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[April 23, 2003]

Customer Catcher™

By Martin Wales


Sell More With CONFIDENCE In Your Marketing

Your product is the best. You've been told by the CEO, the CTO and the COO. Possibly even yourself. How strongly you truly believe it and then convincingly communicate it will determine your achievement. Today, let's look at your core philosophy rather than your next low-cost marketing tactic -- as much as I love that. Without a foundational core of confidence, your marketing effectiveness is affected by your prevailing attitude and your company's 'positioning.'

"Can You Sell Anything These Days?" was the question posed in a previous column. It listed several complicating factors while essentially answering "Yes." Reflecting over the past holiday weekend, I thought that list wasn't enough to ensure your success.

There is one over-riding characteristic that helps you more than any other I mentioned in that list. It's worthwhile to focus on it while revisiting how to be successful in your business, despite today's "turbulent times." Let's get clear. YES, you can continue to help your clients and prospects, regardless of what's happening around you. Usually what happens is people let the mass media surround and nearly drown them in the world's perceived misery and problems:

  • Internationally, countries fight;
  • Regular citizens die in car accidents (usually from inattention or speeding);
  • Innocents are victims of the sick and evil;
  • Wonderful people die from disease and good old old age; and
  • As if it matters, celebrity divorces are reported.

Why go on? You get the picture. To all of it, you have to respond, "So what?" For the majority of us, most of the time (if you think honestly about it), all the calamity and turmoil has little or NO effect on us whatsoever! But, we let our minds get distracted by it all and use it to rationalize why we're not getting the results we want. We use it to excuse our poor strategy and tactics, weak marketing or our prospects' distraction and fear of making decisions, etc. etc. etc.

GET OVER IT
Consider it tough love. You must be positive. You have many blessings in your life and in your business but you're not focusing on them enough to be grateful AND happy. You pass on the FEAR to those around you and continue, what I call, the "psychological plague." Outside of an immediate loss in your family and your own personal health (which you could probably improve anyway), there are few reasons for you not to be reaching your objectives - professionally or personally. My concern in the previous column was that this might sound like plain and simple "positive thinking." On one hand, that's good and on the other, you might just feel it's too simplistic.

So…Let me add one huge factor for you -- the one factor that can mean the difference between selling and not selling, the one that will make your prospects not only become open to you and your services, but be willing and eager to become your customers.

Be confident. I say again, "Be CONFIDENT!" Remain steadfast and bold in your belief in yourself, your staff and your products and services. Demonstrate your faith in the future. Help your prospects and their employees remain confident in their ability to function and collect revenue. (O.K., if you sell to the airlines, you've got your hands full. It was time to diversify and stop relying on one big fat client anyway, wasn't it?)

You have no need to fake it either. Let's get real here and now. Be honest with yourself. Go through all the negative events, questions or statements you've been getting from the media and replaying in your head. Maybe it's possible that your faith and belief in the value of your offering was weak in the first place. Then, when the slightest challenge or 'hard times' hit, there was somewhere else to look for excuses.

CAUSES OF GRIEF
Let's look at some of the strife. There's a war and unrest in the Middle East. And? You're wasting too much time watching reporters and tanks in sand storms instead of phoning your network. When was the last time our whole planet Earth was free of war?

Terrorists. There's not been one terrorist attack in the US since the conflict began in Iraq. Not fearing terrorism and refusing to change your life because of it is what wins that war in the long run.

There's a new virus called SARS (I won't even mention others that no longer respond to antibiotics). It's really a new twist on pneumonia… not an uncommon ailment that many older people and patients with pre-existing medical challenges die from on a regular basis. For average healthy people, it's an illness that's certainly inconvenient but it IS treatable and non-fatal.

The economy and the stock market are hurting. Maybe. Is it the whole economy or a dozen or so companies (public usually) that the media focuses on? Is it the same old reporting on "Bad Boys in the Boardroom"? Repetitive stories about lying and deceptive accounting practices? Yes, but not every public company is a bad apple. Not by a long shot. How many companies are dishonest versus those run by honest, hard-working owners and entrepreneurs? We never hear about that…it's not sexy enough to make the 11 p.m. news.

Right -- back to business, although I am enjoying knocking down all the fear put out in the media to scare the bejeebers out of everyone. The media's goal is to sell newspapers, magazines and airtime for better ratings to get more advertising revenues. And it works. Now, the mainstream media has been successful in making it harder for us to sell by scaring everyone. But…

Business to business IS active. Companies have tightened up their spending but continue to invest in services and technology that help them do more with less. Strong ROI and business cases are selling technology. Business-to-consumer selling continues. People need to eat. They still seek entertainment and actually want more to divert their attention. For example, electronics and home entertainment sales are very brisk. All those consumer companies need to track sales and serve customers with technology.

How can you get your selling momentum back? Get grounded in reality. Write down all the good things going on in your business and your life. Revisit and add to this list -- often! Then get out there and demonstrate your rock-solid confidence and positive attitude in your sales presentations, prospecting, networking and phone calls.

Need help? Call a friend, or get together with that colleague who drives you crazy with his/her optimism. Connect with a coach or trusted mentor. You're even welcome to call or e-mail me. Be committed to do whatever it takes to reach your goals.

Be confident and revisit your faith in yourself and your company to get stronger mentally. More work and more commitment result in more success. Not what we always want to hear, but it's what we really know WORKS anytime, anywhere.

Wishing you much success.

At www.CustomerCatcher.com, Martin Wales is a business development and lead generation specialist. For a FREE preview of his new audio program, How to Get The Mindset of A Customer Catcher for Maximum Leverage & Profit, send an e-mail to Mindset@CustomerCatcher.com.


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