Building Your Coaching Business – Information Marketing in Networking

Here’s another step in information marketing (see the other articles on Information Marketing), this time applied to networking.

This is a way to take a prospect through a step by step warming up that results in 20% to 70% of them moving forward….this time through networking.

As a coach, you should be an unlimited resource for helping your clients. A part of that can be continually sending them emails, articles, and just plan face-to-face opportunities to expand their business (business coach, executive coach), or answers to their life or career problems (for life coaches and career coaches). This should apply to any kind of coaching. Just provide as many of the answers to the problems that your client is facing.

The more you give, the more value you have established that you provide. If you are really good, you can establish such value in a very short time that they will be begging for more.

Some coaches respond with, “People will drain me, take it all for free.”

Let me state what I said earlier, IF you are good, you can give a little, prove so much value in that short time, that they will clamor to want more. So, you encourage them to want that next meeting…and the next…and the next. Each step is a bigger commitment in time, and eventually cost. This is all about giving value until they want more, then asking them if they’d like more at the next meeting.

So, how do you do that in networking?

When you are talking to someone at a networking event, start asking them what they are struggling with. Then say something like, “I wrote an article about how a client of mine did ____________, and __________ (state measurable results). Would you like to have a copy?” Send them a copy, and make sure that you sign them up for your weekly emails, Hints and Tips on _________________. The email is a way of continually nurturing that relationship. If you are using an autoresponder, then it can be nearly on autopilot.

In most cases, I offer to send the first article to them by email, IF they’d be willing to discuss how it might work for them, and then we set a time for a call to discuss if that will work for them.

Sometimes I email them a copy, sometimes I mail them a printed copy, sometimes I send them a link to the articles that are published in online articles. In any of those cases, I make sure that they see that I am a published online author, an expert in the field. And, I am there to help them through this issue.

At no time am I trying to sell them anything. I want them to want me after exploring how those articles helped someone else with exactly their problem.

Of course, I will always be asking, “was that helpful?” “How helpful?” “Do you think something like that would solve your problem.”

And if all of those are “Yes, it was great.” Then I will be asking “would it be helpful if we set down together to work through issues like those that helped the client in that article?”

The “Yes,” in that instance is the first step toward closing the sale.

You do have to ask for it, but it isn’t a high pressure sale at all. Most of the time the prospect will be asking you for the next step.

Selling Your Business – Informing the Employees

When is the best time to inform employees that you are selling your business? Business brokers and merger and acquisition professionals are asked this question all the time.  The short answer is, “Wait until the transaction is completed,” and with good reason.

Most owners understand that much of the value of their business is embodied in their employees. Employees make the company possible, and many owners develop a close relationship with some of their employees.  Those relationships sometimes lead business owners to want to disclose the potential sale of their business to one or more of their employees.  “They deserve to know” is a common refrain.

There is an enormous risk in sharing this ‘inside information’ with employees.  Confidentiality needs to be maintained.  Once it is common knowledge that your company is for sale (and it will become common knowledge once employees know), it loses value: vendors are less like to sell to you or increase credit limits; customers are less likely to buy for fear of a lack of continuity of the relationship; and employees are less likely to stay.  Once the cat is out of the bag, if you are able to get it back in at all, the damage is already done, and it can take years to redevelop those relationships that made your company valuable in the first place.

While change is scary to some people, nothing is scarier than the unknown.  For example, with one or more employees knowing what is ‘in process’ or being considered, at a minimum the information will be shared with a spouse or close friends.  Invariably, their reactions are to share stories of mass layoffs, companies being relocated, wage and bonus reductions, etc.  It is human nature to fear the unknown and to expect (and perhaps plan) for the worst.  Planning for the worst often involves looking for alternative employment, sharing the news with other employees and, perhaps, outright resignations.  Also understand that when a concerned employee interviews within your industry, the first question they are asked is, “Why are you planning on leaving your current employer?” The answer will put an afterburner on the wildfire of rumors within your industry.  Remember, most buyers expect to have key employees on board when they acquire a business: If one or more of them have departed or indicated that they intent to depart, the value and marketability of your business has clearly been damaged.

Therefore, the best time to make announcements concerning the sale is on the afternoon of the day on which the transaction closes, after the closing is complete.  An employee meeting should be pre-planned to ensure 100% employees attendance.   Once everyone is gathered, you explain your reasons for considering a ‘transition of ownership’ (don’t use the word ‘sale’ or ‘sold’), and that, after a diligent search, you have found the perfect new owner(s).  You can also talk about how there will be a transition period where you will be involved in the operation of the business working with the new owners. The new owners should then be introduced to discuss their backgrounds, share their reasons for wanting to own the company and demonstrate their enthusiasm to do whatever is necessary to grow the business and create more opportunities for everyone. Last but not least, the new owners should honestly indicate that they plan no dramatic changes, that they value the current workforce, and that they want to meet individually with each employee (unless the number is just too large) to get their ideas and suggestions on the best way to grow the business.

In general, anyone who buys your company will want to keep your employees since they represent a significant portion of the value (and continuity) of your business. Massive job losses only occur in extremely rare cases where a new owner relocates the company a great distance, and then usually only after a period of transition.  Experience has taught that when the transition is handled well, virtually all employees perform better under the new management, for the simple reason they want to impress and be on good terms with the new owner.  New owners typically arrive with additional capital, new ideas, perhaps a synergy with an existing business and, almost invariably, a desire to grow the business.   Growth spells new opportunities for employees who want to develop their careers and, in almost all cases, they look forward to working with a new owner.

By keeping the sale of the business totally confidential until the transaction is closed, you are able to both preserve the value of your business and greatly reduce the fear of the unknown from your employees, thus making the transition of ownership a more seamless operation.

How to Start a Business Information As a Unique Christmas Gift

Starting a business in no “walk in the park” for most of us. There are expenses to consider, the likely hood of success verses failure. A person has to take their time to research their idea, find out every scrap of information they possibly can about this business. In truth starting a business from scratch is a whole lot of hard work. Just when you think you have asked every possible question there is a dozen more pop up. Would it not be a unique Christmas gift to find a way to help your friend or loved one with some of that much needed information?

When searching for a business to start many of us do not have thousands and thousands of dollars in liquid assets to invest in a franchise. Today’s new business owners have had to get creative and find “real” businesses that can be operated from home. This is where the word “real” applies, there are many scammers out there trying to get your money. You will see overwhelming amounts of sites that offer to make you rich while you are lazy, asleep, in your pajamas – you name it! And get this – it will only cost you 29.00 to start your business. Get real; it is not going to happen so easily.

Creative people need to think outside the box to find a business that they can work from home. Look at service businesses especially. Mobile gyms, mobile pet care, mobile car wash, mobile windshield, mobile oil change and mobile lawnmower repair. People are starting cleaning businesses, delivery service and daycare centers in and from their own home. These businesses allow you to start and run them from your own home at a much lower cost than your typical “sticks and bricks” businesses.

Back to the unique Christmas gift, that is easy. If you know someone who is looking to start their own business but needs guidance, support and most of all information why not do a little research yourself and print it out, put it in a binder and present that as a gift? Or better yet, if you can find a “How to Start” manual that applies to the subject your friend or loved one is interested in buy it as a gift. It not only shows that you are a crafty shopper but a person who cares about their dream. It shows your support for their idea.

Just a thought…

Legitimate Home Based Internet Business Information

Are you someone that wants to find a legitimate home based Internet business? Well, for those that need help to learn what to look for, you should know you have come to the right article. Before you get started with your home based business, there is some information you will need to know:

You need to figure out what business you will be doing online in order to determine if you need a website or not. Virtual assistants and stuff like that will not require a website. However, if you are selling stuff from your home, then you may want to create a blog or website. Affiliate marketing will definitely require a website. You may say that there are online auctions you can sell your products. However, the only problem with those websites is the fees they take out for selling. Of course, you’re paying for them advertising your products on their website.

When you want to sell products online, there are a lot of things you will need to do if you want to do it from your own website. Those things would be promoting, advertising, and adding article content on the website that contains SEO. If you want to know another legit business, you may find article marketing or video marketing to be a good business. Video marketing takes skills in editing videos and promoting clients in videos.

The article content marketing can be a very good business; all you need is a team of writers and a good website that can pull traffic everyday. You will find that most businesses do start from scratch and can be shaky through the first few years, but once you get established, you will do fantastic.

We all know that many legitimate home based Internet businesses have a slow start off, but that depends on what route you go. You may find that many people do make a living off home businesses, why cant you?

Finding a legit home based business may seem like such an obsticle to find, but it really isn’t.

The answer to finding a true legit home business is right in front of you. The internet is full of unlimited resouces to find a business that fits your personality and interest.

You can go on the search engine and look up scam reports, user reviews, success stories and so forth. The key is to get legit information from real people who have already tried your prospective home business.

Your Goal is to find those who have already test driven your prospective home business before you gamble any of your own money into it.