Imagine sitting in the middle of a swanky shopping center, a male cosmetologist hovering over you, with goop slathered all over your face. Not a pretty picture. But that was me on Friday.
How in the world did I get into such a situation?
Well, it started innocently enough. I was in San Francisco for MacWorld and stopped by the upscale downtown mall to pick up a few shirts at Nordstrom's and find a Valentine's day gift for my wife.
As I was wandering aimlessly through the mall, I noticed a number of young girls handing out a sample drink of some sort. I was thirsty, so I grabbed a dixie cup of the elixer and gulped it down.
Before I could blink HE was talking to me. I say "HE" because I don't think I ever got his name. He was totally focused on me for the next half hour.
Have you heard of the goji berry? he asked innocently enough. Well, no I hadn't. Oh yes, it's one of the world's most powerful antioxidants, and the company he worked for, "The Secret of the Himalayas," was the purveyor of all things goji berry.
Before I could blink he was was looking at my hands and commenting on how dry they looked and asking what I used to moisturize them. Me, I'm a guy. We don't think about that kind of stuff. But before I knew it, I was rubbing my hands with an exotic product called Hunza Apricot Treatment.
It felt kind of like wet sand. I rubbed it in and then he rinsed my hands ever-so-delicately with a spray bottle. Next was Body Butter, a light moisturizer that smelled like coconut and apricot.
How did my hands feel now? he implored seductively.
Well, by this time I thought this was pretty nice stuff and would make a nice Valentine's gift for my wife. I was sold. OK, now let me outta here.
Not so quick!!
The Body Butter was followed by by the exotic Goji Peel, then another moisturizer and toner which he proceeded to rub into my wrist as he regaled me with the superior qualities of these sublimely divine body products.
OK, OK, enough already! I'l take the Apricot Treatment, the Body Butter and the Goji Peel. My wife would be happy and I could get back to MacWorld.
But wait, he was willing to give me the dispenser of special moisturizer for only $50 and throw in the toner for free. How could I possibly say no to that? I pulled out my credit card and $240 of my new-found products were wrapped up and ready to go.
But just one more little thing.
He looked soulfully into my eyes and asked me what I was doing for those bags so strategically placed beneath them. Bags? I have bags under my eyes? Apparently so.
And before I knew it I was sitting on a stool being slathered with eye goop. By now I was having fun. This guy was such a consummate salesman I couldn't believe the path he was taking me down.
Here I am, a guy, considering goop to put under my eyes every day! When would it all end? Then I realized it. It would never end. As long as he had my attention he would continue to sell.
Then he showed me the prices. $175 for the eye rejuvenator and $275 for the collagen cream. Yeah, how on earth did we live before collagen? And don't forget the mask that was now spread over the right side of my face.
He gently wiped off all the goop with delicately moisturized cotton puffs and then had me look in the mirror. Did I notice the difference? Well, actually I did. My right eye was now definitely less baggier than my right one. Wow, this stuff works!
But at that price? You gotta be kidding me!
But suddenly I learned that, for a very limited time, and just for me, he could give me the first two products for a greatly reduced price and throw in the third for free.
Well, I finally got ahold of my senses and thought... There is no friggin' way I'll use this eye stuff for more than a few days, feel like an idiot and regret my purchase. My sanity took the upper hand and I told him firmly, thank you, but no.
An average salesperson would have moved on. But not my guy. I think he used about five more closes (don't you care about your eyes? was the most heart-rending) before I took off.
Nevertheless, as I gathered my bags and walked away and down the escalator to freedom, I looked back and still saw him enticing me back to his parlor of lotions and potions, never really giving up until I was completely out of sight.
My only regret was that I hadn't pulled out my Flip Video and recorded him in action. It was in my pocket, but as I contemplated returning I knew I probably wouldn't get away without buying that damn eye goop.
The More Clients Bottom Line: If most Independent Professionals had one tenth of the focus, persistence and charm of this guy, they'd be making ten times the income. No, you really don't have to manipulate, but certainly you'd know exactly what to say to make your services compelling and valuable. You'd have a great answer to every single question your prospects asked, and always have another way to move the sale forward, no matter what.
Where do you stop when it comes to marketing and selling yourself? Would you stop before Goop Guy did? Please share on the More Clients Blog by clicking on the Comments link below.
This past Saturday, there I am in the middle of the Big Shift Workshop and Bill Baren is presenting at the front of the room about money goals.
Well, this is nothing new to me.
I had already set my financial goal for the year. My intention was to generate $400K in new business, about the same as I did last year. After all, I'm doing fine on that (and I don't want to get obsessed and work too hard to make more.)
But then Bill drops the bombshell.
"OK, now that you have your big financial goal for the year, double it!"
Hmmm. OK, that means $800K. Well, that's a lot. I'm just a one-person business after all, and I'm not interested in hiring people or working twice as hard. And my real focus is on making a contribution, not chasing after money.
So, nice idea Bill, but I'll pass. Not a problem.
But then I ask myself, the question, "What if I actually did a budget for $800,000? Why not?"
My basic household and business expenses would stay about the same, but I could double up on my mortgage payments and pay off my house in three years, not seven. OK, that's not bad.
And I could also double up on my retirement savings. Nothing wrong with that. I made a few more rough calculations and figured out that I'd still have about $7,500 left over every month.
I thought, "I'm not sure what I'd do with that (but I think my wife would find a few ways)! I still don't want employees or need a new computer, but some new furniture, a little more travel and bigger donations to charity would be nice."
"And of course if I made more money it would mean I'd be offering more programs and services and making a difference in the lives of more Independent Professionals."
After a few minutes I started thinking, "How on earth can I live without making $800,000 per year!"
Well, of course I can, quite well. But this exercise had opened me up to thinking a little bigger and I noticed that where I didn't think I was limited, I really was.
Interestingly, since that exercise, I can't stop thinking of new ideas and programs that I could offer that could ultimately generate even more than $800K!
I try to resist acting impulsively these days (it's gotten me into a lot of trouble in the past) but I'm writing down those ideas and plans, letting them ferment for awhile and see where they go.
Next week I'm having lunch with Bill Baren.
We'll kick over some of these ideas and see where they take us. Whenever I talk to Bill, I see new possibilities and get inspired. I'll keep you posted!
The More Clients Bottom Line: Are your goals too small, your vision too limited? Sure, money might not be the most important thing to you (I hope it's not) but when you make more money, you're serving more people. That in turn enables them to help more people, and so on. Perhaps this is exactly the economic stimulus package we need right now!
What's your financial goal this year? And if you reach that goal what difference would it make? Please share on the More Clients Blog by clicking on the Comments link below.
There I am this past Sunday, sitting in the lobby of the Marriott Hotel near the SF Airport, surrounded by ridiculously enthusiastic coaches, consultants and online marketers.
I'm arguing with them why I can't do a video for my web site.
They tell me to get past my limitations and just do it. It will make a huge difference to my business, etc., etc.
I'm not buying.
Then over walks Lisa Nirell who will be one of the presenters on the Extreme Business Builders Cruise in August and says, "Why don't we do that video for the Cruise web site?"
Well, what could I say?
Bill Baren, grabs his Flip HD video camera and we find a quiet corner of the lobby and record a fun 2-minute clip about the cruise. I've just posted it here. Take a look.
Wow, that was a quick turnaround. And what's the lesson in all of this? Several things.
1. Get together with your peers and make it fun
This was a weekend program I put together for all the people I interviewed for the marketing Club this past year. We got together to build business relationships and collaborations. And it was insanely fun and productive. I came away with a year's worth of good ideas.
2. Put yourself in situations where you'll be supported
This crowd was so supportive and fun to be with it was hard not to accept the support. Me on video? No way! OK, so I'm not as photogenic as Lisa, but this really worked and it was done in a spirit of fun and camaraderie.
3. Don't take yourself too seriously
I see this all the time and I'm guilty of it as well. We worry about writing an article or giving a talk or even networking, because we don't have it all together. Well, tell yourself: "Get over yourself!"
The idea is not to be perfect, but to be authentic.
Another thing — Daphne Gray-Grant (the writing coach) came up to me during the weekend and told me: "I know how you can build your eZine list faster. Tell more stories." Well, she nailed me on that one. I tell everyone else to do this but don't have enough in this eZine.
How did I do today Daphne?
The More Clients Bottom Line: If you want to make things happen in your business, you need to get into harm's way - that is in the way of support, ideas, collaboration, participation, and unlimited thinking. Or you could sit around all day and argue with everyone why you can't make that video.
What are you doing to get out of your rut and move your ideas forward? Please share on the More Clients Blog by clicking on the Comments link below: