let’s explore why you are not selling!

When my daughter was about to start kindergarten, I went to a school ,let us call it XYZ, just to do my homework to see where she could settle. When I reached the gate, the watchman was very arrogant and condescending! I still remember his reaction. He practically looked me up and down and asked in a rather You-are-wasting-my-time-dismissal manner, “Where are you going?” I politely answered that “I would like to go to the office.”

He reluctantly opened the gate for me. I found his attitude appalling! Being someone who loves feedback, I was ready to report him to the school administration but when I reached the school office, the receptionist was no better. She was busy, on what I could tell, was a personal phone animated conversation. She momentarily looked up at me and continued conversing on the phone. I welcomed myself to a nearby seat and waited patiently.

Seeing that I had sat down, she held the phone briefly away from her ear and asked what I needed, I told her I wanted to know more about the school. Without a word, she pulled from some files, what I saw was a fee structure and slid it across me and continued with her rather important phone call. I took a second to ponder on that experience right from the watchman to the receptionist and I immediately made a decision, that was not the school that I wanted my child to attend with such a sickening culture. Without looking at the fee structure I left.

Take a look at your business, yourself and your staffs. How are you treating your clients? Understand, it is in the small things that we ignore which are very costly to our sales.

Do you greet your customers with enthusiasm?

Do you listen to their needs before offering solutions?

Do you skillfully counter any objections that they may have?

Do you offer alternative products or services?

Do you have offer alternative payment methods?

Do you follow up after their first visit?

Do you close that sale enthusiastically whether they buy or not?

Dear Reader, ever wondered why you are not selling or selling as much as you would love to? Today, I want to talk to you who has everything figured out. You have excellent products and or services. Your display both online and offline is top notch. Your services and or products are great quality. You have staffs who are well dressed and presentable. I mean you have made quite an investment in your business. So why is it that several months down the line or even a couple of years later you are not selling as you had anticipated?

First, this is not about the effects of the coronavirus. Let us keep the pandemic out of the way. Even before the pandemic you were not selling as you should. Listen, you may have everything in place, but let me tell you, with poor customer handling, your sales will not grow as they should.

Let us go back to my experience above. When I left, the first thing I did was write a long disgruntled email to that school director. I firmly expressed my displeasure of how I was treated by her first line employees. People who were supposed to be the face of her school. I told her how humiliated I felt and how I could never recommend the school to anyone. Lastly, I ended the email by cautioning her, if her staffs kept that pathetic attitude, she would loose tremendously not just on new parents but also the existing ones, so it was in her best interest to ensure that her team were not only well trained but maintained that level of training all through out their day to day activities.

Years later, I have never heard from the XYZ school director apologizing or offering some kind of a lame excuse for her staffs. Now you understand where the bad staff attitude comes from!

Have you had a better customer experience? Do you give better experience? Comment below, I would love to hear from you

Coping with downtimes

Like many of us in business, I have good days and better days. There are days that I simply don’t feel like leaving my bed. I just feel like all I want to do is sleep the whole day and do nothing. Then I remember that there are inquires to be responded to, emails to be sent, follow ups to be done ,you know, a business to run? So, I wake up feeling not so good but with a mind to get through the day. By and by, I get a few things done that build up into an accomplished goal. Then again, there are those days that, these goals are not achieved. This can be discouraging.

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Do you ever have such not-so-good days? What keeps you going?

One of the things that keeps me going is the reason as to why I started in the first place. I always ask myself, why did I start this business ? Why is it important for me to help other people? They say that you should be your biggest cheerleader. But how easy is it to not only cheer yourself on but to motivate yourself to keep moving? Anyone will tell you that it is not easy at all. You need a very strong underlying will to keep going.

You must also believe in a higher being that exists beyond yourself. A being that gives us renewed strength that we so badly need to go on when you don’t feel like. For me, believing in God and relying on his supernatural strength to push me, works the wonders that I need. But is this enough? No it is not. You must also trust that there are people out there who are waiting to hear from you. It could be one person who is looking forward to your services, this person is looking forward to either buy from you or to simply see you get up and work so that they too can get motivated.

Do you have a mentor?

Or anyone to talk to? It helps having someone that you can drop a text and say, “Hey, am in the doldrums today.” Next thing you know, you are smiling after receiving a funny text back. It is also during such days that you can have those long engaging conversations with your mentor that leaves you feeling like you can conquer the world. Personally, I find it rejuvenating when I search the web for like minded women in the same industry as I. Reading their stories and experiencing their success journey gives me hope not to settle.

The other day, my daughter came to my room, without saying anything she hugged me and left. I called out after her and asked her what the hug was for, with a soft smile she replied, “Nothing. I just wanted to hug you, that’s all!” Right there, I was reminded that there was a little person who was watching me so I had to keep my act together! There must be someone watching you too, it may not be a little person, it could be anyone who looks up to you for inspiration or just to cheer you on. During those downtimes, remember you have an audience, don’t stop performing!

Dear Reader, as we progress into the next month, don’t feel rushed. You may not have hit your January target, neither may you be half way into achieving what you had wanted this month, please don’t let anxiety get the best of you. I want you to know that you are doing okay. I am motivated to see you wake up and put some effort in your work. You may not see the results today, but be encouraged to continue planting your seeds on a daily. Believe me your harvest will be large and overflowing sooner than you can imagine.

How do you cope with your downtimes? I will be happy to read from you. Leave a comment down below.

Happy New Year!

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How are you my beloved readers?!

Indeed it is a new year! With it comes new possibilities, new expectations, new challenges and new mindsets! The question is, are you ready for all that is coming your way this year?

I am super excited to connect with you this year. I hope, we can learn from each other, work together and encourage each other to keep climbing any heights that may come our way!

My dear readers, if you have been following and reading my blogs, by now you know that I am an advocate of planning ahead in terms of sales and growing your business. I always encourage you to set target goals for your business and work out a realistic plan of how you will achieve all that.

Because we agreed that, this year we will move to another growth level, then it will be unfair for me to proceed without first reminding you and showing you how you can plan for that growth. I will share with you five links from our previous posts that I believe are worth revisiting and which are great tips that we can apply in our businesses as we start the year off.

So, here goes

To come up with a SMART sales strategy, read here SMART SALES STRATEGY – Ayaka Management Consultancy (ayakaconsultancy.com)

To please your customers this year, read this It’s Customer Service Week!

To understand why you should invest in your employees this year, read Invest in your employees

To take your business to the next growth level this year, read Take my business to the next level in 2021 (Part III)

To create your business continuity plan read here Let’s Chat

I would love to hear from you what your plans are this year and what great lessons you are taking with you from 2020.

Please comment and or write to me.

In the meantime, I will see you next week!

Keep Winning!

Reflecting Back the year that was

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Oh Boy! You and I both. I know! 2020 has been one strange year! I will not dwell on the pandemic, we have both experienced it’s effects in one way or the other. Just like you, I am thankful for making it this far and I am hopeful for better days ahead.

Come, let’s sit and reflect on the year that was. This year had it’s big share of negativity. Let us focus on the positives however small that we experienced. Let us dwell on the small stuff that can easily be dismissed as insignificant yet they were highly instrumental in keeping us going. Let us look for a silver lining in the dark clouds. What was your silver lining this year?

Perhaps, you were able to bond with your family in a way that you have never done before. This brought you closer than you could ever have imagined. Maybe, your mind was exposed to possibilities that you would not have foreseen in a million years and now, more than ever you are hopeful of a brighter future. Did you start a business that you never knew you had it in you?

One of my biggest reflection in 2020 was the realisation that time is scarce. It’s a limited resource. We may think we have time but the truth is we do not. You must therefore hurry up, stop procrastinating, do what you wish to do today and give it your all. There is no time to keep holding back on your dreams. There is no time to keep holding on grudges. There is no time to sit down and wallow in self pity and lack of motivation. 2020, made me realise, yet it has been very obvious before my eyes, that, time is not guaranteed. It is in fact a privilege that is denied to many. So, how do you choose to spend your time in 2021?

The year that was, showed me that my fears are unsubstantiated. My fears are an illusion that I created myself to deceitfully comfort me that I am fine just the way I am and that I should not to do different. This year has hence taught me to do different in the midst of my fears. I pray that you too can use your fears as fuel to propel you to another level. What are your fears as you head to 2021?

In the end as I look back, it’s not about the money that you made. It is not about the deals that you closed. It’s not about the goals that you smashed. Don’t get me wrong, all these are equally important in our journey. I mean, is that not why we work? Hold on a sec, 2020 reminded me, how did you make people feel? How many lives did you impact? How would you like to be remembered when you are gone? What legacy do you wanna leave behind?

Did any of my blog posts impact your life in any way? I wanna hear from you.

As you reflect on the year that was, I urge you to take an inventory of all the good, however small that you experienced and write it down. Then take a minute and be grateful from deep within your heart. After which, purpose to do better in 2021. Set your mind right to see not only all the good, but be the good in a world that has so little of it!

I am proud of you!

Thank you for subscribing to my blog.

Thank you for reading.

I hope to see you this year!

Keep Winning!

Love,

Grace

***Don’t forget to leave a comment, share this post & follow us by putting your email address below, thanks!

** Click the button below if you want to grow your sales & business in 2021 and recover from the pandemic

Take my business to the next level in 2021 (Part III)

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In this third and final part series we shall discuss on how to expand your business in 2021.

If you missed our second part read it here Take my business to the next level in 2021 (Part II) – Ayaka Management Consultancy (ayakaconsultancy.com)

If you are looking to expand your business in 2021, it means that you have reached a certain level of growth and you want to explore what more you can do and or offer. Let us dive right into it.

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What do your customers want? Have you taken time to find out from them what they need? You can do this through a simple poll on your social media, a text message or an email and invite your clients to respond from the choices that you may have given them or asked them to give their thoughts. Perhaps, you can ask them what new products and services they would wish you give them. This simple poll will give you a guidance of how to proceed. This may mean adding these new products and services to your portfolio hence expanding your business.

Do you need to add more stock in your business? Perhaps move to a larger business premises? You may need to check if you have the required capital to do so. If not, you need to explore the options that may be available to you. Perhaps, you need to seek financing from a lending institution. Next, evaluate your options, you need to take the bold step and go after it.

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In the quest of expanding your business you might want to focus on growing your sales and customer numbers. This we have covered in our first and second series of this feature. You may want to check that out on our immediate previous posts.

Finally but not least, make sure that your operations are tightened. Do you have the right manpower to handle the expansion? Do you have the right systems in place? Is your mind set right on expanding your business? Are you well equipped to handle any arising factors? You must make sure everything is in place before and as you proceed with expansion.

Do you need more help in your business ? Sign up to my Grow my business coaching program below.

Take my business to the next level in 2021 (Part II)

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In this second series we shall discuss how to increase Your customer numbers in 2021. If you missed our first part read it here

https://ayakaconsultancy.com/2020/11/13/take-my-business-to-the-next-level-in-2021-part-i/

Let us agree that without customers buying from you, then you are not in business. A business to survive needs to have a loyal customer base. Then progressively, you need to increase the numbers of those customers, this will ultimately grow your business.

Increasing your customer numbers is a simple act that requires consistency on your part. The highlighted below is not new to us. These are things we know that we should be doing them on a consistent basis but we may find ourselves falling short.

I want to call this a reminder of how to increase your customer numbers.

  1. Treat your current customers with utmost respect that they deserve. Ensure what you are offering is exactly what you said. Give unmatched customer experience. Whatever you do, at the end of the day, your customer must be happy and satisfied with you. This will make him refer potential new clients to you!
  2. Do some bit of research and find out what improvements your customers would like to see in your offerings. Incrementally, make those improvements. This will get you noticed by new potential clients!
  3. Have a budget for marketing and aggressively put word out there of your work. Reach out to new customer segments. Let your target market know about your business.
  4. Constantly innovate and move with the current times. Embrace technology and new millennial ideas!
  5. Corroborate with other players in your industry. See them as business partners not competition. This will have you tap to their customer base.
  6. Be a customer to a potential new customer. Your customers are also selling something.
  7. Network both online and offline.
  8. Offer free goodies, discounts and any other fun stuff that will attract new clients!

There you have it! Tell me, what are some of these technique’s that are working for you?!

Do you need help to grow your sales numbers in 2021? Register here and join my online coaching program.

Take my business to the next level in 2021 (part I)

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I recently asked business women in various social platforms this question:

As a woman in business, what three things do you wish to happen to you/ your business in 2021? (from the choices below)

  1. Increase in sales
  2. Clear my loans
  3. Expand my business
  4. Create more networks
  5. Streamline my business
  6. Start a new business
  7. Grow my customer base
  8. Get financing for my business

I will pick the top three responses: 86% of the women said that they wished to increase their sales in 2021, 72% wished to increase their customer numbers while 58% hoped to expand their businesses.

In this article we will focus on how to overcome the first response- How to increase your sales in 2021. We shall cover the other two in the subsequent articles. Keep it here and subscribe to our blog so that you don’t miss out.

How to increase your sales in 2021

You need to find clarity in your business and keep the focus if you want to increase your sales. I always advise my mentees to sit yourself with a pen and notebook and write it all down. Listen, without clarity and focus you will just be all over the place and in the end you will create for yourself a lot of sales gaps and missed selling opportunities.

Find clarity in these four areas that I call The 4Ws.

What are you selling?

We are not talking about the products that you are selling. Understand, you are not the only one selling those products. By having clarity in what you are selling, this is what sets you apart from your competitors. This is what will make clients choose you over them. This will also invoke a sell conversation with a potential client, and it sets you on a path to close sales quickly.  

We are talking about understanding your products and presenting them to the client in a way that will appeal to them and make them buy from you and not other people. You are selling more than products & services and you must understand that and be able to articulate it.

Here is an example; if you are in beauty industry, you are selling self confidence, imagine how someone feels after a make over! You see it’s not just make up that you are selling.

Why are you selling?

In order for you to increase your sales numbers, you must also understand why you are selling your products. Here you look at the value that the clients are going to get when they buy from you. You need to focus on selling that value to the clients.

Understand that you are not the only one selling those products or services. There is a lot of competition and for you to stand out, have customers buy from you. Don’t just sell them the products but sell them value.

Value means the benefits that the clients will get from buying your products. You should focus on selling that value and make sure that the client understands what he is getting.

Who are you selling to?

Another thing that will help you increase your sells is knowing your target market. You need to know the people that you are selling to, know what they do, where to find them, how to approach them and speak their language.

When you focus on that customer and you exhaust that market, then you can move to someone else. But if you are constantly moving from one customer to another, what happens at the end of the day, you are not focused, you will not maximize on your sales.

You must always know who needs what you are selling and then come up with a plan to approach and sell to them. Focus on this target client. This will help you increase your sales.

How do you sell?

You now know what, why and who you are selling to. Understand, if you don’t know how to sell, the first 3Ws will be of no use to you. So how do you sell?

It’s important to understand that selling is a process. A process that involves interaction between you the salesperson and the potential buyer. You need to have the right selling skills and techniques so that you use this during your interaction with customers. For instance, do you ask the right questions in order to under your customers needs? Are you empathetic towards your clients? Are you polite? Do you know how to counter objections?

basically when you know how to sell by employing the right selling techniques, then you will be able to connect with your customers, build a lasting relationship, get referrals and ultimately increase your sales in 2021.

There you have it The 4Ws! Master them, practice them and go make those numbers!

Do you need help to grow your sales numbers in 2021? Register here and join my online coaching program.

Read the second part here: https://ayakaconsultancy.com/2020/11/30/take-my-business-to-the-next-level-in-2021-part-ii/

SMART SALES STRATEGY

Heya! 2021 is here! Well almost. In less than two months we will be in January next year. The question I have for you today is, have you prepared your sales strategy for next year? Or are you one of those people who go with the flow? You know, a new year comes but for you it’s business as usual. No goals, nothing significant to work towards. By significant, I mean well written goals. For you and your business, everything is in your head. Am I talking to someone?

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Listen, If no one has told you this, I am proud of you for reaching this far at this time of the year in your business and entrepreneurship. Yes, I know the pandemic has set you back in one way or the other. Perhaps, you had to close your business premises and work from home. Maybe, you had to cut down on your staffs. You probably, had to keep on hold the plans you had to expand your products and services.

Someone else wanted to start or open a new business, but the pandemic destroyed those plans. Then, there is another person like me who had a well written sales plan for the current year, but the pandemic distorted everything! So I had to go back to the drawing board, and restrategise over and over again, and even then things did not falling into place! One day, I will share with you this struggle.

So, Yes. I am so proud of you for keeping it together against all odds. You have made it this far. You are here. I celebrate you.

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Understand, 2021 is a year of recovery and new beginnings. We have by now, however tough it has been, learnt to adjust to the unprecedented times. So should your business. Hence my question, have you prepared your sales strategy for next year?

Do not wait for January to start planning for the year. That will be a catastrophic mistake. Corporates have mastered the art of creating annual strategies. Believe me when I say, most corporates are done with their 2021 strategies. Some are probably in the final fine tuning stages. Understand, there is no corporate that starts a new year without a clear direction of where their organization is headed. That is what makes them successful. This should be no different with a small business.

As a small business, you must have a clearly written sales strategy of where you wish your business to head to. Having it in your head is not enough. When you have a clearly written document, the reality of your business and it’s journey is more meaningful and purposeful. Unless, you are just in business for the heck of it, to make some few coins and then you close shop.

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But, if you are a serious business owner, you must be purposeful in your business. Remember, you are building a business that you wish to leave to your generation and their generations. You want to build a business that will outlive you for generations to come. You want to leave a legacy. If you are not this serious business owner that am talking about, then this post is not for you.

You don’t need any sophisticated systems or materials to write a smart sales strategy. Here is a simple way that you can do it. Remember your strategy should also be flexible enough in a way that you can make adjustments and build on it as you progress in the year. Purpose to create a sales strategy today and start the year with a bang!

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Take time out, do this with a business partner if you have one. Be sure to have a pen and notebook or laptop. The idea is to make sure you are writing it down.

Recognize where your sales numbers are currently and write that down.

Brainstorm on what affected your sales numbers in the current year, note these factors down. Understand, you can not move forward, if you don’t appreciate where you are and why.

Project the annual closing sales number at the end of the new year. Identify a full final figure that as a business you wish to make at the end of 2021.

Discuss the factors that will propel you to hit those sales. Eliminate any possible hindrances. Write it all down. Here you can look at the sales team, marketing, new products/services, training, coaching, costs etc.

Work a backward plan on how you will hit the annual sales figure.

Break down, the bigger sales target, into biannual, quarter, monthly, weekly and daily targets. The idea is to break the bigger figure into smaller achievable targets on a daily basis.

Come January you will be prepared. Yours will be to work on a daily basis towards your set annual goal. Each week, you will be analyzing where you are, what and how you can keep up the progress.

Point to Note: Your sales strategy should be realistic. It must be figures that your business is capable of surpassing and be careful not to undervalue your capability!

Easy? Right? Great! Now fine tune your sales strategy, communicate to your staffs, pin it up strategically in your work area and work on smashing those numbers!

Need help on how to formulate your SMART SALES STRATEGY?

Need help to GROW YOUR SALES NUMBERS in 2021?

Benefits of investing in your team

In a previous topic we highlighted different ways that you can invest in your staffs. Incase you missed it, click on this link below to read more, https://ayakaconsultancy.com/2020/09/30/invest-in-your-employees/

As a business owner you have a vision of where you want your business to be in a given number of years. To actualise this vision, you need a team behind you that will help you bring that vision to reality. You also understand that you need to invest in this team and to do so effectively, will also mean, setting aside a budget specifically for that.

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let us walk through six of these benefits of investing in your team.

  1. Your team will not only understand but also apply the necessary measures that is needed to actualise the company’s vision, mission and it’s strategies.
  2. Loyal employees are created when they experience the investment and trust demonstrated to them by their bosses. This is what you want, a loyal employee to help you grow your company.
  3. You will also create promotable and skilled individuals. Remember, you are seeking to grow your company to a certain level. As the business expands, more business function will be created and you will need competent manpower to handle them. It is cheaper to get this manpower from an already existing team than to hire externally.
  4. When you make your team happy, you are creating an energized, motivated workforce that will in turn please your customers. Happy employees, happy customer, hence growth of business.
  5. You are also building and promoting their personal lives. For instance when you invest in their personal development, understand that you are transforming lives. It becomes bigger than just growing your company. You are touching lives and communities at large.
  6. You will save money. How? You are building a skilled work force and increasing their productivity. This mean that they will work harder, smarter and there will be business continuity while you are away.

Tell us what benefits you have acquired from investing in your employees. We would love to hear from you. Can we help? Talk to us.

Let me think about it!

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A customer says, “Let me think about it.”

And you say…

“This offer ends tonight, after today you will not get it!”

“Okay. Here’s my number. Call me when you change your mind.”

“Can I call you in two days time?”

“Do you have any more questions that I can clarify before you leave?”

“Are you worried about the cost? What exactly is your concern?”

“Okay. Thanks for coming.”

All your answers above are correct. The thing is by the time you respond to a customer, you should know who that customer is.

Let me explain.

As a sales person, you are selling to a specific target market. You must know who the market is, what they like, where to find them and if they will benefit from your service or product.

Your job is to find this customer and sell to. In the course of your interaction, a smart sales person knows if that will be an instant sale, a future sale or no sale at all hence your response or counter objection to their concern.

Here is the take away, know your customer. Know your products. Know how to match this customer to a product. Learn how to counter objections. Don’t waste time with anyone who, you very well know, is not your target market.

You like the sound of this? Great! Contact us for more of our services below