The WORLD is your oyster!

May 12, 2008 | Leave a Comment

Debbie Mrazek – Living and Leading interview with Forrest Ward


How do you get your message to the WORLD???  Needless to say meeting everyone on the planet one on one is probably not an effective use of your time or even possible!:)

What if you have someone help you tell the world…or at least 60 countries on the face of the globe?

Enter a wonderful Johnny Appleseed who is helping me sow the message for sales that I want to get out to the world.  His name is Forrest Ward and I want you to know him too!!  Forrest has a program called Living & Leading on an internet radio site called Apostle Radio and he invited me to be his guest speaker to tell about my background, my business and the community things that are important to me that might help others in how they make a difference in their world.

Hear the interview here:Debbie Mrazek – Living and Leading interview with Forrest Ward

Forrest and I met at a luncheon hosted by Jeff Crilley who has written THE book on Free Publicity – Free Publicity: A TV Reporter Shares the Secrets for Getting Covered on the News.  Jeff had allowed us to stand up during the luncheon and tell about our new book, The Field Guide To Sales, and afterwards Forrest came up to me to ask if he could buy a copy and told me he had a radio show that he would like to interview me for…WOW! was all I could think!!  (NOTE: You know how I am always telling you that you need to show up for something to happen…this is a great case in point!!:))

Forrest uses the radio program to showcase others and get the message out about what he does for companies in his business.  His firm is committed to working with entrepreneurs to expand their businesses through developing business plans and marketing strategies, facilitating those plans and strategies, pre-screening and testing potential employees, training new employees, and providing a network of services to obtain clients.  Feel free to Call 817-880-5651 or email Forrest@ForrestAllenWard.com to have Forrest work with you and your business or speak to your group.

How do you get your message out to the world???  Engage with others who use a different medium to get the word out or who have a different market.  I use newsletters, blogs, speeches, articles,etc to get the word out.  Forrest uses his great LIVING AND LEADING radio program.  So today I tell my world via my blog about him and he tells his world via his radio show about me….this is how the world becomes our oyster!!

Who has an audience that you would like to reach today….call them and see if they will share your story with their audience and you in turn can share their story with yours…and the world gets bigger!:)

Happy Selling!
Deb:)

Networking is FUN!:) because fun is fun…period!:)

May 8, 2008 | Leave a Comment

Yesterday we did a really fun event to promote our new book, The Field Guide To Sales, and have a great excuse to get together with our colleagues – something a little different than the regular one hour lunch at a restaurant, at a conference table, event or a round of golf at the club…we had SPA DAY Book Signing….ok, ok, it was girls only for us….but next time we will think about adding the guys:)….we were at the wonderful Stonebriar Spa in Frisco, TX.  Talk about a change of scenery to get your brain working!!:)  Imagine a change of scenery from the regular restaurant, golf course, conference room to a beautiful peaceful environment where you relax – massage, facial, mani, pedi…and then in between treatments you sit in this gorgeous room below and relax, visit with each other, sip a little wine, enjoy a cup of tea or wonderful fresh lemon infused water…well guess what….business CAN get done in this environment and it is FUN, FUN, FUN!:)  At the end of the day there were a few of us still sitting around in our comfy robes and warm blankets and talking about what a great way to meet people this event was, how we got some new referrals, great ideas, awesome networking, we could hear each other talk:), we bonded in a way that next time we see the new people we met yesterday it will seem like we are old friends…..wish you had been with us….it may have been a “business event”…but for us it was FUN and fun was fun!:)

 

What are some other different kinds of ways you could have FUN with your colleagues and get to know one another, engage in meaningful conversation, talk comfortably…..some other ideas might be:

  • A wine tasting – usually done in quiet environments over a few hours and everyone is usually “happy” :) when they leave
  • Hot air balloon ride – get everyone out to do something they may have never done before but that is engaging and highly memorable
  • Cooking class – we all know the way to the heart is thru the stomach right??:)  We all can’t be Julia Childs but a group can put out a great meal like Julia when they have someone showing them every step of the way!  Check out my friend, Chef Karel Anne’s cooking school that does this sort of event   www.kitchen-friends.com
  • Concert in the park – find a group that all like the same artist and buy tickets, sit in the grass, rent a bus to ride together to go there, stand in line for nachos and beer together in between sets….great way to get to know people and have time to talk!:)

Whatever you do just do something FUN….sales does not have to be drudgery to be successful….the best sales are always done with people who genuinely like one another and enjoy being together whether at the conference table, over lunch or at a FUN event!:)

Happy Selling!
Deb:)

Membership in GREAT organizations

April 30, 2008 | Leave a Comment

 

What groups do you belong to?  Professional, community, school, etc??

Why do you belong to them?  How long have you belonged to them?

What do they do for you?  Do you participate or merely show up from time to time?

 

Obviously, you have thousands of organizations out there today that you can belong to.  How do you choose?

I generally choose because of the leadership, the mission, the members that are involved. Ten years ago I joined an organization called   eWomenNetwork because of it’s two founders, Sandra and Kym Yancey, who were just beginning this new organization that was only going to be on the web – I loved them as the leadership, believed in their mission to connect women all over the world by having a website where they could find one another sorted by their areas of interest or geography and I knew the membership would be great because it would be other terrific women.

After 10 years not only have I met an unbelievable group of women but the organization changed after a couple of years of being on the web when they continued to have women ask them if they could get together in person.

Fast forward – we have met in person hundreds of wonderful women at monthly meetings, spoken at different chapter meetings, attended the International Conference and Business EXPO (which if you are in Dallas July 10-13th you don’t want to miss this—remember your girls dorm in college and how fun that was?? Well, this is the downtown Hyatt Regency as a 4 day dormitory with fabulous women and it is legal to drink alcoholic beverages without getting expelled!:)),had the opportunity to speak for all of eWomens Managing Directors from Canada and the United States as well as do a conference breakout session – also, eWomen is the one who recommended me to speak in various cities for the Office Depot Success Strategies for Businesswomen Conferences,  we joined another eWomen initiative the eWomenPublishing Network – learned how to create a book, have created a book, have published our book The Field Guide To Sales —and  yes that is our book on the first page of the networking site!:)100_1603 ***at our monthly meetings we also have sponsorship tables….this was us yesterday at our monthly meeting at Glen Eagles Country Club – contact Kym Glass – Managing Director, Plano if you would like to join us next month: kymglass@ewomennetwork.com

 

Has it been worth the time, the money, the effort?????????? YES a thousand times over!!!  Can you say this about organizations that you belong to?  If not, find a great new organization where you can volunteer, participate, learn, network, connect with other awesome people like yourself who share your drive and ambition….it is money in the bank when you do!!!!!$$$$$

 

Thought you might enjoy some of the points that I did from our monthly meeting last month when Sandra spoke on WORKING TOGETHER WORKS :

We love a down economy; everything is on sale!!

When you think no one cares about you – skip a payment.

Universe never shows up early or late….it is always right on time.

Believe what you see; see what you believe.

Don’t need to adopt others way but adapt in a way that honors yourself.

Your fortune is in the future because of follow-up.

People like people who smile.:)

-Sandra Yancey

Founder, eWomenNetwork

Author, Relationship Networking: The Art of Turning Contacts into Connections

Sandra Yancey

Plano eWomen April 2008

April 29, 2008 | Leave a Comment

Hey guys…what a fun event with Sandra for our Plano eWomen in April!!:)  It was so wonderful to see such a great turnout!:)  Yancey Kym:) I am sorry I didn’t even get to chat with you but you looked mighty handsome to go along with that beautiful bride!:)

Thank you for the opportunity to have a table…see picture attached:)…..to show my book to all my eWomen girlfriends!

Love you all,

Deb:)

 

 eWomen April 29,2008

Trade Shows – Are you in the game??

April 9, 2008 | Leave a Comment

100_1600

Do you do trade shows???  It is a great way to get to see many people that you are focused on for your business in one place during a specific period of time….think about it like you are having many sales calls with people that you want to meet without the trouble of phone tag, driving to each of their place of business – and back to the office, etc…

For example, I did the Women’s Business Council trade show this week.  Women Business Owners (WBE’s) like myself were the exhibitors and the “audience in attendance” were other WBE’s and corporations that support the Women’s Business Council – FedEx, JC Penneys, Frito Lay, Texas Instruments, UPS….you get the picture…..these are not companies that you can waltz into any old day of the week and be able to meet with the exact person you need to talk to.  Imagine them walking up to you!!:)  Sales doesn’t have to be hard you know!:)

You need to have a booth that is engaging and peeks their interest as they walk by because they don’t know you and perhaps they didn’t come to the trade show today looking for your specific product or service.  They see your booth and think to themselves that they forgot they were needing what you do…and voila! there you are!:)

I was wanting to use this venue to get out the word on my Recession Proof Sales program and of course:)….promote and sell my new book, The Field Guide To Sales.  Have a theme for what you are wanting to do….use posters like these great ones that our friends at Crown Press did…ask for the awesome Tom Walters and tell him we sent you!:)…one poster featured the question: Don’t You Wish You Had A GPS to Improve Your Results? and the other has my beautiful bee logo and my company name.

100_1601100_1602 Go to WalMart and get fun stuff to further your theme….for me I was using camouflage  – Trail Mix for them to take with them, Camo napkins so they don’t get their hands dirty, camo rug to drape across table, camo cooler to haul books:), signs that fit with the theme, tin can to collect business cards for the drawing for the SALES SURVIVAL KIT, of course my happy face volleyball for fun in the wilderness:)…and unfortunately the part we forgot to take a picture of was my darling CAMO flats to go with my wilderness jacket!!

Cost…yes, it does cost real green dollars to do a trade show…this one was about $750 dollars…and of course a days worth of my time……but how much would I have paid for the UPS representative to come and talk to me about what UPS needs and also recommend me to a person at Microsoft that is doing a women’s conference???  More than $750 I promise you!!:)  What will be the return??  Of course, there are no guarantees.  What I know for sure is that if you don’t show up nothing will happen….you have got to play to win!!:)

Are you in the game to win….are  you in the game???  If not, GET IN TODAY!!!  Call your professional association and see when their next conference, trade show, event is and sign up!!

Happy Selling!$$$$$$$

Deb:)

Do you know all the players on your team?

March 17, 2008 | Leave a Comment

akeelahbee_lg I don’t know how I missed it at the theatre but this weekend I watched Akeelah and The Bee.  (I am a HUGE movie buff for those movies that do not win Best Picture of the Year:)) There is a scene where Akeelha’s tutor, Dr. Larabee, tells her he has done all he can do to help her prepare for the bee.  She protests insisting that she cannot possibly go on much less win the bee without him.  He sends her away with “tools” – 5000 extra words to learn and reminds her that there are many people who can help her.  Not only are there many people now but that there always has been….they are there if you look.  As she goes back to prepare she realizes that truly there are many people who can help her…….and more importantly, want to help her succeed and that believe that she will.  You will have to rent the movie and see what happens…….

But for today, I ask you…….what tools do you have and who do you know that would be glad to help you if you only let them know what you are trying to achieve?  Who doesn’t want to help someone who is following their dream, their passion and stretching themselves to succeed in areas where they have not done so before?  I want to be on that persons team….dont’ you??!!

Look around….who are two people you can engage as “success team players” this week?  Ask today!

Also, when was the last time you kept a list of everything you wanted to do – business and personal?..I used to keep one on the refrigerator for ever….not sure why I stopped after I achieved those things..

Check out www.43things.com ……make your list this week too……set the intention for what you want today, tomorrow, next year…and keep adding to it……then, look around one more time and pay attention to who is right in front of you that would probably LOVE to help you achieve those things and more.

Check out the New Traveler Tips exercise on page 84 of The Field Guide To Sales…..create your list of 250 this week!

90% of life is showing up!

March 7, 2008 | Leave a Comment

It never ceases to amaze me to watch how the awesome people I know can get together and magic happens even if they don’t know each other.  You guys were amazing to watch and I loved all the new “connections” you made and can’t wait to hear what you do next!!

THANK YOUEarly Birds“! How fun to have you at The Sales Company’s “morning” conference room at Einstein Bagel to sign a nice, new, crisp copy of your copy of The Field Guide To Sales!:)  Next time I see those books I want them to be well worn and for you to share your ideas and experiences you have added and written in the margins!

For those of you who showed up “virtually”:) THANK YOU for all your great notes and cheers…and ordering your books online……look for your favorite postman to deliver your autographed copy in a couple of days!:)

Thank you for showing up in person and virtually!!!:)….our next event will be for the Night Owls….stay tuned…not sure if it will be a warm milk so you can go to sleep event or a extra caffeine coffee event so you can stay up later….either way it will be at a Starbuck’s near you!:)

Where else do you need to be “showing up” for your business so that more great things can be happening?  Can I help by teaching you how to do that?  Check out page 80 in the book – That First Step Is A Doozey.

..and let me know where else you think I should SHOW UP to continue to preach the sales gospel according to Debbie!:)

Einstein Bagel Book Signing at Dawn

March 5, 2008 | Leave a Comment

The Sales Company

 

Debbie Mrazek 

REMINDER…Einstein Bagel Book Signing at Dawn!

Please join me for coffee and a bagel at our book signing for The Field Guide to Sales!  Copies will be for sale and I will be delighted to autograph them for you!!

If you are one of our "EARLY BIRD gets the worm" friends and colleagues, please come and join us on Thursday, March 6th from 7:00 – 9:30 a.m. at Einstein Bagel in Plano (7000 Independence Parkway), next to Kroger’s!

Look forward to seeing you at dawn! J

Happy Selling!

Debbbie Mrazek

PS – If you can’t be with us at sunrise for bagels and want a book, please order today and I will be glad to autograph it for you or inscribe it to whoever you would like to send it to as a gift! J

Contact Info 

Debbie Mrazek

The Sales Company

972-618-1880

Debbie@The-Sales-Company.com

www.The-Sales-Company.com

How To Use Sales Power To Fuel Funding

March 5, 2008 | Leave a Comment

Written by Debbie Mrazek

Which came first? The chicken or the egg? When it comes to raising venture capital, it’s hard to tell whether a companies sales lay the golden egg or are the golden egg. On the heels of a dot com slowdown, a tried and true business model is reemerging and offering an effective, proven way to approach investors.

It’s no secret that not so long ago investors, eager to cash in on an exploding Internet e-conomy, happily funded technology companies headed by strong teams offering futuristic wares. Some of those companies came to the table with a viable business plan and others hoped that funding could command their business model. It didn’t take investors long to learn the technology ropes. Now, high-tech companies looking for funds have to wow investors the old fashioned way – with an impressive product offering, savvy professional team, investment-worthy business plan and financial data worthy of securing the dough. Funding in the new millennium is hardly an undertaking for the faint of heart.

Next, enter sales. What if tech companies incorporated their Plan B into their Plan A? Ah, yes, now we are talking. Plan B, of course, is to start selling the product or service – just in case the VC doesn’t come through. Spin that idea around and marry it to Plan A and you have a tech formula for success.

Sales could be your key to the VC vault. Venture capitalists are looking for a revolutionary product or service that can offer them a handsome return on investment. If your company sales prove that your product has a market – we’re talking customers here – and you have the plan to take it successfully to that market, then you are that much closer to securing the funds you desire.

Powering up sales to ignite funding offers more than a safety net. In one instance, a company incorporating a sales plan with the path to funding found that company sales funded the business sufficiently enough that venture investment/funding was no longer needed. The team redirected more energy and effort into sales and increased the company’s return exponentially. If the company moved along the funding path, it could still be waiting for VC instead of running an explosively successful operation today.

So what does it take to put your sales vehicle in motion? You need to start with a plan. As critical as your business plan is to your venture, so too is your sales plan for your sales activities. Time is money and, as an emerging company, you have to maximize both. Unless you successfully have managed the sales process, it’s wise to spend the money and invest in a person or a company that has a track record in your industry for growing companies such as yours. Be sure that the sales pro knows how to work with the resources you have available.

When you meet with prospective sales consultants, be honest about your situation.

  • How many people can focus on sales activities?
  • What, realistically, is your sales budget and how long can you commit to the plan once it is developed?
  • How much time can company leaders devote to tracking, follow up and redirection?

Next map out who, what, when and where.

  • Who will develop the sales strategy and plan?
  • Who will execute it?
  • What is the process?
  • What are the goals?
  • When will you start? When will you review your results?
  • Where will you begin your action plan?
  • Where will you find the operating funds to keep the show afloat until you realize tangible results?

Then, put your plan on paper and commit to it. Set your weekly, monthly, semi-annual and annual sales goals. Execute and analyze. What’s working? What isn’t? What can you do better – smarter? What was a miss and why? Log all activity into your sales journal and tweak the process until you get it right.

Once you are on the sales track, reach out to mentors or others you know who have successfully grown their companies through increased sales. In sales, the goal is to work smarter, not harder. Tap into your true sales potential and you will be on your way to growing your company and securing funding – through VC or, at a minimum, your own sales power.

Top 7 Ways to Recession Proof Your Business

March 4, 2008 | Leave a Comment

Written by Debbie Mrazek

Good companies and good products are in demand no matter what the economy is doing. Just because there is a recession, it doesn’t mean that everyone is experiencing the same effect from it.

The key to riding out the recession is to create a plan to address it. Simply planning ahead is one of the best strategies companies can use when experts begin to whisper recession.

Recession-proofing your sales begins with you, and being proactive is one of the best ways to ride high when others are crashing.

Put these seven easy strategies to work for you and you’ll soon find that recession or not your sales are soaring!

1. Lock in client loyalty. Remember, you aren’t the only one facing a possible recession. What can you do to serve your best clients? Call and ask.

2. Dig out lost proposals. You never know if those lost proposals went to another company that may not have been the perfect fit.

3. Make time for Face Time. It’s easy to slip into the habit of staying in the office and doing business by phone and email. Drop by or schedule a time to meet with clients. Listen for opportunities where you can offer a solution for their problems.

4. See a Need and Fill It. In a possible recession, sometimes luxuries are the first to go. However, if there’s a need, there’s usually money to pay for a solution. Can you create products or add-on items that fill a need?

5. Create package options. In hearty economic times, there’s more to go around. When companies face a possible recession, slashing expenses is one of the first things companies do. To stand out from others, create package deals that offer lots of value-add for the buck. This way you will stand out as a good deal.

6. Do more for less. We aren’t talking about giving away the farm. We are talking about doing just slightly more for the same amount. If you would normally tack on fees for an item, throw it in for free. Gifting ignites the law of reciprocity and loyalty follows.

7. Put systems, marketing campaigns, and people in place sooner than later. Businesses that take a proactive approach will feel less blind-sided. Create your plan now and implement it. And whatever you do, don’t cut back on sales and marketing initiatives!

Recessions are part of the economic landscape. They won’t be going away anytime soon. The best thing you can do is plan now instead of later. Determine a plan of action and work that prior to and through the tougher times.

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