Oh, man. I’m hot for this topic today. Thanks to Marcus Sheridan who deserves ALL the credit for what’s just below. Combing my reader to find some inspiration, I landed on The Sales Lion just this moment. And. Read. The. Whole. Post. With. Relish.
Marcus shares that he is the subject of a documentary and whilst filming he turned down a major inbound query that could’ve been a sale for his swimming pool company. The cameraman was befuddled, and Marcus shares that he was less than interested because he is not all things to all people. That caller needed a concrete company and not The Sales Lion (I don’t know if his pool company is called that or not).
Then Marcus takes it one notch further and asks his community to “promote yourself…come on…tell me about you as a blogger; do you know yourself; can you turn down a sale that’s not right for you?”
Marcus’s insight for the cameraman is that “you don’t know yourself or what you represent to be able to turn away business.”
Do you know yourself as a blogger?
Marcus is asking all of us to fess up to this question — if we can’t define who we are and what service we offer and to whom, then we will fail in business and in blogging. I love this hard knock question. Let me try, Marcus, to answer it here instead of in your comments section as you’ve invited. I encourage everyone to visit your house and try to do the same:
My business is public relations at its core. As I review the sphere, I see that I’m not traditional or typical. I cross boundaries squarely into marketing; in fact, I’m a chief marketing officer for one client and a marketing brand manager for another. That blend also includes new media which I’m challenged by every day to keep abreast of what’s new.
As a service business, I need to know my capabilities and expertise. There are few if any products I offer and when I do attempt to sell message mapping to clients for added value (and this is so critical), clients don’t understand the need or the worth.
That’s the other thing — knowing that what I offer is a specialty business and showing clients that value. New media has altered the perception of public relations, and many clients think they know how to DIY PR. Not so, and it’s a fine line to prove to clients they need my services.
Have I ever turned down business? Not really, but what I did do was turn down money.
Recently, I took on a client who wanted to pay me $20,000 monthly on retainer. They had no idea. I suggested something more palatable like $7,500 a month, and then I looked more closely at the business and knew I would reduce that retainer even further to a manageable and not over- promised, high-expectation budget. So, I knocked off another $4,000 and am proving that my team is worth more money at the end of the initial three-month engagement.
That example is as much a lesson as what Marcus shares in his blog post — are you confident enough in your talents to either turn away a valid sales lead or suggest a reduction in retainer until everyone is in sync?
Thank you, Marcus Sheridan of The Sales Lion, for this automatic inspiration!