Vicki Antonio is a business consultant and a life coach who helps small business owners think like a large company CEO. This is a result of her journey of knowing what her purpose in life is. She started working when she was 13 years old and she found herself having a pattern of working with startups. Her experience made her realize that startups have a pattern of growing pains.
She used that when she got into real estate because she wanted to be that mom who goes to PTA meetings and football games for her kids. The knowledge gave her a deeper understanding of the entrepreneurial spirit and business acumen as a whole.
With the fallout of the market, she learned some hard lessons. She then went into upper management in real estate and after that, she became a business developer for a global real estate franchise. Vicki oversaw about 30 of their shops and her role was to get them developed, get them brand-compliant, and partner with brokers and owners to keep the business profitable. She was a coach for the company’s business needs, whatever those needs might be, on a day-to-day basis.
Most business owners scale their businesses to a certain place and then they’d have a business blindspot. Very few people see the blindspot and see the capacity that they can get to at the beginning.
It’s similar to taking a vacation where you know where you’re going but you can’t see it from the place that you start. The closer you get to it, however, the clearer it gets. If you’re not familiar with the geographical location of the area, then you might have some detours that cause apprehensions. It may cause you to stop and get lost a little bit.
This is where Vicki comes in. She is the guide and she helps the companies see their direction in a clearer perspective.
Fear is the first problem that small businesses face. Sometimes, they become fearful and they build only up to where they know, and then they get stagnant. The fear comes in because they’ve got to relinquish what they know.
It’s very much like taking your child to daycare for the first time. There’s apprehension and doubt about whether they can take care of your kid. The same is true for your business because you have an emotional attachment to it. You develop apprehension about handing it over. But it is important to allow someone else to come in, and then to trust that they will do their job. Trust and fear come hand-in-hand.
The fear of somebody else taking the business to the next level or the fear of engaging with another system are reasons why small businesses fail to progress.
Clarity is also difficult for business owners, especially the entrepreneurs who are self-employed salespeople. These people do a lot to get to a certain place. There’s a lot of things that go into play to get them to the end. Often, they don’t have clarity about what those things are because they either don’t have enough components to see the end or they have too many components that they no longer see the end. When you’re in that slump, you need an analysis of the things you do to see the cause of the stagnation.
Tiger Woods and Michael Jordan had coaches to give them the bird’s eye view, the area where they themselves could not see. The coaches help them and critique them. They also help them analyze what they are doing and how they can change it to make their play better. The same is true in sales.
Salespeople are good at what they do but there are still things that they just can’t see. Sometimes, salespeople get in their own way and do things because it felt right for years. Like Woods, even when his form is okay, his coach can be there with him and tell him things like, ‘
If you just turn the club a little bit then you’d see a better performance.’
As salespeople, you need a coach to analyze your system and your tools to make sure that you’re using them correctly. It is equally important that you trust their input and that the information you’re getting is helpful.
It is important for salespeople and business owners to trust the process.
Fear is false evidence appearing real. A lot of times, we think too much because we don’t have clarity about the direction that we take. We are also concerned about whether we’re doing things the proper way. This makes us fear the unknown, so we stay where we are instead of moving.
It’s not saying that you’re doing something wrong. It’s more like you’ve known how difficult the climb has been and you want to take things to the next level, or to the next pinnacle. Overcoming fear differs from one person to another because everybody’s risk factor is different. For the risk-takers, there’s a great reward but there’s a big gap there. It’s different for people who are not risk-takers because they calculate their risk to the point of comfortability and the rest is pain.
Your business is like your baby and you’ve put all your effort into it and invested much into it. You have the responsibility of making sure that it’s sustainable, it’s growing, it’s healthy, and it’s cared for.
Then somebody comes in and says to do the same things you’ve promised but it’s difficult to trust that person.
This fear can be overcome using a trust list. It’s helpful to create a list of people who have the same core values that you have and people who have track records of having done it already. There’s a good possibility that you can rest for a bit when you work with these people, do business with them, party with them, or engage with them.
The pattern of sales is changing now where relationships are being developed in the sales process. In the past, it has been a case of meeting a stranger, doing the transaction, and then never seeing them again. This time it’s different.
As a salesperson, you build a relationship with them and vet them to know who they are and you also see their track records.
When you think like a large company CEO, establishing proof of credibility is also important. When you’re mentioned in the local newspaper or on a TV interview or magazine, third-party validation builds credibility. Donald Miller’s book, Building a StoryBrand: Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen talked extensively about this.
Client testimonials and LinkedIn also build credibility. You can use the platform to give recommendations and also get recommendations from clients. People who will check in on your page will see you and the things you’ve done getting that quick validation.
You have to do your homework and leave your footprints, especially now that everybody is using platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter for marketing. They have great graphic artists and do amazing things. Sometimes, high profile companies do not excel in that area but they’re doing great in testimonials.
Social media is usually the first place that people go and not having great track records in that platform will rob you of opportunities. Social media, LinkedIn, and testimonial platforms are things that you can improve on.
Clarity is two-fold. Be clear about who you’re working with and what they’ve attained. Second, know who you are as a business. The second aspect is about knowing your niche, your market, your strong suits, and the things you can highlight about yourself.
Once you know yourself, then you’ll know how to work with others and how to bring somebody to engage to work with you.
It’s like the trip mentioned earlier, If you hop in a car without mapping out your destination, you won’t know the streets to take and you’ll end up lost. Startups are like that, too. Many startups think that they can be all things to all people but in truth, that’s not possible.
Vicki started out in real estate with a global and luxurious company. The properties can be worth millions. She has seen salespeople who wanted to get into that price point but because of the lack of experience, they hesitated. They had to first learn that in order to get to the high price point, they first need to stop taking the lower sales.
It’s important to let go of the old mindset and get into a new mindset by being clear about where you want to be and then knitting yourself to that thing.
Becoming a jack of all trades is good because salespeople and see opportunities but sometimes doing that means turning down an opportunity to do something. For example, if somebody wants their house painted and you’re a salesperson in real estate, if you decide to paint the house, you’re wasting an opportunity of making calls doing things that will potentially help you land your next $25,000 client.
You are impeding your progress because you can only spend money and time once.
Your time has more value than the actual money you’re making.
The scripture says that you can do all those with Christ and that’s true but you can’t do it all at the same time.
You’re going to go through seasons, through phases, and through stages. If you learn the season and the stage that you’re in, then you understand the capacity for that time frame.
You need to understand the season that you’re in, the same way that you’re not going to sport a bathing suit when you’re headed to someplace cold. You’re not going to wear an overcoat when you’re headed to the beach.
This is the thing about clarity. It’s when you understand that you’re headed to the beach and you’re not going to feel offended or feel like you’re missing out on something when somebody steps in your elevator wearing an overcoat. You know that you are going in a different direction and it’s okay.
If at some point you want to change your direction or change course, then it’s okay. The most important thing is that you understand very clearly where you’re going when you’re making the change so that you don’t impede good opportunities in the season that you’re in.
It is important to trust the process. Trust is huge because this is the area where you have to have some faith. There will be blindspots in the trust factor but if you’ve made your part then it will be easier. It’s best to prepare, carve out of clarity, train, and sharpen your tools and learn how to use them.
You’ve got to trust that when you take the leap, you’re gonna land in the right place.
Remember this: trust that when you take the leap, you’re gonna land in the right place.
Stay in touch with Vicki to learn more about her services by calling her at 561-774-1333. You can also visit her website at victoriousu.com and victorious’s lifestyle strategies. She’s also on Facebook, so check her out there, too.
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Donald is the host of the popular sales podcast,"The Sales Evangelist". He is the founder of The Sales Evangelist Consulting Firm where he helps small companies develop killer sales process to scale their business and increase growth. Donald is also an award-winning speaker, sales trainer, and coach. He's a big fan of traveling, South Florida staycations and high-quality family time. Donald has a belief that “anyone” can sell if they have the desire and receives the proper training.