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Chris LoCurto

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June 12, 2012

So Sorry

I am on vacation and wasn’t able to get a post out for today. Hopefully I’ll have one for tomorrow. I do miss you guys.

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  • JMattHicks

    @ChrisLoCurto Are you able to see the short test comment I just left on that blog post?

  • http://twitter.com/JMattHicks JMattHicks

    Quick test, will delete. Sorry about that!

  • http://www.ginasmom.com/ ginasmom

    I love all the comments, feels like 10 or 20 posts combined into one. Chris – sounds like a break now and then is not a bad idea.

  • http://hardandsimple.blogspot.com/ Skropp

    Alright team, day #2 in the wilderness. Today Lily suggested the topic of “What inspired you?” and along with that, what are your goals and dreams?

    • http://www.lilykreitinger.com/ lilykreitinger

       @Skropp  Hate to contradict, but I think it’s day #3  :)

  • http://uma-maheswaran.blogspot.com/ uma_maheswaran

    Chris! It’s your birth right to take a break. You need not be apolegetic.

  • http://hardandsimple.blogspot.com/ Skropp

    Ok CLo community, apparently Chris is really enjoying his vacation…which I great! He deserves it!! So let’s start a new thread today to help and encourage each other!
    What challenges can we discuss? Favorite blog posts? Successes? Questions? Thoughts on books your reading?

    And invite anyone in this community to come and comment again today! I love interacting and learning from you guys and am glad Chris has built this community for us!!

    • http://www.lilykreitinger.com lilykreitinger

      @Skropp So the “no post” will have more comments than a regular post… :) So I’m reading Platform and I would like to read your thoughts on how to define your brand according to that “wow” factor. I keep trying to figure out how to incorporate that in my blog…

      • http://hardandsimple.blogspot.com/ Skropp

        @lilykreitinger Incorporating the Wow factor into a blog. Hmmm. I would think with a blog it’d just be by the quality of information that you provide. You know, making your blog the one that people say “man, if you need to learn about (xyz) check out Lily’s blog!!”. I think part of it too is probably the value you add to other people through comments, tweets, retweets. Because really the blog is just the tool, in your case, YOU are the product. In my case, soccer training is the product and the blog is the tool to showcase the Wow factor of the product. Does that make any more sense than advanced calculus? I hope so….

      • http://hardandsimple.blogspot.com/ Skropp

        @lilykreitinger As I read Platform, my understanding is that the Wow factor is what sets your product (in your case, you) apart for everyone else. It seems to me that our blogs are one of the places where we showcase that Wow! What I mean by that is, your ideas, counsel, etc are your product…the wow is how you deliver the product, how it’s different and better than everyone else, why they need it…and the blog is one way that you tell people those things.
        Does that make anymore sense than advanced calculus?

        • http://www.lilykreitinger.com lilykreitinger

          @Skropp Ok, so my problem is before the wow. How do I define my brand…. More thinking to do!

        • http://hardandsimple.blogspot.com/ Skropp

          @lilykreitinger Ya, lots of thinking. I’m not totally there yet either. I think the most beneficial thing for me in defining my brand has been imagining what my company will be like in 10 years. There’s a chapter in Platform called “Think Bigger” that kind of addresses that. But by imagining where I want to be and how I want people to see my company it’s helping me figure out exactly what I want my brand to be. Does that help?

        • http://eselfemploymentideas.net/ selfemployedbob

           @Skropp  @lilykreitinger Ok, this is cool!  More comments when Chris is gone than when he stays!  Ha!
           
          I’m also reading Platform right now (actually listening to the audio version).  However, I’ve been really thinking about that WOW part myself.  It’s pretty important, but really hard to define.  We’ve got to get it right though, or risk obscurity!
           
          The way I see it is that it’s like scratching that itch that someone has been having for a long time; maybe the’ve had it so long that they don’t even realize it’s itching anymore?
           
          I think this is where knowing exactly who you are targeting is really important.  Just like any product, you have to completely understand what their problem is and fix it.  Not just fix it, but fix it perfectly and make them a sandwhich! ;)

        • http://www.bluebridgecomm.com/ JoelFortner

           @Skropp  @lilykreitinger My take on branding is this.  I want to serve small business entrepreneurs better than anyone else in my marketing coaching role.  I want “the heart of a teacher” to pour out.  I can only do this my being hyper focused on looking out for clients’ best interests, being very honest, transparent, direct and coaching them like they’ve never been coached before.  That’s what I want my brand to be.  Flipping it around, it’s about you Mark. It’s about you Lily.  Your brand is defined based on how people perceive you based on how you interact and serve them or not.  All this said, focus on serving people from the heart.  Try to love their goal more than they do. If you do this, your brand will be powerful and achieve the Wow factor.

        • http://hardandsimple.blogspot.com/ Skropp

          @selfemployedbob @lilykreitinger HAHA that totally made my day “…AND make them a sandwich!”

        • http://hardandsimple.blogspot.com/ Skropp

          @selfemployedbob @lilykreitinger The Wow is a great word for it, cuz I want my clients to say “WOW!! When they experience my products and services.
          Reading Platform couldn’t be more timely. It’s so easy to get drawn into sinking down to doing what everyone else is doing, rather than going bigger and better and nailing the Wow factor!

        • http://hardandsimple.blogspot.com/ Skropp

          @JoelFortner @lilykreitinger Leave it to the marketing guy to come in and knock it out of the park!
          There’s at least 2-3 heaping spoonfuls of burnt rice in here Joel!
          I love the idea that your brand is how people perceive you, because, like it or not, perception is reality!
          I also love the idea of loving their goal more than they do! Every player loves having the cheerleaders on the side of the field, we’ve gotta be our clients biggest cheerleaders, coaches, water boys, etc. whatever we can do to make them successful in our area of expertise we’ve gotta do!

        • CabinetDoork

           @lilykreitinger  @Skropp
          Hey guys.  This is a good line of thought.  I’m inspired by people with a desire for WOW!  I think any worthwhile BRAND provides 1 of 2 things.  Inspiration or a special “Solutions Peg” in the memory of those whom we are serving.  This comes from excellence in the basics of what we do and how we do it.  If we define our brand by excellence in the basics, the benificiary of that excellence will issue his / her own wow.  Their WOW is the one that really matters, isn’t it?

        • http://hardandsimple.blogspot.com/ Skropp

          @CabinetDoork @lilykreitinger That is a fantastic concept Jeremy! Excellence in the basics. It’s so true, because of you don’t have the basics down, doesn’t really matter what other neat stuff you do!

        • http://eselfemploymentideas.net/ selfemployedbob

           @CabinetDoork  @lilykreitinger  @Skropp Ok, this is good stuff!
           
          Going back to what Joel said about the customers perception… I remember this podcast I listened to from Social Triggers, in regards to websites “owning a moment”.  Sally Hogshead talks about this and it really makes me think that we have to combine our brand excellence with our marketing to “own a moment” when someone comes to our site or interacts with us in any way.
           
          Check out her site at http://sallyhogshead.com/ .   Be sure to read her tag line at the top.  Maybe not what I would put, but memorable nonetheless!
           
          I guess my point is that we can be really great, but we have to make sure that gets portrayed well and quickly (like less than 10 seconds?).  Just a thought.

        • http://hardandsimple.blogspot.com/ Skropp

          @selfemployedbob @CabinetDoork @lilykreitinger You know, I think that’s part of Mike’s purpose in writing Platform. We live in a sub-140 character world. We’ve got to be able to quickly and accurately get our brand across to people. Which reminds me of Mike’s chapter on having an “elevator speech”

        • http://epicenterlanguages.com.mx/our-blog Aaron Nelson

           @CabinetDoork  @lilykreitinger  @Skropp Also really like that line: ‘Excellence in the basics.’ That’s where I’m refocusing on in my business – kicking mundane out of the park in ways that exceed what clients expect and are used to. 

        • http://epicenterlanguages.com.mx/our-blog Aaron Nelson

           @Skropp  @selfemployedbob  @CabinetDoork  @lilykreitinger Indeed – was listening to a webinar a few weeks ago which simply stated that a key skill for business professionals of tomorrow will be mastering and employing brevity. (That is a direct challenge to current corporate presentations of info jammed 60+ slide decks.)
           
          Those who master brevity will become influencers. 

        • http://epicenterlanguages.com.mx/our-blog Aaron Nelson

           @lilykreitinger  @Skropp Interesting Lily that you are unsure of your brand definition. It seems to come through pretty clearly: job hunting/finding expertise. I wonder if that’s the voice you’re meaning to project?

        • http://hardandsimple.blogspot.com/ Skropp

          @Aaron Nelson @selfemployedbob @CabinetDoork @lilykreitinger I think those who Master brevity ARE influencers! I mean, look at Chris, he said ZERO worlds today and look at the comment section…EXPLODING!!

        • http://www.lilykreitinger.com lilykreitinger

          @Skropp Brevity at its finest

        • http://www.lilykreitinger.com lilykreitinger

          @Aaron Nelson @Skropp That’s the part I’m not quite sure about yet. I don’t think ‘career coach’ is my dream job…ha!!

        • cabinart

           @Aaron Nelson  @Skropp  @selfemployedbob  @CabinetDoork  @lilykreitinger I believe Seth Godin is a master of brevity. In fact, he has mastered it so well, I am often wondering what in the world he is trying to say. Not meaning to pick on him, just saying that he is The Master of Brevity. 

        • http://epicenterlanguages.com.mx/our-blog Aaron Nelson

           @lilykreitinger  @Aaron  @Skropp So do you have any thoughts towards what your dream job would be? 

        • cabinart

           @selfemployedbob       Wow, that tag line is very shocking and funny and memorable. I’ve marked her site for reading later. Thanks for the link!

        • http://epicenterlanguages.com.mx/our-blog Aaron Nelson

           @cabinart  @Skropp  @selfemployedbob  @CabinetDoork  @lilykreitinger He sure is. I love how some of his posts can be long, and others like one liners. 

        • http://epicenterlanguages.com.mx/our-blog Aaron Nelson

           @JoelFortner  @Skropp  @lilykreitinger “Love their goal more than they do.” Now that is burnt rice. 

        • http://www.lilykreitinger.com lilykreitinger

          @Aaron Nelson @Aaron @Skropp No….(working on brevity today) But it would be cool to be the female CLo …just a foot shorter and with lots more hair

        • http://hardandsimple.blogspot.com/ Skropp

          @lilykreitinger I think you should be…..Chairwoman of The Blog. I’ll bet it’d pay really well, in gum balls if in no other way ;)

        • http://hardandsimple.blogspot.com/ Skropp

          @lilykreitinger HAHAHA LOTS more hair…not that I have room to talk!

        • http://hardandsimple.blogspot.com/ Skropp

          @lilykreitinger And when you are the female CLo, I’ll comment on your blog when you’re on vacation too :)

        • http://eselfemploymentideas.net/ selfemployedbob

           @cabinart Glad you like that; me too!  You should check out her podcast interview with Derek Halpern.  Pretty cool stuff!
           
          Here is the link to the interview (just click play button):
          http://socialtriggers.com/customer-coma-sally-hogshead/

        • http://eselfemploymentideas.net/ selfemployedbob

           @Skropp Hey!  Dumb question…How are you able to have your site link in your profile name?  Mine links to my Livefyre profile?
           
          P.S. @lilykreitinger just went to check your site and your profile link is broken.  I found it anyway and read your latest post.  ;) FYI- @lilykreitinger 

        • http://www.lilykreitinger.com/ lilykreitinger

          @selfemployedbob @Skropp That’s odd! I just checked it and it shows in my profile… You can add your blog if you click on Settings

        • http://hardandsimple.blogspot.com/ Skropp

          @selfemployedbob @lilykreitinger Click on your profile name above the comment box, choose “edit profile” and then enter your URL of choice on that page. I did it quite by accent, I’m far from technologically advanced…haha

        • http://hardandsimple.blogspot.com/ Skropp

          Quite by accident, not accent haha. I didn’t do it by talking like Sean Connery ;)

        • http://www.lilykreitinger.com/ lilykreitinger

          @Skropp Are you calling me bossy? What I meant is that I’d love to inspire other through teaching and speaking… Related to what Aaron noted about my brand, my goal is to help people love their job. Now I sound like the female Jon Acuff… Except maybe taller….

        • http://hardandsimple.blogspot.com/ Skropp

          @lilykreitinger Haha. I was in no way calling you bossy, you’re just the organized one so you could keep things on track :)
          And I’m sure Jon will appreciate being referenced in that manner! Ha!

        • CabinetDoork

           @lilykreitinger  @Aaron  @Aaron  @Skropp
           Brevity…  Got it.

        • http://hardandsimple.blogspot.com/ Skropp

          @CabinetDoork @lilykreitinger @Aaron Well played Jeremy, well played! Haha

        • http://www.lilykreitinger.com/ lilykreitinger

           @selfemployedbob  @Skropp  I checked out your site too Bob. Pretty cool!!!

        • http://eselfemploymentideas.net/ selfemployedbob

           @lilykreitinger  @Skropp Thanks!  It’s a work in progress.  Since I’m not really self employed yet, it’s tough to balance everything.  Someday!
           
          By the way, I checked your profile link and mine and it’s fine now?? Weird!  I know I wasn’t making that stuff up.
           
          Thanks for checking it out!  I just hate to see a problem and not say something.
           
          BTW…Do you think Chris will go back and read all these comments?  Poor guy!  He’ll need a vacation from his vacation!

        • http://www.lilykreitinger.com/ lilykreitinger

           @selfemployedbob  @Skropp  I’m sure Chris is relaxing on the beach at an undisclosed Caribbean location, sipping tropical drinks, reading these comments on his iPad

        • http://hardandsimple.blogspot.com/ Skropp

          @lilykreitinger @selfemployedbob And giggling as he reads them… So Chris, when you read this…Hi! Hope you’re havin a great time!! Haha

        • cabinart

           @Skropp  @Aaron  @selfemployedbob  @CabinetDoork  @lilykreitinger The way Chris has mastered brevity is this: “BAH!!!!” (Chris, we know you are reading all this!)

        • http://epicenterlanguages.com.mx/our-blog Aaron Nelson

           @selfemployedbob  @lilykreitinger  @Skropp So you are still working towards self-employment, eh? Do you have an idea of when you’ll be able to make the leap?

        • http://epicenterlanguages.com.mx/our-blog Aaron Nelson

           @lilykreitinger  @Skropp I totally see that Lily (about teaching and speaking.) Do you know what you would like to focus on?

        • http://www.indueseason.net skottydog

          @Aaron Nelson @lilykreitinger @Skropp @joelfortner Wow! I’m missing the party here! Had to work today…just got home, and first chance to read new posts! I’m way late on this conversation!

        • http://www.bluebridgecomm.com/ JoelFortner

           @Skropp  @JoelFortner  @lilykreitinger Exactly. Whether you’re a business selling to consumers or one selling to businesses, be passionate about solving their problem or meeting their need. On the perception is reality topic, ultimately you want people to do business with you. That takes them knowing, liking and trusting you.  A logo, blog, website, etc., doesn’t accomplish that.  You accomplish that!  And there are a myriad of ways to get there.  That’s marketing.

        • http://epicenterlanguages.com.mx/our-blog Aaron Nelson

           @JoelFortner  @Skropp  @lilykreitinger “Whether you’re a business selling to consumers or one selling to businesses, be passionate about solving their problem or meeting their need. ” That’s perfect Joel! 

        • http://epicenterlanguages.com.mx/our-blog Aaron Nelson

           @skottydog  @Aaron  @lilykreitinger  @Skropp  @joelfortner Never too late to join the conversation! Always welcome. :)

        • http://www.bluebridgecomm.com/ JoelFortner

           @Skropp  @selfemployedbob  @CabinetDoork  @lilykreitinger On “owning the moment,” I say this. Don’t aim to own “a” moment, own lots of them. The chance of getting someone to do whatever it is you need them to do (buy/donate) is incredibly low unless they’re a seriously motivated buyer/donor/whatever. People research, read and explore usually before making decisions.  This only increases as decision importance increases. This is why you want to pull people into a deliberate marketing funnel and slowly move them closer to action.  It talk a lot about this in my free ebook – http://bluebridgecomm.com/freemarketingguide. Getting them into your marketing funnel allows you own many moments with them to build trust and rapport, educate them and ultimately motivate them to act.  You can’t do that in a single moment. Make sense?

        • http://eselfemploymentideas.net/ selfemployedbob

           @Aaron Nelson  @lilykreitinger  @Skropp  Umm.  Soon I hope!  Just got debt free, so that helps.  Now, I’m building my platform (yep, I said it).  That will take a little while.   ;)  So, I’m hoping in a year!

        • http://www.bluebridgecomm.com/ JoelFortner

           @selfemployedbob  @Aaron Nelson  @lilykreitinger  @Skropp Congrats on being debt free! FREEEEEEEEEEEEEDOM!!!!!!!

        • http://hardandsimple.blogspot.com/ Skropp

          O@cabinart @Aaron @selfemployedbob @CabinetDoork @lilykreitinger if I could hit the like button 5 or 6 times for this post I probably would haha. I KNOW he’s laughing now!

        • http://hardandsimple.blogspot.com/ Skropp

          @skottydog Always like to make an entrance dont you? Haha

        • http://hardandsimple.blogspot.com/ Skropp

          @JoelFortner @lilykreitinger Joel I love your marketing approach is authentic. What I mean by that is you always come back to the idea that you’re really marketing yourself. Websites, blogs, press releases and even products to an extent, are important, but it all comes down to the personal interaction human to human that matters and ultimately makes the sale. Love it.

        • http://www.lilykreitinger.com/ lilykreitinger

           @skottydog  @Aaron  @lilykreitinger  @Skropp  @joelfortner Feeling better Scott?
           

        • http://www.lilykreitinger.com/ lilykreitinger

           @Aaron Nelson  @Skropp Teaching people how to find a job to love!
           

        • http://epicenterlanguages.com.mx/our-blog Aaron Nelson

           @lilykreitinger  @Skropp Exactly!!! That’s what your blogging voice seems to be. (Partially, anyway.)  Have you done it before?  

        • http://www.bluebridgecomm.com/ JoelFortner

           @Skropp  @JoelFortner  @lilykreitinger Thanks man! You’re kind. I’m glad you picked up on what I’m layin down! For small business entrepreneurs, it’s especially about YOU!

        • http://www.indueseason.net skottydog

           @lilykreitinger  @Aaron  @Skropp  @joelfortner Much, thanks.  Gave up the 3 day juice fast ON day 1, tried again next day, then gave up.  My wife went at it solo, and was miserable the whole time.  It hasn’t been pretty here the last few days, but at least ONE of us has ingested solid food, thank you very much!  (Plus the kids, of course!)
           
          Thanks for asking!
           

        • http://hardandsimple.blogspot.com/ Skropp

          @JoelFortner @selfemployedbob @CabinetDoork @lilykreitinger I’m pickin’ up what you’re layin’ down Joel. Make it about a relationship between you ad your customer. Own a relationship more than a moment

        • http://hardandsimple.blogspot.com/ Skropp

          @selfemployedbob @Aaron Nelson @lilykreitinger Mega congrats on debt free!! Can’t wait to be there myself!!

        • http://hardandsimple.blogspot.com/ Skropp

          @lilykreitinger @Aaron Nelson Hey! What a coinkydink, I’m trying to find a job I love…will you take gum balls as payment?? Haha

        • http://www.bluebridgecomm.com/ JoelFortner

           @Skropp  @JoelFortner  @selfemployedbob  @CabinetDoork  @lilykreitinger Ding! Ding! Ding! You win the giant stuffed bear!!!

        • http://hardandsimple.blogspot.com/ Skropp

          @JoelFortner @selfemployedbob @CabinetDoork @lilykreitinger Oh oh! Can I pay $2 for one more chance, double or nothing for the Ginormous purple dolphin??? Haha

        • http://LouiseThaxton.Net/ LouiseThaxton

           @lilykreitinger  @Skropp Love the book, Platform – have now read it twice – and going back to make more notes!

  • cabinart

    Chris, I hope you get more than just one day off! And THANK YOU for Platform – it came today – very very quickly.

  • Roy

    Party on Chris’s blog!

  • http://www.ricardoequips.com RicardoEquips

    It’s all good!

  • http://specializingintheimpossible.wordpress.com/ Laura Johnson

    Awww, we miss you too :)

  • http://www.smirknewmedia.com/ mkokc

    You know you’re rocking a blog when you have 20+ comments on a blog about there being no blog. 

    • http://epicenterlanguages.com.mx/our-blog Aaron Nelson

       @mkokc The power of community my friend! :) Just feels great to hang out with you all!

    • http://hardandsimple.blogspot.com/ Skropp

      @mkokc Aaron’s right, it’s like @skottydog’s morning coffee…we gotta meet up and hang out! Haha

      • http://epicenterlanguages.com.mx/our-blog Aaron Nelson

         @Skropp  @mkokc Wurd! I would love to hang out with you all over a latte. Entreleadership blog chat. LOL

        • http://hardandsimple.blogspot.com/ Skropp

          @Aaron Nelson @mkokc Ummmmm…I don’t drink coffee, can I just have a blended hot chocolate??

        • http://www.smirknewmedia.com/ mkokc

           @Aaron Nelson  @Skropp Someone tell Chris an Entreleadership blog commentator G+ hangout would be a heck of an idea. :)

        • http://epicenterlanguages.com.mx/our-blog Aaron Nelson

           @mkokc  @Skropp Rootin tootin! Or Skype – whichever way – getting together would be so exciting. Powered up learning experience. :)

        • http://hardandsimple.blogspot.com/ Skropp

          @Aaron Nelson @mkokc The fact that you used the phrase “rootin tootin” totally made my day…

        • http://specializingintheimpossible.wordpress.com/ Laura Johnson

          @Skropp I don’t drink coffee either. Chai latte would be my choice :)

        • http://epicenterlanguages.com.mx/our-blog Aaron Nelson

           @Skropp  @Aaron  @mkokc LOL it just jumped into my head and I felt compelled to say it. :) Glad it made your day!

        • http://www.indueseason.net skottydog

          @Aaron Nelson @Skropp @Aaron @mkokc “The Rootin-Tootin’ Gumball Google Hangout, featuring CLo!”. Sounds like a Beastie Boys song! :)

  • http://www.smokymountainfinancial.com/ Dale Powers

    Never be sorry for taking a day for self-care!  That’s important!  And your “fill in” bloggers in the comments section have done a wonderful job of providing food for thought for the day.  Enjoy your day off!

  • http://www.indueseason.net skottydog

    A day without a post from Chris is like a day without coffee.  Maybe we can re-read Chris’ post ABOUT coffee to get us through until he’s back?   2 birds with 1 stone, right?
     
    http://ChrisLoCurto.com/dude-you-gotta-be-kidding/

    • http://www.lilykreitinger.com lilykreitinger

       @skottydog And I can confirm from personal experience that Dillano’s coffee is superb! And their customer service rocks. 

      • http://hardandsimple.blogspot.com/ Skropp

        @lilykreitinger @skottydog What’s your opinion on their blended hot chocolate??

        • http://specializingintheimpossible.wordpress.com/ Laura Johnson

          @Skropp Are you a chocoholic? ;)

        • http://hardandsimple.blogspot.com/ Skropp

          @Laura Johnson Haha. I do enjoy chocolate…I don’t think I’m to the chocoholic level though…but being LDS I don’t drink coffee or tea, do a blended hot chocolate is my drink of choice at such an establishment…

        • http://www.indueseason.net skottydog

          @Skropp Did not try that one…unless it’s blended with coffee! lol

  • CabinetDoork

    Your readers would want you to not worry about posting while on vacation.  Did you know that some species of sharks must always be in motion?  They need the flow as well as the movement to breathe.  If they stop they die.  That concludes the lesson on oceanic evolutionary biology.  Enjoy the break.

    • http://workshouldnotsuck.com/ Jon Henry

       @CabinetDoork Are you saying Chris is like a shark and if he quits posting he’ll quit breathing? Oh no, what have we done to allow him vacation time?!

      • http://hardandsimple.blogspot.com/ Skropp

        @Jon Henry @CabinetDoork How irresponsible of us!! He could seriously injure himself!! DON’T DO IT CHRIS!!!!

      • CabinetDoork

         @Jon Henry
        LoCurto on vacation & shark biology are two unrelated thoughts.  I can’t be held responsible for anyone drawing a parallel.

        • http://specializingintheimpossible.wordpress.com/ Laura Johnson

          @CabinetDoork @Jon Henry Sorry, that’s what I pictures too! :)

  • http://epicenterlanguages.com.mx/our-blog Aaron Nelson

    So this is off topic, but maybe it’s a good time to ask everyone – I was re-listening to the personal sales podcast today on the way to work. I was thinking about the ‘qualifying’ step in the sales process. 
     
    How do you go about qualifying your prospects? What does that look like in your business? (Hope you don’t mind me asking.)

    • http://www.indueseason.net skottydog

       @Aaron Nelson In my industry, “qualifying” means explaining the MRI or CT exam to the patient.  95% of them DON’T want to be there, so it’s usually a tough audience!

      • http://epicenterlanguages.com.mx/our-blog Aaron Nelson

         @skottydog So qualifying for you means a conversation? Isn’t what you’re saying more about educating the prospect? Very curious about this topic.

        • http://www.indueseason.net skottydog

          @Aaron Nelson Yes, but I’m selling a product that the customer basically has no choice in buying. I can only help them understand how the product works.

          Unless it’s an MRI exam, and they have a pacemaker. Then they don’t qualify!

        • http://hardandsimple.blogspot.com/ Skropp

          @skottydog Ya! Tough situation. Your clients really don’t wanna be clients haha

        • http://www.indueseason.net skottydog

          @Skropp Yeah, hard to argue from a backboard with a neck collar on!

    • http://hardandsimple.blogspot.com/ Skropp

      @Aaron Nelson As I’ve started reading Platform, I’m learning that we ought to have in our minds exactly who our target audience is. I think that’s the main part of qualifying…having before hand determined who is a candidate for what you have. Then just hold up the “picture” of your target client next to the prospective and see if they line up. That’s my thought, right, wrong or indifferent!

      • http://epicenterlanguages.com.mx/our-blog Aaron Nelson

         @Skropp  @Aaron That’s awesome Mark! I liked your idea of having a picture of the prospect in our mind – hold it up to the person in front of you, match? That was great!  

    • tbric1

       @Aaron Nelson Qualifying to me is the educating of the customer about your company, pricing, methods and seeing if they fit into that matrix somewhere.  You want to make sure your customer is able to buy from you, afford what they are purchasing and you making sure you can provide what is requested.

      • http://epicenterlanguages.com.mx/our-blog Aaron Nelson

         @tbric1 Thanks! I like what you said here – helpful. “You want to make sure your customer is able to buy from you, afford what they are purchasing and you making sure you can provide what is requested.” So qualifying can also be in reverse – to see if you are able to provide what they are looking for. Nice. 

    • http://eselfemploymentideas.net/ selfemployedbob

       @Aaron Nelson Hey Aaron!  Just throwing my 2 cents in here.  I see qualifying your prospects as just figuring out whether or not they have a need for what you have to sell.  You can do this with market research, conversation, or numerous other methods, depending on your business.  This also means finding out whether or not they have the power to make the buying decision (really important).
       
      As for the education part; you should always make sure they are a qualified buyer before you start “educating” them.  If you don’t do that, then you will turn them off.  Like selling a pencil to someone that really needs a pen.
       
      I see this as basically asking a lot of questions without trying to be too leading.  Once you have the right signals, then you can begin to show them how your product can fill their void and make them feel better about life (features & benefits).
       
      By the way, in my field, this is done over a period of weeks, months, & sometimes years.
       
      I sell steel. ;)

      • http://epicenterlanguages.com.mx/our-blog Aaron Nelson

         @selfemployedbob Thank you for your great input! I think we could have similar pipelines – often my qualifying to closure timeline is anywhere from 6 months to over a year. (We help business people speak English fearlessly. Mexico City.)
         
        In fact, I’ve found that companies who jump onboard in less time tend to be worse clients. The longer they take, the better and more loyal they seem to be. (My longest standing clients have been with me 6+ years.) 
         
        A few questions for you, if you don’t mind: 
        Do you have a polite way of asking someone: Are you the decision maker? Do you have the budget for this? 
         
        How do you go about filling your pipeline for future sales? 

        • http://hardandsimple.blogspot.com/ Skropp

          @Aaron Nelson @selfemployedbob A great way Ive heard to ask someone of they’re the decision maker is before you begin your presentation say something like, “now if you see value in what I show ou, is there anyone else we need to talk to before we can get started?”
          Yes: they aren’t the decision maker
          No: you found the decision maker!

        • http://eselfemploymentideas.net/ selfemployedbob

           @Aaron Nelson  Cool biz!  Sounds challenging!
           
          “Do I have a polite way of asking someone: Are you the decision maker?”
           
          No matter who I speak with, even the receptionist, I try to take time to chat with them.  Sometimes they will volunteer that info and much more. Other times, I have to ask them simply, so….what do you do here? and follow with a bunch of questions.  Or Wow, you wear a lot of hats, is there anything you don’t do?  No matter what, I try to find some common ground and make them feel good about themselves without being cheesy.  I want them to think we are on the same level and that I care, even if they only answer the phones.  It’s a little slower, but guaranteed to build better long-term relationships.
           
          “Do you have the budget for this?
           
          This is tricky!  Especially since you may have to convince someone that they need to make this a priority in their business.  Not sure if I’d be asking that question directly?
           
          “How do you go about filling your pipeline for future sales?”
           
          I’m always on the hunt for prospects.  It’s just in my nature to look for the shiny objects.  This is a tough one to answer without getting into the details of your business.  I would probably lean on referrals if you don’t have a good lead source.
           
          Hope that helps!  No habla Espanol!

        • http://epicenterlanguages.com.mx/our-blog Aaron Nelson

           @selfemployedbob LOL thanks man, this was helpful and informative. And LOL que no hablas Espanol. Esta bien. We could help you with that if you have Spanish speaking clients ;)   
           
          Budget qualifying: I wouldn’t ask outright either. That’s a bit nosey to me. But maybe that would sort of come up as you get to know the folks you’re talking to.
           
          I too spend a lot of time getting to know the receptionists. Down here – not sure about up there – but down here, they tend to be powerful gatekeeprs. If you get them as your friend – you’ve done yourself and your company a big favor. 

        • http://eselfemploymentideas.net/ selfemployedbob

           @Aaron Nelson Ha!  Nice!  I work for a French Canadian company.  And Oui, je parle Francias!
           
          Yep, gatekeepers.  Although, I’ve found that nowadays, everyone is a gatekeeper!  Nobody wants to be sold to!
           
          It sounds like you really have to know your market or your could spin your wheels a lot.
           
          Have you thought about using Google adwords to drive certain searches to a simple landing page with an incentive for their email?  It’s probably affordable if you focus on certain keywords in a local market.  I’m just thinking it would be nice for them to come to you?  Just a thought.

        • http://epicenterlanguages.com.mx/our-blog Aaron Nelson

           @selfemployedbob It’s a good thought! I think my company needs to be better at using the internet to draw traffic and leads.
           
          I do find myself spinning my wheels a lot – right now is one of those times.
           
          We are working hard to fill our pipeline though, and we do have prospects who seem to be interested…but alas….we must wait things out, and keep lining prospects up for the future keeping in mind the slow conversion rate we seem to have. But I like your net idea. I think I’ll look into that. Thanks!

      • cabinart

         @selfemployedbob Sometimes I sell pencils! 8-)

    • http://www.lilykreitinger.com lilykreitinger

       @Aaron Nelson  I’ve wondered about that too.  Joel is the marketing expert, but I think once you have a well-defined product you find ways to make it accessible to those who have a need for it.  Back to my farm-fresh products.  I advertise on the classifieds at work and I give a good description:  fresh eggs from home-grown, cage-free chickens. From the coop to your table in 24 hours.  I know there are a lot of “foodies” at work, so this product is really appealing to them.  They find me, I explain how to handle them, deliver to their desk and charge $3.50 a dozen.   This same product will not appeal to a thrifty mom of four who clips coupons and just wants a dozen eggs for 50 cents.  Does this make sense?  Dont’ pitch your product to people that you know will not buy into it unless you really push it, which would be poor sales skills.  Great topic Aaron!

      • http://epicenterlanguages.com.mx/our-blog Aaron Nelson

         @lilykreitinger I like this. You gotta know and go to your target market. You also have to know how is NOT your target so you don’t end up being pushy. Like. 

        • http://www.bluebridgecomm.com/ JoelFortner

           @Aaron Nelson Hey man! You lots of great advice on qualifying prospects. I’ll summarize it all by saying you want to know if the person has the time, money, need and power to make a decision.  You learn all of this by asking question and listening. The key is being intentional about qualifying leads. You should go into a conversation thinking, “I’m qualifying a lead.  I need to ask questions to find out if they have the time, money, need and power to decide this.”

    • cabinart

       @Aaron Nelson One of my main art marketing “gurus” is Jack White. He tells artists to never “sight qualify” customers when doing an art fair. He warns us that people can look dreadful and have tons of money to spend.
       
      In that context, qualifying a prospect seems to mean learning and deciding if they are a likely customer or just a time and energy waster. It seems to match up with @tbric1 ‘s comment/reply.

    • rlawrencejr

       @Aaron Nelson Aaron, I was going to respond to your question, but selfemployedbob nailed the answer!

  • http://epicenterlanguages.com.mx/our-blog Aaron Nelson

    Have a wonderful vacation man! 

  • http://hardandsimple.blogspot.com/ Skropp

    Must be a pretty crazy vacation!! Haha. Ok everyone, convo topic? What do you do to get over a fear that’s holding you back? (just a thought, throw out another if you have one…)

    • http://epicenterlanguages.com.mx/our-blog Aaron Nelson

       @Skropp Getting over a fear that holds you back? 
      Sometimes you have to be in enough discomfort or pain or frustration to force yourself to face it. The weird thing: sometimes we just get used to being held back, so we decide to do nothing. Conformity sets in. 
       
      The point: maybe facing fears is realizing that where we are sucks, and where we want to go or be is REALLY where we want to go and be. 

      • http://hardandsimple.blogspot.com/ Skropp

        @Aaron Nelson Oooh, I like that Aaron! It’s always been weird to me that you can be afraid of success, which I think I struggle with. Success brings tons of things that push you out of your comfort zone!

        • http://epicenterlanguages.com.mx/our-blog Aaron Nelson

           @Skropp  @Aaron It’s Michael Hyatt that’s always saying that the solution to our current problems is usually outside our comfort zone. In other words: we have to grow to solve stuff. I like that too. :)

        • http://specializingintheimpossible.wordpress.com/ Laura Johnson

          @Skropp “success brings tons of things that push you out of your comfort zone” Too true!!

    • http://workshouldnotsuck.com/ Jon Henry

       @Skropp I’d say you don’t. Fear will always be there, part of biology and design by God. Making the decision to which voice you will listen to will keep you from being held back.
       
      John Nash, Nobel Prize winner in economics (played by Russel Crowe in “A Beautiful Mind”) struggled with schizophrenia as an adult. His son also struggled with it too. Ignoring the voices are what helped him overcome the pretty serious mental illness. These are his words:
       
      =======
      “Initially I did not hear any voices. Some years went by before I heard voices and — I became first disturbed in 1959, and I didn’t hear voices until the summer of 1964 I think, but then after that, I heard voices, and then I began arguing with the concept of the voices.
       
      And ultimately I began rejecting them and deciding not to listen, and, of course, my son has been hearing voices, and if he can progress to the state of rejecting them, he can maybe come out of his mental illness.
      The consequence of rejecting the voices is ultimately not hearing the voices.”
      ========
       
      Same thing with fear I think: the consequences of rejecting the self-talk and fear that hold you back is ultimately not being held back.
       
      Of course, all I can think about is Gollum in the Lord of The Rings… “leave now, and never come back!” And for some reason, that is stuck in my head and won’t go away!
       

      • http://hardandsimple.blogspot.com/ Skropp

        @Jon Henry Man, thanks for sharing Jon! I love that line, “ignoring the voices means not hearing the voices”. What I got from your post is fear is managed, not banished.

      • http://epicenterlanguages.com.mx/our-blog Aaron Nelson

         @Jon Henry  @Skropp Wow! I love this man! We are totally able and capable of commanding our minds. We are what we think about. Tell me what you’re thinking about today, and I’ll tell you who you’re becoming. That can be used for us or against us. 

        • http://hardandsimple.blogspot.com/ Skropp

          @Aaron Nelson @Jon Henry Ok Aaron, I’ll bite, I’m thinking of a grilled cheese sandwich… What am I becoming??

        • http://specializingintheimpossible.wordpress.com/ Laura Johnson

          @Skropp Not a vegan

        • http://www.lilykreitinger.com lilykreitinger

           @Skropp  @Aaron  @Jon 

        • http://www.lilykreitinger.com lilykreitinger

           @Skropp  @Aaron  @Jon Sniff and Scurry… or Hem and Haw?

        • http://hardandsimple.blogspot.com/ Skropp

          @Laura Johnson Winner winner chicken dinner! (which would also make me not a vegan…haha)

    • CabinetDoork

       @Skropp
      Fear?  Oh, there’s a thin line between healthy and unhealthy levels of fear.  I hope this helps:  http://jeremycarver.me/2012/01/10/fear-of-success/

      • http://hardandsimple.blogspot.com/ Skropp

        @CabinetDoork Dang it jeremy! You keep suggesting good blog posts I’ll be spending more time reading ours than writing mine!! Haha. Thanks. I’ll take a look at it today!

    • http://www.lilykreitinger.com lilykreitinger

       @Skropp FEAR = False Evidence Appearing Real…  We tell ourselves a bunch of things that can go wrong.  Remember my scuba diving story? I’m afraid of drowning and I don’t know how to swim.  I took a 45 min lesson in a pool and I sucked up the oxygen tank dry in 35 mins.  Rationally there was nothing to fear, the instructor was there, I had the right equipment and I was in a swimming pool.  I’m glad I did it, but it was really hard.  My brain has been trained to fear a situation which otherwise was in a controlled environment.  Apply this to any situation. Fear can be paralyzing or it can be motivating.

      • http://epicenterlanguages.com.mx/our-blog Aaron Nelson

         @lilykreitinger  @Skropp ” FEAR = False Evidence Appearing Real…” now that is some good burnt rice!!!!! 

        • http://www.lilykreitinger.com lilykreitinger

           @Aaron Nelson  @lilykreitinger  @Skropp I taught that to Zig Ziglar :D
           

        • cabinart

           @lilykreitinger  My art marketing “guru” Jack White uses that acronym – never heard it from anyone else before!   

      • http://hardandsimple.blogspot.com/ Skropp

        @lilykreitinger Oooh, “fear can be paralyzingly or it can be motivating”… Certainly a piece of burnt rice :)

    • http://specializingintheimpossible.wordpress.com/ Laura Johnson

      @Skropp I think the phrase has been mentioned before: It. Do. Just.

  • http://www.lilykreitinger.com lilykreitinger

    We’ll miss you, but we’ll survive!  Enjoy your vacation and we look forward to tomorrow’s post.  I’m enjoying Platform.  THANKS!!!

    • http://hardandsimple.blogspot.com/ Skropp

      @lilykreitinger Hey, IM enjoying platform too :)

  • tbric1

    Have a great vacation!