A couple of weeks ago I hosted several clients for a Think Tank Retreat to focus on creating the plans and shifts needed to make some important leaps in their business. It was a fabulous two days of insights, breakthroughs and planning. Over the last few weeks, I’ve loved hearing the great results coming in from these clients post-retreat.
They are reporting making ‘easy sales’ and seeing opportunities open up that were closed off before. Contracts have been signed for higher rates and longer terms, new clients have started and confidence is high. Several clients are simplifying their business so they can experience more ease, freedom and income flow. They’ve worked on renaming and repositioning programs for more clarity and stronger marketing. Just a few weeks out and things are definitely different. Which, of course, is always the goal.
So I thought I’d share with you some of the key shifts and insights that I believe opened up fast results and new opportunities. There are no big ‘secrets’ here, but important shifts and actions nonetheless.
- One of the big breakthroughs during the Think Tank Retreat was around no longer focusing on solving the “NOT” problem.It seems that when something in the business isn’t working—programs aren’t filling, clients aren’t enrolling, list isn’t growing, —several clients were moving too far up the food chain trying to fix it. They were fixing something that was NOT the problem.For example, if people weren’t enrolling in offers as they hoped, they were working hard on increasing visibility and getting in front of new people to build the list. But during the retreat we diagnosed the issue much further down the chain…to conversion and positioning issues. Pushing more leads into a business model that isn’t converting well just means more people won’t convert. The breakthrough shift: pinpointing and solving the source problem FIRST before you go out and try to take the bigger actions.
- Another big insight that surfaced during my 2 day Think Tank Retreat last week was around Freedom.Most of my clients place a high value on freedom. It’s just par for the course for a Trailblazer to be very motivated by freedom and flexibility. Freedom to be present for their families. Freedom to enjoy the lifestyle they’ve created. Freedom to travel. Yes, FREEDOM is often in the driver’s seat.So when it comes to business growth, any plan, goal, or commitment that triggers fear of losing that freedom leads to putting on the “Freedom Brakes”.
If you are procrastinating, wondering why you’re not doing what you know needs to be done…check in here. Is your FREEDOM value being ‘threatened’? You may not even notice it at first. But when you look beneath the surface you’ll discover some fears that “if I get busy in my business, I won’t have the freedom I love.” If that, or similar thoughts are present, the brakes will come on whether you realize it or not. It can be very unconscious but when you become aware of it, you can create a plan that is Freedom focused. The breakthrough insight during the retreat: build your plan around your freedom goals instead of trying to fit freedom into it after the fact.
- Some of the biggest breakthroughs came around selling and a noticed habit of inadvertent down-selling.
Several clients surfaced a habit in their selling conversations that led to them automatically down-sell prospective clients into a smaller package or offering. They noticed that when they were in conversation they might start out by sharing a solution that’s longer term or higher priced (but a good fit for the prospect’s needs) and yet, immediately also mentioning or even steering prospects to a lower priced, shorter term offering.
This is usually triggered by some internal doubt that people won’t value the higher priced (and higher value) work you offer. It’s also about not wanting to feel ‘responsible’ for the higher level results. But automatically ‘downselling’ into a product or service that isn’t exactly the right fit for the client does you both a disservice. They don’t get the best of you, and you end up working way too hard trying to produce a valuable outcome in a shorter timeframe and at a lower price.
The breakthrough shift was to first notice the tendency to go for the low offering and then to stop. Share the offering you feel is most helpful to the client and then let them reply. If they ask you for something smaller, lower priced or shorter term, then you can share the alternative…but also make it clear what won’t be included or accomplished at this lower level of investment.
- Last, but certainly not least was the tendency to over-complicate things. This is very familiar terrain for a Trailblazer, who is often very smart, able to see lots of options and is highly creative.
The thing is, complexity is the enemy of cash flow. The more over designed an offering is, the harder it is to sell. The more complex you make your marketing and sales, the lower your chance of converting interest into clients. The more busy work you pile on your to do list, the less likely it is that any of it will get done on time and at the quality you desire. The breakthrough shift: simplify everything. When something feels hard, look at where added complexity is getting in the way. Do the easy, natural next step instead of mapping out complex plans to get you there…someday.
Sometimes it’s the simple shifts and insights that produce the biggest leaps. I’d love to hear from you. Share your comments below….what shift or insight is landing for you?