Tips and stories to add value to you and your organisation
Do you like driving? Perhaps not the morning commute, or the time sensitive school run. Maybe when there are no roadworks or school buses to slow us down, or when we can take our time and cruise along happily.
At a rough estimate I’ve driven over 300,000 miles for business in the 15 years I’ve been self employed. That’s a lot of CDs listened to and roadside sandwiches scoffed.
Now though I’ve discovered Audible and the music has taken a back seat to a raft of celebrities, who happily chat to me on my travels about their interesting and varied lives.
Driving is much more fun when you have company.
I was chatting to a colleague the other day about how to generate more sales. They were grumbling that work was hard to find and I asked how far they would travel to find some.
‘Well, I’d happily do 20 miles,’ they replied.
A whole 20 miles! I shared with them that a friend of mine, in the same business as them, would drive 100 miles to run a workshop. The workshop itself didn’t make much profit, but did introduce them to 15 people, of which a couple would probably buy further work from them.
Keep repeating this process in different locations and, with a bit of effort, it would be fairly easy to build a business.
I am currently in advanced training to qualify as a therapeutic counsellor, partly because I love to keep learning, and partly because I have clients who have asked for counselling services to fit alongside my coaching work.
I drive 350 miles every month and love my course and the people on it. Of course, being me, I’ve pitched some workshops to the centre I attend and am now discussing dates to run a first one.
The course has opened up a new bunch of people to work with, learn from and sell to.
By putting in the miles, I have kept in business for 15 years and constantly evolved my customer base.
Yet I do come across people who want to build a business on their doorstep and that makes life hard for them.
If we subscribe to Abundance Theory, which states that there’s enough work for everyone and we just have to go and find it, then putting in the miles is a good way to go.
Good business is all about making the effort. When I started up one of my first sales meetings was 4 hours away. I turned up on time, to find that the client had forgotten the appointment and was elsewhere for the day.
Curiously, I wasn’t disappointed, as we can all make mistakes. I rebooked the appointment and turned up on time a month later and although I wasn’t successful in selling my services, it did teach me a good lesson:
If we don’t do the miles then we are guaranteed a no-sale. If we make the effort enough times then we will sell something.
Business can be very simple at times.
So, this week we can all work out if we are doing enough miles to win enough sales. Despite modern technology, it’s still easier to sell face to face than via an email.
My 300,000 miles have been a good investment really. How many more miles do you need to do?
Next week: Office Flower Power
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Brilliant ways to increase performance, stay employed and keep the money rolling in
Published 2011 Marshall Cavendish
Secrets and skills to sell yourself effectively in the Modern Age
Published 2010 Marshall Cavendish
An insider's guide to working for yourself
Published 2007 Cyan Books and Marshall Cavendish