Archive for July, 2010

Now what? How to manage for the unexpected

Posted by Joel pate in Banks, Business, Credit Repair, Uncategorized. Tagged: , , , , , , , , ,

If you’re like most in the credit business, the first-time home buyer tax credit was good for your bottom line.

Really good.

Now let me ask you: Was the boost to your business expected or unexpected?

Usually everyone says that they expect a good thing to happen to them so I’ll bet your answer is, “Oh yea, I expected that.”

But did you expect the drop-off in business when the tax credit expired?

Here’s the answer I usually get: “I thought in the back of my mind that business could drop off but I never expected it to drop off this much.” Is that you?

Your business, your family, your life, is an organization. Organizations require management. There are a number of aspects of management that you need to address. One of them is what I call, “The Unexpected.”

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How to manage for “The Unexpected”

Unexpected events come in all sizes. Some are events that make you more money. Many cost you money. All of them are surprises that need to be examined and understood. In the example of the boon to your business created by this particular outside market driven condition, how did you respond?

If you’re like most, and I include myself in this category, we didn’t do anything. We patted ourselves on the back and marveled at how well we were doing while other companies were struggling. We were so smart – or so we thought! Worse yet, we began to think that the new flow of business was normal. It’s easy to think that you did something that caused an increase in business.

So, not only did the drop in business catch many of us unaware, but the lull in marketing during the boon caused business to be even worse when the tax credit expired. During the good times, many companies stopped marketing, quit growing their referral sources and didn’t expand their effort to attract new customers. Why? It’s hard to do what needs to be done all the time.

But it seems especially difficult to work on your organization when an outside influence is driving the business.

Proper management of your organization requires that you soberly recognize when an outside influence is driving your business and not be drunk on the wine of this success.

Proper management of your organization requires that you soberly recognize when an outside influence is driving your business and not be drunk on the wine of this success.

Rising star, falling star and the lesson learned

Let me give you another example. A real estate agent who came to work for me in 1986 went through a similar experience. The first three months she was in business, she sold five properties. That was unheard of in our market in 1986. She was a rock star. She won an award. She thought she was really great.

So, what was the problem? All five of the transactions were from a pent up demand from her family. A brother sold his house. A son purchased a home. A cousin listed his building with her, etc. All of her clients were created by an outside influence and not by her organization.

Since these transactions were not created by her organization, her marketing, her networking effort or here late nights of blood, sweat and tears but from an outside influence, she was lulled into thinking how easy it is to be in this business. Therefore, she established her perception of what it took to succeed in the business without understanding that the source of business had been from an outside influence.

She was of course disappointed when the evaporation of the outside influence suddenly ended her stardom and her business. She wasn’t prepared to adjust her thinking and as a result her sales career came to an end within one year.

While this is a true story, it is perhaps an over exaggeration of what you are facing. So, don’t overlook the important and fundamental principle.

The question remains for you and for me to consider: Now that this particular outside influence has caused an unexpected drop in business, will we be more prepared next time to actually see the influence for what it is? The answer: Only if we increase our ability to manage our organization.

To your success,

Joel

How to get your prospects to say, “Wow! Tell me more!”

Posted by Joel pate in Business, Credit Repair, Leads, Management, Sales. Tagged: , , , , , , , , , ,

Successful business people standing in office elevatorJust about everyone knows they should have an elevator pitch.

Along with a business card, a tag line for your company and a logo, everyone knows they should have a 30-second spiel they can rattle off that tells prospects what they do.

And most of them are terrible.

Really.

They’re horrible. It would be better if most people didn’t say anything at all than repeat their same old dry, boring elevator pitch.

Let me share with you the steps to creating a great elevator pitch that will make your prospects hungry for more.

I’ll also leave you with a few talking points for one of the best elevator pitches I’ve heard, just to give you an example.

Your elevator speech should have 3 goals:

  1. Explain very briefly what you do.
  2. Create interest with the person you’re talking with.
  3. Make someone want to find out more.

Put simply, you don’t want to begin and end your conversation with an elevator speech. The last thing you want someone to do is say, “Hmm. That’s interesting. Nice talking with you.” And then walk away. Rather, you want to use your elevator speech to start a conversation and get permission to continue it.

That last part is important … “get permission.” That means you’ve created enough interest with your prospects that they respond by saying, “Tell me more.” Or, “Really? Do you think something like that would help me with a problem I’m having?” In other words, the prospect is inviting you tell them more about what you do.

WARNING: Don’t make this mistake…

Don’t use your elevator pitch to try and tell someone everything you do. This isn’t a speech! There’s an art to this. Your immediate goal is to simply get the prospect interested enough to ask you questions and engage in a conversation. But first, you need to grab their attention.

Here’s a 4-step process to help you develop your elevator pitch. Grab a piece of paper and jot down your answers as you go through each of the 4 steps and you’ll have the nuggets you need for a truly great elevator pitch.

An easy-to follow 4-step process

Step 1: Write down what you do in a very short sentence that just about anyone can understand. Don’t over-think this. The following examples will work just fine. (Example: “I run a credit repair business.”)

Step 2: Elaborate briefly on the types of problems you solve. Every business solves a challenge or problem for its prospects. Simply explain the types of challenges you help your clients overcome. Again, don’t get too fancy. Explain it so a third grader can understand. (Example: “Specifically, we help families who want to try and improve their credit. It’s amazing, but about 75% of credit reports contain inaccuracies.”)

Step 3: In one or two sentences, explain what’s different about your business that would be an interesting to someone who isn’t familiar with it. (Example: “We work with the credit bureaus to address those types of negative issues. We have a motto that says, ‘If they can’t prove it, they must remove it’.”)

Step 4: Close with a short teaser telling the prospect what you can do for them. Let’s face it, most people aren’t really interested in you, but they are interested in what you can do for them. So tell them that you probably can help them or someone they know. (Example: “Our process has delivered amazing results. In fact, we’ve been able to help our clients remove or repair items on their credit report more than 70% of the time just by following the consumer protection laws. We could probably help you too. When was the last time you checked your credit report?”)

I like to end an elevator pitch with a question that can’t be answered with just a “yes” or “no.” Again, you want to start a conversation and engage the prospect.

Now my friend Joel Bauer has a great elevator speech that basically boils down to these three sentences that give him some very good talking points. Here they are:

  • Ever been unable to buy what you want due to poor credit?
  • Didn’t know it could be repaired quickly and legally?
  • I work with families just like yours and specialize in credit restoration using a process that’s fast and painless.

The 4 steps I outlined and Joel Bauer’s talking points should give you some good ideas to develop your own elevator pitch that will make your prospects say, “Wow! Tell me more!”

Be sure to practice your pitch. It should roll off the tongue effortlessly and come across as natural. In fact, you may not want try and memorize it. Just give yourself a couple talking points so you can customize it. But keep it brief! No more than 30 seconds!!

Keep in mind, you’ll want to develop a pitch for consumers, referral partners, affiliates and any other groups of people you do business. Use the same 4-step process and chances are you’ll start landing more deals as a result.

To your success,

Joel

When is it going to change?

Posted by Joel pate in Business, Credit Repair, Mortgage Loans, Uncategorized. Tagged: , , , , , , , , ,

change aheadOver the years, I have given advice to a number of friends and associates who have gone through some trying times. Everyone always asks, “When will this change?”

The word “this” has come to mean just about anything – a struggle to find a job … earn more money … better balance family and work … the list goes on. No matter what the circumstance may be, the refrain is always the same.

“When will this change?”

Always remember nothing will change until you change it! To me, this is the good news. At least it’s up to me and I won’t be waiting around for somebody else to find the time to help me. I can do it myself.

Of course, we are talking about issues like money, credit, lifestyle, people, etc. Some things you just have to accept and the acceptance of them will determine how you deal with them so then we are right back on topic. But, you can change so many things that at this moment are causing you a great deal of difficulty. Here’s how…

First, let me give you some background.

Several years ago, my first unofficial mentor gave me this advice when I was going through my first financial crisis. I say first because there have been a number of them over the years. Every time I go through a problem or have a crisis, I remember his words: “You are earning exactly what you are worth. If you want to earn more, become ‘worth’ more.”

For example, if you’re looking at the market and saying to yourself, “I should be able to close more deals because I have referral partners and marketing that I know works” then nothing will change.

“You are earning exactly what you are worth. If you want to earn more, become ‘worth’ more.”

You must change your “worth” in order to change the result. Worth consists of a number of things not the least of which is:

  • Effort
  • Energy
  • Knowledge
  • Time

So often when problems are “all around us,” it’s hard to define the truth.

The truth is that you are going through a problem and you will get through it. But that’s not the whole story. The rest is that you will have to change yourself, your actions, your thoughts and the amount of energy you apply to break free of the problem.

From my experience, I find that unwillingness to change is not only what prolongs a crisis but most often it’s what caused the crisis. Over the years, I can recall a number of crises that were self-inflicted. Nearly every one of them was caused by my unwillingness to change, accept the truth, and do something about it. How about you?

3 lessons learned

What change must I make? That is the question you need to ask.

The lessons learned:

  1. Embrace change before you are forced to.
  2. Unwillingness to change causes a crisis.
  3. A crisis causes a loss of control.

Admitting and embracing this truth will diminish the number of crisis and will help you stay in control. It really is a good thing that you have the power to change your circumstances and that you do not have to rely on anyone else.

To your success,

Joel

Joel S. Pate, Founder & Chairman

Ox Publishing