Manage Your Critic and Celebrate Cancellations

celebrate cancellations

 

You know something is wrong with your business set up when you are celebrating cancellations. You know that moment when you finally have a breather in your diary because a client has cancelled and really you should be thinking about the loss of income.

Why does this happen?

In my experience it is because there is more to life than money. Your health and well being are impacted if you can’t say no and manage your critic so that you can manage your diary.

Now another example of celebrating when a client cancels is when you are thinking about the money and you are really excited that you have won another sale. You tell your partner with a cheshire grin – sold another package today and made £xxx. Then the next day you have to say they cancelled.

There are a couple of things emerged for a client I was recently working with when they listened to their critic.

  1. They questioned their sales process and why people were cancelling and started to look for patterns.
  2. Who is your ideal client? Is this your ideal client that you are about to lose and why?
  3. What is your message? Are you saying what you mean and meaning what you say?

1- Sales Process

When the explored this a bit better they discovered there was a pattern of people saying I can’t afford and I don’t want to be in debt. Then they listened to what they were saying during the sales process. In desperation to get the sale they had said the person could do payment plans, offerred discounts and practically begged the person to work with them.

Can invite you to think about when you are buying and it feels right what is happening?

When you are selling in a way that feels right what is happening?

Is that what is happening now? If not, do you need to manage your critic and find out what is triggering you to deviate from what works for you and potentially is preventing you from doing more of what you love?

2. Ideal client 

I talk a little more about the difference between an ideal client and target market in this article here.

In essence all our potential clients are on a journey and they do not arrive ready to buy. Occassionally they are your ideal client, they have the problem you love to solve, they like your style of working and your proposed solution, they are available when you are and they are willing to pay what you charge.

And sometimes they come along and they have 2 out of 4. They may have the problem you solve and you may well be so desparate to take their pain away that you will do anything to make it easy for them to buy. But that is where you are going wrong. Instead you need lower end solutions that can support them at the price and time they can afford which may be enough to solve their problem or it will keep them connected to you until the time and price is right.

People have so many priorities they will only invest in you when the pain or the reward is high enough. Even though you can predict how bad it could get you cannot take them there in their thinking. They have to get there in their own time.

When this happens to me I am so grateful for Manage your critic on line resource as this gives them access to the tools and a little bit of me for a fraction of the cost.

And when I finish writing the book that is the hook for my business I will have something even more affordable to share.

When a client cancels it gives you an opportunity to reflect on your sales funnel and your clients journey. Do you have something more affordable for those that cannot afford you?

3. What is your message?

Whenever a client cancels I believe the way you handle this will determine their next best step. If your critic kicks and you get prickly, defensive and arsy about how they are not respecting your time, you can’t stand people that mess other people around then your critic is putting all the attention external. Be mindful all communication is two way and whilst you cannot change how others respond, you can notice patterns. Has this happened to you before? Is this a one off? Or is this happening more and more?

Paying attention to and reflecting on your conversation might make sense of why you are getting cancellations.

Do you value your time?

Do you mess people around?

Cancellations are always a gift to learn something when you change the way you listen and manage your critic.

 

 

 

Why I help business owners manage their critic?

supported trader

I was reading my book mentor and joint venture partners blog “Why do I help business owners write books?” 

And it got me thinking why do I help business owners manage their critic?

My big why is that small business owners, the sole traders of this world often are self employed because they want a better lifestyle and they care about their families. And in an attempt to save money or perhaps to avoid looking weak struggle on for far too long without realising most sole traders are actually supported traders. No one does it on their own?

No one is really a sole trader. Everyone has someone – even if it is just their clients, best friend or partner encouraging them to do more of what they love, they are never alone. And we can at times feel like it is all down to us and that we are on own. Unless you have the courage to break the cycle and ask for help. Now it might be working with a coach like me that is there to encourage and empower. Or you might want more practical support. It could be in the business or at home. Childcare, cleaner or book keeper. They are all offering you support so that you are not feeling like you are on your own.

And yet that statement sole trader and that thought of being alone can be quite liberating and give you a sense of freedom and your critic can panic that you are giving up your freedom and independence if you ask for support.

Your critic can be equally critical if you feel isolated and not supported and you may start to resent how hard you are working for little or no return.

From Sole Trader to Supported Traders

You start out with a vision to provide better for your family and before long you are working long hours.

And some of you will make lots of money most don’t and nearly all lose time with their loved ones and some lose their health as a result of the stress.

And I was that business owner. I started out in 2008 because I had burnt myself out in a corporate role and decided what I really wanted was to be a stay at home mum. That decision was made when I was in crisis and without any real support other than the love of my husband saying “Whatever you decide I will support”

What I now know is that when our critic is not settled we go into drama and we automatically revert to animal instincts of flight, fright or freeze and that is what I did. I no longer felt heard at work and I was working 70 hours a week and to add salt to the wound the bonus structure changed, whereas once I could generate £2000 per quarter in bonuses now it was just £200.

Feeling low I took this personally and I just could not bounce back.

That said it was the right decision to leave but it was the wrong reason. Once I was away from the drama I soon realised that my family were all at school most of the time and I was bored cleaning the house. So I changed my decision to become a good working mum.

But then what happened is that I became so focused on working that for a number of years I did forget to give my role as homemaker and mum equal opportunity. It was like my critic only knew how to value the role I got paid for and for those that have been self employed you will know that you often don’t get paid that well and you seem to work much harder than before.

My self worth became all about how much money I had made or the success of my clients. Instead of noticing that I had never missed a school play and that I had had time to listen when my children were scared.

What I have learned over the years is that the most common mistake business owners make is that they forget to focus on all 4 parts of the decision making process.

We make decisions that serve us:

  • emotionally
  • physically
  • mentally
  • and financially

The trouble is that financially it is always easier to measure success and if you see it that way failure. Whereas if your reason for being in business was to reduce stress and have more time with your family that is often less tangible and obvious to recognise and in turn more difficult to value.

Why I help business owners manage their critic is because the critic is often speaking up on behalf of the part you are ignoring and learning to listen to your critic with curiosity allows you to:

  • Hear a new perspective
  • Make an informed and balanced decision
  • Stay focused on what matters
  • Keep the big picture in mind

Why does that matter?

For me I believe small businesses are our way of shifting the wealth from those who dominate the market.

I believe by increasing the number of small businesses not only can I help shift the wealth in the world, I can also help rebuild our communities and give people time back to listen to their children read, to support them through change and effectively reduce the number of teens self harming and trying to commit suicide.

I truly believe the solution is more successful small business owners and I know that those that can motivate, manage and mentor their critic can move from sole trader to supported trader and supported traders do better business for longer without compromising their health or their family.

A supported business owner has more time and patience and are more effective as parents, aunties, uncles and friends.

A supported business owner is inspired to find their own personal pathway to wealth and happiness and they don’t measure their success by the success of others.

A supported business owner measures their success by noticing change in themselves and celebrating every small change.

And those same supported business owners have time to teach their children how to fit in and stand out all at the same time.

And those same supported business owners can support their life partners through times of change be it bereavement, redundancy, childbirth or ill health.

And those same supported business owners are willing to ask for as much help as they are willing to give.

And those same supported business owners give both the critic and cheerleader equal opportunity to be heard and understood.

How about you why are you in business?

What is your big why?

How can Karen or I support you to do more of what you love and ditch the critic that says you can’t.

Check out the new online Manage Your Critic Library which includes the Wealth Dynamics Report and free 30 Minute change call. In 21 days you can manage your critic, gain clarity of your strengths and discover your pathway to wealth and happiness.
Feel free to share below or join us in the Facebook group Clarity confidence and change.
Need to manage your critic? Want more clarity?

Book a 30 minute call today with no obligation and I will happily set you up for success.

About the Author – Sheryl Andrews – The Strength and Solution Detective

how to improve listening skills

Sheryl Andrews, Founder of Step by Step Listening, is well known for her fast speaking and her passion to make things happen. But what many of you may not know is that in private behind closed doors she was also no stranger to lapses in self belief and an overwhelming sense of not being good enough.

That was until she learned how to manage her critic and conquered her sensitivity to criticism. Giving her the tools and resources to overcome her fear of not being liked and not feeling like she was ever good enough.

Today, Sheryl runs safe to speak retreats where you gain clarity of what you want and the confidence to ask for it by developing your listening skills, asking more questions and discovering what emotional buttons are triggering your sensitivity to criticism and praise. You see if you have learned to block out criticism you may well have blocked out hearing how valuable you are and how much of a difference you make and Sheryl is here to change the focus and ensure that criticism and compliments are given equal opporutnity to be heard and understood.

Free Guide – Success with Stress

Free Motivational Newsletter

Follow Step By Step Listening on Social Media

Twitter

Linked in

Facebook Business

Facebook Personal

Clarity confidence and change. Daily activities to get you thinking.

Step by Step Listening You Tube Channel

Please do send me a personal message if you are sending me a friend request as I don’t say yes unless I know you a little.

 

Manage Your Critic – And Make A Decision

Decisions Decisions!!!

Stresses and strains

As a business owner juggling work, home and your personal needs, you have to make lots of decisions. Have you noticed some are really easy and others go round and round in your head?

Life is full of decisions and when we have clarity of what we want and what works for us it becomes possible to manage our critic and make things happen. I received this email recently:

Dear Sheryl

Do you have a nifty way of making decisions? Continue reading Manage Your Critic – And Make A Decision

Are Discounts Destroying Your Business?

how to improve listening skillsThis week Karen and I decided that we were no longer going to offer early bird discounts.

Why the change?

The truth is that early bird discounts can be a way of improving cash flow by encouraging clients to make a decisions earlier. And they do eat into your profit.

I remember years ago doing some number crunching at an Action Coach event where they looked at how much you can improve your profit by increasing your prices by just 10% and how much you lose when discounting by 10%.

Whilst business is not all about money it is about making the business profitable.

So my question today is why are you discounting? Is your inner critic encouraging your to discount because you don’t truly believe people will pay full price? Is your attention on what is not working and you are losing sight of the value you bring?

Do you focus on how much time you spend and still calculate your value based on an hourly rate rather than the difference you make to people’s lives.

Marketing Strategies

Whilst there are proven human psychology that we do love a bargain and that people will buy when they think their is scarcity – Karen and I also felt that this is something that is so over used now that no one really values the full price. It is like they assume you put the prices up so you could discount it. And that was not the case for us. We had priced the events based on having more delegates and one facilitator and kept adding more and more for added value and then discounted if we are honest because we lost sight and confidence we could fill the events.

We decided to get some clarity about our reasons for discounting and today I want to encourage you to get curious.

Are you hanging onto discounts because it makes good business sense or it is for emotional reasons?

I know that I personally eventually don’t see the full price as what it is worth and I see the value as the discounted price.

Karen and I thought about it and the main reason was to encourage our clients to book sooner because it made us feel better when we knew we had some places booked and paid for. We get excited when we know we have people booked because we instanlty know we get to do the thing we love.

So we explored how we needed to be, to be comfortable with uncomfortable longer. To trust that the right people will book and all will be okay.

You can see from the article Karen and I wrote that we realised quite quickly even we had forgotten just how much we gave our clients for their two day workshop valued at £750. That gave a small group of 8 access to the two of us for two whole days, plus the wisdom and knowledge in the room, plus access to our online forum and we give away on line resource libraries too.

We give our clients access to webinars and we nearly always offer 30 minutes one to one pre and post workshop. Not to mention the pain we alleviate and the time we save people by asking the right questions to put their attention on their next best step. Not to mention the thousands they can save by the mistakes we can prevent.

Then if you add in how much our clients increase their own bottom line because the book writing process gives them greater clarity and confidence in their own knowledge they can increase their prices, reduce how often they discount.

If anything £750 for 2 days workshop was undervaluing what we offered. We were no longer looking at the bigger picture.

What we discovered is that we were not truly valuing what we gave our clients. We had overlooked many of the things we give away for free as a thank you for doing business with us.

Then we rememberd we had a large number of individuals telling us they were interested and we only had 8 spaces on each event. We also noticed that we were only running these events a couple of times a year so that created scarcity in itself.

Then we looked at a typical event – discounting was costing our business £1700 so we looked at what kind of strategies did we need to have in place to be comfortable with uncomfortable long enough to get the bookings at full price.

Much of it came down to belief in ourselves and our service. We knew logically we delivered a good service but emotionally our critic was not convinced.

Don’t get us wrong we do still discount – we offer existing clients special bundle packages and we do pay referral fees and we will have the odd flash sale maybe ?

But that is a strategic decision made because we can afford to give our time away or we want to thank our clients not because we are desperate to get bookings.

What are your thoughts about discounts?

Are you someone that always needs a bargain to buy?

Or are you willing to pay for what you know is great value and is what you want and need right now?

How do your clients buy?

Is your critic causing you to put your prices down instead of up?

Love to hear your views.

To find out more about why we changed our process you can read the article Karen and I wrote here:

Early Bird Discounts Are Bad For Business

Feel free to share below or join us in the Facebook group Clarity confidence and change.
Need to manage your critic? Want more clarity? Book a 30 minute call today with no obligation and I will happily set you up to know your next best step.

 

About the Author – Sheryl Andrews – The Strength and Solution Detective

how to improve listening skills

Sheryl Andrews, Founder of Step by Step Listening, is well known for her fast speaking and her passion to make things happen. But what many of you may not know is that in private behind closed doors she was also no stranger to lapses in self belief and an overwhelming sense of not being good enough.

That was until she conquered her sensitivity to criticism and her fear of not being liked.

Today, Sheryl runs safe to speak retreats where you can develop resources and skills to gain clarity and confidence of what you want and how you want to be and all the time you will be improving and changing the way you respond to feedback.

Free Step By Step Listening Guide

Free Motivational Newsletter

Follow Step By Step Listening on Social Media

Twitter

Linked in

Facebook Business

Facebook Personal

Clarity confidence and change. Daily activities to get you thinking.

Step by Step Listening You Tube Channel

Please do send me a personal message if you are sending me a friend request as I don’t say yes unless I know you a little.