5 Ways To Understand The Psychology of Your Buyer

BLOGID79 I’ve always been, to some degree, out of sync with the mainstream culture. Being out-of-step felt like a good thing, like an important distinction that comes with following Christ.

The recent Black Friday mania and me being out-of-loop signaled another way the dominant culture has moved away from Christian principles.

Earlier in the week my 14-year-old checked out the holiday hours for the closest driver’s license office so he could take his learners permit. I was pleased to see the office would be open the day after Thanksgiving, so my son and I could go when he was out of school.

After the 20-minute drive, we were greeted with the note on the door that the offices would now be closed for Black Friday, despite what was posted earlier on their web page.

Later in the day we took another 20-minute drive to Ian’s tennis lessons. The club where my son takes lessons never cancels a lesson no matter if it falls on a holiday—with the exception of Christmas or Thanksgiving.  So on July 4th, Memorial Day, Labor Day, and even Good Friday the lessons are still held.

We pulled into a dark empty parking lot to find out, yes, classes were cancelled due to Black Friday.

Are you kidding?!

The retail, materialistic culture has taken an even deeper hold over the hearts of Americans.  And, as good entrepreneurs, if you can’t beat them, it’s time to join them!

People are buying!  People are opening their checkbooks and swiping their credit cards! Don’t believe them when they say they can’t afford it.

If people are not purchasing your goods and services, it may be because that you don’t understand the psychology of your buyer and haven’t ordered your business model around it. That could be a fatal flaw, so heed this 5 insights into why people buy:

1. Having High Perceived Value 

If prospective clients tell you your products or services sound “nice” or “good”, their vanilla vocabulary clues you in that what you are offering has a poor perceived value to them.  To get people to part with their hard-earned cash and buy from you rather than take advantage of some Black Friday deal, they have to be salivating by the end of their conversation with you, dying to enroll in your program or dive into your home study kit or purchase your nail products.  Their skin has to crawl and their armpit sweat needs to be staining their white shirts thinking about the possible negative effects of not doing business with you.  If that’s not happening, you have a hole in your “perceived value” boat that you need to shore up.

2. Solving Their Problem (Not What You Think Their Problem Is) 

What you are peddling must clearly solve your prospect’s real problem, not what you think their problem is. Even the decision to purchase a $5 sympathy card is rooted in solving a problem:  the awkwardness of knowing how to acknowledge the death of a loved one but still wanting to show support.  If you think your prospects have a confidence, mindset, branding, target market, or even spiritual misalignment problem but they think they just don’t have sales skills, your marketing message and materials need to be geared to improving sales skills. Once your customer has put his or her trust in you with their pocket book, you are in the right position to help them correct the root problem.  Don’t lead with it if it doesn’t consciously resonate with the client.

3. Communicating Clearly Stated Results 

The more concrete your stated results, the easier it is for your prospect’s brain to calculate whether it is or is not something that is consistent with his or her goals.  For example, if you are a marketing coach and you claim with your system your client can gain four new high-end clients each month, the prospect can easily calculate the economic value of that compared to the investment they will be making.  Or if you work in the area of weight loss and can make the claim that 80% of your clients lost 10 pounds in the first 60 days and kept them off, prospective buyer can compare that to their own track record using other weight loss means.  You can predict whether they will buy depending on how badly they want to lose weight and how confident they are that they will be in the 80% group, assuming they trust in you and your promises.

4. Talking with the Right People 

Even if you master all of the above, you will only get the sale if you are talking with the right people.  Even if your product or service is a great fit, if the people you approach are not in the mindset of investing in themselves, don’t have a big enough operation to afford you and your services, or aren’t committed enough to themselves and their businesses, they aren’t in a psychological place to buy.  It’s important to make your best educated guess about who your ideal client is. But be open to refining this avatar as you encounter success and resistance in the field.  When you encounter someone who is a perfect fit and invests accordingly, go deeper into to who they are and why they chose to buy and look for their clones on and offline.

5. Going Where Your Tribe Hangs Out

If you are unclear about who the “right people” are, it’s very difficult to find them and go to them.  Even when you know who they are, it’s not always that easy to locate them.  Investing your time in getting this piece right will save you a lot of time and money as you grow your business.

It’s great to be anchored to Christ and not overly focused on the material world.  But to be successful and getting customers who buy, you have to spend a little time learning about what helps them make money and purchase decision.

The Christian women entrepreneur biz and life tip:  The most successful salespeople know how to get out of their own minds and into the minds of their customers.  Start having that kind of symbiotic relationship with your key prospects. 

Tips to Bust The 5 Time Management Myths

Woman Holding Clock Ask any successful lifestyle entrepreneur the secret to his or her success and “excellent time management skills” will at least make their top five.

But there can be many miscalculations about how to take charge of your time. As you scramble for time mastery, you may be falling into these six myths about what it takes to be a time management guru:

Myth #1:  A One Size Fits All Approach

Yoon Cannon, a recent guest on my radio show, “Christian Women Entrepreneurs on Fire”, who currently had two high school kids and one in elementary, shared that guarding her time now is actually much more difficult than when all of her kids were younger. She said that you definitely need different time management strategies at different stages in life.

For example, when you have younger versus older kids, your optimal time management approach — from decisions about whether to have an electronic or off-line system, whether and how to time chunk, working from SMART goals or using more of a visioning approach — can change during different work and personal stages.

TIP:  Constantly evaluate what is and is not working in your time management routine and be open to learning and incorporating new approaches you encounter.

Myth #2:  Clear Priorities Are the Key

Your priorities or unfinished work around your priorities can actually be the root of your time management problems.  When you have too many priorities, you neutralize your focus on any of them.  And having conflicting priorities leaves your unconscious mind battling itself to figure out what to do next.

TIP:  At the beginning of the year, make time for thorough planning of both your work and life goals. Take time to force yourself to narrow your focus on several crucial areas that work in synchronicity with all parts of your life.

Myth #3:  All Interruptions Are Bad

Did you know that each interruption can cost you 8 minutes to get back to what you were doing? But when you can plan your interruptions by scheduling them in, you avoid sitting too long working which is not only bad for your body, but is a productivity sucker.

There are times you want to completely shut out interruptions so you can get into the flow.  But it may be a good strategy in the early stages of your business to allow for interruptions using technology to notify you of potential clients calling to schedule an appointment or key people you need to talk to if the alternative is a series of phone tag.

TIP:  Structure your day to minimize interruptions.  But, be strategic when deciding when to let  them in your business day.

Myth #4:  What I Don’t Know Won’t Hurt Me

Actually, yes it will, particularly when it comes to properly estimating the amount of time it takes to complete tasks on your to do list.  When people are over-booked with bloated priorities, they don’t like to look at the facts about how much time each of the item of their list will really take to complete.  This creates stress and laissez-faire approach where things are left to take their own course.

TIP:  Estimate how much time the things you want to accomplish will take.  When things will take more time to do, then you have to start eliminating or delaying the task, delegating the task, or finding faster ways to complete the task. Doing this regularly will help you break the habit of unrealistic scheduling.

Myth #5: You Can Operate In Peak Performance Most of the Time

This depends on what you are going through. If you have a chronic relationship challenge at home, your ability to employ time management strategies is not at full capacity. Or when you are in the process of making big changes in either your work or personal life, it is normal to periodically go into fight, flight, or freeze mode when approaching your work. During those times it is best to recognize what is happening, take a break, nurture yourself, and get back to work as soon as you are able.

TIP:  Recognize and address any outside factors that may be contributing to your seemingly lack-luster ability to manage your time well.

Becoming a master of time is a lifelong journey. For the Christian women entrepreneur, it is your best tool to ensure the priorities you are living match up with the priorities your Maker wants you to live.

Biz and Life Tips for Christian Women Entrepreneurs:  Assess where you are today with time management and make a commitment to constantly grow in this area; it truly is the key to manifesting your Holy Spirit-inspired vision.

4 Ways to Fix a Focus Problem

stressed-businesswoman Entrepreneurial freedom can lead to business failure if you don’t focus in your business.

Success is doing the right things well.

So you first need to know what “right things” you need to do in your business.  And once you do, you must be focused in your implementation.

The following are signs that you are losing focus in your work time:

  • periods of being spaced out as chunks of your work time passes,
  • making excuses for popping up and out of your seat frequently,
  • feeling like you are accomplishing little.

You could have a secondary or primary focus problem. A person with a primary focus problem has never had the desired focus in his or her business.

A person with a secondary focus problem at one time had good focus.  Somewhere they lost it along the way.

Primary Focus Problems

If you have never experienced good focus in your work time, it doesn’t mean you have ADHD (although you might).

Having primary focus problems flows from being ignorant of how to use good systems and not having appropriate processes in place.  It could be that you are not 100% sure the business strategies are the right ones for you, so you waver in your enthusiasm of implementing them.

Secondary Focus Problems

A newly found focus problem could represent shifting priorities, business needs, and a plan that needs to be updated.  Things may have clicked at one time.  Now with, perhaps a change in life circumstance what you were doing no longer fits.  Your unconscious may have created a drag to let you know some revisions to the strategies need to be made to avoid going in the wrong direction.

4 Steps To Fix The Focus Problem

Either way, some or all the following four steps could do the trick to realign you and your business, so you can get back into good flow.

1. Establish or re-establish goals and objectives

Our brain wants to please us.  When we have a clear vision, our brain works hard to find the people, places, and things to get us there.  When something has changed that affects our vision that our conscious mind is not up-to-speed on things are misfiring in our brain. The same effect shows in our actual work implementation.

Review and change your goals and objectives to achieve confidence and efficiency.

2. Determine whether you have too many or conflicting goals

Like in step one, too many goals can overload the pathways in the brain.  When everything is a priority, nothing is a priority. Your brain doesn’t know what to do first, so it sends confusing messages about what to do next.

Take a look at your goals and be honest if you are trying to do too much.  Create a priority list and use it when you need to be doing two things at the same time.  Being more realistic about what you can do opens up space in the brain to actually do the work.

3. Acknowledge your Learning Curve and Systematize

Sometimes you become unfocused because you are doing a new task and aren’t completely clear how to execute it.  You may find yourself procrastinating because you aren’t  sure how to get started.

When you realize you are ignorant of the best process  and it is causing you to be stuck, devoting time to systematize the task can uncork you.

4. Assess and Address Your Inner Game

Sometimes having poor focus is really about a much bigger energetic issue.  You may have a mismatch between where you are energetically with the success you desire to achieve.   Your current belief system might limiting you from getting you where you desire to go.

For example, if you can’t picture yourself having the kind of financial success you are striving for because you are feeling unworthy, you aren’t going to get your whole being working for you in a focused way toward the goal.

Journaling can help you see what limiting beliefs might be in play.  There are a number of techniques for overcoming inner game problems to help you work through them.

You really can earn more in less time when you make the most of your time at work and play.  Poor focus can be a symptom of many things. Do your best to figure out and eradicate the root cause.

If you need more help I would love to schedule a complimentary GPS (God’s Will Planning Session) to see where the gaps might be in you achieving your Holy Spirit-inspired vision.  To get on my calendar go to http://talkwithchristina.com.

Christian Women Entrepreneurs Biz and Life Tip:  Make sure you have set work times, so you can recognize when you are not focused and need to be realigned.  

4 Mindsets to Overcome Business Obstacles

Big dent on car When the weather is nice Friday mornings, a girlfriend and I meet at an upscale shopping center. We park and take a 45-minute walk in the beautiful residential center behind the stores.

After our ritual this week, I returned to my car and stunned by what I saw. It looked like an alien took a chainsaw from the left to the right through the back door of my 2011 Toyota Sienna. There were shattered glass around the car. While we stood there looking stunned, a man who worked in one of the nearby businesses greeted us. He and another woman saw the accident. They had all the information I needed to make a claim. He even drove me to where the men were still unloading items from their truck in the center.

These two men in a semi-truck drove past my van and turned right. However, the back flap on their truck had fallen down and apparently was the weapon that dug into the back of my van as they turned.
The van was still drivable – kind of because I didn’t have tail lights. The insurance man filing the claim was helpful in facilitating me both in getting the van scheduled at the body shop and in arranging a rental car.
While it was an inconvenience, I was able to see the cup half full, especially with finding out who hit me rather than having to pay for the repairs myself. Yes, an entrepreneur’s time is precious, but it seemed everyone was as helpful as possible in remedying the situation quickly.

I could have easily felt sorry for myself with this latest blow. Earlier that week I had experienced a couple of setbacks and financial hits that already had me off balance.

A key to being a successful entrepreneur is to know how to bounce back and work through obstacles as quickly as possible. Here are four critical mindsets to help you make that speedy transition from bummerland to being able to see the silver lining in the clouds overhead:

1) What You Focus on Gets Bigger

You can gripe about your husband who doesn’t seem to get it and support your entrepreneurial vision.  You can marinate an uncomfortable conversation with a colleague, family member, or friend.  You can feel like a victim with every little piece of bad news the day presents. But, if you do you will only get more of the same. Try to see God’s hand in the bright side of what you experienced. Things almost always can be worse.

2) God Often Cloaks Juicy Important Things Essential for Growth Inside of Obstacles

I do the St. Ignatious Daily Examen. It involves reviewing my day and seeing God’s hand through all the daily events. This habit opened my eyes to the many subtle blessings or insights or gifts that are often embedded in a cruddy experience or not-so-great news.

1) What You Focus on Gets Bigger

You can gripe about your husband who doesn’t seem to get it and support your entrepreneurial vision. You can marinate an uncomfortable conversation with a colleague, family member, or friend. You can feel like a victim with every little piece of bad news the day presents. But, if you do you will only get more of the same. Try to see God’s hand in the bright side of what you experienced. Things almost always can be worse.

2) God Often Cloaks Juicy Important Things Essential for Growth Inside of Obstacles

I do the St. Ignatious Daily Examen. It involves reviewing my day and seeing God’s hand through all the daily events. This habit opened my eyes to the many subtle blessings or insights or gifts that are often embedded in a cruddy experience or not-so-great news.

If you spend your time whining over what has happened instead of figuring out what God is trying to teach you, you will miss out on key puzzle pieces he is giving you that will unlock where you are stuck.

3) Normalize Obstacles and Make Timely Decisions

Making good, timely decisions and overcoming obstacles along the way mark the successful entrepreneur. Do not be pressured when something is getting in the way or when you are presented with a problem. Instead, recognize it as part of your job description and challenge yourself  to handle each roadblock with grace.

4) Let Your “Why” Bring You Back

Sometimes a blow can feel so great that the thought of quitting enters your mind. That’s when it is time to step back into your “why”.  Why exactly did you become an entrepreneur?  A big enough “why” can help you walk over those hot coals if that is necessary.  It can reignite your drive.

If your “why” isn’t powerful enough, you may need to do some work here.  Dig deep on the benefits you are pursuing in having your own business. Consider what you will be giving up and how that will affect you in the long and short term if you throw in the towel.

Having your own  business is not for the faint of heart. The true measure of your success will be how well you can master your mindset and take that next step of action towards success.

The Christian Women Entrepreneurs Biz and Life Tip: Embrace each obstacle as a way for you to develop a tougher skill in your business  that leads you to your ultimate Christ-centered, lifestyle entrepreneur dream.

Don’t Let Comparing Derail Your Business Focus

Woman struggling with her weight

In my early 20s God gave me a gift. In high school and college I had struggled with body image. As a young professional the Holy Spirit inspired me to do an experiment that would free me.

No matter how great or not-so-great I looked when I went to the gym to work out, those huge full-length mirrors in the aerobic studio would get me every time. I spent the time comparing.

I noticed who was exercising behind, beside, or in front of me. What were they wearing? What was their figure like? How did I stack up?

I had no idea what a downer comparing was until I started my “anti-comparing experiment”. I decided I would no longer compare myself with others.

The Experiment

The next trip to the gym, I became blind. I looked at the floor, not the mirror. I looked inward rather than unconsciously and habitually scanning my environment.

I instantly felt better about myself. I saw the burden comparing had been. Comparison-free days led to peace and self-acceptance. I went cold turkey with comparing in all areas of my life.

 New Insecurities

But the insecurities of starting anything new, particularly your own business, can trigger comparisons. You might compare yourself with other women who don’t have a business and do not have to juggle as much as you do. You might compare yourself with other entrepreneurs feeling like your business isn’t growing fast enough or big enough.

Be careful. Comparing can drag you and your business down. Here are signals you are comparing and what to do about them:

Comparing Signals

 

  1. Approaching your business in a way or at a pace that doesn’t fit with your state in life or values – When your focus is on how others do things and not on your needs, you can get in the trap of plowing ahead against your core values.  For example, you may highly value spending time with your kids, but say “yes” to things that disrupt your time with them just because you see someone else using those same approaches.  You also may disregard your correct instincts about a common sense work schedule because are emulating what you think you see other entrepreneurs doing.   It is important to start with go back to what is important to you, and order your business around it. The money may come slower. But with the right foundation, you will have a structure that can take you to your ultimate vision rather than be disappointed when you “arrive”.
  2. Buying into guilt- Living incongruent to your values breeds guilt. Guilt isn’t bad; it’s a warning sign. Guilt may signal your focus is too much on your neighbor rather than daily action towards your goals. The price of prolonged guilt is failing to understand and correct what is behind it.
  3. Conflicted priorities - To be at peace with your business and your life you can’t just copy what someone else is doing, which is what comparing encourages. You are a unique person with a specific mission. Conflicted priorities flow from poor self-knowledge, which inhibits you finding creative solutions that untangle confusion and reorder your priorities.
  4. Too many strategies – The anxiety around comparing leads to adopting too many and often conflicting business and life strategies and goals. Instead of developing proficiency in a few areas, you dilute your time and attention. Taking regular retrospective time going inside yourself simplifies your activity goals, gives you peace, and ultimately, gives better business results.

 

Just as I deliberately shut down the comparing in my 20s, busy Christian woman entrepreneurs must audit and eradicate the mental practice of comparing. A peaceful mind allows you to reclaim the focus you need for a successful Christ-centered business unique to you and your mission.

 

Christian Women Entrepreneur Biz and Life Tip: Getting out of comparing reintroduces yourself to the thoughts, desires, and feelings of the genius behind your business – you!