This pandemic experience has been VERY depressing for many service business owners and entrepreneurs.
Many businesses have had to shut down completely and some have reopened only to have their doors closed once again.
Uncertainty is rampant.
Most people who run their own businesses love to have control yet as we have all experienced, these times are anything but times we can control.
This is also the time where there is a lot of fear, swirling around us and ready to engulf us if we let it. This is a time when we can easily get distracted and taken off our game.
Let’s tackle the fear.
In the 2013 movie ‘After Earth’, Cypher Raige (played by Will Smith) says: “Fear is not real. The only place that fear can exist is in our thoughts of the future. It is a product of our imagination, causing us to fear things that do not, at present, and may not ever exist. That is near insanity Kitai – [Cypher’s son]. Do not misunderstand me, danger is very real, but fear is a choice. We are all telling ourselves a story…”
In Study.com’s Chapter 3 summary Santiago is the protagonist of The Alchemist, a story about Santiago’s journey from Spain to Egypt via North Africa. He does this in search of his Personal Legend, which is his purpose in life.
In this infamous book by author Paulo Coelho, the camel driver says to him, “If you can concentrate always on the present you’ll be a happy man. The seer also says to Santiago, “The secret is here in the present. If you pay attention to the present you can improve upon it. And if you improve on the present, what comes later will also be better…”
We cannot afford to be distracted by the past, nor can we get distracted by a future that hasn’t happened yet. Our focus has been and always needs to be for any business: on getting and keeping clients.
The Covid 19 Pandemic has changed our world with devastating speed.
New ways of working that were waiting on the sidelines are suddenly mainstream, according to a recent article by Phil Wainewright.
“Digital technology has fundamentally changed the way business engages with customers. It allows a continuous connection, which transforms both the relationship and the nature of what is delivered – the XaaS effect – delivering Everything-as-a-Service. With the onset of the Coronavirus pandemic, suddenly, your customer’s needs may be nothing like they were just a few weeks ago. Instead of working out what quantity, color or size they’re going to want next, you’re co-ordinating with them to help them protect their staff, ease their cashflow or co-create a completely new product line. Your capacity to accurately listen to customers, understand their needs and then rapidly swarm to adapt your offering is being tested at an unprecedented intensity. And now that everyone is remote working, their expectation that you can deliver on all of that across distance and timezones just went up several notches.”
Thankfully, the fundamental principles remain. Even though we are engaging using digital technology we need to discover what success means for our customers, and find ways to help them become more successful.
Sometimes it may mean educating customers about new problems they might be facing given the current climate. As Victor Cheng says in his book ‘Extreme Revenue Growth’ “…Nobody spends money solving a problem they don’t even realize they have.”
Perhaps the most frustrating aspect of any kind of marketing (prospecting AND client attraction) is that most prospects aren’t ready to hire you today. According to Vorsight, only 3% of qualified prospects are actively searching for someone who provides your services.
According to the Get Better Clients Academy – Attraction marketing has the advantage of “self-qualifying” prospects and giving you a larger pool of prospects to work with. It also puts you in a position of strength because prospects are coming to you. However, most of your attraction marketing leads won’t be ready to buy right now, so you have to stay on their radar. It also requires some marketing automation to do it well. Prospecting has the advantage of allowing you to handpick the prospects you go after. And you can easily dial up or down your prospecting efforts depending on your workload and pipeline. However, prospecting takes some courage. It also puts prospects in the position of strength because you’re pursuing them. Generally, you need both. You need a “lead generation machine” that delivers a steady stream of prospects (i.e. attraction marketing). And you need a targeted outreach effort that enables you to hand-select prospects and dial things up or down as needed (i.e. prospecting).
Therefore, your job is to start a conversation with those who ARE ready now (the 10%) AND stay in touch with the other 90%—until those who will eventually buy identify themselves. The most efficient way to start this process is by deploying a methodical client attraction strategy by leaving a series of breadcrumb trails.
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