Just Say No To Desperation Sales

mountain climber

Part II- Your Message, Loud & Clear

Have you ever been in such a tight place in your business that you felt like you had to say yes to the very next opportunity, even when the work was not something you wanted to do? Did you paste on a smile, and accept the job, all the while dreading that you have to do it?

Seriously, when was the last time you just said no to a sale?

If your answer is never, chances are very good you are conducting desperation deals. This is a place of instability–not a position of strength.

Saying no to a sale is counter-intuitive. Yet, focusing on survival sales merely ensures you will stay focused on survival. Accepting a sale that is outside your area of expertise ensures that you will continue to be distracted from all that  you do best.

Here is where the fear sets in. Many entrepreneurs are closet branders. They are afraid that if they come out and say who they really are, and say no to a customer, that that somebody will not like them anymore. They could miss a sales opportunity. Maybe even this week! In securing one sale, they lose ten. A strong brand message works as a magnet to attract the right customer and is strong enough to draw in those potential customers waiting on the fringes. If I could only help small business owners turn from desperately seeking sales to desperately seeking differentiation, we could stabilize the shakes.

The fear of specifically stating what you are all about, (in other words–branding), is a bit like the young man we watched climbing rock walls in CO while on vacation several years ago. Though thoroughly harnessed and secured, half way up the cliff he somehow lost all chutzpah. He started thinking about how high he was and became paralyzed–he could neither move up nor down. People were shouting at to him, trying to help him overcome his mental block. One thing for certain: he was either going up, or he was coming down. He had to do something soon, or any minute his muscles would give out, all with an uncertain outcome. It was dangerous to do nothing.

Entrepreneurs are no different. You are not a weenie. Much bravery is required to begin the ascent in the first place. You yourself may have risked all you own to get your business up and running. Maybe you are halfway up the cliff, and you are stuck. You can risk moving higher with good branding practices, or you can cling to perceived safety by staying where you are, along with the boring, cliche, and redundant messages. Or you may lose strength to keep up the fight. One thing is for certain–there is no staying where you are for long.

Find your balance, and find safety. Where is your heart? What does your customer ideally want? What are you ideally suited to do? Find the overlap. Package it up and mark it with a T for Terrific. Deliver it with all the right messages to describe the contents accurately. Deliver directly to the gap–the gap in your competitor’s offerings. Then deliver on your promise.

You are now a leader and not follower. You are now proactive and not reactive. You have dropped the desperately seeking deals behavior, and you have adopted a new mindset. And with it, a place of stability. You will gain confidence–enough that your knees stop shaking.

You might even find yourself saying, “I’m sorry, we don’t do that anymore. Try my competitor, down the street.”


etc!graphics exists to help your business develop its own Visual Voice. We help you design your Brand into a visual language. But what if you do not have a strong Brand? If you do not know what your brand stands for, it will be difficult to craft a clear visual language to match. We want to help. Stay tuned all this month for Parts III-IV of Your Message, Loud & Clear. You can read Part I here.

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