Many business owners are surprised to discover that what stands between them and the success they believe is possible is their own mindset, and more specifically, their branding mindset as well as their mindset about marketing and selling.
Nearly everyone I work with absolutely agrees that they want and need to be more effective at promoting their business, yet they feel incredibly uncomfortable with that process. In fact, many business owners only get around to thinking about brand building and marketing well after they’ve started their businesses.
Then they experience that startling moment when they realize, “I make the best product or provide the best service on the planet. But… if no one knows about it, how is this business going to survive?” And the awareness of their branding mindset (or lack thereof) just pulled into the station…
The good news is that there are “hacks” to help make it easier for you to become comfortable and even effective at branding, marketing and ultimately sales, without feeling pushy. And it starts with your mindset…
Hack #1: Take Control
Many business owners take a passive approach to branding, marketing and sales, what I call an “IFcome” attitude (instead of an “INcome” attitude).
- If I do my best, people will find me…
- If something comes along, I will be fine…
- If I beat that other guy’s price, I will get the order…
- If I do not make that much, at least I got the order…
To be successful in business, you must take control. You must get your brand out into your community, in front of your ideal your customer base. If your potential customers are not aware of you or reminded that you exist, it is much harder for them to choose you! You have to get INvolved in building your brand and marketing your business. Hoping they stumble across you in the vastness of the Internet or even in the local community is not going to cut it.
Hack #2: Focus
Ever feel overwhelmed with the idea of the “next big thing (NBT),” when it comes to making IT happen for your business? Events, webinars, videos, online courses, product launches. It is all too easy to become distracted and pulled in all directions trying to be a ride the NBT wave of the moment.
But in reality, when we keep chasing each new shiny object, it is easy to lose sight of our goal – the success of our business. Pick one or two, maybe three strategies, and work the heck out of them. Master them, and focus this mastery to dominate in your space.
Hack #3: Client Driven
Everyone talks about being client-driven. Yet how often do we find ourselves in a meeting with a potential customer, and instead of listening to them, our brains are chasing the “what should I sell them next” rabbit?
Prevent the mental gymnastics – before you even get in front of the customer. You may discover that by listening to them in real time and then working with them to identify and truly understand their needs, you will find that the best possible solutions come together naturally. And even better than that is the fact that you’ve earned a customer that values your input and trusts your insight and expertise.
Hack #4: You ARE the Expert
In order to succeed with the previous approach, you must believe in the value of what you do, what you offer and in the strength of your expertise.
Being client driven does not mean doing whatever they ask. In fact, that can end a business relationship! You have a solution – you would not be in business if you did not. When you whole-heartedly believe in the value of your solution (and nearly every business owner I meet does), it becomes much easier to present the value of that solution in a conversation with a potential customer, aka the sales meeting. Own your expertise, and the rest follows more easily and naturally.
Hack #5: No is OK
Take the pressure off – right up front. At the beginning of the conversation, let them know that saying “No” is a totally acceptable outcome of your time together. This actually helps both you and your potential customer have an open exchange about what they need, and then explore how and if you have a solution that meets their needs effectively.
If you pressure a potential customer before they are ready, it backfires and you lose your chance with them. They feel manipulated, you feel frustrated – no one walks away happy or comfortable.
Here’s another reason to not sweat a “no” meeting. Every No meeting brings you one step closer to your next Yes meeting! Not everyone needs what you offer, that is just the way it is. While a No meeting is less fun than a “Yes, I want what you have” meeting, it does serve a purpose. You now know and understand that potential customer’s need more clearly. Navigate through the no’s gracefully, because the very next meeting could be a Yes, or at the very least, it is moving you even closer to that Yes customer.
Skip this pressure cooker model and build trust instead. The goal is to figure out if working together is right for both of you. You are more likely to build a relationship where they value your input, trust your suggestions and eventually become long-term customers.
Think about some of your own beliefs, your mindset – about branding, marketing and sales.
- Are they on target or outdated?
- Do they align with your business?
- Is it possible to tweak them to open up your future?
Contact your local embroidery or apparel decoration professional for ideas and ways you can start putting your brand to work, building your business in our community or in your market place.
Send your comments to joe @ nnep.com about how your mindset is helping you, or not, with your branding, marketing and sales process.
NNEP is the National Network of Embroidery Professionals (NNEP.com), dedicated to serving successful embroidery and apparel decoration business owners for 20+ years. Joe Logo is a the brain child of the NNEP and offered as a service to NNEP members.