Share Your Passion
When someone wants to “sell” me something I picture a 50 year old fat guy with a bad comb-over telling me the used car that’s over-priced is like new. No one wants to be sold. We as humans value relationships, we want to believe in someone or something and be a part of making a dream come true. Share your passion, tell your clients why you started your business. Tell them the favorite aspect of your business. Let them in to see who you are and why you wake up every day and work harder then you’ve ever worked for anyone else. Clients, the right clients, will always spend more money if they think they are supporting a person they can believe in.
Don’t be afraid to say no to a potential client that isn’t a good fit. Sometimes the best jobs are the ones we never start. Forcing a situation can lead to far worse things than a lost sale. When I started my business I would work with anyone willing to work with me because let’s face it, Starbucks isn’t exactly cheap. The problem is I took on clients that I knew I didn’t mesh well with or did jobs that weren’t quite the right fit for me. In the end it was more trouble than it was worth. The time spent dealing with a client that isn’t the right fit is soul sucking. It takes up time, it’s discouraging and you never seem to make enough money to justify the headache. Some business owners never learn to say no and they end up working horrendous hours and never meet the goals they set for themselves. So say NO, and don’t feel ashamed to do it. As your business grows you’ll develop better instincts along with a network of collaborators that may be a better fit. You’ll earn more respect by being honest and telling the client you’re not the right fit and sending them in the right direction.
Don’t Be Desperate
Never let them see you sweat, it’s not just a slogan for Dry Idea (I know, I’m old, so the obscure reference is to a deodorant company in the late 80’s that used this as their slogan, but I digress). How we are perceived is in some ways more important than reality. We’ve all seen it, an offer from a business that is clearly a desperate attempt to get business fast. Whether we realize it or not we distance ourselves from that business. Deep down inside we ask ourselves if they are that desperate, what’s wrong with their business? If we can’t trust them, we can’t work with them. Many times this all happens at the subconscious level as we pass by their offer never really giving it consideration, dismissing it before it even has an opportunity to form as an option. The unfortunate part is there probably aren’t any reasons to be afraid. At some point we’ve all been there. Sitting at home or at the coffee shop, no money is flowing, no exciting collaborations on the horizon, jacked up on coffee wondering how you’re going to pay the bills and you start to justify things, crazy things like offering your services for half price because who could turn that down. Then it’s not so crazy, leg twitching, eyes darting back and forth from stress and caffeine, it’s not crazy, it’s genius, I’m a business God and BAM you just offered the deal of a lifetime on Facebook! Money is going to fall from the sky, you’re going to hire assistants, open an office, win awards, be given a key to the city (do they even do that anymore?). By the time you come down you’ve either attracted that horribly cheap client you’d never work with on a sane day or worse it didn’t work at all and now you’re left feeling depressed and exhausted. Desperation is a killer. The reality is, if you’re feeling this way it’s time to reach out to someone you trust, a mentor, a friend, a loved one and talk it out. Make a plan that makes sense and ask yourself if you’d be doing the same plan if you weren’t feeling so desperate. Don’t be afraid if the plan is to do nothing and be patient.