This is the time to sell ‘YOU’
People buy People. Are you attractive?
Turn on the radio or TV and words like ‘recession’ and ‘depression’ are becoming more repetitive and more likely. So what can you do to stop from going under as this country heads for difficult times?
Number 1. Sell Yourself
What is competition like in your area? If there are other businesses doing the same thing, what are you going to do to get clients choosing you instead of the other business? It is time to build awareness locally. All the social media platforms want you to spend money to attract new clients. Don’t know about you but I do not have any spare cash. Perhaps a good option may be to post little and often across all the platforms you use and try some new ones. Post personal content about how life is like for you (not grumbling too much) and, more importantly, what you are doing to overcome your adversity. Rather than making people feel sorry for you, how about getting them to feel inspired by you?
When you try something and it doesn’t work, share it. Use dark humour and lots of examples of what you did to get back up in the saddle again. Show your face. Be natural. This isn’t a beauty contest. This is about the real you. The stressed you. The angry you. The tired you and the triumphant you. Share the conversations and experiences you have had with others. This all builds empathy and potential clients will love you for it and want to work with you. I’ve been blown away the the honesty and openness out there. Make it work for you.
Number 2. Be an Entrepreneurial thinker
This is not about inventing and making money per say. It’s about the way you think that will get you picked out from the rest. See what your competitors do to attract business. Use what works. Do something different to set you apart. Try lots of different methods. Here’s some examples I use as a local counsellor: (after lockdown) leaflets in shop windows, leaflets at leisure centres and cafes, doing talks on what I do and how it helps others (use Zoom and Eventbrite for this for now). Writing articles and joining discussion groups. Really take part. Be genuine and use empathy. Ask open ended questions like who, what, how, when etc. Look at trailblazers in your industry. What have they got to say? Be brave enough to admit that something doesn’t work and try something new. Analyse an issue and pick it apart. Look at it from different angles. Use your imagination to be creative with your thinking. Solving problems, finding solutions. Listen to podcasts and find webinars, Youtube and blogs with new content in your field.
Number 3. Embrace Change
Life is going to be different. Things will change. Some for the worse. Maybe lots for the better. This can be an opportunity and unless you accept change and go with it, you will get stuck at the back of the queue when clients need your product or service. Whatever happens after lockdown or whatever has happened to your business since Coronavirus began change is here. What can you do to move forward? Maybe you need to go back a few steps to what you did before just to earn money for a while as things settle down. Perhaps your big dream will need to be put on the back burner for a while as you look at what you need to do now. Change often leads to anxiety. If you are feeling anxious do something about it. Book some counselling, read a self help book, get a free app. Be proactive before anxiety really takes hold.
Number 3. Look at your skillset
Time to make a list. What can you do with the experience you have to get clients to buy from you? Write down every one of your qualifications, training courses and experiences you have had that can build your skillset. This will also build your confidence and increase your self esteem. Leave nothing out. Something small you think is irrelevant could be exactly what a potential client will be attracted by. These skills are transferrable from each job you’ve ever done. When you write them all down – maybe in a mind map – a new career could start to form or a new opportunity. This is how I work with clients. Looking at achievements throughout their lives to build a new future. Changing behaviour. making things happen. Have other people got the skills you admire? Talk to them. Share ideas. Add to your skills either by reading up or taking a training course. Make yourself a person someone new wants to talk to.
Number 4. Strengths and weaknesses
Be honest with yourself. You may think you have a super strength but maybe it’s actually got you into trouble before. A weakness you think you have may actually be a strength. Try not to be wishy-washy with this. How can you turn a weakness into a strength. Example. I think I spend too much time on one thing instead of moving on to the next and I see this as a weakness. Maybe if I reframe this: I work on a project until fruition, making sure I have thought of every opportunity and every snag so that it fits the client’s remit. You may think you are shy or that you don’t take risks. Perhaps you’re analytical and careful. Write down four strengths and four weaknesses and see how you can manipulate them to make them work for you.
Number 5. Take risks
Be careful that the Coronavirus doesn’t make you risk averse. This is something we all need to think about. The obvious thought is risk about health and cleanliness. Becoming risk averse can morph into other areas of your life and could prevent you from looking at opportunities because you may feel anxious about trying something new. As with change, in order to move forward, you will need to be brave and take yourself out of your comfort zone to attract new clients. Old school canvassing will mean getting on the telephone and calling clients to sell yourself the best way you can. If you don’t do it your competitor will. Take a deep breath and take the risk. If it doesn’t work, try something else. Keep trying.
Number 6. What are your Unique Selling Points?
USPs are vital and you need three of them. What is different about you, your product or service? With each USP, think of what the USP is (fact) then how will it ‘benefit’ a new client then how will it ‘satisfy a need’ they have? this is old school and a handy exercise to get new business. Example:
USP about Human Givens Therapy (HGT)
Human Givens Therapy is (on average) 4 sessions – Fact. Client is not tied down by lengthy therapy, costing money and using up valuable time – Benefit. Client can return to work and become productive again with renewed mental health – Need satisfied.
Number 7. Mission statement
A mission statement is like a mantra about what you have to offer a potential client. It can build your confidence and set a benchmark for others. It tells clients what you are offering and gives you status and credibility. Do you have one for your business? What is it? do you stick by it? Do you say it to your reflection in the mirror every morning before you start work? Well you should. After all, this is what you do. Your passion. Mine is
“Mental health today for a happy tomorrow…”
The mission statement should appear on your stationery and posts and be familiar to your market and competitors. “Oh yes, Fresh Start Counselling. That’s the lady who has Mental health today for a happy tomorrow as her mission statement”. Well, you get the picture.
Number 8. Be proacative
Honestly, have you found yourself waiting for things to happen? Perhaps you’ve been successful in what you do and have coasted a little. You may be more reactive than proactive. When lockdown is lifted and you venture out into the world of work proaction should become the order of the day. Many people will be feeling somewhat depressed and understandably worried. Rather than let these feelings overcome you maybe have a think about what you can do to be proactive? Change your mindset. Often the first minutes after waking can be the ones where you feel tired, have low self-esteem or feel anxious. This is when negative or intrusive thoughts can take hold and when they do they can spoil your whole day. You are still in a semi trance state and this is where your subconscious can begin creating worst case scenarios and Whatifs? When you wake up, get up. Get showered, dressed, eat breakfast and start your day. Have a plan, one that is positive and achievable and contains work and exercise activities keeping body and soul active.
Number 9. Set goals
In Human Givens we have a method which works well with our clients. We call it P.A.N. This stands for Positive, Achievable and Needs oriented. You can use this to set goals. Firstly make sure it’s a positive goal. It can be small. That’s great. It’s a start. Achievable. Weighing up taking risks and being careful, it may be a good idea to not set an enormous goal as you come out of lockdown or when planning how to get clients. Look at what you can do then plan on how you are going to do it. You can make a plan for the morning, the day, the week or month. When you make a realistic plan you’ll have a much better opportunity to reach your goal. Finally, your goal should attempt to satisfy a need. “I want to be rich” is possible not as realistic as “I will write a short sales e.mail which will let my customers know I’m ready for business and what promotions I have for the following week.”
Number 10. Be determined
I get that things might be really tough for you right now and the future looks scary. There are choices. Be scared. Wait for something to happen. Pull the duvet over your head. Let your competitors get there first or:
Get up. Be strong and show your determination. Everyone needs to be responsible for their own actions. If something didn’t work, take responsibility. Own up, sort it out. Move on. Don’t be scared to ask for help. Allow yourself to make mistakes then learn from them. Be persistent. That client might not need what you have to offer right now, but they may will need it another time. Don’t give up – on anything. Your hard work will bear fruit, even if it takes a while to get there. Adversity can be good. It gets you thinking in a different way. it makes you stronger and gives you experience and maturity. I hope some of these tips have helped and wish you every success for the next few weeks, months and onwards.