Archive for the 'Uncategorized' category

How To Get USDA Home Loans New York & Other States

Jan 18 2024 Published by admin under Uncategorized

These loans greatly help households with low-to-average income to acquire their own homes because they do not require a down payment. This could be a very good option for you to finally own a house.

There is one limitation to trying to get USDA home loans, though. They are only open for houses within Department of Agriculture-defined “rural areas”. If you’re planning to move to New York or Hawaii, which are both states that can be called urban at first glance, you can still get USDA Home Loans New York or Hawaii. Why is this? Let’s first understand better what USDA Home Loans are.

USDA’s Definition of Rural Area

Researchers and policy officials have varying definitions of urban and rural areas. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) on the other hand, surprisingly has a very loose definition of what is takes for an area to be rural. According to the department, rural areas are defined as “open country and not part of urban areas”. This is already an updated and broad definition of rural areas within the country. So, there is no need for you to worry as generally urban states can still have rural parts in them wherein you can find a USDA-loanable home.

How do I qualify for this loan?

Whether applicants are looking to move in a more urban state such as Hawaii, they could still apply for USDA Home Loans Hawaii. But how do I know if I qualify? Here are the following eligibility criteria:
S. citizenship or legal permanent residence
Applicants must be creditworthy and much be able to prove it
Applicants should have dependable and stable source of income
Applicants should be willing to repay the mortgage
Income should be equal to or less than the state’s AMI
Houses bought with USDA loans should only be used for primary residence
In addition to all these qualifications previous mentioned, there are credit requirements that applicants need to prepare for. Lenders usually review applicant credit in order to fully gauge how much trust they could give them to approve them of borrowing money. These are the other credit-related items to be reviewed by your lender.

Credit score
Repayment patterns
Length of credit history
Credit utilization
How to do I find these loans?

Whether you decide to apply for USDA Home Loans Hawaii or USDA Home Loans New York, finding a lender to help you is generally easy – just look it up online. For example: typing “USDA Home Loans” on the search bar can show hundreds of lenders to help you with your application. You can also easily talk to them, and asses their services online.

Comments are off for this post

Why Is My Application For USDA Home Loans Louisiana Rejected?

Jan 18 2024 Published by admin under Uncategorized

then getting to know the different ways an application can be denied is a good idea. It helps you prepare for the possible hindrances you’ll encounter with your application. Knowing them in advance gives you ample time to improve upon your credit score and other requirements.

What causes USDA applications to be denied?

To help you with your research and preparation on loan application rejection, we’ve compiled a list for you. Here are the possible reasons why applications get denied.
Income and debt issues – If you have debt issues such as an undisclosed debt, you could have a hard time getting approval for your application. Unverifiable income and a household income that exceeds the state AMI can also be reasons for application denial.
Credit score change – While the USDA does not have a minimum credit score put in place, loan lenders have. Lenders usually put a minimum credit score of 640. If you have any financial activity that negatively affects your credit to the point where it hits a lower score than the required minimum, that could cause a problem.
Change in employment – A stable job or a dependable source of income is a major requirement for getting an application approved. If you lost your job, or have been laid off during the application process, lenders can count this as a reason for denial. In accordance to USDA’s requirement that the applicant’s household income must not exceed the state 115% of the state AMI, if you changed your job and got a better paycheck that allows you to exceed that limits, your application could also be denied.
A change in debt-to-income-ratio – Adding new debt to your account while also having to pay for a home lone is not a good idea. Adding new lines of debt can mean that you would have a hard time repaying the loan you took from the lenders – another cause of application denial.
Property issues – You can only purchase homes within rural areas, as defined by the requirements of USDA loans. The home purchased through USDA Home Loans California application should also be used as the applicant’s primary residence. Not adhering to those two can subject an application to be denied.
What do I do if my USDA Loan was denied?

If you had your USDA Home Loans Louisiana denied, get in touch with your lender about it. Ask them for the details as to why it was denied. There are some cases when application that were denied with automatic underwriting were still saved with manual underwriting. So, don’t lost hope. Your USDA Home Loans California application can still get approved. However, if it was denied in manual, talking to your loan officer about it is the best course of action that you can do.

Comments are off for this post

Consultative Techniques For Sales & Marketing

Jul 06 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

Below I have detailed how I use consultative techniques to build relationships, sales and discover new products that lead to industry trends. My experience has proven this to be the best way to develop trust, credibility and results.

This is my business philosophy and I have presented it at National Sales Meetings as a sales and marketing training tool. It is all about earning the trust of the customer by creating success for them. People deal with those they like and trust. It is a simple concept but requires a psychological expertise that only experience can teach. Once learned, it is absolutely deadly to competition.

PREMISE & STRATEGY It is imperative in these competitive times to be able to set yourself above the pack as not just a vendor, but as a trusted partner and business consultant. People buy (long term) from those that they trust, respect and like. To build that kind of relationship you must do everything in your power to prove that you are there to ensure your customer’s success.

Consultative selling is something most have heard of. It is simply a “softer sell” approach that centers on identifying needs and getting the buyer to agree to that need and your solution. Any buyer can sense a pitch and is going to be wary of it, no matter how “soft” it is. This system differs in that you are functioning as a pure consultant to the client, partnering with them to develop trust and create success on their terms. It fosters a rock solid relationship between you and the customer. If the solution to their need does not exist with your company, go to corporate to create it. Show the customer that you are there to serve their needs, not yours. Trust me, if you do this the payoffs are well worth it.

Create Trust You must take a true consultative approach and concentrate on uncovering needs, providing solutions and adding value to your customer’s business through your relationship with them. This means taking a seat on their side of the desk, seeing things through their eyes and partnering with them to develop a long-term growth plan. Treat their business as if it were your own. If you say you will follow up on something, do so promptly. Email thank you notes after appointments. Earn their trust and respect.

Ask probing questions and listen proactively because needs are often implied rather than expressed. Your customer will be very pleased and surprised when you identify an unspoken need because you listened with an intuitive ear. They will wonder why other vendors aren’t as insightful. As you begin to work on solutions together, they will see the value you bring to them and their business. Then the magic happens, you break into their “trust zone”.

Become the “Value Proposition” They may even try to buy from you at this point. If the product really suits their needs, fine. If not, discourage that action and explain why. This is your opportunity to earn everlasting trust and respect. Think of their perception of that action. A salesman discouraging a sale? There could only be one reason for that, the guy is the real deal. He is truly here to help me. You have just earned trust. Never betray it. Don’t be in a hurry to sell things. Instead, sell yourself and the value you bring to the relationship. Become the value proposition to the customer.

Now you have real credibility. You have earned their trust and they are comfortable with your counsel. You did not start off by trying to sell product, you sold yourself. You partnered with them, identifying needs and providing solutions to help their business grow. Closing now becomes welcomed advice from a trusted consultant and friend. They are anxious for your recommendations. What a difference! By putting the relationship before the sale, you have guaranteed the sale. In all probability, you have also created a customer for life.

The beauty of this approach is that it is win/win. It is low key, consultative, provides solutions and adds value (you) to the customer. It enables a solid foundation of trust, credibility and creates a long-term relationship that pays big dividends. You are now much more than a vendor. You are a trusted and valued business partner.

While the system is relatively simple to apply to any account, as with many things, one cannot judge a book by its cover. It requires a subtle psychology that only experience can teach. For instance, you must know when to listen and when to talk, when to be aggressive and when to be laid back. These are the nuances that can make or break the “connection” with the buyer. However, once mastered, it provides you with many advantages over the competition.

The Benefits Some of the important benefits of the system are that you now can stop by most accounts unannounced and be welcomed. You have access to free focus group studies. You have an inside track to competitive and important marketing information. It also creates a hedge against competition. You have earned your way into the “inner circle” with top management of the account.

The Value of Asking, “What If”…… You are now a trusted consultant and business partner, the value proposition to the account……the reason they do business with your company rather than with a multitude of competitors. Now begins the real payoff. Asking, “What if”………… Because of the stature you now hold with the account, you will surely get some very enlightening information as a result of asking that question. It puts you in the perfect position to conduct focus group studies about ideas you may have about improving business, new products, etc. For instance, you have a very big customer who is very influential in the industry. You have a great idea for a new product/program. You ask, “John, what if we were to do this or that, would that be something you could use? Share your thoughts and suggestions”.

Given your relationship, “John” is going to be more than happy to let you know what he thinks of your idea and share some of his own. This is the whole point of developing the relationship to such a high level of trust. “John” will see that you are trying to find ways to create success for him and be appreciative of that. Your bond is now that much closer.

Of most importance, within these answers lie the key to new products, programs and industry trends. So simple, yet so effective. Do this with every customer and you cannot go wrong.

SUMMARY I have proven its effectiveness on many occasions, given presentations about it at National Sales Meetings and used it to train both direct and indirect sales personnel. This approach works for all customers, large and small, regardless of the product involved. It is classic, old school and deadly to the competition.

James Laliberte – Director of Sales & Marketing – Liberty Marketing – (916) 346-4571

Innovation, creativity and finding new solutions to old problems are my strengths. These solutions not only address the present, but are designed to evolve and set the stage for future growth. The goal is to create a steady stream of fresh product/sales strategies that align with corporate objectives, maximize revenues and keep competition off balance.

Using this strategy in tandem with consultative techniques, I have been responsible for products and programs that had industry-wide effect and created very profitable new platforms for growth. I am confident in my ability to achieve similar results for any company.

Comments are off for this post

BEFORE You Feng Shui – Things you MUST know before a Feng Shui Consultation

Jul 06 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

Feng Shui is a Healing art. It is meant to inspire, transform, help and assist out clients to achieve their goals. I don’t believe it was ever intended to instill fear, make people uncomfortable in their own homes or worry about changes they make. And yet, that is exactly what I have been seeing lately.

A case in point: On a recent visit to a client I was dismayed to enter a beautiful condo unit and find complete and utter lack of attention to the home. By lack of attention, it had clearly not been cleaned in a very long time as the grime was built up on everything; the entire unit was cluttered with things lining both the furniture and couches. The kitchen went unused and it was almost impossible to step into the bedroom due to the clothes and debris all over the floor. Something had gone horribly wrong and we cleared off a space on the floor to sit and discuss her life and issues.

She was an intelligent, beautiful accomplished person who had previously been both a model and a singer in a band and was now on disability due to a recent accident. She told me that several years ago she still hadn’t found the right partner and had called a Feng Shui consultant for some help and advice on her relationship issues. The consultant pointed out problem after problem with the layout of her home, with her bathroom, with the direction of the front door—-the list goes on. In short, she was told by the consultant to move, that this previously lovely condo would never support her nor would she ever have good luck while she lived there.

Flash forward to today and my visit. She had given up she said; what was the point? She did not have the money to move and truly believed there was nothing she could do to help enhance her life. Powerful and absolutely devastating words from someone she went to for advice and inspiration. Now her mindset was and had been misery. She no longer had friends over, certainly had not even opened herself up to the possibility of a relationship and was having a series of misfortunate “accidents.” She had given up on her home and her life.

Trying to change her mindset after so many years was a daunting task. I showed her all the good points in her home and gave her easy, inexpensive things she could do to change the energy, starting with cleaning up and getting rid of the clutter. I addressed each room with a positive point of view and if something wasn’t “politically” Feng Shui correct, showed her simple things to change it.

Sadly, I have been seeing this more and more in my consultations. While I truly believe in the many methods to use Feng Shui, I am always mindful to do no harm. In someone’s home or in their Mind. Yet I am finding client after client who has been told their front door faced the “wrong” direction, the steps in the center of the home would mean constant health issues and everything negative while only providing their clients with expensive methods such as renovations or telling them the house will never support them at all.

I visit Real Estate offices quite frequently to speak on Feng Shui and Home Staging and honestly there hasn’t been one I have been in that wanted to work with a Feng Shui Consultant. Why? For one thing, Feng Shui Consultants never seem to find the “perfect” home for their client; sometimes it’s the numbers on the door, sometimes it a misplaced bathroom, sometimes there is a “negative” space and a complete area of the house is missing. Feng Shui consultants, I am told, point out only negative issues.

I am grateful that I attended classes in Feng Shui by such a wide spectrum of the very best teachers and mentors in the field who were able to provide me with a variety of inexpensive and easy to implement “cures” for all these problems. When we look at a space, we see it through what is called “Feng Shui Eyes” but these eyes can be positive in nature and instead, show a person or family how the home will support them and how to “fix” a missing piece, show them the positive aspects of the front door and how to look at Feng Shui through a positive perspective.

We were taught to be healers in every aspect of the word; we are often challenged ourselves with clients who are so hurt and worried about homes they have been told can’t be fixed, that will never support them that their lives have changed so dramatically in a downward spiral.

Look for a Feng Shui Consultant to inspire you, give you the positive, use the beautiful transcendental cures and blessings and simple and inexpensive methods to change your environment for a more beneficial flow of energy. We are, as the wonderful Pamela Laurance inspired in us every day, to be Mindful, to help, to heal, to transform.

Certainly, finding a consultant who has been well trained in a variety of methods and practices from a positive point of view won’t get you “stuck” in believing you need expensive renovations or that it’s time to move. They are the ones that will be able to transform, to help and heal and inspire. The positive aspects you put into your thoughts are, ultimately, what will provide you with exactly what you are seeking in every area of your life.

Comments are off for this post

Branding The Realty Consulting Business

Jul 06 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

In a day and age where nearly two-thirds of enterprise value is originating from intangible assets alone, the future value of businesses, especially those which are knowledge driven, will largely tend to be concentrated in the ways in which firms manage and acknowledge these value creating assets. Branding in a knowledge driven business like real estate consulting is a fairly new concept. In this article, I discuss why real estate consulting firms should adopt the practice of brand-building and how this in turn can enhance their long term value and future growth in a market like India.

After the slump in the mid-90s’, real estate firms are back in action into what can be called as the biggest housing and commercial real estate booms in the history. This time the bubble seems to be growing consistently and until it pops, the business may just keep looking better. While some investors may insist that the growth is too much too soon, there are many who believe that the growing real estate sector is not due to any irrational exuberance but a vote of confidence in resurgent India. The demand for real estate is at a all time high. The Ernst & Young report recently pegged the Indian Real Estate market at $12billion and estimated a consistent growth of over 30 percent a year in the next 5 years. In addition to this, the government’s move in opening up the real estate sector allowing 100 percent foreign direct investment in the construction and development has already spurred huge investments.

As ‘expansion’ becomes the latest buzzword within corporate India, one can hardly predict how long will this trend continue. With the growing number of high net worth individuals, the booming spend-thrift middle class population and the massive inflow of multinational corporations, the demand for real estate is sky-rocketing. This growth can largely be attributed to five key catalysts of change: Favourable economic environment; increasing purchasing power; increasing financing options; favourable reforms initiated by the government and growing professionalism. Given the chaos and action in the realty sector, there is no doubt that real estate consulting firms will play a major role in meeting the growing demands.

As demand pushes up, so will the number of competing players in the market. Not to forget that these will be in addition to the already established thousands of realtors in this market. So one can only imagine what it’s going to take for a new firm to make it big and to make is fast. The challenges are emerging from different quarters, namely big firms such as Tamwell Crow Meghraj and Colliers International which are looking at becoming one stop shops, individual experts who have vast experience of the realty business, online experts such as 99acres.com, management consulting firms such as PWC, financial service companies such as IndiaBulls, ICICI, HDFC etc. As more and more players foray into this business, what will ultimately happen is a shake-out where the industry will get rid of the quacks. Only those that are able to build a strong credibility in the market will survive.

To many marketers, branding a real estate consulting business may sound too farcical. This is because most believe that branding benefits only those who deal in tangible goods. And since the business of consulting is not product driven, brand-building at best may accrue to word-of-mouth marketing. But aren’t we missing out something here? If knowledge driven businesses such as Infosys, Intebrand and Mckinsey & Co. can all invest huge sums on money on brand building initiatives, then why can’t a real estate consulting business do the same? If knowledge like tangible goods is transferable from one party to another, the why question the former under the pretext of intangibility?

Real Estate consulting firms in India have long engaged in head-to-head competition in search of sustained, profitable growth. They have fought for competitive advantage, battled over market share, and struggled for differentiation. Yet in today’s overcrowded real estate market, competing head-on results in nothing but a bloody “red ocean” of rivals fighting over a shrinking profit pool. The only key to success and survival in this market is not to out-perform the competition, but to create a new uncontested market space, thereby making the competition irrelevant. Hence, the three building blocks of branded differentiation that real estate consulting firms must adapt are: value innovation, tipping point leadership and robust delivery process.

As intangible assets (especially brands) contribute over two-thirds of the enterprise value for any business operating in the service sector, shouldn’t it be given top most priority in corporate boardrooms? Well, for most companies, branding is still not a strategic priority. It is a part of marketing and is often seen from a profit and loss perspective. Real estate consulting firms must understand that with internationalisation of the market and the tightening of competition, customers now have a lot of choices available. Today’s mantra is not about being the ‘first choice’ of a customer but rather the ‘only choice’. In other words, a successful real estate consulting brand would be one that becomes the only source of reference for customers as far as buying, selling or leasing a property is concerned. But this is easier said than done.

Realty firms must build for long-term and aim for developing a strong brand equity (reputational value), rather than just a brand image. Only then will it be able to create an uncontested market space and compete effectively and profitably even at times of market downturns. Firms must remember that building a brand generally takes a long time and requires a strong commitment from the senior management. A brand may easily be destroyed if the firm is not acting according to its brand promises. All people, processes and key activities must be aligned with the brand promise. Real estate firms must realise that brand is not worth building up for mere pleasure, but it must bring benefit, for example increased customer base or higher returns on investment. The best brands – whether consumables, real estates or services – are always desired. They may also be exported around the world. A good brand will reclaim the promise, keep the customers satisfied and get them to repurchase your brand over and over again.

Comments are off for this post

When is a Yellow Page Consultant Not Your Consultant?

Jul 06 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

It’s strictly a matter of semantics. Notice the difference between “a” and “your.” It makes all the difference in the world. Let me explain. But first a word about my background.

I was a Yellow Page consultant for almost 25 years. During my tenure, I advised various businesses on planning their programs. It involved recommending headings, sizes, directories, layouts, headlines, and other elements that could ultimately spell success or failure. These people relied on my judgment because I was the expert, They were busy running a business and delegated their insurance, accounting, legal issues, and advertising to the professionals in the appropriate fields. And why not? How could any one owner wear that many hats and do them all well? So we offered our expertise for the betterment of the company.

Ah, but which company? What do I mean, you ask? I mean where was my true allegiance? To the client or my publisher? Who paid the bills? A case could be made for either one. The people that were my clients had ads in the book. Those ads produced for me a sizable commission, so I owed them a lot. But the Yellow Page publisher that hired me wrote the weekly pay check. They also provided my car allowance, health and dental benefits, 401K, pension, and work space. Whew! How to decide? Well it’s pretty simple. Without them, I wouldn’t be consulting to those clients.

Therefore the answer is more cut and dry. I first am employed by the directory company. They give me the accounts to manage and quotas to fill. They also provide certain products that I must introduce each year and promote to my customers, whether they need them or not. So, when I go out to visit with John Jones of JJ’s Appliance Repair, I am doing so at the behalf of my bosses. Sure, I want them to place lots of ads and get lots of calls, but I also have another agenda. I have to persuade them that they need the latest and great item that the publisher wants to push that week, regardless of whether or not my customer actually needs it.

Does the typical Yellow Page advertiser understand this relationship? Some do and some don’t. Most hope that I am truly looking out for their best interests, and I am, the majority of the time. But, on other occasions, I have an ulterior motive that is set in motion by an unseen force: that of my real boss. It’s a fact of life for many other media consultants but not always obvious to the clients affected. Is it a bad system that puts the requirements of the publisher before the advertiser? I’d be lying if I said no. I always tried to do the right thing but often times I was guided toward an end result that didn’t place the emphasis on customer service. I realized that the publisher had the right to put certain demands upon me and I had to pass them on to my accounts. It’s just a fact of business life in commission sales.

In summary, how should a business person treat their media consultant, be it Yellow Pages or otherwise? Well, they can remember this article and attempt to divine the real reason for the sales call. When the representative brings up a slew of new products, they can politely decline, or ask that the current program be settled first. Once that is handled, then the secondary reason for the visit can commence. After all, the poor consultant has been given a mission by their employer and they have to accomplish certain tasks to keep their jobs. If it requires you listen to a sales pitch, then listen and decide for yourself. But keep in mind that a consult is not necessarily your consultant, they are a consultant. And then you will be better able to deal with this appointment and all future meetings.

Comments are off for this post

The True Value of the Small Business Consulting Community

Jul 06 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

The Small Business IT consulting community is a dynamic and exciting community to be active in at this time. Many different opportunities are gaining some serious momentum in this underserved marketplace in Canada. The Small Business marketplace will be the fastest-growing segment in the information technology market. Currently, approximately 97% of the businesses in Canada have five hundred employees or less, which equates to a fantastic market to specialize in.

Microsoft launched their Small Business Specialist program in the summer of 2005 at their annual partner conference. Since that time, a number of information technology consulting firms have taken advantage of this program to commence their consulting practice. The Small Business Specialist program is designed to promote Microsoft’s offerings to small business. It establishes SBSC members as leaders in the small business IT consulting marketplace that has been thrust into the spotlight for growth potential.

The Small Business Specialist program serves as a best resource for IT professionals to access information, promotions, partnership opportunities and assistance to service a small business oriented client base. Groups have emerged on international, national and regional levels that assist the small business specialist in obtaining not only technical but also important business assistance. In addition, each year SMB Nation brings together the small business consulting community to network, learn, share and play.

The small business consulting community has grown out of the leadership of corporations like Microsoft, SonicWALL, and Symantec. It has also grown because of people like Harry Brelsford of SMB Nation and several other leaders in the community. Their leadership has provided Small Business Specialists with additional resources to sharpen their craft long before the official launch of programs from corporations like Microsoft.

The SMB community is open to sharing experiences, ideas, concepts and best practices so that emerging IT companies can seek knowledge to develop and grow. “I like focusing on a market segment where I can really get to know my clients and have a direct, tangible impact on their businesses,” claims Jeff Anderson, General Manager of Red Deer’s Bulletproof Networks, the city’s leading Small Business Specialist. Business development, however, is often overlooked by those text book technicians who have decided to start their own businesses. Learning from others in the SBSC community allows the small business consultants like Jeff to learn two or three markets and become the expert specialist in that field in order to have the potential to gain new business clients.

New service offerings are demanding small business consultants start planning now on how to bring them to their client base. Clients today are in search of options that are evolving and they must be presented in a manner and language that they understand. Managed services, remote monitoring, software and hardware as services are starting to gain some traction in the market and as a new offering they need to be available from their SMB consultant. Small businesses want a company that they can trust. “When you and your peers are representative of 97% of the Canadian marketplace, it makes sense to be working with the very businesses that share the same concerns and deal with the same issues you do. Who better to give them the right tools to succeed?” states Elisabeth Vandervelt of Conamex International, an award winning Microsoft Small Business Specialist in Montreal.

Today’s small businesses need innovative solutions to keep them competitive in the fast paced, on-demand, we-needed-it-yesterday and downtime-is-not-an-option environment we call today’s business world. SBSC members have the luxury and the ability to have direct interaction with decision makers therefore sales cycles are generally shorter while the demand for services has never been higher.

Another luxury in the small business community is the ability to share work with each other across regional, national and international boundaries. Many firms are partnering locally to provide a one stop shop for their clients who need a specialized service or coverage in other locations where their clients may have a remote user or branch office. Partnering in the SBSC community is critical to the success of the small business consultant’s business since it gives small firms the reach and abilities of a much larger IT company and can be the their advantage over their competition in today’s marketplace.

The Small Business Specialist can rest assured that they have the pride and recognition of a job well done combined with a community to back them up. All of these positive aspects provide an overwhelming sense of accomplishment for participants in the SBSC program.

I reflect back to when my youngest son was in Beavers and their leaders consistently reminded them of the Beaver motto, the same motto that is the cornerstone of the SBSC community and all other small business consulting groups: Sharing, Sharing, Sharing! Share your successes with others; help others who are struggling; and share of yourself to make our community strong.

Comments are off for this post

How Much Am I Worth? What to Charge Your Coaching Or Consulting Clients

Jun 14 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

It would be considered by most ‘natural’ that a professional should aim to price their services at a ‘fair’ price; perhaps a little like Goldilocks not too high, not too low. The truth is that who you ask for advice in this area could determine the answer to the question.

Do I need to discount my fees to get clients?

Ask an entrepreneur who has been in business and who may have sold one or two businesses and they will says: ‘never sell yourself too cheaply.’ Ask another, moderately successful practitioners and they’ll say ‘Don’t charge too high, people won’t pay it.’ At a recent conference of coaches I met a coach who specialized in coaching chief executives. He said he would not get any customers if he charged under $1,000 an hour.They would not accept that I had the high level credentials if I charged less than a rate commensurate with the potential value of the service. It is perfectly ‘natural’ to expect the potential client to question your ‘value proposition’.

But do note:

* Discounting inevitably gives the pricing power to the buyer. That may be valid if you feel you have no power in the negotiating but this should not be a presumption upfront.

* Discounting inevitably leads to a downward spiral in fee income. Once established that you are prepared to discount, it is difficult to claw back to the base level and even more difficult to position one as a ‘premier’ professional.

The ‘natural’ expectation here is that good professionals should be appropriately compensated.

It is the biggest trap is for aspiring consultants and freelancers and the response is unanimous: don’t under-price your services. Too many set off to win business and price themselves with urgency as the driver; inevitably creating the impression that they are simply not up to the job. My experience based on more than 10 years of consulting and freelancing is to build ‘posture’ not the physical body type – and to adopt an attitude of ‘can do’. It’s more important to project an image that that you can add value to the client. Your price is not negotiable because you have the confidence that will deliver the value expected from the engagement.

Easier said than done of course. Most professionals will be limited by their track record and the prevailing ‘market price’ that competitors may have adopted.

Following the competition can have its pitfalls

The first pitfall is that you cannot assume the competitor’s price is a reasonable price. It may simply be a loss-leader. In other words the competing firm may need to win the project in order to win future projects. This may be mandated in the price. Competitors with deep pockets may be able to withstand such deals and may in fact also be negotiating from alliance deals or affiliate deals that compensate them for a low bid.

Cost analysis

In making something, it is relatively easy to cost a product. In the world of consultants, coaches and freelancers, such benchmarks are almost always of a ‘virtual’ variety. Indeed when most work these days is delivered across the Internet, or by phone, transaction costs are effectively removed. Delivery costs aside, there still remains the need to account for overheads, communications costs and the non-costed component of a service (usually referred to as ‘non billable hours’). This underlines the need to have what is referred to as a sound value proposition.

The value proposition

Ask Zig Ziegler or any salesperson worth their salt and they will tell you the way to sell yourself or your services is to sell the benefits to the prospect. There is no shortcut here. In fact it’s the methods which will secure the maximum fee.

Moreover, price is only one part of the customer satisfaction outcome. Correct pricing is as much about perception and customer satisfaction as it is about costly analysis. It’s important to know your customer satisfaction levels – dissatisfied customers won’t pay any price.

How to price your services

There are a number of methods for determining the price of your services. Let’s be clear: you want to build relationships and optimal profits. Here are some different points to consider and some pricing approaches with merits and pitfalls.

* Many coaches, freelancers and consultants do not correctly factor in all the running costs of running a consultancy. Factor in overheads, depreciation of furniture and computer and telecommunications equipment as well as accounting and administration costs.

* Home-based coaches, freelancers and consultants mistakenly price them less as ‘home-based’ operators thus disenfranchising potential clients who want to deal with full service firms. Establish a professional office (shared is fine).

* Too many consultants and freelancers become ‘small’ in their thinking and translate this into charging what they believe the job is worth and hence undercharge. Establish your value proposition ( for example: ‘In 12 months we will have implemented a new prospecting system that will generate 100 more leads than you have now’).

* Use the ‘money back guarantee’ approach. ‘If you are dissatisfied with the service, after three months we will refund the fees.’

Comments are off for this post

Does Your Business Need a Marketing Consultant?

Jun 13 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

Have a booming business with more clients than you could ever possibly service, then stop reading right now – this article isn’t for you. 

I’m assuming that since you’re still with me, you’re not currently swimming in more money that you could spend in a lifetime.  So let’s talk about how to get more customers in the door.

When it comes to being a business owner, most business owners are pretty proficient at whatever it is the business does.  If you own a landscaping business, you’re probably a pretty descent landscaper.  If have a roofing service, you probably are pretty good at roofing a house. 

But being a business owner does not make you a defacto expert in marketing a business.  In fact, many business owners are downright lowsy at it. 

That’s Why I generally recommend hiring a marketing consultant.  Just like that plumber being good at doing plumbing, a marketing consultant is usually a pretty damn good marketer and can quickly see ways for your business to make more money.

The key here is to hire an *independent* marketing consultant.  The guy who calls you up to sell you space in the yellow pages – not a marketing consultant (those people are called salesmen, a noble profession, but not the same thing).  Same goes for the cable company rep that wants you to buy a 30 second commercial – salesman, not consultant.

Find a consultant who isn’t tied to any one strategy and they’ll be able to see where the opportunities are for your business.  For example, instead of telling you to purchase more advertising on the radio, they can help you rework the campaign to be more effective. 

Another example would be the Internet and local business owners are some of the worst offenders here at make *terrible* websites.  Oh, and just because you have a good looking and aesthetically pleasing website doesn’t mean yours is good. Instead, the real litmus test is if the website actually brings in paying customers. 

Again, a good marketing consultant can look at your site and how it ranks in the search engines and develop a strategy to make it far more effective.

Comments are off for this post

Beauty Company Professional Consultant

Jun 12 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

What is a beauty company professional consultant? There can be many different aspects to this career. Some consultants work with salons specifically on supplies. They provide exclusive professional brands to salon owners on everything on product selection, to how to display merchandise most effectively, to how to use everything. These consultants have to be knowledgeable not only about beauty products but also business management.  It allows you to work with salons and more on the business side too.

Some beauty company professional consultants work with future salon owners on how to open a successful beauty salon. These consultants provide help with business plans, location choice, equipment, marketing, supply, store set-up, finances, and more. These are full-service consultants who can provide invaluable assistance to people hoping to own their own salon.
 
Whichever aspect you choose to pursue as a beauty company professional consultant, there are certain skills that are necessary and desirable. Companies usually prefer that you have two years of sales experience before you become a consultant who works with salons. Some companies, though, will provide training if you have less experience or if you’re sales experience is in a different field. They also like you to have a valid cosmetology license or beauty experience. This is extremely helpful when dealing with salon owners. You have to know what you’re talking about to advise clients as to the best products and ways to use them.

Other abilities that beauty company professionals should have include strong communication skills. You have to be able to anticipate salon owners’ needs and concerns, you have to be able to communicate those to your employer, and you have to report back to the owners. You are a go-between and your job is to provide excellent service to both your company and to the salons. The ability to be clear, concise, and always professional is important. 
 
While you have to be people-oriented and able to work with a variety of personalities, you also have to be able to work independently. You may have to travel a little for your work, you need to be able to keep everything organized and moving. No matter where you are, you have to be prepared and knowledgeable about your customers.
 
A career as a beauty salon owner is so rewarding, but if you are interested in a change, becoming a beauty company professional consultant may be the ideal situation. You still work in the beauty industry but in a different way.

Comments are off for this post

Older posts »