Each week I blog about owning my own business. I’ve written about the importance of follow up, the importance of organization, setting professional and personal goals, and continued education. I’ve shared stories about my own business, and how I’ve grown over the last seven years. But, in the last few weeks, I’ve found myself in a funk. Clients I thought were going to order haven’t, I’ve heard the word “no” several times, and there have been days that I’ve been completely overwhelmed. Since coming back from my trade show in Chicago, I’ve done some soul searching and realized that as many times as I’ve talked about finding an accountability partner, I never have. So, I spent this past weekend charting out my plans for August and for the first time ever, I asked my husband to be my accountability partner. Why did I ask my husband? Because he knows me better than anyone, sees me on a daily basis, and can push me in the right direction. This week I want to talk about “walking the talk.”
When you think of the perfect business what do you picture? A perfectly organized office, color coordinated supplies, and the latest electronic equipment? A calendar that has been time-blocked, goals on the wall and a beautifully completed vision board? By all outward appearances, you would think that this was a well-functioning office. But, how much time has been spent pursuing clients, on cold calling and client follow up? Sometimes, it’s time to simply get back to the basics.
I have a quote on my desk that states the following:
“Four steps to achievement:
“Plan Purposefully. Prepare Prayerfully. Proceed Positively. Pursue Persistently.” William A. Ward
Sometimes we get so caught up in our day to day lives that we forget what was working. We attend networking events and we do not follow up with those we have met, and therefore, we have simply wasted our time. We hear the word “no” more often than we’d like and we become discouraged and therefore lose our drive to get out there and make things happen. I attended a workshop while I was in Chicago and the speaker said that he gets excited every time some someone says, “no.” The class chuckled and he said, “Every “no” is one step closer to a “yes.” What if we looked at life that way? What if we celebrated every “no” knowing that we were getting closer to a “yes?”
“You must stay focused on the end result to achieve your goals.” Catherine Pulsifer
This week is the beginning of August. Can you believe it? Schools will be starting again, end of summer events will be planned, and preparations for fall will be in full gear. Of course, you and I both know that stores will be decorating for Christmas before we know it!! Let’s make the most of August by getting back to the basics.
Review your past marketing plan. What worked? What didn’t? If it was working, why did you stop doing it? Maybe it’s time to start over. Create a new plan and set a new goal. Find someone you trust to be your accountability partner and ask them to keep you on track. With the warm sunny days and your busy calendar of events, it is easy to veer off course. Adjust your sails and head toward your goals.
Take a few moments to begin each day quietly reading, writing in your journal, doing yoga, meditating, or in prayer. Be thankful for your blessings. Push away all of the negativity and breathe in positivity. Know your plan and follow it.
I have never purchased a thing from a negative salesperson. Dress for success by dressing professionally, putting a smile on your face and being prepared for the day. Leave your office 15 minutes earlier than you need to so you are not rushed to your appointments and you arrive ON TIME. Listen to an audio book in the car that will fill you with inspiration.
I am not telling you to call your clients daily and hound them for a sale. Use the marketing techniques you know and follow up with them as necessary. Send them a note thanking them for their time. Email an article they may find interesting. Arrive at your meeting with a tray of cookies, chocolate samples from one of your lines or a small gift as a token of thanks. There are many sales reps who would love to be working with your client. Make sure you are always at the top of their list.
“Without goals, you will end up going nowhere, or, you will end up following someone else’s map! Develop your map today – set your goals and focus!” Catherine Pulsifer
Are you ready to make August your best month yet? I plan to lean on my accountability partner to make sure he keeps me headed in the right direction. I plan to celebrate those who say “no” in anticipation of those who say, “yes.” On days that I don’t feel like leaving my office, I will follow my plan and hijack the Nike slogan, “Just Do It.”
Have a great week!
I own a promotional products company, Gardner Promotional Solutions, where I offer over 1 million different products to meet your promotional needs. In addition, I also have a complete wedding line that includes ‘save the dates’, invitations, napkins, imprinted stemware and attendants gifts. I’d love to schedule an appointment or a phone call with you to see how I can help you with your promotional items! www.gardnerpromos.com