The Business Owners Curse: Perfectionism
Posted on 20th December 2018 at 18:56
Standards obviously vary from business owner to business owner. I'm personally of the mindset that sometimes, although ensuring that the content you put out there is relevant and informative and of course factual, it doesn't have to be completely 100% perfect all of the time. Perfectionism, in my personal opinion, as a marketer, is a major obstacle to preventing real business growth.
I've been involved in marketing now for quite a long time. One way or another, whether that's been in a marketing related business or not, I've had to build campaigns, put things together, to get new customers onboard. After all, customers and regular sales are the lifeblood of any business!
Now some of this might sound really simple and straightforward, and it is. However most business owners really do get this wrong and I'd like to discuss some points that may help change how you look at your tasks, to-do-list and time that you spend thinking about 'doing stuff'.
"The poorly written sales letter, always, 100% of the time, outperforms the sales letter that's never sent"
The quote displayed above was given to me by a mentor that I spent time with several years ago, and the advice still rings true and always will.
All too often, people worry, stress and over-think about getting things done.
It sounds like this (mentally):
"I'll get round to it, because that will take lots of time"
"I'll need a graphic designer to create me something that looks great so I'll leave it for now"
"I need it to be grammar perfect, designed nicely, get the offer perfect, get the product ready, get the staff in place, THEN I'll be ready to send that email"
It's these kind of thoughts that are exactly what is holding people back, restricting growth and keeping people poorer as a result.
"If you have a message, people need to hear it. The way to do that is through communicating - not just thinking about communicating"
One of the battles that I have with both myself and clients, is perfectionism.
Things don't have to be perfect all the time. It's good to get it as close to perfect as possible within a reasonable time frame and get it sent, however procrastination and avoiding a task or dragging it out for weeks/months is completely unacceptable and puts your business in a very poor position.
Most businesses would benefit greatly by sending out an automated email campaign to new prospects. However they don't do it.
They leave money on the table month after month, year after year, because they perceive the task as too great, too laborious, expensive or challenging. The reality is that you can write x3 simple emails on a word doc, then copy and paste them as plain text into something like Mailchimp, and get the emails sent. You will get more sales as a result.
It's true - you could have graphics made, use a more complex system, ask all your friends for their 'opinions' on what you wrote, but the task would more than likely never get done!
You've turned something that should be simple, into a nightmare.
"We all turn tasks into major projects, and that needs to change."
It doesn't have to be that way.
Most businesses would benefit from from using Google AdWords. It is hands down THE SINGLE and FASTEST and MOST RELIABLE form of getting new clients in for most local businesses.
However, less than 5% of businesses use Google Ads regularly as a form of getting new clients. Crazy! They spend so much time 'thinking' about it, pondering over whether to do it or not and who to 'trust' with it.
"How can I make it perfect..."
"Let's do some quick math..."
Dave is a builder. Daves average customer spends £2000 when he does work for them. Dave is currently ok, struggling a bit, could definitely use a few more customers. Let's say Dave decided to spend: £497 on Yianni Marketings Google Ads Set Up service £129 per month for monthly optimisation £1200 on clicks within the AdWords system Total cost = £2471 over a six month period Dave gets two new customers a month from AdWords. 2 (customers) x 6(months) x £2000 = £24,000 of new sales. That's a WHOPPING return of 871.27% in just six months (Far superior to any investment fund or pension fund) That also doesn't include new referrals the new clients may pass to you, and also additional work they might give you in the future - that's just the initial sales. The numbers can really go nuts. In your favour.
In the example provided, the numbers work outstandingly well and they do for many businesses. Yet, I'm willing to stake my bottom dollar that more than 95% of business owners don't do this stuff. They're too busy thinking about the initial £497 cost, doing some admin, answering emails or eating breakfast, instead of doing what could generate a new £24,000 or £48,000 (p/a) of sales.
The examples I've given above are just two very quick examples. This could apply to leaflets, websites, SEO, business networking, whatever.
Any kind of marketing that keeps getting put off because of 'perfecting' things and saying 'I like things to be right' is costing your business a huge amount of money. Saying 'I like things to be perfect' just isn't a very business smart thing to say. Caring about what other people think too much, is also not ideal for maximum business performance. I'm not suggesting that you should give poor service or not care, however I am suggesting that people care way too much, to the extent they don't get the important stuff done.
The true expense isn't the loss of the investment if it all goes wrong (which it shoudn't if done properly), the real expense is the huge loss of sales that are there to be had if people just reached out for them.
I recently put down a deposit on a brand new apartment.
I was in the shopping centre recently, leisurely floating around. A salesperson reached out to me with a leaflet. The leaflet I checked, was rubbish. Poorly written, lack of information, lack of visuals, and the salesman was sweaty, annoying and needy.
His 'marketing' as such - was terrible. The leaflet, his self-appearance and approach. However, for some reason or another I decided to play along for a while, and shortly after, I was taken a tour of the demo apartment, loved it, and put down a deposit a few weeks later.
His marketing WAS NOT perfect. In fact, it was very poorly prepared. However his product (new home he was selling), I loved, and he ended up taking a very large sum of money off me in the following few weeks after our initial meeting.
The point is:
"He was out there, hustling, asking for the sale and getting it. He wasn't at home, 'thinking' about getting a nicer shirt, fixing his perfect leaflet, and saying 'I'll do it later, it's not right yet'. He got up that morning, he looked crap, had some basic leaflets made, and got a big sale - because he turned up and got his message OUT THERE.
I think there's a lesson for us all in that. Sure with some better marketing and some work on his style, he might do a tad better. He might not. Who knows. It's all subjective. However, without testing and actually giving it a drive, no-one will ever know and as a result, the money will remain very far away, for a very long time.
Over & out.
(Final thought) - What two pieces of marketing could you do or outsource today (must be today and completed today), that would make a significant impact on your sales?
I can bet your bottom dollar that you could either do it yourself, or outsource it to someone like us, and for a small amount of money, comparatively, your business could be in a VERY different place because of the decisions you make today.
Let us know if you've got any marketing plans that need pushed through, we can get things done for you.
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