A coaching client of mine was taking over his parents’ cleaning business. They had never made an outbound sale in 20 years in business. It took me 3 months of pushing and sales training until we got him out there pitching people in Starbucks, in the upscale mall, door to door in wealthy neighborhoods. And not just pitching but pushing for the close 5 to 7 times with different creative closes.
First it was 10 people in a week, and then 25, and then 50 and then 100. In 3 months he added 33% to the companies revenue stream pitching part time while still working a job.
He was afraid and uncomfortable but he did it anyway. He was demotivated but he did it anyway, because dedication is the key, not motivation. And eventually he got comfortable pitching people, just like I did working in corporate sales, and it became second nature to pitch.
We got his close rate to 1 for 25 on the low end and 1 for 10 on the high end, in person and 1 for 100 calling the phonebook, with each deal being $150 dollars, and 100% of his closes becoming recurring revenue, in a business where the average LTV of a client is at least 5 years. This is the power of expanding your comfort zone
If you think you’re doing everything right in your business, but you’re still struggling, it’s because you’re not willing to expand your comfort zone and go out and get money. If you have a B2C business, where nearly everyone is a potential client, you have 14 hours a day to pitch people on the street and in the phonebook. If you have a B2B business you have from 10 hours, five days a week to be pitching (decision makers are in the office from at least 8 AM until 6 PM) and the rest of your time to be doing leads.
The question is how bad to you want it, how uncomfortable are you willing to get, and how willing are you to expand your comfort zone so that you can expand your income. Because if you don’t have the money to pay for the online advertising, this is what you need to do. It doesn’t get easy until you get tough, and only then, once you’ve built the business, can you hire people to sell for you and spend your surplus profit on marketing – but you have to go through discomfort to get there.
This is why Dan Pena will tell you that the #1 characteristic of a succesful entrepreneur is the ability to endure pain for long periods of time, and I would agree. But don’t let that get you down, at the end of the day you’re just talking to people. Remember there are guys growing up in war zones right now, or working 12 hours a day at a factory for pennies, or living with terrible diseases, you can handle talking to people and offering value.
So in summary, if you want to win at business, get out there, get uncomfortable, feel the fear but do it anyway, and go get comfortable being uncomfortable. Your reward will be success and the most important skill in business – the ability to sell.