How to Stop Competing On Price and Have More Work Than You Can Handle.

Posted by Marcus Kroek on 12 September 2014

How to Stop Competing On Price and Have More Work Than You Can Handle.
One of the first things business owners tell me is that they need more sales and the second thing is that they are constantly competing on price to win sales. Here’s what I have found …

A young man whose accountant told him he was stupid to go into business attended one of my programs. ‘Steve’ needed more sales. He wanted more leads. One of the lessons was about how to put together a sales process, so Steve not only understood what the steps were that he actually went through for a sale to be made, he was able to track where they were up to and decide the next action to move the sale forward.

Steve followed the action taught to him about how to follow up and converted 40% of his ‘lost’ quotes within the next week. Steve told me that one piece of his advice has increased his business tenfold.  The message: they are not lost until they say no. Put together your step by step sales process and follow up.

Another tradesman I work with, ‘Mel,’ was stuck competing on price. Mel was finding he was having to quote so low on jobs he just couldn’t make any money. We addressed what he was talking to people about and found that he was talking about the technical part of the job, not what it really meant to the customer to have the job done. With the right questions in hand, Mel was not only able to achieve the prices he wanted, winning a job 4 weeks ago for TWICE the price of a competitor, he also charges a fee for parts of the initial concepts that he used to do for free. The message: find out what your customers are really looking for and sell them that. Prepare the questions to bring their thoughts and feelings out in your meeting.

The third top tip is to know how much you make on each item, job or hour. Working with a young salesman in January he told me that he was adding 35% to the cost price of products. The problem for young ‘Adam’ was that he was meant to making 35% on the sale price of the items. He was working hard to hit his targets and was doing very well, except the money didn’t seem to be there. Adding 35% to your cost price gives you a 26% profit on your sale price. That difference in gross profit is often the reason businesses don’t make money. Adam changed how he calculated his sale price and has a very happy boss.


The 3 Most Important Aspects of Testing and Measuring

Posted by Marcus Kroek on 21 February 2014
1.  Testing and measuring is nothing new.  You've probably been doing it all your business life.  Remember the newspaper advertising you tried that 'didn't work', and the radio spots that 'did OK'.  That's all testing is. It's about finding out what produces results and what doesn't, then making decisions based on that.
2.  You MUST start asking people where they found out about you.  If you don't, you'll be in the dark forever.  You may keep running an ad that never brings a sale, and accidentally kills a good one.  Customers usually come from so many sources, it's impossible to judge how an ad is working on sales alone.  Perhaps you got more referrals that week, or there was a festival in town.  Every time someone buys, ask them this question - 'By the way, can I just ask where you heard about my business'.  No-one, and I mean no-one will have any problem telling you. (Actually, there is a far more high powered customer centred question to ask your customer. Email me to find out what that question is.)
3.  Be vigilant and disciplined.  You can't test & measure half the time - you must do it every hour of every day.  It's not difficult - just remember to mark down a record after every customer interaction.  And make sure any employees do the same - stress the importance of it and absolutely DEMAND that they do.  Also, tell them it's essential that they are honest.
Posted in: test marketing  

How to STOP Wasting Money on Marketing

Posted by Marcus Kroek on 20 February 2014
If you don't know where your customers come from, you're really stabbing around in the dark.
You have no real idea which marketing campaigns are working, how well your salespeople are doing or even how much each sale is 'costing you'.
Once you know these things, you have the power to make decisions, and good ones.  You know which marketing campaigns to kill, or improve, and which to spend more money on.
You'll also know where your 'key leverage point is' - that is, the thing that you most need to improve.  Perhaps your conversion rate is high but your leads are few - maybe it's the other way around.  Maybe you're doing well in both lead generation and conversion, but you're not selling enough high priced items.
Once you know which area needs work, you can start to make some new, well-informed marketing decisions.
Posted in: marketing  

Creating More Time

Posted by Marcus Kroek on 6 June 2013

The amount of time you have in a week never changes but it’s easy to find extra time to get things done by being smart about how you use the time you have.

Let’s have a quick look at time wasting, or more importantly the benefit of not wasting time. Take 10 minutes of less socialising when you should be working, take another 10 minutes of more effectively managing phone calls, visitors, meetings and procrastination. Start work 5 minutes earlier and finish 5 minutes later. That’s 30 minutes a day. You have just got yourself 2 ½ hours a week of productive work (a day’s worth of just being busy being busy type work). How much more will you make in a year by working like this? Not harder, just more determined and efficient. What difference will that make to your business and your life? It is up to you.



The Key to Building a Profitable Trades or Services Business

Posted by Marcus Kroek on 6 June 2013

Over many years of working with businesses in my role as a business coach I have discovered some very simple things that business owners can do to take those businesses from going broke to being highly profitable. Usually it's not about doing more work, rather it’s about doing the maths on how you make money. It doesn’t work to be super busy one week only to run out of work the next week. It’s doesn’t work to never collect the money for the work you have already done.

People often talk about working smarter not harder. My job as a business coach is to teach business owners how to do this. I love to see how pleasantly surprised my clients are when they realise the massive results they can achieve by making the smallest changes to what they are already doing.






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