Everything you need to know about basic sales and marketing for your small business can be learned from observing the selling of Girl Scout cookies. Yes, you heard me right I am talking about those cookies that are sold only one time a year, which if you are like me you could eat a whole box in one sitting if you tried
This past year happened to be my daughters first year in Girl Scouts. Now, throughout the years I have bought many boxes, probably more than I care to share with you, but I never really saw the power and insight behind the actual selling.
In case you do not have daughters or have not been associated with something similar to Girl Scouts I will give you a brief overview of my understanding, which I am not totally in on the inside so I may have a few facts wrong but here is the overview.
The first step that the girls take is to pick a charity that they want to raise and donate money to. Then, each troop is asked to set a goal of how many boxes of cookies they want to sell as a troop and also individually. Now, if you are health conscious like me and do not want to gain weight from eating so many cookies they have an awesome way to get around that by donating cookies to the troops. Finally, a small portion of the proceeds go back to the troop and the girls use that money to do some team outings. It really is a great way to teach our young girls entrepreneurship, teamwork,philanthropy, and many more great skills.
Okay, so that is a brief overview of the Girl Scouts and now I am sure you are asking yourself, ” how can I learn everything I need to know about sales and marketing from selling Girl Scout cookies?” Well ,that my friend is going to be easy, so let me explain.
First of all, if you have a product that people want, then selling it will be easy. I know what you are thinking, “well duh, that makes sense.” And yes, all of us keenly understand that basic concept in theory but when you look around and study businesses that have failed you see that sometimes the entrepreneur believes in their mind that they have a product people want but in actuality the market does not. Now, I am not saying everybody is going to by Girl Scout cookies but anyone who has ever had a thin mint is not going to say no to buying some boxes, which goes to my argument that the product is great and people want it
Key #1 have a product or service people want and need and you will have no problem making sales!
The second key concept is to have an irresistible offer. Now, I know I am biased but my daughter is the cutest thing to ever walk this planet and how could anyone turn down a little girl walking up to you in her Girl Scout uniform. Shoot before I had my daughter I could remember getting out of my car and seeing the girls sitting outside the grocery store selling cookies. Every time they got my order because I could not resist the offer of a little girl selling a great product.
Key #2 is to have an irresistible offer that a prospect can’t refuse!
The final key concept to learn is the call to action. The Girl Scout cookies are only sold once a year, around the Jan-March time frame, so if you don’t get them during that time period you have to wait until next year. Shoot, the other day a gentlemen bought enough to almost make it the entire year. That is of course if you don’t eat entire sleeve in one sitting like I have done before
Key #3 is to have a call to action that will prompt the client to buy. We as human beings tend to put things off until the last minute but if you set the urgency in their mind you have a better chance of getting the sale.
So, just to recap the key points here:
#1 create a product or service people want
#2 create an irresistible offer
#3 have a call to action
If you just implement those three concepts into your online or offline business you will have no problem attracting leads and making sales.
If you want to learn more principles to growing your business check out this FREE webinar at www.attractmoreleads.com
I have been following John Maxwell for over a decade now and when it comes to leadership you will not find a better person to learn from than him. Recently, he has started what he is calling, ” A Minute with Maxwelll.” Each day John presents the word of the day and gives you a great insight into what that word means in just a minutes time. I have embedded today’s word for you here on my blog. The word is courage. Go listen and think about what he has to say and how you can implement his teachings into your life.
Make it a great day!
We are in the first week of March and by now almost 90% of people who made New Year’s resolutions have either quit or are about to on those resolutions they made back in early January. Why? Well, to be honest it is just extremely difficult to keep disciplined day in and day out. The daily pressures and just plain life stuff gets in our way and prevents us from staying focused. The other big reason for failure is due to the lack of mental toughness. Mental toughness is probably one of the most difficult skills to master, but if you master the ability to control your thoughts and to stay mentally tough you can succeed in almost anything.
I first became aware of what mental toughness was all about last summer when I was reading the book titled “Lone Survivor.” The book is about the story of Marcus Lutrell and his life as a Navy Seal. It was through reading this book and the story of what it takes to be a Navy Seal that gave me insight into what mental toughness is all about. You see, what I took away from the book is that physical ability is a big part of actually becoming a Navy Seal but more than anything they are looking to see who has real mental toughness and who is going to quit! As one instructor says, “If they quit here in training they are more likely to quit when things get tough out in battle.” And, this brings me back to why people fail at their goals.
All to often when things get busy or really challenging we quit and once that happens we rationalize to ourself that, well I guess there is always next month or next year to reach that goal. Now, I use the example of the mental toughness it takes to be a Navy Seal and I know that 99.9% of us will never have that ability to stay as mentally tough as a Navy Seal, but there are some simple strategies that you can implement into your life to help you get tougher mentally.
1.) Quit listening to the news and all the negative stories that they report on. Listen, it is so easy to fall into the trap of listening and hearing all the negative news that is out there and with that comes the weakening of your thoughts.
2.) Read positive and motivational books and quotes daily!
3.) Quit hanging around with people who are negative and do not 100% support what you want to accomplish.
4.) Understand that you will not always have great days but when days are tough have written down on a piece of paper your big “Why”. What I am talking about is the why do you want to achieve a specific goal. For me my big “why” is I want to have financial freedom and live life on my terms. Define your big “why” and every time you are feeling down pull that piece of paper out and read it over and over until you change your thoughts and get re-focused.
These four strategies are just the beginning to the start of your mental toughness. Practice these and you will be on your way to stopping the “I Quit” words out of your mouth and start reaching those goals!
On Saturday it all came to an end. The Florida Gators lost the SEC Championship game to the Crimson Tide. The Gators 22 consecutive game winning streak, which was the longest in the country, came to an end as well. Now, I am going to be the first to tell you that I hate to lose. I am a very bad loser and typically take it really hard, however, this time was different. I am not sure why, maybe it is my age, maybe it is that after losing a father and brother you realize there is more to life, or maybe it is the fact that at some point you realize everyone is going to lose and losing can provide valuable insight. let me tell you if you are not failing then you are not pushing hard enough. You are probably sitting in a comfort zone. I remember when I first started my career in the fitness industry and everything came pretty easy. My boss, who owned the gym, handed me clients without me having to drum up my own business. However, it wasn’t until I moved to Dallas and started all over again that I learned about failing. I would meet with new members as part of their incentive to join the club and time an time again all of those new members were thankful for the program I had designed for them, but they wanted to work on their own. I couldn’t close a sale to save my life. I tell you that first summer I spent in Dallas was eye opening and depressing. I was failing and was miserable, but I learned from it. I realized I needed to learn more about sales and business. It was that summer that I started reading and learning about sales, success, and business. Each time I would lose out on a client I would evaluate what I did during my encounter with the prospect. I analyzed what I thought went wrong and made sure not to do it again. You see, losing can bring out the best in you if you are willing to learn from the loss. Take notes and write down in a journal what mistakes you are making and learn from them. The really cool thing about writing it down is years later when you are looking through your journals you see how successful you have become because of the mistakes that you made.
Now, don’t think I am saying to go out and lose because you play to win, but when you lose, and trust me you will lose at some point, learn from the loss. As John Maxwell says, “Fail Forward.” Learn from your loss and move forward. Keep pushing the envelope and make it your goal next year to aim high and guarantee yourself some losing lessons.
The question I have for you today is who are you learning from? If I was to take a survey probably about 90% of fitness professionals would tell me that they study or learn from the “gurus” in the industry. Now, I will be the first to tell you that you should learn from people in the industry but if you want real growth and real insight you need to study people and businesses in other industries as well. Starbucks, Microsoft, Dell, Mcdonalds have all been in the business of selling their products and services to consumers. These companies have proven strategies and systems that have made them successful. Study them and learn all you can that can apply to the fitness industry. Now, learning and study what a big company has done is only part of the equation that I am talking about today. The second and probably most beneficial way of learning is study people who know how to sell. There are tons of articles and info on sales but I ran across a website that takes the best articles on sales and puts them all on one website.The name of the site is top10salesarticles.com and they find the best articles across the web and post it all on one site to help keep you from having to search for quality articles. What I find unique about this site is the way they come up with their top ten articles for the month. 50% is from the readers voting and 50% from an expert panel. So far I found some really good articles from people in all different industries. Some better than others but overall some good info. Listen my motto is I try to learn something new everyday and learn at least one thing from an article that I can apply to my profession. You may want to set a different goal but start learning from others and apply it to the fitness industry. Now go check out this site www.top10salesarticles.com and learn something from someone else!