My big aha moment (and how it changed everything)
I was in business for a while (not successfully, might I add) when I had an aha moment that changed the way I did everything.
You see, my background was in marketing. I knew how to write client presentations, how to draw clients in and engage them, but I didn’t know how and where to find them. When I was in corporate, that was the job of the sales team. But as any entrepreneur can tell you, when you're first starting out, YOU are the sales team. So if you don’t know how to sell, it’s a big problem.
This problem was showing up for me as inconsistent clients and being sorely disappointed by the big effort I was putting in and the lackluster results I was getting. Then I heard one word… prospecting.
Hello! I was not prospecting and sales expert Kendrick Shope taught me that prospecting is the first step to selling.
Now I already hear you saying (all the way to Long Island, NY!) — "Mimi, I am a life coach, copywriter, graphic designer, brand consultant, health coach, etc; I don’t have to prospect.” (You’re probably thinking and I don’t want to either!)
But I'm going to tell you:
Yes, you do have to prospect;
It’s not that bad.
How do I know? Because now I love to prospect.
See, we think prospecting is:
Cold calling and people hanging up on us;
Going up to strangers at networking events and trying to sell them;
Paying lots of money for newspaper or Facebook ads;
Leaving a flyer on the windshield of someone’s car (I hate that!).
But when you take the five steps below, prospecting turns into something else—helping.
Step 1: Understand your potential clients’ problems.
Step 2: Figure out where the people who have this problem are hanging out to fix it.
Step 3: Show up in those places and be of service by giving useful supportive advice, tips and tricks.
Step 4: Be of service over and over and over again so that people start to recognize you as an expert and you earn their trust.
Step 5: Make an offer only when you’ve consistently taken steps 1-4.
Here’s where prospecting is hard. It take time.
Prospecting is truly planting a seed. Would you plant a sunflower seed on a Monday and expect a full-grown sunflower on Tuesday? No! Prospecting is the same way. It takes time to find the best spot to plant the seeds, then you need to prepare the soil, plant the seed, give it plenty of water and wait and then finally start to watch it grow. When you approach finding clients in the same way things start to take off.
So start thinking:
#1. What is your potential client’s problem?
#2. Where are they going to try to solve it?
#3. How can you show up in those places and support them?
What aha’s are coming up for you? How does prospecting feel now? What will you do next? Post in the comments and let me know!