Tips for Making Better Follow-Up Calls

iStock 000003010459Small 2 300x199 Tips for Making Better Follow Up CallsUggggg……

Double uggg…….

I did something really stupid.  I could kick myself. I KNOW better, but I did it anyway. Why? Because I was tired and feeling lazy, pure and simple. So what what this horrible mistake?…

I didn’t prepare properly for a follow-up sales call.

I had a follow-up call scheduled on my calendar with someone I had talked to about a while back. They were not ready to move forward then, but were really interested in working with me and had asked me to follow-up with them. We picked a time to reconnect and I diligently put the date on my schedule and then went about my day.

In the weeks that passed, I traveled a lot and was preoccupied with family and having fun on vacation. I kept up with email and took care of small business issues, but for the most part, did not have my mind entrenched in my business. When I got back, of course, I jumped back in and started getting caught up.

I love what I do, so it was fun for me to get back in the groove. I was excited to start writing again and most of all connect with clients and colleagues again. So when time the finally came, I was eager to make my follow-up call.

Here’s where things fell apart…

Although I remembered my initial conversation with my potential client, I knew where we had left things, I knew their business and why they were interested in working together, I did not take the time to review their pain points. I had an intellectual understanding of their needs, but I had not taken the time to review their struggle and how they were feeling about it.

As a result, our conversation reflected my level of preparation. It was factual. It was intellectual and it was not emotional. I failed to take my client to the place where they connected with the feeling around not having enough clarity for the right direction for their business and how that was impacting their success.

It was an awful experience. It felt like meeting someone on the street I had kissed at a party the night before except all the hot energy was missing and we both felt uncomfortable. YUCK!

The worst part of all was knowing I could have helped this client get fantastic results to create a unique and profitable brand more quickly if I had just done my homework.

So this never happens to you, here are 3 tips to help you properly prepare for your next follow-up sales call: [Read more...]

How to Build a Power Voice

iStock 000024873675Small 2 300x225 How to Build a  Power VoiceHave you ever been to a really good concert? You know the kind where the singer makes you literally soon? I sure have, only instead of a concert, it was at the opera.

When I was singing professionally, I would often be onstage with phenomenal singers with extremely powerful voices. I remember a production when someone dared the lead tenor to hold the high note as long as he could at the end of his aria. He actually kept singing as he exited off the stage, down a flight of steps and into his dressing room still holding that same note. The conductor was furious, but we singers thought it was awesome.

Imagine the strength it takes to send your voice over an orchestra to the back of the hall. As entrepreneurs we need to have powerful voices as well if we want to be heard above the noise and reach our audiences.  But we are an impatient bunch. We want yummy clients now. We want a book deal yesterday. We want to be invited to speak on big stages and host tv shows next week, right? Unfortunately, it doesn’t happen that way.

In order to project a super powerful voice out into the market place, you must build vocal equity in your brand.@HeatherPoduska Tweet This

You don’t just jump up on stage at the Met and start yodeling and you don’t just throw up a website and start generating thousands of leads in traffic. It takes time and consistent effort to develop a powerful brand voice, but you can speed up the process by following a few key steps: [Read more...]

Would you like a pool by the ocean?

iStock 000001102285Small 2 300x225 Would you like a pool by the ocean?Just imagine waking up to see a beautiful pink and purple sunrise glistening over the ocean as soft waves brush the shore. That was my view last week when I was in Fort Lauderdale for a business conference. I was staying at the Trump Towel and spent my mornings doing yoga in the pool. It was bliss.

Wouldn’t it be nice to wake up every morning and do yoga ocean side in your own pool? Believe me, it would be:) Does it sound like a pipe dream to you?

Hmmm, why is that?

Why does having your own oceanside pool equipped with a private yoga instructor sound like an impossible dream? Is it because we think of it as an expensive luxury? If that’s what you thought, I want to share a little insight that has shifted my mindset around dreaming big. [Read more...]

5 Smokin’ Hot Tips to Insanely Increase Your Creativity

file8861243625956 2 300x165 5 Smokin Hot Tips to Insanely Increase Your CreativityHey, whad’ya think of this blog title? Pretty slammin, huh? I hope it captured your attention!

What do you think of these little guys?

“7 Steps to Grow Your Business” Yawn…

“7 Easy Steps to Increase Your Revenue” Better…

“7  Sexy Secrets to Create an Irresistible Brand to Explode Your Profits” Cha-Ching!

The last thing you want to do is bore your audience. There is already enough boredom in the world. Taxes and treadmills pop to mind. How long do you think your audience will stick around if you come across as an entrepreneurial Eor? You have to spice things up to keep the love alive. And not just in your sales titles, but in everything from how to package your services to how to write your newsletter.

You may think being creative is nice, but not really necessary to your success. You work hard, you’re smart, so what if you’re not the next Picasso or Steve Jobs? Wait a minute, that Steve Jobs guy did pretty well.

Being creative in your business gives you superior products and can enhance your productivity. It certainly makes things more fun and interesting for you. And most importantly it allows you to stand out in a crowded marketplace. When you are creative, you bring new ideas and greater value to your audience which sets your apart from the competition. Who needs creativity now? Starting to look more important, isn’t it?

You may already buy into the importance of being creative in your business, but sometimes for all of us the well runneth dry. It seems the harder we try to come up with new and better ideas, the further genius feels. There’s a reason for that:

A creative mind lives in the realm of play(TWEET THIS)

When you are in the trenches of running a business, having fun feels like a luxury. But the truth is, if you want a more luxurious life  and wildly profitable business, you are going to have to make friends with your inner puppy.

Want to know how to pump up the volume on creativity? Here are a few tips: [Read more...]

Who do you want to be when you grow up?

file000215210722 2 199x300 Who do you want to be when you grow up?What did you dream of becoming when you were little? I wanted to be an Olympic gymnast. Then I wanted to be a pastor’s wife, because my pastor’s wife was beautiful and an excellent musician. In high school, my dreamed changed to wanting to be on the Olympic volleyball team. At 5’7″ I don’t think there was much hope for winning gold on the balance beam…

How did your dreams change over time?

In college, I started as a double-major in music and poli-sci and was determined to be a politician. And then in grad school my attention focused on making it to the Metropolitan Opera. Did any of these dreams come true? Well, yes and no. Did I go on to be an Olympic athlete? No, but I did play competitive volleyball for many years and I have sung for thousands of people.

Our dreams and passions are indicators of what we want out of life. Depending on where we are in the moment, our brains come up with visions of how those urges might be fulfilled. For instance, [Read more...]

Are You Wasting Your Most Valuable Resource?

file201283034007 2 300x200 Are You Wasting Your Most Valuable Resource?The other day I was listening to an interview with a lawyer who was talking about the strategies big companies employ when doing large merges and acquisitions. He described an incredibly complicated process which included moving sizable sums of money to off-shore accounts and partnering with and sometimes buying other companies in Europe to avoid tax implications.

I was fascinated by the complexity of the maneuvering he described. As I listened, I just kept thinking, holy-moly this guy is smart. I mean to keep track of all of those moving pieces must take incredible knowledge and organization. How can one person know so much? Where did he get the time to amass so much knowledge? And then it hit me…he made the time.

In order to master anything, you must make time to perfect your craft.

We all have the capacity to be masters, but very few of us have the discipline. This lawyer had obviously worked hard to become an expert in merges and acquisition law. How many hours had he spent at the library? How many law books and case studies did he read? And here’s the biggie. What did he have to give up to in order to do so? Where did he find the TIME? [Read more...]

Are Sales Slipping Through Your Fingers?

iStock 000026000143Small 2 300x199 Are Sales Slipping Through Your Fingers?There is one pretty clear rule in business, no sales equals no money. Ugg. Wouldn’t it be great if clients would just enroll themselves? You wouldn’t have to do those uncomfortable sales calls.

Making sales calls is something a lot of entrepreneurs dread. In fact, a lot of entrepreneurs actually avoid making them which is a shame because by doing so they are leaving money on the table. I have to admit I used to be one of those people. The idea of picking up the phone to ask someone for egads, money, made my palms sweats. What was that rule again? Ah, yes, no sales=no money.

There you have it, sales calls have to be done.

But why does it seems so scary?

A lot of it is wrapped up in self-worth. Have you ever had this thought “Who am I to ask for so much money?” Maybe you’ve never had that exact thought, but there are other gems we tell ourselves. Here are some you may recognize:

-I don’t want to be seen as greedy.
-I I don’t want to seem stuck-up.
-I really am asking a lot of money for what I’m offering.
-I don’t want to bother/annoy/pester anyone.
-I don’t want to be perceived as one of those sleazy, high-pressure sales people.
-This person seems so nice, I’m just going to charge them _____ instead of my full price.
-I don’t want the other person to get mad or be offended by my prices.
-What if they don’t have the money, I don’t want to put anyone out.

We all struggle with limiting beliefs when faced with potential rejection, but we have a choice. We can either succumb and suffer the consequence, or we can learn to shift our mindset so we get get what we want. 

Here are a few tips to make your sales calls go from fearful to fruitful: [Read more...]

Your Brand is Calling… Are you listening?

file000519366845 2 230x300 Your Brand is Calling... Are you listening?Now that summer is approaching (big yeah!!) it’s time for ice-cream season. Ok, in full honesty it’s always ice-cream season in my house. But nothing is as good as going to one of those awesome ice-cream shops with tubs of the colorful cold stuff. I love watching my kids press their noses against the glass trying to decide between Moose Tracks and rainbow sherbet. I usually go with some low-fat yogurt number and then watch pining away as the kids slurp up their creaming drippings.

Honestly, I don’t even know why I pick the yogurt. I don’t really like it that much. I end up consuming empty calories without the satisfying pleasure that should accompany indulging. It’s kind of a waste. For all the bother, I’d rather have an apple. But in the moment of choice, I focus on what I should be doing so I pick a treat that really isn’t much of a treat and I go away feeling kind of gypped.

What’s worse is the whole time I’m slugging through my yogurt, I have to watch everyone else enjoying their choices. Sometimes it’s hard for the kids too. They may like what they got, but then they look over at their sisters and feel jealous. What if hers is better? What if she made a better choice?

Why all the focus cups and cones? [Read more...]

If the Shoe Doesn’t Fit Anymore

shoes 5 2 300x240 If the Shoe Doesnt Fit Anymore

Did you ever get the feeling that something in your business doesn’t feel right? You start to get a little gnawing feeling you can’t identify. It’s not that things are dramatically wrong, but they aren’t exactly right either. Maybe you have some clients coming in, but the business still isn’t really taking off. Or you could even have a more steady stream of clients, but you just aren’t as excited to work with them as you used to be.

What’s going on?

You could be in the wrong shoes, brand shoes that is.

Remember when you were a kid. One day you’d be running around in your Hush Puppies and the next, your little piggies would be banging up against the edges. It can be like that with your brand too. You are plugging along in your business feeling like everything is fine until you realize everything is not fine. You may not be sure why, but you know you don’t feel good. Something is being pinched, and that thing is [Read more...]

How To Be Number One!

file9971295963947 2 300x225 How To Be Number One!Everyone likes a winner. Have you ever noticed when a sports team wins a championship even people from other regions buy and wear the winning team’s paraphernalia? It’s as if by wearing the  team’s logo you yourself are elevated in status. (In all fairness, if you wear a Red Sox cap, you do go up a few notches.)

We like to be associated with success. When we watch the Olympics or American Idol, we route especially hard for the person who is from our city or state. They somehow represent us except…they don’t. We haven’t actually done anything, unless you count grabbing a bowl of Ben and Jerry’s and cheering from the couch.

Now don’t get me wrong, I think it’s great to cheer for your favorite sports team or support your local talent. What isn’t good is when we find our identification as a business person wrapped up in the reputation of our favorite guru du jour. We do a kind of weird reverse projection. Instead of projecting our baggage onto someone else, we suck their brand onto ourselves.

I do think it’s good to emulate success and I even think it’s useful to model yourself after people you admire. However, in order to be truly successful in your own right, [Read more...]