The number one answer these days seems to be “the economy”. People have been asking me at networking events and get-togethers “How’s business?” with the face that holds the expectation that my answer is going to be one that is not going to be good.
Many independent and small firms are crying out because of cash. “Not enough business” they say, “things are really bad.”
Steve Gordon, founder of The Unstoppable CEO says: “In my work I’ve had the opportunity to speak with hundreds of small firm owners to find out what’s holding them back. What they think holds them back, well, that list is long. It has all sorts of causes they’ve identified from not enough cash, to bad clients and employees, to the market and the economy. But I’ve had the benefit of listening to them all and seeing the pattern. At the end of the day, the reason they haven’t reached the level of success they want is simple: They’re trapped in obscurity.”
Are you trapped in the land of obscurity?
You know what you have to offer is going to help many people but yet, no one seems to know you exist. You’ve been doing all the things experts have recommended. You announced you were in business and hung out your shingle. You created a logo and designed a really fabulous business card that anyone who receives your card says one word – “WOW!” You have a website that is dynamic and inviting. You have all the social media bases covered: Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn and you’ve taken out the occasional advertisement here and there in the local newspaper whenever they are running specials. You’re thinking presently that you’re going to do a flyer or a gift certificate to offer as Christmas presents to perhaps drum up some business as we move into 2019.
Feeling exhausted yet?
Steve says, “[Despite all this activity, you are still] the best-kept secret in [your] market.
Every one of you does great work for your clients. Yet, you’re all frustrated because good work, by itself, is not enough to grow the business of your dreams.
How then do you move from obscurity to authority in your market?
Many of us in service businesses don’t like to sell. We are reluctant. Therapists and many career professionals have told me that they don’t like to toot their own horn. Any discussion about their expertise comes across to them, as boasting and they don’t like to be seen as boasting!
When selling professional services you’re both the salesperson AND the product. You’re “selling” yourself.
We have been taught to acquire skills and talents but we spend very little time understanding who we are therefore when there is any attempt to sell ourselves, we sound pretty much like the other guy AND we feel sleazy and uncomfortable because saying whatever it is we are saying, apart from sounding robotic and weird, just doesn’t FEEL GOOD!
As a service provider you are an advisor and someone needs to TRUST you first before taking your advice. Chasing people at events and networking is not going to fill your potential client pipeline with trusting candidates.
There are three sales you are going to make to every potential client:
First buy: “I have a problem and I believe you understand my problem.”
Second Buy: “I don’t know how, but I trust that you can eliminate my problem. You’re my person.”
Third Buy: “I see you have the solution and I understand how it will eliminate my pain.”
The third sale is where EVERYONE is focusing their efforts but you are not going to focus there anymore. You are going to focus on the first two sales and you are going to do that by educating your clients so that by the time they are sitting in front of you they believe that they have a problem and you can solve it for them.
The only thing holding you back from growing your business is obscurity. The way around obscurity is:
- To develop more clarity around who you are
- Develop more clarity around the markets you want to influence and serve
- Build a system to attract those clients consistently
It all starts with a shift in your mindset – recognizing that there is a different way to approach business development and now is a good time to shift before 2019 rolls around.
For your free copy of “From Obscurity to Authority” click here