You Don’t Win Every Day
I used to be extremely excited on days when we closed major clients, and not so excited when big things didn’t happen. And then I realized that major wins don’t happen every day, but they’re the result of your every day work. Try reverse-engineering your processes and you’ll realize the same thing. A friend of mine just got one of his products into 300 Williams-Sonoma stores across the US and Canada. The day when the deal finally closed was a great one, but it took months of developing the product, making it better and building relationships. Everything you do contributes to major victories. You don’t win every day, but don’t let that discourage you.
Help Your Customers Decide
Some companies offer you a bunch of different products and options but they don’t help you decide which one is right for you. They lose a lot of business because of this. Sometimes they tell you it’s your call and they can’t decide for you. I hate this. They should help you decide if you don’t want to.
When I got married my wife put me in charge of picking a catering company. The first one I called asked me what kind of service I wanted. I told them I didn’t know. They said that I was supposed to know. I told them again I had no idea and asked them to make the decision for me, and if I wanted to change something, I would. They said their policy was to let their customers make all the decisions. They might as well have said that their policy was not to help customers. I then called another company and explained to them that this was my first and only time getting married and I had no idea what kind of service or food our guests wanted. I asked them to make all the decisions and they did. I suggested a minor change and we were all happy.
Don’t assume that your customers want to make all the decisions. Sometimes they want you to make decisions for them. Don’t let them down.
Make Difficult Decisions Fast
All the important decisions in a business are difficult. Letting people go, reinventing a business model that doesn’t work and killing a product that didn’t have traction. The more difficult a decision is, the more important it is, and the faster you’ll need to make it. I can’t tell you how many businesses I’ve seen going down for not making these decisions fast enough. Don’t kid yourself thinking that if you ignore the problem for long enough it’ll go away.
People Like Playing Games
It’s a fact: people love games. So, think about ways you can incorporate games into your marketing. Maybe you can do contests and giveaways. Maybe you can reward people who leave reviews on your website. Maybe you can reward your employees that make your company better. Think about what’s important for your company and come up with games to incentive your customers and employees to behave the way you want them to.
Fire Your Bad Clients
There’s something worse than no clients: bad clients. Bad clients will make you lose a lot of money and will distract you from your main activity: running your business. They want more and they’re not willing to pay more for it. Stop freaking out about not getting a check from them and think about all the hidden costs that you have because of them. Think about all the money you could be making if you could free up all the time and energy they’re sucking from you and spend them in getting new, profitable clients. Let your bad clients be someone else’s problem.