22 Şubat 2008 Cuma

It seems harmless and innocent enough, but its crippling effects run rampant in the business world.

If I were to ask you about your business and what you do, how would you answer?

Would you respond with …

“I’m a coach. I help people overcome their fears.”
“I’m a hairdresser. I make women feel beautiful.”
“I’m a professional organizer. I help people live simpler lives.”
“I’m a builder. I build people’s dream homes.”

Of course, this is the typical way you would answer such a question, but is it completely true?

If you honestly regard yourself in this way, you may be missing the two true pillars that are the foundation to your business success – marketing and sales.

Without these pillars you have no business, for it is on marketing and sales your business is built.

You may have the best, easiest, fastest, most long lasting product or service, but if no one knows about it or knows how to purchase it, it means nothing.

On the other hand, you may have a mediocre product or service that meets a basic need and even though it isn’t the best, has created a huge demand and following thanks to powerful, persistent marketing and the ability to secure the sale.

Think about McDonald’s. Many would agree that they do not make the best tasting or healthiest hamburger in the world, however, when asked to name a fast food chain, most people will answer with “McDonald’s” because the business’ number one focus is and has always been on marketing, not making the best burger.

Marketing is how you create top of mind awareness in your industry. More important than your product or service is the awareness that it exists.

Marketing must be your number one objective as a business owner. Here are a few ways to get known.

- newspaper ads or articles
- signs/posters (on vehicles/hydro poles/bulletin boards)
- web site
- writing articles or stories for industry publications
- door-to-door visits
- brochures
- business cards
- referrals
- mailings
- phone calls
- e-mail
- joint ventures (partnering with others)
- public speaking
- attending networking events
- TV/radio commercials or interviews
- display at trade shows
- sponsoring events
- volunteering
- joining community groups

This is where 80 percent of your time and effort must be spent if you want to create business success.

The sole purpose of marketing is to create awareness followed by action to contact you, and once you have achieved this result, you shift to pillar number two -- sales.

To succeed in sales is a matter of mindset. If you regard salespeople as pushy, unauthentic and self-serving, you will fail miserably at securing clients and customers.

Sales is about serving, understanding the wants and needs of the prospect and determining whether or not you can provide a solution. To become a master salesperson, you will require confidence, a strong belief in what you’re selling and a genuine desire to help others more than yourself.

Let’s say you purchased a new chair for your office and you absolutely love it. Your legs don’t cramp up anymore, your back pain is gone and you can sit in it for hours and feel fantastic at the end of your workday.

Would you share this with your friends and colleagues? Absolutely!

Let’s say you tell ten friends about it. You’re enthusiastic, even passionate about how great the chair is. You know your friends have sore lower backs and want to take away their pain. After sharing your results, you encourage them to get one for themselves.

Five of them follow through on your recommendation and buy a chair.

What have you done? You just sold five chairs!

When you look at sales from this perspective, it isn’t sneaky, self-serving or aggressive.

You acted out of passion, honesty and a genuine desire to help someone else and your friends responded as most prospects would – by trusting your recommendation and following through with action.

Marketing and sales are the pillars to your business success and both require skills and mindsets that you can learn.

Make the commitment to invest the majority of your time into learning and practicing these skills over any other business activity and you will be astounded by the results you create.

You are in the business of marketing your coaching, hairdressing, professional organizing and home building service not in the delivery of it.

Adopt this mindset, take the right actions and you will enjoy business success faster and with much more enjoyment than you ever thought possible.

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