Insights Blog

Useful tools, tips and strategies to help your business learn, develop and expand.

The 3 Cs of Credibility

One of my clients, Chris, posed an interesting question at his session recently. He asked me, “How do I know I am credible as a leader to my team?”

This is something that is important to a lot of business owners, as credibility and earning trust is a major factor in effectively managing your team.

So I shared a model with Chris, and as I thought it would be something good to share with you too…

So how did you rate yourself on these three variables? What element do you need to focus on and become even better and even stronger in?

Share your own insights in the comments below.

Prefer to read rather than watch and listen? No problem – here’s everything I said in the video as text:

The Question of Credibility in a Coaching Session

Hi this is Shweta from London Coaching Group. I have just come out of a session with my client, a coaching session, and there was a very interesting question which was posed by Chris.

He asked me saying, “Shweta, what is credibility? It’s like, how do I know that I am credible, as a manager, as a leader, to my team?”

And that’s a very interesting question if you think about it because I’m sure when you are working with your team members, or when you’re working with your prospects, or clients, credibility is a very important factor to you.

So I shared with him, with Chris, this model and I wanted to share it with you as well because I’m sure you will find it very interesting and thought-provoking hopefully, because that’s the intention. 

The Venn Diagram of Credibility

Alright, so let’s have a look. This is what I did, ok? So it’s a Venn diagram. Now this is the credibility point, right? This is the credibility hotspot. There are 3 Cs which are required for a person to have high credibility.

Character 

The first C, the first bit that is required, is called Character. Super essential, because the team is watching you, your clients are watching you, your prospects are watching you and this is the must. This is the foundation.

Competence & Connection

The next C element which is really important is Competence. And then the final element, which again leads to credibility, is called Connection. When one has high Character, high Competence, and a high Connection, that’s where high credibility happens.

What I Want You To Think Through

Now the question is, and this is what I want you to think through, the question is what happens when a leader or a business owner has a high Character but lacks Competence and Connection?

And what happens when a person is very Competent, but the Character is not very strong and the Connection, the engagement, the level of relatedness where the people is concerned is not very high.

And similarly, when someone is big on Connection, a big people person, but not very competent or the character is not at the right level, then what are the implications of that?

And I want you to reflect on it, think it through, and I’m sure if you look at your full team, right, just the entire team, and you try to plot your team members on this model, you will be really amazed with how you will see different people staying in different areas, and it will give you a good insight as to who needs to improve on what.

Rate YOURSELF – What’s Your Credibility?

But most importantly I would love it if you could rate yourself on these 3 variables and saying which is the element where you need to become even better, even stronger to become a really better manager or leader for your team and a great business owner for your prospects and clients.

So speak to you soon.

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3 Tests to Measure the Strength of Your USP

One of the first things successful business owners do is clarify their unique selling proposition (USP). That is, what is it about the service or product that you offer which makes it more compelling than anything else out there?

Fundamentally, it answers the question, “Why should I buy from you?”

I have noticed, however, that many business owners struggle to pin this down. Or more precisely, they struggle to pin down a USP that is actually unique and compelling. And doing this is essential.

The result is that their marketing produces only a trickle of leads, their product development and expansion is haphazard and directionless. The company is constantly yo-yoing as the business owner feels like they are spinning plates while simultaneously putting out fires.

This begs the question, how do you check whether your business’ USP is clear and useful?

I encountered a diagram like this sometime ago and I adapted it to create some simple tests you can use to do a quick check on the strength of your USP.

london-business-coaching-usp-test 

The Grey “Doesn’t Matter” Zone

The first test is the easy one: the grey zone just doesn’t even matter. I mean, who cares what you and your competitors are both doing well if no one even wants it?

First Test: Does your consumer want it?

If no, then why on earth are you doing this? Drop it. Forget about it. It’s taking up valuable headspace.

If yes, continue on.

The Red “Fail” Zone

The next test is the red zone and if you are sitting here, then there should be big alarm bells ringing! If your competitor is serving your customers’ needs better than you are, then something definitely needs to change!

Second Test: Does your competitor do it better?

If yes, then this is certainly not your USP – if anything, it’s theirs! You either need to choose a different USP to focus your business on, or up your game and do what you do better so that you can outstrip the competition.

If no, then you can proceed to the next test.

The Yellow “Unsafe” Zone

The yellow zone is where you are almost there, but this is an unreliable proposition that could slip into the red zone at any moment. You see, if both you and your competitor are satisfying your consumers’ needs, then how are they making the decision to go with you or with them?

Third Test: Are your competitors doing it just as well as you are?

If yes, then you may use this as your USP, but stay cautious. You are deep in the battleground here. Any step backwards is a step forwards for your competitor. Be innovative. Be attentive. Know your customer inside out and sway them to you for emotional reasons, because logically there is quite possibly no difference between you and your competitor.

If no, then…

The Green “Safe” Zone

Congratulations – you are in the green zone! You do what you do better than any of your competitors, and your consumer is hungry for your solution. Your USP is sound.

You should now be focusing your niche and avatar around this USP, choosing your lead magnets, and refining your brand strategy around it. You should be structuring your products & pricing and even your company culture around it. Using it as the foundation for all your decision making will help you steer the boat of your business in a direction of growth and profit.

Does your USP pass these tests? Or are you in need of a USP upgrade? Let us know in the comments below, or let us know any techniques you have for identifying your business’ USP.

Want help constructing your USP?

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Stop Saying “I’m Sorry”

Do you remember the last time you made a really big mistake?

If not, then well done for not making any mistakes! Unfortunately, most of us have made mistakes, and will continue to do so, because most human beings operate that way – especially business owners who want learn and grow fast.

But the more important thing is – did you apologise to someone? If you did, did you also ensure that that apology was the most useful and beneficial apology for both yourself and the person you were apologising to?

Let me share with you a learning I gained from my business coach about the best way to make an apology after you have made a mistake – which applies whether you are apologising to a business partner, a team member, a spouse or a friend.

Do you remember a particular apology you have made which moved everyone forward in the best way? Inspire others by sharing your story in the comments below.

Prefer to read rather than watch and listen? No problem – here’s everything I said in the video as text:

Hi this is Shweta from The London Coaching Group. Let me ask you a question, have you ever made a mistake? Because once I made a mistake, I was having a conversation with my business coach, so let me actually tell you what happened.

So there we are, in our coaching session and my coach was holding me accountable and I made a mistake and I said “Listen, I’m sorry but…”

“Shweta let me just stop you, let me just stop you at that word ‘but’. Let me ask you a question, do you agree that you could have done better? And you made a mistake here?”

“Yes Coach.”

“So let me coach you on what is the best way to make an apology.”

“What do you mean Coach? What’s the best way to make an apology? I said sorry.”

“No let me actually tell you how to apologise. Because you will have many of those occasions in your life. The best way to apologise is to say ‘I’m sorry, and I’ll do better next time.’”

And that life lesson has stayed with me forever, and I try to teach that to my clients, to my kid, and to myself most importantly. Because growing the business, moving the business forward and becoming even better is full of failures, is full of mistakes. But when that occasion happens, one needs to know how to apologise in the right way.

Because you want to communicate to the outside world, and most importantly to yourself about your own intentions.

Want to find out more about business coaching?

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At the very least, we will leave you with a few areas in your business that you could focus on to create sustainable growth.

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You Already Know Your Target Market

london-business-coaching-marketing-avatar-interview

 

Who is your ideal customer? What is the likelihood that someone like me, who works with hundreds of businesses every year, would be able to get you an introduction to a potential ideal customer? Pretty likely, but only as long as I know who it is you are looking for. 

It all starts with the concept of the “Marketing Avatar” – the first and most critical step in creating a marketing machine that brings in the right kind of leads into your business.

However, a lot of people feel like when they try and create this Marketing Avatar it feels a lot like the shadows on the wall of Plato’s Cave: it is an imperfect representation and they’re struggling to pin down this Avatar as a real target person that could actually exist.

Let me explain an exercise that has helped hundreds of businesses to concretise their Avatar from an ideal into a reality.

I have, in previous blog posts, explained why target markets don’t work and why you need a marketing avatar instead. I have also listed the 6 essential qualities that you should look out for in a marketing avatar, so I won’t explain those again.

Instead, I want to outline an exercise you can do that will help you apply the concept of the Marketing Avatar to reality.

And it’s a lot easier than you may think. It’s the Marketing Avatar Interview.

Marketing Avatar Interview Step 1

Extract a list of all your existing customers from whatever database or CRM (customer relationship management) solution you use. This may be past and present customers, but they must be people you would be able to contact.

Marketing Avatar Interview Step 2

Go through this list and choose the customers that you liked the most. As far as possible at this stage, avoid thinking about them in terms of the sales or money – just focus on whether they were someone you enjoyed spending time with or not.

Marketing Avatar Interview Step 3

Now with your list of favourite customers, get a bit more clinical. Rank them in terms of real value to your business. Look at the 6 essential qualities again and consider how much they match your ideal Avatar.

Marketing Avatar Interview Step 4

Now that you have one or two of your existing customers who quite closely match your ideal Marketing Avatar, you can get in touch to conduct an interview with them. You should ask them an extensive list of questions about who they are, what they like, and where they spend their time to build a solid profile about them.

And just like that, you have a detailed document about who your marketing Avatar is that is built on real knowledge of an actual ideal customer.

An example of how you can use this is to ensure that you when you set up a system to ask for referrals from your business partners and alliances with abundant contacts (such as, say, your business coach!) you are asking for the right kind of customer.

Generally, armed with your Marketing Avatar, you are now in a position to reassess your entire marketing strategy and sharpen your messages so everything you do is directed to the people who perfectly match your business.

Marketing processes getting you down?

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How Many Steps Should Your Sales Process Have?

How often are you making contact with the prospects that have expressed interest in your business? At what point do you give up and decide you have wasted enough time on them?

Remember, “You lose more business from prospects who fail to decide than from those who say ‘No.’”

The evidence is clear: businesses with an optimal number of sales process steps have stronger sales pipelines and generate more revenue. The metaphor of a ‘pipe’ is apt: if you do not have enough brackets holding it up, then the pipe cracks and the water leaks out. So no matter how many leads you pour in from your excellent marketing strategies, they do not make it to the final destination if the conversion funnel is weak. Equally, too many brackets are not only an unnecessary waste of your resources, but could also work against you and end up limiting your pipeline.

The question is then: how do you build a sales pipeline that has the optimal number of sales process steps for your business?

In this video I share the results of an analysis of 50,000 sales leads and the conclusion on what the optimal number of sales process stages are, depending on the size of your targets:

Action Point: Go back to the sales funnel in your business and analyse how many sales attempt steps are built into it. How many are you actually doing? Could you be making this conversion process even better?

Leave a comment on this article and let us know the number of steps in your sales process if you would like us to give you a free review of your sales pipeline and how you could improve it.

Prefer to read rather than watch and listen? No problem – here’s everything I said in the video as text:

Hi this is Shweta from The London Coaching Group, I recently got asked a question – how many sales attempts need to be made to work a lead effectively?

A very interesting question, because what has been commonly found is that when there is a lack of sales process – with not the optimum number of contacts built in, it actually results in a weaker pipeline and a huge amount of wastage of both money and time.

Now to have a sustainable pipeline with proper growth happening, this is what you need to think through. That based on my market, what is my sales process? And how many sales attempts or contact points I need to make with my prospects to improve the conversion and finally maximise the profitability on your marketing, money and efforts.

So let me share with you the result of the analysis of 50,000 sales leads. And actually what is the optimum number based on the small-size market, the mid-size market or the corporates that you might be targeting. Now this is a very interesting analysis, and it should give you a very clear indicator to assess your current sales process, and the number of attempts that your sales team is making or maybe you are making to reach out to your target place.

So let’s have a look at this, the vertical axis is about the Profitability – which is what we are trying to maximise of that lead. And the horizontal axis is about the Sales Attempts that are being made right now, or should be made to maximise the profitability.

So if you are dealing with small business markets, what has been found is that the optimum number of sales attempts that you need to be making or your sales process needs to have built in is 5. That’s where the maximisation happens, if it’s done properly. If you are targeting the mid-market, then the number that you really need to focus on is 8. You need to have 8 sales attempts, before you can think of maximising the profit.

And if it’s corporates and enterprises, as you can imagine – there the lead time or more contacts are required because of the gatekeepers and difficulty of reaching out to the decision maker. And therefore, logically the number will be higher and what has been found it’s number 12.

Now if you are giving up, just after making 9 contacts and wondering why am I not getting my conversion or getting frustrated saying “It’s such a hard task.” Then you are just giving up, when actually the optimum number is 12.

So it’s a very interesting analysis and I really want you to go back to the drawing board for your sales process. Have a look at it, and see what attempts are being built in, what touch points are being built in before you decide on giving up on a lead, or actually making your conversion even better – so that you can have more profitability.

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