ears of interacting with small business owners brought me to some simple, but significant conclusions. I watched the same mistakes being made over and over again. I saw seemingly popular companies close their doors for the last time. And I observed other companies skyrocket for no apparent reason.
What I have learned is that the strategies for success were not unique to one industry, company, or business owner. Success was determined by the use of predictable, repeatable, simple actions. But not just any actions--the right actions. Once small business owners learned what they could do with their companies, they began writing a completely different story for themselves. Gone was the “pain” of small business ownership, and in its place was the “pleasure.” No longer was it a question of “will I succeed?” but “how much success will I have?” I’ve watched desperate business owners turn back into excited entrepreneurs when they found out what their small business could easily and repeatedly accomplish.
Become the Master of the Moment
Mastering the moment comes from one basic marketing principle: People buy when THEY are ready to buy, not when you are ready to sell. No matter how great your product or service is, some people are simply not ready for it. Even if they’ve purchased from you before, they may not be ready to do so again. They might not be in a financial position to buy. Perhaps they don’t realize how wonderful your product or service is. Or, maybe they have too many other things on their mind to pay attention to you. Whatever the reason, a large portion of your target market isn’t going to purchase from you right now.
This doesn’t mean that they won’t buy (or buy again) eventually. Most of them will. And your job as the “master of the moment” is to be standing there when they do!
Customers act according to their own, incalculable reasoning. For example, I was recently watching an episode of the Bravo Network’s “Million Dollar Listing: NY.” One of the shows real estate agents, Luis, was meeting with a client at a restaurant. This client looked and was gravely ill. He was in a wheelchair and proceeded to share with Luis that he needed several surgeries many of them requiring transplants of a major organs. However despite the client’s somber news he had a check for a business deal that he and Luis had previously discussed. Luis who is portrayed on the show as a smart, sincere and motivated real estate agent had a moment of apprehension thinking it was wrong to take a check from a man who was seemingly dying. The client did not hesitate – he was ready for the deal, was optimistic about his health and was ready to fulfill their agreement. He handed over the check and Luis took it with the promise to make good by the client.
Timing is everything. Once again, you never know when a prospect or customer is going to be ready to buy! If you’re not following up with your prospects and customers on a regular basis (such as through informational e-newsletters), someone else is going to land that business. And guess what? That “someone else” who lands the business will be your competitor, who either:
1) Followed up relentlessly; or (more likely)
2) Got lucky enough to cross paths with your prospects and customers at the right
You don’t want to leave new or repeat business up to chance, not unless you like being poor or losing to your competitor. No one does! But staying in front of your contacts is probably the single greatest challenge in your business.
And that is why you must learn to “master the moment.” You need to be standing there for every possible selling opportunity. Ad a small business owner, it is your responsibility to create moments of interaction with your prospects and customers. But you must also learn to maximize those moments in order to close more sales, gain more customers, and grow your business.