Bad Horror Films… and Your Business

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We’ve all seen the horror films that – while still making our heart pound with anticipation – also lead us to shout at the future victim who’s running across the screen… in heels.  Or staying stuck in one place without even getting up to run because they are so fear-struck.  Or always looking behind them, meaning they trip over every thing in their path and eventually just stay down while they await their on-screen “fate”.  We get frustrated at the lack of action… anxious when we see how paralyzed the character is by fear.  In the movies, fear will lead to the character’s ultimate demise in more than nine times out of ten. In business, it’s impact is even more disastrous and far-reaching.

Here’s a list of things that FEAR can impact in your business:

  1. PRICING – Far too many people are bullied and intimidated by this economy’s focus on pricing.  In our last election, our nation was wooed by the promise of FREE “stuff”.  More and more businesses are focusing on FREE and CHEAP.  GROUPON  is changing the way businesses compete and, in the process, bullying them into competing on price alone rather than value or experience.   I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge how our culture is changing in regards to price.    STILL,  when fear  creeps into our pricing strategy, we tend to under-price ourselves, degrade the value of our products or services, and – eventually – watch our own business become evidence supporting the phrase, “Live by Price, die by price!”    The solution to this, by the way, is to courageously resist this CANCER of  competing on price and REFUSE to allow yourself to be commoditized in any way.
  2. MARKETING & SALES – You know when fear creeps into your marketing or sales strategy when it can be defined as TIMID. As Zig Ziglar says, “Timid salespeople have skinny kids.”  Are you BOLD or FEARFUL when you present a new potential client or customer with a proposal of work or product, or are you timid and wishy-washy?  Here’s the remedy for timid sales:   The first sale you have to make is to yourself… so be “fully CONFIdenced” (my own hybrid of being Confident and Convinced) in what you or your product represents to your market.  When YOU are sold, it’s easy to sell to others.
  3. REFERRALS. Does fear creep into how you ask for referrals? If you ask in a way that 1) exposes desperate financial need or 2) defines a referral as a HUGE favor for you, your referral process is steeped in fear – and will be ineffective.  People want to make a difference.  So, when you’re asking for referrals, be bold about what kind of referral you’re looking for and what working with you will mean for the person making the referral.  Hint:  ASK when the referral source is excited about their own work with or purchase from you…. not when your bills are late and you’re desperate for a new order.

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