I Love Sales smaller

No business can survive without sales. If revenue is not coming in, your company will be out of business. Small business owners are more vulnerable to closing up shop due to lack of sales.

Of course, there are myriad of reasons why a business fails, but lack of sales is one of the more prevalent ones. The underling reason maybe bad marketing, wrong product, or poor customer service. Yet, when I meet with some of my clients that want to start their own business, fear of sales or lack of sales experience pop up often.

They will tell me: “I don’t like selling.” “I don’t have sales experience.” “I never sold anything before.” Jokingly, I would tell them: “Yes. You have sold before. From the time you were born, you were selling your mom and dad that you are so cute that they have to feed, bathe and clothe you.”

My view on sales is “sales is about forming relationships.” I also have to believe that through my products or services I can serve others. If a business owner does not believe that his or her products and services are not valuable or does not benefit his/her clients; then, they should close up shop right away. Why delay the inevitable.

There is no magical potion to sales. Sales is a game of numbers. The more qualified prospects you put in your sales funnel, the more likelihood you will close deals. But learning how to form relationships with your clients, delivering solutions to solve their problems and being present can result in magical moments in your sales results.

Here are some approaches I used when selling solutions to my clients:

1) Start with the Low Hanging Fruit: There are days when I don’t feel up to making the calls or going out prospecting for new clients. To get myself mentality prepared , I think of folks that are in my inner circle that could use my products and services. I focus on the ones that are pleasant to speak with, or it’s fun to be in their presence.

I don’t go with a hidden agenda. When I contact them, I ask how things are going and inquire if there is anything they are struggling with that I may be of assistance to them. If there is, they let me know. Then I offer to meet with them to see where there is a fit.

By starting with the folks that I have a great relationship builds my confidence to call on the ones that are newer to me. It makes me not fear getting a “no.” By the way, getting “no” isn’t such a bad thing. It gets you closer to a “yes.”

Having a hard time starting your sales day? Start with your low hanging fruit. Reach out to people that you know, people that you have sold to in the past, people that like and trust you.

2) Sell Only What You Believe In: When I worked in the corporate world, I had to believe in the products the companies were offering in order for me to go out and represent them. Being connected in that way made me passionate about selling those products or services.

The result of this passion was that I had more sales. There were times when a client wasn’t sure about the product, but due to my knowledge of the product and the passion I had about it, they bought from me. This is the same now that I am a business owner.

If you don’t believe in what you are selling, you will not come across as being authentic to your prospects. If you don’t believe it, why should they.

3) Sell Only What Your Clients Need: The consulting process I utilize, helps me to learn what issues my clients are experiencing in their businesses. By asking key questions, they open up to me; allowing me to learn where my products and services may be solve their business needs.

There are times when my products and service aren’t a good match for what problems they are facing. At this point of the consulting process, I let them know that it’s not a fit. I would rather lose the sale than deliver something I know will not work for them.

If you are out selling to your clients, don’t sell them an orange when they need an apple. It will make you feel better. Your honesty will pay off in the long run. Walk away from the sale. Before you do, ask them for a referral. Those that appreciate your honesty will be more than willing to open their list of contacts to you.

4) Be Present: As I mentioned previously, sales is a numbers game. If you are not on the phone making calls, networking through social media, attending networking events or visiting existing clients; you are missing out on opportunities to sell.

When I was writing my book, it took me out of the loop for a while. It was amazing how low my opportunity funnel declined. Once I kicked myself in the butt and pushed myself to Be Present online through my blogs; go to events and making the phone calls; my funnel increased, tremendously.

“I’ve found that luck is quite predictable. If you want more luck, take more chances, be more active, show up more often.” ~ Brian Tracy

If you are struggling with connecting with others due to an out-of-balance schedule, doing something small can still keep your sales funnel healthy. Make two are three calls a day to existing clients or new prospects may be all you need. Going to one event every other week might also prove to be of value.

5) Make It Fun: Life is too short to work from a place of fear, boredom, or misery. When I feel a spell of doubt about selling, I implement a reward system. I set a goal for how many calls I would make for the day. Or I may set a goal of how many qualified contacts I will make at an event. Then I would reward myself with something. It maybe as simple as treating myself to an ice cream cone or watching a playful movie.

Selling to me, is the “wine and dine” period in the sales cycle. If I’m wooing a client, I have to present the best me. This means I have to walk into any meeting on get on a call with a positive, upbeat attitude. This attitude is often infectious to the client, also.

No one wants to work with a dud. Find a way to make selling fun. Take the fear out of it. As a business owner, you have got to love selling or else find someone who does. If you don’t, your business will not be around for long.

Whether you follow these tips or not, remember that no business that rely on revenue can exist without sales. Find a way to fall in love with the sales process and take your business to newer heights.


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Marlene M. Bryan is a Distinguished Toastmaster, DTM. She is a certified speaker and leader by Toastmasters International. She is currently the District 47 Public Relations Officer, and leader of the Public Relations Team. Sheprovides her services to over 3800 members throughout the district. Marlene is the owner of Marlene M. Bryan, Corp. She is a speaker, an author, and a coach. Pick up the latest copy of her book Live a Diamond Life, A Life of Purpose: Diamond Cutters at mbryan@marlenembryan.comandsmallbizevolution.com.

Diamond Cutters

The word Share on a cork notice board

Do you know sharing what you know and the spotlight with others can win you new clients?

The organizer of a book club, Imani at the Dania Beach Paul DeMaio Library, honored me by hosting a book signing event for my book, Live a Diamond Life, A Life of Purpose: Diamond Cutters. Ms. Hollis created a flyer to place in front of the library entrance and sent the event out to the subscribers of the library mailing list.


Generally, at these events, I would read excerpts of of the book; then sell and sign a copy for the purchaser. With the organizer’s permission, I decided to change this up a bit. I invited other authors, would-be authors, editors and a photographer to join us at the event. I wanted this to be a sharing and teaching moment.

First, I read excerpts from the book, then I had the other authors share about their books. The would-be authors were asked to share about the books he/she is writing. This was to encourage them to keep going and set a target date for completion.

Book signing 3-14-15

Next, the editor of my book, John Weir, explained to the audience what methods he uses to edit a book. He helped the authors learn about the editing process. Andrea Robinson, an associate editor of a local newspaper, informed the group how she and other editors like the authors to submit articles or press releases to them. Ms. Robinson and Mr. Weir’s information was what most of these authors needed to get a better understanding of editing a book and preparing press releases for their books.

The photographer, Leroy, has been shooting street photography for ten years. We met while I was waiting for a client at a coffee house. He told me about his works and I asked to see them. The images are very riveting. I connected him with some of the authors at the event. Some of them expressed that they want to purchase and utilize some of his images in their books or as a part of their book covers.

The energy level in the room was electrifying. Even the ones that came out just to learn more about my book said the event was a great experience for them. It felt great sharing the spotlight with others. Although I was able to share my message and sell my books, being able to share my experience and resources with the others was a thrill for me.

As a result of sharing this event with others, I gained two new clients, one of the attendees invited me to speak at the two book clubs she participates in, and the event organizer offered to conduct another session for me to do it all over again!

It is tempting at times to not want to share the limelight, but I find that sharing has more upsides than downsides. As a small business owner and an entrepreneur, learn to share your knowledge and perhaps some of your resources; if you can afford to do so. If you can’t, share referrals. Share something that you like about your clients with other clients. You will gain the gratitude of one and the respect of the other.

If you have won clients by sharing, please share it with us in the comments section. We would love to hear your story.


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Young woman with shredded paper

What’s holding you back from starting your own business? What fears are lurking in your mind? What is keeping you from pressing the start button?

In my last article “What are You Waiting for? Start Your Business Today,” I mentioned three common fears that plague would-be entrepreneurs:

  1.  Fear of Failure
  2.  Fear of leaving the familiar, i.e. working for someone else
  3.  Fear of the level of effort it takes to start and run ones own company

The strongest of these is the Fear of Failure. This fear involves fear of what others may think or say about us. We are worried that folks might think of us as failures. We are worried about being rejected.

A friend of mine conducted a Vision Board seminar this past weekend. She had the attendees write down three fears on a notecard. Then she told them to put them in the shredder. This was to help them visualize their fears being shredded to pieces. These fears will no longer be there to haunt them.

Now this doesn’t mean that they will not experience periods of doubts. The method my friend utilized was a step in facing ones fears. I’m encouraging you to do the same with your fears.

Here is how you face your fears about starting a business:

  1. Admit that they are there.
  2. Write them down. This will bring them to the forefront and  allow you to address them.
  3. Write down the emotions associated with them. Are these emotions based on fact or fear?
  4. If it is a fact, write down the worse case scenario that may occur should you fail. Make a plan that will counter the possibility of failure and act upon it. For example, if losing investment money is the fear; then, make a plan that involves a budget that you can start the business without laying out that much money. Or seeking out other sources for investments such as an investor or partner.
  5. If it’s simply a fear – shred it!

Here is a great quote to remember when you are worried about what others think.

“You wouldn’t worry so much about what others think of you if you realized how seldom they do.” ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

If you feel stuck, unfulfilled, scared or in a place where you are not moving towards your dream about…”Starting Your Own Business….. WE CAN HELP!

Join us for this informative Webinar on what it takes to make “YOUR” dream of self-employment a “REALITY”!

What You Will Learn…

  • Characteristics of a successful Entrepreneur
  • Defining The Vision​
  • The 5 Steps To Starting Your Own Business
  • Transformation: from Dream to “Reality”!
  • The Business Plan!



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Pet Hamster Holding A Blank  Sign
Image from launchalegacy.com.


“All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.”Ralph Waldo Emerson

“How do you get off the hamster wheel?” This was a question someone posed to me this weekend. He stopped by my table at one of my book signing events. He asked me about the content of my book Living a Diamond Life, A Life of Purpose: Diamond Cutters. I told him that I wrote the book to encourage others to find a meaningful purpose to life; then, surround themselves with mentors and coaches to help them live that life.

We were discussing the fact that so many people stay in jobs that they disliked. This leaves them feeling unfulfilled in these positions. He said he admires people, similar to his friend, that are pursuing their passions. He explained that his friend had a lucrative practice as an attorney. His friend left the law business to become an entrepreneur in an area that involves his passion. His friend’s saved money from his law practice. Therefore, he does not worry about earning a large income in this new endeavor.

This gentleman told me that he personally trades in options. He also owns a rental property as added income. He felt that he could not pursue what he would like to do (he never did say exactly what that was). He needed the security of having enough money in the bank to sustain his lifestyle. I reminded him what we do in life is a choice. Whatever we choose to do, or not do, comes with consequences. We have to decide if we can live with those consequences.

My good friend Dr. Larry Benovitz, a psychiatrist and author of There is No ReDo: Strategies for a Lifetime, once said: “Many people are living behind prison bars they created themselves.” I thought about this quote as I spoke with my visitor. It didn’t seem that he was afraid of taking certain risks. He was trading in options…you can make a lot of money one day and lose it the next. Yet, I did sense a fear of failure or of the unknown from him in our conversation. 

Early that day, I had listened to one of Tony Robbins’ sessions on Personal Power. Tony encourages the listeners to embrace failure. We should not be afraid of failing. As we push towards achieving our goals, we may experience failures. We should learn from them and get back in the game. If we don’t push pass fear of failure, we may never experience the joys of the manifestations of our dreams into realty.

Brigette Hyacinth, Director at MBA Caribbean Organization, wrote a great LinkedIn article, Leadership Lesson: The Wisdom of Failure, that gives valuable insight on how to approach failure in our lives. I recommend that you invest the time to read the article by clicking on the title.

Back to the questions: “How do you get off the hamster wheel?” You decide to do so after you examine:

  1. What it is you want – Vision – The End Result
  2. Why you want it – Purpose – If you don’t have a strong why, you won’t survive the failures
  3. How do you get there – Mission – Build a Plan with goals that have timelines and milestones
  4. What is the impact if you do or don’t pursue this Vision

A week before he died, my dad told me he regretted not living his dream of being an artist. He reminded me that we cannot take material things and money with us. Only our life’s experiences and our relationships with people. I don’t want this regret to happen to me. I want live my life doing what I understand to be my purpose. Don’t you?

Yes, we have to be realistic that we have to take care of our basic human needs.But how much are we willing to sacrifice in order to stay behind our prison bars or stay on the hamster wheel due to fear of failure. Prison bars that may exist because we bought into what the media or others tell us is a successful life.

Why not approach life like my 86 year-old friend, Lyle, does? He told me yesterday that he is happy because he realized earlier in life that “It is my choice.” He chooses to define what happiness and success mean to him.He experiments different ways to enjoy life by learning new things and not worrying about failures. He sees failures as life’s lessons. Because of this approach he has been able to enjoy many things in life. By the way, he was captain of his high school football team, a race car driver and married to a beautiful model! Sounds like an exciting life to me.

You will not be a successful entrepreneur if you are afraid to take some risks. Things don’t always work out the way we plan them. Take each failure by learning its lesson and build a stronger Will to achieve your Vision.

Here is to your Success in 2015. Remember to Live a Diamond Life, A Life of Purpose on Invincible Monday.

Find out how I learned these tips and more from my Diamond Cutters, My Mentors and Coaches, pick up a copy of Live a Diamond Life, A Life of Purpose: Diamond Cutters today.

Diamond Cutters


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A fellow Toastmaster called me for some advice. He is a business owner that mostly works from home. His business is successful, but he is struggling with keeping focused. He and his wife recently had a second child. He keeps the children with him during most of the day.

He asked me how I stay focused. First, I reminded him that I don’t have young ones at home anymore. Yet, I still have bouts of distractions. We all do. He shouldn’t beat himself up about it. Besides children are a blessing…a lot of work, but still a blessing.

Here is what I recommended to him:

  1. Free up your time. Find a daycare that will watch the kids for a few hours or hire a babysitter for those hours. This will free him up to make phone calls or visit a client.
  2. Get out – go to Starbucks, Panera, the Library or somewhere he can get WiFi connection. I like going to these places at times to get away from my home office. I especially like the library because I can’t answer my phone there.
  3. Set your goals before leaving out. I make a point to set two or three goals I wish to accomplish outside. 
  4. Network with like minded people. Find a place like the University of Miami’s Launchpad. You can utilize the facilities, get WiFi connection, make phone calls and you can network with other entrepreneurs. 
  5. Say “no” to the things that do not align with achieving your goals. This was a hard one for me to learn. I love helping others, but I was taking a hit on getting things done for my business. Since I learning how to say “no” in a polite manner, I am getting more opportunities to speak and sell my books.
  6. Set a day for telemarketing and marketing. Your products and services won’t sell themselves. You have to make the effort to connect with potential clients.
  7. Outsource some of your tasks. Although I know how to create a website, it takes me hours or days to do so because I’m not an expert. I don’t have a passion for it. Find someone that knows how to create a website and understand your needs.

With all of that said, I reminded my peer that he must remember to rest and rejuvenate. We tend to neglect ourselves when we have the business owner’s hat on. If we are not careful, we run ourselves down and fall prey to illnesses. This is not good for us or for our family members.

Finally, I told him that I admire that he wants to be a great dad and doing all he could to become one. His children would appreciate more quality time versus quantity. A parent may be around physically, but absent mentally and emotionally.

Learning how to balance home life and work life is no longer a mother’s thing. More and more men are struggling with work and home life balance. I know he will be just fine as a parent and a business person.

If you find that you are struggling to focus, follow the seven tips above. Let me know how they workout for you. Happy Invincible Monday!

Find out how I learned these tips and more from my Diamond Cutters, My Mentors and Coaches, pick up a copy of Live a Diamond Life, A Life of Purpose: Diamond Cutters today.

Diamond Cutters


Thank you for reading my post. Please hit the “follow” button at the top of the page. This will allow me continue to write and share with you on a variety of topics.