Years ago my dad taught me that your feelings are your feelings and are never wrong or bad.
That had an impact on how I dealt with people who were expressing their feelings and emotions.
However, once you reach the age of reason—which is 7 or 8 according to most psychologists—it's important that you begin forming your mind and your conscience or you will be held prisoner and controlled by your feelings and emotions.
Being moved by events and having strong feelings is fine, but acting irrationally or even violently based on your feelings—which may be true for you but they may be based on a misunderstanding and/or lack of facts—is a rough way to live your life—or try to grow a business.
You Must Consciously Seek To Grow
The forming of your conscience and mind can only be done by seeking and understanding the facts, even if they are uncomfortable. (Why do you allow yourself to get upset at the truth?)
You must expose yourself to new ideas that challenge your own current understanding of events and concepts.
To do that you must make friends with people that are different than you.
- Different religious faiths including atheists and agnostics.
- Married, single, divorced, re-married, and widowed people.
- People with different levels of education—both formal and on-the-job.
- People in different income groups.
- Even Alabama Crimson Tide fans...and Marines...but I'm still unsure about those Grunts and Squids. GO AIR FORCE!
Until you expand your circles you're prone to becoming a babbling, blubbering, hurt-feelies parrot wandering the planet looking for good lighting and a sexy filter to emote to the world for your daily 15 seconds of fame on MyTube or YouSpace or Instachat or Snapgram.
(HEY! That's how I feel so don't judge me! Besides, who are you to judge? [See what I did there? I couldn't help myself. It's a Saturday. Now back to our blog post already in progress...])
Look around and take note of the people in your daily life, including those you "know" online, and ask yourself why so many—including you?—are so filled with worry and anxiety and anger and hopelessness.
In an age when drones can deliver you a selfie stick in under two hours and you can have a flat-panel TV delivered to your front door for free in under two days and you can read this blog post or create your own while traveling at Mach .95 at 39,000 feet while sipping a decent whiskey and nibbling on dark chocolate we're...anxious and hopeless and angry and violent towards one another?
And because we're so filled with worry and anxiety and anger and hopelessness they/we/you end up filled with prescription drugs, non-prescription drugs, junk food, booze, counseling, essential oils, and anger-management classes all because of how we feel?
In a recent study by American Psychological Association 90% of Americans feel stressed out.
While there are a myriad of factors that can and do contribute to these feelings of stress, I think a big component is that most of us stopped thinking and stopped learning years ago, which forces us to face 21st century challenges with 20th century knowledge.
We lash out because we've heard that the best defense is a good offense...and we have no offense.
The ad hominem attack is the last refuge of someone with nothing to say."
We shout our opinions and attack anyone who says anything differently than what we feel to be correct because we lack the wisdom and knowledge and capacity to formulate a deep thought or carry on a meaningful conversation with anyone who does not agree with us 100%.
(Daily I'm reminded of the quote by former Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, "you're entitled to your own opinions but not to your own facts.")
I'll tone down the election rhetoric and the race rhetoric and the climate change rhetoric.
But what does this have to do with sales and marketing?"
Ahhh. I thought you'd never ask.
This pertains to sales and marketing directly because I you "feel" quite certain of many things in this area such as:
Cold calling is dead.
When's the last time you picked up the phone and called a prospect with a script written in advance that included how to engage the receptionist, the executive assistant, and the decision-maker as well as a series of seven voicemails that could be delivered in under 60 seconds each and addressed seven of your value propositions tied to your seven "should ask questions?"
This week I gave a webinar for a company that specializes in helping companies make A LOT of outbound calls quickly. Over 200 people registered for the webinar. I had lunch with their VP of Sales yesterday and their business is exploding. The phone is alive and well if you have the right calling platform...and know how to use it, which means treating your prospects as humans.
Direct mail doesn't work.
When have you ever done a segmented, sequential, direct mail campaign with both lumpy mail and long-form copy to a qualified list that was split-tested and verified before you went all-in?
Do you fall into the trap of thinking since the open rates of direct mail are usually lower than maybe email or the CTRs of Facebook ads that you ignore the #1 metric that matters: the ROI of the campaign?
If you spend $5,000 doing a direct mail campaign to reach—really reach—100 qualified buyers and you get two to buy a $5,000 service from you, that's just a 2% response rate but a 100% ROI on your ad spend.
What if a whopping 4% buy? That's $20,000 in sales on a $5,000 ad-spend.
If you have 50% margins that's a 100% net return, which ain't too shabby.
Study the right metrics and do the right things daily and know your numbers and you will grow your sales.
Email marketing doesn't work.
When's the last time you created a multi-media, multi-step email sequence with if/then logic that sent relevant messaging based on the actions—or lack-of-actions—your recipients took and each message had a powerful, verb-filled headline that piqued curiosity and continued pulling the reader into your world with great storytelling, overwhelming benefits of your offer, a clear call to action, scarcity, and a guarantee?
Good email marketing still works just like good direct mail marketing still works just like good outbound calling still works just like good trade show marketing works just like good SEO still works.
How good are you at any or all of those?
"They" never buy.
How often do you assume that entire demographics aren't good prospect for you, e.g.
Attorneys are too stubborn to work with."
Doctors think they know everything and are impossible to work with."
Blue collar workers don't make enough to appreciate what I offer."
Just because one or two of those people turned you down in the past—probably because you were an amateur salesperson with a terrible offer and a crappy approach—you got your little feelers hurt and now you justify your lack of progress and growth in that market.
Multiply that by 5 or 10 or 25 niches and suddenly you have only the desperate or the accidental customers to sell to.
If you've uttered or felt any of the above incorrect ideas about how to grow your sales and create effective marketing—or 100 other ideas you've simply felt were wrong without testing them yourself—might I suggest you spend 95% less time on line forming and stating your opinions about things that won't matter a month from now and spend more time expanding your knowledge and your wisdom so you can formulate new ideas or new applications of proven ideas so you can achieve the growth that is patiently waiting for you?
If you'd like some mentoring along the way, we may be a fit for one another.Now go sell something.
P.S. Tomorrow I'll probably talk about misleading packaging and how it can save you hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars. I thought I'd get to it today but I had this itch I had to scratch. Will you forgive me?