This article was written by WeddingWire Education Guru, Alan Berg. Alan has over 20 years experience in wedding related sales and marketing, and is a member of the National Speakers Association, an author, and founder of The Wedding Industry Leaders Conference, an organization dedicated to the educating and consulting of highly motivated individuals and businesses. Learn more at http://alanberg.com/.
This question was recently posted on my Facebook page: “What is your best golden nugget of info for sales and marketing success?”
While many things rushed through my mind, I responded with this: “Invest in your own business the way you want others to invest in you. If you don’t want your customers to take a DIY approach and skip using you, the professional, then you shouldn’t think you can do a better job than the Pros you need (such as website and graphic designers).”
I meet lots and lots of wedding and event Pros every year. Some are just getting started, while others have been in their business, or the industry, for decades. The one consistent theme for the most successful people I meet is their willingness to seek out and invest in the best resources for their businesses. They’ve learned, whether through personal experience or education, that there are some things they’re very good at, and others they’re not. I launched a new website last September and I hired a professional to make it… and I wrote a book on websites! My specialty isn’t building websites – it’s seeing and understanding how to design the look and functionality for the best user experience, for you and your customers. That doesn’t qualify me to program or write code. And, most importantly, my time is better spent working with my current clients, and finding new ones, than trying to learn how to build sites.
So, what are you doing now that you should be outsourcing to people with more expertise? Are you designing your own business cards, brochures, logos, menus, price sheets, emails and more? Are you building your own website? The question is not how much it will cost to outsource; the better question is how much more you can earn by having a better website, better graphic design and better marketing. These days prospects make decisions very quickly on whether or not to keep you on their list of possibilities. If they don’t like your website, they’re probably going to leave within seconds, and they’re not going to give you another chance. If they think your business card seems cheap (thin paper, stock images, poorly designed), they’ll toss it and move on. You’ve done it. I’ve done it. Expect that your prospects will as well.
Are you investing in yourself?
Time is at a premium for all of us. We’re not getting any more time and there’s no shortage of things vying for our attention: association and networking meetings, conferences and conventions, webinars and articles; and that’s not getting into your personal life. Don’t even get me started on social media! That said, you can’t blow off every opportunity to network or learn. As the saying goes, if you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always gotten. How many new connections or new ideas do you need to make a difference in your business? I should rephrase that to: how many new ideas do you need to implement to make a difference in your business? Having ideas doesn’t change anything. Acting on them does.
Are you investing in your team? Or, are you afraid if you send them to educational conferences and networking that they’ll just leave and become a competitor? The truth is that if you don’t invest in them and show them they’re valued, they just might leave sooner.
Do you have any competitors who seem to be getting it right? Who impresses you with their marketing and branding? What about others in your industry, in different markets? What about companies in other categories, non-competitors? What about outside our industry? What is it that gets your attention? Why do you notice them? Chances are it’s because they’ve learned to invest in their businesses and themselves.
So the next time you’re focusing on the cost of an opportunity, stop and think about the potential return from acting on it. You can’t make an informed decision without knowing both numbers. If you say No, you can save the amount of the investment, but you lose the potential return (that’s called the opportunity cost). If you say Yes, it will cost you the amount of the investment. When the potential return eclipses amount of the investment, sometimes you just need to say Yes. Invest in your business the way you want your clients to invest in you. If you’re only getting budget customers, it could be that’s the message you’re sending.
Thanks for investing the time to read this. Now, what action are you going to take?