Being in business is complicated. There is a lot to do. Bills need to be paid. Projects need completion. Clients want answers. You want clients.
With all of the technology, the business books, the web pages, the blogs, the communities, all hurling ideas the easiest (yet most effective) actions to bring in more business are pushed aside in the search of something better. There is too much searching, and not enough finding.
Yes, Seth Godin tells us we need to create a Purple Cow, which I'm not arguing, however the search for these damn cows is grueling, exhausting, and you begin to wonder if there ever will be such a thing. While in the pursuit of something that could change your industry, you must not forget that you are in your industry to make a living.
Every industry has successful people in it.
Most everyone will tell you that knowledge is the key to success. Wrong. Knowledge is a vital ingredient, but ACTION is the difference between success and failure.
So, here it is...another list. Three random, simple things that have been written a thousand times, done by those who are successful...thought about by those who want success. The list could be 50, 100, or 500 items but I figure there is a better chance of you just doing three, and picked a few I like. You'll probably laugh, roll your eyes and move on to another web page looking for something that will really improve your business, but here it goes.
1. Send handwritten notes whenever you can to clients, friends, referral partners. I have the absolute worst handwriting, yet committed to sending a handwritten note everyday for the past 15 months and it is without a doubt the number one thing on this list. People are getting 200-300 emails or voice mails per day. How many handwritten notes do they get?
2. Change your voice mail every day (if not more). This one is a difficult habit to get into. I've talked with some business owners who say the finally got their message exactly how they like it and resist, but what better opportunity to stand out from your competition than having a compelling voice mail message that also updates them on your schedule for the day. Mine usually goes something like this..."Thank you for calling The Lending Company, today is Tuesday October 23rd and we are looking forward to another fantastic day. I am here in the office today though I have a couple of appointments this morning, but will be returning phone calls today between 10:30 and 11:30, and again this afternoon between 2:00pm and 3:00pm. If you are a new client, could you please do me a favor and leave the name of the person who referred you to me, so that I can call them later today and thank them? And if you are an existing client, well you already know how much I value your referrals so I'd really like to thank you in advance. I look forward to getting back to, and hope you are having a great day".
3. Say Thank You! (often) The fact that I even put this one on the list is laughable, but how often do you really do it? For awhile I would get my domain names through Network Solutions, and then one day I just happened to be on GoDaddy.com and registered one with them, hey, it was cheaper. But the next day a strange thing happened. I got a phone call from a LIVE person who worked at GoDaddy.com thanking me for my purchase. And then two days later a Thank You card in the mail. I now send all of my business (like maybe 1-2 domains per year, not trying to say I send them a ton of business) to GoDaddy.com and even if they raised their prices I probably wouldn't even notice.
I can hear some of you saying "If these things are so easy, yet effective, then it won't be long until everyone in my industry is doing them and they'll be no big deal." You know, 10 years ago when I entered into the mortgage industry I would have thought the same thing.
The truth is people will not do the simplest things to generate more business, they just won't.
I realize this probably isn't the life-changing post you were looking for today, or is it?