So here goes...
Around September last year, I hit a snag. I was coming off a great month in my new business (web design/seo/online marketing for local businesses) that I started in March and looking back, I realised why I entered this slump.
Now, I make ALOT of cold calls. This is how I got 90% of sales and was averaging around $3-$5k turnover per month doing so, more or less. But I learnt a lesson the hard way doing so, which I will share...
I started a week in September calling a few businesses, and all at once, had 3 super hot prospects at once! I was really excited : I had set new goals to break the 5K barrier and was really aiming to hit $10k for that month. I wanted to double sales and with these new clients, it was looking like I was taking my business to the next level.
But, the bright-looking future started to come undone. I would send the invoice, but no word. I would call them back, only to hear empty promises. "I'll call you back, we are just organising things right now", only to never hear back of course. I would email back and forth, but the prospect just wouldn't take action.
Those 3 super hot prospects fizzled out. Now, when you go from maybe 2-3 clients per month if you are lucky, to 3 super hot potentials in a WEEK, you think...Hold on, my business is making REAL PROGRESS! I really must be a big shot! You don't think its a lucky streak. Can you see the problem yet? You attach YOUR EGO to SHORT TERM RESULTS. I was attaching my ego to something I couldn't control!
So these 3 super hot prospects fizzled out, and I had no sales for that month. I was super bummed. I figured it was a problem with ME, with who I was. See how I completely did a 180? I thought I was the hotshot, when in reality, it was a lucky streak of interested prospects. Now, when they fell through, I blamed myself equally, even though it was BAD LUCK!
You know what the real solution was? And still is? And forever will be? PERSISTENCE. Client bails? Get on the damn phone and find a new one. No sales? Get on the damn phone, or email, or create a new service for your existing client base (did this), or setup a recurring service to cover the tight times. APPLY a STRATEGY and PERSIST! Don't blame yourself and wallow in self-pity. I was guilty of this for a LONG time. I wasted probably 3 months wallowing.
Now, it's 2013, and I am back. My sales are up, I'm back up to my usual sales per month, but on top of that, my recurring clients are building. I am starting to actually make some decent profit. I was THIS close to quitting.
My parents were begging me to get a job. My friends were recommending positions to me. I almost convinced myself that working a job would actually be the smart thing to do. But then I thought about the big picture.
So ask yourself...Can you do this? If you have even the slightest, nagging, little feeling that you can...Apply a strategy, apply YOURSELF and take action, and when things get hard, PERSIST!!!
OH and to re-iterate the big lesson : DON'T ATTACH YOUR EGO TO SHORT TERM, UNCONTROLLABLE RESULTS. So you made a few extra sales? DONT GET COMPLACENT! So your sales fell through? DON'T WHINE, OR CRY ABOUT IT, GET BACK ON THE PHONE!
Hope this helped someone out there. I wish I had taken my own advice back then, would have avoided wasting alot of time!