So many small businesses and young entrepreneurs focus on things that don’t matter, customers that will never buy, relationships they don’t actually want to build, and content that brings no value. Here’s my top five ways on how to run a business successfully and the core of my business DNA.
1. Stop trying to Convert Your Customers
If you’re trying to convert your customers, you’re doing something wrong. I spend zero time convincing people to believe what I believe in. This is the mistake that most business and start up entrepreneurs are making: they’re wasting good time and energy trying to convert those who won’t buy, when they should be taking that same time and allocating it to reaching more people. Reach out to every single person in your industry who could have a positive impact on your life. Find the eighteen that are intrigued. Then, spend your time there, with the eighteen who cared to begin with. It’s not worth it to spend a month or two or three going one by one with people you aren’t even sure will buy from you in the end. There’s tons of customers, or businesses who just don’t want what you’re offering, stop wasting your time on them.
Don’t try to convert the unconvertable.
2. Don’t Hesitate with Making the Sale
As a salesperson, there are a ton of mistakes to avoid. Going in for the sale too quickly, fudging the facts, or not believing in your product come to mind first, but there is another problem that is even more obvious and even more problematic: poor execution when it comes to actually asking for the customer’s business.
The fact of the matter is you have to go right in the for the kill. You don’t bashfully tread around the question. You don’t try to rephrase it or be cute about it. Just. Freaking. Ask.
It’s all about honesty. Be truthful and upfront about what your sale goal is. If I was the CEO of Toyota (and I’m being very serious here), my Super Bowl ad would sound a little something like this: “Hey. I’m Gary Vaynerchuk and I’m the CEO of Toyota. I want you to buy my cars. What do I have to do to make that happen? Let us know.” To me, that is a good Super Bowl commercial. Forget the pony. Forget the eagle and the cute dog. It’s all distracting us from the main question, which is: what can I do to get your business?
3. Make Valuable Content
For a long time, I’ve been talking about how every company is a media company. You may not have the dollars to pay Ron Howard to create an original eight part miniseries for your brand. But this is why Instagram and Snapchat and all these other social media platforms are so valuable for your business’s content that actually affects your company’s revenue. There is disproportionate content virality, and new stars are being built every day. The awareness is huge. I used Twitter and YouTube to establish myself in the wine business as they were emerging, and I definitely did not have millions of dollars. That is every small business’s opportunity. Take advantage of the upside of writing on Medium, or becoming the first influencer on Meerkat. That upside is the jumpstart that you need when you don’t have dollars.
Now, how do you make good content? I talked about that here.
4. Work harder and faster in Business
Burning the candle on both ends: we’ve all been there. You have clients that you make amazing work for, and, on top of that, a whole company working for those clients that needs your attention too. Or maybe you have two jobs: working days in an office and nights at your real passion. How do you do both? How do you keep yourself from being totally washed out? Well, you might not like my answer, but it’s how I operate and it works: you need to work harder and faster. Not just harder, but also faster.
I always tell people to start working harder, to hustle. I truly believe that people could watch an hour less of Scandal and instead do some fucking work. But there’s another variable that I don’t talk about enough: be much faster in the hours you’re already in. Train yourself to do a little bit more in each hour than you normally would. Every day add something, and get it all done. The first few days you may not get it all done, but keep adding on, and you’ll get there. It’s training for a marathon. It takes time, but once you’re done, you’ll see that you’re doing much more in a day because you’re moving faster. That’s how you win, that’s how you hustle.
5. Give with No Expectation of Return
It goes without saying that you should always be looking for ways to provide others with value, (in life too, not just business). Creating a media site, writing articles, and making videos builds relationships with existing and new customers, as well as business partners. It is the number one way to sell a product right now.
But there’s another side to this that I don’t often bring up. This other side is just as important as providing that value. Because when you’re giving people something you know they will need and enjoy, it’s because you’re building up a relationship that could some day mean something, right? A business opportunity or a sale or drinks or a new job? Well, of course. All relationships need to be a two way street to be functional. But really, before any of that happens: you need to give with zero expectation of return.
Because the truth is, people like people. We’re wired for it. And people do business with other people. So when you learn to generally give to those people without expecting them to do something in return, you win. You’ll perceive the world differently, and be a better person because of it.