A desperate self-employed professional contacted me recently. “I need to get clients immediately,” she said. “I’ve been trying for months with no success, and I’m almost out of money.” When I asked her how she had been marketing herself all this time, she gave me the following list of what she had been doing:
- Attending networking events where she met people, introduced herself, and exchanged business cards
- Launched a brochure-style website describing her services
- Started a Facebook page and began posting promos for her business and links to content she found interesting
- Printed some flyers and posted them on bulletin boards around town
If you’re answering calls, replying to emails and notes, responding to invitations, and receiving referrals and leads, it probably feels like you’re taking a lot of action to market your business. But it may be that a good deal of what you’re engaged in is actually RE-action.
Waiting to hear from the right prospects is nowhere near as productive as proactively taking steps to seek them out. And a stream of incoming communications can take up time and energy, but doesn’t always lead to closed sales.
Consider these suggestions for getting out of reaction mode and becoming more proactive in your marketing.
Why is it that some people seem to be naturals at selling, while others struggle to close every sale or even fail completely in a role that requires them to sell? In 1982, psychologist Martin Seligman, PhD, set out to answer that question for the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company. Seligman had been studying optimism and pessimism in the laboratory for almost twenty years when Met Life heard about his research. Could Seligman help them learn how to hire more effective salespeople, they asked?
As it turned out, he could. In a series of studies for Met Life that analyzed the relationship between successful selling and the personality of the salesperson, Seligman confirmed in the field what his laboratory research had predicted — optimists make more sales than pessimists.
Does it spark joy?
This is the question Marie Kondo (author of The Magical Art of Tidying Up) asks you to consider when going through your things. What if you applied this concept to your business marketing?
There are so many things you may feel you have to do to market your services that it’s easy to forget about sparking joy. Case in point: I was talking with a client one day about doing the Get Clients Now! 28-day program, and after glancing at some of the suggested actions from the book she made these comments:
* Spend 1 hour each day cold calling – Heck no!
In working with successful business owners, one of the traits I see come up often is that of being a leader. Some are natural leaders, comfortable with being in charge; others have reluctantly taken on the role. If you seem to have leadership in your bones, fantastic! However, if you find yourself more of a reluctant leader, you’ll want to develop your leadership skills so you can step more into the role.
Being a leader doesn’t necessarily mean being a take-charge, my-way-or-the-highway type of person. Being a leader means being willing to say the buck stops here and hold yourself, and those you work with, accountable.
You’ll often hear me say that the secret to finding clients is to make effective choices about what to do to market your business, then do those things over and over. While that advice is absolutely true, implementing it sometimes runs into some roadblocks.
What happens when you deliver what you think is a dynamite 10-second introduction, but your prospective clients don’t seem impressed? Or you have several lunches with potential referral partners that seem to go well, but no business results from them?