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Money Mistake

#Money Mistake 1:

Never borrow money that accrues interest to start a business (except if you are paying for it through your salary); only borrow to grow your business. This is because business takes a long time to gain ground and begin making profit, yet most loans repayments have to be made within a month of taking the loan or even earlier. Therefore, never borrow money to start a business expecting that the business will generate income to pay back the borrowed money plus the interest.

#Money Mistake 2:

Never spend money you haven’t received. Don’t even promise someone money based on a promise you have from someone else. If someone tells you: “Ezra, come to my office tomorrow at 9am and pick Sh30K”don’t go out to buy items on credit based on this promise, with the hope that you will pay off your creditor when the promised money comes; it may not come as promised and this will leave you in problems with your creditors.

#Money Mistakes 3:

If you want to save, whenever you receive money, don’t start spending hoping that you’ll save what remains. Normally what remains is zero because as long as money to spend is available, the numerous things you can spend it on are also available. And things to spend on even incite their ‘relatives’ so that you spend even more than you had planned. When money to spend is not available, we naturally find a way of doing without it. That’s why I’ve learnt to save with an INVESTMENT CLUB. Once I send money there I assume I no longer have it. Before you spend any money, put your savings aside then spend what is left after saving.

#Money Mistake 4:

When you get an opportunity to meet a very wealthy person, never ask for money. Ask for ideas on how to make money. They may even choose to give you money on their own after seeing that your ideas are great, but let getting money from them never be your objective.

#Money Mistake 5:

Keeping your seed instead of planting it. Many people stop at saving. It’s very, very difficult to save and have all you need to maintain your lifestyle especially after retirement. When you save, your savings are seed; plant it. When you just keep the seed (saving money) some seeds begin to die (eaten by inflation and the like). That’s why I recommend that you read about the different types of investment vehicles you can use to grow your savings. I am not necessarily talking about putting the money in a business, because you can easily lose money in  business. I am talking about putting it in an investment.

#Money Mistake 6:

Never lend someone money you are not willing to lose. By the time you lend someone money, be contented in your heart that should the person fail to pay, you will not die. You should not even lose that person’s friendship if they fail to repay the money you lent them. If you feel the person might fail to pay you and this will not affect your relationship with them, then lend them money. If their failure to pay would make you hate this person’s entire clan, please advise the person to go to the bank.

#Money Mistake 7:

Never append your signature to guarantee someone on a financial matter if you are not willing or able to pay the money on their behalf. Do I have to explain that one? No, it’s self-explanatory.

#Money Mistake 8:

Avoid keeping money you don’t intend to use in the short-term within easy reach. For instance, don’t walk with Sh100K in your pocket when all you plan to do in a day costs Sh20K. Like I mentioned in Money Mistake 3, there are always expenses available to gobble any money that is within reach, so if you don’t want to lose it, put it away in a safe place.

#Money Mistake 9:

Avoid keeping money in inappropriate places e.g. in socks, under the pillow, in a pit, in the sitting room, in the bra, in a travel bag that you will place somewhere in a bus … impulse buying is a devil that will keep you busy!

#Money Mistake 10:

Spending money on an item that you can do without (at least for the time being). These days when I pick money from my pocket or wallet, before paying for something I ask myself: What would happen if I didn’t buy this? If I find I can live with the consequences of not having that thing, I smile and walk away.

#Money Mistake 11:

Paying an amount for something that’s not the minimum you can get that same value for. In other words, if you are along Tom Mboya Street and you pay Sh5K for a shoe that you can get at Sh3K at Muthurwa, that’s a money mistake except for those who have achieved financial freedom.

#Money Mistake 12:

Wanting to be the savior of the world by helping everyone in financial need. My sister, my brother,  you are not Jesus. If you find it so hard to say no to a financial demand, you may think you are practising generosity when in actual sense you are committing (financial) suicide. We are not learning to be miserable here; we are learning to live within the boundaries of reality.

#Money Mistake 13:

Consistently spending all you earn or more than you earn. It’s like having a drum where you have an inlet that’s smaller than the outlet. It will never get full. And should the inlet ever reduce significantly the drum will run dry. If you do it the other way round and the inlet is bigger, it will get full and even overflow. Hence, we have to always ensure we are widening the inlet while narrowing the outlet – all the time. Your side hustle comes in handy!

#Money Mistake 14:

Thinking about short-term only and forgetting about long-term or thinking about the long-term and forgetting about the short-term. For instance, Lydia was told that there’s money in land. She saved money over a long period of time and bought 30 acres of land. Now she has the land but she is always broke. She is always complaining. She’s disgruntled and she doesn’t seem to see herself earning from the land in the near future. Now, let’s ask ourselves: Having 30 acres of land and no money to feed your family or take a child to hospital, is that wealth or poverty? I think Lydia only looked at long-term needs and forgot that she has short-term needs that require money. What of those who find they are one paycheck away from salary? Are they thinking about the long-term needs.

 

Let’s take stock of our finances. How many mistakes are you guilty of? Do you now feel better-equipped to do better with these tips? Good luck, savers! Share this knowledge with your friends because it will not benefit you if you are selfish with it.

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Listen, Listen, Listen, TALK, Listen

What is Listening?

Listening is basically the act of paying keen attention, understanding and digesting in your mind that which you Hear.

Hearing refers to the sounds that you hear, whereas listening requires more than that: it requires focus.

Listening therefore gives you an opportunity to engage in a relevant manner, respond accurately and even provide not just the fitting solution but the right solution.

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I have in the past found myself talking a lot when doing a pitch. Perhaps it was informed by the notion that sales people are outgoing, that sales people talk a lot , that sales people are a people’s people. That they are extroverts and social.
I came to realise later that you might talk, talk, talk and talk but fail to communicate.

When doing a pitch it is paramount that you listen more and talk only when necessary and talk to provide a solution /add value to the subject of discussion. Otherwise, you may be misquoted.

How do we do this then?

Take an example of a medical doctor. When you fall ill, and eventually visit the doctor who does the most talking? It is definitely you who is ill. The doctor would seek to know your problem by asking relevant questions.
For example, you have a stomach upset. The doctor will not immediately start telling you what could be the possible causes of a stomach upset and then go ahead and administer medication, instead the doctors will ask questions like, what did you eat? How was it cooked? Was it stale? Is it something that you regularly eat? Where is the pain? What kind of pain? Sharp pain? Are you Vomiting? And such like questions.
The answers you give will lead to you being given not just a fitting prescription but the right solution.

The same should happen when we pitch to our customers. We should do a needs analysis to understand the gaps that our products or services intend to fill.
We can only understand this by asking the right questions and allowing the customer to talk. Then is only when we can achieve our goal – Providing the right solution.
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A while back Customer Service used to be the main thing. Offering the customer the right service or product in the most polite and humble way. However, times have changed and what is important now is customer experience. What will be that thing that will wow the customer? What will make the customer come back? Are you providing the fitting solution or the right solution. It is all about experience.

Customer is always right, customer is King.

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A Sales Pitch/ Presentation should be as short as a MINI SKIRT.

A sales presentation or sales pitch is the act of communication used when one wants to persuade someone to buy into your product, service or idea.

It is basically an introduction of a product, service or idea to an audience who are new to it, or giving more information of a product, service or idea that an audience has already liked.

In order to make a memorable pitch, you must know exactly what your audience wants and needs. You need to have done some background research to get the most information about them.

Making-the-perfect-sales-pitch

Mini SKIRT?

Well, that’s what it is. When a lady puts on a very short skirt that is probably way above her knees commonly referred as a Mini Skirt, it really attracts alot of attention from both Men and Women.

Women who are more conservative would look at it as loose Morals because of too much exposure of the Skin. They will label all kind of tags on you and that are associated with Vices that are common in our societies. Men on the other hand will be left imagining and wanting to get a better glimpse perhaps.Men are Visual creatures, so I heard. Some men will equally view it as the women do – Immoral. In the recent past in Nairobi Kenya, some ladies have been stripped by the public due to indecent exposure.

All because on the Bottom Line, the Mini skirt reveals alot that would rather be Personal Business or just for your significant other. It is short yet lets out alot of Information. People see what they would otherwise not have desired to see and this leaves them with a lot of questions in their minds.

mini skirt

A Sales or any other Business Presentation to prospective clients needs to be as Short or Brief as a Mini Skirt – Short but reveals alot of Information, and leaves the prospect with questions wanting to know more.

When planning for a presentation,some key points to consider are:

  1. The need therein that your are to solve
  2. The benefits of your solution

People don’t have the time in the world to listen to you, so just like you wouldn’t like someone to waste your time, don’t waste theirs. Structure your presentation such that you will use the shortest time to pitch your solution by highlighting the Main Gaps in the need, how your solution will be a lasting one.

Once you are done with that, open the meeting to questions. If you get alot of questions from your prospect(s), then you really hard a great Mini Skirt. The prospect(s) are desiring for more information. At this point look for the buying Signals. If you don’t get so much questions then you probably let out all of your information by either having a too long presentation or you just didn’t hit the right buttons.

Next time you go for a presentation, remember that Mini Skirt. It works.

 

THE Sale Begins at The Close of THE Sale

Where does the sale really begin?

In the Sales Cycle, normally the sale begins with the first stage – Prospecting. It is then followed by several stages on to the second last stage – The Sale.

Traditionally, many sales people have been religiously following this criteria knowingly or unknowingly. In fact, some have even perfected the art such that they can easily discern “buying signals” and therefore deem it right to close the sale prematurely.

For so long, sales people have been about bringing in the business, closing the sale and making the huge commissions. Until recently is when a new angle, a new concept emerged – Relationship Management.

The 21st century customer, buys your trust, your first impression. The 21st century customer wants you to walk hand in hand with them.

Also important to note is that the industry has really changed. A while back, competition was very minimal if not there at all. Therefore, customers could walk into the only shop, or the only bank, or the only hotel…  that existed.
Now we have multiple competition in the various industries. Thus the need for a sales force. A Sales force with a difference.

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Most sales revenue generated are usually from referrals and repeat business through cross selling and up selling. To achieve this, then the Sale Must begin after the close.

Once you clinch a business deal or you close that sale, that’s when you need the client more than ever. We ought to maintain a sound relationship with the customer. Call or visit the customer once in a while to review how the product or service is working for them. Strive to know whether they are satisfied. If New advancements are introduced notify the customer. A satisfied customer is just a stone throw away to being a loyal customer.
If your customer is satisfied, then he /she becomes your ambassador, your evangelist, your sales person. They will spread the word – because you sold value and not cost, the right solution and not a fitting solution.

The “Langata SIX” – What can we learn from the Lion escapees?

‪#‎TheLangataSix‬
‪#‎SimbaSiege‬

Last week some Lions “escaped” from the National Park. As usual Kenyans got creative on that story. So many Memes were created and too hilarious for that matter.

langata six

After digesting the whole story, I decided to put myself into the shoes of the Lions. Why would they probably “escape?”

Let’s look at it this way. A Lion was created for the Jungle. In fact it is King of the Jungle.
We in turn have confined them in Zoos and Parks, where we go to see them and the zoo/Park owners possibly make cash out of them.

Well, maybe the Lions felt like the zoo/Park was a prison. They needed to break out into the “wild”. They needed just to be free from the confines of the zoo’s /Parks comfort. They needed to be just them, Lions.

Courtesy of The Star

We are at times like those Lions. Born and Created with immense potential but we have been tied /locked up by Relationships, Our Jobs, Our Families, Our Friends… The list is endless.

It is possibly time for that Long awaited “Prison Break”. It is definitely time to “escape” from the Zoo and go maximize your potential. To go make use of your talents and gifts.

Once you escape, and become the best at what you are and perfect it, such that you are known to be good at that one or two particular things, then everyone, everybody, every company, every employer, clients will be HUNTING for you just like we aaaaalll were hunting down the Langata Six, together with the KWS.

The star

Have a “Prison Break” week.

Won’t You!!!! God bless you all.

Photos Courtesy of the Star.

FOUR RANDOM PITCHING IDEAS FOR YOUR PRODUCT OR BUSINESS:

Let’s admit it. Most of us have had trouble trying to say exactly what we do, what idea we have or even who we are.

For instance, let us imagine today you meet Joshua Oigara Group CEO KCB, James Mwangi Group CEO Equity, Robert Collymore CEO Safaricom or better yet H.E. Uhuru Kenyatta the president and immediately you see an opportunity to sell that idea or project that you have always wanted funded. But when they ask you, “Who are you and what do you do?” you either fumble or go blank. You lose the Platinum opportunity.

It is simply because, you have never thought of how to have a short description/summary/introduction that says all that you do in a nut shell while touching on the most important points. It is because you don’t have a pitch. Simple.

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Being able to express your business idea or product in a clear, concise and coherent way is how sales people attract business/clients. It is basically how entrepreneurs attract investment, new partners and talent. Pitching a new business to an audience, however, to a single person as given in the introductory examples or a large room full of potential clients, can be incredibly intimidating. Moreover, trying to fit everything you know and want to say about your idea or product in a short pitch, without sounding like an auctioneer, is always a challenge.

It all comes down to delivery.

I have complied, in no particular order four pitching concepts I have used and still use that deliver me results.

  1. Demonstrate your passion.

I will be honest with you. I am a fairly passionate guy, especially when talking about something as exciting as selling Financial Solutions. For me, demonstrating passion comes easy, but for others not as much. As an observer, I have seen numerous pitches fall flat because the sales person pitching a product to a prospect or an entrepreneur pitching his business idea to the bank failed to deliver even an ounce of passion through their pitch.

Being passionate does not require you to be as animated as “Mc Jessy” or “Shaniqua the socialite”. It is simply showing a little enthusiasm for your product or idea, and even dropping the simple line, “I am passionate about this,” is all you really need.

  1. Tell the story.

We have grown up listening to stories. But what kind of stories do we tell when pitching to a prospect?

Most pitches follow a format of problem, solution, and plan. Too predictable. What I remember most about the best pitches I have heard especially from my mentors and seniors in the industry are the incredible personal stories involved with identifying the problem and finding the solution. It is through personal narrative that a sales person or an entrepreneur connects to the prospect, and it is through that connection, in that brief amount of time, that they earn respect and confidence.

Of course, time is limited, so your story needs to be completely pertinent to your idea. Do not waste this valuable time with stories that do not support your idea or credibility.

Young speaker at a meeting

  1. Focus on team and execution.

The best products and greatest business ideas are worthless if not executed properly. For this reason, your pitch needs to emphasize the value that you and your company/team add to the project, and more important your ability to see the idea through to fruition. Again, this involves weaving a pertinent and personal story into the narrative while effectively and concisely demonstrating your teams/company’s experience and background.

  1. Have a good idea.

Having an Idea is Key. But is it worth? A pitch is nothing without a worthy idea. Great sales people and persuasive pitches can convince an audience that even a small problem is worth solving, just because of the idea. More often, if prospective clients are sold on you, your team and your passion and commitment to see ideas through, they will find a way to get involved, regardless of the idea.

What I have found, however, is that whether you are pitching an idea to single person or standing-room-only venue, consider yourself as an entertainer. Like every great entertainer, every word and every emphasis is strategically and effectively crafted to have the highest impact on the story. Your pitch is no different.

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Finally, if you Master these four concepts, you will capture the prospective clients’ attention, garner the respect and confidence you deserve, and hopefully close the sale or even for entrepreneurs, find the partners you need to take your business to the next level.

Nine More Mistakes Sales People Make

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We live in a very competitive world. Everyone is trying to outdo the next person or the next organization. Therefore, traditional ways of selling are changing and this requires all sales people, sales managers and sales organizations to think differently or perhaps without the box. Most importantly how we are handling customers today.

In my experience I have observed and summarized the following as the most common mistakes we as sales people make.

  1. Not selling the solution

Why do clients buy a product or a service? The answer is quite simple, people and organizations buy in order to solve an underlying problem or need. On the contrary Sales people spend too much time on the offer rather than assuring the buyer that the product, company and individual will solve the problem. The danger in this is that, sales people end up with presentations that are too long and prices that are too low. Focus on how your product and the company can solve at least, three most critical problems your client is trying to solve.

  1. Too dependent on the “sales presentation”

Personally, I have spent hours creating presentations and then became so dependent upon the PowerPoint such that I could not see the vital buying signals. This happens a lot to many a sales people. You being present is more important than the presentation. Of course, you want a great presentation, but never become so dependent that you are unable to know what is important, who the influencers are and when you are getting the buy in and when you are not.

  1. Not asking the hard questions

In my experience, I have realised that sales people miss opportunities to create a relationship and eventually build trust, by not asking the hard questions. This either comes from naivety or lack of proper training to truly get in communication with the client.

Ask these questions: “How do you feel about our price?” “How do you feel about our terms?” “Why would you do business with us when you have done it with our competitor for so long?”

If you don’t get the answers to the hard questions you will find yourself not closing deals and not learning why.

  1. Believing price will solve your clients’ problem

Most sales people would widely think that people buy price. The truth is that they don’t buy the price. I have been in sales my entire career life and have come across very prospective clients who after pitching to them, said “the only issue with your product is the price.” Your client may seem obsessed with price, demands your lowest price and claims the budget cannot be revised. Despite all this, most if not all of them will pay a higher price.

  1. Presenting without the intention to close

Occasionally depending on situation, when I begin a presentation I make it clear to the prospect that my intention is to have the product or service being used by the client by the end of that week. “I appreciate you for giving me your time, my/our aim is to have our product to your company by the end of this week.”

The client will then most likely tell you that they have no intention of committing anything in a rush, at which point I simply say, “I understand. I just thought I’d share my/our intention to you.”

You have to present with confidence, not arrogance, and set the stage early that you know your product can solve their problems.

  1. Not asking for the close early enough

A couple of times, I noticed my sales team was presenting long after the buyer had seen enough. So I took all of our presentations apart and broke them into five stages. At the end of each stage I require them to ask, “Have you seen enough information to make a decision?” This worked like a miracle with customers saying, “No I haven’t,” allowing the sales person to continue with the presentation. In other cases the buyer closed 80 percent faster than previously or we found out we didn’t even have the right decision-makers in the room.

  1. Waiting until the end of the presentation to share the price

Most sales people make this mistake because most of us were taught to build value, and then show the price. This results in a buyer that, no matter how intrigued they might be by your presentation, is wondering the entire presentation what the cost is. This results in your presentation being interrupted over price rather than the customer being able to evaluate what your product or service will do and how that relates to the price.

After letting the buyer know my intention is to get the product to their company this week, I then share the price. “Before I demonstrate how my product will solve your needs, I want to share with you our pricing so that you have it while I present the product.” Initiate price — don’t wait to answer “how much?”

They may tell you before the presentation, “that is too high,” at which point you can simply agree with the customer. “Of course it’s quite much, you haven’t even seen what it will do. Allow me to show you why it’s this price and what it will do for you and why it is the best value in the marketplace.”

Bringing price up early makes you look confident, shows you have nothing to hide and takes out the mystery. Bring price up early then use the rest of the time building value.

  1. Ignoring influencers

I have made the mistake many times where I put too much attention on the decision-maker and missed the influencers. Ask, “Who else other than you will influence your decision or that you would like involved?” Find out why they are important to the decision and what is most important to them.

  1. Not practicing urgency

Too many sales organizations never insist on closing a deal for fear of appearing to be a nuisance. If you truly believe in your company, product and service, you must learn how to insist on closing the transaction now. I have made the mistake too many times of not practicing enough urgency and then having time and events beyond my control steal my deal. Your sales team should train and drill on how to press without being unprofessional or appearing to pressure.

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