Prospecting Avoidance

Professional salespeople know when they wake in the morning they have to do the one thing that is sure to guarantee an income:

Prospect for new business.

In a way, salespeople begin everyday looking for a new “job”, don’t they? Because without a new client to purchase what they’re selling, how is there any any hope of a paycheck in the future? Even if that salesperson is a salaried professional, without showing results for their employer, there’s no guarantee the employer will continue to employ that salesperson.

I think therefore, we can agree that a professional salesperson, whether commissioned or salaried, knows that prospecting for new business is the number one priority for their days, each and every day.

That’s not to say they all follow through on the actions necessary to prospect. “Prospecting avoidance” is a commonly understood malady in the sales profession. Sales Managers everywhere constantly harangue their sales teams to hit the pavements, ring the doorbells, make the calls, set the appointments, to fulfill the promise of prospecting.

Avoidance of prospecting comes out of the simple psychological fear of rejection. We all have it. Besides, as simple as prospecting can often turn out to be when you actually do it, it can also be as difficult to initiate.

It’s no wonder then that business owners who are NOT professional salespeople may suffer from this very disease of prospecting avoidance. The creative excuses people come up with to avoid having to make prospecting calls are legendary. Yet, as the owner of your business, unless you have a professional salesperson or sales team working for you, you must must, must, Prospect for new business.
The only way to overcome your avoidance of your emotional pain about Prospecting is to simply attach a level of importance to this task.

We hear so often from Business Owners of being distracted with other important tasks: making payroll; attending to a malfunctioning machine on the shop floor; taking a call from the accountant/attorney/spouse/pesky customer/excellent customer/number one account/printer/fleet mechanic and on and on and on.

The Business Owner has attached a level of importance to each and every one of these tasks. Attach that same level of importance to Prospecting. You must. Absolutely must. Your business health, wealth and survival depends on you doing so.

Once you make Prospecting as important an activity as any other in running your business, all those other avoidance afflictions melt away into nothing. Fear of rejection disappears. Procrastination towards your Prospecting Plan converts to an optimistic sense of urgency.

And, yes, you may even like Prospecting.

Our Comfort Zone is Unsafe

I’ve been skydiving, twice. Yes, it was terrifying, both times. I imagined all the worst case scenarios…and they all resulted in death. When you jump out of an airplane at 13,000 feet, there’s that first feeling of free falling. Queue Tom Petty, please.

This is not butterflies; this is sheer terror. For many split seconds, I wondered: “how did I get up here, jumping into this big blue sky that’s so high?” But I did it. I got out of my comfort zone. And I lived to tell this tale.

Doesn’t it make you nervous to get out of your comfort zone? It makes me nervous. For instance, I didn’t want to write this blog for fear of having to take my own advice.

I’ve gotten out of my comfort zone in my business, too. I had no choice. I had a deliberate plan to build my business to a certain level. The only way to get to that level was to get out of my comfort zone, jump out of the metaphorical airplane and do things that were uncomfortable but necessary.

Why would you get out of your comfort zone if  you know something works? Getting out of your comfort zone implies pain. Who wants pain?

There’s a reason we do things that scare us. When we do something scary, we put ourselves in a situation and/or surround ourselves with circumstances that we wouldn’t otherwise experience. But, the real problem with staying in our comfort zone is missing out on opportunities.

Skydiving and/or public speaking provide opportunities to learn about ourselves by getting out of our comfort zone and trying something new, and potentially scary. I survived both skydiving jumps and I managed to leverage the two experiences into successful marketing campaigns for my business. This opened up opportunities to win clients. The bonus was also being featured in a book, Make What You Say Pay, by Anne Miller, Sales and Presentation Coach.

Sometimes, doing what we know feels productive. When we want something done, we do it ourselves. Like marketing. Or fixing a leaky faucet. We’re in our comfort zone; we believe we know what to do, and we believe it’ll get done faster. But sometimes getting it done faster isn’t the most efficient use of our time. And sometimes, we actually fail. Sometimes, that leaky faucet repair we tried to fix ourselves turns out to be a disaster.

How do you move from being set in your ways to getting out of your comfort zone?

First, if you have a doubt or fear about doing something you’ve never done before, realize that could be a trigger that there’s experience and growth waiting for you. The fear of jumping out of the airplane is replaced by positive anticipation of the experience. Sheer joy is so much better than sheer terror.

How else can you execute on this trigger?

Decide how you want to grow. Is it personally or professionally? Or both?

  • Do you want to grow your business to the next level?
  • Do you want to have more adventure in your life?
  • Do you want to date more suitable companions?

Be specific in setting your goal so you can know how to proceed with the following task which is to research activities necessary to perform the fearful task. Taking on small challenges will lead to the ultimate goal if you break it down into mini deadlines.

Speaking of public speaking, if you fear public speaking, join a Toastmasters Club. This practice will hone your skills while in
front of a group. This will begin to build good habits around this activity.

As part of achieving my previous business goals, I wanted to get over my fear of public speaking. Not only did I join a Toastmasters Club, I also enrolled in an Improv Acting class. This practice of being in front of people diminished the feeling of embarrassment while performing “think on your feet” acts.

You can discuss with a friend or colleague how to bring life to your thought. Then make the bold move and announce it to the world. To assist with staying accountable to the task, calendar each progression so you know how far out of your comfort zone you’ve come.

All of these activities assist you to imagine your outcome of success. Trish Tagle is an expert in leadership training and troubleshooting organization efficiency in order to evolve businesses. Trish is famous for saying, “imagine the outcome.

Here’s a great example of a business owner who challenged her team to get out of their comfort zone.

My friend and colleague, Kelly Piro, owner of  Agency Performance Partners invited me to judge a “Sales Showdown” for her company. Twice a year, the APP consultants undergo role-playing exercises in order to practice how they interact with prospects. The objective is to convert prospects to clients faster.

ROLE-PLAYING? Yes!

The APP team had various scenarios such as being at a trade show, being on a sales call or in an initial sales meeting. There were several of us observing while the team role-played their scenarios. By critiquing their performance, the judges and the fellow team members pushed everyone out of their comfort zones. It was easy to do in the role-playing scenarios because it was practice, it was imaginary, and no one actually jumped out of an airplane.

Outsourcing important tasks is another way to get out of your comfort zone. Like hiring a plumber to fix that faucet. Cost tends to be the primary impediment before people make the call to the plumber. It’s “comfortable” to think we can save money by doing it ourselves. But we have other things to do with our time and we’re not actually plumbers, are we?

It could be argued that watching a couple of YouTube videos on plumbing and doing the work ourselves is also getting out of our comfort zone. True. But that’s not the point of my blog! Because I want to be your plumber! Except, I do marketing, not plumbing!  I’m expert at it and you should get out of your comfort zone and let me work for you in mine!

I promise it will not feel as terrifying as jumping out of an airplane at 13,000 feet.

Fly Birdie Fly

What’s wrong with boxes anyway? Boxes are handy.
They store and organize stuff AND transport stuff, you know, like PIZZA delivery. YUM!

“Thinking outside the box” is a phrase commonly used in the business world to exercise your creative thinking. The origin is said to emerge from the 1970s and 1980s among management consultants challenging clients to connect a “nine dots” puzzle, using only four lines, and without lifting pen from paper.

While the phrase is often used in the corporate world, what about the Entrepreneurs, better yet, Solopreneurs charged with leading ourselves to the best place we can be in the outside world?

Earning money calls for ambition, initiative, creativity and “thinking outside the box”. I’m sure those management consultants who developed the “nine dots” puzzle would pontificate about how we need to think outside of the box to differentiate ourselves.

Are you thinking outside the box?
Are you being your best forward-thinking, creative self?

If so, how?

Here’s a few examples of the entrepreneurs out there in the world:

First, there’s Julie from Brandtwist. Her consulting company helps business-owners think outside the box so their business isn’t “boxed in.” I worked with Julie as an insurance agency owner. She guided me with incredibly creative ideas to help me think outside the box. 

Here’s another example of a creative entrepreneur who thought outside the box. She was asked to collaborate with a newly renovated movie theatre that was about to reopen to the public. The theatre owners hired her to manage the cafe adjoining the theatre. This was a wonderful collaboration until the cafe owner realized that there was no parking for people, who were going to the cafe, during a movie showing.

What did she do? She thought outside the box. She walked the aisles before the movie started with beverages and provisions.

Let’s get back to you? What are you doing to think outside the box?

  • How often do you do something that scares you?
  • What are you thinking that prevents you from trying something new?
  • What outside influences keep you comfy and cozy and stuck inside the box.

Your business needs to leave the nest to find those creative marketing ideas that will let your business fly…to then soar! 

It’s a Goal to Set a Goal

Let’s face it, it’s a goal to set a goal; and 2019 is almost here!

It’s work. We know it’s daunting to track goals and stick to a plan.

We also know, and this is very important, having a goal and not meeting it could generate feelings of failure and/or rejection. This could set us back and cause resistance to maintain momentum. 

If you think about it…what’s the resistance in setting a goal?

Goals present opportunities, and creating opportunities could mean income to your business. That is….IF building your business is a GOAL!?

Goals are INSPIRING.

There are many different activities that make up your role in your business. There are things you love to do and things that are for the greater good of the business that may not be your favorite part of your day/week/month/year. 

Schedule tasks, make a contest with yourself or team members, reward yourself when finished with a task. Something, anything that will motivate you to want to work on those tasks/activity that will help accomplish the goal.

Let’s embrace what we do and not be afraid of it.

Goals build CONFIDENCE.

Now that we’re motivated and working on tasks that inspire us, this will build confidence. 

When we’re inspired, we FOCUS on the task at hand. And this will help us work smarter to achieve a goal. 

Confidence propels us to be the best that we can be…and maybe even have a little fun while doing it.

Goals are CHALLENGING.

This is where it gets fun. We’re inspired and that builds confidence. 

How about building in a little challenge. We call this getting out of our comfort zone. Competition builds character.

Think of a triathlete. They track their activity and their time to know how they can train to be faster and stronger.

Goals keep us ACCOUNTABLE.

The movie A FEW GOOD MEN includes one of the most memorable movies lines in movie history.

Jack Nicholson’s character Colonel Jessup, when pressed for the truth, bellows: “You can’t handle the truth!” 

I say that you can handle the truth. Tracking your activity will cause reason to celebrate when you achieve the goal. That, or help to pivot and/or redirect our focus so we’re working to our strengths. 

Have you considered an accountability partner? Some people, and I am one of them, need external forces to stay on track. Whether it’s a weekly call or you’re checking in on a private Facebook page, knowing you have to divulge your activity or divulge the lack of activity, this may motivate you to have something awesome to report.

Set those goals; you can handle it!

Spice Up Your Marketing

Whether you are ready to stick a fork in your marketing plan or you’re cooking with gas, you may want to let this marinade for a bit.

I don’t ever brag about my cooking. Recipes terrify me because they are so precise. And well, one false move, will it be edible?

You can experiment with so many different flavors. What about an Indian dish with a flare of curry or an Italian dish with a pinch of oregano. Maybe you like a hot bowl of chili, extra cayenne please.

The possibilities are endless. However, if you don’t want to risk your guests’ taste buds to your creativity (or lack thereof), you may want to prepare ahead of time to test taste the dish. 

When you decide what cuisine you would like to serve and you’ve picked a recipe, you browse your pantry for the ingredients you need and may already have. If you are missing an ingredient, you must take a trip to the grocery store to purchase the rest.

Click here for your marketing shopping list.

You then assemble your ingredients on the counter so it’s all readily available as you maneuver in the kitchen between the refrigerator, counter, sink and stove. You’re utilizing all the tools (appliances) you have in order to prepare the dish.

With marketing, the possibilities are also endless with how you build your brand and execute your story. Similar to deciding on your meal, you have to decide how you’ll execute your marketing strategy.

Whether you are beating, chopping, mixing or grinding, there’s a process and each step of the recipe contributes to the ultimate goal which is a delicious meal you’re proud to serve.

Marketing is similar to this. The recipe to marketing is having a strategy.

The ingredients are the various outlets that will build your brand and build your business.

  • Are you blogging?
  • Branding your website so people “know” you before even meeting you?
  • Posting on social media? 
  • Hosting/speaking at an event?

This activity will help to sell more of your products and services to new and existing clients.

Get our FREE marketing checklist now. Click HERE.

If you prefer not to be the head chef in your marketing kitchen, consider hiring a sous-chef so you can do what you do best and delegate the rest. If you think your marketing is a bit bland for your taste, please give us a call and tell us how we can help you spice things up.

“A recipe has no soul. You, as the cook, must bring soul to the recipe.” – Thomas Keller

Marketing is Like a Marriage

Cake Credit: Kelly Lindquist of Sweet Rewards in Brookfield for her beautiful creation! Photography credit to Dave Noonan of Modern Fotographic in New Milford, CT.

Marketing is a commitment, a long-term commitment.

In fact, marketing is like a marriage. A good marriage, that is! But it’s no cake walk.

Remember when you fell in love? You decided to get married; you made the commitment for happily ever after. Marketing is the same. It’s a long-term commitment.

Yes, you have disagreements but you don’t throw in the towel because he leaves the toilet seat up or she has 112 pairs of shoes. No, you communicate and compromise. You do that because of your commitment to the long-term. Marketing requires the same effort.

Marketing is a commitment to a long-term result. You discuss (communicate) with your partner(s) to decide on how to allocate the budget (compromise) to engage in marketing strategies that develop your brand.

I met with a new client yesterday. It was exciting because he was excited. He had great ideas, useful tools of the trade and understood the value of basic marketing.

But, over six months ago, he sorta left me at the altar. He originally contacted me after a presentation I was invited to give on prospecting. We spoke, but nothing happened. And I mean nothing. He didn’t hire me and he didn’t execute his great ideas or launch his own useful tools to do the marketing on his own. His excitement waned because he didn’t execute.

Sales gets a bad rap and marketing is an afterthought. That is, until we realize that we want to build our business because maybe we want to take that dream vacation, buy that bigger house or we need to put braces on the kid or send them to college. Or both!

We can’t fear the sales process if you have no clients to sell to.

Take a vow to your business, get engaged with marketing and live happily ever after.

Marketing: Woes and Wows

I was thinking about how to outline a proverbial “good news, bad news” message.

Marketing takes on different life forms when you’re deciding how to promote your business. A brief outline can be reviewed in my blog, “Reflections though the Drive-Thru Car Wash”.

I think you’ll be happy to know that I’ve consolidated BOTH the woes and wows as one issue. ONE? Yes, one! For now.

New business development is an under-stated and underrated activity and effort that’s critical to any business. Hoping and eagerly waiting for the phone to ring is not a strategy. You don’t need me to tell you that.

I think we all know that we secretly wish it were a strategy. 

Did you ever “HAVE TO” go to a family or community function because you made a decision and needed to follow through with it, but you dreaded it? WOE MOMENT.

BUT, after going, despite dreading it, you had a great time! It happens, doesn’t it? You bet it does.
You may have even been pleasantly surprised (and relieved). WOW MOMENT!

That’s how new business development works. 

Creating conversation out of thin air with complete strangers and coming across as a “salesperson” is daunting.
WOE MOMENT

So, you get uncomfortable, coordinate with colleagues, peers, associates, alliances, power through and attend that networking event because you know there will be possible connections and valuable introductions.
At the end of the event, you have a fruitful experience, much to your delight. WOW MOMENT.

One aspect of Karma is that if you venture out of our comfort zone, you will experience something valuable and useful.
If you stay within your comfort zone, you may not have bad karma, but you can’t complain about the status quo because that’s your choice.

Visit my video on prospecting. By the way, spoiler alert this is a WOW MOMENT; I don’t care what anyone says.

Marketing Super Power: Justice League Style

Holy Metaphor Batman!

There are many Comic Book Super Heroes, but let’s start, FOR NOW, with the Justice League from DC Comics. If your marketing needs a super power punch, let’s review how these Super Hero members of Justice League come together with marketing inspiration!

Everyone has a favorite Super Hero and maybe even a favorite super power.

Let’s start with BATMAN. And not just because my partner Trevor Curran thinks, I mean wants to be, I mean strives, I mean believes he’s BATMAN.

Of all the Justice League Heroes, Batman might be the first, best choice. Why?

Well, Batman’s super power? Technically, he doesn’t have any. He’s rich; and he develops technology to conquer his missions. Oh, and he’s a detective, to figure out “sh(tuff”. (PG Blog)

That sounds awesome, right? A Super Hero with NO super powers!  Note, he bruises and bleeds, much like the rest of us humans. And doesn’t that happen occasionally when we’re trying to find new marketing techniques and we make the inevitable mistakes?

Batman doesn’t stop! “We have to try.” He asserts.

If you love, live, eat, breathe and sleep marketing and if you’re relentless to try new things to see how you can be more visible for your business, Batman may just be the Super Hero you want to be.

Robin: “You’re hit….”
Batman: “Flesh wound.”

As the Batman comic book reveals, sometimes you have to take a chance and switch gears to experiment with what gets you more traction, aka engagement. And, even if you find that the results aren’t what you expected, you can pivot to try something else. That’s the beauty of marketing. There are so many options!

Next, let’s get “technical” about another Justice League Super Hero: CYBORG. He’s half human, half machine. Interesting factoid is that this character was developed in 1980. Ironic, right? His character is described as, “Nowadays, everyone’s juggling an offline and online persona.” Ain’t that the truth?

Everyone talks about being authentic. Authenticity has credibility, BUT what happens when you’re faced with a 4D experience when you’re interacting with other humans who have only seen you online?

Transparency is the cousin to authenticity. Isn’t it a super power to be authentic and transparent?

Ah, then the beauty and strength of WONDER WOMAN. With her lasso and her shield, she’s always working. She is the “beating heart of the Justice league. She will fight to the death to defend it.” 

How does this relate to marketing?

“I’ve been reacting not leading!” ~ Wonder Woman

You have to want it! You must work to find the tools to go after it for your business, for your business goals. Whatever it takes for those goals, whatever they may be: paying for your kids’ college tuition, getting the pool in the backyard when it’s LAVAHOT degrees outside, crossing off a travel destination on your bucket list.

Let’s now swoon over SUPERMAN. He was a “beacon to the world”, said Batman.

What does this have to do with marketing? 

Superman makes us see the best part of ourselves to the world. That’s what marketing does. It helps people see what you do best and how they will fit your super power into their world.

Let’s keep moving on….How cool would it be to be able to do all of the marketing tasks it takes, in a split second, to reach as broad of an audience as possible? Well, the Well, the second fastest Justice League Super Hero, FLASH has the speed to take on anything not to mention multi-task in a split second. 

DC Comics describes the Flash: “…he can still lose track of everything else around him, leaving the fastest man alive constantly running a minute behind.”

Let’s take a plunge….Ever feel like you’re drowning in possibilities? If you were Justice League Super Hero AQUAMAN you would kick those possibilities into the vast open waters and let them float to the surface.

You have to research. You have to experiment. You have to try.

“You tried to warn me, Jim…so many times. You told me that I break too many of the important rules, that i made too many of the wrong enemies…that for all my tricks i’ve been getting by on luck…it’s all a game of odds you said….all it will take, is one bullet.” ~ BATMAN

Find your super power, then find your team. That’s what the Justice League did.

Procrastination: Friend or Foe

It took me almost 6 months to write this. Then, a month to edit…
So, I get it about procrastination, and time, and getting to it.

Don’t you love irony?

However, I think procrastination gets a bad rap considering the benefits it can have. Did she say “benefits”?

Yes, I did. Wait, how is procrastination a benefit?

Let’s not wait a moment longer. Let’s begin with definitions. First, there are a few definitions that could lead us to believe in the negative aspects of procrastination.

Merriam-Webster has a definition that definitely made me feel guilty:

to put off intentionally and habitually; to put off intentionally the doing of something that should be done

But then, Oxford and Cambridge made me feel a little better. According to their definitions, a delay doesn’t mean “game over”.

the action of delaying or postponing something, and
– to delay doing something

Let’s start with an obvious example of bold procrastination, one with which I’m all too familiar. 

As a business-owner, a website is something most of us consider in order to drive traffic and more business our way. But the size of the project can be overwhelming, and so, we delay. You know, a delay in a bad way that validates that procrastination has a negative connotation. 

What could be the cost of delaying this website project? The cost of procrastination is the lost opportunity for not being found on the internet. I may be crazy, but I also think that the worst kind of statistic is the unquantifiable amount of how much business is lost by not being found on the internet.

When you consider the potential cost of lost opportunity, you return to the idea of getting it done. But it’s still an overwhelming idea and a potentially huge project. But there is a way to deal with the overwhelming part, AKA the thing that leads us to work against our own best interest.  

You don’t have to habitually put off this project according to the first definition above. Instead, you can choose the more positive second definition: delay, postpone. Delaying the project doesn’t mean it will never get done. And, in that delay, you can search for the solution you need to get this project done. 

What’s one reason that makes this project overwhelming? The idea that you have to go it alone!  All those tasks, all that responsibility, it’s a whirlwind of anxiety that builds up a wall of resistance to get it done, just like in the first definition.

But you don’t have to go it alone. You have control over the delay, you have the power over postponement.

What are the some of the solutions we have control over? We could hire a website expert to help. A professional has the skills necessary to take your vision and to organize and prioritize the project.  All of a sudden, that thing you’ve been avoiding is moving along, albeit maybe slowly.

With the help of an expert, you can then address key tasks such as robust call-to-action methods and search engine optimization (SEO) strategies to attract a target market. The tasks of developing a vital products and services summary and blogs will demonstrate expertise and credibility. Feels like control, feels like something’s getting it done.

What happens if you can’t afford to hire someone? It’s a catch 22, isn’t it? We have to build our business to make money to reinvest back into our business, but we have to implement marketing strategies to build our business to make the money to reinvest.

We could be too busy, too busy making excuses. And those excuses bring us back to the negative, inappropriate definition of procrastination. We were doing so well! Excuses don’t affect anyone but us, but let’s be careful about complaining. No one likes a complainer when it’s something within our control of accomplishment. 

Now, what you’ve been waiting for. Let’s get excited why procrastination can work in your favor. It’s not a coincidence that it’s easier and shorter to explain.

One of my mantras has always been “Procrastination is a time management strategy.” What do I mean? 

Let’s imagine we have to prepare for a very important meeting or project, it’s a week away. We know what we have to do; we know the date and time of the meeting. Time is of the essence. If you were to leave it until the last day, then yes, we are guilty of procrastination. Or are we? 

Procrastination can be about planning, preparing and prioritizing. The key word is PRIORITIZING. Just because you’re putting off something, doesn’t mean you’re procrastinating. 

One thing I have found is that when I attack a task, sometimes I need a break to let the creative juices flow, to present another perspective. This gives time to create and edit along the way. It’s called PROGRESS. Have you ever gotten the advice to “sleep on it” when you’re pondering something or unsure about how to deal with an issue? 

This is no different, except we can call that Positive Procrastination!

Rushing to finish is stressful, not to mention overwhelming. And we already know where that can lead. But, if you start in phases it gives you time to review and edit and triple check your work. Starting doesn’t always mean finishing.

Starting means planning on how to have the best finished product. 

Procrastinate away as long as you know how to manage your time and the deadline.

Reflections through the Drive-Thru Car Wash

SPRING is finally here, sort of! This past week marked my regularly-scheduled, yet overdue, visit to the car wash to rinse the winter grit and grime from my car, especially since the four recent and overwhelming Nor’easters delayed a much needed bath.

I drove to the drive-thru car wash, although a more thorough cleaning was necessary; this was a decent option in he meantime given how my visit was grossly overdue.

I put the car in neutral and onto the rails we went. i had a few minutes of quiet time to myself as we floated into the tunnel. This is where I decided that marketing could be a bit like a drive-thru car wash due to the different stations and variety of wash methods Sally and I were about to go through.

On average, a typical car wash facility has multiple stations:
• Pre-soak
• Mitter curtain
• Rinse arch
• Foam applicator
• Scrubbers
• High-pressure washer
• Undercarriage wash applicator
• Rinse arch
• Wax applicator
• Mitter curtain
• Scrubbers
• Rinse arch
• Dryer

As you can see, a couple of the stations repeat themselves. This isn’t surprising is it? This is no different for marketing.

There are various marketing activities that help with your efforts to achieve fruitful business development results depending on your budget, time and tools. Yes, it can be overwhelming, but you know there is light at the end of the “tunnel”. Let’s take a look at my quick journey through the wash tunnel and how it relates to marketing.

Car Wash:
First, a couple of guys doused Sally’s exterior with a power wash blast to prepare for the pre-soak phase. While the bay and various machines were about to swallow Sally whole, there were still humans tending to Sally’s curves and contours to ensure stubborn debris would be managed.

Marketing:
This is similar to initially hiring a marketing consultant who prepares you and your business with a “down and dirty” approach to produce a polished marketing strategy that suits the goals of your business.

Car Wash:
Then, you enter the mitter curtain. These sud-soaked fettuccine strips jounced the front hood and windshield with a head-on lather. The lengthy sponges slowly made it’s way to the top of the car and proceeded it’s rhythmic cleansing towards the back of the car.

Marketing:
This reminded me of the strategy soaked discussions a business-owner would entertain with an overall review of the myriad of marketing techniques and tactics available.

What are these myriad of marketing efforts?
• Referrals
• Existing clients – cross-selling, up-selling, account rounding
• Cold calling – yup, everyone hates it, but it’s on the list because it works.
• Strategic alliances – who compliments your business that needs your services for their clients?
• In-person Networking
• Social media
• Email Marketing
• Content marketing (webinars, podcasts, press releases)
• Internet marketing (Search engine Optimization – SEO)
• Community service (Volunteering, Boards of Directors)
• Direct mail
• Advertising

Back to the Car Wash:
Next, the scrubbers. These tall, rotating brushes glossed over the sides of Sally to remove loose debris and film from the power washing.

Marketing:
This is where you scrub what activities you think work best for you and for your business. You also want consider what activities you should handle and what could you delegate to another member of the team.

Car Wash:
The rinse arch followed. The spraying showers washed away the soapy suds.

Marketing:
It’s a time to “come clean” with focusing on what works and more importantly what doesn’t. This is your moment of reflection to understand what marketing activities you could be doing and perhaps have fun while doing it.
Finally, I enjoyed the high-powered heating vents that finished the cleaning process by blow drying Sally to remove blotches from soapy residue and streaks from spraying water.

This is the time to celebrate. Who doesn’t enjoy the refreshing feel of success when recommendations have been considered from a trusted marketing consultant. While this car wash journey was a mere five minutes of my time, it’s a start and a little bit of motivation to remember how she shines in the sun.

Cleaning any vehicle is a process and requires maintenance. So does marketing.

Start the process, embrace the progress. You know you need to do it, and you know a positive outcome is likely.

Your business is an adventure. Enjoy the ride…even if it’s for a five minutes of quiet through the car wash.