The Forest of Success is Hard to See With All These Darn’d Trees in the Way

23 08 2011

I came across this article about how tactics used to find jobs during the depression would be just as effective today. (http://on.wsj.com/wsj_jobs)  The article points out that while most jobs are found through personal relationships, people choose to use technology to seek employment. Instead of networking they post resumes on the internet and spend their days surfing the employment sites for the next opportunity.  During the depression if you didn’t leave your house to find work you didn’t get it.

It is human nature to seek out the path of least resistance.  “After all,” says the job-seeker, “I can send out 100 resumes instead of meeting three to four people.”  We all want the magic pill.  The thing that will produce the greatest result with the least amount of work.  Unfortunately we have to be aware of the unintended consequences.  For the job-seeker, it is greater isolation and actually MORE difficult to find a job.  For the business owner its relying on the next new marketing thing to generate increased sales.  Yet everything requires effort.  So is your effort well placed?  Whether you are looking for a job, or just seeking to grow your business, you need to follow these steps.

  • Know what value you bring – It doesn’t matter whether you are looking across town or on the other side of the world.  Understand your value to your customer.  What is unique about how you solve problems vs your competition.  Know why people hire you.  What unique traits do you possess that will attract clients to you.
  • Know your customer – Not everyone is your customer and yet we often use a very broad brush when describing who our customers are.  The broader the audience the more general the information you use to reach them.  If the information you use doesn’t resonate, you potentially lose a new client.  Define who your best clients are.  Only seek out those who best align with your business.
  • Know your experience – I am not talking about experience in terms of technical skills.  Experience is related to the outcomes you create.  Outstanding customer experiences are something worth talking about.  So are negative experiences.  Anything in the middle is a wash.  What type of experiences are you creating?  Don’t know?  Work with your best clients to figure it out.
  • Seek organic growth in addition to marketing growth – Imagine acquiring a new customer cost about $100 using traditional marketing.  How much is the cost of a referral?  Often is is significantly less.  Keep your current customers happy so they will want to stay with you.  Help your happy customers refer you new people.  The chance a referral becomes a customer is much higher than when you spend money on traditional advertising.  Use that marketing to strengthen your exposure and create awareness.
  • Everything involves effort – Success requires effort.  Nothing worthwhile is free.  Do what you need to do to be successful  Invest your time wisely and always look for ways to work “smart”.  If someone promises you an easy route that seems too good to be true, it probably is.

 








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