Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Abundance Secret

"Add value" is the most common advice you'll hear in the ETR world. When you add value, solve people's problems, and bring solutions to the world, you are creating abundance for others. And that's the secret in earning abundance for yourself as well. There's one more piece of the puzzle, and you'll learn that today from my friend, Bedros Keuilian.

Craig Ballantyne

"Your most precious, valued possessions and your greatest powers are invisible and intangible. No one can take them. You, and you alone, can give them. You will receive abundance for your giving." - W. Clement Stone

The Secret to Getting More Clients

By Bedros Keuilian

Most business owners think that the secret to getting more profit is more and better marketing.

But that's wrong.

Yes, better marketing will get you more leads, but that doesn't always translate to more clients.

The ONLY thing that has direct influence on you getting more paying clients is your ability to sell yourself, and more importantly the outcome that you deliver.

Marketing = more leads.

Selling = more clients. 

I can't tell you how many times I've seen business owners spend a ton of money on lead generation, only to lose the sale because they lacked a closing process.

Don't let that be you.

If you're good at what you do....

If you know you can deliver the results...

If your clients love you...

...then you have an ethical obligation to sell and help these people.

Unfortunately, most trainers have a hang up with selling because the first thing they see in their mind's eye is a used car salesman.

Sure that's one type of selling - if you can even call it that - but that's NOT the type of selling that you should be doing.

Selling is nothing more than a transference of feelings.

Let's take a look at my own experiences.

I've sold over 100,000 personal training sessions in my time.

My best sales day was $27,000 in personal training sales.

My second and third best days were $23,500 and $13,000.

My best month of selling was just over $74,000 in personal training sales.

And one time I even sold $89,705 in personal training in a 43-day stretch.

I did all of this by simply transferring feeling and becoming an assistant to the buyer and not a pushy sales guy.

Enthusiasm and passion mean a lot when you're looking to convert a lead into a paying client.

But in addition to enthusiasm and passion you should focus on these four factors if you want to be an amazing assistant buyer.

1. Establish rapport. 

Be genuine and get to know each of your prospects and leads on a personal level. Likability and trust are critical factors in someone making a buying decision.

2. Give them what they WANT. 

Every person who comes in to see you has their own reason for wanting your product or service. Figure out what they want and why they want it. Why are they there to see you in the first place? What are their biggest fears, frustrations and desires? How do those relate to the solution that your products and services offer?

Once you know the answers, you can tailor your sales process to meet their wants and NOT their needs.

You will give them what they need (in addition to what they want) once they become paying clients.

3. Create massive value. 

The number one reason that people don't buy is not money, although yes, they'll often tell you that they can't afford your solution.

But in reality money is not the issue...

Value is.

It's not so much about one's ability to pay as it is about their desire to pay for your programs.

Think about it. If you saw tremendous value in something wouldn't you find a way to pay for it?

Value creation is a by-product of client experience and results.

If you're not letting your leads and prospects try out your program then you're leaving a ton of money on the table.

Give them the full client treatment from the get go. Let them experience the "experience' of being your best customer. Treat them like gold from the start. Show them the value and demonstrate how your solution is different from all other options out there.

4. Ask for the sale. 

Most business owners, and I was guilty of this at one point too, are afraid to ask for the sale.

They think that asking the prospect to make a decision today would some how be wrong or insulting.

But listen, if you're great at what you do, if you deliver the solution that your prospects need, and if you believe it is worth what you charge, then ask for the sale and don't just imply it.

As far as I'm concerned YOU have an ethical obligation to sell your products and services if you deliver results and solve people's problems...

...otherwise your potential client is probably going to go buy a less effective solution or get ripped off by some fly-by-night company.

By not selling, you are not helping.

But when you deliver a proven solution to a prospect in pain, you are adding value to the world. That's how you create abundance

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Don't Invest Your Money If You Want To Grow Rich (Do These Four Things Instead)

It's the ultimate catch-22. In order to become wealthy, traditional wisdom insists we invest our money. But for many, there's no money to invest. There are two paths to follow at this point. First, you could spend all of your time learning more about investing. Or second, you could do what Mark Ford suggests today. I suggest you listen to his wisdom.

Craig Ballantyne

"Follow effective action with quiet reflection. From the quiet reflection will come even more effective action." - Peter Drucker

By Mark Ford

In my ongoing effort to shock you with contrarian (and sometimes counterintuitive) truths about building wealth, I give you this little nugget to chew on today...

You cannot become wealthy by investing.

(Please keep this to yourself. If my colleagues in the investment advisory industry knew I said that, they would have me tarred and feathered!)

The investment advisory industry - and by that I include brokerages, private bankers, and insurance agents, as well as investment newspapers, magazines, newsletters, and Internet publications - is a huge, multibillion-dollar business based on hard work, clever thinking, and sophisticated algorithms. But also on one teensy-weensy lie.

The lie is that you can grow wealthy through investing.

It's not a big lie. It's a teensy-weensy lie. There is plenty of evidence that strategic investing can provide returns that exceed investment costs (brokerage fees, management fees, subscription fees, etc.) and even produce positive returns after inflation.

But for that, you need time. More time than you probably have.

Let's say you have $50,000 to invest. And let's say you invest it according to a really good investment strategy and things go well. Over a 10-year period, you earn an average of 10% per year. If you started on January 1, 2012, by December 31, 2021 your $50,000 would have increased to $129,687.

That's not bad. But it hardly makes you wealthy. So let's say you extend your investment horizon to 20 years. Beginning with the same $50,000, you would have $336,375 on December 31, 2031.

That's still not enough to make you rich! So let's say you extend your horizon to 30 years. By December 31, 2041, you would have $872,470.

That would give you $87,200 of yearly income. After taxes, you'd take home about $65,000 a year. That's OK, but it's hardly wealthy. And that's after investing for 30 years!

Most of the people reading the newsletter I recently launched, The Palm Beach Letter, don't have 30 years to wait. Based on what I know about our readership, I'd say our average reader has 10 to 15 years.

So what's a middle-aged (or older) wealth-seeker to do?

You can start by deconstructing that teensy-weensy lie.

Building wealth involves much more than just investing in stocks and bonds. Most rich people get that way by consistently doing five things:
  1. They understand and manage their debt. They don't let debt manage them.
  2. They spend their money wisely, getting maximum value for every dollar.
  3. They continuously work to increase both their active and their passive incomes.
  4. They are aggressive savers, far outpacing their peers.
  5. They are disciplined investors. When they find a good strategy, they stick with it.
As you can see, investing is only one of five strategies you must follow to become rich. And of the five, it is arguably the least important.

Most of the rich guys I know spend little or no time investing.

Phil, for example, a very wealthy friend in his 40s, is an expert in municipal bond investing. But he didn't become wealthy by investing in bonds. He got wealthy as a marketing and Internet entrepreneur and by leveraging some debts and eliminating others. Nowadays, he buys and sells bonds - but he spends only a few hours a month on it. For Phil, investing is a part-time way to increase the value of his savings. It is not - and never has been - his primary road to wealth.

It's the same with all my millionaire friends. They all have their own investment preferences and practices. But like Phil, none of them spends more than a small portion of his working time on investing.

As for me, I paid almost no attention to investing until I started writing The Palm Beach Letter. And yet, I managed to go from broke to having a net worth in excess of $50 million - all without knowing the first thing about stocks or options or other sophisticated stock market strategies.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying investing has no value. On the contrary, I'm delighted to be an investor now, and I am certain that investing will continue to add to my wealth.

But I don't intend to spend 40 hours a week studying the market. What I will do is spend an hour a week following Tom Dyson and Paul Mampilly's advice. The rest of my wealth-building time will be devoted to increasing my income. And I have lots of ways to do that.

If you want to get wealthy in fewer than 30 years, you should do the same. Devote a couple of hours a week to managing your investments and spend the rest of your working time on the other four wealth-building strategies listed above.

I hope this message doesn't disappoint you. It's nice to imagine that you can get rich in 10 years or less by picking great stocks. But it's also a delusion. You may be thinking, "I don't need to be told to limit my spending or manage my debt. I already know how to do that." My response to that is: Do you?

Or perhaps you don't like my idea that you must - must - increase your income. Most people reading The Palm Beach Letter have been working hard for 30 or more years to raise families and put their children through school. They want to stop working for income. They want to invest and take it easy.

Giving up your active income is the single-biggest financial mistake you can make. Your active income is essential to building your wealth. If you want to retire some day and don't have at least $250,000 put aside for that purpose, you need more income now.

The good news is that there are all sorts of ways to increase your income. Just as there are all sorts of ways to manage your debt, get more value out of your spending, and ratchet up your savings.

You should pay as much attention to those strategies as you do the stock recommendations you receive

Does Your Kid Need a Budget

by MP Dunleavey, Editor-in-Chief

If you’re feeling bombarded with back-to-school expenses, activities, and the wallet-popping cost of child care—I hear you.

With my son entering first grade this fall, it just hit me that I need a whole new budget—for my kid.
Out of the Box
Relief from money stress is just a click away! Don’t miss “How to End Your Money Nightmares” on, inspired by the recent SELF-DailyWorth survey results of what keeps real women up at night.

Child care is a major expense for families, as you know, but a study released last week by Child Care Aware wasshocking.

If you have, say, two kids at a daycare center full time, you’re probably paying more for child carethan you are for rent.
If you have an infant in full-time care, in 35 states you’d pay more than you would for a year of in-statecollege tuition!

And even if your child is now in school, you’re still hit withafter-school care, the cost of activities, supplies, and so on.

And let’s not even discuss birthdays. OK? Please.

Instead, let’s all get a grip with the newly mintedDailyWorth Back-to-School Budget (and sanity saver). Just enter your estimated expenses, and (as you go along) what you’ve paid.

Life is less crazy, if you plan for it.

In Defense of Total Relaxation

How are you going to spend the last official week of summer? Will you savor the still-long days, or stress about the return to reality: back to school, back to a no-nonsense work schedule?
Out of the Box
2010 study found that the positive effects of vacation fade away, on average, after one month. Prolong the glow by making sure you schedule fun stuff to do, post-vacay.

Answer: Respect the recharge.

“The space and quiet that idleness provides is … paradoxically, necessary to getting any work done,” writes Tim Kreider in one of this summer’s most popular essays, “The ‘Busy’ Trap.”

But working women, and mothers in particular, are prone to feeling torn in multiple directions, according to a Gallup poll last year. And the more “time poor” you feel, the more stressed you are, this survey showed.

Taking the time to relax brings renewed energy. Bonus: that mental distance from problems brings perspective. And if that’s not a productive use of your time, what is?

Smart Ways to Profit from Trends

by Galia Gichon

Every now and again you hear something that makes you think, “Wow, I should invest in that!”

Usually it’s risky to throw your money at some hot new thing. But if you do some research, and the trend looks promising—there’s a safe way to catch the wave.

Invest in a specialized exchange-traded fund (ETF) or mutual fund that captures the market you have that winning feeling about. Some examples*.

HealthCare: Baby boomers are aging (sound familiar?). And a growing senior population likely means big growth for health and medical companies. Get in on the bio-tech trend, for example, with Health Sciences T. Rowe Price (PRHSX).
Real Estate: The real estate bubble may have collapsed, but if you believe that what goes down will inevitably rise again, consider Pimco’s Real Estate Real Return Strategy Fund (PETDX).
Media and Telecom: Annoyed that you missed the first boat with Apple or Google? Try Fidelity Select Multimedia (FBMPX).

Invest in growing sectors and trending ideas with motifs—customizable portfolios built around real-world ideas like Biotech Breakthroughs, Tablet Takeover and Housing Recovery. Explore these and other ideas at Motif Investing now.

Of course, any specialized funds should be added as part of your overall, balanced portfolio

Balance Sheets Tell All

by Anagha Hanumante

Have you asked your bookkeeper for a balance sheet lately?

Or perhaps you're wondering, what's a balance sheet? It's a snapshot of your company’s assetsliabilities, and owner’s equity at a given point in time.

Do you need one? Yes. For starters, it tells you what your business is worth. Specifically:

Current assets, i.e. the assets in a business that can be converted to cash in one year or less (i.e. cash, accounts receivable, and inventory).
Shareholder’s equity, which is the amount owners have invested in the company’s stock, plus or minus the company’s earnings or losses since you opened your doors.

Balance sheets are vital for all stakeholders as it allows them to know how much cash the company has left in the bank, the company’s most valuable assets, and how much money the company owes.

If you're running low on cash in your business bank account and accounts receivable—that’s like having a thin emergency fund. Just like you, your business needs a cash cushion to grow and be healthy, separate from your personal finances.

Secure Your Portfolio

Rebalancing your retirement account is like professionally grooming your brows once a year. It takes minimal time, but keeps your portfolio looking good for months to come.

And in this case, you can find financial balance without moving from your poolside lounge chair (jalapeƱo margarita optional).
Out of the Box
Many retirement plans offer automatic rebalancing. Go online or consult your plan administrator to see if you can set up annual or semi-annual automatic reviews and readjustments.

Portfolios consist of different asset classes: stocks(equities), bonds (fixed income), cash, and sometimes things like real estate. The variety in your account is call your “asset allocation.”

Your asset allocation is important because each class comes with risks and benefits, and spreading your money out minimizes the risk tied to any one particular class.

But markets change all the time, and your portfolio can actually change so much that your original allocation becomes completely thrown off. Let’s say you own one mutual fund for each of the asset classes we just mentioned, and you’ve got 25% of your money in each fund.

If the stock market has an amazing year, your stock mutual fund could suddenly make up 50% of your entire portfolio. Growth is great, but a diversified portfolio is better for long-term security.

The solution? If you’re making regular contributions to your portfolio, stop investing in the stock fund and contribute more toward your weaker holdings. Once you’ve found your balance again, simply resume your original contributions