But success doesn’t happen by accident. It has nothing to do with luck. And sitting around hoping the phone will ring is an activity for the “soon-to-be-out-of-business.” Success comes from being proactive about building your business…from getting off your backend, kicking it into high gear, and making something happen.
Easy to say, but what should you do? Let’s start by agreeing on a couple of points…
First, that there is enough money being spent on what you sell to support the kind of business you envision for yourself…that the market is there.
Next, let’s agree that your merchandise is desirable — that people want what you sell. If you don’t believe this, you may want to rethink your career choice.
So, people are buying what you sell, you just have to connect with them. In other words, you need to become a marketer.
The first step is to develop a Marketer’s Mindset. Notice I didn’t say “marketing” mindset, I said “marketer’s” mindset. The difference is important…one describes what you do, the other describes the kind of person you are.
Having a marketing mindset, attending a seminar or two, and reading an occasional book or article will help you grow your business. But it will rarely be enough to stimulate the growth you need to fulfill your wildest dreams.
But constantly keeping your eyes peeled for the next cool marketing idea, thinking about trying new marketing ideas as fun and exciting, considering every part of your business from a marketing point of view — that is the “Marketer’s Mindset.”
Be a learner
Part of the Marketer’s Mindset is about being a learner. You should make a commitment to learning about marketing. There’s no point in trying to reinvent the wheel — thousands of marketers before you have made the mistakes, figured out what works, and are willing to share their hard-won knowledge with you. Take advantage of it! Work smart, not hard.
There are lots of ways to learn about marketing. You can listen to CDs while driving in your car. Your local library has lots of marketing books available for loan. Any bookstore will have more titles than you can shake a stick at. Read business magazines and newspapers. Subscribe to online marketing e-zines. Ask other business people whom you admire what marketing resources they use, and start learning. A great place to start is to sign up for our WhizBang! Retail Tip Of The Week. It’s filled with ideas you can use.
And don’t be intimidated by the vast variety of choices. There are many marketing experts who sell learning resources that come with unconditional, money-back guarantees.
Spend the money…and if the resource does not provide the value, if the ideas don’t pay for themselves almost immediately, return it and get your money back. You have nothing to risk and everything to gain.
Being a learner also means being aware of what other people in other industries are doing. If your local department store has a promotion that catches your attention, ask yourself, “How can I adapt that idea to my business?”
Think outside the box, look outside of your particular industry for inspiration, engage your brain, and most of all, have fun!
Hall-of-Fame hockey player Wayne Gretzky said it best. “100 percent of the shots you don’t take won’t go in.”
You don’t have to be a sports fan to understand the truth in his statement and to apply it to your business. If you want to be successful, if you want to make some shots, you have to take some shots.
You’ve got to try, and try, and keep on trying…
In fact, if your sales start to slow down, take a look at your marketing activity. Chances are it has slowed down, too.
It’s extremely rare that you’ll find a single “home run” marketing strategy to keep your business flourishing. More often it’s the sum of lots of small marketing efforts that pay off big time. And if you stop generating marketing activity, your sales will slowly dwindle.
It’s simple. The more things you try, the better your chances of reaching more customers and generating more sales. Keep taking shots.
Having the right attitude, keeping an open mind, developing the Marketer’s Mindset and then taking action is a surefire way to keep your register ringing for years to come!In 1999 Bob Negen and his wife, Susan, founded WhizBang! Training to help independent retailers thrive in today’s super-competitive market. The couple are both recognized as leading retail experts, are authors of the bestseller Marketing Your Retail Store In The Internet Age and are creators of the acclaimed Retail Mastery System.