Make That First Step

I don’t know why the phone scares me so.  I only have to dial 10 or 11 numbers and then, presto, someone answers.  That someone is going to help me with my business, with my social life, and/or with my future.  I’m not scared of the person, I’m scared of the results:  “no thank you.”   That wee word, “no,” seems to cause havoc on my brain and heart.  Two small letters and you’d think the world were going to cave in on my life. 

I’ve made that first step to call people and found it rewarding.  Why then the next time I have to make that first step – dialing is harder than e-mailing! – do I break out in sweat beads and heart palpitations?  It’s a worry!

When I’m in front of any audience no matter what the numbers – 10-100s – I have no fear.  I’m able to make multiple first steps in getting them all thinking the same way, getting the right answers to the equations of their lives, and yet, just one-on-one asking for help and work,  I’m a humming-bird-heart-beat adult!

Marketing is making phone calls.  Phone calls are the elixir to sales, information and networking.  When I make the first step in designing a plan, developing a campaign, and coaching for results, I’m home free.  It’s just the initial first step that is the road bump in my finger tips.   It’s as thought the phone has an invisible wall surrounding the numbers and I can’t get my fingers to break through it! 

When you market, what’s your first step?  Every person in your business needs to know, memorize and speak from his/her heart the company’s vision and mission.  If even a small number  of your employees, co-workers or teammates don’t say the same thing about the business, then you have a confused public.  Make the first step in getting everyone focused on the same goals, the same ideals, the same mission or else you are all working for different goals.   Ask, “What do we do?” and see how many different answers you get.

I asked one of my clients’ management team to recite their mission statement.  It’s written in three-inch letters in the lobby, but of the eight in the room only one could recite even half of it.  Why?  Does it make a difference?  Yes.  If not, then why did someone spend time, creativity, energy and money to come up with the vision and mission?

What do you do?  What does your business do?  What are the outstanding elements of you and your business that separate you from your competition?  Cite these elements in your next staff meeting.  Get each team to know them – exactly – for the next staff meeting.  It’s paramount for you to understand how you differentiate yourself from the others in the same business. 

How do you highlight your highlights?  I read my daily newspaper and note who’s moving up, on and over in the business world in Denver.  I also read about who’s received accolades for a job well done, over and above his/her teammates.  A small tidbit in the paper let’s the “world” know that you’re alive, well, and prospering.  Do you ever send out a media release to tell the world that you’ve accomplished a goal and/or hired a new individual?  It’s a small first step to help you market yourself.

Read your competitors’ webpages.  I read some and sigh, others make me laugh, others appall me with their lack of good grammar and punctuation.  (The latter says a great deal about you.)  What points do your competitors highlight?  What points do you highlight?  Why would Mr./Ms. Public call you over your competition?  What rules have you broken to make you, your product, or service stand out?  Make that first step to design and develop an outstanding and innovative marketing plan, and then execute it – now.

I’m going to stave off this tummy tumbling teaser of fear and  call three prospects this morning.  I’ve written down a mini-script in case I have to leave a message.  Yes, I will leave a message because most phones have caller ID and will know that I not only called, but also hung up.  Nope, that’s not a good marketing ploy, I must leave a good, solid marketing message.  (You can even leave a good marketing message on your phone message.  Tell your callers what you do and how well.)

Let’s all make a new first step today and gather more insight into who we are, what we sell, what the results of our product or services are, and how we are innovative, creative, and worthy of our publics’ buying power.  The first step is to believe in yourself or your product or service.

Here’s to making the first step!

Happy Tuesday.


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