track yo’ time

I’ve been in business for almost 11 years now. A lot of smarter people than me have always said, “you’re a consultant, track your time”.


So you can charge accordingly. Every business owner grapples with the age-old question, “How much should I charge?”. Hopefully, you have carefully mapped out how much time you spend on your services and/or packages that you sell to your clients. But if you don’t track your time, how will you really know?

Confession: I hate tracking time. I find it to be a burden. A long time ago, the best way was to log your time on a (ack) piece of paper or in an excel spreadsheet.

Screw that. So I rarely (almost never) did it. I estimated.

I’ve tried a few apps and have never stuck with them. Some were so complicated that it took more time to initiate the tracking. Until now.

I present to you: Toggl

If I would cheat on Apple and Google, it would be an online affair with Toggl, a super simple way to track your time! Here are the highlights:

  • It’s free (one of my favorite four-letter words). However, if you have a big team, there is a very inexpensive pro version.
  • It’s on my iPhone and Computer.
  • You can list all your clients and then sub categories after that. So for instance, our team does it like this:
    • Client Name
      • Account Management
      • Event Day
      • Budget
      • Planning Meeting
      • Vendor Management
  • You can add tags. So if I click to track Account Management as a project, then I can add specific tags to that project so I can later run reports.
  • If you charge by the hour and want to invoice your clients, you can do that with Toggl.
  • If you forget to turn off the timer, it will send you an email the next morning to remind you. Holla!
  • You can easily add time “after” the fact. And you know this will happen. Like, all the time.
  • The interface is pleasant with nice font. That makes me happy and want to come back.
  • If you have a question, a real human will get back with you, pronto!
  • It integrates with Chrome and Basecamp, and will REMIND you to time track.
  • If you tweet about them, they will send you awesome gifts, or maybe it was just me.

saundrahadley (1)

saundrahadley (2)

It’s been an eye opening experience to see how much time it really takes per event. Recently we landed a corporate gig and realized (after the fact) that we internally spent too much time in one area. Next time when a similar client/event presents itself, I will be outsourcing instead of wasting our team’s time. Clients will still get the same level of service and we won’t be spinning our wheels.

Transparency: I am no endorsing this product because of their bitchin’ bag/gifts, but because I really do think it’s the bomb. Try it out and please, let me know how you like it.

happy selling!

i’m back … red hot sales tips in columbus, ohio

Like a good case of cooties, you can’t get rid of me. Where the hell have I been, right?

Heads up Columbus, Ohio peeps ( go Buckeyes! ) I’m heading your way next week!

latest speaking event alert

This Event is hosted by Wedding Market and with The Wedding Professionals of Columbus Monthly Meeting:

Event: Tuesday, March 11th
Time: 11:00am to 9:00pm
Location: The Blackwell
Address: 2110 Tuttle Park Pl, Columbus, OH 43210
Price: $25  Include Red Hot Sales Tips Presentation & Dinner

(you get dinner and hear me speak for $25? – whoa!)

Don’t wait, this is a no-brainer. Click here and reserve your space right now!

more about me, haha –

Red Hot Sales Tips!

You’ve NEVER been to a sales presentation like this. Straightforward, sinfully honest, red-hot sales tips that you may instantly use to increase your sales when you leave. The beauty of the variety of tips is that we’ll uncover everything from attracting your client, being prepared to quickly build rapport & trust, upsell services, chemistry of selling, how to use social media to sell and more. Useful for all vendors in the event industry.

you’ll have fun

We’ll talk about all kinds of sales challenges and random tips, including a little marketing and the techniques of soft-selling through social media. Come with your questions and can’t wait to meet you! And I cannot wait to stay at the fabulous Blackwell …

happy selling!

my latest sales experience…

I have a sales experience to share with you. No, I was not the person selling. I was the customer/client. Sometimes it’s in these situations I learn the best sales tidbits. I watch/listen/and take mental notes. This was an experience on how to position the cost of service to a client.

background to the story:

We have a family rate plan with AT&T for our mobile phones. Recently the plans changed to make it way more affordable to add iPhones for my husband and son, so we did. I also have my Mom’s cell phone on our family plan. She has a flip phone and uses it about 5 minutes a month. It’s strictly for emergencies.

With our new plan, it became a no brainer for us and our smart phones. However, because my Mom’s phone is NOT a smart phone, she is getting penalized. Her monthly phone bill is $30/mo as opposed to the $10/mo it was before. It’s kinda ridiculous considering how she uses her phone. And we’re stuck in a 10 month contract with her.

at the at&t store:

So today I happened to be in their store getting my new iPhone activated (my old one dived into a clean toilet at 7:30pm during a wedding reception on Saturday). I asked the customer service rep what we could do about these additional charges for my Mom. I want some options. How many of our clients ask us the same thing?

To speed this story up, the first thing she did was to not give me any options to remove the phone, but instead to make sure that I understood what a good deal I was getting for the collective four phones. She whipped out her calculator to review what the old existing plan would of cost and compared it to what we are now paying. I should be thrilled that ACTUALLY, we are paying $20 less per month on this new plan for all four phones.

I smiled. Someone’s trained her well.

You see she “marketed” to me what my monthly investment is and how I am, at this very moment, saving money. Of course, I’m thinking I’m still out an additional $20/mo ($240 a year) for my Mom’s un-smart phone, a rate that should not have increased.

How do you respond to your clients when they begin to pick apart your cost in each little category. Do you reply by focusing on the larger picture to show them the benefits that they are receiving and the value of everything they are investing with you?

When you start to focus on too much on the cost of the minutia (the price of each stem of flower or extra page in your wedding album) you lose vision of the overall investment. Besides, if someone wants to go ala carte, then it’s ALWAYS more expensive than a package deal.

how did it end?

My options were: I leave it the way it is. I can donate $98 to the AT&T church to get out of my Mom’s contract. Switch to a AT&T GoPhone Prepaid Cell phone service. Or leave them entirely and go with another carrier.

I left. I had my new phone to sync.

ps. I miss you guys.

happy selling!

the BIG secret to closing more sales…

Ready? Shhhh. Don’t tell anyone. It’s a million dollar secret.

The real dirty secret to closing more sales is sometimes as simple as …

Answering your phone or returning an email.

Often, the faster the better.

Now I’m gonna pop some ‘tags…..

happy selling!

are you the next big thing?

Watched the Super Bowl yesterday. What I thought would be a zzzzzzzzzzz of a game, turned out to be quite gripping. Look I’m not a football fan .. but I love good friends, good food, drinks, and a great half show. And I love the commercials. Perhaps it’s because of my corporate days of selling advertising. One of them really caught my attention for this sales blog, from Samsung:

Read between the lines of this video:

1. Many of us think we are the next big thing. However I ask you, are our clients buying US, or are they buying a service from us that fills their need? The added benefit is the “you” factor in finalizing their decision. Just think about it. What do your selling words say on your collateral … is it all about you?

2. We all get concerned about our competition. There is a market out there for everyone. Find the need and fill it. It doesn’t matter if someone else already is filling that need, because they may not be everyone’s next big thing.

3. Have a sense of humor. It will get you through the rough patches and make the good times, that much better.

ps Was this clear as mud? I said, read between the lines…

happy selling!