In the early days of business (when dinosaurs ruled the earth) I hated marketing or more accurately I wasn’t that hot on asking people for payment of services.
In hindsight, a lot of it had to do with the usual mindset bullplop:
- What if I’m not good enough?
- Why should people buy from me, I’m not unique?
- What if I can’t deliver what I promised?
- What gives me the right to ask for money?
- Yadda. Yadda. Yadda.
This was a big issue. Because unless you get paid, you don’t have a business and you can’t buy new underwear and the dogs don’t get new balls, so I took some sparkly drastic action.
I bought some costume jewellery from a wholesalers, got a free market stall from Gumtree (like Craigs List) and for 5 weeks during the summer I got up at 4am to drag my butt to local markets. With the one goal, to sell and feel comfortable doing it. I kinda like the ‘expose yourself to your fears’ approach to personal growth!
I learned far more than I expected, and no book could have given me this learning experience on real-time.
Here they are…
Don’t rush connection and relationship.
- How much time do you give each individual customer?
- Do you ask for engagement but don’t engage back?
- Do you treat people as $ signs, or potential long-term relationships?
- Do you value everyone who has connected with you and your business?
- When did you last let them know?
Every person has the right to browse and say no.
If you aren’t selling or offering what people want, need or desire then you can still thank them for stopping anyway, then let them leave with no bitterness (or mental torture on our part.)
Engage. Engage. Engage.
Do you have multiple ways you can engage with a potential customer?
Asking for the sale.
The exchange of money, is just that, an exchange. If you’re ethically offering what people want, there is no need to fear the process.
The little things do matter. Make experiences for people (positive ones)
I went all out and made my market stall the prettiest on the block. Fairy lights, the lot.
The comments ‘your stall is so pretty’ helped with the relationship and the engagement. I even had posh little bags and tissue paper for purchases (if you’ve ever been to a market, bags are few and far between.)
- Have you ever looked at your business through the eyes of potential customer?
- What little details can you bring into the mix that no-one else in your field really bothers about?
- An element of surprise and small gestures to say ‘you matter’ isn’t forgotten.
Take for example a local dog walker I worked with, on first meeting with a potential customer they arrived with their free gift: doggy biscuits, a little toy and a packet of poop bags, a chocolate from their pet to their owner, plus all the forms in a neat little reuseable little bag with doggy paw prints.
Naff? Maybe. Unless you’re a doggy owner who doesn’t really want a ‘dog walker’ you want someone to ‘love your dog as much as you do, and walk them’.
Their competition arrived with a form and a sheet with their Terms and Conditions on it, who would you hire?
Where has your BIGGEST little biz learning not from a book?
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