“Hi Ellen! Quick question. I want to sell my business. How much is it worth?”
A great question. However, not a quick answer! 🙂 And not one I could answer in an email. My challenge is to start a meaningful conversation with someone who may need my help. I aim to provide answers in all kinds of ways…from this blog to freebies on my site to books and articles to webinars and online classes to one-to-one help. Other business gurus do the same, and we succeed – and fail – in our various attempts.
I love to be of service! I’m honored when someone reaches out to me. Alas! You and I…we are busy. So, here are 5 tips for getting your questions…answered!
- Boil down the question. Write out your most pressing challenges. Let it all out on the page on or on the screen. Then, edit out the emotion. Consider how the question will be read by someone else. Bonus! As you craft your question, you might just find the answer yourself. If not…reach out!
- Select a guru. Search online using your question. Ask friends and business contacts to make recommendations. I specialize in financial clean up and profitable business planning. I’m not your go-to gal for sales training. Business experts usually specialize, so do some research to find one who is well versed on your specific issue.
- Dig into their site. Look for sample videos and freebies. Does this person have a philosophy that resonates with you? Do you like their sense of humor or confidence or humility? Find the testimonials and see if there is one from someone you know. Call their clients and ask about their experiences. Look for review scores. Note that he or she may have already presented and answered your question on their blog or FAQ page. Search the site with your key words.
- Pick your approach. We communicate in all kinds of ways: facebook, twitter, email, phone calls and in person conversations. Consider the medium as you make a reach for help. If you have a quick question which can be handled with a quick answer, ask via private message or email. For instance, “What are your top 2 dispatching software choices?” Or, “How often do you recommend reviewing your financial reports?” (BTW…”Field Service and Service Titan” and “Weekly.”) Communicating via blog response or social media also allows the whole community to chime in. Often even more helpful!If a longer, or private, conversation is required, you might ask if and how you can arrange a phone chat. You might also sign up for a Webinar or seminar and show up early and stay late for private time. I offer free Office Hours and a limited number of half hour phone visits. Send your question to firstname.lastname@example.org and Shauna will reply with next steps. That way we don’t phone tag, and I don’t risk miscommunication in a hastily crafted email.
- Consider if you really need a quick answer, or if you are due for a business makeover. You could buy a book or online program. You don’t need to sign up for the mega-gold-awesome package right out of the gate. If you have lots of questions, or are considering a consulting relationship, start with a modest investment in product or programs. Apply the recommendations and see what kind of results you get. Then, you may up the ante and the commitment.
Don’t ask for advice if you aren’t willing to take it. So often, we make a reach for help, then slap the offered hand. It’s natural to protect our current situation. To fear change. To resist suggestions. If you ask, ask with an open mind. And don’t be surprised if you saw it coming.
“Advice is what we ask for when we already know the answer but wish we didn’t…” ~Erica Jong