Category Archives: Horse Business

Let Silence Do the Heavy Lifting

When negotiating, advising, teaching, persuading or giving instructions, it’s crucial to say enough to be understood.

But, too much talk from one side can ruin the message. Dead air is a sin in radio only. However, a pause, a break in chatter or taking a breath is essential for stimulating a response from the listener.

Let silence do the heavy lifting in important conversations.

How to Sell A Riding Lesson

You’ll have an easier time with selling your boarding, lesson and training services when you get your mindset focused on selling as an investment and not a cost. There is much more than price to making a sale and you’ll be better at selling when you stop differentiating by price only.

For example, your fees charged for a riding lesson are not a cost to a student like an electric bill, they are an investment in the student’s ongoing enjoyment of riding with an improved set of skills. Without improved skills, pleasure from riding or competing is saddle tall 2greatly reduced and may even disappear. People ride for the fun of it and the feeling of self satisfaction as they develop expertise.

Riding lessons are an investment in the student’s present and future that provide ongoing value and compounded value over time. You can’t unlearn valuable knowledge and experience and that’s what makes a riding lesson an investment and not a cost.

Thinking About What’s Inside The Box

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The solution for your question, ”How do I make my business more profitable?” doesn’t always require thinking outside the box.

The answer often comes from thinking about what’s in the box now and then how to improve your business by throwing out the non-profitable enterprises within.  Just because it works for someone else, doesn’t mean you have to do it, too. When you get control over your fear and throw out the non-profitable enterprises, you instantly create more room for the things you really like and make money doing.

 

Is Your Plate Is Too Full? Here Is The Solution.

“It’s a zoo around here, I can’t get everything done, everybody wants something from me”, are just some of the comments heard from horse business owners and managers complaining about their chaotic work days.

Granted, owners and managers are capable of doing most of the jobs on the farm with proficiency. But, their ambition coupled with know-how is a dangerous combination that leads to overwhelm and fatigue.

Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. Delegate the tasks you can delegate, ditch the tasks that aren’t high priority and do the things in your business only you can do.

plates1

If your plate is too full, trade it in for a smaller plate.

Thinking Too Hard Will Always Kill A Sale

You know those imaginary conversations you have in your head with potential customers about your boarding, lesson or training business? I mean the dialogues where your brain does the talking for both you and the prospect. I say X and she says Y. I say it costs Z and she says I can’t afford that. And your brain says, “just what I thought!”

file  I bet you could fill a five drawer file cabinet with the potential sales you’ve discarded over the years after thinking about why prospects won’t buy from you. The five drawers would be filled with these reasons why you didn’t ask the prospects to buy:

  1. They don’t have the money, they could never afford it.
  2. They’re doing business with my competitor and her prices are way below mine.
  3. I’m not experienced enough for them to hire me.
  4. They’ve said No before and they will just say No again.
  5. I sent the information and they never called me back. They are clearly not interested.

When you do prospects’ thinking for them and choose not to pursue a sale, two things occur.

  1. You automatically deny yourself sales that would make your business more profitable.
  2. Your prospect misses out on a great offer for your services that will help them enjoy horses even more.

If you’re like me, it’s enough of a challenge to get your own thinking done. Doing the thinking for others is presumptuous, arrogant and insulting. Let the prospect say Yes or No. It’s good manners.

 

Your Big But…

But, I don’t have time…clock

  • To ask customers for a testimonial
  • To sign up for a fall course in business accounting
  • To tune up my marketing program
  • To let my helpers know when they do a good job
  • To do a rate survey and consider raising my prices

Because I’m too busy…

  • Cleaning stalls
  • Reading Facebook updates
  • Complaining about the economy
  • Texting
  • Convincing myself nobody is more overwhelmed than me

Follow Up To Close More Sales

When you’re selling boarding, lessons, or training, (and if you’re not selling, why aren’t you?) ask for the prospect’s email address.

Simply say at that end of your conversation, “Would it be OK if I emailed you more information about our program?” 99% of the time the prospect will say yes.

Then follow up with more information and your contact information. Serious buyers don’t mind being “sold” with more information to help their buying decision.

Choose Carefully-Every Customer Is Not Your Ideal Customer

Unlike Wal-Mart, Target or Amazon, you shouldn’t attempt to sell to every potential customer who shows up at your business and says “I want to buy.”  You only have a finite amount of time each day to dedicate to your business and it makes sense to sell to only the customers who appreciate your skills, business atmosphere and expert care and happily pay for it.

Here’s why. Customers who quibble constantly over price, don’t show up as promised and complain about everything and everyone are no help to your profitability. If you skim through your list of current customers, you will most likely discover 80% of your revenue comes from only 20% of the total number of customers.

If so, start working today on replacing problem customers with the same type of customers, the 20%, who contribute to 80% of your sales. You will be much happier working with customers willing to pay you what you’re worth and benefit from the great value you provide.

Where will you find the time marketing for better quality customers? With all of the time you’re no longer wasting on low revenue problem customers.

You’ll Close More Sales If You Do This Simple Thing

3 buckets of money

A question for you.  Do you know what your competitors charge for boarding, lessons and training? If you don’t, it makes it difficult to position the services you offer and the fees you charge in relation to what a prospect thinks the market range is for fees.  For the uninformed prospect, the easiest way to make a decision is to base it on price.

For example, if a prospect assumes all riding lessons are equal in value and merely a commodity like a bushel of corn, then the lowest price is the best value.  The thought process is similar to buying a certain brand and length of computer cable. Check Wal-Mart, Target and Amazon and you’re done.

It’s your job as a salesperson to educate prospects on the value you offer for the fee you charge. You are not selling commodities and will do well when you can explain to prospects the differences.