At a recent networking breakfast meeting, I was speaking to one of my fellow attendees.
Over the years I have been to many such events, mostly in times gone past, I felt like a complete fraud standing amongst other business owners, who so I thought, ‘owned’ the room. For me, it felt like chit-chat, where there were lots of smiles, handshakes and empty promises, where the cool people hung out together, where the mean voice in my head would say things like…you’re not good enough to be here…
Not pleasant to say the least, and something I have heard countless times from my clients and colleagues.
With that said, I am so grateful to say I am now part of a supergroup of local businesses, where there is structure and genuine support for each other, not only in the room but when we are all out and about, going about our business.
Now…back to this very strange conversation I had.
What I had been told, was that three businesses in our local area had been invited to attend, and all three had responded with ‘they’re too busy, they’re at capacity, and they haven’t got enough time to possibly service or help any other customers or any referrals’.
Woah…now that is a big call.
The Objection Of Being Too Busy
If you’re in the business of asking people to attend a networking event, a workshop, or pretty much any presentation…listen carefully.
Here is an example of how you could reply and handle what has been said.
“Wow, thank you so much for sharing that…and that’s amazing and awesome that you work so hard, to a point where you don’t need any more customers. That must be very cool. But look, I guess what we’re talking about here is, in the networking group I’m involved in, we have many people representing their own industry, and everyone does something quite different.
So…the idea of having you or having someone like yourself come along is because we’ve identified gaps, (in your industry segment), in the group.
What I’d love to know is if you’re too busy and when we do have referrals or people who are looking for the types of services that you offer, I’d love to know where do you think we should send them?”
Seriously, is anyone in business THAT busy to NOT want people talking about them, what they do, and how great they are?
I do know businesses who shut their books from time to time which is great. With that said, just because it’s working today or this month, that doesn’t mean the market will be the same in a years’ time.
What does being too busy mean anyway?
There are a couple of schools of thought to answer this question.
It could be you are not charging enough?
It could be you have hit your ‘time for money’ barrier, where there simply IS not enough time to add any more clients to your day.
It could be you are super busy being busy, for busyness sake?
When I have had clients, who have been too busy and unable to fit anything extra in their day, my first response is charge more! This means, charge more, some people will love you and won’t care, others will and may drop away…it means you earn the same money with less customers…how cool is that?
You can either add more customers or use that time to create another income stream in your business, which gives you additional income without the pressure of more customers.
If you have a goal to scale your business, there are five pillars to focus on.
These are the five areas related to marketing, advertising, lead generation, sales, delivery and experience.
They all need attention, and more often than not, you will do better in one area than another. What I have seen over the years, is many entrepreneurs love the delivery and experience side of things, full programs developed, websites, logos and hundreds of hours of work…without ONE sale.
Because these areas are not individual things in their own right, they come together as a whole and pretty much will define your level of success and cash-flow.
I have put together a super quick quiz to give you a laser focus on what areas you should be focusing on to get your business to where you want it.
The five areas are:
What is a lead?
A lead is a person who has indicated interest in what you do in some way, shape, or form. This can come from anywhere – Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, your website, a networking event, your neighbour or your mum.
For anyone outside the marketing world, lead generation may mean nothing. What lead generation is, is finding unique ways to attract the right kind of people to your business. It’s offering valuable and free information or goodies to get them naturally to become interested in what you do and want to hear more from you.
Which is why it is so important to be authentic, real and provide easy to understand information which will help solve a problem, or provide a solution to help your ideal customer.
Once a person has opted in or shown interest in what you do, as in filled in the form on your website or landing page, it’s time to provide a nurturing environment.
This can be done by blogs, video, FB live, free advice, case studies, education, and showing the person you are genuine and want to get to know them more.
We can’t help everyone…some people stay for a day, whilst others become loyal fans in your community. In my Nurse Power community, there are people who I have connected with for the past 7 years!
Sales and Conversion
So far I have been talking about marketing, whether it be digital and online, or face-2-face in the fruit and veg section of your local Coles supermarket. When you’re the business owner, you are ALWAYS marketing.
Sales are different from marketing. If you’re getting leads and not enough sales, the problem is probably not your marketing.
Now, this is where that conversation at the beginning of this article fits in, those 3 businesses would be a 10 out of 10 when it comes to sales and conversion.
Delivery and Experience
This is where a lot of people have their focus. Working with clients, building courses, flyers, landing pages and not on growing their business. They wonder why they have all this amazing content to deliver and no one to deliver it to.
The answer to this problem is the focus has been on one of the pillars, rather than on the bigger picture of the complete – create | market | sell process.
Especially if you feel uncomfortable with sales.
Sales is a natural part of doing business, it is the exchange of money for goods and services ONCE the value has been built.
Build the value, and watch your conversion increase.
Reselling, Referral and Client Nurture
This is the pillar which focuses on the client relationship after they have purchased, or upselling to another product/service and providing a solid aftercare process.
I have seen this pillar ignored, for some reason, once a customer has purchased, and they have received what they paid for, that’s it, the deal is done. But it’s not!
There is a HUGE opportunity in reselling, upgrading to have raving fans for life. There is so much opportunity and money on the table with lists of old customers. Get them out, start to nurture these people, these are the most important people in your database. Zero cost in marketing and advertising, they already know you.
There are businesses that provide a ‘once off’ service, and I often hear…what is the point on emailing and following up these people.
Simple, it’s what I call the front of mind campaign, think of a Chiropractor, you go, they move you around a bit and then send you on your way feeling great. That Chiro’ sends a regular update to their customers who have enjoyed receiving these emails, stories, techniques, recipes, whatever it is the Chiro’ is passionate about.
About 18 months later the customer is asked if they know a good Chiro’?…BOOM, the effort of continuing the relationship has just paid off. You want to be the business people think of first in your market.
What This Means
Generally what happens is we may not be good at all the pillars, it could be technology, confidence and time causing headaches.
The thing is, all 5 pillars are a priority.
It can take months for your lead to become a paying client, it’s the consistency of keeping up the marketing, the post, the blogs, the videos…especially when it can feel like there is nobody watching.
You don’t want to be the person who says they are too busy for referrals if your goal is to enjoy a cash flow that supports you not only now but in the future, take the quiz and find out which area you are great at, and which one you suck at.
The idea is to focus on the one with the lowest score, map out what needs to be done, and if there is something you are not good at, delegate, delegate, delegate.
I CAN build sales funnels pretty well, the thing is, I am not good at it, I do not enjoy the detail, which means I have an amazing VA, his name is Rimon, who is a whiz at it.
It means I can focus on what I need to do, whichever pillar is the focus for the week.
Yes, it is a juggling act, multiple tools and technology, multiple skills required.
Here is a small excerpt from my upcoming book, due for publication in 2019.
‘Entrepreneurship is more than business, it is a way of life, it’s believing in yourself to create something from nothing…that elusive intersection of business and life’.
When things get hard, because they do, or when adversity hits, think about WHY you are doing what you do in the first place. It’s that messy intersection of business and life, the quicker you get the work done, the quicker you get to go and do what you really want to do.
For me, it’s writing my book.
Wishing you the best week ever,