Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Admit it, you're scared to death of marketing and selling - Robert Middleton

Fearless Marketing

It seems I really hit a nerve last week with my eZine on "Ruffling
Some Feathers." The point I made was that those who disparage
marketing and selling tend to be those who most fear marketing and
selling themselves. (Fear of X means X is bad.)

My main point wasn't to make these people wrong.

My real intention with the article was to hold up a mirror to those
who have problems with marketing and selling. Hopefully it was a
wake up call. (Not to "them" - to "YOU!")

If you saw yourself in that mirror, great, that's a first step.

But I'm not done.

The resistance, antipathy and downright fear you have about
marketing and selling yourself is probably hurting your business
more than you realize.

(Note: If this is a non-issue for you, great. Skip this eZine and get
out there! If it is an issue, pay close attention.)

You know the symptoms:

- A tendency to avoid picking up the phone
- staying away from networking activities
- putting off writing a letter or an article
- not closing at the end of a sales interview
- avoiding speaking in public at all costs
- not promoting or selling in your eZine
- neglecting to ask for referrals

When I used to work with clients as a marketing coach, you'd think
their main question would have been, "How do I do these things more
effectively?" But no, the question was, "Why don't I get around to
doing these things, even though I know I should do them?"

A lot of my time was spent working people though their resistance
and fears to marketing and selling themselves. In fact, many of my
clients called me their "marketing shrink!"

A big part of my work consisted of taking my clients slowly, step-
by-step, through the marketing process. I demonstrated that if
they picked up the phone and said the right thing, people would
actually not yell at them. I showed that if they wrote an article,
they would likely receive more praise than scorn.

I called it "jumping off the diving board" marketing: Start with a low
board. Don't worry about getting it perfect, just jump. Then
gradually go higher and improve a little each time.

This approach is actually quite effective. It's how we learn things.
It's how we improve gradually and let go of our irrational fears until
we are fully competent and confident.

In fact, this is the approach I took in the InfoGuru Manual and the
Web Site ToolKit. If you take it one step at a time, and do the action
plans at the end of each chapter or section, you'll begin to
understand the underlying principles and practices of marketing,
and start to get some results.

Many of you have used this approach to become better marketers.

However, being by nature an impatient person, I never felt that this
approach was enough. Sure, many of my clients would take things
step-by-step and ultimately get great results.

But many others would never get past first base. Their built-in
distaste for marketing was stronger than their will to succeed.

So I started to build "belief work" into my marketing coaching. I used
it in my Marketing Action Groups, and integrated it into the Action
Plan ToolKit, which includes exercises for changing beliefs. For
many, this made a huge difference.

The first step is to recognize the limiting beliefs underlying some of
the symptoms I listed earlier. Here are some typical ones I

- A tendency to avoid picking up the phone
(People don't want to be bothered. I'm an interruption.)

- staying away from networking activities
(I'm just not a people person who is comfortable meeting strangers)

- putting off writing a letter or an article
(I'm not a good writer. And who would be interested, anyway?)

- not closing at the end of a sales interview
(If they want to buy, they'll let me know. I shouldn't be pushy.)

- avoiding speaking in public at all costs
(I'd probably make a fool of myself. Nobody wants to hear my ideas.)

- not promoting or selling in your eZine
(If I promote myself, people will hate me and unsubscribe in droves.)

- neglecting to ask for referrals
(If they're happy they'll give me referrals when they're ready.)

I'd be willing to bet a buck or two that you hold several of these (or
similar) beliefs very dearly. And if you hold them strongly enough,
you're not even going to take the small steps necessary to improve
in that area of marketing. You'll give up before you start.

So what works best? Taking the small steps or changing beliefs?

Both are equally important. If you don't have any big issues about
writing, for instance, get started now, one step at a time. But if
you're terrified of speaking in front of a group, doing some belief
work first will make the process a whole lot easier.

But no matter what your situation is, make that commitment to
being a fearless marketer, and you'll find a way.


The More Clients Bottom Line: Fear of marketing and selling is a big
issue for a large percentage of Independent Professionals. The key is
to recognize that fears are holding you back and then find the
support you need to get past them.

What works for you to get past your fears of marketing and selling
yourself? Please share on the More Clients Blog.


Four Fearless Marketing Tools

Want to become a better marketer of your services and attract all
the clients you need? These four tools will help you build your skills
and get past the fears that are holding you back:

The InfoGuru Marketing Manual - Build your marketing skills

The Web Site ToolKit - Create a powerful web site

The Action Plan ToolKit - Get on track with your marketing

The MAPP Program - Build a bulletproof marketing plan
(Note: Tuition goes up on Sept 1)

P.S. If you have any resistance whatsoever to marketing and selling
yourself, I want you to know that this is a temporary condition that
you can change permanently. The tools above will help you do it.

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