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. 

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.

6 Steps to Creating Your Profitable and Fun 30-Hour Work Week

Sad woman looks at the bill Many new entrepreneurs can remember the excitement of doing the groundwork to get their new business off the ground. Work didn’t feel like work. It was easy to put in long hours joyfully with the prospects of turning their dream of being a successful entrepreneur into reality.

But after the excitement dims, business ownership can become a grind, especially if the revenue isn’t flowing like you want. And sometimes even when it is, it leaves you with even less time to do the things you love. Creative entrepreneurs start looking for the magic bullet that will help them not only have the business they want, but more importantly the life they want, too.

This search for more explains the popularity of Tim Ferriss’ book, “The Four-Hour Workweek”, smashing contemporary thinking about success and hard, time-consuming work.

But many people like to work, like myself, and aren’t striving to accomplish it all in one work hour each weekday.

When I started my second coaching business I was a busy mother of three, working part-time in my therapy practice. I told myself I would add 20 hours per week of the coaching business temporarily, maybe a year, until I could transition out of the dollar-per-hour clinical work and work part-time again in my new leveraged business. I had to maintain good boundaries to stick with my work time. I even had a coach who lamented that I wasn’t able to put more than 20 hours into my coaching business.

Three-and-a-half years later with a more difficult transition to the new business model than expected and dealing with upheaval in my therapy practice with the unexpected death of my office colleague and father, I was still working 40-plus hours per week. And it was starting to take its toll.

When having a conversation with God, my inner child and upstairs committee, I had a mutiny inside. Working full time wasn’t part of the deal, so they weren’t going to play anymore.

I heard myself tell my current coach, “I want to work no more than 30 hours per week.” I could see how working those extra 10+ hours per week was interfering with my health and me spending time with the people and doing the things I valued most.

So the committee said, “Then why don’t you”.

From that day forward I decided I would work no more than 30 hours per week with six weeks of vacation each year. Here are the steps to follow in order to take control of the hours you want to work:

Figure Out Your “Work Hour Why”

My coaching business demanded me to become more visible, work on my inner game, and have necessary downtime for self-care, relationships, and fun that gave me the creativity boost necessary to attract and produce what I wanted. I was clearly able to see and feel the frustration every time my current schedule won’t allow me to do everything. Just the switch from getting seven hours of sleep per night to eight eats up seven of those new hours. WITHOUT UNDERSTANDING WHY I NEEDED TO WORK LESS, I WAS NOT MOTIVATED TO DO WHAT I NEEDED TO WORK LESS FOR MORE.

Make Sure You Have the Right Business Model

Every kind of business is not amendable to just announcing your reduction in hours and then letting the good times flow. In many businesses that’s the road to bankruptcy. You have to make sure the possible revenue coming in will give you the profitability you desire to fund your vision after you pay your expenses. This is a critical step and does take some additional work time in the beginning. REALIZE THERE ARE BUSINESS MODELS THAT CAN DELIVER, BUT OTHERS CAN’T; THE NUMBERS HAVE TO WORK.

Make Sure All the Parts Are Moving

The goal is to have a clear idea of what activities you need to do each day, week, month, year to deliver the results you want. But if any of the assumptions you have made are incorrect or if you have personal baggage getting in the way, the effort won’t lead to profitability. Franchises or Multi-level Marketing can be an excellent option here because they have discovered and tested what works; you just step into it. CREATING A NEW BUSINESS MODEL IS MUCH MORE DIFFICULT THAN FOLLOWING A PROVEN, SUCCESSFUL BLUEPRINT ALREADY CREATED.

Know And Refine Your Work Systems

When the office manager in my therapy practice resigned, I had her train me on what she did. For a period of time I assumed responsibilities for her tasks. It showed me how little I knew about how my business was being run. It also helped me see how to make process improvements and what tasks I should be doing and which ones I could farm out. YOU CREATE ADDITIONAL TIME BY IMPROVING YOUR SYSTEMS.

Don’t Just Look at Sales and Clients

Focusing exclusively on marketing activities and cramming your schedule with client appointments can put you on a treadmill of unawareness of your business and possible business opportunities. There are many ways to increase your revenues. Extra clients and extra marketing activities cost time and additional staff support. MAKE SURE YOU HAVE TIME TO STEP BACK AND LOOK AT THE BIGGER PICTURE IN TERMS OF THE BEST WAY TO FUND YOUR FINANCIAL FREEDOM PLAN.

Be Yourself and Have Fun

You can have a proven model and all your ducks in a row but if you don’t like to do the activities necessary for success in that business or if it really isn’t a good fit with your personality and mission, you’ll find yourself surfing on Facebook, taking extended naps, and coming up with other reasons not to work. HONOR YOURSELF BY KNOWING YOURSELF FIRST AND DOING SOMETHING THAT TURNS YOU ON.

 

I’ve reconciled that my three-and-a-half years of unwanted 40 hours per week work allowed me to clumsily sort through the foundations I’ve discussed here. But with a little guidance, your journey doesn’t need to take that long.

Christian Women Entrepreneurs Biz and Life Tips: Ask yourself if you’ve done your homework on the kind of business you want and have. If not and you are serious about the lifestyle you want, invest in expert advice.

Guidelines for Saying “Yes” or “No”

Worried Office Worker Stay-at-home moms get this the worst. Because they are “not working”, everyone asks them to do everything — from being the homeroom parent, to volunteering in the lunchroom, to organizing the canned food drive.

It’s not a problem, because they have time…right?

At least when you have a mom biz you can always fall back on, “I can’t. I have to work”.

Do too much and you end up burned out and short of revenue at work. But be careful of following the advice of some secular mompreneur coaches who encourage you to chuck all the service while you build your business. Postponing generosity until you have your wheat in the storage barn is no recipe for the life of your dreams.’

Either way, we all need a process for discerning which requests to accept and which to politely decline. We all need mompreneur tips to saying no. Here’s my strategy for deciding what gets on my plate:

1) Does this fulfill my mission? – (To answer this you must know your mission. If you don’t, let’s talk at www.talkwithchristina.com.) Questions I ask to see if taking on a task or responsibility will help me fulfill my mission include:

  • Will this activity bring me closer to my kids? – Driving to field trips, helping at class parties, coaching Battle of the Books all create shared experiences with your kids. Seeing your kids in the context of their peers gives insights into their struggles and strengths that you can help them with behind the scenes.
  • Will this activity help me grow my business and generate revenue? – While there are some non-generating activities you need to do to be a team player, you must discern which ones to do and pass on or you will not be able to pay your bills at the end of the month. Be clear on what you are able to commit to and be sure you are not writing an open check with your time.
  • Will this activity enhance the emotional, physical, or spiritual development of my family? Remember these are the important, but not urgent activities that contribute to your kids becoming the people God wants them to be. Make sure you have the right mix of these and then fill in with the other things as your schedule permits.

2) Does that task or project require a gift I possess? You give the greatest value when you devote your time doing tasks that are a match with your unique talents. I invest my time in activities that involve leadership, strategy, and helping to organize bigger systems. I avoid anything that will require counting, phone calls, and administrative time. Think of where your passions lie. You may love the excuse to connect with people by calling to arrange field trip drivers. Say “yes” to those requests.

3) Can I make this work in my schedule? As you advance in your business, you should have a grid that defines your base schedule and includes time slots for the important activities in your business and personal life. Everything can be adjusted slightly each week, but you need a master plan. With one in place you can verify if it is even possible for you to fulfill the request without blowing off your core business and personal commitments.

When two tasks on your schedule clash, ask, “What’s most important?” Sometimes you squeeze out a work responsibility to make extra special time with your spouse. But other times you say “No,” to family requests, because your business needs your attention. What’s most important can change moment by moment. Remembering past choices allows you to make yes-no decisions that are fair both to your loved ones, as well as to you and your business.

A good mom business coach can teach you the tricks of saying “no” or “yes” gracefully so you end up with more time and money and cherished time with your family.

Catholic Mompreneur’s Biz and Life Guide: People don’t like to hear “no” to requests, but when you learn the art of discernment that allows God’s wisdom to permeate, all will be happier in the end.

Handling People Who Are Negative About Your Business

Managing negative people Unless you’ve kept your mom biz aspirations a secret, you’ve experienced it: those comments and looks about your dream life and business.

“But, will you really make money, or will it just be an expensive hobby?”

“Here we go again. How many of these are you going to try before you finally give up?”

“It sounds great. But if you need the extra money, don’t you think it’s time to get a job?”

“What’s wrong with just staying home with the kids and being content with that?”

(Some of these voices may actually be coming from you.)

Managing negativity from people around you must be a part of your mompreneur tool kit.

Negative statements, especially a regular dose of them, poison you and your chances for success. They are the antithesis of being an entrepreneur.

Usually, these comments flow from a poverty mentality. Individuals adopting scarcity believe that there is not enough time, money, and energy to do what you want to do, that it’s impossible.

The practical solution is to stay the same or think small. Change scares them, as does the thought of you changing. They fill their days with complaining, rather than taking the steps they need to take to improve their lives.

As an entrepreneur, a mompreneur especially, you are striving for a world of possibilities where you can have both a great life with awesome connections with family and friends, along with meaningful, profitable work you love.

As long as your dreams stay out of reach, you’re not a threat to the naysayer’s world view. Expect failure if you soak in their negativity.

Here are some tips for managing negativity from others:

1) Don’t Step in the Doo Doo

Often we initiate the conversations we don’t like. Don’t invite the comments by discussing your business with a negative person. Have several like-minded friends with whom you can celebrate your victories and process your disappointments and opportunities.

2) Gravitate Towards the Dreamers

Entrepreneurs are an odd bunch. To the regular population we do seem delusional, which is all the more reason to associate with successful entrepreneurs for support, encouragement and guidance. Having a great professional support system of entrepreneurs who are making it will inspire you to think big and take courageous steps.

3) Practice the 5-1 Rule

For every one negative unavoidable encounter, you need to offset it with five nurturing, loving, edifying experiences. A schedule padded with activities that build you up buffers you against the occasional unpleasant comment.

4) Memorize Your Mentor

Always have a plan for your business you co-created with a mentor who is several or more steps ahead of you. By working on your next learning steps and acquiring new skills based on solid input from successful people, you gain confidence and reassurance that despite the occasional dips and disappointments, you are on the road to prosperity. This attitude sends those negative comments down your back like oil dripping from a duck.

You will encounter negative comments and unsupportive people. Learning to manage them with minimal impact on your success plan is job #1 of every entrepreneur.

Catholic Mompreneur’s Biz and Life Tip: Be honest about who in your life tries to put a damper on your dreams, and select a strategy to overcome it. Managing negativity is a skill you can master.