We are a speed-obsessed society – and nowhere is this more evident than in the “small business marketing circles.”
A quick glance at local business meetup groups shows speakers with topics like: create a 6 or 7 figure business in 6 weeks or double your sales next week.
The internet marketing world is littered with formulas and blueprints to become an overnight success. And a LOT of it is centered on creating scarcity and false urgency in order to push people into buying NOW.
Most of the people who take these programs don’t succeed
If it really was so easy, everyone who shelled out 2 grand for a program would be rich.
Maybe they looked at all the work involved in the “easy quick system” and got discouraged and quit before they started. (Or they couldn’t bring themselves to use the “techniques” they were being taught.)
Maybe their launch flopped and didn’t bring in the expected 6 figure windfall.
Or maybe they got their glorious $100,000 payday – and when they did the math and looked at their expenses – they realized that it COST them $85,000 and 9 months of hard work.
The part they don’t tell you
Have you ever noticed that all anyone EVER talks about is the income? No one mentions the expenses – at least not beyond the “investment in the system.” (aka: the thing they are selling)
Newsflash: slick websites, professional photography, automated email marketing systems, relentless Facebook and Google advertising all cost money. Lots of it. And IF you can get marketing partners to help promote your thing? They’ll take a 50% commission off the top.
And now that the “false urgency” cart is closed? There’s no more money coming in.
And you still have to work to DELIVER what you sold.
Whatever happened to building a business over the long term?
Remember when businesses became successful by offering quality services and developing a solid reputation? When it was expected that it would take some time, effort and persistence in order to succeed?
That still works.
You don’t need to spend a ton of money, make a big splash or have a huge “list.”
I’m in year #5 with my own business. It’s grown slowly and organically.
My “list” has 317 names on it. My average workshop attracts about 20 people. I might get 10 or 12 people to attend a live webinar.
With those paltry numbers, my business has sustained me for the past 3 years – earning about the same amount of money as I did in my previous “real job.” Each year a little more than the last. (And to be clear: I mean AFTER expenses.)
Smaller numbers means that I can build relationships, respond to people personally, have phone conversations with them. I can offer my clients an intense amount of support – including making myself available to them between sessions. In my classes, it means that I can answer EVERY question because the group size is manageable.
This year is on track to be significantly better. Partly because I’m following my own advice/program. (Doh!) Partly because I’m working a bit harder at it. (34 hours last week!)
Primarily because I now get to harvest some of the seeds I’ve planted over the past few years. I’ve built up know-like-trust – because I keep showing up – and I’m still here.
We don’t have to buy into this whole “false urgency” thing in the marketing world.
When potential clients tell me that they’re not ready yet – that next month, the fall, maybe next year would be better – that they have a personal situation they need to attend to first – or that they simply need to take time to really consider what to do next – I tell them them that they’re making the right decision.
When they say they need to think about it, I agree that it’s a good idea. Then I give them the time to think.
I tell them that it’s important that THEY are ready and committed to do the work. I want the urgency to come from within them – not from some false, manufactured pushiness from me.
And I tell myself that I’ll still need the money/work/client in September. Or next year. Or 3 years from now. Because I’m in this business for the long haul.
Am I leaving money on the table by not “upping the urgency” and forcing them into a decision right now?
I have no doubt that I am. Probably many thousands of dollars in short term cash.
I’m also losing out on things like buyer’s remorse, drop outs, refund requests and a reputation for being pushy. (A colleague once told me a story about hiring a coach because their sales process was so good. The coaching was so bad she could hardly wait for the program to end. Then she signed up AGAIN because the coach managed to “re-enroll” her. How’s that for a testimonial? “The coaching sucks, but she’s really good at selling.”)
I’m also starting to think that maybe over the longer term, I’m actually coming out ahead. In either case, I sleep better at night.
Are you committed to being in business for the long term?
I’m on a mission to change how we do business. More love, more care, more service. More sustainability.
I work with long term people. The ones who want to make a difference, do their best work, really help people. Who want to grow and evolve and learn along with their businesses. Who may be thinking big – but are willing to start small and grow from there.
If that sounds like you, hello.