“To succeed, work hard, never give up and above all, cherish a magnificent obsession.” Walt Disney
So do you ‘work hard’? ABSOLUTELY! Just like Mr. Disney you take pride in working hard and ‘staying busy’. And yet…
I see too many cleaning and restoration contractors who are ‘busy, busy, busy’ and yet they never really advance in their business… or their life. (I recently commented on the deadly trap of ‘unguided busyness’ in our industry.) In other words…
Pick your battles! (When possible.)
Now for years I’ve been preaching to my students at our SFS Training Events to ‘suck it up’, dump their ‘Displacement Activities’* and ‘git ‘er done’… even if they absolutely HATE a task! But I find myself ‘mellowing’. (Shocking, isn’t it?)
* Displacement Activities are when an owner or manager displaces a disagreeable (but very important) business task with more enjoyable/less stressful ‘fun stuff’!
My pleading ‘suck it up’ exhortations have always made total sense. And yet the vast majority of cleaning and restoration contractors just won’t do essential activities that are vital to their success long term. After meditating I came to realize…
We won’t consistently do well what we HATE. (Or even worse we simply ignore it!
Over the last 24 years my 5,000+ SFS students most hated business task by far has been consistent ‘belly-to-belly, face-to-face’ prospecting for leads and selling!
Ironically, prospecting and sales have always been the most important thing for your future financial (and life) success! And yet… you likely hate, dread and yes, AVOID this stuff like the plague! So what can you ‘proactively’ do?
Let’s focus on ‘selling alternatives’ to you personally putting yourself out there to drum up business. (Since we both know you aren’t consistently going to do it!)
1. Make it happen without you. Set up automatic client contact systems. Many past customers don’t call you again because they can’t remember your company names or contact info. (Yes, I know… disappointing, isn’t it? Deal with it!)
2. Quit living in ‘La-La Land’! Regular, contract commercial work is an essential component of the SFS ‘3-Legged Stool’ Business Model. And yet these juicy accounts are NOT going to just fall into your lap unless you reach out to them!
3. Analyze your fear/dislike. WHY do you hate ‘cold call selling’ so much? My guess is it isn’t the face-to-face communicating. (If you don’t enjoy ‘communicating’ may I suggest a different industry?) Instead, it is that initial scary first 30 seconds AND your (very understandable) Fear of Rejection.
4. Use ‘serendipity selling’. My guess is it is the ‘sour fear of anticipation’ and dread leading up to a ‘selling day’ that derails your sales efforts! Instead, ‘lighten up’ and approach selling with a ‘sense of humor’!
NOTE: For example, set a personal goal to just ‘pop in’ to a new commercial location at least once per day during your routine running around. (I mean… how hard is it to hand a stranger your business card?)
5. Benefit from ‘networking’. Get involved with local business networks and instead of ‘selling’ try to be of value. Or get involved in local charity events. HERE is a great way to help others AND your company too!
6. Delegate the ‘reaching out’ part. Yep, you CAN successfully hire salespeople to do the ‘down in the trenches’ work! BUT you have to do it right! Sounds like the subject for another QuickTIP real soon!
So what tasks do YOU dislike (even hate) in YOUR business? ‘Share your pain’ (and get solutions) with our thousands of cleaning and restoration contractors in our Strategies for Success: Growing Your Business Facebook Group. (You don’t have to be SFS Training graduate to join us so apply today!)