By David Eissman, founder of Guaranteed Growth Systems
Most small business owners and independent professionals start their business primarily because they have knowledge and skills that are in demand. While they understand intellectually that they have to market and sell, often it does not translate on an emotional level. Many business owners tend to look at marketing as a necessary evil, and in many cases, have negative beliefs toward it. They could not stand to be hounded by those pesky salesman in their previous jobs and do not want to “become on of them.” As a result, the tendency is to focus on the aspects of our business that were the reason we chose to go into business in the first place, the actual application of our knowledge or skills.
What is a marketing mentality and how is it developed? There are three components that all link together:
1) The first component is belief. What are the underlying beliefs that affect our mentality? It encompasses our attitudes, thoughts, fears, expectations, and lack of experience. Our actions are shaped by what we think about, what we assume to be true and where we choose to focus. If the thoughts are negative or avoidance minded then we will see marketing as undesirable and in some cases unethical. It will manifest in self talk such as: I don’t deserve referrals, my marketing won’t work anyway; I will look desperate; if my service or product is good the market will know that; I don’t like networking; etc.
2) The second component is behavior which is generally driven by our beliefs. The decisions we make every day are critical and negative beliefs about marketing affect the decisions that are made. For example, how often do we plan for the week and tell ourselves that on Tuesday we will focus three hours on marketing. Tuesday morning rolls along and we receive a client call or an issue or problem with an employee and then rationalize that the marketing must be put off because these issues must be dealt with immediately. The question is how often this is really true. In my experience working with clients the answer is rarely. Although we know that the marketing is important, we let our negative beliefs affect our behavior. Before we know it the pipeline is dry, and then some type of marketing activity is undertaken in an unplanned haphazard manner.
3) The third component is relationship. In order to have consistent lead generation and sales there must be a relationship cultivated with an adequate amount of prospects. This is the main function of marketing. It is the adage of people to do business with those they know, like and trust. Without a consistent and systematic marketing plan, there will not be a sufficient lead generation process.
The linkage is very powerful. The beliefs affect the behaviors and the behaviors affect the ability to develop the relationships. The connectivity between these elements is extremely leveraged in both a positive and negative direction. When they are aligned, the results are extraordinary, and when they are not, the results can be devastating.
So, if you are in this quandary, what can be done about it? First, sit down and make a list, and inventory what your beliefs are about marketing. Be honest and list as many as you can. Then ask yourself about whether these beliefs are really true, or just simply a personal bias. Second, are you absolutely sure what you believe is true, or is it possible that it is not? Next, evaluate how this belief affects your behavior and what would happen if this belief is changed. Try to reconstruct the thought to a more positive mindset. The next step is to translate those new thoughts into new behaviors. One of the best techniques for doing so is to block out time on your calendar and treat it as if it were an appointment with your best client. You surely would not miss an appointment with your best client to deal with a task that was short of an emergency, would you? After a short time, these new behaviors will become habits and the rewards will follow.
If marketing is a struggle, it is absolutely critical to engage in this marketing mentality process. Many companies with great services and products go out of business because they could not implement a consistent lead generation system. Most often that failure starts with the lack of a marketing mentality. The great news is that the necessary mentality can be developed with effort, focus, and an open mind. You will be amazed by the impact on your business.
Source: Reprinted from John Jantesh’s Small Business Articles Duct Tape Marketing (www.ducttapemarketing.com).