Are you scaring away potential customers? You just might be, and the real “scariness” is that you probably have no idea it’s happening. Or you’re aware you aren’t getting much business, but can’t understand why. It may be time to take an honest assessment of yourself and your practices so you can identify any mistakes you’re making. Here are the top 3 things entrepreneurs do that drive potential customers away:
1: Vomiting business cards, but not connecting with anyone.
Can you envision a cartoon character at a convention opening his mouth and a stream of business cards spilling out? He goes around leaving a trail of cards but never engages with the people he hands them out to. It’s a messy habit and it stinks!
2: Being “That Person” on Social Media DMs.
It happens all the time. You know how it is. You get a “friend request” on social media from someone you don’t know (or barely know). You see that you have three mutual friends, so you accept the friend request. Hardly a minute goes by before you’re getting a private message from the person trying to pitch her product or join her program. Don’t. Just… Don’t. Do not be one of those people! It’s crass. It’s manipulative. It’s just plain bad manners, and it may result in you being publicly called out by the new contact you hoped would give you money. Not cool.
3: Acting desperate and being pushy.
Have you ever had a relative—your 3rd cousin once removed—who only contacts you when he has a new multi-level/network marketing business? “You can get in on the ground floor!” He exclaims exuberantly. Every two years it’s a different company.
Or maybe this isn’t your cousin; maybe it’s you. “But this one is IT,” you say. “This one is really it! Please, please sign up. I only need two distributors underneath me to start making commissions. I’ll even pay for your starter kit.” Pretty soon everyone avoids you at family gatherings. Or at church. Or at the local coffee shop you frequent. You even overheard one of your friends at the next table (oh wait; you don’t have any friends any more) tell her friend, “Let’s leave. Pretend you don’t see her,” referring to you.
Yes, this vitamin or weight loss product might actually be better than the last one you were so sure about. Yes, your upline 13 levels above you is making a seven-figure-per-year income. But let’s be completely honest here (brace yourself; this might hurt); no one cares how much money your upline is making or that there are a dozen testimonials of people being cured of toenail fungus by using your company’s proprietary miracle herb capsule. People will only be interested when they see you in your own Rolls Royce, wearing designer clothing, and sporting a pair of Prada sandals with your fungus-free toes on display.
How to turn things around:
Be strategic when handing out your business card.
Business cards are a great tool when used the right way. A smile, firm handshake, and a warm, brief introduction goes a long way when handing someone your card. Better yet, wait until someone asks you for your contact info before handing out your card. You’ll have less cards end up wasted in the trash and more qualified contacts to do business with.
Sincerely care about potential customers and meeting their needs.
Social media is an amazing tool to grow your business when it’s used appropriately. It’s all about relationships, so don’t abuse someone’s trust by “friending” them simply to reach your sales goals. People don’t care how good your product or program is if they feel like they are being used. If you send a friend request, do so because you want to get to know them and their needs.
It’s best to create a business page on the platform and to join groups that specialize in your field of entrepreneurship. Even then, don’t try selling your business or program right off the bat. Stick around. Contribute thoughtful and meaningful comments to threads. Make your presence known by letting your personality shine before you invite others to look at your business.
Be calm, be confident, and let your sparkling personality and supercool product or service be your most enticing draw.
Run your business like… wait for it… a business. Even if you’re into direct sales or MLMs, do what you can to set yourself apart from all the other guilt-manipulating MLMers out there. And if you’re building a business from scratch and love your product/service and what you do, let it show! Be passionate while you talk to others about it and you’ll draw more business to you… naturally.