I’ve recently started to mentor a business owner who needs more sales, not just to make a profit, but just to stand a chance of staying in business. Now there are a number of things that we need to work on urgently, and one of the most important is the marketing of the business.
The simple truth is that the business is a good one; it just needs more sales. The trouble is, however good a business you may have, without sales it’s dead. So, the marketing of any business is the key to its success.
The market, message and media are critical. You need to know your exact market, craft a message to that market, and know which media to use to access that market. But that’s all for another day.
What I want to talk about here is one of the major problems that this business has. It only has one route to market and that route isn’t working. A significant problem!
The first thing we did was to consider every route to market that we could think of; in just a few minutes we had upwards of forty. Why not stop here for a moment and write down how many you can think of in a minute? We then worked through our list and picked twelve that would work the best. Having twelve or more routes to market is a good guide. Not the most obvious, cheapest or easiest, but the ones that would work the best and that could be achieved. No good a small company thinking of advertising on prime-time television, for example.
On the list was networking. Why? Because it could be started the next day, can work well and is low in cost. However, after a few weeks, it became apparent that networking really wasn’t working and I suggested that at the next networking event I go along with him. I would watch and listen and see if I could spot anything that he could do differently. Well, it wasn’t long before I came up with one major problem. He looked miserable! He was my client and even I wouldn’t want to go over and say “Hello”.
Think about it, unless you are a life coach, when was the last time that you were out networking and you went and looked for the most depressed person in the room? I can only imagine never!
So, if you find that networking is a pretty lonely place, that nobody wants to talk to you, just ask yourself: What do I look like? And then smile. It makes such a difference.
You could even try an experiment. Smile at the next person you meet and see what happens. Bet you they smile back!