I sat at my desk feeling mentally exhausted.
I was drained.
Business wasn’t coming in the way it should be. I was doing the actions. I was making the phone calls. I was sending the emails.
Nothing was bringing in the clients we needed.
My business partner and I needed a new plan. I walked across the hall into his office, sat down in the empty chair across from his desk and told him we needed to do something different. We needed to look at what has worked in the past to help bring in business, because if I continue running in the hamster wheel I was, I was only going to drive myself into further exhaustion.
The look on his face told me he was running into the same exhaustion. The idea of doing something tried and true, but different, lifted both our spirits again.
If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always got.
1. Start Back to Simplicity
Sports professionals know this, sales executives know this, and corporate trainers know this. Every practice and training session starts off right back at the beginning. Go back to the fundamentals.
By going back to basics we take a closer look at the small steps that make up the art of the process. This doesn’t mean starting right from scratch and building up from there, but instead asking what is the simplest way I can create the result I want?
If basketball players are needing points, they go back to practicing lay-ups. An entrepreneur may look at their easiest product they can offer, which may or may not be the cheapest, but is likely their core product that gets their foot in the door with their customer. In my business partner and my case, it’s one-day training events, that gives people knowledge on growing their business and begins a new relationship with the attendees.
Ask what your starting point is for the product or service you are offering and start from there. Focus only on that, and allow the momentum to start again as new excitement is being formed.
2. Make it Fun
Going back to simplicity can easily become boring, as we need variety in our spirit in order to keep the excitement fresh. People are attracted to people that are enthusiastic and exciting to talk to. They want to hear stories, they want to talk about themselves, they want to be a part of a game. Give yourself, or your clients a challenge, that keeps the actions light-hearted.
In the case of myself, I still need to make the phone calls and create the relationships, but instead of doing my typical sales steps of researching the person or the company that I am about to cold call and pitch how working with a business coach will improve their time spent on revenue-generating activities and, ultimately, the bottom line of their company, I open up the conversation completely to the other person.
Lately, I’ve been calling people and letting them know that I am interested in getting to know more people personally from my LinkedIn community. I introduce myself and then fire off questions to the other person; everything from what they do for work, to what they do for fun, where they have traveled, and what they would like to do in their retirement.
These conversations will last anywhere from 10–15 minutes, and they may not amount to a lot of significance when it comes to creating new business leads for my organization, yet, but I do enjoy the interaction and I know the person on the other line enjoyed the conversation too.
Creating fun could be anything from a light-hearted Instagram contest for your social media followers, to hosting a “customer-appreciation event”, to deciding to contact people outside of your scope of business just to have a greater understanding of how other unrelated businesses are run. Do something for the sheer joy of getting to know other people and interact with them again, and those little reminders will help you get the spark again for why you are in the business you are.
3. Dig Deep
Getting fired up takes time. It takes time to steer a ship, and it can take some time to find the exciting groove you are looking for again.
For a while you may have to dig deep inside to find the initial creative juices, to take a moment to stop the hamster wheel and create momentum for the next thing. Know that it can be exhausting at the beginning but there is a new goal, and that goal will be achieved with.
When I was changing my focus from calls to set up meetings about business coaching to promoting an event, and calling people to hear more about themselves without any business intention, it took a little bit to find the initial excitement again. The last thing I was excited to do was pick up the phone and talk to more people about a new product. However, when I dug deep to find the drive to call the initial first few people I then found the excitement slowly start to come back to the surface. The embers of excitement began to glow brighter the longer the fun conversations continued, and each new person I spoke to drove me to call the next person.
Don’t wait for the excitement to find you, go out and seek it. This is a marathon and every now and then we need to pull ourselves together and get ready for the next move.
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