If you were raised anything like I was, you were taught to be polite and proper, especially if you are female. “Say please and thank you, keep your clothes neat, don’t interrupt others when they are speaking.” The last thing your parents wanted you to be was obnoxious! However, teaching good etiquette to children can leave a residue that makes it difficult to market a business effectively.
In order to grow your business, you need to be able to reach and communicate with your audience on a regular basis which means you need to be persistent. The problem for many female entrepreneurs is they don’t want to bother anyone. They don’t want to come across as too pushy. How many times have you heard business coaches say they teach how to do sales without being “salesy”? Salesy has become the new “F” word. What happens in an effort not to be seen as obnoxious is lack of growth and loss of potential income.
Did you know it takes an average of 7 exposures to you or your services before a customer will buy anything? That’s the average which means it could take even more. When was the last time you had seven contact points with a single client? What usually happens is we meet someone, have a sales conversation and if the answer is no, we cut our losses and move on. What we are actually doing is cutting our profits.
Clients need to be wooed. There needs to be a courting period. We need to take a cue from men here ladies. Men are much more persistent. If they really want to date a woman, they don’t just give up after the first try. They keep asking and trying until the woman either says yes or gives a very firm no. They might try several approaches before she says yes as well. Maybe he’ll start with a flirty text and move on to flowers. He doesn’t just throw in the towel if the first time she doesn’t run into his arms.
What often stops us from persistence is a worry we will be perceived as stalkers. I believe, however, that worry is way overrated and is often just a protective mechanism from us getting hurt. In today’s world of email and social media, you have to do an awful lot to reach the threshold of truly obnoxious. Most of us don’t come even close to that point. And as a result, we also don’t come close to our financial dreams either.
So here are a few tips to get you past that protective wall and into prosperity:
1. Remember “No” is not an absolute. No can mean many things. It can mean someone doesn’t know you well enough yet. It can mean your potential client is scared to make a leap they actually need to make. It can mean not right now because they’ve already spent their budget for the year. Find out the reason behind the “no” so you can adjust your approach accordingly.
2. Remember the value you bring. Next time you get worried about being too pushy, try to remember how what you do or have can change your potential client’s life. Can your service change their health, make them more joyful or help them grow their business so they can quit their day job? Those are pretty powerful results. Think about what a disservice you do them by not persisting in bringing that value to them.
3. Remember people are busy. How many emails do you get a day? How many friends do you have on Facebook? How many kids do you have!! Life is busy. Between reconciling accounts, networking, writing blog posts, getting hair cut, and taking kids to soccer how much time to you think your clients have to pay attention to you. Do you really think one little email is going to do the job?
4. Remember the world is a noisy place. You are not the only one trying to be heard. If you want to be noticed you are either going to have sing louder or do something special to grab the spotlight. Zig when others zag. Lean into your uniqueness. And show up consistently.
What is actually just good marketing may feel like obnoxious showboating to you. I agree it is not always comfortable to put yourself out there in a big way, but in order to grow your brand you need to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. The choice is up to you. You can be the most polite girl in the room, or you can be successful.
I love to hear your voice!
What do you do when a client says no to your services? How do you overcome fear of rejection?
Post your answers below in the comments or find me on Facebook.
If you would like to use this article on your website or ezine, feel free! Just be sure to include the following:Heather Poduska is a Reach certified personal brand strategist, image consultant and business coach who helps women entrepreneurs create client attractive brands, polished brand images and brand communication strategies to increase their visibility and impact in the marketplace and grow their businesses.