I want to be friends with Barbara…

I think we’d get along really well, both New Yorkers, both women, moms and business owners.

I’m fascinated at her background, growing up in a family of ten children that dealt with financial struggles and how she went on to become a millionaire investor and real estate mogul.

I’d love to chat with her about the 22 jobs she had before she decided to open a real estate office at the young age of 23 and how she grew it to a $6 billion dollar business. Even more impressive is that she started that business with only a $1,000 loan.

I want to pick her brain about leading a team, creating an empire, speaking at huge events, writing successful books, investing in new ideas, being a television personality and of course, her amazing style.

So who is this friend I’d love to have?

I’m talking about Barbara Corcoran.

She is a woman I was super excited to talk about in this summer series of women leaders. You know her from Shark Tank, and I encourage you to look up more information about this dynamic woman.

If you have Twitter, follow her. Her tweets are so often motivational and powerful messages. One of my favorite quotes comes from this lady…

“Don’t you dare underestimate the power of your own instinct.” – Barbara Corcoran

This is a great message to remember whether you are a company of one or a company of thousands. Listen to your gut.

Barbara wasn’t handed success, she earned it. And a big part of that is because she listened to her own instinct time and time again. She has been quoted in articles saying that she knew she didn’t want to work for anybody else, so becoming an entrepreneur was the answer.

I think it’s safe to say she made the right career choice.

Whether you work in your home office alone or lead a large corporate team, remember why you started doing what you are doing. And listen to yourself when you need to make the next big decision. If you want someone to talk to, I’m here. Schedule a call.

I’ll leave you with another great quote from Barbara…

“Finding opportunity is a matter of believing it’s there.” – Barbara Corcoran

Believe it’s there and make this week count.

Backup is Key

I am going to be clear and consistent on this. You must have backup in running a business.

It’s fantastic if you have a support team around you. I commend you for asking for help and getting support. But what happens when a team member needs time off? Do you have people cross trained?

You need backup for your backup.

This is the difference between building a company or working for clients with limited resources, unable to grow. What is the vision for your company? Where are you going?

Are you training your team on various skills?
Or are you totally vulnerable and leaving important tasks to one person alone?

For instance, I want everyone on my team to have some knowledge of Infusionsoft. Why? Because when Liz, who normally schedules the newsletter to go out, is traveling, she shouldn’t have to worry or feel pressure to get something done when she’s not in town and I shouldn’t have to worry about it, either.

Backup steps in. Backup steps up.

My daughter, Alex, is seeing this firsthand. She is a new manager and is leaving for a few days to travel with me to San Francisco next week where I’m speaking. She is realizing she needs people to cover her role, in her corporate job. There’s no scrambling in her absence, just business as usual.

Everyone needs time off. Everyone needs a vacation. Everyone needs days to travel, sick days, mental health days. You name it.

You should be able to take the days off you need and your team should, too.

Train your team up and watch the support grow to new levels. This is important whether you run a small business with a handful of employees or a corporation with specific departments.

Each department is a small business and there should be members that can backup any other member. When pressure is low, productivity is high. Making someone feel like they are the only person who can handle a certain task is not fair. Not for the business owner or the support member.

Just the other morning, I was submitting an application for a speaking engagement, and everything was sent in by the due date. But they came back to me, asking for additional information and a VIDEO.

I was literally in bed, after a night of celebrating with family members, (my niece got engaged!) and had no makeup on and thought, how am I going to get this all done? I can shoot the video, but I don’t have time to submit the additional answers they need in the document.

One of my team members (on a Sunday, mind you) stepped up to help me get everything sent in before day’s end.

Backup steps in. Backup steps up.

I am so thankful for my team and I want them to feel just as supported as I do. If they need a day, they get a day!

How do you train your team so no one feels added or unnecessary pressure? Share with me on the SSC Facebook page.

If you want to talk further, reach out to support@slatersuccesscoaching.com and let’s have a conversation.

We can’t accept this any longer

Women. We’ve been in the news and on the news a lot lately. There’s so much going on in the world and no matter your political views, one thing is certain…we all should be treated equally in the workplace.

Think about your own life.

Have you accepted a position at a lower pay grade than you expected because you feared confrontation?

Have you taken on a client at a lesser rate because you didn’t want to negotiate?

Have you decreased your prices because you weren’t confident in your value and worth?

We earn less and we accept it. And that has to stop. It has been said that women entrepreneurs even pay themselves less than male entrepreneurs. It is time to step up and charge our value, pay ourselves our worth and negotiate jobs at what we deserve.

Confidence is usually the factor holding us back. We have a little voice inside of us that tells us not to be dramatic or not to take things too personally. We need to tune that voice out and instead start using our real voice and be heard.

As women, we are natural nurturers, which sometimes leads to us giving more than expected and not stepping up and asking for what we are worth.

We own our responsibilities.

Our work ethic is strong.

Our dedication to what we do is fierce.

We control our own destiny.

As we stand up individually, we will be standing up together. Understand and ask for your value. You are worth it.

If you’re struggling with value or finding your way as you navigate changes in your business, reach out to me at support@slatersuccesscoaching.com. Let’s have a conversation and talk about it.

Head on over to the SSC Facebook or LinkedIn page and tell me something you commit to doing in 2017 to stand up and get paid!

Can we stop doing this?

When I was very young, I had that typical girl mentality…

I don’t like her because:

~She’s prettier than me.

~She’s a better dancer.

~The guy I like likes her more.

~She’s smarter than me.

It wasn’t until I was a little older that I realized the power we have as women when we are supportive of one another.

I don’t know why everything has to be a competition between women. We all have special skills and attributes that no one else can match and we need to stop breaking each other down, and instead start lifting each other up.

I work primarily with women and a few special men in my coaching business and I could not be prouder when they come to me with fantastic news. I genuinely want to see them excel. I want to help them reach their wildest dreams. I want them to make a great income and live an even greater life.

When we support each other, we are truly unstoppable. You’ve heard the phrase “it takes a village to raise a child.” And isn’t that the truth? I loved when my kids were in school and I was attending parent meetings and we were planning events and leaning on one another to take on projects or just chit chatting about the crazy journey of parenthood. We needed each other to get through some of those long and busy days.

I think it takes a village to run and grow a business, too. We need each other. If we stopped the competition, the pettiness, the need to be the best and instead focused on friendship, support and love, this world would be one fantastic place.

There will always be someone prettier, smarter, faster, more creative, but they won’t be YOU. You have all you need and if you partner up with the ladies who have different skills than you and you put those skills to work together, you are going to grow and thrive and be super successful.

I have been fortunate to have mentors, coaches, and friends support me in this journey in building Slater Success Coaching and they have made the difference in my success. In helping me see what is at times right in front of me, yet invisible to my eyes and support me in taking actions that are out of my comfort zone. They stand for me, and with me, in good times and in the more difficult times.

Tell me about one of your favorite women friendships in business and how you worked together to make something amazing happen. Share with me on the SSC Facebook and LinkedIn page.

Falling short when asking for your value?

IMG_6379Why do we too often fall short when asking for our value? What scares us so much? I speak to too many people who truly underestimate what they should be charging.

Does this sound like you?

Do you find yourself slashing prices because you’re afraid to charge what you deserve?

Have you signed a contract and instead of celebrating, felt defeated, because the work far exceeds the payoff?

I wish I could say this trend of undercharging is just with new business owners or entrepreneurs that lack experience, but that’s not true. In fact, I saw it last week with veterans in the field at a mastermind retreat with my coach in Washington D.C.

If you think I don’t practice what I preach, think again. I attend retreats and events as often as I can to continue learning and growing.

My coach gave us tons of homework in preparation and one of the things we had to do was look at our goals for next year and breakdown our price points on what we sell.

Many of us in the room were undervaluing ourselves. We spent a couple hours looking at our numbers and how to determine the right pricing.

Here is one major tip to asking for and earning your value:

  • The price you charge when you’re a service-based business is not based on YOU, rather on the results you get for your clients.

Example: When an attorney charges $1,000 to write a contract for you, protecting a client’s investment of $25,000, it makes total sense. That contract needs protected should anything go wrong. Sometimes a contract is used for many clients, so the value of the investment grows.

Example: If you’re a writer, designer, SEO specialist and your client celebrates a higher open rate, more clicks to their sales page and more opt-ins, more response from social media ads, etc. you have directly affected their bottom line. If your services helped them grow by 25% in one year, shouldn’t your value be recognized?

For the product-based businesses, there is more of a formula based on cost, overhead and markup on goods.

When a client invests in your business, they want value and quality. Figure out what that value is and put a dollar number on it that you deserve. Stay focused on the results your client attains from working with you. Identify and acknowledge the amount of time that goes into the transformation for your client. You know your numbers and your skills better than anyone, so don’t look at someone else’s pricing and compare yours.

Own your value.

I’ve invested heavily in marketing support for the results in growing SSC and these investments have paid off tremendously. Was it scary to do that? SURE. But when the results started coming in, I could sit back and smile, knowing I made the right choice.

I’ve also invested hundreds of thousands of dollars over the last eight plus years in coaches and speaker training and these investments have paid off, as well.

I look back and value the investments, even the large amounts, because the value I received enabled me to create the business I run today.

Now take a mirror and look back at yourself. Are you charging your worth and asking for your value in your pricing structure? Or, are you pulling numbers out of the air because you think it’s what someone can afford?

If you want support on making sure you ask for your value and charge what you’re worth, feel free to reach out to support@slatersuccesscoaching.com

Summer is ending…find the balance between work and play

Are you freaking out a little bit? I keep seeing the back to school pictures on my Facebook feed and IIMG_5943
recently moved my son into his last year at USC, so I’m right in the thick of it. Summer is ending!! Don’t get me wrong, I love a crisp Fall day, but there’s a lot I still want to do before summer really ends.

I want to spend time with family and friends. I want to get to a few more BBQs and enjoy sipping Sangria by the pool. I want to soak in the sun and get in some outdoor exercise before the weather gets too cold. (I’ll need it after all the BBQs and Sangria)

I struggle because I want to fit all that fun in, yet I still have work to do. It’s not as if business is going to shut down so I can go swimming. Marketing, sales, finance, planning for the last quarter. Not to mention moving BOTH my kids within two weeks to new locations, planning an upcoming family reunion and attending a wedding. HELP! It’s overwhelming, right??

When I was a printer, I was so ready to relax come July. The kids were out of school and I wanted to take trips and make memories as a family. Many of my clients were magazines and for W, Harper’s Bazaar, New York Magazine and a few others, their large issues came out in September. So instead of lazy summer days, I was super busy in July, stuck in the office.

When I was growing SSC, I had several psychotherapists as clients and I learned that you can’t have a good breakdown in August, they all take vacation. Unless you feel overwhelmed in July or September, you’re out of luck. I was envious of their time off.

I knew someday I would figure out how to make the balance between work and play happen.

I learned from my experiences and I’m going to give you four tips (ones I really use) on embracing the end of summer without closing down business:

  1. Decide what you want to accomplish from September-December in your business and make a list for those activities. Figure out what you MUST do before Labor Day and what can wait.
  2. If you have a team, delegate! Delegate as much as you can to free up some time.
  3. Find every nook and cranny in your calendar. I know they are in there! And put in some marketing activities, sales calls and time to work on your money. Find a few minutes every day to work on these items, so you can take an entire day off at the end of the week.
  4. Make a realistic list of what you want to get in and get plans in place to do it. Day at the beach, time in the pool, family time, etc. Don’t skimp. Indulge and enjoy!

I’ve been working all these tips and because of that, I have a program in September that only has a few spots left. I’m going to embrace the end of summer and then get right back into gear next month.

I want you stepping into a September that is full of excitement and flourishing!

If you need support, let’s jump on the phone. Maybe during some pool time we can have a virtual glass of Sangria and chat.

Sales Tips from Paris


I had a fabulous vacation last week in Paris with my husband Michael and Sales Tips from Paris - Ivy Slater - Slater Success Coachingsome friends.

If you follow me on Facebook, I posted some of my favorite photos from the trip!

Of course, I’m always looking to relate real life experience to business strategy (I can’t help it!) and something stuck out to me the first day as we were shopping that turned out to be a continuing trend throughout the trip.

Before I tell you the story, let me ask you something… Are you giving it away?

Behind our lovely hotel was a soap store. Michael actually previously tried the soap while visiting friends in California and loved it, so it was meant to be that he once again found himself in front of the product.

The saleswoman was warm and friendly, offering Michael a sample of the soap. He again loved it and was excited to make the purchase. The clever and smart saleswoman then offered him a sample of their shave lotion and aftershave to take home.

Don’t you know it…after he used the samples, he was ready to head back to the store and purchase the additional items.

Think about this scenario in relation to your sales conversations. Are you giving away the product/service at the first meeting or are you giving just a sample?

I spoke to a client before my trip and in our conversation I brought this to her attention. If you are a service-based business, don’t give away all your ideas and strategy on the initial meeting before a client even signs on the dotted line.

Coaches are notorious for doing this, but I see it with marketing companies, interior designers, you name it.

Here’s what to do in a first meeting:

  1. Understand the client’s pain points
  2. Show the client what is possible in working together (a sample of your services)
  3. Make a plan for next steps

It’s that simple.

You charge people to work with you because you bring value. You can’t walk into a store and take whatever you want without buying it, so don’t let people walk into your business and do the same.

If this is an area of your business in which you get stuck, don’t stay there! Reach out to support@slatersuccesscoaching.com and let’s jump on a call.

Hamilton and Sales

Scripts belong on Broadway. Like the amazing script for Hamilton, which recently won 11 Tony Awards, including Best Musical! A must-see show!

Scripts belong on Broadway, not in sales.

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Why do you think a sales script can increase your sales? It seems so silly to me. Rehearsing words from a page? Saying the same thing to every client?

Do you want to know my secret sauce for sales?

I’ve been in some form of sales for over 20 years and sold over millions of dollars in business starting in my 20’s, all without ever using a script.

When I was in printing, I never even carried a portfolio. It seemed selfish of me to show off my work when I didn’t even know what they desired. It was my job to show up, find out what they needed, what their existing problems were and offer the solution.

Does this sound similar to the way you show up for sales calls?  Do you clear your mind, open your heart and LISTEN?

You have to listen.

Listen to the problem, the pain points, the challenges. Take the focus off of yourself and onto the client. Ask questions and help them figure out what they need to move forward successfully.

Very often, there is a message or a dialogue that sits under the words that are actually being said out loud. Listen to that “under” message.

This happened to me this past weekend when I was enjoying some girl time with my friend and my daughter and her friends. It looked like rain Saturday, so we made a plan to go to a late afternoon movie.

As we piled in the car, I heard talk in the back about “the sun shining,” and “do you have to see the first movie to understand this sequel.” I heard the “under” message. They weren’t too thrilled about this movie idea.

I listened. Are you listening? Listen to what is being said AND communicated.

Raise your level of awareness and it will increase your sales. A great salesperson is a great listener. Couldn’t be more true.

What did we do instead of going to the movie? We went strawberry picking!!

Are you ready to listen? Need some help? You can always email me at support@slatersuccesscoaching.com to schedule a strategy call. I’d love to chat!

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