When I think of this forum, I think of two things: manic delusional newbie overconfidence, and desperation.
Both are, as anyone who's been around more than six months knows, sales and business killers.
The newbie overconfidence is in magic pixie dust and gee-whiz gizmos that promise millions of dollars in return for pushing a button.
Let's not even get into that nonsense.
I believe everyone can overcome that issue, given enough time.
But desperation...that's not going to go away. Not for the newbie who's been cutting into their savings or credit cards every month to stay afloat, and realized they can't continue. Not for the experienced marketer who's had a bad couple of months and run out of cash. It is easy to fall into the desperation mindset. And it is instantaneous.
What happens when we get desperate?
We get stupid.
Me, too; I'm no exception.
First, we put blinders on.
Dumb. But this is automatic and instant. The blinders stop us from seeing opportunities, because our outlook has become extremely short term. We need dollars--and likely only a few dollars--now. So we screen out opportunities that don't appear to have an ultra-high chance of success...even ones that would probably work and which, under normal conditions, we'd be happy to approach. The key reason is our mind is not relaxed.
I could go into a lot of detail on what desperation does to your outlook. How it stops you from taking smart action. How it keeps you fearful. Just think about that for a moment. You will not do things you would normally do. You will self-talk yourself out of it. It's not even reality. But it's your reality.
Paradoxically, we will at the same time begin throwing precious resources at long shots. The difference? We thought of them. These low-probability swings came from inside, not outside, and so we can dream awhile and fool ourselves into thinking they might work. They will work.
Only they don't work.
Blinders on, little action, bad decisions. What an awful combination!
The negative self-talk going on here is incredible.
And that is what we must get out of.
If you find yourself in a state of desperation, here's what to do:
1. Notice it
Being aware of your state is the first step towards changing it. Otherwise, you're a reactionary automaton, pushed around by mere thoughts and emotions.
2. Stop it
Whenever you notice negative self-talk, take the moment to tell yourself to shut that line of thinking down. Remember you have your blinders on. Can you push them off?
3. Get to work--on the right plan
Despite what your dreamy brain may try to tell you, it's unlikely you are going to get out of the situation you're in without a few days of sustained effort. It's not going to be one day. Probably not. But your mind will throw a few "gambling" ideas at you, promising a huge and quick return. Don't act on those. They'll just squander your already-precious resources on low-probability chances.
So what's the right plan?
Not fancy gimmicks.
Not roulette wheel gambles.
Getting actual qualifying conversations with prospects who are likely to have a problem you can solve.
Yes, sales opportunities.
Here comes the Offline stuff now.
If you're desperate, I'll bet you have nothing in the pipeline. No opportunities. Nothing even partly qualified.
That is the state of desperation.
That means ever single opportunity that comes along, you are overly focused on. Obsessed about. Terrifically worried that it "has" to turn out.
This is an awful state to be in when it comes to selling.
Because an individual opportunity is NOT likely to turn out.
One out of several opportunities IS likely to become a sale.
But the individual opportunity is not. Too many factors can make the wheels fall off: the prospect doesn't really have a need for what you offer, their budget is too low, they aren't right to work with on a personality basis, and more.
So tying your emotions to the outcome of a single opportunity is a recipe for continued desperation.
You need to fill that pipeline to get out of this state.
What are the standout features of a good prospect for you? Someone who you'd see and say, "Yes! They are pre-qualified! They have A and B and C, and that means they're very likely a good fit for me."
I'll tell you that over the past three years, I've seen very few business owners who understand and know these factors.
They change, too...whenever your target market changes, so do these variables. That's why it's such a pain to shift niches: you have to learn the profile all over again.
But if you have some experience with your marketplace, you ought to have some idea--even just an intuitive one--of what makes a good customer.
Write these things down.
Distill them into three to five points.
Example: Revenues of $500,000 to $2 million.
Example: Been in business more than two years.
Example: Have tried PPC in the past 18 months but not succeeded with it (setting them up for interest in your opportunity).
Getting the idea?
Then start screening.
Make a list of businesses in your niche, and filter by these key factors.
This should take a day or less.
Now you have a list of pre-qualified prospects who fit the buyer profile.
Now you can get on with going after those sales opportunities.
I hope you have figured out your monthly revenue target and know how much money you need to bring in. "As much as I can get" is not specific and won't get you anywhere.
With this figure, you can determine how many sales you need.
I recommend you develop at least 20 opportunities for ever sale you require.
That way, if one drops out...who cares? There are 19 more. And you must be filling that funnel constantly. That 20th opportunity has to be replaced.
If you don't know how to conduct sales conversations, look at this library here. There's more training than most companies have available.
This is how you get out of desperation and into abundance. We all forget this from time to time. Stop the negative self-talk. Ditch the long shot gambles. Get your buyer profile together. Fill the funnel. Keep filling it. Get those qualifying conversations and sales opportunities. Get to work. Sitting around worrying won't make it happen.
Some further thoughts beyond this post:
What business growth and power in the marketplace really looks like
How to start phone conversations, and what to expect so you don't torpedo yourself
How to Qualify prospects, and never hear "That's Too Much!" ever again