“I’m running on cruise control, and my business is taking off – it’s never been better.”
“I’m swamped and overwhelmed, and I can’t focus on marketing right now.”
In the last few days I heard both of these statements, from two different clients.
Sometimes running a business can be stressful, especially when you see someone else who seems to have it all. They’re doing less and it’s working effortlessly. They’re living the high life AND raking in the cash while you’re going and going without getting anywhere.
If your business sounds more like Client #2, it’s frustrating!
When you’re a business owner – especially the owner of a small business, where you’re doing a lot of the heavy lifting – it can feel like you have a crushing to-do list All. The. Time.
You’re neck deep in the operations. Whether it’s clients or patients, inventory or marketing – no matter what the specifics are for your business, even if you delegate, everything falls to you.
You’re dealing with your employees. Sometimes that means hiring and firing – both stressful. Even when your team is stable, they need you to manage expectation, be Chief Encouragement Officer…
…and also Chief Correctional Officer.
You’re either doing social media yourself or you’re hiring someone else to do it. Then when you hire someone, you realize you’re STILL doing a lot of the heavy lifting because you’re still the heart of the business, and the social media manager needs you to give them the content to promote.
And then there’s the rest of your marketing – because if you’re not getting OUT THERE in a proactive way, it’s a lot harder to stay top-of-mind with customers.
Plus the million other things that end up on your plate when the buck stops with you.
So when it comes to Client #1 – let’s call him Sam – what’s his secret to running his business so effortlessly?
- Does Sam have a bigger team of people to do his work?
- Is he running a big advertising campaign that’s bringing people in the door?
- Is he spending tons of time on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest or Snapchat?
No, no and no.
There are three things that make the difference between easy and overwhelm, and Sam is enjoying the benefits of having them dialed in for big wins – month in and month out:
1) Sam understands clearly who he’s talking to and why.
When Sam thinks about his clients, a clear image pops into his head. He can picture exactly who they are, what they like and how they prefer to engage. This clarity helps him hone in precisely so that…
2) He engages with clients by sharing interesting information they want to receive, and he engages regularly.
The clarity he has about his clients means he speaks to them in ways that connect with them. When Sam sends out an email, he speaks in a manner that’s specifically tailored for his clients. He shares information about topics that matter to them. He uses words, a tone and even images that appeal to them. His emails provide value, so his clients enjoy opening them. With every communication, he’s deepening the relationship. They count on him to respect their time, and he does, so his emails actually build trust with his clients – even when they don’t read what he sends.
3) When Sam makes an offer to his customer base, he does it by pulling, not pushing.
Does Sam make offers to sell his services via email? Sure, sometimes. Sam balances emails that purely provide valuable content with emails that sell. But when he does sell, it’s a natural progression of the conversation. He’s actually making an offer to help his clients solve problems. By looking at sales as problem solving, Sam has changed the dynamic of the conversation. Instead of pushing “hey, buy my thing, buy my thing,” Sam is actually pulling folks toward him. The conversation goes more like “hey, if you’d like some more help with this, here’s something that could benefit you.”
- Clearly understanding who you’re talking to and why.
- Engaging regularly with valuable, relationship-building information.
- Making offers by pulling, not pushing.
These are three simple steps to changing your dynamic with customers, and cruising straight past Overwhelm Alley to Easy Street in your business.