Owning Your Business vs. Owning Your Job

Seattle Fish Market – a great place to witness awesome employees who own their job.

People who are amazing business owners own both their business and their job.  When you own your job, you understand that you, and only  you, are responsible for the output.  There are business owners that don’t own their job.  That is, there are owners that technically own the business but they do not perceive that they are 100% responsible for the output.  Typically, these business owners struggle because if the business owner does not feel 100% responsible for the consistent delivery of their product or service than neither will the employees of that business.  This leads me to the next point which is that there are tons of amazing employees who own their job without owning the actual business. These employees are the ones that act like they own the business in that they are compulsive about delivery of the product or service, because they personally feel 100% responsible for the end result.

The businesses that create big names for themselves are the ones that deliver their product or service consistently on time (or faster than expected), at price (or for less than the client expected), and with such high quality that the customer keeps coming back, while bringing friends with them.  For a business to deliver this type  of high quality service over and over, it must be a firm where both owners and employees own the job.  When every member of the firm is committed to the end result, where everyone owns their job, the customer is guaranteed a great experience, and the business is guaranteed longevity.

Stacey Alcorn is the author of REACH! and Tuned In. She is a business strategy and sales consultant for large corporations and Global Fortune 100 Firms. She is also a keynote speaker, blogger, trainer, and start-up consultant. Her sales training products have been licensed by hundreds of organizations around the world who use her one-of-a kind sales training materials as the genesis for their own brand growth. Make sure to sign up here for my REACH! Weekly News for awesome interviews with Leaders & Visionaries that I only share with my VIP members.

4 Words That will Always Land an Appointment

If you own a business or if you are a salesperson or have a sales team, you will want to listen closely.  I’m about to share with you a secret that has helped me climbed to the top of every profession I have ever been in.  When I was in the mortgage business, these four words got me appointment after appointment with decision makers galore, earning me the ability to close 400 loans per year for satisfied clients.  These four words have enabled me to amass a real estate empire all while building a coaching and consulting firm simultaneously.  These are four words that you won’t read about in any book or read about in any other blog, but they are the words that I credit for most of my success in business.  Are you sitting down?  Are you really ready to hear them?  Here goes….

CAN I INTERVIEW YOU?

There you have it.  You have my secret sauce to colossal success.  If you are looking to land an appointment with a big kahuna, sliding past even the most difficult of gate keepers, the way to do it is NOT to ask for an appointment, but rather ask for an interview.  Decision makers get appointment requests all day long, but rarely do they get a request for an interview.

I have been interviewing potential clients for twenty years.  When you ask someone for an interview, you are doing something that is rare in the sales industry – you are making the appointment about THEM.  Most highly successful individuals, business leaders, and visionaries, are more than accommodating when asked for an interview.

So, what do I interview people about and what do I do with the information?  When I first began interviewing people I was in my early twenties and when I would request an interview I made it clear that I wouldn’t use the information for anything other than my own benefit.  I would explain to the other person that I sought out their advice in business and success because I viewed them as a mentor.  I would arrive at the appointment armed with great questions and would always do advanced research on the person so that I knew as much as possible even before the interview took place.  Although often times I wanted that interviewee as a customer, I never, never, never, used that appointment as the opportunity to talk about my business.  No, the interview was always about them and only them.

Interestingly, when you interview someone just to pick their brain about their success, you begin to build a relationship.  Often times, the interviewee, will enjoy their role so much that they begin to become invested in your success, even if just a tiny bit.  It’s as if a little piece of them transfers to you as they share their story about where they came from and how they got to where they are today.  The interviewee now takes some responsibility for your success.  Before long, not only will you have a new mentor, but also a new client.

The secret to making this work comes down to your genuineness.  As I built my career, I have always gone into every interview genuinely excited to learn from the interviewee.  I have NEVER met anyone that didn’t have a really good story to tell.  Sometimes it just takes some digging.  I also never worried about whether that person would give me business down the road.  In fact, what I came to realize is that the lessons I collected over time from others were way more valuable than the business anyway.  That’s not to say that I didn’t get business, because I always did.  The interview has always been my door opener.  Who doesn’t want to be interviewed?  It’s an honor when someone wants your story!  At least that is how most people perceive interviews.

I still use the interview process to get me appointments today.  The only difference is that now I share many of the lessons I learn from others in my blogs and my books.  I mention this only because you can too.  What you may find is that interviewing amazing people will not only grow your business but may also offer you an opportunity to share lessons with the world and so why not create a blog?  The blog will offer you just more incentive to get out there and open doors.

What are you using as your door opener?  I’d love to hear so please share in the comments below!

Stacey Alcorn is the author of REACH! and Tuned In. She is a business strategy and sales consultant for large corporations and Global Fortune 100 Firms. She is also a keynote speaker, blogger, trainer, and start-up consultant. Her sales training products have been licensed by hundreds of organizations around the world who use her one-of-a kind sales training materials as the genesis for their own brand growth. Make sure to sign up here for my REACH! Weekly News for awesome interviews with Leaders & Visionaries that I only share with my VIP members.

The $26 Bag of Apples

Oshyn with the small $16 Bag

To get the most for my $$ I decided to blog about the experience for my fellow entrepreneurs.

It is officially apple picking season in New England and like virtually every New Englander does at least once every season, I went out this weekend and purchased way more apples than I could possibly need for way more money than they are worth.  All of this in the name of a great experience.  This is where you will want to start taking notes.  Yes, if you are in sales or if you are an entrepreneur of any type of business you will want to listen up as I explain the phenomenon around apple picking season because if you can somehow apply these principles to your own business, you will reap great rewards.

This year my family went to our usual apple picking stomping grounds in Acton, Massachusetts.  We purchased two empty bags (one large and one small) and shelled out $42.   The large bag was $26 and the small was $16.  Now, I don’t know about you, but even when I go to the grocery store and spend less than $5 on a bag of apples, my family never finishes the entire bag.  There’s a friendly horse named Jake down the street from our home and, more often than not, he finishes our bag of apples for us.  So, why on God’s green earth would we spend $42 on two bags of apples that we will never finish?  The experience!

There are certain things in life that you just must experience on your own, like jumping through fire (been there), completing a marathon (done that), and traveling the world (working on it).  As well, if you are from New England, it’s pretty much taboo if you don’t go apple picking at least once each fall season, especially if you have kids.  It’s about providing your family with that fresh fall air and the awesome freedom to trounce up and down row after row of apple trees, selecting just the right apple that will probably never get eaten (unless you too have a friendly horse as your neighbor).  We pay $42 not for the apples but rather the joy of picking apples or at least the joy of watching our family picking apples.  We are paying $42 for the perfect Facebook photo of our son or daughter reaching for the big red apple hanging from the branch.

Some businesses offer products and some businesses offer experiences.  The closer you can move your business to the “experience” end of the spectrum, the more money you can make.  There are millions of examples of this all around us.  Why are you spending $7 on a latte at Starbucks?  The experience!  Why do people pay for a meal where they get harangued by their waiter at Dick’s Last Resort?  The experience!  Why do people pay big money to compete in challenges like The Warrior Dash and Spartan Race where they crawl through mud, under barbed wire, and through fire pits to complete a race?  The experience!  When it comes to making lots of money, experience rules.

I do not care what business you are in, there’s a $26 bag of apples sitting on your door step.  Figure out what that is for you and the money will follow. By the way, if you want to read an awesome book about how to create an experience based business, check out The Experience Economy by B. Joseph Pine and James Gilmore.

If you have had great success in selling your business as an experience please share your thoughts in the comments below.  I’d love to hear from you.

Stacey Alcorn is the author of REACH! and Tuned In. She is a business strategy and sales consultant for large corporations and Global Fortune 100 Firms. She is also a keynote speaker, blogger, trainer, and start-up consultant. Her sales training products have been licensed by hundreds of organizations around the world who use her one-of-a kind sales training materials as the genesis for their own brand growth. Make sure to sign up here for my REACH! Weekly News for awesome interviews with Leaders & Visionaries that I only share with my VIP members.

Stacey Alcorn with the Amazing Belinda Rosenblum

Money–although such a useful tool–is often accompanied by avoidance, shame, and anxiety. Does it have to be that way? Absolutely not. Financial independence begins with your self-worth and builds to support your net worth, yet too many people instead base their self-worth on their net worth. It doesn’t have to be confusing and can actually be very empowering. Join me in this one hour program where wealth expert Belinda Rosenblum, author of Self-Worth to Net Worth shares with us her road map to a life of financial independence.

 

Stacey Alcorn is the author of REACH! and Tuned In. She is a business strategy and sales consultant for large corporations and Global Fortune 100 Firms. She is also a keynote speaker, blogger, trainer, and start-up consultant. Her sales training products have been licensed by hundreds of organizations around the world who use her one-of-a kind sales training materials as the genesis for their own brand growth. Make sure to sign up here for my REACH! Weekly News for awesome interviews with Leaders & Visionaries that I only share with my VIP members.

3 Signs That You are an Awesome Leader

Principal Timothy Miller of the Timony Grammar School in Methuen, MA demonstrates awesome leadership by waiting to be last served at the Teacher Appreciation Luncheon.

I obsess about leadership like some people obsess about their clean house or their perfect wardrobe.  I think about leadership always and often.  How can I be a better one?  What makes an awesome leader?  I’ve come to determine that it’s nothing huge or even awe-inspiring.  It’s really simple actions that make a world of difference.  Here are three signs that you are an awesome leader.

1. Stand in the Back of the Line – Today I had the amazing opportunity to serve food for 150 teachers at a local elementary school.  Each month my real estate company does a Teacher Appreciation Luncheon for a local school.  We buy lunch and serve the teachers as they come through the line and we thank them for their commitment to the children of our communities.  Today I saw an awesome leader and he was standing at the back of the line.  The school principal waited at the very end of the 150 person line of people we were serving lunch to.  When someone would stand behind him, he’d move back, letting that person go first.  This is a sign that you are an awesome leader.  You wait until all your people are fed before you eat even one bite.

2.Make Room for Customers – Great leaders park in the back of the lot.  They know that the front parking spaces are best saved for customers, so they park toward the back and walk.  Not only does this leave room for customers, it also sets a good example for the rest of the team.

3. Listen & Act Even When It’s Not Your Problem – A sales person who works for my firm was upset one night that the waitress at a new restaurant spilled food down his new Tommy Bahama pants.  The waitress was unapologetic which angered him even further to the point that he posted the story on social media.  The Vice President at Tommy Bahama saw the social media posting, probably from a Google Alert, and reached out to my sales person to express his sympathy and to offer him a brand new pair of Tommy Bahama pants.  Talk about going above and beyond!  My sales person explained that he could just buy a new pair of Tommy Bahama pants and asked if they would send the new pair to the local shelter.  They are really good at listening and acting at Tommy Bahama.  They sent an entire case of clothing to the local shelter and sent my sales person a new pair of pants too.  Talk about awesome leadership.  I’m sure that Vice President had a million other things to do that day, but listening to a customer and acting, when he had no duty to act, because it wasn’t his problem that someone on the other end of the country had food spilled down his leg, made him a “one in a million” kind of leader.

You don’t need an Ivy League education to be an awesomely amazing leader.  All you need is a little foresight to do the simple things that matter.

 

 

Stacey Alcorn is the author of REACH! and Tuned In. She is a business strategy and sales consultant for large corporations and Global Fortune 100 Firms. She is also a keynote speaker, blogger, trainer, and start-up consultant. Her sales training products have been licensed by hundreds of organizations around the world who use her one-of-a kind sales training materials as the genesis for their own brand growth. Make sure to sign up here for my REACH! Weekly News for awesome interviews with Leaders & Visionaries that I only share with my VIP members.

Stacey Alcorn on WBZ Radio Road Map to Wealth – August 2013


This is the mp3 archive to the August 2013 Road Map to Wealth Show.  Learn how to build an awesome company.  Download the mp3 file by clicking the link and DON’T forget to Tune In monthly to WBZ Radio on Saturday nights to listen to your Road Map to Wealth.

Stacey Alcorn is the author of REACH! and Tuned In. She is a business strategy and sales consultant for large corporations and Global Fortune 100 Firms. She is also a keynote speaker, blogger, trainer, and start-up consultant. Her sales training products have been licensed by hundreds of organizations around the world who use her one-of-a kind sales training materials as the genesis for their own brand growth. Make sure to sign up here for my REACH! Weekly News for awesome interviews with Leaders & Visionaries that I only share with my VIP members.

Stacey Alcorn on WBZ Radio Road Map to Wealth – June 2013

This is the mp3 archive to the June 2013 Road Map to Wealth Show.  Learn how to build an awesome company culture.  Download the mp3 file by clicking the link and DON’T forget to Tune In monthly to WBZ Radio on Saturday nights to listen to your Road Map to Wealth.

Stacey Alcorn is the author of REACH! and Tuned In. She is a business strategy and sales consultant for large corporations and Global Fortune 100 Firms. She is also a keynote speaker, blogger, trainer, and start-up consultant. Her sales training products have been licensed by hundreds of organizations around the world who use her one-of-a kind sales training materials as the genesis for their own brand growth. Make sure to sign up here for my REACH! Weekly News for awesome interviews with Leaders & Visionaries that I only share with my VIP members.