leadership Archives - Sandi Krakowski, The Small Business Mentor

The Skill Of Listening For Huge Company Growth

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The Skill Of Listening For Huge Company Growth

By: Sandi Krakowski

Company owners do keyword research, brand analysis, review historical data and all the other big methods they can come up with to validate whether or not their product will sink or swim. Few ever practice the age-old art of listening.

Your prospective customers are talking all day long. They're showing up on Facebook talking about their dreams, their worries and their fears.  Forums are filled with prospective buyers who are looking for someone who will give them a listening ear.

Gone are the days of "Big CEO and Company" going into the marketplace with an announcement that draws millions. Telling the market what they need doesn't work. The question might really be, did it ever?

Your present and future clients are savvy and they are smart. They won't fall for the old "Squawk Box" Charlie Brown's teacher messages any longer. They aren't listening and they don't care. 

But they do want you to hear!

Will you hear their pain? Feel their needs and pay attention to what wakes them up in the middle of the night? 

Listen to what your customers are asking for. Listen to what your competitor's customers are saying. Lean in…. pay very close attention, listen to the "chatter" and take copious notes. There's no reason to go without this information that is steadily flowing. The key to big profits in today's market is a good listening ear.

What Do They Need?

Your clients are very aware of what they need. But when you enter the marketplace a bigger issue must be faced. Are YOU aware of what they need?  This is the real issue when it comes to selling products or services. 

What is it they really need?  Every person needs value, love, recognition and security. They'll pay a fortune to get it, as sales reports online reveal. Even during what was viewed as a 'down season' last year more than $41.2 BILLION dollars were spent on Black Friday alone! And we thought people were struggling?

This was considered a lower than average Black Friday! More people spent less and billions were spent

The reality of being successful in sales is summed up in this principle: People are looking to have their needs met. Period. You can bring joy, security, satisfaction to them as you serve them what they want and as they come to know you even better, you can serve them again and again. This is brand loyalty and long term business in the making. Giving your customers what they want. 

It might sound crazy, but to the successful business owner, it's "Business 101." 

What Are They Complaining About?

If you pay attention online through forums, chat groups, social media and other places people hang out, you'll quickly learn what they need. It's right there for anyone to discover. But it takes time to pay attention and sadly, far too many companies aren't listening.

Amidst all the headlines of dropping profits, increased layoffs and lost investments something has remained the same that only a select few are paying attention to. People are still buying what they love, dreaming about what they want and making it plainly obvious what they don't like!

Solve a problem with a unique solution and you'll make a huge profit. If people really love your solution, get great satisfaction and you treat them better than anyone else, you will never lack as a company. And if you pay very careful attention to your client's growing needs, you could easily create a long term business. Pretty simple, isn't it? 

Are People Disillusioned And Unaware?

Another great key to long term profits is in becoming a resource that people can turn to and trust. Revealing hidden information, making difficult things simple and serving as an expert is a great way to grow a company. 

It is my belief that we are at a critical time in history when people really do want the right information, they desire change and truly do want to know the truth. This is also a vulnerable time where less than commendable or reliable 'so-called' experts are teaching things they know nothing about.

Colleges fill our heads with notions of 'security and long term dreams' when the sad reality is this- if you don't market a product that is highly in demand– you'll have an extremely hard time making a profit. Pay very close attention to what people are asking for. What are your customers struggling with? What do they want? What are they seeking?

If you can give it to them, with value and excellence, you're on the verge of huge success!

The marketplace pays for value. Your value is directly related to how much you can bring to the people you serve. If you help those who are unaware, confused or even disillusioned you could be personally responsible for helping others change their lives. This is one of the funnest ways to build a business. Bring value and change to your customers and they will love you forever!

Give It With Excellence And Honor

Excellent customer services seems to have left the face of the earth. Business owners are watching their bottom line more than the satisfaction of the customers they serve. This has not helped our economy one bit and needs a serious change. Talk about needing a revival in the marketplace! Where are the happy service representatives, CEO's who can't wait to serve and product developers who dream of inventions at all hours of the night!?

If you serve people with excellence and honor you will be remembered forever. Because it's so rare, you could quite frankly triple your profits if you do it long term. While it might not be easy, it surely isn't popular and it isn't something you even hear about much any longer in business school, it is always and has always been right. 

Good will and honor will pay you much more than any stock investment could and it will leave you with a good night sleep each night when you lay your head down on the pillow. 

But what defines good will? Is it being available to your customers 24/7 through Social Media for every question or notion they might have? No. Not at all. But it does mean that when you are open,  you give with all of your heart and with all that you have. Serve with excellence and honor and you'll rise to the top!

Rise To The Top!

The KEY to rising to the top is to serve better, work harder and go farther than the rest. This doesn't mean you work longer hours, you spend your entire life on Facebook or you never sleep-rather, it means every hour you work, ever minute you spend building your company, every decision you make is to the furthering of your company and your customer's service.

The investment you make is the investment you'll receive. It never ceases to amaze me when people write me on Facebook and say, "Hey could you just give me some input?" and they continue with over 10 paragraphs of details on what they need "input" on. 

Before you think I'm being hard on anyone, let me tell you the truth- you aren't going to ever reach your goals in business by begging people for help on Facebook or by asking a big company owner to just give their 'quick input' anytime you need something. This is poverty in the mind. It's a cheap way of doing things and it makes the person 'seeking' look desperate. Desperation is what you'll receive. And you'll NEVER serve with honor and excellence with this method!  Invest into your future and your future will reward you handsomely. Take the time and money to get some one on one mentoring from someone who is doing what you want to do! Don't expect free handouts, fast 'quick input' answers to change your future. Do the time and do the work. 

Rise to the top! Do what others will not! While other's waste time and worry about what tomorrow will bring, go create more products that customers are begging for and give it to them with the best spirit possible! 

Turn Your Ear Into The "Chatter" For Bigger Results!

Listen, they are talking. Listen carefully to what they need. Pay attention to your keyword research, do your due diligence when it comes to PPC and media buys. But when push comes to shove, listen. Listen carefully and your prospective customers will tell you exactly what they need! Then it's your job to give it to them and give them all you've got!

If a budding business owner says, "What if I don't know what I want to do" or "I don't know what I want to sell" they are still thinking like a lazy employee, waiting for someone to tell them what to do. CEO's don't think this way. Stellar employees don't even think this way, either! Even a valuable employee is proactive, making decisions, looking for ways to serve and go the extra mile

They KNOW what they want to do. It DRIVES them, it STEERS them, sometimes it POSSESSES them… and the war becomes, HOW TO GET IT DONE.. not a miry abyss of wondering what to do next!

Listen more, serve with all you have, give with excellence and work with honor….. and YOU my With friends will see your dreams come true!

With love,

Sandi Krakowski 

View More: http://kendallhannaphotography.pass.us/sandi-book-shoot








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Did relatives at the Christmas party discourage your business dreams?

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I get it. You were at a Christmas party with relatives, doing your best to #BeMore and make a difference, and before you know it, YOU were the center of the conversation. It wasn’t good. People were asking you why you are still chasing your dreams and before you knew it, everyone was discouraging, negative and you wanted to run away!

I’ve been there. Nearly every holiday gathering for many years, this would happen. Then when I started writing for some public magazines and it became OBVIOUS I was not changing my tune, I was not going to listen to ‘their advice’, relatives stopped telling me to give up on my dreams. They realized, I was serious. Even after making more than $10 million dollars in business,  I still had some cantankerous people in my life who were always wondering when my bottom would fall out. Well, it never did. I’m still here…… and I’m glad I didn’t listen. 

Listen, it’s your life and YOU gotta live it how YOU wanna live it.

In everything you do today, do it with purpose and passion. Don’t feel guilty when you decide to turn down a meeting, a ‘minute to connect’, an email, text or DM, when you know the person giving the invite really isn’t in alignment with your purpose and goal. Smile and move on. Be kind and go the other way.

You’ll never get anywhere trying to please everyone. 

It’s time to step up and take an account for every hour, every dollar and remember, it all adds up.

As I coach small business owners, I see an enemy rising up that is destroying their potential for success. This enemy robs a business owners bank account, it takes the steering wheel of their goals and completely goes down the wrong road. It destroys families, can make the body sick and last, but definitely not least, will usurp authority over all God gave and make you a slave. Comparison and people pleasing are your enemy!

It starts with a thought. Who we agree with. What we partner with. Paranoia is a pathetic excuse for working hard. Being super afraid you’ll never measure up, get enough done, go far enough will not motivate you to the right goals in life. Skepticism is a pathetic answer to taking risks cautiously. It won’t lead you to making wise decisions, avoiding the right things. It will cause you to hold back, sit tight and will make you WEAK, in the end.

In everything you do today, do it well. Do it full on, in faith. Lay aside fear and press through. Success never happens because someone was cautious. Oftentimes, what the world sees as reckless was an entrepreneur and a dreamer pressing into the things God gave them to do. Don’t compare yourself with people who aren’t building a business or chasing their dreams. Don’t let Aunt Mary and Uncle George who have been faithfully serving the union disrupt your business goals because they think YOU should stay put and seek security in a corporate position. STAND FIRM. Love them, but ignore them. 

The decisions and actions you make today are writing your future. Write it well, my friends. Take that risk, stretch yourself and go the extra mile. Don’t settle, quit adjusting yourself so no one feels threatened by you. Be powerful!

It’s time for you to #BEMORE! 

With love,


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When it’s the darkest, trust your friends

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Sandi Krakowski Most Viral Image On Social Media

We all have dark seasons in our life. Times when we can't seem to find the light switch to get out and we begin to coast from one day to the next. During these times it's really important to know who your friends are. In a recent private mastermind I was teaching some of my clients the difference between valid criticism someone might bring and hurtful, irresponsible opinions other people can bring. The more successful you become in business, the more opinions you will attract.

Ironically, some of the darkest comments people bring will not come from those who are close to you. Sure, our loved ones, spouses and family can say hurtful things at times. Sometimes they're threatened, other times they're afraid they are going to lose us if we're successful and there are even times when they are just plain jealous. But overall, the majority of really dark targeted hateful comments will come from people who don't know you, haven't a clue what your heart is about and they simply have such disrespect for themselves that they have to take it out on someone else. Forgivness is your super power. Forgive. Don't take it personal. Wipe it off. Move on. 

What I want to talk about today is friends. True friends. The people who when life gets really bad, they come over, pour coffee, jump on a plane even and they're not leaving, no matter what. They could care less what trouble you're in, what you've done, where you're going or even if you're acting like a completely moron momentarily. They are with you. It is these people that come in, find the light switch, and bring light into our lives. 

Here's the truth- you won't have a lot of these people in your life. You'll have a lot of nice people, who care and do love you but they wouldn't pick up the phone to talk to you if life is hard on their end let alone jump on a plane to be with you. Doesn't mean they don't care, it's just that they aren't your close inner circle.

Get an inner circle of friends you can depend on.

It doesn't have to be more than 2-3 people. One of the most critical things that has happened in my life in the last year is the shift of my inner circle. No longer is everyone who is close to me needing me to lead, direct them and be the light bearer for them. No, now I have 4-5 people who I can hang my life on. They'll tell me the truth. When I am a moron, they'll tell me. When I'm being hard on myself, they'll tell me. They'll text me at any time of the day, no matter where they are at, and they have my back. Here's the big part, I also have chosen to have theirs. It's not a one way street.

Like I said, there's not a lot of people who will fit this role. It doesn't mean that everyone else can't pray for you, support you, send kind words and cards and be a great benefit to your life. It just means that you've now grown to the level of needing a close tight inner circle.

Who will be in that place in your life?

How did I find these people? I prayed. I asked God to bring them. I poured my heart out to God and He answered my cry. When life is at its darkest, your real friends will come and turn the lights on.

With love,

Sandi Krakowski

Sandi Krakowski


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