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Video: Profit First

Ready to be wildly successful and make meaningful profit? Pay yourself first and rekindle the joy you had when first starting your business.

Productivity expert Cathy Sexton turns conventional accounting practices on their head and helps people get real about the need to make profit first as a business owner. She addresses the necessary process for creating profit and collecting it no matter what your income, in order to experience sustainable and increasing success.

In this presentation, Cathy provides key insights from the book Profit First by Mike Michalowicz, whose information provided her a major money mind-shift and increased improvement in her business. She read the book over a weekend and touched upon the following:

  1. How to make profit and owner’s pay immediately on day one
  2. How and why to look at expenses as investments designed to create an ROI for you
  3. Why we will get the same results if we don’t change our thinking and behaving around conventional accounting practices because they are based on a broken formula
  4. Awareness of Parkinson’s law; the ways in which our demand upon a resource tends to expand the amount of that resource;
  5. How we approach our resources such as time, energy and money; what we have, we spend without consideration of all needs.
  6. How to set up your banking accounts so your financial processes allow you to make a habit out of taking profit first when you receive income.
  7. Tips on how to slowly implement a bi-monthly, quarterly and yearly process including use of multiple banks and accounts so money is not easy to manage and preserve.

Cathy’s personal stories and engaging examples help the viewer understand that even the most practical among us need to question the conventional way we have approached money and make significant changes so that profit is a reality and a stabilizing factor in your life and business. Cathy Sexton is founder and CEO of The Productivity Experts and a nationally recognized expert and speaker on productivity. To gain further support and information, contact Cathy at cathy@theproductivityexperts.com or 314 267-3969

Video: Patterns and Problem Solving for Life and Business

E4e experts are known for helping each other so no one is flying alone. Steve Smart, marketing strategist needed a plan and someone to support him through the process of eating healthy and losing weight. In this presentation, the following seven principles were employed to help Steve meet his health goals. Along with Steve, wellness expert Dr. Dan Fazio used the same to grow his business exponentially. For these and any other problems you may be facing consider each:

  1. Be willing to think differently and take a new approach
  2. Establish relationships with reliable sources of information, caring experts who help you get through the tough spots
  3. Apply a sustainable pattern
  4. Measure what you can
  5. Celebrate your successes
  6. Stay accountable
  7. Raise the bar

Dan helped Steve lose 49 pounds by helping him to eat an anti-inflammatory diet. Both provided specific details about the approach, timeline and support mechanisms that brought about this positive outcome.

What their successful teamwork proved is that working in partnership and friendship, in which emotional, intellectual and physical support is plentiful, brings about positive results. In this presentation, both Dan and Steve share personal, true stories in which they achieve phenomenal results using the 7 principles provided as guidelines for effective problem-solving in life and work.

Steve Smart provides excellence in marketing strategy. Do you need a new strategy to ensure success from your marketing efforts? If so, reach out to Steve Smart at srsmart@2qsolutions.net. He specializes in helping clients create systems that work best, in order to help them meet and exceed their business goals. Dr. Dan Fazio is a wellness expert specializing in the proactive creation of health and the prevention of disease. To get direct support from Dr. Fazio, email him at danielfaziodc@gmail.com or call him at 636-227-4442.

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Work Team Development

Successful supervisors influence team members to do things because they “want to,” ‘like to’ and are ‘capable to.’ They help each feel useful and contributing.

In order to develop an effective work team, those in leadership must understand the role of individual private logic (also called paradigm) for how each person sees the world and their role in it. Additionally, leaders must consider how best to influence each team member so they are effective in gaining their willing participation.

Sales and management expert Bill Prenatt shares the wisdom of Steven Covey plus his own experiences and observations on recognizing, respecting and relating well to direct reports who require guidance to fully engage and contribute in your working team in a responsible, productive manner. The following are important to consider when influencing your team members so they mesh well and support the success of all.

Perceptions and Paradigms
We all experience the world in different ways. People are not motivated by facts, but by assumptions – what they believe the facts to be. Our assumptions arise from our experience, our paradigms.

Every normal person craves direction, and a sense of dignity and purpose. Our basic drive is to protect what we perceive to be in our own best interest. We do what someone asks because we will realize personal gain.

Successful supervisors influence people to do things because they want to. The interaction provides a perspective that re-defines the environment into one where people ‘like to do’ and are ‘capable of to do,’ with supervisors helping each person feel useful and contributing.

Supervisors have an opportunity and an obligation to ‘identify and influence people who need their guidance. The role of the supervisor is to clearly define critical issues, plan out how to overcome problems, resolve frustrations, and eliminate or reduce waste, leaving people free to enrich their lives and achieve their goals.

Paradigms and Patterns
Supervision has its roots in the understanding that people, as the principal asset, are the catalyst that make things move. Supervisors create and provide the conditions in which each individual member and the team collectively, can be successful. They call forth each person’s potential by demonstrating faith they can excel when managed properly. In contrast, an authority merely provides a supervisor with the right to expect certain standards of performance.

By the time a person gets to be a supervisor, he/she has spent a lifetime developing specific patterns of thinking and behaving. Each of us likes our ideas of how things should be done and changing our minds can be a problem. We develop a comfort zone. Behavior patterns are buried deep and do not change quickly. These patterns become so fixed they legitimately can be called a second nature. Then behavior plays out naturally without conscious thought because it has been reinforced over a lifetime.

Organizations and companies become fixed in this way too. They have developed a culture that works on its members silently. Then this too becomes second nature to all within its walls. All the traditions, preceding practices, norms, standards, habits, rituals, attitudes and expectations that have evolved over many years, have been woven into how everyone thinks, feels, speaks and acts.

These two factors; the supervisor’s personal patterns and the organization’s culture have a powerful effect on change.

Patterns and Persuasion
Our paradigm is the way we see the world – perceiving, understanding, and interpreting it; in a sense our paradigm is our map.

Each of us has many maps in our head. Maps of the way things are (realities) and maps of the way we should be (values). We interpret everything we experience through these mental maps. We seldom question their accuracy; and we’re usually unaware we have them. We assume the way we see things is the way they really are, and the way they should be. And our attitudes and behaviors grow out of those assumptions. The way we see things is the source for the way we think and then act.

Conditioning has a powerful effect on our perceptions. We have a lifetime of conditioning – family, school, church, work culture, friends, associates, and current social paradigms. All have made their silent unconscious impact on us and help shape our frame of reference, our paradigms; our maps.

These paradigms are the source of our attitudes and behaviors. As clearly and objectively as we think we see things, we come to realize that others see them differently, and from their own apparently equally clear and objective point of view.

Each of us tends to think we see things as they are; that we are objective. This is not the case. We see the world not as it is, but as we are -- or, as we are conditioned to see it. When we open our mouths to describe what we see, we in effect describe ourselves, and our perceptions. This is the power of our paradigm. When other people disagree with us, we immediately think something is wrong with them. In reality, each of us sees things differently, each looking through the unique lens of experience.

Trying to change outward attitudes and behaviors does little good in the long run if we fail to examine the basic paradigms from which our attitudes and behaviors flow.

The more aware we are of basic paradigms, maps, or assumptions, and the extent to which we have been influenced by our experiences, the more we can take responsibility for our paradigms, examine them, test them against reality, listen to others, and be open to their perceptions too, thereby getting a larger picture and a far more objective view.

Persuasion and Paradigm Shifts
Paradigm shifts move us from one way of seeing the world to another. Whether paradigm shifts are in a positive or a negative direction, whether they are instantaneous or incremental, they create powerful change. Our paradigms, correct or incorrect, source our attitudes and behaviors, and ultimately our relationships with others. If we want to make relatively minor changes in our lives, we can perhaps appropriately focus on our attitudes and behaviors. But if we want to make significant, quantum change, we need to work on our basic paradigms. Until we change our basic paradigms, we are unable to create quantum change in our situation or ourselves.

Many people experience a fundamental shift in thinking when they have a life-threatening crisis and suddenly see their priorities in a different light, or when they suddenly step into a new role, such as that of husband or wife, parent or grandparent, or into the new role as a supervisor. Paradigms are powerful because they create the lens through which we see the world. The power of a paradigm shift is the essential driver of quantum change, whether the shift is instantaneous or a slow deliberate process.

In all of life, there are sequential stages of growth and development. A child learns to turn over, to sit up, to crawl, and then to walk and run. Each step is important and each one takes time. No step can be skipped.

Paradigm Shifts and Principles
This is true in all phases of life. To understand and accept these principles can be difficult. Consequently, we sometimes look for a shortcut, expecting to be able to skip vital developmental steps in order to save time and effort while still reaping the desired result. It is simply impossible to violate, ignore, or shortcut the development process. It is contrary to nature, and attempting to seek such a shortcut only results in disappointment and frustration.

To relate effectively, we must learn to listen. This requires emotional strength. Listening involves patience, openness, and the desire to understand – highly developed qualities of character. It’s so much easier to operate from a low emotional level while giving high-level advice.

Our levels of development physically are fairly obvious, but not so concerning character and emotional/social development. We can ‘pose and put on’ socially for a stranger or an associate. We can pretend. And for a while we may get by with it – at least in public. We may even deceive ourselves. Deep down inside, most of us know the truth of who we really are and many others can discern this too.

Principles and Positive Change
In today’s complex and demanding business environment, we need to solve chronic underlying problems and focus on principles that bring long-term results. Utilizing Coaching as a valuable tool is one step closer toward being an effective supervisor.

Taken from “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen R. Covey.

PARADIGM SHIFTS

Video: Strategic Bartering

Barter can extend our cash reserves, increase our spending capacity, and help us attract new customers and opportunities.

Barter expert and author Karen Hoffman shares over 20 years of experience, including national and international perspectives on bartering. In her presentation and her book, The Art of Barter, she describes trades of just a few dollars up to those involving millions of dollars. While most people are comfortable using cash, layaway, credit cards or borrowing from a bank or family, she describes the many ways bartering can impacts our lives and can minimize use of cash and stretch the assets we have all while attracting new customers and opportunities.

In her presentation, Karen clarifies:

  • Ways we barter - direct one-on-one, a broker or barter company, trade dollars
  • Reasons we barter – to increase cash reserves, gain new customers
  • What we barter – goods, services, benefits
  • How to identify trade-worthy products or services
  • Communications when we barter – the importance of clarity and structure
  • Timing - when to introduce barter
  • Why to barter – incentives, networking, stretch goals and giving to the community

Making the impossible possible is a trademark of Karen Hoffman, often referred to as the queen of possibilities. In this presentation, she demonstrates the power of creating opportunities where they are typically not unrecognized.

Karen Hoffman is founder of Gateway to Dreams, an organization designed to connect and promote people so they can live their dreams and provide their valuable services to the world. Call her today at 314.503.6376 or email her at Karen@cityofexperts.com

Video: Marketing and Operations are Connected

Marketing expert Steve Smart turns chaos into order by helping business owners become profitable by focusing on what customers want and delivering it to them

Marketing expert Steve Smart is fired up when he can help turn chaos into order and help business owners become more profitable through creating structure around their content and processes. He opens this powerful program by stating that marketing and operations are strongly tied together. He asks the audience this rhetorical question, “What is marketing?” After offering several definitions, he suggests the following as useful to remember, “Marketing is everything involved in successfully taking your product to market.” It’s finding what people want and delivering it to them. He suggests a shift in perspective is needed.

Steve Smart reminds the audience that ideal marketing provides leads, then revenue and then profits. He says in order for this to happen it’s important to think of marketing holistically so that you attract leads, close sales, and make sure you are satisfying customers throughout the entire buying and service continuum.

Operations are inter-related to marketing because they intersect through:

  • Touch-points – these include every point of contact you have with your customers. Customers make choices based on how you impress them. You are always modifying, informing or reinforcing your impression on them. The related points of contact are important – they might include the product itself, the packaging, the billing process, and all phases od service. Ideally your touch-points help your clients feel a closer connection to you, making it more likely they will be loyal to you, refer you and make another purchase with you. In order to create operational touch-points effectively, you need to think of all the different ways you interact with customers, and then make one or more people responsible for each touch-point. You want to have consistent processes around this and be intentional for how you deliver on your brand promise.
  • Culture – this includes employees, customers and vendors. When you have a value-based culture where people understand the purpose for creating an experience at each touch-point, values customer satisfaction and embraces shared ideas, there will be greater creativity and collaboration on succeeding with your brand. Everyone shares, validates and executes on ideas, helping each your company to become productive and profitable.
  • Cross-functional teamwork – people outside your actual marketing department matter too. Together you communicate in word and deed a stronger vision, a better culture, and greater collaboration, enabling people to enjoy making contributions and creating buy-in. Other team members’ help you execute on new ideas and they have a fresh perspective to offer.

Steve Smart ends his presentation emphasizing the need to live your brand promise internally as well as externally. Intentionality helps everyone play a part of the process to deliver on the brand promise. You will be most successful if you put a structure in place to identify a list of all touch points and make sure everyone involved shares ideas, provides input and gets feedback afterwards to strengthen your values and service.

Steve Smart is helpful and believes in high customer satisfaction. He’s an expert at purpose and value-based marketing. Need help with your marketing efforts? Reach out to Steve Smart at srsmart@2qsolutions.net

Video: Effective Workplace Culture

Chris Torbit is a successful business owner with a growing, thriving business. He walks the talk, making culture and guiding principles a priority. He shares many stories about how he defines, clarifies and keeps his culture statement front and center with not only himself and his employees, he shares them with vendors and clients. In his presentation:

  • How to get started – clarify why you are here (mission), who you are (values) and how you express your mission through your vision
  • The importance of sharing with everyone your values and principles so you are matched
  • Spending time with staff to review purpose and values
  • Talk about mission and values at performance time
  • Firing clients and employees when their behavior is not aligned with the guiding principles
  • Distinguish your company by discussing your values-based approach
  • Reinforcing behaviors and values with actions and events
  • Expect resistance but stay the course with passion and purpose

Chris Torbit is a consummate professional who is wise enough to know that business is more than sales and marketing. He knows that having a values-based and purpose-driven business is key to sustainable and effective growth. To learn more about great business strategy or for help in selecting the best in phone technology, contact Chris Torbit at 314-801-6700.

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Video: What Signals Do You Send and Receive?

Communication is critical to how we influence people, get things done and is at the heart of issues and how we resolve them.

Ann Prenatt is a Human Resources professional and communications expert with many years of experience. She connects the quality of communications to the effects created. Through personal stories and audience interactions she helps all to remember what it is like when communications are delivered through impersonal of means or conducted without mindful intention. Ann Prenatt shares practical reasons why attention to our communication and use of personal influence is critical to the overcoming of challenges and the accomplishment of goals. Her presentation includes:

  • Three primary principles of effective communications related to knowing what you want to create, how you and others behave, and how well you listen
  • The challenges and setbacks of technological communications
  • Seven key levels of communication
  • Examples of inconsistent signals being sent that are more powerful than any words
  • Reflective questions to ask yourself to determine if you are engaged in communication that is getting you the results you desire
  • Roadblocks to avoid when listening
  • A way to determine your ability to influence others effectively
  • Four quadrants outlining how to respond to specific behaviors so you are effective in reading between the lines so you manage relationships effectively
  • The platinum rule in which interest in others is more important than self-interest
  • Reasons to reflect on the connection between results when communicating so you gain clarity and make positive changes based on what you want

How people feel in a relationship with you dictates how they will react to you. in order to create positive feelings with others, Ann Prenatt is highly qualified to help each viewer make it their business to own their results and take responsibility to change them if they want new ones. For human resource management assistance or help in building strong, caring relationships, contact Ann at abp01@charter.net

Video: Removing Barriers to Peak Performance

Many of our beliefs are faulty and therefore impede and block us in achieving peak performance. Learn how to overcome barriers to your success.

Stephen Hager is an expert on practical neuroscience and how to apply it to address barriers that originate from inside our brain, which is a vault of stored information. Many of the beliefs stored there are faulty and impede and block us in achieving our greatest potential. Luckily there are ways to recognize and overcome these barriers. In this presentation, Stephen focuses viewers on:

  • Strategies to recognize and diminish negative limiting beliefs
  • Shifting yourself into higher, positive emotional states
  • Characteristics of various parts of the brain and how to access the brain state where barriers are overcome
  • Identification of a performance target and how to create a series of thoughts that make the achievement of your outcome likely
  • Getting rid of negative programming and barriers to peak performance
  • Thinking and speaking about what you want instead of what you don’t want

Stephen Hager is owner of Neuidentity, a training and consulting firm. You can reach him by visiting his website: www.neuidentity.com or calling him at (618) 786-2837

Video: Higher Prices For Premium Service

Dale Furtwengler, expert pricing and business strategist helps companies get higher prices regardless of what their competitors or the economy are doing. In this presentation, he begins by exploring why most people are skeptical and afraid to ask for good prices and make decisions based on long-standing but faulty assumptions. He discusses the concept of pricing elasticity in which it is believed that lower prices net greater sales. He provides valuable insights about:

  • Questions business owners’ should focus on: Instead of asking, “how low must we set our prices to get high volume sales”, ask, “how do we make price irrelevant to our clients?”
  • Consider what’s really happening: Using a case study on two high pricing companies and two low pricing companies during the worst economic times, Dale debunks the notion that higher prices lead to lower sales and shows instead that raising prices (along with perceived and real value) lead to higher sales.
  • What to do to get greater sales: Dale guides the viewer to next steps and how to tilt the business playing field in one’s favor so they can get premium prices for their products and services.

Dale Furtwengler is the author of the internationally acclaimed books, Pricing for Profit, Become a Maverick, Grow Your Business Using the Unconventional Strategies of World Class Companies, Lead a Life of Confidence and The Uniqueness Myth. His company, Furtwengler & Associates, Inc., helps companies get higher prices regardless of what their competitors or the economy are doing. For more pricing/branding/marketing/sales tips visit his website, PricingForProfitBook.com

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Video: How to Maximize the Use of Social Media

Social media expert Karen Fox provides information about how to maximize your marketing strength through strategic use of social media. The reminds viewers that 92% of people trust their friends, family and consumer reviews more than the 13% who are influenced by generic advertising. Karen helps business owners remember that social media is priceless but not free because it takes time and energy to engage in it effectively. Business owners must understand why they should devote resources and have a specific strategy for how social media fits into an overall marketing strategy.

Some of the valuable information in her presentation includes:

  • Netting a return on influence by creating strong relationships with people who come to know, like and trust you
  • Crucial statistics on a variety of social media outlets
  • Determining logistics such as best times and days to post and how many posts are ideal
  • Leveraging lesser-known social media platforms
  • How to use social media schedulers to support regular exposure
  • Statistics on a range of generational habits on social media
  • How and why to use hashtags
  • How to create a meaningful initial introduction leveraging profiles and cover photos
  • The difference between recommendations and endorsements and how to use them
  • The type of content you use and how to engage in relationships rather than just “drive by” social media tactics

Social media is no longer an option for your business. It plays a major role in shaping your business reputation and perceptions about your credibility. If you don’t think you have time to implement a social media strategy, outsource this very important business strategy to Karen Fox at Karen@karentheconnector.com or check out her website www.karentheconnector.com

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Video: Think Contrary to Attract Opportunities

Dale Furtwengler is an innovative and insightful thinker who delights in discovering buried treasure at every turn, simply because he refuses to be limited by conventional ways of thinking that often blind many to opportunities right in front of them. The focus of his presentation is on how to use a contrarian mindset to think innovative thoughts in order to attract customers rather than continue chasing after them.

Dale establishes the importance of positioning yourself as a person who regularly offers a fresh, new perspective so you are perceived as an expert and are credited with wisdom, which then brings opportunities your way. He stresses contrarian mental disciplines such as:

  1. Understanding and addressing contributory negligence – Dale presents the concept that each person benefits by looking for their contribution to every problem they face. When we admit our mistakes, we see a lot more opportunity for solving problems. This means I acknowledge my mistakes or my part.
  2. Realizing that persuasion is a myth - We can’t persuade people. We can shine a light on new information and use a context they can relate to, and validate their own information so they can persuade themselves. We do this by avoiding rigid statements because they only build defenses.
  3. Suspending judgment - bias limits potential opportunities and solutions. Practice avoiding the creation of resistance.
  4. Looking for and finding similarities - 95% of people see differences and only 5% see similarities. When you do this, you become valuable to others because you can meet their bids to be accepted and understood. Our subconscious has the ability to solve problems. When your subconscious recognizes relevance, similarities, you more quickly know how to get to the next solution.
  5. Adopting a contrarian mindset - you help people see the other side of group think. You offer another perspective. By questioning thinking, you open up greater realms of possibility otherwise not found.
  6. Developing an eclectic education - When you are able to learn to think broadly, you make more connections, can relate to more perspectives and gain greater credibility
  7. Evaluating opportunities – By staying open, opportunities come to you at a rate you never envisioned. Questions can be, “What’s really involved in the process? Am I committed to do this? What impact will this have on my family? How do I recover?” As you are working with clients, what type of feedback and challenges do you face?

Dale Furtwengler is author of the internationally acclaimed book, Pricing for Profit. His company, Furtwengler & Associates, Inc., helps companies get higher prices regardless of what their competitors or the economy are doing. For more pricing/branding/marketing/sales tips visit his website, PricingForProfitBook.com

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Tips to Improve Conversions with Improved Calls to Action

A lot of time and effort is used to attract a user to your website. Once they are there, the next challenge is to get them to spend time to hear your message and view your content. In the end, none of it matters if the users will not take action after the fact. This in and of itself can be a challenge, but creating a compelling call to action can have a persuasive effect on your audience. Follow these tips to strengthen the power of your calls to action (CTA).

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Video: Why Engage in Speaking and Coaching?

Cathy Sexton, national speaker, teacher, coach and recognized expert on productivity topics, provides first-hand experience and lessons-learned about the benefits for finding and delivering speaking engagements and what to do to attract and find great opportunities. Cathy shares that the majority of her business, including her coaching and training come as a result of her speaking engagements. You may want to make money, make a positive impact, get exposure or gain credibility. In this video presentation, Cathy provides insights on:

  • Reasons and benefits for choosing to engage in public speaking
  • The type and number of topics to deliver so you become known as an expert
  • How to target your ideal audience and where to find them
  • What financial arrangements are possible? Are you paying to speak or earning income?
  • The importance of identifying associations to approach
  • Determining the right role to contact within an organization
  • Having tools and being prepared for when someone calls to hire you
  • Various ways to get the phone to ring
  • Finding the people who book speakers within your target market and how to best get in front of them
  • Speakers associations, bureaus and other support systems for honing skills and getting hired
  • Ways to use social media and your website to promote your speaking and coaching
  • What type of content to deliver and how to keep it fresh and updated

Cathy Sexton is founder and CEO of The Productivity Experts and is a nationally recognized expert and speaker on productivity. To gain further support and information, contact Cathy at cathy@theproductivityexperts.com or 314 267-3969

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Video: Immune System Optimization

Our bodies are amazingly capable of maintaining and restoring our good health, especially when we make good choices to support our wellness.

With wit and intelligence, Dr. Dan Fazio provides in-depth understanding of how our body has built-in mechanisms that support our optimal health. This video on our immune systems creates awareness concerning what we can do to be in harmony with and support of our body’s highest functioning. In this presentation, he covers the:

  • Purpose of our immune system
  • Difference between innate and adaptive immunity
  • Effectiveness of flu vaccines and pharmacology vs. holistic measures
  • Conditions that make invite a virus and those that discourage them
  • Difference between a cold and the flu
  • Role of vitamins and hormones in the immunity process
  • Harmfulness of using antibiotics to combat viruses
  • Ways the body responds negatively to stress and over-consumption of sugars
  • Actions we can take when we start to have symptoms of a virus

Dr. Dan Fazio is a chiropractor and wellness expert specializing in the proactive creation of health and prevention of disease. To get direct support from Dr. Fazio, email him at danielfaziodc@gmail.com or call him at 636-227-4442

Video: The Gateway to Dreams

Have a dream you’ve always wanted to fulfill but felt was impossible? Don’t be too hasty giving up on it…

Dream Champion, Queen of Possibilities, and Innovator Karen Hoffman has always looked for systems to help people discover possibilities not seen at first glance by the majority of people. She encourages viewers by her magical stories about:

  • Finding money for people who are not normally able to find it
  • Engaging in deeply satisfying exchanges of energy and services through barter
  • Reviewing and choosing new and often better life priorities by rallying and leveraging leveraging personal setbacks and crisis
  • Living from what you enjoy doing and being who you are unconditionally
  • Powerful books with game-changer and life-enhancing themes
  • Recognizing and seizing opportunities life presents even if they seem to big and scare you
  • Generosity and friendship that magnifies success and progress
  • Dreams currently being actualized due to collaboration and commitment

As founder of Gateway to Dreams, Karen Hoffman continues helping people to achieve rapid fulfillment of their dreams through relationships and collaboration. She provides the space, the connections, the ideas, the enthusiasm and proven processes for making positive dreams happen. You can contact Karen at Karen@cityofexperts.com

How do you determine your customer’s needs?

Want to give great service? One way is to quickly identify your customer’s challenges, priorities and needs.

Our panel of experts answers the question: How do you determine your customer’s needs?

From our Experts:

Brian Lunt

I take time to have a personal conversation and get to know them. I ask authentic, caring questions until I gain the understanding of what I could do to make their life easier and better.

Bill Prenatt

Process is key. Over the years, my most effective method to discover customer needs is to ask well-placed, thoughtful questions. This is especially important since customers frequently don't know what they don't know.

I utilize a two-part system to avoid questions being randomly asked/yielding rambling answers:

1. I have a questions library, broken into Strategic, Tactical, Communications, and Competencies questions.

2. I use a concept called E G O, my questions are asked in these categories: Engaging, Genuine Interest, and Opportunities

Judy Ryan

I send out a link to one of several detailed surveys I have on my website. I do this when I have an interested prospect or when I’m asked to do a presentation at an event. People perusing my site also find these surveys. When they take them, this helps me to both educate the prospect on what I do overall and also to gather important information on them to learn about their struggles, challenges, areas they need support and many other ways I can engage in conversation when we meet and even prior to a meeting through additional questions that surface.

These are just a few of the partner responses. 

Check out this article in the Academy to get all of them.

For further information, support and advice from thirty experts on this topic and many others, become a member of the e4e community by visiting our website at www.e4ecommunity.com

Video: Aligning Sellers and Buyers

Author, pricing and sales strategist Dale Furtwengler opens this presentation describing success stories when using psychographics, a process of identifying who shares your values and is most likely to welcome you as a service provider. In this video presentation, Dale shares the importance of:

  • Understanding your ideal psychographic customer profile
  • Communicating effectively in your marketing messages to attract ideal prospects
  • Qualifying (and disqualifying) prospects using psychographic questions in your marketing and sales processes
  • Recognizing why some people are your ideal customers and how to find more of them
  • Identifying what it is about some prospects that provides you the greatest joy and profits

Dale Furtwengler is author of the internationally acclaimed book, Pricing for Profit. His company, Furtwengler & Associates, Inc., helps companies get higher prices regardless of what their competitors or the economy are doing. For more pricing/branding/marketing/sales tips visit his website, PricingForProfitBook.com. You can also find his eBook, “Psychographic Profiling: How to sell more, more quickly with less effort”

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Video: Effective Networking

Meeting people and connecting in a memorable and caring manner is truly an art. Consistent, responsible and purposeful strategies make Mark Brimer more than qualified to guide others in the process of effective networking. In addition to running a successful business, he walks the talk, citing many examples from his own experience.

Entrepreneur and networking expert Mark Brimer provides a hands-on, strategic presentation on how to prepare and engage in effective networking before, during and after events. He helps all he meets, including those attending this presentation by immediately imploring each to consider the…

  • Vast amount of people you know and may not realize are in your network
  • Number of people who likely don’t know what you do and how to educate them
  • Three industries that are good referrals or industries for you
  • Best connected people in your network and how to approach them
  • People willing to buy-in to what you do and connect you to the people you want to meet
  • Top three people who would be the best to buy in to what you do and promote you
  • Places and associations that can net you new referrals and how to mine them
  • Hobbies, volunteers and associations that are hidden resources for referrals
  • List you create that best describes your ideal prospects and helps you to ask for them
  • Set of questions to engage your prospects in a reciprocal and supportive relationship
  • Value you provide when you become a rich resource for people by generously providing introductions
  • List of the type of people you’d like to meet and how to communicate this to others
  • Importance of finding a way to be memorable in a positive, creative or funny way
  • Quick blurb or elevator pitch you use to introduce yourself creatively enough that become curious about you and remember you
  • Importance of being prepared no matter how prepared others are
  • Strategy to get others to ask for your card and help you
  • Value of demonstrating your helpfulness first through helping others grow their business
  • Importance of asking others what you can do for them outside of what you do and then providing service regarding their answer as fast as possible
  • Ways to create win/win dynamics so people talk about you even when you’re not there
  • Commitment to find out quickly who you can introduce to the person in front of you
  • Importance of really knowing people in your social networks so your connections are highly helpful
  • Number of new customers you need within a year
  • Need to attend weekly networking groups and set up one-on-one meetings
  • Goal to leave every event with a specific number of new opportunities
  • Value of reciprocity thinking and behaving
  • Practice of considering who you can connect with next
  • Need to be reliable and consistent
  • Targets to keep in mind and doing your homework on them so you can find out all the connections
  • Compliments and mindfulness you need to provide your referral sources
  • Need for possibility thinking so you are open to connections you could never predict could happen when you bring someone or introduce people
  • Need to follow-up in a responsible and excellent way, including sending thank you notes
  • List of people you can hand out written requests for introductions within their networks
  • Platinum rule, which is finding out how others want to be treated and provide that to them
  • Consistency of habits and routines in networking and meeting with people
  • Tricks you draw upon in order to remain positive and personable no matter what is going on in your life
  • Ways to track connections and be a connection others want to track
  • Need to consistently be memorable enough to be in first and second place of people doing what you do
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Do you like to be catered to? Delegate the job of office supplies, including pricing, selection and delivery to your business, off your plate so you can focus on more important tasks. Mark Brimer will help you free up and better use your time. Email him at markbrimer@officesupplysolutionsllc.com, go visit his website at www.officesupplysolutionsllc.com, or call him at 314-227-6771

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Video: Clone Your Hard Drive

In this short but helpful video, marketing expert Steve Smart offers reasons why, when and how to clone your hard drive.

In this short but highly useful video, marketing expert Steve Smart offers compelling reasons why to clone your hard drive. He reminds us that while we back up our business files, we don’t consider the cost of a irretrievable hard drive. Reasons to clone your drive include:

  • We lose our programs
  • We lose our operating system
  • We lose our preferences
  • We lose special features we’ve downloaded
  • We lose our data and
  • We spend too much downtime replacing what we’ve lost

Steve Smart is helpful and believes in high customer satisfaction. He’s an expert at marketing. Need help with your marketing efforts? Reach out to Steve Smart at srsmart@2qsolutions.net.

Video: What’s Your Story Worth?

Content specialist Cynthia Correll begins her presentation with the startling fact that 90% of all information has been created within the last two years and that a barrage of data challenges us all. Because of this, visuals, stories and intriguing concepts are more effective than conventional ways of communicating.

The shape and messaging of content is changing dramatically. The days of white papers, lengthy descriptions of product features and other analytical forms of communication originating from the left side of the brain are a thing of the past. They are being replaced by concepts and images from the creative right side of the brain because the result is personal relationships with prospects and customers.

Cynthia recommends using images, shapes, colors and engaging methods to create fast, personal connections. In this masterful, example-rich video, she provides and demonstrates many helpful hints and examples of effective messages that are:

  • Quick to understand
  • Memorable
  • Interactive and engaging

Cynthia Correll is an expert who knows the value and power of a story and how to use visual media to communicate it effectively. She supports people in using their greatest asset for building trust, inviting participation and connecting in authentic ways that forge lasting relationships. She is the owner of Cynthia Correll’s Creative Emporium. For help in telling your valuable story, you can contact Cynthia Correll at cynthia@cynthiacorrell.com or call her at 636.751.4144

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Seven SEO Steps to More Business This Year

Between the years 2007 and 2010, more small businesses jumped online with a new website than ever. The majority of these websites were poorly thought out; they simply came into existence as the result of competition. If your competitor had a website, then you had better get one, too.

These websites, known as brochure sites, have pretty much lain in waste ever since. Business owners rushed to get them out there, and paid a lot to do so, and when they didn't generate any new business, most business owners chalked it up as the cost of doing business. Boy, did they miss the boat.

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Video: Attract Prospects and Generate Leads

LinkedIn and Webinar expert Josh Turner has developed proven systems for how to attract, engage and influence prospects to attend webinars and then become customers because of his ability to consistently create successful and effective lead generation strategies, especially webinars. Josh recommends specific technologies and tools to manage all aspects of webinar creation, promotion and implementation so you go about using this strategy in the best possible way

In this video, you receive information on:

  • The type of platform to use.
  • Approaches for email marketing, social media and messaging designed to qualify prospects directly by exploring LinkedIn groups using niches and custom messaging.
  • Designing good landing pages that convince prospects to sign up and give up their email address and time to attend your webinar.
  • How to engage a variety of markets (e.g. financial advisors or business coaches and consultants)
  • Using personalized communications after a person registers for your webinar to build excitement and strengthen your relationship with them.
  • What pre-webinar information to offer in order to establish value and build relationships so people are ready to purchase at the end of your webinar.
  • Why bonuses (including what type) help prospects to register and attend.
  • Questions to help you identify custom audiences and engage in re-targeting.
  • LinkedIn and Facebook strategies and tools for target marketing and promotional campaigns.
  • How to identify and utilize partners, affiliates and paid media buys and deals.
  • A specific template to help you determine which of three types of webinars to choose, and the key pages you must-have, including why and how they are positioned and timed in your webinar.
  • How to wrap up during Q&A, engage and convert your prospects or follow up on leads until they convert.

In this highly comprehensive presentation, Josh Turner provides ample evidence he lives what he teaches and has the experience and results to make him the perfect expert to follow. Josh Turner is Founder of Linked Selling, Linked University and most recently, Webinarli. He will help you manage lead generation campaigns through LinkedIn, Facebook, email, and webinars. You can reach him at joshturner@linkedselling.com or 314-574-1352

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Video: Turn Connections into Cash

Website marketing and SEO expert Will Hanke describes how to take a strong marketing and sales strategy and express it effectively on your website, then increase your web traffic, improve your conversion rate, test the effectiveness of each web page and make improvements so your website becomes a powerful sales tool that turns prospects into paying customers.

In this video, Will Hanke explains that a conversion can be many things, including but not limited to:

  • Making a purchase
  • Subscribing to an offer
  • Downloading something
  • Signing up for a trial
  • Participating in a survey
  • Joining your mailing list
  • Making a purchase
  • Subscribing to something you offer
  • Downloading something
  • Signing up for a trial
  • Participating in a survey
  • Joining your mailing list

A conversion is any time a prospect interacts with your site and demonstrates interest, thereby qualifying them as a warm lead. In this presentation, Will Hanke covers the following topics:

  1. SEO tips for more traffic – addresses issues such as good design, layout, easy navigation, blogging, content marketing, how to use keywords, and tools to help you improve your website, rank higher and attract visitors.
  2. Conversion tips for your site – tips for how to make a good first impression with an excellent thank you page, a clear description of your unique selling propositions, an engaging About Us page, why to invest in user testing and incorporation of trust factors.
  3. Tracking your conversions – understanding what, why and how to use Google Analytics to assess your website traffic, as well as Google Experiments to determine the strength of your pages, and how to define and set up goals for your website so you can track each goal to see what it nets in conversions and ROI.

Will Hanke offers a cogent and thorough review of the necessary components to create a robust and compelling website that attracts and converts customers. He helps you understand what’s needed to reap a strong return on the investments of time, energy and money you make creating and maintaining one. Will Hanke is Owner of Where Is My Business and can be reached at will@techlh.com.

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Revenue Growth is Greater Than Price Increases

Higher prices affirm customers’ beliefs in value and attract even more buyers. This approach works for any business, of any size, in any industry.

A November 2, 2011 Barron’s article reports that Kraft Foods’ third quarter net revenues grew 11.5% in part due to a 7% price increase.

That means Kraft’s revenues grew a whopping 64% more than the price increase. For many business leaders this seems impossible. After all, conventional wisdom says buyers tend to find alternatives when prices go up, right? In reality customers have greater confidence in a product or service when its price reflects the value they’ll receive.

What does this mean for you? That you too can enjoy the results Kraft experienced. Here are the keys:

  • A reputation for quality.
  • Knowing who values that quality.
  • Pricing that reflects high value.

Let’s continue with the Kraft example to see how these apply.

Reputation

Kraft has a reputation for quality that’s spanned more than a century. The good news is you don’t have to be around that long to develop a reputation for quality. But consistent delivery of quality, however you and your customers define it, is essential to having revenues that grow faster than your price increases.

Knowing Your Customer

Kraft knows its customers have discerning tastes and are willing to pay a premium to get that taste. Their customers also value consistency in the product. In addition, their customers have an intuitive sense Kraft has their best interests at heart - that Kraft wouldn’t take risks in the manufacturing of their products that might cause the consumer problems.

Pricing

Kraft’s premium pricing adds further assurance of the quality, consistency and concern for their customers. Higher prices affirm customers’ beliefs and attract even more buyers to Kraft’s products. That’s how Kraft can enjoy 11.5% revenue growth with a 7% price increase.

As you can see, there’s nothing magical about what Kraft has done. This approach works for any business, of any size, in any industry. It’s up to you to employ these keys so you too can enjoy a similar level of success.

Dale Furtwengler is the author of the internationally acclaimed book, Pricing for Profit. His company, Furtwengler & Associates, Inc., helps companies get higher prices regardless of what their competitors or the economy are doing. For more pricing/branding/marketing/sales tips visit his website, PricingForProfitBook.com

Generate Optimal Results When Networking

Tom Ruwitch asks the panel, “When attending a networking event, what is one strategy, tactic or rule that you always keep in mind to generate optimal results for you and your business?”

As a business owner, you understand more than most, your time is money. You also realize networking is key to growing your business, even though sometimes networking events seem to be less successful than you’d like. For many who attend networking events, outcomes can be frustrating if you are not prepared to meet new people, do not set and achieve your business goals for attending, or fail to have purposeful and fruitful conversations with qualified prospects.

Building trusting relationships that lead to satisfying business transactions takes time, genuine care and a balance between people skills and a focus on your business goals and aspirations. Respect for self and others and a consistent relaxed and abundant mindset allow for business to flow due to a genuine helpful intent.

Read what nine independent e4e business owners and recognized experts report on the strategies, tactics or rules they keep in mind to generate optimal results when at networking events. In this way, you draw on the real-time experience of our experts to quickly decide strategies to benefit you and your business.

Four of our Nine Panel Experts:

Bill Prenatt

Actually, there are three strategies I execute on consistently: 1) I set a goal for how many valid prospects I expect to meet and I plan to enter into my data base; 2) I communicate clearly what business I’m in and what kind of prospect I’m interested in meeting. This usually cuts the conversation short with people I’m not aligned with; 3) I make it a habit to connect at least three prospects with existing connections.

Judy Ryan

e4e partner Fred Miller offered a great strategy in one of our recent workshops. He said we should not allow our time to be monopolized during a networking event. He gave an example of a person handling this in a thoughtful manner by saying, “Please excuse me. I committed to myself I’d meet 10 new people before the main event starts and I have a few more to go. Great meeting you!” What a wonderful, respectful and direct way to be upfront about wanting to meet more than one or two people at an event.

Keith Vollmar

Here is what I do when attending a larger networking event. For each meeting:

1. Walk away with no less than 2 business cards of individuals I have not met before.
2. Make sure I say hello to 2 or 3 established business friends who are key potential referral sources for me.
3. Ensure one new person gets the most out of networking event.

This is my routine at MO Venture Forum or similar larger group. For smaller groups, it depends on the number of people attending.

Cathy Sexton

For starters I have made the decision to cut way back on networking events. I think the time spent on networking events can get way out of hand if we are not careful. So my current strategy is to only attend with two purposes. To continue to build already valuable relationships and to make sure the events have my ideal clients also in attendance.

These are just a few of the partner responses. 

Check out this article in the Academy to get all of them.

For further information, support and advice from thirty experts on this topic and many others, become a member of the e4e community by visiting our website at www.e4ecommunity.com