Shirley Anthony, author of The NEW Entrepreneur, explains how you boost your mental toughness during your business journey and how you can connect with your customers with confidence.
A positive attitude is essential. It’s crucial when seeking new business, interfacing with existing customers and in maintaining staff morale. Identify a technique that will help you to stay positive. It may mean starting your day with an exercise routine to release feel-good endorphins. Or, the daily practise of visualisation or affirmation techniques. Francois Castelyn, of global IT company Nerds On Site, encourages his team to begin each customer interaction with a quick recall of what has gone well with their IT support in the past seven minutes, seven hours and seven months. Castelyn believes this approach fosters a positive atmosphere.
Connect with potential customers with ‘quiet confidence’. This means having all your product facts at your fingertips and being well prepared for any client interaction. If necessary role-play client meetings and ask for feedback. This provides an opportunity to perfect your sales pitch and ensure that you are in fact creating a positive impression. Use client endorsements but don’t oversell your services. Prospects like to hear from your happy customers. But always let them tell you what they need and then demonstrate that you can meet their requirements.
Stick to your knitting and don’t take on tasks in which you are not skilled. This is particularly true when it comes to areas such as tax, accounts and marketing. If you don’t have the funds to employ a service provider, consider bartering for these services. I know of an accountant who swaps her service with a marketer and vice versa.
Everyone needs a guiding hand particularly entrepreneurs. A mentor will provide you with the opportunity to explore new ideas, to learn from their experience and to give you objective feedback, and show you where there’s room for improvement. Choose someone whose input you value and whom you can trust. Perhaps it’s someone older who has experienced business ups and downs. What’s important is that you are comfortable with your mentor.
Click here to purchase a copy of The New Entrepreneur by Shirley Anthony. A free chapter of the book can be downloaded here.
>> This article first appeared in the June/July issue of Your Business magazine.