A lot of people will wonder why things aren't happening in their business. This is often the first question someone on a consulting session will ask me. "I can't seem to get clients", or "my existing clients aren't buying more services from me" etc... Basically it's pretty normal that they get to a certain point and then everything comes to a grinding halt.
Generally I will ask, "What have you been doing?" I think sometimes people think this is a trick question, because they'll always come up with a whole bunch of things they've been doing to keep busy - Tweeting, Facebook updates, LinkedIn connecting, contributing to groups, liking pages etc... you get the gist of it, they've been making themselves visible, and that's a great thing, it's the first part of any good business strategy.
But if that's all that's been happening, then it's no wonder things might be a bit stale on the income front.
I also get told about new packages and services that were launched, and great looking web pages that they send their mailing list to, or even their existing client base - but there isn't any joy from that either.
Generally there are 3 vital things missing...
#1 - The Ask.
When was the last time, you were bold and just asked someone for the business - whether it be a potential new client, or existing client? When did you come out and say, "I'd like to work with you, what would I need to do to make this happen?"
Of course, you don't have to stop there, other questions at the start could be, "I'd like a pay rise" or "I'd like to interview you" etc... think of the endless possibilities of where this one simple statement could get you...
#2 - The Why.
The second thing that's missing is the 'Why'.
When I was working a normal day job, I would see disgruntled looking colleagues wondering why I was getting the pay rises, or the perks, or the training courses in exotic destinations like Swindon (lol, you have to be British to appreciate that joke)!
Well, the reason was simple, I asked, but I didn't go in there just on a wing and a prayer, I'd take ammo.
I'd get together everything I'd done for the company above and beyond my job description, I'd mention courses I'd taken to improve my skills, I'd show revenue I'd generated, I'd show them systems or procedures I'd put in place that had streamlined the office and allowed people to get more done in less time, I'd demonstrate how much more of an asset I'd become since my last pay rise and basically made the pay rise look very reasonable, practically overdue. One year, as a personal assistant to a hotel manager, I achieved 3 pay increases in just over a year - the HR department told me that broke a record.
When I moved into Virtual Assistance, I'd consistently try to build on my skills, experience, and ability to achieve results. When I wanted to raise my rates I would notify clients of my new rate programme. I never threatened to leave them, or terminate the contract if they didn't accept my new terms - but I made it very hard for them to refuse the increase, so it ended up being their decision whether to accept my new rates or look for another VA elsewhere.
So gather the reasons why you deserve a rate increase, or why you deserve to win more business from the client, based on what you've already achieved and how you've improved, make it compelling and simply ask.
#3 The Disconnect.
When you ask, don't attach yourself to the outcome, because you may get disheartened - opportunities are bountiful, if you get a yes this time, great, if you get a no, move on to the next opportunity with a spring in your step. It's all good, the more you do this, the more the law of averages will keep giving you the answer yes... One yes could be worth 10, 20 and in some cases 100 no's - J.K. Rowling got 12 no's from different publishers before Harry Potter hit the shelves, Jack Canfield got 140 no's - Chicken Soup for the Soul did finally go to print and now the total worldwide retail sales of Chicken Soup for the Soul-branded products have exceeded $2 billion.
Sometimes we get so wrapped up in what could happen if the answer was no, or a venture failed, that it blinds us from even considering what could happen if the answer was YES.
Do you feel you ask too much, or not enough? Comment below okay!