect with us on social media and be part of the dialog. 

     FacebookLinkedInTwitter RSS-NewsletterYouTubeSouth Shore Professional Roundtable

    Signup for our Business Tips Newsletter

     

    This is one of the episodes of The Thinking CEO with Bernie Heine at BusinessTown.com.

     

     
     
  • Sales Prospecting: The Vital Connection Between Marketing and Sales

    Most people don't like prospecting but it is crucial to your sales and marketing efforts.
    Bernie explains why and how to make the most of this step.

    The better we are at prospecting, the better we are at selling.

    Hi my name is Bernie Heine, and I'd like to take a few minutes to talk about prospecting and what that means for our sales process. Most people love to do marketing — getting out there, bragging about what an amazing company they are, all the great things we can do for our clients. It's fun to do marketing. It's also really fun to do the selling. When you're in front of a qualified lead and you've got a great discussion going, you know that this is somebody that needs what you have – you have the right solutions, you can solve their pains, you can sell them a great product. But how do we make the connection?

    Improving Your Prospecting Technique

    Prospecting is the hard part, that's the part that most people avoid doing at all costs. It's the prospecting. It's making the cold call, it's getting out there and proactively creating leads for your business. So marketing is good at getting some buzz and getting people to maybe call your company, selling is all about closing the sale, but the prospecting brings the two together. So we have to get out there and work with the leads that are coming in, we have to create new leads, maybe through networking, maybe through cold calling, maybe through cold walking when you just walk in to companies and ask if they can use your services, how can you help them, how can you be of service. So avoid not paying attention to this part, this is the part that makes the difference. It's the part that we can measure the most activity on – how often are we making calls, how often are we getting out there in front of the prospects that are really going to be our clients going forward, our customers going forward. So don't avoid the prospecting, do the prospecting. It's the magic piece that brings marketing into sales.

     

    For more on sales prospecting, you may consider to read these blogs:‎‎

    Read the blog - Use a System For Selling - Do you have a consistent sales process or are you just winging it?

     

    Read the blog - 12 Innovative and Intriguing Selling Principles

     

     

     

     

     

    We have been using and teaching the importance of Client Builder Sales system, a proven, practical sales and marketing method for small business growth. Please read this complimentary white paper:

    Download the white paper - The Power of a Process for Increasing Sales

     

     

     

    Call us at PBC for a free consultation and learn more about how to gain trust from your potential prospect by carefully establishing strategy for both prospecting and selling.

     

    Connect with us on social media and be part of the dialog. 

     FacebookLinkedInTwitter RSS-NewsletterYouTubeSouth Shore Professional Roundtable

    Signup for our Business Tips Newsletter

     

    This is one of the episodes of The Thinking CEO with Bernie Heine at BusinessTown.com.
     
     
     
  • Stop Failing: How To Set and Realize Your Business Goals

    Bernie explains how to set smart, specific, and realistic goals in order to drive your business forward.

    Hi, my name is Bernie Heine, and I want to talk about some of the tools of change, and how these work in our brains to make sure we actually accomplish the things we're looking to do.

    First, if we decide we want to go in a different direction, we're going to change the way we're running our business; the way we're running our lives. The first thing we need to do is establish some goals. But too often people will have a very vague goal – I want to lose weight; I want to grow my business – but how much? By when? We need to use smart goals to define that, so that we're able to really measure and track it, so that we know we are making progress. The S.M.A.R.T. acronym can help us create measurable goals:

    S is for Specific

    The first letter is S, for specific. It's not just a general thing, it's very specific. Like adding a hundred thousand dollars of revenue to the top line.

    M is for Measurable

    And then it needs to be something that's measurable. In this case, if it's money, that's very measurable.

    A is for Achievable

    We also have to know that it's achievable. Setting very unrealistic goals can be demotivating! So is it an achievable goal? Is a hundred thousand dollars the right number? Is $10,000? What's the number that is an achievable goal?

    R is for Results-oriented

    The next one is the R, for results-oriented. Is it something that’s going to give a result to my business? Certainly growing the revenue by a hundred thousand dollars would be a good result.

    T is for Time Bound

    The final one is the T, for time bound. Do I know when I'm going to achieve that goal? By the end of the first quarter? By the end of the second quarter? By the end of the year? What's the timing? Just so that I have a very crisp goal. For example, "this year I'm going to increase the revenue of the company by a hundred thousand dollars by the end of the year." That would be a smart goal for my revenue.

    Setting Goals

    Another tool that we have available is setting goals. Not only short-term goals, but also long-term goals. Have I thought about what my overall objective is? Where do I want to be five years from now? What do I want to be doing in 10 years, versus what do I want to be doing next week? So this means separating the smart goals out into longer-term goals, but also very short-term goals that are actionable right now.

    Affirmations

    One of the other things that often holds people back is that we don't believe in ourselves. We don't believe we can do things. A tool that we can use for this is called affirmations. Affirmations are listing out, let's say, 20 things that you really love about yourself. You like that you're smart, you like that you are well-educated, you like that you are able to speak to people, or you like that you're able to do detailed calculations. What is it that you like about yourself? You like that you're a great family person, or you're a great husband or wife, or you're a great father or mother. What is it that you really love about yourself? Remind yourself about those things. Write those down, put together a list, and then review that list either on a daily basis, one item a day, or the whole list every day. But keep that list front and center, because that reminds you of how amazing you are as a person.

    Visualizations

    Another tool that we have is visualizations, or thinking about what's possible in the future. How often do you take the time to sit back and really think about the future for yourself? Taking a little bit of time each day, and visualizing what's going to happen next month, next year, 10 years from now, is not only inspirational, but it helps set the direction. It points you in the way that you want to be going, so that you know when you're there; you know when you're on the path; you're seeing the signs that are bringing you in that direction.

    Action Plans

    And then we also need to have action plans. Once you have those smart goals and you're visualizing where you want to go, what are you doing now? So often I see people that have hundred point lists and there's no priorities in there, just kind of bouncing around being pushed around from one deadline to the other. What's your list? Do you have a list – an action item list that helps you prioritize what are the most important things that need to get done today, this week, this month? Lay it out with the priorities.

    Focus on the Good

    Now, once we have all these tools in hand, how do they work for us? Well, there's a very interesting filter in our brain that helps us achieve these goals, and it's called the RAS: the reticular activating system. This filter is what keeps us sane, in a way. Our brains are receiving about a hundred million impulses constantly. Right now, you're paying attention to my voice, but you're also seeing the lights, or the color of my shirt, or you're hearing some other noise in the background. There's all these things going on around us, but the filter in our brain, the RAS, is tuned in to the things we pay attention to. For example, how many times have you been at a noisy cocktail party, and somebody way on the other side of the room calls out your name and you hear it? You hear that because your filter is turned on to hear specific things all the time. Or let's say you buy a new car, and all of a sudden you notice everybody has that car. You see that car 10 times a day, you never noticed it before. But now you that you own one, your brain is filtered to look for it. When you set goals, when you write down your affirmations and pay attention to them, and when you have your action plans, you're training your reticular activating system to pay attention to the things that matter to you most. And the more you focus on the good things in your life, the more they grow. A famous Harvard professor once said, "When you appreciate the good, the good appreciates." So appreciate all that's good in your life. Focus on those good things, your brain will help you do it, and you'll be the success that you really want to be.

     

    For more on setting and realizing your business goals, you may consider the following PBC resources: 

    Read the blog - Realistic Goals = Business Success

     

    Download the 3-Step Goal Settng Worksheet

     

     

     

     

     

    Call us at PBC for a free consultation and learn more about the very high correlation between business success and having clearly articulated goals for what you want to accomplish.

     

    Connect with us on social media and be part of the dialog. 

     FacebookLinkedInTwitter RSS-NewsletterYouTubeSouth Shore Professional Roundtable

    Signup for our Business Tips Newsletter

     

    This is one of the episodes of The Thinking CEO with Bernie Heine at BusinessTown.com.
     
     
     
  • The 3 Keys to Marketing Messages

    Bernie explains the laws of marketing physics and how they apply to your business.

    I can’t tell you how many times people share with me their marketing materials, and it’s all wrong.
    Hi, my name is Bernie Heine, and I will talk today a little bit about the laws of marketing physics.
    This comes from a book by Doug Hall called Jumpstart Your Business Brain.

     

    Overt Benefit

    The first law he talks about is having to have an overt benefit. So, marketing should include a benefit that hits people between the eyes, and they feel as though someone spoke to them directly.

    Believability

    The second one is believability, that there should be a real reason to believe. Like, “I can believe all that stuff” – we talk about the pedigree, we talk about certifications, testimonials from people you can believe.

    Dramatic Difference

    The final law of marketing physics is, is there a dramatic difference? What’s the difference between your company and all of the competition?

    Apply the laws of marketing physics

    Now, add it all together, applying these three laws of marketing physics. It really gives the marketing message a pop. People see it, they believe it, and they know why it’s different. They want your products, and not because you’re talking about all the things you do, but you’re talking about all the benefits that you bring. You know, most people are tuned into one radio station, and that’s WIIFM, or what’s in it for me? That’s what people want to know. And when they’re looking at your marketing messages, they want to know that it’s in there for them.

    So remember the three laws of marketing physics: having an overt benefit, a real reason to believe that message, and an understanding of the dramatic difference.

     

    So what makes your products and services different from everybody else out there?

    Call us at PBC for a free consultation and learn how to use these marketing laws to boost your sales.

     

    Connect with us on social media and be part of the dialog. 

     FacebookLinkedInTwitter RSS-NewsletterYouTubeSouth Shore Professional Roundtable

    Signup for our Business Tips Newsletter

     

    This is one of the episodes of The Thinking CEO with Bernie Heine at BusinessTown.com.

     

     
     
  • The 4 Lenses of Innovation

    From challenging the status quo to taking advantage of every resource at your disposal, learn how you can ride the wave of innovation.

    So are you staying stuck in the comfort zone or are you sort of riding the waves of innovation?

    Hi, my name is Bernie Heine, and today I want to talk about the four lenses of innovation as described in their book by Roman Gibson.

    Daring to Challenge the Orthodoxies

    The first lens is daring to challenge the orthodoxy. Going against the way we normally do business. Now this feels uncomfortable for a lot of people. We like to stay in our comfort zone. That’s why it’s called the comfort zone. We feel good there, but do we take the time to challenge those, to revisit those, to say “well is there a better way to do this?” So I encourage you to all think about in every part of everything you’re working on, “how can we do this better?” “How can we make better?”

    Don’t get stuck in mediocrity. don’t get stuck in business as usual because the rest of the world is moving on. The more we stay in the same place with our processes with our tools using, the more we’re falling behind the rest of the world.

    Seek Out Trends Early

    The second lens to consider is seeking out trends early. Do you have enough information that you’re gathering? Are your people out there scanning the world to find out “what are the big trends that are happening, and are we getting on top of those early enough to be able to adapt our systems/our processes/our products the way we go to market? Are we following along on these trends? Do we see where they’re headed, and the implications that they have for our business?

    ‎‎And we can use those trends if we chart them out correctly to do some scenario planning to look at “what if this trend takes off?” “What if this trend actually goes away?” Doing these “what ifs” around all the trends that are happening can put us in a much better position as a company to ride that next wave of innovation and be there when those trends actually materialize.

    Take Advantage of Every Resource

    The third lens is to really get our resources into high gear. Are really taking advantage all the different resources that are available to us? Do we know what all the strengths are of our employees? Can we take advantage of those strengths? What are these people thinking and doing? Maybe we have special knowledge and expertise that we’re not even using on a daily basis. Could some of those capabilities help us move forward?

    ‎‎Also think about our physical assets. How are we utilizing our plants and our buildings? Are there more opportunities to take advantage of those assets and leverage those to really take our business in a different direction?

    Understanding Our Customer’s Latent Needs

    The fourth lens of innovation is really understanding our customers needs. Customers don’t often tell us exactly what the next product is or the innovation is that they want us to give them. Henry Ford once famously said if he had asked his customers, he would have built a faster horse.

    ‎‎So we have to analyze what the customers are actually doing with our products, how they’re using, how they’re engaging with them, so that we can see an opportunity to jump ahead. We have the knowledge of what’s going on in our industries, and know where the technology might be headed. But we have to interact with customers constantly understand how those things can better their lives and make their businesses better.

    Call us at PBC for a free consultation and learn how you can ride the wave of innovation.

     

    Connect with us on social media and be part of the dialog.
    Find us on Facebook View our LinkedIn Profile Follow us on Twitter Find us on Google+ View our latest RSS feeds Find us on YouTube Our Vimeo Channel Join our MeetUp
    Sign up for our Business Tips Newsletter

     

    This is one of the episodes of The Thinking CEO with Bernie Heine at BusinessTown.com.
     
     
     
  • Use Your Strength and Passion to Be a Great Leader

    Bernie Heine explains that the more we focus on our strengths and talents, the more we get out of our lives. Learn how to find your own "Zone of Leadership."

    So I was in a meeting with a group of clients the other day, and we were asked to point out one strength and one weakness. And wouldn’t you know, it’s very difficult for people to come up with those strengths and much easier to talk about their weaknesses.

    Hi, my name is Bernie Heine, and today I want to talk about strength-based leadership. Generally for people, it’s easier to talk about what’s wrong about themselves or what their weaknesses are rather than focusing on their strengths, but the truth is the more we focus on our strengths, the more we get out of our lives. It’s my easier to get growth, grow ourselves, grow our businesses when we focus on strengths then when we are totally consumed with improving our weaknesses.

    The Zone of Leadership

    So what I’ll often do with my clients is do a little exercise around identifying what we’re really good at. And this is talking about knowing yourself, knowing what really important to you, what you’re good at, and what you’re really passionate about. If we go through this exercise of listing out all the things that we’re passionate about, and then also a list of all the things that were really good at. What are our core strengths? There’s a lot of assessment you can take to get there, but just having these two lists, and if you put those in a venn diagram in two circles, where the circles overlap, that area in the middle is what we call the zone of leadership.

    Overlap of Passion and Talent

    So whatever activities you engage in that are in that overlap of the two circles: things that you’re really good at, your strengths, and things you’re really passionate about. If you focus your activities on things in that zone of leadership, you really never have to work in your life. These are the things that you’re just so happy to do that it never feels like work. So I challenge you all to take a look at what are the things that I know I’m really good at? What are the things that I’m passionate about? And what’s in that overlap?

    ‎‎Let’s get in the zone. Think of yourself like that rock star that’s performing an encore at the end of a big concert. They don’t consider that to be work. In fact, they would probably continue to play all night if the venue would allow it. That’s witnessing somebody who’s in the zone. They’re thinking “wow! We just like to play because this is so much fun.” People in the work sense can be in the same place as long as you’re doing things you’re good at and things you’re passionate about.

    Call us at PBC for a free consultation and learn how to find your own "Zone of Leadership."

     

    Connect with us on social media and be part of the dialog.
    Find us on Facebook View our LinkedIn Profile Follow us on Twitter Find us on Google+ View our latest RSS feeds Find us on YouTube Our Vimeo Channel Join our MeetUp
    Sign up for our Business Tips Newsletter

     

    This is one of the episodes of The Thinking CEO with Bernie Heine at BusinessTown.com.
     
     
     
  • Why a Narrow Focus Is Good for Your Business

    It's better to be a boutique than a department store. Learn why having a narrow focus can help you increase margins and build credibility.

    So are you very focused on the main thing, or are you a little more scattered in general?

    Hi my name is Bernie Heine, and I want today a little about the power of focus.

    Why Focus is Important

    Talking about focus on the core things really matter most to your business.A lot of entrepreneurs think “well, if I to narrowly define my business, I’m going to miss out on all kinds of opportunities that are right and left of where I, and therefore my business will get smaller.” Well the truth is actually the more I focus my business on one or a few small niches, the more I’m considered in the industry as an expert. The more I’m an expert, well the more I can actually charge for what I do.

    Be a Boutique Rather Than a Department Store

    Think about the difference between a department store and a boutique. Boutiques tend to have higher prices. We expect when we walk into a boutique that it’s going to be more expensive, but what do you also expect? Well, you expect the salesperson to be very knowledgeable. If you go into a department store, you expect they know something about their products, but you’re not really expecting them to be super knowledgeable. But in a boutique, you expect them to know why about the product and be able to help you in very unique ways. So when we’re in business, think about the same way. If if I’m very very broad, I can expect to get very high margins for my products, but I find that that industry expert people come to charge more, so I can work less and make more.

    Also by being more the expert, you can focus your marketing communications to be more targeted so that it’s more relevant to your target audience. So we want to talk about things that benefit our target market and when we’re narrowly focused, we can say things that really bring them in. They can actually see themselves in your marketing communications, and that drives higher loyalty towards your solutions versus your competitors. And in those communications, we can talk about the benefits. And the benefits are those things which are usually not even on the invoice.

    Think About the Benefits Your Product Offers

    Think about when you sell your product, your company doesn’t really want to buy what you sell, they want to get the benefits from what that product delivers. So on my invoices as it says business coaching, but clients don’t really want business coaching. What they want is the benefits that the coaching brings them. So I help them talk through difficult ideas that they might have or situations that they’re involved in or work with the helping them improve their businesses, or helping them improve their relationships with their employees. Those are the things that they get as benefits from working with me but that’s not what it says on the invoice. So in our marketing communications we want to focus those concepts on the benefits that we bring and this idea of focusing into a niche allows us call out those benefits much easier than if we’re just broad brush and do work with everybody.

     

    So let me leave you with a few questions. Are you now narrowly enough focused to be able to get some of those benefits? Or are you diluting your efforts and trying to be too broad/trying to be all things to all people? I encourage you to take the approach of being everything to a few people and really helping them as an expert in your field.

    Call us at PBC for a free consultation and learn how thepower of focus plays an important role in increasing your profitability.

     

    Connect with us on social media and be part of the dialog.
    Find us on Facebook View our LinkedIn Profile Follow us on Twitter Find us on Google+ View our latest RSS feeds Find us on YouTube Our Vimeo Channel Join our MeetUp
    Sign up for our Business Tips Newsletter

     

    This is one of the episodes of The Thinking CEO with Bernie Heine at BusinessTown.com.
     
     
     
  • Why Leadership Is a Choice Anybody Can Make

    You don't need to be a CEO to be a leader. Find out how you can become one by taking charge of your own life and making good choices."

    So I think one of the issues that we’re facing in our society today is a lack of leadership.

    Hi, this is Bernie Heine, and today I want to talk about leadership as a choice. Who do you think of when you think of a good leader? And what are the characteristics of that person? Take a moment to reflect on that. What are the things that you value when you see somebody, meet somebody, work with somebody, and you say “wow! that person’s a good leader?” What are the things that come to mind?

    Now think about some of those terms you might come up with. Maybe they’re outgoing or they’re very thoughtful. Maybe there’s a person that asks really good questions or the person that takes initiative/gets things done.

    You Can Be a Leader

    Now imagine for a second you can do all those things yourself, can’t you? Do you have to be the appointed CEO of the company? Do you have to be the manager of the department? Or can anyone exhibit those behaviors?

    The fact is, we can all be leaders.It’s a choice we make. We have the ability as human beings to choose the outcomes of our lives. We choose things that we we want to do. We don’t have to take things as they are, we can change them. We don’t have to conform always to what everybody is trying to tell us to do. We have our own minds think on our own to go in our own direction.

    The late Jim Rohn is an inspirational speaker, and one of the things he said once in his one of his talks was that his life changed when he realized it even rains on rich people. What he meant by that was happens to us tends to happen to all of us equally. If the economy goes up or the economy goes down, or there’s new innovations from other companies these effects happen to all of us equally. What we can do is how we react to those things. What we do about those things is what makes a difference for us.

    And successful people recognize that they need to take charge of their own lives and be responsible for the things they want to change in their lives. So we think about leadership and all those positive things you were thinking of before, so what’s the opposite of that? These are people who blame the rest of the world on what’s going wrong in their lives. They can come up with hundreds of reasons why they’re not successful: well it’s the economy, well it’s my neighbor, well it’s my family, well it’s my upbringing. Or maybe it’s my boss or countless other things. These people point fingers at everyone else as to why they are not a successful individual.

    The Oz Principle-Roger Connors, Tom Smith, and Craig Hickman

    Well it turns out they’re just displaying more victim behavior than leadership behavior. In the book The Oz Principle, the authors point out a very simple graphic, and it’s a straight line across the page. They propose the question that we should all think about every minute of every day: am I above this line or am I below this line?

    ‎‎That line above the line means leadership behavior, and below the line is victim behavior, and all of us go through the process of going above and below the line all the time. When something bad happens generally our human nature is to react negatively and think “why did that happen?” and “what are they trying to do to me?” We need to quickly recognize in those moments that we have to pull ourselves up above the line and think and get above the situation and say “what can I do to make this better?” “what I make happen?” “what decisions can I take?” “what actions can I take to make the situation better?” rather than wallowing in the victim side, which is “oh well, all these bad things have happened n. that this is bad that’s bad these people are against me, and those don’t like me and my boss is always giving me all this work.”

    Think about what is that I can do to pull myself  above? So am I above the line or below? Above the line is making the choice to be a leader and below the line is making the choice to be a victim, and these are clear choices that we make all the time to be a better leader. You take the challenge on to take the choice of choosing leadership, and these are clear choices that we make all the time to be a better leader. You take the challenge on to take the choice of choosing leadership.

    Call us at PBC for a free consultation and find out how you can become a leader by taking charge of your own life and making good choices.

     

    Connect with us on social media and be part of the dialog.
    Find us on Facebook View our LinkedIn Profile Follow us on Twitter Find us on Google+ View our latest RSS feeds Find us on YouTube Our Vimeo Channel Join our MeetUp
    Sign up for our Business Tips Newsletter

     

    This is one of the episodes of The Thinking CEO with Bernie Heine at BusinessTown.com.
     
     
     

Join Our Meetup

Join My Meetup
South Shore Professional Roundtable

Sign up for our Email Newsletter

SIGN UP NOW

Network With Us

Find us on Facebook View my LinkedIn Profile Follow me on Twitter Find us on YouTube  Our Vimeo Channel

Start your own Constant Contact Email Campaign here:

Sign up for Constant Contact