I want my Starbucks and I don’t care who knows it

There we were, getting our son Bryce moved into his new apartment in California and exhaustion from travel was starting to set in.

I needed coffee. And I needed it fast.

My husband said he saw a few coffee shops in the area and started to look on his phone for options when I quickly stopped him.
image
“I need coffee, but more importantly, I need Starbucks,” I told him.

He glanced over at with me a small smirk as I pulled out my phone and opened the Starbucks app.

I simply knew what I wanted and that was Starbucks non-fat latte, extra hot. I’m not just a casual visitor at Starbucks, I’m a lifelong customer.

When you’re dealing with clients, you don’t want the client that comes in for a quick visit and never returns.

You want the client that continues to come to your organization for their business needs. You want to build a loyal and trusting relationship. You want to be the ‘go to.”

You can do that by being present, available, helpful and consistent.

I know when I walk into Starbucks and order my drink, it’s going to be exactly what I want and what I need.

Make sure your clients see your organization as a resource they need in their life.

Be present: Follow-up and say hello. A phone call goes a long way. Your sales team should be making these calls often.

Be available: Lend a hand, help with a promotion, sponsor a trade show. Do what you can as an organization to show your support.

Be helpful: Connect clients with other contacts and get them business. It’s a win-win all around.

Be consistent: Ensure you and your team are doing good work that makes an impact. It’s easy to sell something people already want.

Going back to our women in leadership series, Starbucks has quite a few women at the top.

In fact, a quick check of their website and I counted 19 women in senior Vice President, executive Vice President and other leadership roles, covering everything from creative development, to marketing and finance.

Starbucks has also stated that male and female employees doing the same job are paid within 99.7% of one another.

What fantastic news and a great example of a company working to stop the gender
wage gap.

So, next time you stop into my office for a visit, if you want to bring me my grande latte, (remember non-fat and extra hot), that would be pretty awesome.

If you want to talk about building and nurturing relationships, please reach out to support@slatersuccesscoaching.com

My Vegas Trip and Lessons Learned

Vegas Trip & Lessons LearnedVegas. You get an automatic picture in your brain as soon as you read that word. Bright lights, crowded streets, casinos on every corner, amazing live shows, fine dining. And the feeling that often surrounds Vegas is excitement! It’s a place you go to have fun, walk on the wild side and if you’re like my family, try your hand at a little gambling.

There are games of pure luck, like the roulette wheel and the slot machines. Then there are games that require a little more skill, like Blackjack and Poker.

In Blackjack, for example, there are some rules that you ‘should’ follow. Rules that aren’t technically required, but if you don’t follow them, and you’re sitting at a table of seasoned players, you might get an annoyed sigh or a glance in your direction.

For instance, when you hit instead of stay because “you might get a low card” or you don’t stay on a lower hand even though the cards the dealer are showing makes for good odds that they will bust.

Strategy comes into play. Yes, luck is always there. You might hit and you might get a lower card and you might stay and the dealer still might win. If you know what I am talking about or if you are not a card player let’s talk the facts about what is important here, knowing the risks and calculating them, is the best way to win the game, be it Blackjack or business.

In business, we evaluate the risks and create our strategy. You might be deciding if you are ready to open that business you have talked about. You might be ready to stop running your business as if it is a hobby and instead become a CEO of your business and run it with a financial plan and solid strategy. Maybe you are ready to expand or reevaluate your marketing efforts. Sometimes you need to hit. You need to go for it. You need to take the action. It’s scary, but it’s worth it. And sometimes, you need to stay. Maybe it’s not the right time. You need to get a support team in place. You need to do further research. Look at the risks and make the plan.

blackjackAt a Blackjack table, you have mere seconds to make a decision. In business, you have more time, which can make you slow down and lose focus. I’ve always said, “what CAN you do today.” Take some kind of action.

And if you need help, ask! Even at a Blackjack table, the support is evident. At the tables, I was not sure if I should or should not split 6’s. I asked the dealer for her advice and with a lovely smile she told me should would recommend splitting according to the rules of the game. They are there to guide the table and I personally have always found them to be incredibly helpful. As  you know, I also believe in asking for help in my business when I know it will help me move forward. I ask a mentor, a coach, a colleague or my team.

Your support team wants you to do well. They want success for you. Your success directly affects theirs. You are a team and you all want to walk away winners.

Look at your business today. Are you using strategy or taking risks without research? Are you asking for help when you need it? Are you taking action or staying stagnant?

If you want to talk about this, let’s chat. Send me an email to support@slatersuccesscoaching.com and we will figure it out together.

My “A” team, My Mom

This past weekend we celebrated some wonderful events in my family. A wedding and my Mom’s birthday. InterestinglyIMG_6090 enough, I was at a meeting last week and when a comment came up of who is on my “A” team, I realized my mom made the list.

An “A” team is key people in your business that you go to to discuss new ideas, help navigate

a problem or situation, run strategy across, or help you think outside the box.

I use my “A” team…

~ when I develop new business ideas and need to know if they bring value

~ when I’m unsure if an idea is good or it’s derailing me from my primary objective

~ as a resource when I make a big decision and want to run pros and cons to evaluate

my best course of action

~when I can’t get out of my own way

~when I want to brainstorm

The list goes on and on.

The important question is do you have an “A” team and are you using it?

Let’s circle back and I’ll explain why my mom is on my “A” team and tell you who else makes the list.

My mom was a business owner and manager and is a great numbers person. In her retirement, she did all my bookkeeping and accounting in my printing business to keep busy. She knows how to look at the numbers in a business and look at a strategy. She also comes with X years of experience in life. I am a smart daughter who is not going to share what birthday she just celebrated.

She is on my “A” team because I frankly got tired of going outside and looking for input, sharing it with her and then her saying to me, “Yes, Ivy, I told you that several months ago, glad you decided to listen.”

The rest of my “A” team consists of my coach and a couple of key colleagues who we have been in the journey of building our businesses together for the last several years. If you call 5 to 15 years several.

To develop your “A” team look for people who are objective, non-judgmental and have your best interests at heart for your business.  

I like my “A” team to be


~smart

~have a heart

~know and respect giving me straightforward and honest answer

~know and understand my short and long term goals

~be the ones I can reach out to and when I communicate my exact needs they respect them and respond promptly based on the importance and the time frame of the question

To gather your “A” team, look for a great colleague, coach, leader, mentor and/ or mom – whomever fits!

Share your “A” team with me on FB or LinkedIn. If you are unclear about who belongs on your “A” team and want some feedback or strategy around it, reach out to support@slatersuccesscoaching.com.

P.S. Wanted to share a recent podcast I did on Smashing the Plateau with David Shriner-Cahn! I talk about believing in your goals, overcoming self-doubt, the importance of team and so much more!

Listen in and let me know your #1 takeaway. http://www.tendstrategicpartners.com/episode-214/

Cheers to your Success,

Ivy

I can’t resist it any longer

It’s football season! There is always a game on in my house and the familiar IMG_7198sounds are honestly comforting. Here is a picture from our usual tailgate this past Sunday. Fall is just a cozy season. The weather starts to cool down, there’s pumpkin everything all around, there are bonfires to attend and sweaters to snuggle in and it’s just a feel-good time of the year. It’s comfortable.

I was thinking about my business. For most of the time, I’ve felt like SSC was in the Fall season. I was doing things to build the business that felt super comfortable to me: networking, speaking, events. All offline marketing.

I am now coming into a new ‘season’ at SSC and stepping out of my personal comfort zone to create a bigger presence online.

This was a new area to me. I was really anxious because I didn’t know what to do or how people would react. There was no sweater to hide in. This was the tank top season. I was really going to put myself out there and enter a space that I was resisting for too many years. But with the support of my team and colleagues, I’ve really begun to embrace the digital space.

A couple of things I’m doing and you can start doing, too!

    1. I started using Facebook Live and I love the immediate interaction!
      Don’t get me wrong, it’s slightly terrifying to do anything ‘live’ but when you know you have supporters watching, it’s not that bad! I encourage you to try this at least once a week.
    2. I’m checking LinkedIn and finding new connections daily.
      I was never super active on the network and now that I’m in there often, I’ve realized the power of it. I’ve made great relationships and met new connections. Try to log in at least once a week or even better, download the app on your phone so you can get notifications in real time.

 

  • I’m tweeting quality content that I see and want to share with my audience.

A great way to build your followers is to share valuable content. Also, don’t forget to use  

hashtags so people searching certain topics can find you.

 

  • I’m spending time in Facebook groups and building my community.

I belong to a lot of groups and I’ve never dedicated enough time to any of them. I’m making time to go in and network and it’s been amazing. If you are involved in groups, get active in there! And find new ones that will really make an impact for your business goals.

What are you doing online? Can you be out there more?

You don’t have to be everywhere, but you have to be somewhere.

My advice is not to feel overwhelmed. Don’t worry about being on many different sites. Instead, focus on sharing quality content on the one or two networks that make the most sense for your business.

And just have fun! We are always learning. Social media changes constantly and everyone is trying to keep up. Don’t feel embarrassed if you aren’t up to speed on everything. You’ll get there.

Connect with me on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter, and tell me what you will commit to doing this week to build your business online. Or, share your advice for others just starting to enter this world.

Cheers to your Success,

 

Ivy

Get SMART this quarter…

I hope you took some time off this holiday weekend to relax and unwind. I spent the weekend hosting a IMG_6040 2family reunion and it was fantastic.

You set goals in January. How do they look right now? Did you make adjustments to get those goals accomplished? Or are you still struggling? Be SMART this fourth quarter.

S if for Specific. Being specific in your goals is a key component in achieving them. Don’t say  “I want to make a lot of money.” Say, “I want three more clients, this quarter, that net me $5,000 a month in income.” It’s a lot easier to create action around a goal if it’s extremely specific. Vague goals equal confusion and lack of motivation.

M is for Measureable. “If I get three more clients to net me an additional $5,000 a month in income, I can pay off my debt in 2 years.” Make sure the goal is getting you to a place you want to be, like debt-free or paying for your child’s tuition and that you can track the goal.

A is for Achievable. “I can get three more clients to net me $5,000 a month, because I have three speaking engagements, two launches and an affiliate list building opportunity this quarter.” If you set yourself up with plans to actually achieve the goal, you create a roadmap to getting there. Where are you showing up? Where are you speaking? What’s the funnel to success?

R is for Realistic. “I can handle these additional clients, because I have a team in place to support me and I want the growth.” Make sure the goal you are setting is realistic and one that you genuinely want. If you can’t handle additional workload, due to stress and time, getting support should be the goal, before getting more clients.

T is for Timeframe. “Marketing deadlines are in place, team is ready to help, action plans are in process.” Set the timeframe for the fourth quarter and make everything happen by calendaring it out.

I’m currently looking at my revenue goals and working with my team to create a strategy and plan for the rest of the year. We have a call every week to go over marketing, content, networking, speaking, etc. We are always talking ACTION. What has to happen next?
If you need help, or just want to talk, please reach out to support@slatersuccesscoaching.com.

Here’s my little secret…

If you know me, you probably think I’m an extrovert. I come across as Here’s my little secret... Ivy Slater Slater Success Coachingoutgoing and confident. At least I hope you think I am, I work really hard at it, so here is my little secret…I’m just as nervous/scared/anxious/ as you when I meet new people.

When I walk into a room full of strangers, I don’t find it particularly easy to strike up a conversation. Once I’m in a conversation, I’m fine, but I’ve never been a person that found mingling very natural.

I have friends that are super natural at this and I’m quite jealous!

They walk into a party or a networking event and just slide right into a circle of people, introducing themselves and fitting in.

I’m more awkward. I look for people that seem nervous, too, and tend to gravitate toward them. I’ve shared this tip with you before, there is always someone MORE nervous than you.

Find that person! My goal in this moment is to make them feel comfortable and welcome, this takes the emphasis off of me and I know I am there to help someone else.

I take all my anxiety and nervousness and put that energy into learning about the person I’m meeting. I listen a lot more than I talk and that has helped me find more clients and make more sales than any other marketing technique.

The conversation is bigger than the close.

I don’t go into a conversation thinking about a sale. I go into a conversation thinking about a conversation.

We are all humans. We all have things in common. Whether it’s our kids, a favorite TV show, music we love, an illness in our lives, our passion. There is always something to talk about. If a conversation turns to sales, GREAT. I can turn on that switch in an instant. But if you go into a conversation with that switch already on, you lose the genuine connection.

I’ve met hundreds of people that never turned into clients. But the conversations I had with them turned into much more. Some of them became mentors, friends, people who sent referrals my way, or even became members of my own team.

The conversation is bigger than the close.

The best way to grow your business is to have more conversations. Friendly conversations, conversations that make you think, conversations that make you happy/scared/excited. Have them and learn from them.

The conversation is bigger than the close.
If you want to have a conversation with me, get on my calendar. I want to learn about you and your business. I don’t want to sell you. If what I have to offer can help, we can talk about it. If not, it’s just one more conversation on our path to growth. Until next week!

$100 For A Bottle Of This?!

People invest and pay for value! It’s true. During my retreats last Slater Success Coaching Ivy Slaterweek, one of the activities we did was take a private tour of a five-year old distillery, Hillrock Estate. It was interesting and exciting to learn about the development of the business, the marketing and sales strategies, as well as how they’ve grown since their inception in 2012.

One of the facts we found most interesting was that their first bottle was not put out to market at a low price point. In fact, it cost $100! And five years later, their products consistently range from $80 to $100 per bottle, including Bourbon, Rye and Single Malt.

The SSC retreat ladies had a lot of questions…

Your first bottle at such a high price?

Don’t you start low and build up?

Did people actually pay that?

Slater Success Coaching Ivy Slater 2I sat back listening to this and realized it’s such a common thought amongst business owners. That a low price point is the only way to start.

I don’t agree with this thinking at all, by the way. Why do we always want to start small? Do you really want to play small?

Hillrock had a lot to say in response to those questions…

They told us they knew from the beginning they were going to enter the market with a product that had value and wanted to set themselves apart from the little guys. They felt they had too much integrity to put out a product that was not high-quality, and they consulted with the best people in their industry to make sure their standards were exceeding the average.

I got to thinking about the beginning of SSC. I came into this business with little self esteem and hence did not see my value.

I was running a seven-figure printing business and didn’t see the correlation in the experience I brought as a business coach. I invested in training in one of the top international coach certification programs, yet still didn’t see the value I brought to the table.

I was new, so I felt I had to price as a newbie. I hear this so often, especially at retreats when we really dig into things like rates and value.

I grew and learned that the value is in the results in which the client receives. Once I figured that out, I stepped into my value. I now guide my clients to step into their value and shift their business perspective.

Here’s a great example: Just a couple of years ago, I had a client who launched a line of young girl’s clothes with a specific niche market. Yes, I love and endorse a niche market. The price point when launched was approximately $100 per dress for a 2-6 year old.

I can hear some of you saying “WOW, who puts their little girls in a $100 dress?”

They were so well received that it was picked up within the year by some of the top department stores. The buyers of this line as well as Hillrock, value high quality, something that is special and important to them.  

How do you price and ask for your value?

  • First, identity the pain points of your client and what the problem is you are solving.
  • Next, see the value in the results for the client.  
  • Step out of the “am I worth it”  – “am I good enough” emotion and see the importance to the clients in the investment.

This was a game changer for me when I struggled with this in the early days. Then I started seeing the results. Clients doubling their income and a client who went from $25 per hour to $20,000 per month. Get out of your own way!

If you’re struggling with this, STOP, click right here and schedule some time to chat with me.

I don’t go to events to find clients…I go to do something else instead

This past weekend, I had a group of 14 at the house. I always do a ton of entertaining in the summer, I don’t go to events to find clients_Ivy Slater2usually my kid’s friends make up a lot of the guest list, and I love to cook for them.

I’m always going to 3 or 5 different specialty stores to find the specific ingredients I want.

I look for fresh, interesting and unique.

When the weekend was over and I was going through the receipts from the many stops I made, I realized that how I shop for ingredients is the same way I network for my business and add potential relationships and clients to my pipeline.  

I look for events that will be filled with like-minded people. I want to go somewhere and connect with theI don’t go to events to find clients_Ivy Slater other guests.

I don’t go to find clients. I go to build relationships.

Those relationships turn into connections. Those connections turn into sales, referrals, friendships, you name it.

I attend at least one networking event per week and they are all different and unique (like my ingredients).

Some are geared towards women, others for business owners in a certain age range, others for coaches.

Just like I pick out a new cheese for a pasta dish, I pick out a new event to spice up my business.

I also spice it up by holding my own events. Even SSC Live, that is held annually, has a different theme every single year. I want people to learn as much as they can when attending one of my events, just as I expect to learn a lot when I’m the guest.

Along with learning comes those vital connections and building a pipeline. If you don’t have a pipeline in your business, it’s something you need to get into action immediately.

I fill my fridge with new ingredients just like I fill my pipeline with new people. Keeping everything fresh.

I add to that pipeline by consistently attending various networking events and building relationships with people from all levels of business.

Share with me how you are building your pipeline this Summer. If you’re struggling, STOP and reach out to support@slatersuccesscoaching.com to talk pipeline strategies and plans.

Start Creating Packages that Sell

My daughter and I spent the weekend partaking in some retail therapy and it got me thinking about Slater Success Coachingpricing and packaging.

Are you in a dollars for hours business?

When you charge a client, do you end up really analyzing how much time, research and effort were put in in exchange for the revenue charged?

Honestly, this business model has never worked for me. I love vacations and time off. I love enjoying life. Like this past weekend, spent with family. And soon, I’m off to France for a couple of weeks. One of the main reasons I was shopping! Need some new, fun outfits for the trip.

If I followed the above model, time off would equal NO pay and that makes NO sense.

So instead of dollars for hours, I create packages with a fixed rate. I’m sharing three tips to help you create a similar model in your business:

 

Who is your buyer?

Create profiles of your current/potential clients. I like to call them avatars. I define where my buyers live, where they vacation, if they have a family, where they shop, the car they drive. This gives me a targeted approach in the marketing of my packages.

Example of one of these profiles: One of my clients designs dresses for young girls, specifically aged 2-5. These are fancy dresses, made for girls who really love to dress up. The buyer is often a grandmother, mom, or other relative in the little girl’s life who wants to spoil her! A woman who regularly shops at high-end stores like Neiman Marcus or Saks. She enjoys art and culture and appreciates the finer things in life.

 

What are the problems or pain points your clients are experiencing?

This is where you begin to build your package, giving the client what they need, solving their problem. A shoe store carries shoes, but they also cater to people who experience problems with their feet. They offer insoles, special socks, pamphlets on foot care. The store focuses on the big picture, the targeted pain point or problem.

 

What do you sell? Now, what ELSE do you sell?

Start putting your package together by adding in the essentials first. If a client needs coaching support, put in monthly coaching calls and action items, then begin to build on the package with other support factors.

When I was a printer, I did this often. I would add in things like local shipping, two rounds of proofs, etc. The client didn’t always realize how helpful it was, until it was offered.

While shopping this weekend, we were at an intimates store and the woman helping us asked if we had a special mesh bag to wash our purchases in? I didn’t think this was that important, until she explained how it kept the garments in the best condition for a longer period of time. I knew the small investment now would pay off big time in the future, so guess what…she got the sale.

She also asked if I wanted the laundry soap to go with the bag. Again, not something I would have picked off the shelf myself, but after the education I received from the woman, my interest level peaked and I made the purchase. If she wouldn’t have asked, I wouldn’t have bought.

Always offer more. Go above and beyond. Share how you can add value.

If you are unsure about your packages and pricing and are ready to get clear, let’s jump on the phone. Click here to schedule some time to chat.

 

Ivy

Recharge YOU, Recharge your BUSINESS: Summer Is Coming!

sea-sky-beach-holidayI tell you all the time, you have to take care of yourself if you’re going to take care of your business. If you’re stressed, overworked and have nothing to look forward to except a stack of bills and an inbox full of client requests, you’re going to lose it!

Summer days sitting in an office seem endless. The sun is shining, the beach is calling, and you are NOT into working. It happens. Sunshine does something to the soul, but unfortunately also, to the brain. You’re focused on getting outside and not missing out on anything and you struggle to get your work done.

There is a cure for this summer ailment: Taking time off – going on vacation – leaving early on Fridays, etc.

Summer is coming. School will be out soon, the kids will be running around the neighborhood and it’s time for YOU to take a break, too.

Make sure vacation time is included and taken. Don’t just write “potential week in Mexico,” GO TO MEXICO. Go and have the time of your life. Your business will still be there when you get back. I promise.

Recharge YOU, recharge your BUSINESS. It goes hand in hand.

I’m going to France with my hubby, taking some time for long weekends with my family, and I am excited to attend a retreat where I will be starting my next book.

Back at the beginning of 2016, I told you about my giant, wall calendar and how I go through and put in Fun and Family FIRST for the entire year, before I add in any business stuff. It really does work, if you stick to it.

Vacation is time off, but it’s also a time to be inspired. You’re used to sitting at the same desk and screen every day, looking at the same paint, wallpaper or decor, and it gets stagnant.

Use vacation to your advantage:

  • Get ideas for new blog posts
  • Take awesome photos to print and put up in your office
  • Write your business name in the sand, take a pic, post as a cover photo on social media
  • Try a new food or drink and step out of your comfort zone
  • Wear that dress or bathing suit you still have tags on and work on your confidence
  • Talk to a stranger you meet at your resort or at dinner and get comfortable just talking and sharing your story

The list could go on forever!

Tell me about your summer plans. Share with me on the SSC Facebook Page and/or LinkedIn page.