Finding New Clients – 5 LinkedIn Misconceptions That Hurt You From Finding New Clients

Finding new clients

Thousands of businesses use LinkedIn to connect with new clients every single day – but for some reason, you can’t seem to imitate their success. Let’s say LinkedIn has never worked for your business, and you think that it never will.  Worst of all, you can’t figure out why.

I have the answer: the biggest barrier to LinkedIn success is your own attitude. 

Adjusting your LinkedIn Mindset

Finding new clients requires a positive attitude about LinkedIn — a belief that it can work for your business, and a willingness to find out how. To help you embrace the potential of LinkedIn, we’re going to look at some of the most common misconceptions – the limiting beliefs that are hindering your ability to find new clients. This is more than just opinion – we’re going to let statistics do the talking, and prove why you need to develop a positive LinkedIn mindset for finding new clients!

LinkedIn Misconception #1. ‘LinkedIn only works for businesses in the United States’

Most people don’t realize just how global the LinkedIn network is. LinkedIn has over 260 million users, in over 200 hundred countries – and less than a third of those users are based in the US. LinkedIn is huge in countries as diverse as China and the Netherlands, making it a viable source of clients for countries the world over. If you’re a local business, finding new clients through local groups and businesses is easy. And, if you’re international, you can target clients from virtually anywhere in the world.

LinkedIn Misconception #2. ‘Twitter and Facebook are better for generating leads’ 

LinkedIn alone accounts for over two thirds of all visits to corporate websites from social media channels. Facebook generates just 17% of these visits, and Twitter even less, at 14%. As a result, LinkedIn generates more leads for businesses than any other social network. If you aren’t active on LinkedIn, your business is missing out traffic, leads and clients.

LinkedIn Misconception #3. ‘LinkedIn has never generated any clients for me – why should it now?’

LinkedIn is a rapidly growing network, with a year-on-year increase in users of almost 40%. In other words, the odds of finding new clients increase by almost a half every single year. If you haven’t been able to generate new clients, you simply need to try a new approach – and abandoning LinkedIn altogether will cost your business more every year.

LinkedIn Misconception #4. ‘LinkedIn isn’t relevant to my industry’

Regardless of your business niche, you’ll be able to find special interest community groups on LinkedIn full of industry leaders and relevant discussions. All types of business people are active on LinkedIn – from post-graduates looking for experience and knowledge, through to CEOs of multinational companies to athletic coaches from high schools and universities and even facility directors who deal with building maintenance – so regardless of your target audience, finding new clients in your industry has never been easier.

LinkedIn Misconception #5. ’I don’t believe that you can generate leads by posting comments’

Commenting on LinkedIn discussions allows you to show your expertise, and develop relationships with potential clients. If you’re able to solve someone’s problem, they’re going to be grateful to you. They’ll view you and your business as helpful, authoritative and trust-worthy which increases their interest in working with you. Commenting is more than showing off – it’s helping people with your knowledge and thought leadership and nothing is more powerful for finding new clients.

In closing, the statistics don’t lie – LinkedIn is a powerful tool for finding new clients, and if you and your business are struggling to capitalize on that, you might need to adjust your mindset.

QUESTIONS: Have any of these misconceptions stopped you from finding new clients? What other factors are still limiting your LinkedIn success? Let me know in the comments below!

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Phone Prospecting Tips for Setting up Appointments

In an age when everyone is suffering from email overload it pays off to simply pick up the phone.  Of course, you probably know by now my first recommendation is to use LinkedIn to help you make connections before your even begin your phone prospecting. People are much more inclined to listen to your entire phone prospecting approach if you first build that connection online.

The key to successful phone  prospecting is planning. Using guidelines and a script on the call doesn’t have to make it sound mechanical if you’re listening to a customer and connecting with his communication style. These tips will increase your phone prospecting close rate and build your confidence in using the phone for marketing and setting up appointments.

1. Have a written out phone prospecting approach.

You might think that winging it is will make your phone prospecting approach sound more natural. On the contrary, “winging it” only leaves you with inconsistent results. It also ends up making your phone prospecting sound more confusing to the person answering your call because you inherently end up spitting out fragmented phrases you’ve used randomly in the past.

Since a confused mind says “no” be sure to take the time to write a well thought out phone prospecting approach that quickly builds rapport, asks relevant open ended questions and gives the customer enough information to accept your invitation to set up an appointment.

Make your phone prospecting calls from some place comfortable. Relax, think about successfully closing during your phone prospecting calls and have a smile on your face. Your body language comes through over the phone in subtle ways so have a positive attitude before you dial, suggest ATC Conferencing. If it’s helpful, imagine that each customer is actually sitting in front of you watching your body language.

2. Be an active listener.

When your prospects are answering those open-ended questions you’ve prepared don’t be thinking about what you will say next. When the prospect is speaking do nothing but listen to get a sense of:

•  how the person communicates
•  what the person currently needs in his or her life
•  how your product can fulfill one or more of those needs

Notice things like – does the customer seem rushed? Out of breath? How did he or she answer the phone? What background sounds can you pick up? This will give you some sense of the person you’re speaking with. Based on that, you can begin to match his or her communication style.

3. Mirror the Customer.

Match the speed and volume at which the person is speaking. Listen for the person’s choice of words, phrases and slang. Try to use them throughout the conversation. When you use the same language during your phone prospecting calls it resonates more with the customer. It makes communication easier. Use the customer’s name two or three times in the conversation as well.

4. Qualify the lead.

If this is a cold prospecting phone call, then you’ll have to qualify the person as a potential customer while you are going through your phone prospecting approach. For example, if you’re an insurance company you can use a resource such as QuoteWizard homeowners insurance leads, you’ll have a list of pre-qualified customers. You’ll still need to listen to the customer to determine where your product will fit into his needs. He may be in the market to purchase a new home, which would be a good time to switch his home insurance to your company.

5. Get the prospect involved.

One of the best ways to set up appointments during your phone prospecting is to get the customer active in the buying process, according to The Sales Hunter. Ask the customer when he thinks the best time would be to make a purchase decision. Perhaps he’s neglected to add a rider to his homeowner’s policy to cover expensive jewelry or electronics in his home and is about to leave on a month-long trip.

Ask the prospect if he or she was in the market to work with someone like yourself, what would the key decision criteria be to help them determine if you were the right fit.

6. Be sure to invite them to connect with you.

If the prospect ends up saying “no” to your invitation to set up an appointment, don’t get discouraged and toss out their phone number. “No” often means “not right now” or “I don’t understand the product well enough.” You want to leave each call with and invitation to stay connected. The best place to connect is on LinkedIn, so you’ll need to ask them for their email address to send them a connection request on LinkedIn. (which should be included in your written out prospecting phone approach).

7. Give before you get.

The number one rule of networking is also my number one phone prospecting tip — GIVE BEFORE YOU GET! What motivates a prospect to want to connect with you beyond the initial phone call is the opportunity for them to gain the type of introductions they are most interested in building.  Ask your prospect the simple question:

“In my line of work I end up meeting lots of different types of great people.                                                                                                                              What kind of strategic introductions would be most valuable for you as a _____?”

You will never know what your prospect’s biggest priorities are if you don’t ask. Finding out what is most valuable to them allows you to speak in terms of their currency — their money language. Typical answers I’ve heard range from:

•  looking for new hires in key positions
•  introductions to people who would be their target buyer
•  introductions to referral partners for them

Don’t expect you will have an immediate contact you can introduce them to. That’s why it’s smart to get their email address to send them a connection request via LinkedIn. That way, you can tell them you’re going to jot that down and keep your eyes out among your network.

Practice these 7 phone prospecting tips when you want to focus on proactively setting up appointments.

QUESTION:  What is your biggest challenge when it comes to calling those decision makers in your target market? Please share in the comment box below.

Stop Wasting Time and Start Making Money — 6 Productivity Tips to Help You Make More Money This Year!

To make more money is probably one of your goals.  There are entrepreneurs whose business makes them $20,000 a year and then there are other entrepreneurs whose businesses makes them 2 million a year. Both entrepreneurs had the same amount of time and yet achieved completely different results.

There are two kinds of entrepreneurs — icons who whip through their day and always finish their to-do list and everyone else. The “everyone else” column holds an awful lot more mere mortals that the other one does.

It’s tough getting through the workday sometimes when you’ve got no one to tell you what to do or how to do it. Too often, this results in hours of sitting at the computer, not really accomplishing anything.

Savvy entrepreneurs try every tip they find, and use the ones that work in their daily routine to avoid the loss of income that dawdling creates. Here are 6 productivity tips to help you stop wasting time, so you can start to make more money this year as an entrepreneur.

#1.  Decide to Unitask

Multitasking has long been held as the way to get a lot done in a small amount of time. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work. According to Forbes magazine, our brains don’t work that way. Concentrating on one task and doing it well to completion is the way to work most effectively.

#2. Schedule Your To-Do List on Your Calendar

You can’t get any work done if you don’t know what you need to do. Detailed scheduling will eliminate any question of what to do in any part of your day. Sit down the night before and write an hour-by-hour schedule for your work day, filling in the task you’ll complete in each time block. Do nothing during each hour but the assigned task.

#3. Try the Pomodoro Technique to Make More Money

Many people have a hard time concentrating even one straight hour without their mind wandering. The Pomodoro Technique of work training can help solve this problem. It’s a method of working flat-out for 25 minutes, then taking a 5 minute break. Use an online timer such as the Tomato Timer built for this technique or Instant Boss, and you’ll have audible and visual clues to keep you on track.

#4. Block Distractions

If social media and other fun sites are taking your attention away from work, get rid of them during your day. Download an app such as LeechBlock. These apps set a block on your browser that don’t allow it to load a list of websites. Create the list of sites from your personal distractions, set a timer for work hours and you won’t be allowed to goof off.

#5. Look for Recurring Tasks You Can Automate

There are lots of little tasks you have to do every day that could be done more efficiently. An easy one is automating your bill payments. Just as important is backing up your work on a regular basis. You can back up automatically with a cloud service like Mozy to not only secure your work, but access it from any device anywhere.

#5. Organize Your Finances

I find a lot of my clients spend upwards of 50 hours between December and January simply trying to get their business financial reports together for their CPA.  That is completely unnecessary and easily avoidable. If you’re constantly searching for invoices and your taxes are a mess organize your finances by installing a simple bookkeeping program. Ones such as QuickBooks or Peachtree are designed for non-experts and have a very shallow learning curve. Make a habit of using this for a few minutes each day or just one hour per week and your finances will be much simpler to deal with.

#6. Improve Your Work Environment

Streamlining your work  environment can help to streamline your work day. Get rid of everything on your desk that doesn’t absolutely need to be there. You should have as few distractions for your mind as possible, and that includes items off the screen as well as on. Create an organized work space, whether it’s a dedicated room or a corner in the den, and give it a neat and tidy look. The lack of distractions will help you keep your mind on your work.

Achieving your BIG goals starts with making a series of small changes in how you leverage your time. I challenge you to start implementing these 6 tips. Practice them on a regular basis and eventually they will become engrained as a part of your success habits.

QUESTION: What is the #1 challenge that is getting in your way to make more money this year?  Please share your comments below.

 

Discouragement Destroying Your Game Plan?

Could Discouragement Be Destroying Your Game Plan? 

As football season is in full swing what I love about the game is how it challenges even the best players not to rely solely on the playbook. The football team, the coaches and even us fans know how much the athletes’ mental state of mind will impact how the game will play out. So, which is more important? The playbook or their mindset?

How can you choose one over the other? They’re both critically important to winning the game.

So, what about your game plan as an entrepreneur or a small business owner? Has your 2011 game plan been helping you achieve notable wins in your business this year?As a business growth coach I often see clients missing out on experiencing a winning season, not necessarily because they didn’t have a good game plan, but because they allowed themselves to fall prey to simple thing called discouragement.

Even though most of the clients I help are established Entrepreneurs and small business owners who have had many prior successes it seems that discouragement can still attack and destroy even the best laid strategic plans.

Here’s what some common voices of discouragement have sounded like:

1. The economy has dried up a lot of our business

2. People just aren’t in the buying mindset 3. I’m just not good at sales and marketing 4. People just don’t want what I have to offer 5. Everything I try just doesn’t work 6. There’s too much competition for me to succeedI’m sure you can fill in the blanks to add even more discouraging thoughts. Now, if you were to re-read the above 6 negative statements, and you were to say them out loud to yourself 30 times a day for the next 30 days, what would you predict might happen in your business? … Of course, it’s only common sense that the natural effect from playing this record of negativity over and over throughout the day, day after day, to anyone’s business would be nothing but a negative outcome. I’m not advocating that you trick yourself into believing complete non-realities — that the economy is suddenly robust, that everyone is in easy spending mode, that you are a wizard at sales and marketing (if you’re really not), that everyone will want what you offer, or that every tactic you try will work wonders, and that there is virtually no competition, so you will indeed succeed. So, how do you get out of the line of fire from discouragement?

Step 1: First, identify your thoughts. What are the actual thoughts that keep playing quietly in the back of your mind? You can’t change something you can’t name.

Step 2: Decide not to buy into destructive beliefs. There might be a grain of truth behind every one of your discouraging thoughts, but recognize that truth can be twisted completely out of context. Step 3: Re-frame those discouraging thoughts into statements or questions that will re-direct your focus on something that is useful and positive. For example: 1.  The economy may have reduced the low hanging fruit we were used to getting, so what can I (we) do today to get better in our business growing skills? 2.  People may now be more careful in their buying decisions, so how can I (we) learn more accurately what does motivate our target market to want to buy? 3.  Sales and marketing doesn’t come naturally to me, so what steps can I take to improve my skills in sales and marketing?  Who can help me improve those necessary skills? Writing down your discouraging thoughts and re-writing them with encouraging, empowering thoughts is a powerful way to get your head in the game, so you can win in accelerating your business growth in 2012. It’s natural to expect to plan on rigorous physical and mental conditioning exercises before you play in a high stakes football game. But, there’s so much more at stake for you in your business success, so why not invest in the very best coach to help you win this upcoming 2012 season? The missing ingredient to your business growth success may very well be that you are trying to play your best, but with no coach. I would like to be that coach for you where we can partner together to co-create your game plan and help you win over discouragement once and for all. You might just discover even one piece of feedback that will set the domino course for 2012 in a whole new direction for your business growth.


There’s only 6 slots, so call me direct now to schedule your complimentary session at 215-292-4947 EST. 

 

About Yoon Cannon: Top business coach Yoon Cannon has helped thousands of small business owners, entrepreneurs, coaches, consultants and sales teams achieve dramatic results in growing your business. Over the past 20 years Yoon has started 4 successful companies and sold 3 of them. She offers fresh insights as a seasoned business growth expert. Yoon delivers proven process for your sales, marketing and management development.  Grab free valuable gifts and resources at https://www.ParamountBusinessCoach.com  To book Yoon to speak at your next event email: YoonCannon@ParamountBusinessCoach.com To schedule a complimentary business coaching consultation call (215) 292-4947. 

© Copyright 2016

Attracting New Clients on LinkedIn – 4 Steps to Getting Started

Did you know that LinkedIn has proven to be 277% more effective at generating leads for your business than Facebook or Twitter? With more than 200 million users, LinkedIn is the most popular social network.

If you’re looking for ways to attract new clients faster and easier you need to learn how to maximize LinkedIn marketing for your business.
I have built my solo coaching practice on LinkedIn. What I love about LinkedIn marketing is that it’s free to use — can’t get better than that!
And, it does not require a huge amount of my time. In fact, LinkedIn alone has generated 6 figures in new business for me in as little as 30 minutes a day.
The thing I hear most often from solopreneurs is that while they have a profile on LinkedIn and accept connection requests, they have not been attracting new clients from their LinkedIn marketing.
Okay, that’s like saying you ordered the treadmill and got it set up, but you’re still not losing any weight. If that’s you my friend, I’d like to point out — you need to actually walk or run on that treadmill regularly to start seeing results.
Well, if you’re not on LinkedIn regularly, it’s most likely because you don’t know what you should be doing on LinkedIn to attract new clients. Here are 4 key actions you can take right away to get started.

1) LinkedIn Tip #1: Claim your vanity URL.

When you first fill out your LinkedIn profile the default LinkedIn address you receive will be made up of a garbled combination of letters and numbers. You want to make your profile look more professional and easier to share by claiming your LinkedIn vanity URL.
Instead of a URL like https://www.linkedin.com/in/hslegsbklbsekhb8, it will look a lot more professional as https://www.Linkedin.com/in/YoonCannon.
All you need to do is click “customize your public profile URL” down on the right-hand side.

2) LinkedIn Tip #2: Name your blog and website links.

Instead of using the default “My Website” you can help yourself stand out and be more memorable to your LinkedIn viewers. You will need to choose “other” in the 1st box in order to see the 2nd box where you can now write the name of your blog or website.

 

Screen Shot 2013-10-16 at 12.43.13 PM

Then, in the 3rd box you can write in the url address of your website, blog site and/or landing page.

Each profile can display up to 3 website links like this, and they can be customized by editing your profile

Screen Shot 2013-10-16 at 12.43.27 PM

 

3) LinkedIn Tip #3: Install applications.

LinkedIn provides a variety of different applications you can use to improve your LinkedIn profile. Check out the Application Directory, and consider linking your blog or applications like SlideShare to showcase your thought leadership and expertise platform. There are a lot of great applications available to help you stand out among your competition on LinkedIn.

4)  LinkedIn Tip #4: Register for my free LinkedIn teleseminar.

There is so much more I can share with you in my 60-minute teleseminar than I can fit in the scope of today’s blog post.

Linkedin TeleSeminarIf you want to eliminate the overwhelm of social media and discover how to attract new clients faster and easier let me help you during my free LinkedIn training call.

I invite you to join me on

Thursday, October 24th

1:00 pm EST, 10:00 am PST

To register simply click on

https://www.ParamountBusinessCoach.com/teleseminar

In this power packed LinkedIn training call attendees will discover:
• The reason why you’re currently wasting most of your time on LinkedIn
• How to quickly build your expertise on LinkedIn
• The 3 little known LinkedIn marketing secrets to quickly attract new clients
• Time saving strategies to profit from LinkedIn in as little as 30 minutes a day
* If you can’t make the exact date, register anyway and I will be happy to send you out the replay.

QUESTION: What is your biggest challenge when it comes to marketing yourself successfully on LinkedIn? Please share your comments below.

About Yoon Cannon: Top business coach Yoon Cannon has helped thousands of small business owners, entrepreneurs, coaches, consultants and sales teams achieve dramatic results in growing your business. Over the past 20 years Yoon has started 4 successful companies and sold 3 of them. She offers fresh insights as a seasoned business growth expert. Yoon delivers proven process for your sales, marketing and management development.  Grab free valuable gifts and resources at https://www.ParamountBusinessCoach.com  To book Yoon to speak at your next event email: YoonCannon@ParamountBusinessCoach.com To schedule a complimentary business coaching consultation call (215) 292-4947. 

© Copyright 2016

Hold Onto Your Cash for a Healthy Business

The U.S. Department of Labor estimates 50 percent of U.S. businesses fail within the first five years. The primary reason is poor cash management, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) cites. Good cash management is about keeping your cash as long as possible, and convincing your customers to pay promptly. Keeping a few cash management principles in mind will help you keep a healthy business and stop you from becoming just another statistic.

The Confusion Over Profit

Profit and cash flow are related but not equal, stresses Inc. Your profit and loss statement gives you the simple results of revenue minus expenses. A positive result is considered profit, but you can’t tell how healthy your cash flow is by just seeing a profit. Areas you need to watch include:

  • Accounts Payable
  • Accounts Receivable
  • Inventory
  • Capital expenditures
  • Level of debt

If customers are slow to pay, resulting in a high receivables, you could see a profit on the books, but a lack of cash in the bank. You could see a profit on paper, but not be able to make payroll or pay your suppliers.

Getting the Bigger Picture

You need to have visibility into your cash flow to know where your company stands, and where you might be in a week, month or year. Future cash flow prediction is an educated guess based on the trends you see in the areas mentioned above, says Entrepreneur.

As soon as you can, get your business onto a consolidated system, so you can easily see the patterns in your business. Cloud-based applications, such as the retail management software from NetSuite, bring together both your online and offline activities to give you a complete picture. Relying on spreadsheets or different applications to track online and offline channels makes it painful to bring the data together so you can accurately predict your cash flow.

When you have the complete picture, you’ll have visibility to such trends as:

  • The payment history of your customers
  • The accuracy of your planned expenditures
  • The ability to cover unplanned expenditures

Without the consolidated view of your performance data, you won’t be able to make those educated guesses needed to plan for your company’s future.

Managing Receivables

Ideally, all of your customers would pay for your products and services at the time of the sale. That won’t necessarily happen as your company grows and increases the customer base by offering credit and special terms. Increase your cash by bringing in more customer payments:

  • Give a discount for paying bills early
  • Request a deposit when an order is taken
  • Get invoices out quickly, and send reminders at 30-, 60- and 90-day intervals
  • Once you’ve identified slow paying customers, put them on cash-only terms

Small business owners don’t like the idea of being a bill collector, but the SBA suggests you should do all you can to get something from the customer, because third-party agencies take at least a 30 percent cut if they are successful. Giving discounts as an incentive for payment will let you keep more of the cash in your pocket.

Managing Payables

Keep your cash as long as you can. This improves your cash outlook, especially to banks and investors.

  • Use your supplier’s credit terms whenever possible
  • Make payments on the last day of your vendor’s cycle — day 29 on a net-30 term
  • Use electronic funds transfer (EFT) whenever possible
  • Communicate with your suppliers, and build rapport in case you need a break to delay a payment
  • Select vendors to work with that have the best terms for your cash flow, not necessarily the lowest prices

Talk to a Factoring Broker

A factoring broker is someone who purchases your invoices, so you use the cash flow immediately for things like making payroll or purchasing needed equipment for the business. This is an excellent solution especially when traditional means of borrowing aren’t available. A factoring broker I highly trust and recommend is Jack Wilson.

A healthy cash-flow is integral to helping you grow your business to the next level. You need cash flow to allow you to hire top talent, beef up your marketing and upgrade your systems. As the saying goes, “you need money to make more money”.

QUESTION: What is your biggest challenge when it comes to increasing your cash flow? Please share your comments in the box below.

© Copyright 2016