Done is Better Than Perfect
I am reading a very inspirational book called “Lean In” by Sheryl Sandberg, who is the CEO of Facebook. The subtitle is Women, Work and the Will to Lead. Many people have recommended the book to me, and I am really enjoying it. All I can say is that if I had read this book 25 years ago, maybe I would have gone to business school—NAH—I have no regrets and feel like I am one of the luckiest working women today. I get to balance life at home with life in an industry that I love.
But I digress. What I want to talk to you about today was introduced to me in this book but actually has nothing to do with gender issues in the workplace. You can all breathe a sigh of relief as I’m sure that is not why you read this blog (Ladies, we’ll talk later in the secret clubhouse Girls Who Print).
The quote that is the title of this blog, (and check out this awesome blog that explains its origins here) is very empowering. For the purposes of this discussion I am referring to sales and marketing issues. I am sure that when it comes to your clients’ projects, you all aspire to perfection, and your customers expect nothing less. But here are three ways that you can manifest this concept—which is basically to stop over thinking, being afraid, and analyzing, and just DO SOMETHING ALREADY!
MAKE THE CALL—Whether it’s been a while since you’ve made prospecting calls, or you’re a fresh rookie, making a call to a new prospect can be daunting. You might come up with 10 other things you “need” to do in order to avoid making those calls. But seriously—just DO IT. As long as you know what you’re going to say, and it isn’t, “Hi. I sell printing. Do you buy printing?” just go for it. With every call you make you’ll get better, stronger and more confident. Practice on a co-worker first to make sure you are making the best first impression possible, because you know you won’t get a second chance.
GET ON THE SOCIAL MEDIA BANDWAGON—Whether it’s a blog, a newsletter, a LinkedIn Profile, or videos on YouTube, you have GOT to be doing something here. Start small. Just get yourself a Facebook page and invite some clients to like it. Then, you can post (or re-post) things you think your clients will find interesting, and BAM—you’re in the game. You are a content provider, and your clients will appreciate you and see you in a new light.
LEARN IT—If there is ANYTHING about the industry that you’d like to know more about, learn it. Take a tour of a paper mill. Have one of your digital equipment vendors explain to you what storefronts, variable data or how QR codes are being used to drive traffic to sites. Read blogs, case studies, and anything else you can get your hands on. But LEARN. You don’t have to have a PhD like Dr. Joe, just learn something new that will help your clients achieve their goals. Stop second-guessing yourself.
There is really no such thing as perfect. So take a look at that to-do list, or listen to what your peers are saying that you really need to do. And start checking those items off your list. Aim for DONE and you’ll be glad you did. And so will your customers.
If you need help with any of the above, there are people who can help you. And yes, I am one of them. But by all means, get help from somewhere if you need it. I’m here if you need me.
Blogger, author, consultant, coach and all around evangelist for the graphic arts industry, Kelly sold digital printing for 15 years so she understands the challenges, frustrations and pitfalls of building a successful sales practice. Her mission is to help printers of all sizes sell more stuff. Kelly's areas of focus include sales and marketing coaching, enabling clients to find engagement strategies that work for them and mentoring the next generation of sales superstars.
Kelly graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in Political Science and, among other notable accomplishments, co-founded the Windy City Rollers, a professional women's roller derby league. She is also the mother of two sets of twins under the age of ten, so she fears nothing.