Saturday, November 28, 2009

Bill Bartmann Rules for Making a Sale – The Introduction

Bill Bartmann has a set of rules for aspiring and experienced entrepreneurs to follow when making a sales call. Here are Bill Bartmann’s suggestions for putting yourself ahead of your competition and closing more sales:

Respect time: It’s ok to arrive early but go to a nearby coffee shop if you are more than a few minutes early. If you spend 30 minutes waiting in the reception area you will appear to be one who doesn’t make good use of their time or one who has nothing better to do. You might also appear over-eager or impatient. Remember, the person you’re meeting with is on a schedule; do not assume they will be ready for you 30 minutes early.

Once you are in respect his time and only take up the amount of time that was scheduled. If the meeting is to last 10 minutes, you should be walking out the door or answering questions 10 minutes after the meeting begins. If you are answering a question, acknowledge that your 10 minutes are up and you would be happy to stay over if his time permits. You will gain his respect as being a person of integrity as you keep your word to only take 10 minutes of his time.

Respect his Business: Even if you are older, wiser and have been in the industry for many years, you do not know his individual situation or the challenges he faces. Don’t insult him by bragging about having the ultimate solution to his business success; let him decide if you have something of value to offer.

Just the Facts Please: Weather the question is brought up or not, your sales pitch should provide an answer to “How do you stack up against your competitors?” There is no need to bad-mouth competitors; however, you should know your own product as well as your competitors’ products. Describe your strengths over theirs and let him know that you are an expert in your field.

Take Notes: Jot down names, locations and facts that are important information for you to have on file. Taking notes shows respect and your ability to retain information after only being told once.

Anticipate his needs: Don’t expect him to take notes and remember everything you just said. Leave him with a clear, factual, well-organized document summarizing the benefits of your product.

According to Bill Bartmann who has over 40 years experience in business, less than 10 percent of salespeople follow any of these rules. This means that almost everyone in the sales and marketing industry could benefit from Bill Bartmann’s Billionaire Business Course, an online business education for entrepreneurs.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Launching your Business: Building a Strong Advisory Board

Every business should have an advisory board. A strong advisory board brings experience and advice to your company without the cost of high business consulting fees. You need a group of people who know about things you don’t; people who possess the skills and attributes that your business requires to be successful.

So, how do you find these knowledgeable people? Remember, it’s not just about who you know, but who your friends know. Widen the circle; don’t just think of the 100 people you know, but the 100 people each of them knows as well. Let’s say you are not great with numbers and you don’t personally know a CPA; chances are likely one of your friends knows one.

The first thing you should do is make up about a dozen 3-ring binders that you will hand out to your advisory board. The binder will contain three sections:

Executive Summary: Provide a short description of your company; just the information that will be important to your Board of Advisors.

Statement of Purpose: The value of or the purpose your Board of Advisors will serve as they make a difference in your business; tell them why they will be valuable to you.

Sample Agenda: Show an example of an agenda for a 1-hour meeting

Members’ Bios: Of course, this section cannot be filled until the group is formed. Provide a short bio of each existing member and their contact information, so when you’re soliciting new members, they get to see who else is on this team.

Make a list of the special skills that you would need the members of your advisory board to possess, and then look for those people. Make an appointment to see “Mr. CPA.” Call his office; leave a message with the receptionist that you would like a 5 minute appointment with Mr. CPA. Be sure to stress that you promise to only take 5 minutes of his time.

When you go in to see “Mr. CPA, introduce yourself and hand him a binder, explaining, briefly what it contains. Then, say something like, “I want to surround myself with people like you, so I can take my business to a whole new level.” If you already have some members who are well known in the community, show him the section with the bios, “Perhaps you know so and so, who is also a business owner in our area.”

Then show the sample agenda, “Go ahead and contact some of the other members on the board. We meet monthly and meetings do not go over one hour. I don’t expect you to say yes now, so I will leave you this book and look forward to hearing from you. I promised to only take 5 minutes of your time, so I’ll leave you to think this over.”

Of course, you can stay and talk if he encourages it, but at this point you have accomplished something huge in just 5 minutes. You made a great impression by complimenting him, showing your respect, and keeping your promise to only take up 5 minutes of his time. This is a great display of your integrity.

The Monthly Meetings

A lot will be accomplished in these monthly meetings of only 1 hour each, so they should be held somewhere where everyone can easily make it on time and where everyone will be able to focus on the agenda and the objective. The meeting should not be in a noisy fast food place, in your warehouse, or in the office where phones are ringing.

Rent a small conference room at a hotel where there will be plenty of space, a conference table and comfortable, professional environment. Meetings will likely take place after work, from 6pm to 7pm, when many people are home eating dinner, so be sure to provide something light to show you care and that you appreciate them postponing their dinner to meet with you.

Provide additional pens, note pads and any other supplies you might need to help things go more smoothly. A flip chart with markers might be useful.

As you promised at the 5 minute meeting with Mr. CPA, be sure to hand out the agenda and start on time, so everyone can be home when they promised their family they would be. Keep to the agenda as much as possible and make sure the meeting does not go over one hour.

If you should end up in a debate or a lengthy conversation that causes you to spend too much time on a topic, then you will have to wrap things up, when the hour is up, and postpone the remaining items on the agenda for the next meeting. Do not ask if it is OK to run a little late; everyone will likely say “yes” but they will not be happy and they may not be as willing to continue being on your board of advisors if this becomes a habit.

When planning your next agenda, be sure to start with “old business” where you relate back to your advisors who provided ideas during the last meeting. Tell them that you have been thinking about their idea and when you plan to implement it. Or, if you’re not sure if you’re ready for this action at this time; let them know. They will be happy that you are showing them respect by listening to them and remembering what they had to say.

When soliciting for members to your advisory board, you have the opportunity to display your integrity by keeping your word. Once they are members of your advisory board, you will want to keep their respect by showing them your respect. Be thoughtful of their needs, appreciative of all their advice and thankful for their support.

Bill Bartmann is happy to be a member of several advisory boards, where he shares his experiences with other entrepreneurs to help make a difference in the world of business ownership. Bill Bartmann is the creator of the Billionaire Business Systems, an online business essentials course for entrepreneurs. His series of videos, books and seminars has helped many entrepreneurs succeed in business even during tough economic times.

Bill Bartmann’s Business Tips: Why you need an Advisory Board

Having a board of advisors provides you with professional insights; objective opinions and business experience that you need to run a successful business. A board of advisors is a great tool to transform your business and allow you to leverage your skills and attributes along with those of outside professionals.

An advisory board should consist of 6 – 10 serious business professionals who are not a part of your business. This group will meet monthly or quarterly to advise you on specific aspects of your business with the intent to prevent future problems and to avoid pitfalls.

An advisory board is a great tool for your business, allowing you to leverage your skills and attributes along with those of other professionals. They are not compensated with a salary; they are not held legally responsible for their advice. Do not confuse this term with board of directors, who are elected officials, paid a salary, and legally and morally bound to the best interest of your company. This is an entirely different type of group.

Why would people want to be a part of your advisory board and not be paid? Because people love to give advice; they love to feel needed; this is an ego boost as well as an opportunity to use their unique skills and attributes to make a difference when they contribute something to another business in their community. They have the opportunity to be part of a network of other uniquely skilled business owners; everyone in the group gets the benefit of surrounding themselves with this valuable collection of knowledge and skills.

Choose a well-rounded group of individuals to invite to your group. You don’t want “yes” men; but rather, people who will tell you their honest opinion while being supportive to the best interest of your business. This group of people will enhance the credibility of your business; their advice will be invaluable to preventing you from common mistakes made and pitfalls in business. Each member will have their own unique attributes to qualify them to advise you with problem solving and strategic planning.

Your group should meet monthly or quarterly, and meetings should last about 1 hour. Form a good group; see who fits; determine who you need. This is the opportunity to form a group of people who can compliment your weaknesses because they know what you don’t know. For example, you might need a CPA or an attorney; or someone who is great with technology or has marketing and sales skills. Anyone with more knowledge than you in any given area that is important to your business is a valuable person to have on your board of advisors.

A good advisory board will bring a whole new level of expertise to your organization, as business members from your community, who thoroughly understand the economics in your market area, are providing the insight, expertise and business experience you need to succeed. It is phenomenal how a Board of Advisors with their collective intelligence, focused on your business, will transform your business success to a whole new level.

Bill Bartmann is a self-made billionaire who has created the Billionaire Business System, a series of books and seminars that teach you what you need to know about succeeding in any area of business. Bill Bartmann has provided real business guidance to thousands of entrepreneurs to help them succeed in business. Visit Bill Bartmann’s website to learn more about the course.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Billion Dollar Tips from Bill Bartmann on Mental Health and Success

Bill Bartmann has written many articles about self-esteem, self-image and self confidence. He has recommended that everyone exercise regularly and eat right to feel good and look good; therefore, improving self image.

Your mental health is also crucial; it is your guide to happiness and success. Mental health is another very important factor in building your self esteem and increasing your self confidence. Developing your personal mental health and inner strength should be a high priority.

Like your body, your brain also needs to be fed. Your personal mental health comes from good thoughts and intentions; evil thoughts and intentions lead to sicknesses of the mind. One may think they have gained satisfaction from doing something mean to “get even” with someone who has done them wrong, but they are ultimately hurting themselves even more. True happiness is only possible if you choose to be a good person, helping others, forgiving others and ignoring those who have bad intentions.

Negative thoughts are poison to the mind and brain. When you poison your mind and brain with negative thoughts of your self or bad intentions toward others, your physical health will also suffer. Taking care of your mental and physical health is important to your success.

Tips for Improving and Maintaining Your Mental Health

Laughter is the best medicine – smile and laugh more; act happy and others around you will be happy
Learn from failure – don’t be so hard on yourself
Take time for yourself – succeeding takes hard work, but you also need to do things you like to do; too much work and no play is not good for mental health
Walking outside is not only good exercise, it also feeds your brain with fresh air while allowing your mind to relax and enjoy a nice day
Dream about possibilities – what will your life look like when you have reached your goals?
Believe in yourself – think of your past accomplishments and how they have brought you closer to your goals
Welcome challenges – Face your challenges head-on; don’t waste time fretting or blaming others for things that go wrong; focus on how to overcome and conquer
Surround yourself by other people who are happy and confident; avoid hanging out with negative people
Try to see the good in everything – if there is no good, walk away

Bill Bartmann believes we are meant to be healthy and negative thinking and evil intentions will only make us suffer. Being positive and caring for others will bring you happiness; happiness will lead to success. Competition in the business world can be healthy and stimulating, but do not compete with the intention to crush your opponent. It is better to encourage others and help them to succeed. This will definitely increase your self-confidence and improve your self-image.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Who is Bill Bartmann? From Billionaire to Bankruptcy -- Bill Bartmann Bounces Back


Bill Bartmann is worth hundreds of millions of dollars—and most people have never heard of him. It is quite possible that this entrepreneur started off with less and has overcome more than any other person to appear on the Forbes 400 list. After the roller coaster of events that have defined his career, Bartmann started the Billionaire Business School. His seminars and workshops aim to show people that they, too, can follow in his footsteps, regardless of how much money they have or any obstacles that may stand in the way.

Bartmann was one of eight children, born to a father who never earned more than $6,000 a year as a janitor and a mother who cleaned houses in an attempt to make ends meet. Lining up each month to receive government food handouts was a common family trip. They moved often in his first 14 years, and several of the houses were condemned as unfit for human habitation.

At 14, Bartmann left his family. He joined a street gang, got rejected by the Marines and joined a traveling carnival. This was followed by a string of low-wage jobs that included logging, laying sod and washing cars. Things were not looking good.

Then, the real bad luck started. When Bartmann was 17, he came home intoxicated one night and fell down a flight of stairs, paralyzing him from the waist down. Although the doctor said he would never walk again, Bartmann was determined to prove him wrong. Five months of hard work and determination later, he walked out of the hospital on his own two feet.

“Sometimes you need a negative motivator to build your self-esteem,” Bartmann says. He explains that if you have a positive self-image, you can separate specific failures from who you really are. “Any failure can be overcome if you don’t over-generalize it,” he says. “You have to see it as something that happened to you. It doesn’t determine your real value. The main cause of failure is the inability to deal with self-doubt.”

Bartmann emphasizes the idea that you have to work hard for something rather than just sit around and wish for it. Case in point: He took the high school graduation equivalency test, put himself through college and, in 1975, graduated from law school. After practicing law for five years, he started his first company, in real estate development, which gave him the experience he needed for his foray into oil and gas drilling.

Bartmann’s first big break came in the mid’80s when, at the request of a local bank in Muskogee, OK, he took over bankrupt Hawkeye Pipe Services, a pipe manufacturer for oil rigs. He told the bank the business was still viable, got funding for it, and under his leadership, the company had sales of $1 million a month. Then, in October 1985, with the OPEC oil cartel in disarray, prices fell dramatically. Bartmann was forced to close the company and left with $1 million in debt.

Soon after, creditors were hounding Bartmann at all hours, demanding payments and threatening lawsuits and re-possession of his car. He was committed to repaying the debt and, with help from his former chief operations officer, began scanning business opportunity ads.

They noticed the FDIC was auctioning off delinquent loans. It sounded like throwing good money after bad, but they went to the auction anyway—sticking to back roads because they didn’t have the 40 cents for the Interstate toll.

While inspecting the 200 bad loans, it occurred to Bartmann there might be a way to collect the money. He was eager to veer as far away from the strategy of intimidation—an approach that had been applied to him in the past—as possible. “Meanness not only wasn’t fair, it wasn’t productive,” he says. He persuaded a bank to lend him and his partner $13,000 and ended up with a return of $64,000.

Soon after, Commercial Financial Services was born. Bartmann continued using the nice-guy approach to collect small credit card debts. CFS bought debt outright, giving customers flexibility in the amount they would need for settlement and how much time they could take to pay.

Bartmann was able to improve his cash flow with another innovation: bundling loans and securitizing them into bonds, which received A ratings from Standard & Poor’s index. In September 1998, he appeared on the cover of Inc. magazine with the headline, “The Billionaire Nobody Knows.” At the time, the privately held company was estimated to be worth anywhere from $3 billion to $5 billion, owned primarily by Bartmann and his wife, Kathy, and had 3,900 employees.

The following month, trouble hit. He learned that a business partner had embezzled millions of dollars, and as soon as the accusation of fraud was made, the bonds became liabilities. By July 1999, Bartmann declared bankruptcy. “When sharks smell blood in the water, it’s too late,” he says of the collapse.

The misfortune did not end there. In December 2002, Attorney General John Ashcroft indicted him for fraud, even though his partner said Bartmann had no knowledge of the embezzlement. But it was the heyday of corporate mismanagement scandals, and the government didn’t want to be accused of overlooking any offenders. By the time he was cleared of all charges a year later, Bartmann had spent $4.5 million to defend himself and investigate what had happened at CFS.

“I’m not bitter because look at what I still have,” he says, referring to not only money in the bank, but also his wife, two daughters and two grand-kids—whom he brings up on stage at his presentations. “This is what success is really about,” he tells audiences at his Billionaire Business School seminars, which drew 280,000 attendees in 2007.

Bartmann says that most people simply do not have basic business management skills, which is why the failure rate of small companies is so high. His mission is to combat this problem, recently launching Billionaire U, which off ers online courses for just $100 a year. His website had a million hits last year, but he expects the new low price to attract 10 times that many this year.

As Bartmann puts it, “I’m not making as much money as I did with my last company, but I’m having a lot more fun.”