by Karen D. Swim
This week we've been stirring up a pot of business success. We've added a heaping serving of passion to keep the flames burning and a cup full of purpose to keep things under control. Today we're working with that tricky ingredient, promotion.
Without customers you're just twiddling your thumbs or spending all day on Twitter (but that's a post for another day). To gain customers you have to promote your business. However, we are not talking about marketing brochures, ad words campaigns or direct mailers. All of those things generate leads but at some point you have to sell your business.
According to my friend and Business Coach, Paula Crutchley, most entrepreneurs struggle with the sales process. "I have discovered a common thread throughout my coaching business and that is many entrepreneurs dislike the art of selling – and it is an art." Paula coaches business owners helping them to develop a natural style of selling so that they can sell their vision and ideas to customers,investors and future employees.
I was in Sales Management for a great part of my career. I loved developing business, making presentations and closing deals. I still love selling. If a customer agrees to meet with me by phone or in person, I'm confident that I can close the deal.
However, I am very uncomfortable when the promotion is a little more personal. I am very shy about asking people to read my blog or promoting myself to speak or host workshops for which I am perfectly qualified to do. Does this sound like you?
So how do you overcome a fear of self promotion? The first step is to realize that promotion is not pushy. We often equate self promotion with aggressive, self centered behavior. We've all encountered someone who mistook pushiness for promotion. It is time to change your perception.
Close your eyes and think of something that you want or need? Now, imagine that someone you encounter today (at the dry cleaners, office or even a friend) has what you want or need and they don't say a word. Would you be upset to learn that they withheld the information? Now imagine your potential customers feeling the same way.
Promotion may feel a little uncomfortable at first but with practice you will become a top notch promoter. Of course if you need help or support, give me a call. I've got pom-poms and I'm not afraid to use them!
Did you ever struggle with promotion? How did you overcome it? Are you a master at promotion? If so, what tips and tricks can you pass along?
Photo Credit: © Brunoil | Dreamstime.com