Thursday I attended Pat Gruber‘s seminar “Filling Your Sales Funnel“. He had some wonderful advice about how to make sure your business does not run dry on customers.
A popular blog I read FreeLanceSwitch.com wrote 10 Lessons Every Successful Freelancer has Learned. For those who do not know what a Free Lancer is Wikipedia.org has a great definition:
A freelancer, freelance worker, or free-lance is a person who pursues a profession without a long-term commitment to any one employer. The term “freelance” was first coined by Sir Walter Scott (1771–1832) in his well-known historical romance Ivanhoe to describe a “medieval mercenary warrior” (or “free-lance”). Read Whole Wikipedia Article
Much to my delight Free Lance Switch pointed out almost the exact same things Pat suggested in his seminar. They were:
Work your referrals
Make sure you are taking care of your customers, and they will become Center’s of Influence for you. They will proselytize your company or product for you, having new customers come to you instead of having to chase them down.
Network, network, network
Like the Show Me Business Network I attend, a BNI group, a LEADs club or any situation that puts you in contact with prospects (people who might need your product/service, can afford it, and can make the final decition), make sure you are maximizing the benefit you’re getting out of these interactions and opportunities.
Have a great elevator pitch
A spiel to answer the question, “What do you do?” which should take less than the time it takes an elevator to travel from floor to floor. Don’t try to shove your product/service down their throats in this time, just inform them.
What doesn’t get measured, doesn’t get done
I had never heard this phrase before taking Pat’s seminar. How true it is, how true it is. If we didn’t know that a big rig diesel truck only got 5 miles to the gallon we wouldn’t know how much money we were blowing on gas. While this is an absurd example, how much are you doing in your business that you’re not measuring?
FreeLaceSwitch.com also had some other tips that grabbed my attention.
Failure isn’t the end of the world
This is one of the most valuable lesson’s I have learned from Timothy Ferriss’ book “The Four Hour Work Week” and Robert Kiyosaki’s books “Rich Dad Poor Dad” and “Rich Dad’s Cashflow Quadrant.” Failing is the best form of learning. Do it often. Don’t be discouraged. When you fail, you learn.
Apply the 80:20 rule
Again, Timothy Ferriss introduced this to me first. 80 percent of your income comes from 20 percent of your customers. 80 percent of your problems come from 20 percent of your customers. Evaluate the first 20 percent, and find more customers just like them. Figure out who the second 20 percent are, get rid of them, and then avoid any customers like them in the future.
Fake it ‘til you make it
This I had not heard of until reading FreeLanceSwitch’s article. The idea is to pretend you have courage even when you don’t, or whatever else you lack. Fake it, and then you will make it come true.
Put the gems in first
Another analogy I’d not heard before reading this article. Make sure you don’t fill your life with sand, and leave no room for the gems. Fill you jar with gems, and then fill the spaces with sand.
Know which balls are glass and which are rubber
We are all circus actors, master jugglers. Especially those of us who are currently sole-proprietor self-employed people who wear every single hat in our business. FreeLanceSwitch recommends knowing which balls you’re juggling will shatter if you drop them, and which are rubber. Focus on the glass balls, and pickup the rubber ones later.
All in all, a fantastic article from a great blog. I’m happy to see that what I learned at Pat Gruber’s great lunch and learn seminar (PDF) is being reinforced in other parts of my world. Pay attention to these ideas and watch your business blossom. If you don’t have a business, then you need to realize Hard Work is Useless… so Do What You Love