Using Positive Language in Your Conversations

positive languageBelieve it or not, there is great power in learning and using positive language in all your conversations. When you learn this technique, you’ll find that you’ll be more persuasive in business meetings (and your personal life), and you’ll be able to work with people a lot better, both individually and in groups.

You might be confused into thinking that negative language works better, what with all the negativity in news headlines, and even on YouTube videos. But, the truth is that positivity works better every single time. In spite of notoriety of those horrible, negative headlines, study after study shows that the more positive that you can be, the better. As you focus on staying positive in your communication, remember these facts about POSITIVE COMMUNICATION.

Using Positive Language in Your Conversations

Positive Language Is Real Communication

Think about the person in the group who always has some wrench to throw into any plan, without giving any idea of what you can do to fix it. They only have negative things to say like, “That won’t work,” or, “That isn’t how it’s done.” None of that works to move anything forward. Therefore, it’s not even real communication, but ony venting for the sake of the person complaining, not for the greater good.

Positive Language Is Productive

Imagine how much more productive it is to say, “That’s true, but if you look more deeply…” instead of just saying, “You’re wrong.” Positive language is naturally more productive because it pushes people to think through an issue without feeling threatened. Even if you say something negative followed by something useful, most people still will not hear it – they’ll only hear the negativity. Always lead with the positive.

Positive Language Keeps the Peace

If you start any sentence with positivity, you will automatically calm any nerves and keep the peace. However, if you start out with something negative, people will just shut down immediately and it will be hard to get them back. It can make people defensive and on edge, while being positive pushes things forward and keeps everyone happy.

Positive Language Creates Victory

Imagine if the moon landing was reported negatively instead of with excitement and happiness. They certainly could have said something about the expense of the landing, how little time they spent on the moon for the cost, or how the astronauts lost muscle mass. Instead, they victoriouly proclaimed the positive side of it. Imagine the progress that was celebrated and that ensued with reporting the positive instead of the negative.

Practice Positive Language

Small changes in how you communicate can help you to practice positive language, and it will immediately begin to pay off. Instead of saying, “I don’t believe that,” say instead, “Here’s what I believe.” Instead of saying, “It won’t work,” say instead, “This might work better.” See if you can start to turn some negative statements into positive statements, and then keep practicing. Watch how it changes the produtivity and moral of your team or your peronal relationships. The more you can create positivity as a habit and the default, the better you’ll get at being positive in your everyday language.

Finally, take some time to understand what the trigger words or power words are within your niche or community. Avoid words like “bad,” “hate,” “problem,” or anything that has a negative connotation. Instead, try to think of a way to say the same thing, but without negative words. It will improve both your business and your personal relationships.

Subtle Ways to Persuade Others to Follow Your Lead

Ways to Persuade OthersGetting other people to follow your lead can seem like a daunting task, but in reality it’s all about psychology. If you’re seen as an authority in your topic, and you are committed and consistent about getting a particular result, you’ll be able to influence all types of people to follow your lead. As you set out on your journey to lead others, keep this tips in mind in order to influence people to really follow you:

8 Subtle Ways to Persuade Others

Be Committed – Your passion about your niche shows through your actions. If you are willing to stick with people and listen to them, you can come up with solutions based on their problems and concerns, and therefore be able to prove that commitment to their cause.

Be Consistent – Don’t say one thing yet do another; always be consistent in your words and actions. There is a saying, “actions speak louder than words” that is so important when you want other people to follow you. When people see that you walk your talk, they’ll follow you anywhere.

Give Back – Always be a giver if you want to be able to persuade people. Most people are naturally repulsed by takers, but they love givers. If you can show how much of a giver you are in some tangible way, your audience will follow be likely to follow you.

Collaborate – When you come to a concern or problem, make people feel as if they’re part of the process by asking for their input. Collaboration is the key to having people trust you and follow you. When people feel they have a voice, they are empowered to make choices, and that choice is usually to follow you.

Provide Social Proof – When other people give you compliments and testimonies that state your expertise, it will help people who don’t know you yet to trust you faster. You can do this via social media networks or in the form of testimonials on your website. It’s as easy as asking people for a quote when they are thanking you or complementing you.

Build Authority – Building authority means providing lots of great content for your audience. There are many ways you can deliver that content, including writing a book, blogging, posting on LinkedIn, and doing interviews. You can also host webinars using Google Hangouts or Blab.im.

Increase Your Likability – Be a positive person who stands by your convictions. If you show that you can be a source of solution or your audience, and that you can help encourage the people you serve while you are at it, more people will like you and trust you, making it more likely that they’ll follow your lead.

Set a Time Limit – When you want people to do something, the worst thing you can do is give them unlimited time to get it done. Always set a time limit for everything you want other people to do. It doesn’t matter what it is; limit the amount of people who can participate and set a time limit. It will give people the sense of urgency they need when they choose to follow you.

When you have proof that you know what you’re talking about, followers who will sing your praises, and you are simply a likable person with integrity, people will trust you and, consequently, begin to follow you. If you want people to follow your lead, be someone that people can be sure of and be proud that they are following! It starts with YOU.

Do You Have A Clear Plan For Your Business?

clear planGoing on a trip today is as easy as typing an address into your preferred GPS and following the steps. Technology has made it second nature for us to first look at the travel plan before we set out on any trip, far or near. Before we set out, we now know the most efficient route, how long it will take, and any traffic obstacles that we may encounter along the way. The same thing should be done when you start a business, or start a new year. Map out a clear plan, starting with the end. Where do you see your business when it’s most successful? How can you ensure that you get there in a reasonable amount of time? What obstacles might you encounter along the way?

In order to make a clear plan, ask the following questions:

Who Are You? – This question really has two parts; one, who are you personally and two, who is your business? How you want the public (and customers) to view you as a business is important, because it can inform how you proceed with every aspect of your business.

What Do You Offer? – It’s true that you offer something that can easily be named, xyz service or xyz product, but the question you really need to answer is what solutions are you providing? Is it freedom? Is it time? Is it a solution to a problem? Or is it something else? If you can answer that, you’ll be able to move your business forward faster.

Who Is your Customer? – Customer identification is an important part of owning and running a successful business. It doesn’t end once you figure out who your customer is either, because you will need to continue to study them over time. Try creating a customer avatar so that you can look at it and know exactly who you’re doing it for.

What Differentiates Your Offering? – Usually, someone else is offering something like yours or close to it. But there is always something that makes yours stand out from anyone else’s. What is that thing? How can you emphasize the thing that makes yours better, different, or special?

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How Will You Deliver It? – It’s important to know the means by which you’ll get your product or service to your audience. Without knowing that, it will be difficult to succeed in your business. Work out these plans in advance.

How Many Do You Need to Deliver for Success? – One thing many business owners forget to do is figure out how many widgets they need to sell (or hours if you’re in a service business) to break even, and then how many to be successful. When you know this answer, you can break that down to how many a day you need to sell. That then helps inform the rest of your plans.

What Is Your Timeline to Profitability and Success? – Once you know all the other information, it will be easier to determine how long it will take for you to be successful. Knowing that info, you can start from the date you want to show your first dollar profit, going backwards and entering in the actions you need to take each year, month, week, day and even – if you wish – hour of your day.

When you answer these questions seriously, you can easily create a workable daily plan of action. Before you know it, you’ll be successful because you have a clear plan.

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Are You Bringing Customers to Your Door – and Never Opening It Up to Them?

connect with prospects

Do you have customers out there who have raised their hand and want to talk with you? Have you connected with them?

Guest post by Jack Klemeyer of Grow Your Business Coaching.

Small business owners are swamped. I know that. You know that. We all know that.

And small business owners are always looking for great results and tools to get them the best value for their dollar. We can all understand that, too.

But what gets missed, not understood sometimes, is that in the end, the growth of their business falls back to them, the business owner.

Let me explain.

A business owner can hire someone to create a website, a blog, set up and post on social media, make signs and advertise. Traffic can be driven to their Facebook page and website. Inquiries can be received and special reports and free checklists can be downloaded. But if the business owner doesn’t follow up on all those calls, inquiries and reach out to the recipients of the reports and checklists, his business won’t grow.

Some might hire professionals to do all these things and they do a great job, but in the end the change to the bottom line and revenues is slim. It’s not because the efforts weren’t successful. It’s that there wasn’t a plan in place to capitalize on their success.

That’s one of the reasons that Neil at Strategix and I work together. He’s a pro at online marketing, I am a pro at helping business owners grow.

Think of it this way:

You’re going to have a dinner party. You bring in a professional chef and a world-class baker to prepare the meal. You’ve arranged for the perfect wine to pair with the meal and the best of brandy for after dinner. Everything is scheduled, flowers adorn the table, all the ingredients are delivered. The ovens are hot and the kitchen is abuzz.

Your guests arrive all spiffed up and aglow with anticipation because they have all been made aware of the treat you have promised. With smooth jazz playing in the background and candles flickering on the table, everyone takes a seat. AND WAITS. AND WAITS. Nothing comes out of the kitchen except the aromas of deliciousness.

What’s wrong?

There are no plates. No wine glasses, no serving bowls, no silverware. One missed step created a disconnect that dooms the entire event.

If you aren’t creating AND PUTTING INTO PLACE the plan to handle the successful results of your online – and offline – marketing, you are actually creating a hopeless, fruitless situation.

By all means use every resource at your disposal to market your business. Just be ready when that marketing is successful.

To Your Success,

Jack Klemeyer

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jack klemeyerJack Klemeyer is the founder/owner of Grow Your Business Coaching. His success is reflected in the success of his clients. He is a certified coach and practitioner in a variety of programs including NLP, John Maxwell and DISK and Kolby. He is a popular speaker and facilitator of sales training, group coaching, and mastermind groups and roundtables. Reach him at 317-755-6963, at Jack@GYBCoaching or learn more at www.gybcoaching.com.

Productivity Software to Make You More Efficient!

productivty softwareWhen it comes to running a lean business, the name of the game is efficiency. You want to use productivity software that increase your efficiency and help you do more in less time.

A few Productivity Software Solutions We Love

PayPal – This is a no-brainer today, as many people like paying for their online purchases via PayPal. There are other online payment processors and certainly you need more than one, but PayPal is going to be the one most people choose to use. Link – https://www.paypal.com/

Go Daddy Bookkeeping – This is single entry bookkeeping that helps you keep track of income and expenses automatically. It connects with FreshBooks, PayPal and your bank to help eliminate data entry issues. Link – https://bookkeeping.godaddy.com/

FreshBooks – This is an invoicing system with some project management, budgeting, and accounting features. You can use it with many other types of bookkeeping apps like Go Daddy Bookkeeping, but also with some others that you might like. It offers time tracking and the ability to manage a team’s work. Link – http://www.freshbooks.com/

Basecamp – This is project management software that is low cost, and people love it. It helps arrange tasks, reminders, and more. Your clients can sign in too, or you can just use it to manage a team of contractors. Link – https://basecamp.com/

TeamworkPM – This is another project management tool to use that will do all the things Basecamp does. It is more designed for working with teams and clients who don’t like signing on to anything and prefer using email. Link – https://www.teamwork.com/

Microsoft Office 365 – Using MS Office is almost essential when working from home. Although you can use some free services like OpenOffice.org, MS Office is still the main one that most people use. And you’ll need it. Instead of buying the software outright you can use the online service for a monthly fee. What’s wonderful about that is that you do not have to worry about updates. Link – https://products.office.com/

Dropbox.com – This is a file sharing and storing solution that works great with your clients and team. It’s not expensive and they even have a free version. They have also developed a project business version. Link – https://dropbox.com/

Evernote – This is free software that enables you to keep track of notes from the web, voice, photos, and more, even handwritten notes. This is great for planning and organizing new products and services. Link – https://evernote.com/

Hootsuite – If you manage social media for others, or yourself, using a service that allows you to automate some issues will cut down on the time that you use for doing things. Link – https://hootsuite.com/

Zendesk – If you have a lot of customer service issues, this is a great way to set up a ticketing system. Ticketing systems will save you a lot of time and effort. Link – https://www.zendesk.com/

Mozy – This is a backup system that will save you from disaster. Saving on an external drive is not good enough; it’s safer and better to save your computer’s files in the cloud. Then if you lose your entire home, computer, external drive and all, your work is safe. Link – https://mozy.com/

WordPress.org – Starting a website with WordPress.org self-hosted website is very important. And, outside of special platforms like membership sites (for example the New Rainmaker platform) and personalized websites, it’s free. Link – https://wordpress.org/

AWeber – Whether you use AWeber or another autoresponder service is not as important as actually using one. The time you can save, plus the ability to easily stay lawful in your communications with others, is amazing. Link – http://www.aweber.com/

You don’t need every one of these pieces of software to run a lean business as some of them do the same thing. Choose which of these productivity software applications work best for your niche and the way you have designed your work flow. Remember that the more efficient you can become using software, the leaner your business can become.

Book Review – Effective Multitasking

Effective Multitasking 7 Habits to Boost your Effectiveness

Let’s begin by saying that multitasking as you think of it right now is a myth. Doing several things at once leads to several things still left undone because nothing truly get accomplished, not in full. When it comes to multitasking the best way to accomplish it is to conduct your tasks in such a way that it appears you are working on more than one thing at once. The difference is that you will actually complete and cross items off of your list. It’s all here in “Effective Multitasking: 7 Habits to Boost your Effectiveness.”

With so much to do, business owners are crushed under the weight of their obligations especially small business owners. When you have email, blog posts, content creation, client conferences, networking and more to accomplish, dealing with all of this every day can leave you worn, stressed and still behind the eight ball. Discover 7 habits that can make multitasking work for you in the best way possible. They include: Classifying Action, Storing Materials, Awaiting Responses, Prioritization and Total Focus, The Golden Rule of your Calendar, Task List and Weekly Cleanup and Daily Startup. The advice works for both large corporations and small businesses alike.

How To Speak Australian – Sparks Talk

I had the privilege of speaking for Sparks recently (Sparks is an Indianapolis-based, TED Talk-like event that happens once a month where you get 4 minutes to say what you have to say and at the end they clap you off the stage). I shared a topic I am passionate about – speaking Australian! Other than learning a few new words, there really was a point to what I had to say – you will have to watch to see what it was. and see how close to the 4-minute deadline I got.

Patience is a Virtue, or is it? [Strategix Video Tip]

I don’t get frustrated very often, but when I do it’s usually related to waiting. Waiting in line at the grocery store, waiting in traffic etc. What is it that frustrates your customers? You need to watch this episode to dial in on the solutions, not only for the sake of customer service, but so you can have your customers talking all about the great service you provide. Now that’s real marketing!

Mirror, Mirror…How to Recognize When You Are Shooting Yourself in the Foot and Overcome It

self-sabotageIf you’re not having the type of success that you want, it is possible that you’re experiencing some self-sabotaging behaviors. And, if you are engaging in these types of behaviors then it’s important to identify what you’re doing and turn it around.

Do any of these sound familiar?

Playing the Waiting Game – If you ever hear yourself say, “I’ll be do that when xyz” then stop it right now. You may have always done this and not realized it. “When I lose weight I’ll go hiking.” “When I finish this client’s work I’ll write the great American novel.” “When I do x then I’ll do y.” It all makes sense but it’s a waiting game that will never end. If you don’t take action now, nothing will happen.

You Hang Around the Wrong People – Yes, even as an adult you can choose the wrong friends. If you often find yourself at odds with your friends’ values and goals in life, or find yourself apologizing for other people’s behavior, you’re just making excuses to avoid an uncomfortable conclusion. You’ve outgrown your friends.

Saying: “I’ll never ….” – Fill in the blank about what you’re never say, do or feel. They say you should, “never say never”, and nothing could be further from the truth. The fact is, if you don’t believe you’ll become successful at your business, or lose that extra weight, you likely won’t. You have to envision the success you want to achieve to make it happen. If all you see is negative, that’s all you’ll get.

I Don’t Want to Do “It” Alone – The fact is we are all ultimately alone. If you wait around for everyone to be on the same page as you, you may miss out on a great new adventure. Whether it’s starting a business, seeing a movie, or trying a new restaurant, you can do it yourself without anyone else doing it with you.

Thinking You’re Not “Smart” As…. – The truth is, someone is always going to be smarter, prettier, or something more than you. By saying that you’re not something, you will have a hard time breaking out of the box you’ve put yourself in. Forget about who you think you are, and do what it is that you want to do. No need to be perfect.

You Hide Your Feelings – When someone asks you a question about your feelings, you simply say “I’m fine” and leave it at that – even when you are not fine. Did you know that you can get stuck in a certain mindset if you avoid it and don’t talk about it? That’s true whether it’s about work or something personal. You have to name it to change it.

My Client Needs Me – The fact is, everyone is replaceable. If you find that you’re working with someone just because you think they need you, even when the relationship is not working for you, you’re really wasting your time. A client who is not compatible with you will drop you the moment they find someone they’re compatible with. Don’t do anyone any favors unless you really just want to.

You Lack a Support System – Support can come in a variety of forms, from human support to electronic support. If you set up a good system to help you stick to your schedule (whether it’s for work or fun) and get help when you need it, you will be a lot more successful than if you don’t do that.

Being self-aware enough to notice self-sabotaging behavior will go far in helping you curb it, but you should also give some thought to how you’re running your life so that you can kick self-sabotaging behavior to the curb.

Ten Things You Can Learn from Customer Feedback

suggestion boxWhether it’s compliments or complaints, you can learn a lot from customer feedback. If you pay close attention to it, you’ll figure out what is working and what is not working for your customers. You may also identify gaps in your products or services that you can correct.

10 Things You Can Find Out With Customer Feedback

1. If the Buying Process Works – If you find that you are getting a lot of abandoned carts, as well as emails asking how to do things or find something on your website, it’s a sign that the process isn’t working. You then need to revamp it according the customers’ feedback.

2. How Well Your Website Communicates – Your website likely has a FAQ that is designed to answer questions before they contact you for information. If you’re getting the same question asked that is in the FAQ a lot, you may need to fix the keywords used or the headline so that your customers can better find the answer.

3. Whether Your Shopping Cart Works or Not – If people want to buy what you’re selling and they can’t due to a faulty shopping cart system, they will contact you. Listen closely to their experiences so that you can get it fixed fast.

4. If Your Sales Pages Convert – If you have a lot of hits on your sales pages but not a lot of sales, then you need to revamp your sales pages. Even if no one contacts you but you’re getting hits and no converts, there is a problem.

5. If There Is a Problem with Your Product – Buyers will be faster to tell you of a problem with your product or service than if something is good. Therefore, it’s imperative to listen when they tell you about a problem even if you initially do not agree.

6. If There Are Gaps in Products or Services – When a customer purchases a product from you, give them time to enjoy it, then send them a survey giving a couple of open-ended questions designed to find gaps that they’d like filled.

7. How to Make a Product Better – When customers give you feedback, you can often learn how to make your product better. When a customer gives a great idea, take it for what it’s worth and improve.

8. What You’re Doing Right – Yes, from feedback you can also learn what you’re doing right and what your customers want. You can then do more of it in order to increase your income.

9. Help You Generate New Ideas – Every time you get feedback, whether it’s on social media or from a survey, if you read carefully your creative juices will be activated and you’ll get new ideas for new products or services.

10. Learn New Ways to Use Your Product – Many times, customers will send feedback and tell you about a way that they are using your product that you had not considered. Knowing these new ways to use your products can help you improve your marketing efforts.

Learning from customer feedback is an important part of doing business. One of the least expensive forms of market research that you can conduct is through the follow up. Whether you send a survey or call your customers to ask them for information about how they like your product and services, you can use what they tell you to improve your business.