Hello SOTGC community,
We all make mistakes. There’s no shame in that. But are you learning from your mistakes? Are you picking yourself up and changing course, so you don’t make the same mistake again?
When it comes to running your own business, there are five main mistakes I see entrepreneurs make. Beware of them and know how to fix them, so they don’t derail your efforts or your passion.
Mistake #1: Getting into business for the wrong reasons.
If you don’t love what you do, if you don’t have a passion for your work, your success is going to be a long and hard road. Unfortunately, I’ve seen some people get into business because they view it as just another hobby. Or, they’ve been downsized and thought since the job market is lousy, “I’ll hang a shingle on my garage and start a business without any planning.”
I can sell anything, they think. Or they confuse marketing with sales. You may be a great salesperson, but if you don’t truly believe in your passion and your products and services, you’ll have a hard time getting people to purchase your stuff. Plain and simple!
Mistake #2: Trying to be like everyone else.
You don’t want to be better than your competition; you want to be different (Steve Jobs). How many restaurants? Do you know why one is doing better than another? Do you ask yourself how can I be different than my competition? What is my competitive advantage?
The best way to find out is to ask your customers in your niche market. You can test their response by using your social networks. Look for an area that seems to stand out and ask yourself how you could do it differently. Small changes make a great difference in the way your customers will see you.
Mistake #3: Not realizing that your attitude controls your success.
Are you genuinely happy to be doing what you do? Do you believe in yourself and your passion? Do you view the world in a positive or negative light? Your answers to these types of questions will determine your attitude, and your attitude determines your success.
The people you speak to every day, whether via phone or in person, can pick up on your true attitude, regardless of the actual words you use. You know this is true because you do it to others, too. For example, you’ve likely gone into a retail store to purchase something and have had to interact with salespeople who would rather not be there that day. Even if the salesperson answers all your questions and rings up your transaction quickly, you can sense if the person cares or is just there to collect a paycheck.
Your customers can sense the same thing in you! So make sure your attitude is one that customers will want to interact with.
Mistake #4: Continually blaming other people or events for your failures.
It’s very easy (and very tempting) to blame others for our failures. But at the end of the day, the only thing that really determines your success is you.
Blaming others is nothing more than excuse making. How many times have you heard someone say (or have you said), “I didn’t sell anything today because …
- I didn’t have a new brochure to give out.
- My contact didn’t give me a proper referral.
- The economy is really bad.
- I heard that people aren’t buying what they used to.
- I couldn’t get online today.
The list of excuses and blaming is endless.
Here’s the truth: If you’re in the right job and have the right attitude, there’s no need to blame anyone or anything else. You can sell without a brochure, without a proper referral, and without a booming economy. Entrepreneurs still bring in the big money; you just have to approach it differently.
Mistake #5: Trying to sell the products rather than getting people to want to buy your products.
Always remember that you’re selling your passion, whether it’s a product or service. So you can’t “sell” the organization. Your role is to market to your customers the value of your products and services. People buy when they believe in what you have to offer. You gain that belief by asking questions, uncovering their passions, and showing how the products and services align with the person’s interests. Attitude and passion are what generate sales, not fancy salesmanship. It’s about service, not sales.
INNOVATE + CAPTIVATE = CONVERT
No matter what mistakes you’ve made in the past, you can overcome them and change your approach. Which of these mistakes have you made in the past? How are you going to change your approach so you don’t make them again?
SPEAK YOUR MIND
Have you had a good experience with increasing your business through social networks? Leave a comment; I’d love to hear your experience! Leave a comment on the blog.