By Robert Middleton - Action Plan Marketing
But is it really the economy that's hurting your business?
Last week I went to a networking event through Biznik and had a great time meeting new people. I'm always on the lookout for services that I need at events like this.
I met a young man that was selling health insurance. And since I'm not very happy with my coverage, we talked and I asked him many questions. What he said sounded good to me.
So I handed him my card and asked him to call to tell me more. And then he gave me his card and said something like: "OK, I'll call you or you can call me, whatever."
Guess what? A week later I still haven't heard from him!
In my experience, this is more often the rule than the exception. Even when making a connection with a real potential client who has a real need and who has real money to spend, so many Independent Professionals fail to follow-up.
It's not the economy that's hurting your business. It's you!
The magic of successfully attracting more clients has very little to do with the economy or brilliant marketing messages or exposure on every single social media site. It has a lot more to do with setting up opportunities to connect with more qualified prospects and actually following up with them.
So why doesn't everybody do this? Three main reasons:
1. People don't have a system and they are not prepared. They literally have no plan, no intention, no purpose or goals to build their business. They don't have a written strategy or plan. They haven't thought much about the tools and resources they need.
And if you don't have that, nothing much will happen. Not even if the economy picks up. By the time it does, your business may be dead and gone. Without a plan and preparation and some serious thinking about what you're doing and what you're trying to accomplish, your business will not grow.
2. People are disorganized and unfocused. Even if they have a basic plan, they are scattered. They get home after a networking event, put the cards they collected on their desks, and then they get busy and the cards collect dust. Two weeks later, they look at the pile of cards and go, "Oh, s###! I forgot to follow up with anyone at that event!"
If this is your modus operandi for growing your business, you're in deep trouble. Like my young insurance agent, without some systems and organization, you'll be left with a pile of cards but no appointments with potential clients.
3. People Are Afraid of Rejection. If all of the above wasn't bad enough, we fail to follow up or take any kind of proactive action because we think things like this: "I don't want to be pushy. If they're interested in me, they'll call me. I'm just not the sales type. I don't have time for follow-up."
All of this is a disguise for deeper fears such as: "I'll be ostracized if I market myself too aggressively. I'll be rejected and then won't be able to show my face at that group again. I really have nothing of real value to offer. Why am I doing this anyway?"
How to Stand Out and Attract Lots of Clients
Those who are attracting as many clients as they can handle are doing the exact opposite of the above:
1. They have a plan and they know what they are doing. They are focused, prepared and ready to play the game of marketing.
2. They are organized with real systems in place which they follow without fail. Follow-up is not a burden but on opportunity.
3. They are fearless. They understand the value of their service and don't worry about being rejected. They make it happen.
Now if this is you, you are attracting a lot of business and you probably wonder what all the fuss is about! You realize that marketing yourself is part of your business and you simply work at getting good at it until it's never a big issue again.
For everyone else, please read this carefully:
If you are not attracting as much business as you could because you have no plan, are poorly organized, and are afraid of rejection, what are you going to do to get beyond these three things?
Here are your options:
1. Do nothing and hope the economy changes. This is the mindset of resignation and hopelessness. It's affecting many people in this economy. But this is not a plan of action! What if the economy doesn't change for some time?
2. Try halfheartedly but continue to complain about how marketing is so hard. This approach will get a lot of sympathy from many people. We love to commiserate with each other, but where does that get you?
3. Make a real commitment to change. This is the only thing that has ever worked, good economy or bad. In fact, I'm noticing that the economy has been a wake-up call to many business owners, large and small. They realized if they don't change and take action, they are in deep trouble.
If you fall into the third category, please follow this link below. I have something for you that will make a big difference in your business:
The More Clients Bottom Line: If you want to attract clients and grow your business in this economy, you must take action to change. If you keep doing what you're doing, nothing will happen (even if the economy picks up).
* The phrase "It's the economy, stupid!" was a rallying cry for the Clinton presidential campaign in 1993 to remind them to focus on the economy above all else. But when you're in business, if you are blaming the economy, you're in trouble, hence, "It's NOT the economy, stupid!" If you are offended by this, it applies to you even more.
What are you doing to make changes in your business and marketing in this economy? Please share on the More Clients Blog.